Just an opinion, but those gaskets have a rubber seal that over time will deteriorate causing them to shrink. As you drive and the engine heats they will swell and seal. I 'think' that's your problem. I don't think tightening them will help as the generally have a aluminum or plastic spacer to prevent over tightening and breaking the seals.
I am thinking this is oil? (since the wetness is on the electrode, and is below the sealing surface of the plug. It would seem it could only be from the top if the spark plug seal is faulty. I guess I could put a different plug in to verify a possible theory that the plug may not be sealing properly? Although that seems highly unlikey! I will also make sure I had it at 12 foot pounds)
Then I took a video of the area around the spark plug well around the #5 plug.
You might try doing what I did 10 years ago to my 2007 Mercury GM. I'm still driving it today with 130K miles. I noticed that the heat gauge never exceeded 200, so I figured I really didn't need to have any pressure in the cooling system. It should never boil unless it reached around 230. I removed the rubber gasket on the radiator cap that holds pressure. I run ZERO pressure on the coolant system. I thought that this would eliminate blown hoses or small coolant leaks. I did the same thing to my 1995 F150. I have NEVER had a coolant problem or leak with either vehicle. I purchased both vehicles new and I'm still driving both. The F150 has 140K miles.
I have found that steam on plugs on any car is usually coolant . Your pictures / video show oil on plugs so you may have multiple issues .It looks like you have oil running down from top right hand corner at least into plug well . You checked the compression on that cyl. ? have you checked the engine is " breathing " o.k ? i.e is the PCV valve and hose clear and operating o.k .If not you will get a build up of pressure in crankcase which wont help with oil blow back . Check the first couple of mins of this video in regard to the plug torque setting ,
I did pull the PVC out of the valve cover, and shook it, I heard it rattle so I assumed it was ok. Is that sufficient? Or si there more testing required on the line itself?
I have not done a compression test. I'll have to rent that from autozone, or some place else. What compression is normal?
How much danger if I drive this until I fix it the cause of the wet plug?
I thought about putting something 'extra' around the boot (like a oring, or ?), and/or laying something absorbent on the surface area around the plug boot, to see if that keeps the plug 'dry'. (as a way to eliminate the idea that there is oil coming up from around the cylinder rings. Does that make any sense? Any ideas as to what might work?)
I read somewhere that perhaps oil that comes from inside the engine could be bad rings on the cylinders, or bad valve stem seals. Is that about right?
I will tighten the plug as in that video next time I pull it out...if I can't find my tourque wrench.
The cap on the expansion tank (recovery tank) is essentially the radiator cap. It holds the pressure in the tank and radiator, just like the old radiator cap. My car also has the cap exactly like yours. The older style recovery tank held no pressure, unlike yours. They had a radiator pressure cap AND a non-pressure recovery tank cap.
So the weather warmed up to 30's today, and I was going to try a compression test on cylinder #5. I rented a compression test it from autozone. (Oreillys had the same type kit too).
But once I realized it's basically a rubber hose with a rather short 14mm tip that screws into the spark plug well - I am a little afraid to try it. I put it in and started to thread it, like 1 turn, and then twisted it in reverse to see how easy it would come out, and it was rather hard to unscrew it! So, I decided not ti use this kit.
Wold you think this OEM brand is suitable? Wold it get 'stuck' screwed into the spark plug hole if I tighten it, and then compress it even more by running the engine?
Clean up threads with a plug thread chaser and should be no problem fitting test compression gauge . If you dont have one or cant get one , you can make a substitute type that should work to clean threads along lines of video below . If you've ever seen the damage a cloth or rag can cause when sucked into different parts an engine , you would remove the sock .
Thanks for the video. That compartment holding the fuel pump relay is tricky.
I hear you on the rag. But it is wedged in tightly. It's even hard to pull out. And it is keeping the well dry. I've checked twice, after 40 mile od driving each time, and the well was dry.
The plug electrode was dry too, so I may not even have an internal oil issue! I am now thinking I may not need to do compression test?
I have notice I still have a stumble at idle sometimes, and sometimes while driving.
Today I pulled 4 plugs out on the left side. All were dry. I held all 4 to engine block and started the car. All 4 sparked, and seemed normal to me. It started raining, so I did not test the 4 pugs on the right side. I'll try to tomorrow though.
Assuming those 4 spark well (and I'm guessing they will since all the plugs are only 2 months old, and the misfire was only #5) - what else could cause the roughness? (I did clean the MAF. I also checked the PVC, and the little ball rattled around OK). Could the plug boots be messed up (slimy)? I did try cleaning inside it with a shop towel today.
I'll check the other 4 plugs tomorrow. I am wondering what the roughness is from...did the wetness mess up the plug, or boot, and I need new ones, or something else?
I suppose the wires could be wearing down. Maybe I'll get a new set, and just try that #5 wire that I've had off/on over a dozen times in the last few weeks.
Say, after I tested those 4 plugs for spark last night, I started worrying about gas being sprayed into those 4 cylinders, as I did start the car up, and of course the gas was not being burned since the plugs were out of the hole. Could that gas end up in the oil pan, or foul up the cat converter?
I suppose I should have pulled the fuel pump relay (seeing as you showed me how) and just had someone crank the engine, but I had no helper at the time, and was in a hurry to test.
I suppose I should buy an appropriate spark plug tester also. I have one, but its an older right angle thing from Harbor Freight, and the boot is too short to reach the plug in the spark plug well. HF now has newer one that is a straight line that I will buy. In any case, they don't actually show the plug firing, just the signal to fire the plug, I think.
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