How do you gap twin and triple electrode spark plugs?
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  1. #1
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    How do you gap twin and triple electrode spark plugs?

    Hi.

    The only help I've found is with single electrode spark plugs that obviously are very easy to gap...although I really need help on how to gap twin and triple electrode spark plugs.

    Where do you check the gap on these?

    Thanks,
    Elliott

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  3. #2
    Magical Negro
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    what kind of engine do you have?

  4. #3
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    basically you don't try to modify the gap on them.

  5. #4
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    I have a 1.8t AEB engine...I had triple electrode spark plugs before but they got replaced with twin electrode ones...

  6. #5
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    You don't gap them, they come pre gapped.

  7. #6
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    Well I did change them already thinking that the way I was doing it was the correct way but I don't think it is...so how do you do it?

  8. #7
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    yes pre gapped.

  9. #8
    murdered out Jetta, er, B5 Passat mrgreek2002's Avatar
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    Yeah, I've never seen anyone gap them, not even mechanics. They take them out of their sealed box and put them right in the engine.

    I did the change myself this summer and never gapped them, so far so good with no problems.

  10. #9
    I'm just itching to be Banned NEWMAN'SOWN's Avatar
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    ^X1000

    Gapping is a thing of the past. Just put them in and presto!

  11. #10
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    Alright thanks...I reset them to where they were and put them in the car...unfortunately now there's a problem. The RPM seems to hang like for example coasting into my driveway not in gear and clutch it it stays at like 1200 rpm for a few seconds...

    And when I rev up the engine (to like ~2000rpm) and let it drop down again, it will go down to like 100 rpm below idle and then come back up...

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEWMAN'SOWN View Post
    ^X1000

    Gapping is a thing of the past. Just put them in and presto!
    Thats only partially true, plain copper electrode type plugs still need to be gapped and some iridium and platinum single electrode plugs still need to be gapped. but anything with multiple electrodes is bought vehicle specific and they come pre-gapped to the proper spec.

  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1lojet1281 View Post
    Thats only partially true, plain copper electrode type plugs still need to be gapped and some iridium and platinum single electrode plugs still need to be gapped. but anything with multiple electrodes is bought vehicle specific and they come pre-gapped to the proper spec.
    Okay...but let's say one had to gap a twin or triple electrode spark plug...how would one do it?

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElliottG View Post
    Okay...but let's say one had to gap a twin or triple electrode spark plug...how would one do it?
    Dude, pay attention! You've been told a couple times above already, you can't gap multiple electrode plugs!

    If you tried to gap them you effed them up and they can't be fixed! Go back to where you bought them and buy another set, and install them from the box WITHOUT trying to gap them!

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bullit62 View Post
    Dude, pay attention! You've been told a couple times above already, you can't gap multiple electrode plugs!

    If you tried to gap them you effed them up and they can't be fixed! Go back to where you bought them and buy another set, and install them from the box WITHOUT trying to gap them!
    No one in this thread said you can't gap them, they just said they come pre-gapped.

    Anyway I put them back the way they were and they're in the car now fine nothing is wrong with them.

  16. #15
    I'm just itching to be Banned NEWMAN'SOWN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1lojet1281 View Post
    Thats only partially true, plain copper electrode type plugs still need to be gapped and some iridium and platinum single electrode plugs still need to be gapped. but anything with multiple electrodes is bought vehicle specific and they come pre-gapped to the proper spec.
    We are talking about spark plugs for a Passat, not any other kind of vehicle.

  17. #16
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    No need to gap pre-gapped plugs but if you want to check the gap or just mess around it is plausible....There is a gap tool I have at home that could be used.....it consists of metal rods of varying diameter/thickness......It can be done.....

  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEWMAN'SOWN View Post
    We are talking about spark plugs for a Passat, not any other kind of vehicle.
    not sure if you have ever done plugs in a passat, but they take a single electrode platinum or iridium plug. depending on what brand you get, you sometimes need to gap them. No matter what brand you get you should always double check them (carefully so that the electrode is not damaged)

  19. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by jti306 View Post
    No need to gap pre-gapped plugs but if you want to check the gap or just mess around it is plausible....There is a gap tool I have at home that could be used.....it consists of metal rods of varying diameter/thickness......It can be done.....
    Yea I have a gap tool but it's not one of the rod types...is it possible to use one of the round gap tools and if so where do I measure them? between the side electrode and the center electrode?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1lojet1281 View Post
    not sure if you have ever done plugs in a passat, but they take a single electrode platinum or iridium plug. depending on what brand you get, you sometimes need to gap them. No matter what brand you get you should always double check them (carefully so that the electrode is not damaged)
    Not all Passats take single electrode plugs. As I said before mine had triples in them and now they have doubles.

    Read here: Triple-Electrode vs. Single-Electrode Spark Plugs

  20. #19
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    When gapping plugs, the clearance(closest point to closest point) between the center electrode and the side(ground) electrode is what you measure and adjust. To simplify, the space that the electricity needs to jump to create a spark. On multiple electrode plugs, you'll want all three ground electrodes to be gapped an equal space from the center electrode. If one ground electrode is closer to the center than the others, it'll be the one that sparks more frequently (less gap = lower path of resistance).

    Yes, they come pre-gapped, but it never hurts to double check the gap anyways. But you've already been adjusting the factory set gap so that's all out the window at this point.

    Your options are to...
    1. get a new set and don't adjust them. ...or
    2. try to re-gap this set back to factory specs.

  21. #20
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    I did reset them to how they were because I marked it down before changing them...anyway the way they were set before was way off the factory specs. They were at something like 0.015 inches while the specs are I think 0.035 to 0.045 inches. It even says on the side of the box that they're at 0.035 but they weren't...or maybe it was just how I was measuring them but I'm pretty sure I was measuring them how you said.

  22. #21
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    In the above picture, the lower plug is a single electrode style. The spark gap is the closest distance between the center electrode and the side electrode. On this plug, the side electrode is closest to the center electrode where it hovers over the center. The electricity sparks between the top of the center electrode and the bottom surface of the side electrode.

    The upper plug is a triple electrode style. The side electrodes do not hover over the tip of the center. They come up to the side of the center. The spark on these jumps from the side of the center electrode to the tip of the side electrodes. Thats the space you want to set at .035 inches. (same deal for the double electrode plugs)

    You can NOT measure double and triple electrode plugs with this style gap tool. It won't fit properly and you'll get a false reading.


    You need to use this style tool as it is the only kind that will fit the side gap in such a way as to provide a usable measurement.

  23. #22
    Moderate Moderator Steve in Chicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElliottG View Post
    The RPM's seem to hang. For example: coasting into my driveway not in gear and clutch in, it stays at like 1200 rpm for a few seconds. When I rev the engine (to ~2000rpm) and let it drop, it will go down to like 100 rpm below idle and then come back up.
    Did you disconnect the battery, the throttle body, or the ECM? If so, you probably need a throttle body adaption. Drive the car through several cold-start through full-temp cycles. See if it adapts itself.

    Get a scan.
    Write down all the codes.
    Clear all the codes.
    Post all the codes in this thread.

  24. #23
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    No I didn't. It doesn't seem to do it anymore, though. Thanks for all the help. I'm not really clear on the concept of doing a throttle body adaptation it seems like so many different people have different methods.

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