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Unread 03-01-2012, 03:15 PM   #1
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Default Black, carboned spark plug

It's been a really long time since I've actually "asked" a question,
and my situation may be a little different then what everyone is used too...

What I have is (basically) a stock 07 clockwise FE350 engine, (with a few things added)
  • A larger carb Jet (X2 ?) with a K&N air filter
  • A timing advance key (CPP)
  • A pedal start... but, it now Idles
  • And I use nothing but ethanol free, premium fuel w/Seafoam year round

Once a year (usually in Fall after a good summer run) My spark plug gets black and sooty!
Most of the time, I just replace the plug, but this last year I just cleaned and gaped it! (which worked just fine!)

last summer, I adjusted the pilot air screw for a decent idle, and hoping that it would change the the outcome of the "blackened" plug,

But, to no avail... It's still black and sooty!

(I don't believe I'm saying this...)

What am I missing? or What can I do to remedy this?

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Unread 03-01-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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Post Re: Black, carboned spark plug

I'm not a cart mechanic but it sounds like it's too rich. Have you checked the plug before it fouls out (say, mid-summer)?

Tim
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Unread 03-01-2012, 06:36 PM   #3
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

Yeah... after two weeks with a new plug, it turns somewhat black!

After all of these years of working on my own cars, I still really don't know the difference between rich and lean,
my cars always have shown a proper burning plug.

This cart, as simple as it is, kind of confuses me!
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Unread 03-01-2012, 08:32 PM   #4
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

Dry black = too much fuel. Shiny black = too much oil. You mentioned you changed the jet by 2 sizes. I'd try 1 size leaner and see how it does. If you're getting oil on the plug, that can be bad rings, worn valve guides, or simply too much oil. I've heard several folks talking about lifted carts and overfilling the oil. The fix is to fill the crankcase by capacity, not the marks on the dipstick.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

I am new to the cart program but have been around bikes and sleds a lot. Remember when jetting carbs there are multiple area's. Slow or idle, mid and wfo. Your symptoms will very depending on your driving habits. You may be too rich in the mid range or it may be too rich in the full throttle area. It sounds like you have played with the slow or idle which comes into play at start and of course idle. Some one with more experiance on these carts may be able to expand on this. Lots of luck.

As far as the black plug goes, without seeing it I would ask if it smokes or are you using oil? Do a google search on reading plugs and it should guide you on how to tell.
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Unread 03-01-2012, 11:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

It's not oil!... it's carbon build up! (sooty)

I'll have to agree with changing the jet size, but, I'll wait a bit longer to see other opinions!

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Unread 03-02-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

Another thought...what is the compression ratio on this motor? You may be running too high of an octane rating.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 10:34 AM   #8
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

It's running a little rich for sure Don. It could be the idle circuit or several other possibilities within the carb. Why not try running her on
progressively hotter spark plugs before you tear into it though. Plugs are cheap and easier to replace than pulling the carb and fiddling with jets.

FC.
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Unread 03-02-2012, 11:36 AM   #9
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

Thanks for the replies!

EV... good point! but it's only 91 octane, "True Blue" I could see! and all of my other stuff,
Mower, snowblower, etc., run the same fuel, and, none have the same symptoms! (but, they're not "modified" either!)

FC... That's a GREAT idea!
right now, I'm running a "stock" NGK BPR5ES plug! I'll try a BP4ES or BPR4ES (if available) and see if it helps!

and if all else fails... I'll call Tom at CPP and get a "slightly smaller" jet,
the problem with that is... I'm gonna buy MORE stuff from him!

thanks again for the suggestions!

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Unread 03-04-2012, 08:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Black, carboned spark plug

first ,i would try running a hotter plug, to see if that helped burn of the deposits.
second, i would replace the jet to one level back
third, i would check out my valve guides and valve stems,

last but not least, i would call tom......and yess, spend over a 100 bucks just to get the free shipping!!!! looking down at the ground shaking my head sideways,atleast thats what i tell my lovely bride
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