Plug Gap Specs for a 3.8 Ford Mustang

by Justin Cupler

Modern tune-ups typically involve only replacing the spark plugs and possibly the plug wires. Before performing the tune-up, you must make certain the spark plugs are properly gapped. Improper gapping can lead to poor engine performance.

Definition

The section of the spark plug that is inside the engine has two main components: ground electrode and center electrode. The ground electrode is the hook portion and the center electrode is the one protruding from the center of the spark plug. The space between these two electrodes is the spark plug gap.

Proper Gap

The proper gap for a 3.8-liter Ford Mustang is .054 inch. This gap is checked by placing a feeler gauge or a spark plug gapping tool between the two electrodes. If the spark plug is .002 inch or more too wide or narrow, slightly pry upward or push downward on the ground electrode to adjust the gap.

Non-Adjustable Gap

Some spark plugs are non-adjustable. These are typically multi-electrode spark plugs. Make certain to thoroughly read the spark plug's instructions prior to attempting to adjust the plug gap.

Pre-gapped Plugs

Some spark plugs may have a note on the box claiming to be "pre-gapped." Regardless of the plug coming with this notation, always check the gap and adjust it if needed.

About the Author

Justin Cupler is a professional writer who has been published on several websites including CarsDirect and Autos.com. Cupler has worked in the professional automotive repair field as a technician and a manager since 2000. He has a certificate in broadcast journalism from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Cupler is currently studying mechanical engineering at Saint Petersburg College.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera old spark plugs image by Rog999 from Fotolia.com