Changed my plugs today to get a look at the stockers (Thanks to Sloppy for posting about his P0303 issues). Since the OEM plugs cost the same as the HKS M45XL's (at the dealer anyway) I opted to go with the HKS plugs, ordered from K5 optima store. Could not really find a lower price for real HKS plugs.
[Mods, I made a typo on the post title, please change MXL45 to M45XL if possible, please and thank you!]
First, a comparison of HKS to stock, you can clearly see the HKS plug does not extend as far into the chamber as the stock plugs, this alone may be the reason the HKS plugs are not as prone to cracking the ceramic as the stock plugs:
Now, the stock plugs at 2600 miles. I noticed on number 1 the ceramic had a little more gray to it on one side than the rest of the plugs and there was a little spot of black on #3
ceramic. All the gaps were even at .033" no signs of recent detonation (tiny shinny metal balls deposited on the electrode). #4
on the left #1
on the right.
I gaped the HKS plugs to .032 (the low end of the factory spec) because I plan on getting a tune when possible, right now no one is tuning these ECU's and a factory replacement costs $1250 at my dealer so buying a spare to have coded to my sportage so I can send it off to a tuner to play with isn't gonna happen any time soon.
I ordered a used lap3 uncle chip (signal interceptor) that will offset the MAP signal to increase the boost a couple PSI. Depending on how well it works, I may do my own interceptor tuning solution that will alllow me to control boost based on RPM and throttle position unless I can find a tuner that has access to these newer ecu's.