17 SX Stock Plugs at 2600 miles and HKS MXL45 Comparison - Page 3 - Kia Forum
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 03:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mad_sb View Post
Hi Everyone,
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.
I'm a bit late on this one, but it looks like all four of your OEM NGK's are "leaking" from the seal between the main insulator and the steel body. I'm surprised to see this from a Japanese major player, and with only 2.6k mi's on them. Keep an eye on the HKS's I think that they might be a little too cold for an every day driver, especially a GDI engine.

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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 04:56 PM
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I don't know where to look it up for past years but it seems to me that the 2.4L in the Sportage was usually about 20 HP less than in the Optima. I just looked at the current models and it is about the same.
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 05:10 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by oldsport View Post
I'm a bit late on this one, but it looks like all four of your OEM NGK's are "leaking" from the seal between the main insulator and the steel body. I'm surprised to see this from a Japanese major player, and with only 2.6k mi's on them. Keep an eye on the HKS's I think that they might be a little too cold for an every day driver, especially a GDI engine.
Yeah, I'm not worried about going 1 range colder since I'm always in boost and will be trying out a couple of things to get a couple more PSI out of it. If I end up not getting tuned I'll replace them with the stock heat range M40XL's in a few oil changes.

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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-09-2017, 10:12 AM Thread Starter
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Quick Update for anyone interested. The M45XL's started misfiring (hard miss, no combustion on random cylinders) after a couple thousand miles as soon as the ambient temps got into the low 50's. This seems to be a common issue for these plugs. I went back to the stock NGK's and immediately resolved the problem.

TLDR: stick with he stock NGK unless you have a reason not too
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