Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Cocoa Beach, FL
I asked much the same question last month and, considering the replies I received, agree with HD-DOC (I think I do anyway).
Indeed your plugs show lean. Unfortunately that's normal with stock ECM settings but your plugs sure do look lean. My old (very old) drag-racing days memories say there should be a slightly brown/tan ring around the insulator and roughly 1/3 of the way down the "throat" of the plug.
Like Doc, I doubt things will get any better until you go the "tuner" route and, unless you want to rev to the actual red-line for the '96, don't do what I did and pay for the HD "Stage 1" flash. I like the extra revs. Your call on what the revs are worth to you.
Mine already runs almost as lean as yours but I still have the damn CAT. I also have an SEAC but you don't mention your air cleaner (another restrictive gizmo). If you do have (or go to) an SEAC or equivalent, then I (based upon good input from others) also recommend a tuner but would add "ASAP" to Doc's recommendation.
BTW: A positive indicator for destructive lean conditions or major pre-ignition is black freckles on the porcelain inside the plug. That's melted aluminum. Unfortunately, by the time that shows up you already have engine damage.
Bring 'em home or send us back!!
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