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  #16  
Old 04-22-2003, 04:47 PM
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Just a couple of clarifications on this sparkplug issue ..........again.

Platinum sparkplugs are used, primarily because of reduced electrode erosion !
That's why most newer vehicles have them ( since so many OEM's are playing the stupid " no tune-up required for 100 k miles" game ).
Great..........you try to get them out after 100 k miles, especially with aluminum heads.

As for multiple ground electrodes, my W 202 Kompressor uses Bosch F7 KTRC, with the "T" standing for triple electrodes.
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  #17  
Old 04-22-2003, 09:34 PM
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There are several "types" of spark produced by spark plugs, and while I'm sure I don't understand all the physics involved, the different types (gap bridging, surface, and mixed) can all ignite an air fuel mixture. Most jet engine ignition systems use surface spark -- the electrodes are flush with a ceramic surface -- for the simple reason that they would probably burn off otherwise. In automotive use, they would also tend to foul in a manner not very conducive to self cleaning ( which mostly means, I think, that the fouling material will fracture off nicely with temperature changes).

Platinum has a much lower (or higher, I don't remember) specific ionization, meaning that a spark will form much more easily and reliably on the platinum compared to any other metal. It is also one of the very few metals that does not "plate off" from the formation of the spark (a funtion of the ionization potential being what it is). Doesn't take much for it to work it's magic, even a fairly thin coating or wire will last much longer than the ground electrode.

Multiple electrode plugs DO work better, in that a usable spark can be obtained under harsher condtions than a single ground electrode, and they do not require indexing in engines senstive to it. Plugs with surface spark design (always in combination with gap bridging spark in automotive use) are much less suseptible to "blowout", and can self clean carbon fouling better, since the spark path gets so hot the carbon burns off.

Fouling is more complicated, since it is deposit of either insulating, or worse, conductive, materials on and around the electrodes. Zinc oxide from the zinc stearate in lubricating oil will cover the electrodes well enough to prevent mixture ignition, even though there is sufficient spark, and at high load with overly lean mixture can even "glaze". Lead oxides would melt, shorting out the plug until the engine cooled off and the salts re-cyrstalized and stopped conducting.

Carbon fouling is always a result of over-rich mixture or ignition breakdown, it's not "normal" for any gasoline engine to carbon foul plugs of the correct heat range.

Of course, the response of any particular engine to any particular plug isn't fully predictable -- what works in one engine/fuel/oil/condition/driving condition combination may and may not work well in another.

If any engine fouls plugs, the source of the fouling probably needs to be fixed -- modern engines simple burn so clean fouling is almost always an indication of wear of a malfuntion. Leaking valve guide seals can ruin plugs, for instance, and it doesn't matter what type you use, the fouling will be different, but still there.

Oh, and Bosch plugs have a reputation (well deserved, I think) of not clearing from carbon fouling very well, it at all. I have no explaination, but it took about six weeks of drving to get the 280 cleaned up and running well.....

Peter
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  #18  
Old 04-22-2003, 10:01 PM
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psfred

Now that was quite a mouth full.
But very well said.
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  #19  
Old 04-22-2003, 10:54 PM
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Well, like most things in life, spark plugs only LOOK simple......!

Peter
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  #20  
Old 04-22-2003, 11:15 PM
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We'll I'm going to give the Bosch +4 Platinums a try, esp. with the Money-Back Guarantee coupon.

:-) neil
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  #21  
Old 04-23-2003, 10:03 AM
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Nice piece of writing, Peter.
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  #22  
Old 04-23-2003, 12:28 PM
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What about NGK & Denso Iridiums ?

What about NGK & Denso Iridiums ? Are these just marketing gimmicks?

Can a real "tiny" electrode of Iridium along with the "U-groove" really make a difference?

Stu Ritter/MBCA "The STAR" Technical Editor, cautions that any motor with aluminum heads, needs to have their spark plugs at lease removed at least every 30K miles (he prefers 15K for BOSCH copper cores) otherwise the spark plug could be frozen in place.

Cars with 100K spark-plugs change intervals are having a hard time removing them without damage.

Comments?

:-) neil
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  #23  
Old 04-23-2003, 01:08 PM
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Lightbulb Hey, Sparkey!

Those old enough to remember may recall when a "tune-up" consisted of a lot more than just replacing the spark plugs every 100K miles!

Setting the timing and dwell, after replacing the plugs, points, cap, rotor & condenser (there'll always be those dual point distributors to fool around with) was a twice yearly chore if you drove a little... And adjust the carb, too. After you "read" the old plugs.

Remember how wondrous it was when everything worked?

Leaving plugs in for much over 1/2 the very long intervals the mfgs. now recommend is risky IMHO. Plugs are cheap! How better to find out what's going on in the combustion chambers?

Even on the SVX, where Subaru dealers charge 6 X $15 per plug & $15 per plug to put them in! I found that if you pull the battery & box and the air filter housing there is plenty of room: job takes less than 1/2 hour if you have the right extension.

It is like falling off a turnip truck to change the plugs in the 420SEL: are there some MB plug replacement horror stories out there?

p.s. just bought a set of Bosch Supers at Autozone for $0.99 each. Is that a deal, or what?
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  #24  
Old 04-24-2003, 04:14 AM
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i manufacture spark plugs.

most of what you think you know about spark plugs is propaganda[i.e., not to be believed].

i care to report for you what ac and autolite reported to me about their platinum-attached spark plugs...none ever made the 100,000 mile mark...but the secret warranty program persuaded you and the dot, doe that those ignition components really lasted for 100k miles.

that cannot happen.

platinum electrodes are a buzz. sounds good. makes you feel fuzzy. but they are a joke. and the four ground electrode boschies are the biggest joke of all.

i know.

if you really want to discuss ignition components, the important one is the coil. much more important than the spark plug. how many of you out there are having problems with them?

my info is that coils are a major problem. and just not on vw's.
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  #25  
Old 04-24-2003, 04:31 AM
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albert

Thanks for the post. Tell us more about coils! I think that most of us look at coils as either working or not. Yes there are "super ones etc" but beyond that ... what?

Should we be looking for something? Do coils just fail or do they slowly wear out?

Keep us posted,

Haasman
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  #26  
Old 04-24-2003, 09:13 AM
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plugs

hi all

i got 92,000 on a 100,000 mile tune up on my 98 merc marquis. was running just fine until a number of weeks ago. i stopped on the freeway in a snow storm because the hood didn't latch tight when i serviced her early in the day. well i had to be towed home. maybe i should open the hood and take a look. man i hate that!

the problem is probably in the fuel supply for the injectors.

i would really like to hear more about plugs and coils. can you give us more info or can you point us in the right direction on the web?

thanks for the post
craig
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  #27  
Old 04-24-2003, 12:21 PM
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Few automotive products are subject to more 'buzz' than sparkplugs. Motor oil comes to mind. Tough to differentiate any product that has become a commodity. Would anyone pay $7 per plug without that slick marketing campaign? Anything that can be mass-marketed to the lightweight DIYer is going to come loaded with expensive dis-information. Look at the (snake) oil additive industry!

Besides, I am somewhat inclined to believe any insight from Albert Champion.
Thanks AC.
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  #28  
Old 04-24-2003, 01:25 PM
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Albert,

You manufacture spark plugs?

Your last name is Champion.

Are you the Champion spark plug company?

http://www.championaerospace.com/history.html
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  #29  
Old 04-24-2003, 02:52 PM
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Based upon my memory of auto history read:

Famed auto racer Albert Champion did create the Champion Spark Plug, but later had a falling out with investors, and lost control of the company.

Champion went on to work with Buick, leading to the establishment of automotive electronics manufacturer, AC (Albert Champion), now GM division AC Delco.

Perhaps 'our' Albert Champion has a relationship with AC.
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  #30  
Old 04-24-2003, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by csnow
Based upon my memory of auto history read:

Famed auto racer Albert Champion did create the Champion Spark Plug, but later had a falling out with investors, and lost control of the company.

Champion went on to work with Buick, leading to the establishment of automotive electronics manufacturer, AC (Albert Champion), now GM division AC Delco.

Perhaps 'our' Albert Champion has a relationship with AC.
Wow, could "our" Albert Champion be the famed auto racer?

This could be just too coooool.
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