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Vintage Technical Tips & Tricks Technical and maintenance tips and links. DO NOT POST YOUR QUESTIONS HERE!! Please post questions to the general forum.

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Old 11-13-2012, 01:30 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I use an Oven cleaner on the Plugs - in the UK - Mr. Muscle product - I apply to the plug and leave on for about an hour and remove with hot water and dry the plugs throughly of course, and great results to boot .
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Old 11-13-2012, 12:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Keep a couple of used ones in your pocket as a treat for the next person that cuts you off..
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Old 11-13-2012, 01:11 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Not plug specific, but with various cars/trucks/boats/small bikes over the years I've had plugs that I've flooded that looked to clean up fine but just wouldn't start. Usually a good wire brushing would clean them up enough, but sometimes no...had to replace them even though I couldn't see anything visually wrong.

As for Champion, I stopped using them years ago then just this year I did the plugs on my '05 Dodge hemi. It's a dual-plug design and I deliberately steered clear of the less expensive Champions and went with my stand-by NGKs. Had a miss from the word go. Did some checking on the Dodge forums and found lots of other guys had the same problem and all said stick with the OEM champions. Switched all 16 over to the Champs and it was good to go another 60,000 miles. I was shocked that it made such a difference.
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:04 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Used to manage an Advance Auto Parts Store.

NGK/ND plugs were for Asian (basically the same company (atleast used to be) to boot as one owns over 50% of the other but can't remember which).
Autolite/Motocraft plugs were for Ford/Lincold/Mercury
A/C Delco for GM products
Bosch for German/Euro
Champion in Chrysler/Lawn Equip

All were good plugs for thier intended use. With the ECU's being used in most newer cars, plug brand could make a large difference, primarily due to resistance values. The ECU's are looking for a certain resistance level, and anything outside of the expected range (above or below) could trigger a fault code. This problem becomes even worse with "stick type" coils.

That said, NGK are some of the most consistent in my experience, largely due to quality control. The iridium plugs run really well and are very durable. Best spark exposure by far is Bosch +4's. A/C's run well and are solid materials, but cost more than others for less value. Champions/Autolites had been less than stellar out of the box (broken, closed gaps, etc...) but are the least expensive to run if you are chewing up plugs.

NGK's catalog also has one of the clearest guides to "plug reading" you will find. I've never bothered to try and clean them as they are cheap to replace and I hate to fuss with stuff looking elsewhere only to find it was a "fubar'd" plug...
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Old 11-13-2012, 03:10 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I know a lot of people used to swear by Bosch stuff back when I was racing Alfas, but I hated them. Nothing but trouble, whether in the race car or the tow rig. I referred to the Bosch Platinum as the 'self fouling plug'. That was when I started using the NGKs. Of course, this was before the advent of all the new-tech plugs, in the early 90's.

Crap. I'm getting old.
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Old 01-28-2013, 12:56 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Just my two pennyworth on this old thread.

I had lots of trouble getting my bike to run. After great help from you guys its ok .

However what I did find was that a lot of the trouble was the plugs. I read somewhere " use Champions n3c... original equip" I searched high and low in Perth WA, no champions sold anywhere.

I got a friend to send some over from the UK. He said " I dont know why you want them , I wouldnt put them in a wheelbarrow"

Anyway, out of the 4 he sent 2 are useless after only a few kms.
Dont know why whether its flooding or what but its frustrating.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:41 AM   #27 (permalink)
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The question you need to ask is; Why are they useless?
The most common reason is that they are fouled with either oil or soot (or both). It is the cause of the useless plugs that needs investigating, not the plugs themselves, they are just the symptom.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:04 AM   #28 (permalink)
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I agree Mark, In my case it may have been both, soot and flooding and then I cleaned them.
I remember (just ) years ago you could abuse the plugs with files, scrap the carbon off with a knife, use emery paper etc etc and they would still work. On really cold frosty morning in the UK (not here) I would put the plugs in the oven, heat them up and carry them with gloves to the car, screw them in and away we would go!! They were always Champion. So perhaps the manufacture or coating/glaze has been changed/added.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:02 AM   #29 (permalink)
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I have read that it's also down to the residue left by ethanol based fuels. It's hard to remove, and our engines weren't really designed to run on it so may spark at a less healthy voltage than modern machinery
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Old 03-17-2013, 06:45 PM   #30 (permalink)
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If you have sparkplugs that don't work right even after cleaning, try putting them in the oven at 400 deg f for about a half hour. Then clean them your usual way, I sand blast them and brake cleaner them, and reinstall . I used to run some race cars pretty rich, had a pile of used plugs that looked fine but missed til somebody clued me in. It won't cure them all , but it does usually work. Try it before you start theorizing why it won't do any good.
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