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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 09:04 AM Thread Starter
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useful spark plug information

Hi Folks,

I found this informationonline at the green spark plug company, I thought it would be useful to know.
I discovered that when you flood an NGK plug they are never the same again, I had an issue before by using a grade a little too cold for my 81 bonneville that took ages to solve, turns out that year needed a hotter plug than all previous years.

"We get asked the same question regularly - which is the better manufacturer - Champion or NGK, generally the problem lies with modern plugs and this is our thoughts.
If the engine hasn't started straight away you will probably have wet the spark plugs up. Once the spark plugs have been coated on the inside there is a possibility that an additive which has already been added by the manufacturer to unleaded petrol causes the spark to track down to earth. Even with wire brushing and trying to burn it off it will carry on doing so. We have been told cleaning with oven cleaner does help but we have not tried this.

A good tip when replacing new plugs is to have your engine already started and warm first on the old plugs, then put your new plugs in. The highest resistance with the spark is when the plug is new and unused.

There is no technical report on this but selling plugs for 30 years these are our conclusions.

Also Donald Mckinsey has written about it in the United States and here are his thoughts on the problem
Donald Mckinsey

Are you having problems finding a spark plug that lasts very long in your old engines?

First let's define the problem with the new spark plugs. When the automobiles became controlled by computer, the spark plugs did not have to have the bottom of the insulator glazed. The cars have fuel injection and the computer will not put enough gasoline into the cylinder to flood it. It injects fuel into the cylinder and says I will not put any more fuel into the engine until it fires. Then it fires the cylinder with 4O,OOO volts, if something happens to this computer control and too much fuel is injected into the cylinder, and the engine floods, this vehicle will not run right until you have taken the old plugs out and replaced them with a new set. What has happened is the trash gasoline the Federal Government has forced on us has contaminated the spark plugs because they are not glazed on the bottom. However when was the last time you flooded a computer controlled vehicle? More than likely, never.

Now these old engines do not have computer control and if your carburetor is running rich or you flood the engine, the same thing happens. The bottom of the insulator where it fires the engine becomes contaminated and becomes junk. The point coil or magneto ignition does not have 4O,OOO volts to fire the spark plug.

The solution to this problem is to find the spark plugs that were manufactured prior to the time that they quit glazing the bottom of the insulator. (Around 1975-77..) In those engines that used 1/2" pipe thread spark plugs or 7/8 - 18 thread spark plugs, the best deal is to try to buy spark plugs that come apart so the insulator can be taken out and cleaned with WD-4O, kerosene, Diesel fuel, or other things that will not remove the glaze on the bottom of the insulator. In any case, do not sand blast or glass bead them. This removes the glaze and you have a short life plug just as though you had purchased one of the newly manufactured spark plugs.

Those plugs that do not come apart, but are glazed on the bottom of the insulator can be put in a can of the same material mentioned above and set over night. Then brush the carbon and oil out of them with an acid brush or other small brush. After cleaning them, blow them off to remove the excess cleaning liquid and you are ready to run again.

I cannot emphasize enough that spark plugs should not be sandblasted or glass beaded. Also that to get any length of life in the old engines, they must have an insulator that was glazed on the bottom.

DONALD MCKINSEY, P.O.BOX 94, WILKINSON, IN 46186."
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 02:24 PM
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I use NGK plugs. None of that nonsense happens to them.

All parallel ported Bonnevilles use a hotter plug not just 1981 ones..

Last edited by Tritn Thrashr; 09-09-2019 at 02:26 PM.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tritn Thrashr View Post
I use NGK plugs. None of that nonsense happens to them.

All parallel ported Bonnevilles use a hotter plug not just 1981 ones..
Exactly..

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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 05:37 PM
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Hi
T140
Pre 78/79 splayed head Amal mk1 carbs - Champion N3
Post 78/9 parallel head Amal mk2 carbs or Bing Carbs - Champion N5
8 Valve engines - Champion G63
Harris Bonneville with Alloy barrel Amal mk1.5 carbs - Champion N3

IDK the NGK equivalents, but someone will.

Regards
Peg.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 06:21 PM
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I have yet to have a Champion N3C plug fail over the last 40 years. The ones i change every few years still look good with no erosion. Not tried any other make as these do the job very well. My Spitfire uses N4C.

Now,where did that bit fall off ?
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 07:43 PM
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i gave up on champion plugs years ago in my T120. they fouled and fouled, even the old N3G gold palladium plugs. wouldn't ever come back. go figure.

i put in NGK B8ES plugs, and the problem stopped. i don't know whether they come back after fouling, because they have never fouled, no matter what i do to them.

IMHO, there are no best plugs, even for a standard tuning configuration. this is OEM heresy, but i think you should just test what works in your motor and use those. different motors seem to like different brands, and different heat ranges. be very careful with heat ranges, and only go to a hotter plug if you are certain what you are doing and are aware of the risks. i generally have only needed to go colder than recommended.

my T120s use NGK B8ES and B9ES. i have some B10ES i was looking at in a high performance bike but i broke it before i could put them in. i use B7ES plugs in a commando, and they work well, but frankly so do the B8s.

they tell me champion plugs are the best to use in OEM applications. maybe, but like rambo, i've found something that works so i'm sticking to it.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 04:56 AM Thread Starter
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Hi Peg,,

That is correct, my bike had old champion N5's but I swapped them out for the standard NGK that is used on all the older Triumphs as per suggestions on here, I got about 50 miles out of them and then they would not fire in the bike. I then put in the old N5's, started and run fine, checked my almost new NGK's, looked good, sparked outside but would not allow starting. Of course you can't believe your new plugs can be at fault so I changed coils, and other bits. It was a post on this site that had the same issues, 50 miles out of a plug, turned out the bike needed the hotter plug as Peg shows.
The fact that the NGK's would not allow even firing but had been fine for numerous starts and about 50 miles riding (with some misfiring towards end of the run) show the above information seems reasonable. A plug that would work when brand new should still function after 50 miles, (it was the same effect over two sets of the standard NGK) the fuel additive coating makes sense.
post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 07:43 AM
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I have 2 sets of N5 plugs. I check them every 100 miles or so and they generally look/work fine in my 79 T140, well since I restored and tuned the carbs they do. If they do look a little dirty (e.g. after a number of short journeys where they have not reached 'self-clean' temperature), I swap them with the spares I keep under my seat, chuck the dirty plugs in my ultrasonic cleaner for 30 mins at high temp and intensity (which is surprisingly effective) and then they become the spares. With this method I have covered well over 500 trouble-free miles but saying that out loud is tempting fate...
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
Hi Folks,

Once the spark plugs have been coated on the inside there is a possibility that an additive which has already been added by the manufacturer to unleaded petrol causes the spark to track down to earth. Even with wire brushing and trying to burn it off it will carry on doing so.

I wonder if this is a U.S. fuel situation??

I'm hoping Australian fuel isn't as far gone in quality just yet!

R R
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 09-10-2019, 09:45 AM
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Come on now,if your bike plugs get gas fouled you have a carburetion or ignition issue, fix it...From actual experience I can tell you that 35 years ago I flooded automotive engines and they would not restart until the plugs were changed.....
And there was a a flood of imitation NGK sparkplugs .
http://www.ngk-sparkplugs.jp/english...ake/index.html
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