Spark plugs. Why is it so hard?

Electrical and Ignition

  1. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

    Messages:
    77,048
    Likes Received:
    53960
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    Local Time:
    1:28 PM
    Yes sir. Just no need for it. All you need is the minimum gap to get it did! .035" - .045" will normally get it done for just about everything.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
    • Bewy

      Bewy Well-Known Member

      Messages:
      941
      Likes Received:
      566
      Joined:
      Jan 1, 2021
      Location:
      Australia
      Local Time:
      3:28 AM
      RRR,
      You might want to try reading your own links before you criticise others. Your Champion link in post 17 says this about Plat, Irid plugs: ' decreases the misfire rate' & ' increases firing efficiency'.
      NGK link, post #18 about resistance. Do you know what the 'n' before the ohms symbol means? It means 'billionth'. So the copper resistance was 16.78 n-ohms or....drum roll....0.000001678 ohms. And 0.00000693 ohms for nickel.
      The copper was NEVER used in spark plug cores to reduce electrical resistance because it would have made no measurable difference to the spark current because of all the other resistances in the spark cct [ the resistor in the spark plug alone is between 3000-6000 ohms ]. The copper was used because it conducts heat better. Nothing to with with it's electrical properties. It heated up the tip quicker to burn off deposits, stop fouling.
      Some people have learned nothing from automotive history, when the plugs were 18mm big, used magnetos for ign with 0.015" plug gaps. Bigger gaps don't help? Hmm, why aren't we still at 0.015"? Somebody forgot to tell Honda because they built an engine decades back that had a miniature combustion chamber next to the main chamber; idea was the small chamber to be ignited by a spark or glow plug & the small chamber bonfire ignited the main chamber.
      Plug gaps have got bigger [ not smaller, funny that ? ] over the years as innovation has provided improvements. Phil Jacobs, founder of Jacob Ign Systems claims the ideal plug gap is 0.100"; mentioned more than once in his book, Performance Ign Systems. Hmm....MSD recommends up to 0.060" gaps with the 6A box & up to 10.5 CR. Hmm. Accel 300 unit, 0.040: plug gaps for 12:1 & 0.050" or more for lower comp ratios. Hmm. DUI, Chrys dist in their catalog with GM module on the side:" Allow your plug gaps to be opened up to 0.055"! DUI HEI dist ' 0.055"-0.060" plug gaps. Hmm.

      It is true that larger plug gaps put more load on the ign system. That is why Plat/Irid plugs are a good idea because they take less firing voltage & you can increase the gap & still not stress your ign system. Other benefits that I do not think have been mentioned:
      - the Plat/Irid tips run slightly hotter, burn off deposits that might otherwise kill the spark.
      - electrons jump more readily from a hotter surface. By having the centre electrode hotter, it is encouraging spark formation.
      - why do some P & I plugs also have P & I inserts on the ground straps? Because they are much harder metals & take longer to erode the electrode surface. Eroded electrodes means increased gap...& misfire.
       
      • Like Like x 1
      • 448Scamp

        448Scamp Running Free

        Messages:
        388
        Likes Received:
        404
        Joined:
        Jul 4, 2021
        Location:
        Sandy Utah
        Local Time:
        10:28 AM

        Those plug decrease the misfire rate as the plugs get more miles on them. They are also harder to fire, which is why they usually have a fine wire. They aren’t the best thing ever. They were developed for a purpose.
        Just so you know Holley claims to be the company who developed the copper core plug and they didn’t use NGK to develop it.
         
      • RustyRatRod

        RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

        Messages:
        77,048
        Likes Received:
        53960
        Joined:
        Jun 7, 2010
        Location:
        Georgia
        Local Time:
        1:28 PM
        I guess yall really do things backwards down there. They say toilets flush backwards. Evidently things are upside down there, too.
         
        • Like Like x 1
        • Bewy

          Bewy Well-Known Member

          Messages:
          941
          Likes Received:
          566
          Joined:
          Jan 1, 2021
          Location:
          Australia
          Local Time:
          3:28 AM
          NGK developed the copper core spark plug in 1965. Holley did it 7 years later.....
          Maybe Holley was the first American company to market them.
           
        • 448Scamp

          448Scamp Running Free

          Messages:
          388
          Likes Received:
          404
          Joined:
          Jul 4, 2021
          Location:
          Sandy Utah
          Local Time:
          10:28 AM

          If you have a link to this information I’d like to see it. I can find nothing that validates your claim. Doesn’t mean you are wrong. Just means I can’t find anywhere where even NGK says that. And really, who cares who developed it? Things can be developed simultaneously and all the parties involved may have no knowledge of it.
           
        • RustyRatRod

          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

          Messages:
          77,048
          Likes Received:
          53960
          Joined:
          Jun 7, 2010
          Location:
          Georgia
          Local Time:
          1:28 PM
          How does any of this stupid argumentative bullshit have anything to do with helping Kent? It doesn't, so shut the hell up, ok?

          And to Kent......I mean this in NO smartass tone whatsoever.....but plug choice isn't hard. Just run the plug the head manufacturer says to run and you won't have all this stupid forum crap to put up with.
           
          • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
          • Agree Agree x 1
          • RustyRatRod

            RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

            Messages:
            77,048
            Likes Received:
            53960
            Joined:
            Jun 7, 2010
            Location:
            Georgia
            Local Time:
            1:28 PM
            He may not be wrong, but what bearing do any of his points have here but to muddy the waters with him trying to show everybody how smart he is......and that remains to be seen. I have my doubts.
             
            • Agree Agree x 2
            • pishta

              pishta I know I'm right....

              Messages:
              20,694
              Likes Received:
              10005
              Joined:
              Oct 13, 2004
              Location:
              Tustin, CA
              Local Time:
              10:28 AM
              Both are emission type ultra long life (100K) plugs that require a perfect A/F and a new car cylinder/ring pack to last as they dont usually have the beans to burn themselves clean. In a 'dirty A/F' carb app, they wont last. I like the NGK V-power with the split "forked tongue" ground. On the other hand, EFI does make for a clean combustion but paying >$9 for a plug is insane for a V8 (how about a 2 plug per jug hemi?) who's plugs are right there to take out and test or clean or replace or change heat ranges.
               
              Last edited: Jul 28, 2021
              • Like Like x 1
              • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
              • 448Scamp

                448Scamp Running Free

                Messages:
                388
                Likes Received:
                404
                Joined:
                Jul 4, 2021
                Location:
                Sandy Utah
                Local Time:
                10:28 AM

                I wasn’t my intention to side track the OP’s thread. I thought it was interesting how the copper core plug was developed. But I does hove no bearing on the OP’s issue.
                 
                • Like Like x 1
                • Bewy

                  Bewy Well-Known Member

                  Messages:
                  941
                  Likes Received:
                  566
                  Joined:
                  Jan 1, 2021
                  Location:
                  Australia
                  Local Time:
                  3:28 AM
                  RRR,
                  You are the typical forum bully, shown in other threads, not just this one. You feel threatened when somebody replies who knows more than you do.....which isn't too hard sometimes. You are the one that is muddying the waters with blanket statements with no supporting info. Apparently, your opinion [ not facts ] is what counts & anybody/everybody else is wrong. Memo, pal....

                  Three times that I have seen since I joined this forum, you have insulted my country. Only low lifes insult a person's country. I couldn't care less about personal insults, especially from you. Keep 'em coming! I could have responded to many more threads that you posted in with info that was...how do I say it nicely...BS. But I chose not to post.


                  This thread started out with the OP asking, 'Why are there so many plug choices'. I am, & continue to provide answers to that question. To answer it effectively requires some history & understanding of how spark plugs work if the OP wants to make an objective conclusion...

                  And now some more important info about P & I plugs. I do not know how to link articles. This is from Jerry Reeves, Engineering Director at Autolite from enginelabs.com/engine-tech/ignition.
                  'Moving to Iridium plugs could potentially be a performance advantage, can reduce the reqd coil voltage as much as 20%.....fine wire Irid plugs can improve the combustion process even if there is a high level of exh gas-built in EGR- as with engines with long duration cams.....Claims that fine wire plugs run hotter & should be avoided in supercharged/turbo applications is not true. Reeves points out the fact support the exact opposite conclusion: 2018 Supercharged dodge Hellcat-707hp- specs rid plugs. Turbo 4 cyl Ford engine that pushes as much as 25 psi of boost uses Irid plugs. Let's look at some facts that support why fine wire plugs are a good choice for a performance engine.....

                  448Scamp,
                  You will find the intro date for NGK copper plugs [ 1965 ] if you look up NGK history on the net.
                   
                  • Agree Agree x 2
                  • Like Like x 1
                  • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                  • 448Scamp

                    448Scamp Running Free

                    Messages:
                    388
                    Likes Received:
                    404
                    Joined:
                    Jul 4, 2021
                    Location:
                    Sandy Utah
                    Local Time:
                    10:28 AM

                    Thanks. I will look that up on the net. And I’ll read the link you posted.
                     
                  • 448Scamp

                    448Scamp Running Free

                    Messages:
                    388
                    Likes Received:
                    404
                    Joined:
                    Jul 4, 2021
                    Location:
                    Sandy Utah
                    Local Time:
                    10:28 AM

                    Bewy I just read your link, and the author didn’t say that the fine wire plug was a performance advantage but said it was a durability issue.
                     
                    • Like Like x 1
                    • MOPAROFFICIAL

                      MOPAROFFICIAL FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                      Messages:
                      8,629
                      Likes Received:
                      7879
                      Joined:
                      Jun 1, 2016
                      Location:
                      Beach
                      Local Time:
                      10:28 AM
                      Disclaimer.


                      Never expect 'stock parts' to work with 'non stock parts'.
                       
                      • Agree Agree x 2
                      • Like Like x 1
                      • RustyRatRod

                        RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

                        Messages:
                        77,048
                        Likes Received:
                        53960
                        Joined:
                        Jun 7, 2010
                        Location:
                        Georgia
                        Local Time:
                        1:28 PM
                        It's all good. You ain't the one trying to prove your relevance. lol
                         
                        • Like Like x 1
                        • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
                        • RustyRatRod

                          RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

                          Messages:
                          77,048
                          Likes Received:
                          53960
                          Joined:
                          Jun 7, 2010
                          Location:
                          Georgia
                          Local Time:
                          1:28 PM
                          Dude, there's no bully in me at all. But there's plenty of bullshit in you. You feel the need to make yourself relevant to every discussion by means of incorrect information. I just throw out info.....sometimes I get something wrong and I correct it myself or someone else does and it's all good. You on the other hand can never be wrong. And that's cool, too. "I" can ignore your incorrect information, but I'm not going to let my friends here be fooled into believing some of your nonsense. Now go flush your toilet and watch it go the wrong way.
                           
                          • Like Like x 1
                          • 92b

                            92b FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            125
                            Likes Received:
                            70
                            Joined:
                            Oct 25, 2013
                            Location:
                            Breda,Iowa
                            Local Time:
                            12:28 PM
                            I can't get the link to work. Can you post the link?
                             
                          • 448Scamp

                            448Scamp Running Free

                            Messages:
                            388
                            Likes Received:
                            404
                            Joined:
                            Jul 4, 2021
                            Location:
                            Sandy Utah
                            Local Time:
                            10:28 AM
                            I couldn’t get it to work either. But it will take you to the engine labs website. Then under the tech tab you go to the ignition and electronics tab and open that. In there, if you scroll down you can find the article. I’m not sure why the link doesn’t work, but that’s how I found the article.
                             
                          • Phreakish

                            Phreakish Well-Known Member

                            Messages:
                            1,293
                            Likes Received:
                            887
                            Joined:
                            May 28, 2015
                            Location:
                            N. Idaho
                            Local Time:
                            10:28 AM
                            @Bewy is right. Iridium and platinum reduce the voltage required to ionize the gap and jump a spark.

                            Bigger gaps burn better and ignite more reliably given a wide range of AFR.

                            Many folks run a high output coil, capacitive discharge, or other ignition for "better spark" and yet iridium and platinum play a role in doing the same but get shit on as "unnecessary".

                            Platinum actually have the best voltage reduction compared to a standard plug if I recall correctly. I put a set in my motor recently for that very reason. Less voltage to create the spark equals less dwell needed and longer spark durations in the chamber. It didn't make any seat of the pants difference but as I've spot checked plugs they've showed a cleaner burn. Maybe it's the plugs, maybe not. The science is still sound..
                             
                          • RustyRatRod

                            RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            77,048
                            Likes Received:
                            53960
                            Joined:
                            Jun 7, 2010
                            Location:
                            Georgia
                            Local Time:
                            1:28 PM
                            I haven't found the first thing that backs up any of that. In fact, all I can find is copper has the least resistance. Period. I'm all about learning and I'm the first one that'll admit I'm wrong, but so far I see no proof of it, but quite the opposite.
                             
                          • RustyRatRod

                            RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            77,048
                            Likes Received:
                            53960
                            Joined:
                            Jun 7, 2010
                            Location:
                            Georgia
                            Local Time:
                            1:28 PM
                          • MoparLeo

                            MoparLeo NRA BENEFACTOR LEVEL LIFE MEMBER FABO Gold Member

                            Messages:
                            851
                            Likes Received:
                            605
                            Joined:
                            Feb 10, 2016
                            Location:
                            Moreno Valley, Cal. So. Cal.
                            Local Time:
                            10:28 AM
                            SparkPlugs.com: Champion Spark Plug Numbering System
                            As with most questions on theses sites the members tend to bombard you with 100 times more info than can be absorbed.
                            A guy thing I guess.
                            In stock applications, Safe bet is to stay with what the factory installed. Once you start to change things, now you must rely on your own research or take a chance on someone else's opinion of which there are a million. As with anything else there are 2 ways to get answers to questions.
                            Look it up, research the subject so you have an understanding of how to get the answer and what it means. This makes you a future resource.
                            Or just listen to someone else, throw a dart and hope it works and then when it doesn't do what you expected, have no idea why.
                             
                            • Like Like x 1
                            • Bewy

                              Bewy Well-Known Member

                              Messages:
                              941
                              Likes Received:
                              566
                              Joined:
                              Jan 1, 2021
                              Location:
                              Australia
                              Local Time:
                              3:28 AM
                              448Scamp.

                              I knew I had seen advertisements for NGK Copper plugs from my motorcycling days.
                              Went through some old magazines & this ad was on page 11 of Cycle Guide magazine, July 1969. 'Exclusive Hear-of-Copper guarantees the widest heat range. Cuts tip erosion & fouling...'

                              The Jerry Reeves link says towards the end. 'Lets look at some facts that support fine wire plugs are a good choice for a performance engine..'
                               
                            • Bewy

                              Bewy Well-Known Member

                              Messages:
                              941
                              Likes Received:
                              566
                              Joined:
                              Jan 1, 2021
                              Location:
                              Australia
                              Local Time:
                              3:28 AM
                              RRR,
                              The BS artist. I make myself relevant to 'every discussion' [your post, #41]. Really? I have very few posts compared to you, do not post if I have nothing to contribute & I am not the one with 75,000 posts.......

                              And your ignorance about spark plugs continues to grow....not diminish.
                              Yes, Copper is a good conductor of electricity. But that is NOT why it is used in s/plugs. It is used in spark plugs because of it's great thermal conductivity. If you knew anything about ignition, you would/should know that before the spark current can pass through the copper [ that has a resistance so tiny it could not be measured with an ordinary ohmmeter ] ...it has to first pass through several thousand ohms of coil secondary resistance, the rotor air gap, the resistance in the leads & 3000-6000 ohms of resistor if the plugs are resistor plugs. You think the resistance of the copper is going to make a difference? Dream on...

                              Copper core.
                              From the Bosch Automotive Handbook, 3rd edition 852 pages.
                              Spark plugs, p. 451: " The thermal conduction properties of both the centre & ground electrodes are improved by using a nickel-alloy jacket material & a copper core'.
                              p.452: ' The use of centre electrode materials with high thermal conductivity [ silver or nickel alloys with copper core makes it possible to lengthen the insulator tip....'
                              Still on p. 452: 'Electrodes featuring good mixture access to the spark...can be used to ignite even lean mixtures. Larger electrode gaps serve the same objectives [ to extend the misfire limit into the high lambda range.......'
                              p. 453 : '..the electrode gap should be as wide as possible, so that the spark reaches as large an air-fuel volume as possible & the mixture is rapidly & reliably ignited so that the engine runs smoothly.....It is frequently impossible to achieve smooth idle when the electrode gap is too narrow.'
                               
                              • Like Like x 1
                              • Bewy

                                Bewy Well-Known Member

                                Messages:
                                941
                                Likes Received:
                                566
                                Joined:
                                Jan 1, 2021
                                Location:
                                Australia
                                Local Time:
                                3:28 AM
                                Phreakish,
                                You 'get' it. Cheers.
                                 
                                • Like Like x 1
                                1. This site uses cookies to help personalize content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
                                  By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.