Spark plug life
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Thread: Spark plug life

  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Spark plug life

    The manual for the R21/25 states a 10000 km renewal interval for the plugs. I checked them at this and they looked perfect so I put them back in. But with around 20000 km on the plugs, the engine developed an intermittent miss. Plugs (french made Valeo ones) were a getting fairly worn and some new NGKs cured the miss.
    I always thought the point of these high voltage electronic ignition systems was that stuff was longer lived and would fire even an old plug happily.
    Any one come across plugs themselves giving up the ghost - with only 20000 km on them?

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  2. #2
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    Sure have, especially with extra HT on them. They look OK but miss under load or high RPM. They are probably breaking down on the "inside" as there is no evidence of the ceramic insulator breaking down on the outer of the plug. My favourite plugs are NGK because of their reliability when I was into 2 stroke motor bikes.

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    I wonder whether Valeo make them , themselves or buy in from Bosch or some such.

    I remember replacing the Champion L87Y plugs on my father's 403 when it was "passed on" to me. They had done 25000 MILES and were still working fine!

    On 404's, 504's and 505's (and the DS) I always had problems with the recommended Bosch plugs. NGK were better, and Champion seemed better again.

    Don't know about the current generation though. I wonder what I should put in the 406 and 306 XSi?

    Cheers

    Rod

    <small>[ 23 June 2003, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</small>
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  4. #4
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Valeo appear to made by them, labeled as such and dont look like anything else. Have the meaty electrodes like a Bosch though, as opposed to NGK which always seem to have finer electrodes.
    Champion I personally hate (at least the Oz made ones) - dodgy quality, centre electrodes always off centre etc.
    I remember now that I had a Bosch quit with only 5000 km on it, but the Triumph it was in was a bit sad!
    I put in NGK BP6ES because thats all I could get here on short notice, but the book say BP7ES - is this a huge no no? For $10, I'll get the right ones in town if need be.
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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger! PULS8R's Avatar
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    I had a look at my sparkplug just the other day, looked fine and no missifring at all. I've dont 20,000k on them and who knows when the owner had them replaced. What are some good ones to replace them with?
    1995 306 XR

  6. #6
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    Ive had Bosch super 4's (about $35 for 4) on for over 20,000 k's with no problem. I recently exchanged them for NGK's ($12) just to be on the safe side

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Haakon:
    I put in NGK BP6ES because thats all I could get here on short notice, but the book say BP7ES - is this a huge no no? For $10, I'll get the right ones in town if need be.
    The 6 is one heat range "warmer" than the 7, Haakon. Basically a "hotter" plug dissipates heat less effectively than a "cooler" one. Generally it is safer to use a slightly too "cold" plug than a "warmer" one.

    From the NGK web sit, which has a nice piece on sparkplugs at <a href="http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/techinfo/spark_plugs/techtips.asp?nav=31000&country=US" target="_blank">http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/techinfo/spark_plugs/techtips.asp?nav=31000&country=US</a> - :
    Whether the spark plugs are fitted in a lawnmower, boat, or a race car, the spark plug tip temperature must remain between 500C-850C. If the tip temperature is lower than 500C, the insulator area surrounding the center electrode will not be hot enough to burn off carbon and combustion chamber deposits. These accumulated deposits can result in spark plug fouling leading to misfire. If the tip temperature is higher than 850C the spark plug will overheat which may cause the ceramic around the center electrode to blister and the electrodes to melt. This may lead to pre-ignition/detonation and expensive engine damage. In identical spark plug types, the difference from one heat range to the next is the ability to remove approximately 70C to 100C from the combustion chamber. A projected style spark plug firing tip temperature is increased by 10C to 20C.
    Its worth remembering that different plug manufacturers use different number directions for their plugs. A Bosh W7DC is hotter than a W6DC for examnple, while with NGK a BP7ES is colder than a BP6ES. Like Bosch , with Champion the hotter the plug the higher the number too. Don't know about Valeo.

    Cheers

    Rod

    <small>[ 26 June 2003, 11:43 AM: Message edited by: Rod Hagen ]</small>
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    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    peabody:
    My favourite plugs are NGK because of their reliability when I was into 2 stroke motor bikes.
    Yeah, I have always found NGK to be ultra reliable and very long lasting. They last many, many oil changes without any apparent degradation in performance in 404s/504s/505s.

    Dave
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    XTC
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    peabody:
    My favourite plugs are NGK because of their reliability when I was into 2 stroke motor bikes.
    NGK's were the favourite in our rally cars ... never had an issue with them - then again nothing stayed in the rally car long enough to test long term reliability - things always got broken or re-built before wear became and issue.

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  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    We had some Bosch plugs in the Transit when it started playing up, so we took them to the garage, and the bloke there said NGK were much better. We put some in, and it helped, but it took points, condenser, coil, timing, and a different carby before it went alright . Now we have to do the clutch, and the gearbox is playing up . Would you believe we have changed the gearbox 3 times in a couple of years? spanner spanner spanner And I thought 3 speed boxes were supposed to be tough!
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  11. #11
    SW
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    Gday

    I too was recommended NGKs for my recently purchased 306 (equivalents to the ones in the book). The old Bosch ones I found interesting - not being up to date with the latest technology - They have four electrodes - the Bosch catalogue didnt have them so I dont know where the original owner got them. The new NGKs have two electrodes and connect at the side. Having had old pommy cars before this one, they only ever had a single electrode!
    The thing a photo would show up (if I knew how to add one to the post) is how much cleaner a new plug is and for the sake of $20-30 I reckon they are worth replacing regularly.
    Also, the third plug along was a bit loose and you can see a slight difference in the colouration. I am hoping this was the cause of a slight shudder (possibly misfire) under acceleration at speed.
    regards
    Scott

  12. #12
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    This is going to sound really slack (particuarly from an ex mechanic) but my plugs (NGK, THE ONLY SPARK PLUG TO HAVE) have been in my fuego for about 90,000K with no detrimental effects (no I'm not kidding). I am rather pedantic in my maintenence, but for various reasons, I keep forgetting to change the plugs at services. This post has reminded me, I might do it this week before the cruise.....

  13. #13
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Don't feel too bad Mistareno. I gather that some car makers are now suggesting 100,000k intervals for spark plug replacement.

    Mind you, I reckon its worth changing them on a Fuego a bit earlier (maybe 60,000 k or so earlier), just to make sure the electrode doesn't drop off and carve a groove the size of Bass Strait down the cylinder bore surface , and a hole the size of Roxby Downs in the piston, when it gets stuck in the scraper ring!

    Cheers

    Rod
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  14. #14
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    Yes, I know it's bad, I just keep forgetting....BTW The manufacturers that recommend 100K between changes are talking platinum electrode........Me the Lazy bastard am not...

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts dino's Avatar
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    90 000 kays....holly crap....2 think that i usually change mine every 5 000 kays or so....but hey that was in the days of autobarn when a set of plugs cost me $8 ....i used to change the oil every 5000 kays as well....always made sure the baby had the sweetest and freshest stuff running through it...i m happy with the ngks as well...you know you can trust them...the champion golds were nice 2....i hated the bosch super4s ...what a pile of junk of a spark plug...

    cheers
    dino

  16. #16
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    It's strange, I too change my engine oil/filter religiously every 5000 k, my coolant every 6 months, my filters (air and fuel) bi-annually and yet I keep forgeting/putting-off/making excuses for changing the plugs......I WILL DO IT THIS WEEK.........If I remember

  17. #17
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    I did 45 000km on the set of plugs I put in my 306XR when I bought it. Auto France told me 'change them if it ever misses as you can't figure out the problem'

    They were Beru plugs. I've got the same ones in my new 306. If I do 100 000km in this car I'll let you guys know if they're still the same plugs wink

    Derek.

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Pugnut403's Avatar
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    Anybody tried Splitfire?
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  19. #19
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Pugnut403:
    Anybody tried Splitfire?
    Yeah, I have. About 9 years ago I had them in a 2 litre Cortina and my father had them in his 504 at the same time and both cars started to run like crap after a while, unlike NGKs which run great no matter how old and crappy they are. Even when new, the Splitfires weren't any better than NGKs.

    For $12 per sparkplug, Splitfire plugs are an UNBELIEVABLE ripoff! Stick with normal NGKs and save yourself about $35.

    Dave
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  20. #20
    Fellow Frogger! 406_SV's Avatar
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    I changed the plugs on my 505 on the weekend. The car was running like crap at idle and the change was suggested as a cure (or at least part of). The out-going plugs had done 40000 + km's that I knew of and didn't look all that bad once I'd taken them out. I was going to replace them with Bosch super 4's, but was talked into a set of NGK iridium's instead (which I'm aware are really intended for high performance cars and probably wasn't going to turn my car into a wicked sports machine, but I thought what the hell). The new plugs made a noticeable difference in terms of acceleration but didn't cure the crummy idle. HT leads next I guess...

  21. #21
    Good Sport danielsydney's Avatar
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    Bosch super 4's are quite robust. My R19 had them and they were great..

  22. #22
    1000+ Posts silverexec's Avatar
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    45,000 kms? 100,000 kms? Geez, you guys are scaring me! eek! I have always religiously changed my plugs every 2 oil changes (around 15,000 kms) which I thought was the generally accepted routine.

    And I was under the impression that NGKs were crap and Bosch plugs were the way to go... Maybe I just haven't left them in long enough to notice a problem?

    Richard
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  23. #23
    Sense Pug307's Avatar
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    On the current cars, they're replaced every 40,000km. They use Bosch or Eyquem plugs. Does the brand of spark plug make much of a difference?

    Service intervals are certainly growing. The cambelt on an S60 only needs to be replaced every 165,000km!

    I can see the benefits, but I also have my doubts about things such as "never need to change your auto fluid for life". I get the impression that gearbox failures could have been prevented if people did change the fluid more regularly. Noone would contemplate leaving oil in an engine for so long.

    Maybe that's all part of that concept called "engineered operating life" frown

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  24. #24
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    silverexec:
    45,000 kms? 100,000 kms?
    Richard, my old 306 had 44 000km on those plugs on the last Melbourne drive in February and it seemed to go alright then 45 000 was by the time I got home and sold it hehe

    Derek

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Haakon's Avatar
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    Interesting. The only plug failure I had before the Valeo ones was a Bosch, and I never had any drama with NGKs. I always believed european had to be better than japanese (otherwise I might as well go the whole hog and buy a Toyota...) but I guess I have to grudgenly admit that the japanese do do reliable well (just not as much character).
    Any thoughts anyone on High Tension lead life ? Was looking at my friends STi with its less than satisfactory idling and realised that the leads are the original ones (220000 km and 19 years old)

    <small>[ 01 July 2003, 11:42 PM: Message edited by: Haakon ]</small>
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