Spark plugs 101





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Thread: Spark plugs 101

  1. #1
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    Default Spark plugs 101

    If the purpose of a spark plug is to ignite the fuel mixture in a combustion chamber why do you get so many different types of spark plugs?
    What is the basic difference as they all provide a spark?

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    apart from obvious physical size differences they are also made of different metals
    main types from cheap to expensive:
    copper
    platinum
    iridium

    then you also get different heat ranges (that would be the number in the plug designation), a plug needs to work at a certain temperature otherwise it fouls up. In a basic motor you would run a hot plug, ie plug does not dissipate heat as well so stay hot.

    as you increase performance such as high compression or high boost you generate more heat so will need a colder plug to avoid damage.

    then you also get different electrode types or even multiple electrodes.
    Nothing screams "Bad workmanship" like wrinkles in the duct tape

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Thanks MullerZA
    I have one cylinder of my Mazda 3L bakkie that fouls the plug after about 1 to 2 weeks of farm driving, mostly in second gear. I think this cylinder may have low compression. It then runs on 5 cylinders. Cleaning or fitting a new plug solves the problem for a short while.
    Would it help to fit a different type of plug and if so what plug?
    At present I have BP6ES plugs in.
    Any suggestions of what may be a better plug to use?

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Your manual will give the correct plug type and heat range.
    There is no task too simple for some people to complicate !



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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    The early Honda Jazz had 8 plugs
    FJC - Just Cruising

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Sort out the problem on that cylinder, no new plug, whatever its heat range, will be a long-term solution.
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  8. #7
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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Sorting out the cylinder will mean an engine overhaul. Vehicle is 25 yrs old and not worth the expense so I am just looking for a short term solution.

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Thanks MullerZA
    I have one cylinder of my Mazda 3L bakkie that fouls the plug after about 1 to 2 weeks of farm driving, mostly in second gear. I think this cylinder may have low compression. It then runs on 5 cylinders. Cleaning or fitting a new plug solves the problem for a short while.
    Would it help to fit a different type of plug and if so what plug?
    At present I have BP6ES plugs in.
    Any suggestions of what may be a better plug to use?
    have you done a compression test to confirm?

    Is the plug oily or full or carbon?
    Nothing screams "Bad workmanship" like wrinkles in the duct tape

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Thanks MullerZA
    I have one cylinder of my Mazda 3L bakkie that fouls the plug after about 1 to 2 weeks of farm driving, mostly in second gear. I think this cylinder may have low compression. It then runs on 5 cylinders. Cleaning or fitting a new plug solves the problem for a short while.
    Would it help to fit a different type of plug and if so what plug?
    At present I have BP6ES plugs in.
    Any suggestions of what may be a better plug to use?
    You could try get by with BP4ES, two steps “hotter” on the heat range, and/or 3/4” reach non-fouler adapters...

    Non-foulers were the cheap way to keep my old Chevy V-8’s running when there was no money for rings and valve guides or engine swap...
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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by mullerza View Post
    have you done a compression test to confirm?

    Is the plug oily or full or carbon?
    Internet has been down here since yesterday.
    I have not done a compression test, a bit difficult here in the bundus.
    The plug carbons up.

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkNV View Post
    You could try get by with BP4ES, two steps “hotter” on the heat range, and/or 3/4” reach non-fouler adapters...

    Non-foulers were the cheap way to keep my old Chevy V-8’s running when there was no money for rings and valve guides or engine swap...
    Thanks Aardvark.
    I will definitely try a hotter plug as you suggest. Carbon on the existing plug must indicate incomplete combustion.
    Not sure what the "non fouler adaptors" are but will make enquiries.
    Thanks.

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Thanks MullerZA
    I have one cylinder of my Mazda 3L bakkie that fouls the plug after about 1 to 2 weeks of farm driving, mostly in second gear. I think this cylinder may have low compression. It then runs on 5 cylinders. Cleaning or fitting a new plug solves the problem for a short while.
    Would it help to fit a different type of plug and if so what plug?
    At present I have BP6ES plugs in.
    Any suggestions of what may be a better plug to use?
    First do your Mazda have the black engine with the red cap Bosch electronic distributor. If yes the correct plugs are NGK BPR7ES or Champion RN7YC. Gap 0.8mm.

    If blue engine with Black Motolite Dizzy cap with contact breakers Champion N9YC.
    It is not what you buy its what you build.

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Thanks Aardvark.
    I will definitely try a hotter plug as you suggest. Carbon on the existing plug must indicate incomplete combustion.
    Not sure what the "non fouler adaptors" are but will make enquiries.
    Thanks.
    You’re welcome
    This is what the 3/4” reach non-foulers should look like...

    ...I don’t know if this site is reputable, but it has the correct part number for the ones here in the states.

    https://www.wantitall.co.za/automoti...-2__b000bygjqy
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    Last edited by AardvarkNV; 2020/05/24 at 05:37 PM.
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  16. #14
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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by grips View Post
    First do your Mazda have the black engine with the red cap Bosch electronic distributor. If yes the correct plugs are NGK BPR7ES or Champion RN7YC. Gap 0.8mm.

    If blue engine with Black Motolite Dizzy cap with contact breakers Champion N9YC.
    Not sure which engine it is but will check tomorrow.
    I think it is an upgraded Mazda 3L V6 105kW motor. This apparently comes direct from the factory. It is a 1994 model 105 Kw MOTOR.

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Is that the famous Ford 3L V6 that went into Cortinas and transplanted into VW Combies?

    If you just want to keep the vehicle going, have several spare plugs. Change the plug regularly then, when they are all dirty, clean them all in one go.

    Check your engine oil regularly as well. If your rings are worn, it may also fowl the oil, and need changing more often, along with the oil filter. (Had a few clapped-out cars in my youth.)
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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by AardvarkNV View Post
    You’re welcome
    This is what the 3/4” reach non-foulers should look like...

    ...I don’t know if this site is reputable, but it has the correct part number for the ones here in the states.

    https://www.wantitall.co.za/automoti...-2__b000bygjqy
    Personally I would not fit these. You are effectively moving the spark plug out of the combustion chamber leaving only a small hole for the flame front to travel through. I cannot see how this does not have a big impact on power and economy.
    Nothing screams "Bad workmanship" like wrinkles in the duct tape

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Surely removing a plug every 2 weeks and wire brushing it quickly after a quick soak in benzine or acetone isn't a big job?

    Your rings are obviously completely clogged with carbon and oil residue.

    I suspect that after all this time there is a decent carbon ridge on the cylinder as well.

    There is no long term fix.

    You can try carbon cleaning but that implies finding a workshop that has the required equipment and/or chemical compound fuel additive.

    The only other option is a Benoni Tune Up. Open road, varying throttle openings, varying load conditions, slowly getting the revs up, burn the carbon off.

    BUT. This process could dislodge large chunks of carbon that could damage the engine further, or even break a compression ring.
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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by WillMartin View Post
    Is that the famous Ford 3L V6 that went into Cortinas and transplanted into VW Combies?

    If you just want to keep the vehicle going, have several spare plugs. Change the plug regularly then, when they are all dirty, clean them all in one go.

    Check your engine oil regularly as well. If your rings are worn, it may also fowl the oil, and need changing more often, along with the oil filter. (Had a few clapped-out cars in my youth.)
    yep

    I suspect that farm bakkie hasn't had an oil change in years and is running on sludge.
    You can't treat a petrol engine like a farm tractor.
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  23. #19
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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Oil was changed about 2000km ago. (6 months)
    Remember it is only one plug that is carboning up. The other 5 plugs are OK.

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    Default Re: Spark plugs 101

    Quote Originally Posted by RonS View Post
    Oil was changed about 2000km ago. (6 months)
    Remember it is only one plug that is carboning up. The other 5 plugs are OK.
    Without a compression check, you might even be looking at a mere valve stem seal replacement job.
    Last edited by Ouarzazate; 2020/05/26 at 11:21 AM.
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