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I'm going to be changing my plugs in the next few weeks and was wondering if the type of plug not the maker does make any practical difference?



i.e two pronged conductor, copper tip etc...



Not looking for what is the best spark plug here. Just type of features on/in plugs.



Thanks
 

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Well, there's a lot of talk about all kinds of different features, but I can't verify any of it, so I'll just go off my own experience.

Supposedly the irridium plugs are supposed to last longer, I don't know, but I know on say a toyota, the dealership plugs go 60-100,000 miles easy, the bosch irridium plugs I tryed only went 40,000.

The plugs with multiple prongs are supposed to product multiple sparks, but just using common sense I'd say the spark is going to find the path of least resistance, so I don't personally see how that would be of benifit. Although, I did see a dino test on SpikeTV with the E3 diamond plugs that showed increased horsepower and cleaner emissions, so maybe I'm wrong.

The only thing I know for sure that really does make adifference is the temperature of the plug. I don't even know how to find the temperature rating, but I know if you put too hot or too cold of a plug in there, the engine will let you know, especially on a carburated motor (even more especially on a GM 396).
 

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If a basic plug does the job great for a long time, why consider the others? The perceived difference in power, economy, etc is not worth it in the long run. Like buying a tire you can not wear out in 5 normal years or less of use.
Not trying to be argumentative, FLW.
If they were THAT much better the premium cars would use them from the factory for that last teensy bit of bragging horsepower or that last teeny bit of awesome fuel econmomy. But they don't.
 

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If they were THAT much better the premium cars would use them from the factory for that last teensy bit of bragging horsepower or that last teeny bit of awesome fuel econmomy. But they don't.
Well said.
 

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I installed NGK Iridium plugs in my 85 1200 LTD and notice an immediate performance boost and gas mileage increase.

I would recommend these.
 

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I tend to be a bit brand loyal. I did try another once and regretted it.



I found a derivative of my normal ones by accident when the normal ones were not available. I usually get DR8-ES but the shop had DR8ESL.Turns out they are better for longer runs which I do. I will now stick to these.
 

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Over the years I have found out that the factory spec. Is what works best. If it came with some kind of high dollar plug that is what will go back with
Why spend $ 4.00 On a &2.00 part?
 

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On changing plugs and having a noticeable difference,maybe you needed plugs anyway and any plug would have made the same improvement?

If I want my bike to run better I wash and wax!Normal service with OEM spec'd parts works for me.
 

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When I rebuilt my 76, I put in the recommended NKG plugs. They still look and perform just like they did 28,000 miles ago. If your bike is in good tune, electrical and carbs, the NKGs will be all that is necessary. If The "other" plugs perform better then you are probably masking some other problems. Why pay more $$$$.
 

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Two things that can increase performance..indexing and spitfire.Indexing is finding plugs that when installed the attachment point of the tip faces the intake..you need lots of plugs to try and spitfire is filing or cutting the tip back to it's in the center of the diode tip..both tricks improve performance..old racer tricks.

Also gaping is an art..you can improve performance by better gaping.
 

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One thing to remember is that your 1500 runs a "lost spark" type of ignition... So one bank of plugs is firing with a positive pulse and the other bank of plugs is firing with a negative pulse.

While this may seem esoteric, the electrons (and protons) will jump one way in one cylinder, and the opposite way in the other cylinder. Sparks jump better from sharp corners (kinda a mechanical way of focusing protons or electrons - TIG welders play this game a lot).

The wear for plugs will be greatest on the negaitve bit of the plug (protons beat the bugger outta where they hit). Since one side of the 1500 fires positive and the other side fires negative, one sid of the bike will wear the center electrode heavily and the other side of the bike will wear the side electrode heavily.

I guess my point here is to consider the plug design. Since some plugs are designed to offer best-fire only in one direction, it'll be best to find a plug that shows a balance of materials and sharp corners for both of the electrodes (kinda where the "double platnum" crap comes from, and also why Nippon-Denso introduced the "U" groove side electrode...).

Remember that the bike will fire the plugs twice as often as needed (2-sparks per crank revolution) AND that one side is negative fire and the other side is positive fire... So something that wears well, and offers a symetrical launch/landing electrode shape & surface.
 

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Good high voltage coils and Irridium spark plugs will make it run like a Dream for a long time.

Most of the better cars now come from the factory with this very presciption.



Ride like the Wind.....:waving:
 

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Not an expert and not technically savvy, but I put the NGK irridiums in my 1200. The immediate effect was on start up. Where before the bike would need turning over a couple times to fire up, it starts immediately upon engaging the starter. Gas mileage still about the same. Were the plugs the difference in the immediate start up? I tend to think so. "Masking other problems"? Doubtful in my situation as my bike is quite sound mechanically.
 

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But worth the cost? I dunno. If it cranks 1/2 second or 1/4 second. Either way it starts easy. When factory type plugs last reliably for many years and many miles, any 'additional' power, etc can be partially psychological and partially because it was time to replace them. Gotta motor with real high compression or specs out from factory? Then plug style may matter more.
Again, opinions in good spirits.
Did someone want to start a religion or oil thread?
 

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Besides-- if a plug stays in there too long without being removed, it stands a decent chance of becoming at least partially welded to the cylinder head because of the different metals in contact with each other and if you did not use a good slather of anti-sieze. With aluminum heads, it is not worth the chance of damaging threads from leaving them in there too long because, 'These last a real long time before wearing out, and it still runs awesome'. Personally, just like tires, plugs (especially in aluminum headed engines) should be changed more as a factor of time than mileage.
Again, just this shade-tree mechanic's opinion.
 

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rpeters549 wrote:
If a basic plug does the job great for a long time, why consider the others? The perceived difference in power, economy, etc is not worth it in the long run. Like buying a tire you can not wear out in 5 normal years or less of use.
Not trying to be argumentative, FLW.
If they were THAT much better the premium cars would use them from the factory for that last teensy bit of bragging horsepower or that last teeny bit of awesome fuel econmomy. But they don't.
The problem that I see with this is that from what I understand, Iridium plugs are standard in today's cars so the only difference would be the multi-tipped plugs which I don't see creating much of a difference in HP any ways. the iridium plugs will last longer (between 75,000 - 100,000 miles) but platinum isn't much worse (ranging between 50,000-75,000 miles). Really, the idea with the multi-pronged plugs is that you could get a bigger spark or more sparks causing the fuel to burn more efficiently, but I don't really see how that works since they are so close together any ways. The temp of the plug does matter as stated above, but that's basically just match it with your bikes preference. I could be wrong on all of this though so...

I changed the iridium plugs in my wife's minivan a few months ago with platinum and I noticed an increase in performance, so things like that could just mean that it was time to replace the plugs any way. I do think that the plugs should be pulled and looked at every now and then, with the addition of maybe cleaning the threads and putting some antisieze on them.
 

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I changed the plugs on my 97 Ford F150 and put the best iridium plugs in it I could find. Nothing but problems afterwards. I had a miss every now and then. I changed the wires thinking that would solve the problem. No difference. It still would miss on occasion but just for a brief moment. I ended up changing the coil packs. Guess what . Still a miss. After all of the headaches and expense I went back to the original style of plug and the miss was gone. I can't explain why, but I would never go to exotic plugs unless the manufacturer recomends them.
 

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pcfix_3 wrote:
I changed the iridium plugs in my wife's minivan a few months ago with platinum and I noticed an increase in performance,. . .
:cheesygrin:

:D

;)

:badgrin:
 

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Anyone that would install plugs into an aluiminum head without anti-seize deserves for the plugs to get stuck. That's just plain common sense and a little metallurgical knowledge.

As far as 1/2 second vs 1/4 second to start (actually an incorrect interpretation of my previous post): on a 27 yr old bike, with starters hard to find and a pain to rebuild or clean, easier starting means longer starter life. At least from where I stand anyhow.

The stock plugs I replaced? Less than 10K on them. I changed them out not because it was time to do so, but to test and see if the irridiums would improve whatever it was they were purported to improve. With practically new stock plugs in hand, if I were not satisfied with the results of the irridiums I could re-install the stock plugs and be none the worse off.
 
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