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Re: [Shop-talk] Spark plugs in regular cars

To: "Chris Kantarjiev" <>, <>
Subject: Re: [Shop-talk] Spark plugs in regular cars
From: "Karl Vacek" <>
Date: Fri, 21 Nov 2008 18:38:45 -0600
> Blasting plugs was never a good idea :-)

Really ??  Why does Champion (among others) still sell plug reconditioning 
equipment ??

During the several years that I was blighted with a Mazda RX-2 (from new), 
I'd have gone broke without a plug blaster.  That lovely piece of superior 
Japanese craftsmanship fouled plugs at least every couple of weeks.  No 
magic available from the factory wizards back then - just clean the plugs.

But more to the point, blasting is the main part of standard reconditioning 
for aircraft plugs.  Along with cleaning the deposits out from between the 
outer shell and the center electrode insulator, with an electric vibrating 
tool - a vibro-engraver with a special bit.  During the reciprocating-engine 
days, the military and airlines made a huge business for the reconditioners. 
It's still standard for us little guys.

Since typical shielded aircraft plugs cost nearly $20 apiece even with a 
good deal (you can spend nearly $30 if you don't shop) and I use 14 of them, 
replacing all of them annually would cost more than I pay my IA to sign my 
logbook after I do the annual.

You should keep the firing corners relatively sharp, but even if you don't 
do that they work just fine till they're pretty well eroded away, by which 
time they're all rounded off everywhere.  I know some people who do indeed 
replace plugs every annual - they're called wealthy.  I also know some guys 
who won't put a new plug in before blasting it.

Since pulling over onto a cloud isn't an option, we tend to be pretty 
careful to do what makes the engine run most reliably.

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