Spark Plug options

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Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:14 pm

It has been quite sometime since I have looked at spark plugs for a vehicle and I'm just not sure what to choose. As some of you know I have an 88 regal with a 2.8 V6 in it and i'm getting ready to purchase plugs tomorrow or in the next couple days. I will spend around 3.00-3.50 per plug and i'm looking to get as long of a life out of them as possible, maybe 1.5-2 years. I read that platinum and iridium have a longer life but can reduce some performance then copper/nickel used to be the standard. I know years ago most people would go with regular AC Delco plugs and call it good enough but i'm just not certain i want to go that route. I'm familiar with brands like NGK,Bosch,Champion and Autolite but not sure of the quality of NGK and Bosch. With that said, what would some of you recommend as far as type and brand in that price range? In small engines I would use nothing but Champion. I was seriously considering Champion double platinum for 3.59 each. I also am shopping at O'rilley auto since they offer a discount to students at my school.
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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:26 pm

I believe the plug wires are just as important to change, if not more so. Save some money on the plugs, buy the cheaper ones and invest in new plug wires.

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Post by tuberadiogeek on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:41 pm

I'm already planning on changing the wires, as they are only 22.00 for a basic set. I imagine the ones on there are factory. The things that are prompting to change the plugs right now are the fact the previous owner said he thought the owner before him changed them and that would be a minimum of a year ago and while idling the engine has a slight miss to it.
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Post by N7ZAL on Fri Mar 07, 2014 10:55 pm

I don't have a technical background on plugs, but have used them over many years and they all seemed to work fine...regardless of brand. They are "low tech" and suspect they are all familiar in design. JMO
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Post by Wildcat445 on Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:38 pm

Buy the correct AC/Delco plugs for the engine. If another brand was better, GM would have used it. Like Mezlaw says, but the best plug wires you can buy. Junky, cheap spark plug wires can cause damage to expensive ignition components like ignition modules and coil packs. I always liked Belden wires. Blue Streak is a good brand, as well. Go to a Chevy dealer and get a set of factory wires. Pay now or pay later. Plugs should run 100,000 miles in that engine if it is in good condition and not subjected to short trip driving. Good luck.

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Post by tuberadiogeek on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:05 am

So, basically you are saying buy the copper AC Delco plugs for it. As far as wires, orilley doesnt carry either of those brands, but with a quick ebay search of Belden it looks like NAPA carries that brand. Which is fine by me since they also offer a discount for my school. Most of my driving is city since I mainly commute to and from school and is about 20-25 min trip one way. I cant always let the car completely warm up before taking off but I do allow enough time to allow fluids circulate a bit. EDIT: A search on NAPA's website their premium wires are Belden brand and are 31.50 for the set. Which is only a little more than the cheap ones from O'rilley.


Last edited by tuberadiogeek on Sat Mar 08, 2014 12:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added a bit more info)
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Post by Guest on Sat Mar 08, 2014 7:55 am

Napa is a good place to purchase auto parts.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:58 am

Buy genuine Belden, not rebranded Belden. There can be a difference. Buy car parts for a car you have to depend upon at NAPA. I'm not sure you need copper core plugs. OEM grade will be fine, but get AC. Does that engine still have a distributor? If so, change the distributor cap and the rotor at the same time. Obviously, this is not necessary with C3I. Good luck.

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Post by tuberadiogeek on Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:07 am

The OEM plugs are copper core. No distributor and rotor, all coil packs. I know if it did have one, I know to change them at the same time. That is due to the cap building up corrosion and wearing contacts and the button getting burned to an extent.
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Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:35 pm

Okay. You got it. You should be good to go. Good luck.

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Post by Guest on Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:43 pm

Since you have coil packs it's important to change plugs & wires. Under heavy load/acceleration a coil pack can be destroyed if plugs and/or wires are poor.

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Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:32 pm

On the C3I systems, not only are the coil packs and module expensive, but, now they are becoming antiques, with an even higher price. I have seen a bad set of plug wires cost about $500, by the time three coil packs and the module were replaced. Current production uses COP technology, which is an improvement over the already excellent C3I. Everybody thought C3I was such great technology, the latest and greatest, until people realized that every Fordson tractor and Model T ever built used the same technology, only 80 years earlier. C3I stands for Computer Controlled Coil Ignition, for those who may not have known that.  Very Happy 

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Post by simplex1040 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 7:43 pm

My Saturn runs best on the OEM copper plugs that it came with. Platinum may sound great but the performance sucks in the Saturn. I also have to keep check on my wires. I have had one burn off because the coil pack connection became corroded.
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Post by 35Z5 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:03 pm

Mostly the platinum plugs were not specked orig as they didn't exist(at least by US OEM) in 1988... I've used them in earlier fuel inj Fords without issue(turbo excepted), can't believe a similar vintage GM product couldn't run them as well... The OEMs went to platinum and now iridium, to allow 100+K mi tune ups...

The loss of performance is mostly a wives/internet tail... A high compression race engine may well perform better on copper plugs, but it's been my experience a bread & butter street engine will show no loss or gain in performance(verified by drag strip passes)...

My '98 Grand Marquis still has it's orig platinum plugs, but only has 61K mi, I plan to install a fresh set this spring...
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Post by Wildcat445 on Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:15 pm

What are your chances of removing plugs that have been in that Ford engine since 1998 without damaging the heads?

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Post by 75X11 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:34 am

Wildcat445 wrote:On the C3I systems, not only are the coil packs and module expensive, but, now they are becoming antiques, with an even higher price. I have seen a bad set of plug wires cost about $500, by the time three coil packs and the module were replaced.  Current production uses COP technology, which is an improvement over the already excellent C3I.  Everybody thought C3I was such great technology, the latest and greatest, until people realized that every Fordson tractor and Model T ever built used the same technology, only 80 years earlier.  C3I stands for Computer Controlled Coil Ignition, for those who may not have known that.   Very Happy 

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WC

When I started looking for a truck, It seemed strange that there were so many comparatively recent model Fords with the 5.7 triton engine available and not being snapped up. It didnt take very long to find out. There were horror stories about folks attempting to do plug changes and damaging the system at high cost. I then went to look at the cost of the ignition components on Ebay and sure enough, they were available at for me, extortionate prices. If I can't repair a major portion of it, the value isn't there.
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Post by 35Z5 on Mon Mar 10, 2014 1:01 pm

Wildcat445 wrote:What are your chances of removing plugs that have been in that Ford engine since 1998 without damaging the heads?  

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WC

I'd say about 99.99999%.... We're not in the rust belt and it's been garaged till the last couple years....
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Post by tuberadiogeek on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:34 am

Got plugs today. I got the OEM AC Delco. I told the sales person i needed plugs for my 88 regal and he came back with Autolite plugs BC apparently they give you the cheapest plugs if you dont specify a brand. I will never put autolite plugs in anything. I'm going to be buying wires from NAPA sometime this week. I just need to remember to go past there on my way home from school since its not on my usual way home.
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Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 11:58 am

The tractor pulling guys go all ga-ga over Autolite, for some reason. They work well in Fords.

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Post by Guest on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:33 pm

They work well in Fords.

Yes they do, and I always had problems with AC's and Champions, I wonder why that is?

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Post by Wildcat445 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:42 pm

When I was wrenching, I would use AC in GM products, Autolite in Fords, and it didn't matter in Chrysler, since they would not run well regardless of what I did. The older Chryslers with flathead engines ran better with Champion. Champion is all I run in lawn equipment with Briggs engines. Grandpa ran Champions in Massey-Harris tractors and in his F-30 Farmall. Dad ran Champion in Oliver tractors. I run Champions in my Fergie. They were last replaced when grandpa had the engine overhauled in 1978. I had them out ten years or so ago to clean them, and they looked like new. That is not too bad.

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Post by Guest on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:48 pm

I use Champions in all my Briggs engines also.

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Post by 75X11 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 12:52 pm

Autolite has always worked well in my Fords, too. I guess any standard properly gapped plug could work, but I have never had any problems with Autolite at all. I have had some problems with other makes or fancier options. And they are priced nice, too.
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Post by 75X11 on Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:18 pm

Wildcat445 wrote:When I was wrenching, I would use AC in GM products, Autolite in Fords, and it didn't matter in Chrysler, since they would not run well regardless of what I did.  The older Chryslers with flathead engines ran better with Champion.  Champion is all I run in lawn equipment with Briggs engines.  Grandpa ran Champions in Massey-Harris tractors and in his F-30 Farmall.  Dad ran Champion in Oliver tractors.  I run Champions in my Fergie.  They were last replaced when grandpa had the engine overhauled in 1978.  I had them out ten years or so ago to clean them, and they looked like new.  That is not too bad.

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WC

When I was in the Army, at our radio station we had a power wagon and a Dodge van. Each of them had a case of starting fluid spray with them. They were as hard to get going as a fire in a rain storm. I owned a civilian Dodge van for about 6 months. Surely a civilian unit wouldnt be as hard to get going as the military trucks. Duh.
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Post by Guest on Wed Mar 12, 2014 2:26 pm

Do you remember the Chrysler commercials with Arthur Godfree spraying a fire hose under the hood of a new car and then the car starting right up.

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