26,000 miles, and I'm finally going to replace the oem plugs. what are the advantages or disadvantages of the standard plug, or the ones for extended hi speed riding. The local dealer says go with the standard plug because it is actually a hotter plug. what????
@26K these plugs look pretty well shotski. Probably should have changed them sooner. Haven't even started it up yet. It got a good bath after the plug job. May get out tomorrow.
I am very fortunate to have a girlfriend that lives 40 miles away. 30 of which is a very nice flowing road with a few 25 mph curves thrown in. the road runs paralell to an interstate, so nothing but the people who live on it, drive this highway. Little to no law enforcement. I'd say I usually average over 80mph. Maybe I could have / should have gone with the other plugs.... I don't know.
A spark plug's heat range has no relationship to the actual voltage transferred through the spark plug. Rather, the heat range is a measure of the spark plug's ability to remove heat from the combustion chamber. The heat range measurement is determined by several factors; the length of the ceramic center insulator nose and its' ability to absorb and transfer combustion heat, the material composition of the insulator and center electrode material.
Heat rating and heat flow path of NGK Spark Plugs
The insulator nose length is the distance from the firing tip of the insulator to the point where insulator meets the metal shell. Since the insulator tip is the hottest part of the spark plug, the tip temperature is a primary factor in pre-ignition and fouling. Whether the spark plugs are fitted in a lawnmower, boat, or a race car, the spark plug tip temperature must remain between 500C-850°C. If the tip temperature is lower than 500°C, 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 850°C 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 70°C to 100°C from the combustion chamber. A projected style spark plug firing tip temperature is increased by 10°C to 20°C.
The firing end appearance also depends on the spark plugs tip temperature. There are three basic diagnostic criteria for spark plugs: good, fouled and overheated. The borderline between the fouling and optimum operating regions (500&def;C) is called the spark plug self-cleaning temperature. The temperature at this point is where the accumulated carbon and combustion deposits are burned off.
Keep in mind the insulator nose length is a determining factor in the heat range of a spark plug, the longer the insulator nose, the less heat is absorbed, and the further the heat must travel into the cylinder head water jackets. This means the plug has a higher internal temperature, and is said to be a hot plug. A hot spark plug maintains a higher internal operating temperature to burn off oil and carbon deposits, and has no relationship to spark quality or intensity.
Conversely, a cold spark plug has a shorter insulator nose and absorbs more combustion chamber heat. This heat travels a shorter distance, and allows the plug to operate at a lower internal temperature. A colder heat range is necessary when the engine is modified for performance, subjected to heavy loads, or is run at a high rpm for a significant period of time. Colder spark plugs remove heat quicker, reducing the chance of pre-ignition/detonation. Failure to use a cooler heat range in a modified application can lead to spark plug failure and severe engine damage.
Below is a list of external influences on a spark plug's operating temperature. The following symptoms or conditions may have an effect on the actual temperature of the spark plug. The spark plug cannot create these conditions, but it must be able to cope with the levels of heat...if not, the performance will suffer and engine damage can occur.
Air/Fuel Mixtures seriously affect engine performance and spark plug operating temperatures.
Rich air/fuel mixtures cause tip temperature to drop, causing fouling and poor driveability Lean air/fuel mixtures cause plug tip and cylinder temperature to increase, resulting in pre-ignition, detonation, and possibly serious spark plug and engine damage
It is important to read spark plugs many times during the tuning process to achieve the optimum air/ fuel mixture
Higher Compression Ratios/Forced Induction will elevate spark plug tip and in-cylinder temperatures
Compression can be increased by performing any one of the following modifications:
a) reducing combustion chamber volume (i.e.: domed pistons, smaller chamber heads, mill ing heads, etc.)
b) adding forced induction (Nitrous, Turbocharging or Supercharging)
c) camshaft change
As compression increases, a colder heat range plug, higher fuel octane, and careful attention to ignition timing and air/fuel ratios are necessary. Failure to select a colder spark plug can lead to spark plug/engine damage
Advancing Ignition Timing
Advancing ignition timing by 10° causes tip temperature to increase by approx. 70°-100° C
Engine Speed and Load
Increases in firing-end temperature are proportional to engine speed and load. When traveling at a consistent high rate of speed, or carrying/pushing very heavy loads, a colder heat range spark plug should be installed
Ambient Air Temperature
As air temperature falls, air density/air volume becomes greater, resulting in leaner air/fuel mixtures. This creates higher cylinder pressures/temperatures and causes an increase in the spark plug's tip temperature. So, fuel delivery should be increased.
As temperature increases, air density decreases, as does intake volume, fuel delivery should be decreased
As humidity increases, air intake volume decreases. Result is lower combustion pressures and temperatures, causing a decrease in the spark plug's temperature and a reduction in available power.
Air/fuel mixture should be leaner, depending upon ambient temperature.
Also affects the spark plug's tip temperature The higher the altitude, the lower cylinder pressure becomes. As the cylinder temperature decreases, so does the plugs tip temperature Many mechanics attempt to "chase" tuning by changing spark plug heat ranges
The real answer is to adjust air/fuel mixtures by rejetting in an effort to put more air back into the engine
Defined as: ignition of the air/fuel mixture before the pre-set ignition timing mark. Caused by hot spots in the combustion chamber...can be caused
(or amplified) by over advanced timing, too hot a spark plug, low octane fuel, lean air/fuel mixture, too high compression, or insufficient engine cooling A change to a higher octane fuel, a colder plug, richer fuel mixture,
or lower compression may be in order You may also need to retard ignition timing, and check vehicle's cooling system
Pre-ignition usually leads to detonation; pre-ignition an detonation are two separate events
The spark plug's worst enemy! (Besides fouling) Can break insulators or break off ground electrodes Pre-ignition most often leads to detonation Plug tip temperatures can spike to over 3000°F during the combustion process (in a racing engine) Most frequently caused by hot spots in the combustion chamber.
Hot spots will allow the air/fuel mixture to pre-ignite. As the piston is being forced upward by mechanical action of the connecting rod, the pre-ignited explosion will try to force the piston downward. If the piston can't go up (because of the force of the premature explosion) and it can't go down (because of the upward mo-tion of the connecting rod), the piston will rattle from side to side. The resulting shock wave causes an audible pinging sound. This is detonation. Most of the damage than an engine sustains when "detonating" is from excessive heat
The spark plug is damaged by both the elevated temperatures and the accompanying shock wave, or concussion
A spark plug is said to have misfired when enough voltage has not been delivered to light off all fuel present in the combustion chamber at the proper moment of the power stroke (a few degrees before top dead center) A spark plug can deliver a weak spark (or no spark at all) for a variety of reasons...defective coil, too much compression with incorrect
plug gap, dry fouled or wet fouled spark plugs, insufficient ignition timing, etc. Slight misfires can cause a loss of performance for obvious reasons (if fuel is not lit, no energy is be-ing created)
Severe misfires will cause poor fuel economy, poor driveability, and can lead to engine damage
Will occur when spark plug tip temperature is insufficient to burn off carbon, fuel, oil or other deposits Will cause spark to leach to metal shell...no spark across plug gap will cause a misfire Wet-fouled spark plugs must be changed...spark plugs will not fire. Dry-fouled spark plugs can sometimes be cleaned by bringing engine up to operating temperature
Before changing fouled spark plugs, be sure to eliminate root
cause of fouling
I was at the US Nationals pits a few years ago watching them overhaul top fuel dragsters between the semi and final rounds. They pulled the plugs and inspected them, then dumped then into a trash can. I did a little dumpster diving and pulled a few out. Amazing how tiny the plugs were. Even considering there are two plugs per cylinder the electrode was very small. I guess it doesn't take much spark when you're burning nitro.
They were an extremely cold looking plug setup also.
"Towards the end of the vid, it looks like she may have had a bafflectomy." - MarylandMike