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Thread: Spark plugs

  1. #1
    aktango58's Avatar
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    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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    Ruffair's Avatar
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    That OHMS test works!
    New Tempest plugs smoothed things out..!
    In Contientals and Lycomings.
    "...We're fast enough to get there, But slow enough to see..."
    Fron the song "Barometer Soup". By Jimmy Buffett
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  3. #3

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    Run Tempest fine-wires and be done with it!
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

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    G44's Avatar
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    Yep! Run Tempest, any Tempest. I have been running Tempest since I learned about this issue.

    My next door neighbor tested his 200 hour Champion plugs he was running in his O-320 powered Citabria after I informed of this issue, all 8 failed by a wide margin.

    Tempest as a neat little very quick and easy to use device you can buy from Spruce that tests resistance, its a simple go/no go tester, about a hundred bucks, worth it in my opinion.

    Kurt
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  5. #5
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Are they worth three times as much? How long do they last? Is there a performance difference?


    Quote Originally Posted by OLDCROWE View Post
    Run Tempest fine-wires and be done with it!
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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  6. #6
    G44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Are they worth three times as much? How long do they last? Is there a performance difference?
    Yes I think they are they are worth it.

    If you dont want to spend that much then buy the standard Tempest plugs, either way, get the champions out of your airplane and get Tempest, at least until Champion fixes this issue.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Are they worth three times as much? How long do they last? Is there a performance difference?
    Don't think there's much of a performance difference, but the fine wires are FAR more resistant to lead fouling, and should last easily 3X as long as the massive electrode plugs. There was a recent discussion of this on another forum, and a couple of flight school operators reported that is was fairly routine to go full TBO (Lycoming engines) on a single set of Tempest fine-wire plugs. Mind you, they also teach "aggressive leaning" on the ground, and teach their students to operate LOP in cruise flight. But I was pretty impressed.
    Jim Parker
    '65 Champion 7ECA - Flying
    ?? Bearhawk Patrol - Building
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  8. #8
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    I have Tempest massives now.


    Quote Originally Posted by G44 View Post
    Yes I think they are they are worth it.

    If you dont want to spend that much then buy the standard Tempest plugs, either way, get the champions out of your airplane and get Tempest, at least until Champion fixes this issue.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Are they worth three times as much? How long do they last? Is there a performance difference?
    I put them in the 180 with new cylinders 950 hours ago and they show no wear, far smoother in my opinion and absolutely no radio interference. Recently changed from Tempest massive in the cub when those started to football at 800 hours.

    Spendy but sometimes you can catch a show deal.
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!
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  10. #10
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Fine wires last three times as long but cost three times as much. If there is no performance gain then I see two advantages. 1. Less likely to foul 2. Easier to inspect and easier to clean at annual.

    Disadvantage- shelling out $1000


    Quote Originally Posted by JimParker256 View Post
    Don't think there's much of a performance difference, but the fine wires are FAR more resistant to lead fouling, and should last easily 3X as long as the massive electrode plugs. There was a recent discussion of this on another forum, and a couple of flight school operators reported that is was fairly routine to go full TBO (Lycoming engines) on a single set of Tempest fine-wire plugs. Mind you, they also teach "aggressive leaning" on the ground, and teach their students to operate LOP in cruise flight. But I was pretty impressed.
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"
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  11. #11
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    thanks for posting, learned something.... I had heard of people checking plugs with ohm meter, but didn't quite understand what it would show you when the bomb tester showed it was sparking well...... another gremlin identified....

  12. #12
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Fine wires last three times as long but cost three times as much. If there is no performance gain then I see two advantages. 1. Less likely to foul 2. Easier to inspect and easier to clean at annual.

    Disadvantage- shelling out $1000
    One Aviation monetary unit...

    Easier to do a one time 1,000 than have to keep pulling and replacing plugs. Had a clinker ground out a plug in a nasty spot once, thought the engine was going to come off the mount. I like less worry in my engine.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!

  13. #13
    Dave Calkins's Avatar
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    Long story short.... had never done the resistance check before this.

    Friend with 185 had a couple trips left to do to cabin. Asked me to look at engine since it had gotten rougher over the end of the summer. Planning new engine over the winter.

    I looked at fuel nozzle flow equality, all the fuel system screens, verified proper fuel flow, checked magneto timing, checked compressions, looked for induction leaks, air filter and plenum, and checked muffler for obstructions.

    Nothing amiss

    Owner had cleaned plugs in attempt to fix roughness.

    But I cleaned and sparked them anyway. Did resistance check and all but 2 were in the 15000 to 25000 Ohm range

    I didnt have new plugs so I found enuff plugs from the junk spark plug box in the proper heat range that made less than 5000 Ohms on "this new Ohms test deal".

    Owner called after first flight and said that engine had never run smoother.

    Been doing resistance check on all recips since then and will continue to.
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  14. #14
    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    This is a surprising amount of discussion over a 4 year old article and an issue that has been known for close to 10 years. Champion claims they have fixed their production issues. Who knows? Maybe. I have found a couple of Champion plugs that failed in the decade, but haven't seen failures to the level I would consider to be a pervasive problem.

    Personally, I run massive electrode Tempest in one plane, and NGK autoplugs with Emags in the other. I don't buy Champion simply because they cost more, and as discussed, have a reputation issue.

    -Cub Builder

  15. #15
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cub Builder View Post
    This is a surprising amount of discussion over a 4 year old article and an issue that has been known for close to 10 years. Cub Builder
    and the AD or SB issued number was???

    or was it just internet theory ???? I don't follow/pay attention to much internet theory...

    not saying i don't appreciate the heads up... it makes sense!!

  16. #16
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Better late than never!!

    I live in a cave, in the dark, and can not read unless the magazine has pretty pictures. One of the reasons I keep membership is to get the great calendar to look at.

    This might be well known to some, but was the first I had heard about all of this. Maybe I should try to exit the cave once in a while.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  17. #17
    Gordon Misch's Avatar
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    I tested my Champion plugs when I overhauled my engine last summer, and all but one measured open with an ohm meter that would read in the mega-ohm realm. I took one plug apart, and could see where the internal resistor was arcing to its contact. Replaced with Tempest massive. The engine was running smoothly, but there was some tracking in the mags - maybe due to the plugs?? The Champion plugs I replaced were purchased and installed in 2011, and had just under 500 hours on them.
    Gordon

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    My SPOT: tinyurl.com/N4328M (case sensitive)
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  18. #18

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    On what I consider a more serious side of this, Granted I have been out of the loop on these plugs, But, With the number of planes that "hit the dirt" over the years to partial loss of engine power. Many for reasons never explained. Or were noted to be internal magneto issues. How many might well have been due to spark plug related issues that were design related?
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  19. #19
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aktango58 View Post
    Thank you George. I've learned something today and it is still early.
    I can not recall ever having to replace a spark plug due to a fault with the plug. Sure wearing out, excessive fouling, dropped on the concrete etc. They are very reliable on whole.
    N1PA
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  20. #20
    sjohnson's Avatar
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    Just an anecdote: I recently had a intermittent cylinder head temperature rise (just 25 deg., but not typical) and slight roughness. Eventually, I tracked it down to a spark plug with an intermittent internal resistor. I wiggled the voltmeter probe, pressing fairly hard, and the resistance would vary from 1500 ohm to open. The other plugs were constant at about 1500 ohms. The bad plug also had some yellowish discoloration on the ceramic insulator, presumably lead, but the other plugs were clean. Replacing the plug solved the problem.

    I wouldn't have thought of checking resistance before I read the Tempest app note a couple of years ago:
    https://www.tempestplus.com/Portals/...ors%200213.pdf
    Last edited by sjohnson; 03-31-2019 at 10:28 PM. Reason: clarity
    Idaho drinks more wine per person than any other state in the country.
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  21. #21
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Trouble-shooting page from Aircraft Magneto Service's website.

    https://www.aircraftmagnetoservice.net/magneto-troubleshooting-guide

    Key phrase: Most “bad mag checks” are spark plug related.

    Common wisdom is that you can expect about 500 hours of service from massive electrode spark plugs.
    In my experience, a Bendix mag will fire a substandard plug long after a Slick will not,
    although the engine may still feel rougher than normal.
    It's probably a good idea to ohm-meter your plugs at every annual,
    and replace them when they peg out at 5000 ohms, per AMS's advice.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

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    Cub Builder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike mcs repair View Post
    and the AD or SB issued number was???

    or was it just internet theory ???? I don't follow/pay attention to much internet theory...

    not saying i don't appreciate the heads up... it makes sense!!
    I'm not trying to discourage the discussion. Mike Busch has written extensively on this subject for 10 years now, published in AOPA, Sport Aviation, and numerous other magazines as well as quoted repeatedly after that. I'm just surprised that this hasn't been discussed here before (about 10 years ago), or that this group in particular, whom I consider to be pretty heavy on knowledge and expertise, was not already aware of the issue.

    There was no AD or SB as the FAA nor the manufacturer (Champion) considered the problem to be serious enough to require immediate intervention. Champion in particular simply denied there ever was a problem. While some plugs do fail, in most cases the resistance is out of whack. That will cause the mags to run hot, potentially arc internally, or arc across the secondary windings in the coil, especially a Slick Mag, potentially causing a mag to fail prematurely. The resistance checks are something we should be doing any time the plugs are out for cleaning.

    -Cub Builder

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    wireweinie, hey web give us a link to a ohm meter????
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    55-PA18A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    wireweinie, hey web give us a link to a ohm meter????
    ???? Check the instructions for one of your "multi-meters".

  26. #26
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Seriously?

    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    wireweinie, hey web give us a link to a ohm meter????
    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by 55-PA18A View Post
    ???? Check the instructions for one of your "multi-meters".
    but i know web will say this is a good one you can trust, so your not throwing 100 dollar spark plugs away.
    never have had one. ebay has em for 5 to 500 bucks. fluke is a popular name.
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    fluke is a popular name.
    Fluke is the Cadillac.
    N1PA

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    Last edited by tempdoug; 03-31-2019 at 10:17 PM.
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  30. #30
    Eddie Foy's Avatar
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    Geez! You are reading ohms. You don't need a bazillion dollar instrument! And it is not an ohm meter. It is a multi meter.

    "Put out my hand and touched the face of God!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Geez! You are reading ohms. You don't need a bazillion dollar instrument! And it is not an ohm meter. It is a multi meter.
    Balif, whack his multi-meter!
    Remember, These are the Good old Days!

  32. #32
    aktango58's Avatar
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    Sheesh, no wonder I can't land smooth, all the turmoil I cause asking a simple question.
    I don't know where you've been me lad, but I see you won first Prize!
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  33. #33
    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    he has a legitimate question here...

    as they say use a low voltage one(when measuring resistance mode)...

    I have no idea which mine are, but intend to find out...

  34. #34

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    spark plug ohm meter

    As long as you are going to buy a multimeter, might as well get one that reads DC amps like the one Mike suggests. Very good for troubleshooting electrical systems. Most multimeters do not work on dc amps. One that works for both ac and dc is harder to find but generally doesn't cost any more.

  35. #35
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    A good general purpose meter is a Fluke 114. If you don't like that one just get another. As long as it says 'Fluke'.

    Web
    Life's tough . . . wear a cup.
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    gdafoe's Avatar
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    There was a thread a while back about good old time avionics beech technicians. I know two very good ones personally. Fairly often, when I go into the shop I find myself chuckling because there he is deep into some avionics something or other troubleshooting with the multimeter he picked up free from Harbor Freight. Over on the other bench is a Fluke that is always kept with certification up to date. Point is you don't really have to have a Fluke to test the plugs just go pick up the free one it will read the same.
    Gerald
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  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie Foy View Post
    Geez! You are reading ohms. You don't need a bazillion dollar instrument! And it is not an ohm meter. It is a multi meter.
    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...SABEgIg0fD_BwE Ohm meter, not a multimeter. difference.
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  38. #38
    G44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tempdoug View Post
    https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catal...SABEgIg0fD_BwE Ohm meter, not a multimeter. difference.
    I have one of these units and use it every time the plugs are out, cheap and easy.

  39. #39
    txpacer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wireweinie View Post
    A good general purpose meter is a Fluke 114. If you don't like that one just get another. As long as it says 'Fluke'.

    Web
    Apparently, Fluke has outsourced some of the lower end meters. They get mixed reviews.

  40. #40
    wireweinie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gdafoe View Post
    There was a thread a while back about good old time avionics beech technicians. I know two very good ones personally. Fairly often, when I go into the shop I find myself chuckling because there he is deep into some avionics something or other troubleshooting with the multimeter he picked up free from Harbor Freight. Over on the other bench is a Fluke that is always kept with certification up to date. Point is you don't really have to have a Fluke to test the plugs just go pick up the free one it will read the same.
    Depends on what you're trouble shooting. A good quality digital meter uses a very low voltage/current signal when set on the resistance scales (ohms). They also use very little power from the circuit when measuring voltage or current. This is extremely important when troubleshooting, especially with more and more semi conductors being used in all systems.

    The flip side to this is the cheaper meters such as most 'analog' meters with a physical needle and scale. Even the higher quality ones such as the Simpson line use higher signals on all settings.

    There are advantages to both actually. Digital meters are accurate in the extreme. Even non certified models will measure to tenths of a volt and less than one ohm resistance. Most of them will have an amps scale and a milliamps scale. And the low signal/power loss from the meter helps this. For example, measuring voltage means that you place the meter leads in parallel with the component. A meter that draws a larger amount of power from that circuit will alter the current flow/voltage only while making the measurement, there by giving an incorrect reading.

    When testing items such as transistors or items such as switches or breakers, the larger power requirements for an analog meter can be an advantage. This meter can function test transistors and SCRs just by powering them while set on the resistance scale (*don't try this on low power transistors!*). And when testing switches (when removed from the circuit) the higher current flow from the analog meter can sometimes show low resistances better.

    While they each have good points, a good quality digital meter will be the best bang for the buck. If you just need the occasional meter, it's especially good as you won't need to second guess yourself every time you use it.

    'WE NOW RETURN YOU TO THE PREVIOUS PROGRAM'

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