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Spark plug advice

Subject: Spark plug advice
From: mga <>
Date: Fri, 22 Nov 2002 10:42:56 -0800 (PST)
This was posted on the Miata e-mail list.  I've used NGK's for 30 years, and
I would have to agree that they are the best spark plugs made.

Don Scott

Now to the subject at hand, spark plugs.  Reference:  "Forza, The Magazine
About Ferrari", No. 42, December 2002.  Don't get excited. I only own those in
miniature (1:1/18), but I do like to read about and look at the big ones.  On
page 30 of the referenced issue is an interesting commentary on spark plugs,
"The Spark Plug ABC's".  Just a few of the comments of a long-time Ferrari
mechanic.  "For older vehicles, the Japenese NGK spark plug (sometimes
assembled elsewhere) is far and away the most tolerant and durable component
of its kind in the known universe."  "Here we come to another demonstration of
NGK superiority: It's possible to safely run a hotter NGK than other brands of
plug, because the copper core pioneered by NGK lends their spark plugs
something of a variable heat range." "While other manufacturers have come to
employ copper core technology as a marketing strategy, in my experience NGK
remains the superior product."  "Where NGk alternatives are concerned,
Nippondenso spark plugs are comparable with NGK products but seem to erode a
little faster in service.  I have never seen a physical failure (shed side
electrode, cracked insulator, etc.) in either brand of Japanese plug.  Sadly,
I have seen such problems with spark plugs produced in the USA and Europe." 
"Gimmick spark plugs are just that.  One center electrode and one side
electrode degrade with a comforting symmetry, but having two or three or four
electrodes just confuses the monogamous center electrode and puts more junk in
there to potentially fall off and initiate catastrophe."  "...a rich fuel
mixture or the presence of oil can readily choke a surface gap plug."  And his
final comment, "Few tasks that are within the realm of the average owner's
mechanical ability.. (remember, we're talking Ferrari's, here).. will yield as
gratifying a result as installing a fresh set of NGKs."  There is also a very
good explanation of the manufacturer's coding for NGK plugs.

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