So I went to Advance auto (Spark Plug question) - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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So I went to Advance auto (Spark Plug question)

Good afternoon all,

Since resurecting my 71 1750 Spider, Ive had significant issues with drivability that have slowly but surely been addressed and Im fairly happy its not hunting or backfiring at idle anymore.

When last I was tinkering with the tune/settings, I noticed all the plugs were out of gap, fouled, and a different brand than I had put on the car when I had rolled it into storage 10 yrs ago. (Mechanic who drained the fuel cell for me must have changed them out)

I reset the plug gaps when I was addressing these issues .... but the plugs keep fouling and im constantly pulling them off to clean them up.

First... I know I will undoubtably annoy a few folks here but this is my opinion .... I strongly dislike... nay I say hate NGK spark plugs for this car... Back in the late 90s and early 00s I used NGK plugs because everyone told me they were great.... but what I constantly ended up with was fouled plugs, hard starting and cylinder misfires.

At the time, I traded out for Bosch Platinum +2 plugs... and never had a problem since. The car ran great, idled well and started immediately.

I know there are a few out there who dislike those plugs... and I accept that... but for my car that ran/runs rich with the original SPICA system, they worked great.

So, I went to the local parts store today and as I had always done, asked for a set of bosch platinum plugs. The guy at the parts counter looked confused, then said the only company that makes plugs they stock for this car is NGK.... which never worked for me....which is what is on my car now.... that still arent working.... that I need to replace.

I called Autozone, Oriley, a local parts place.... nothing.... only standard grade NGKs.....I even checked on Vick Auto... nothing...

So where do people go to get better than run of the mill spark plugs.... I will not use NGKs.... ive been left on the road side too many times with a misfiring engine to ever trust them.

Advice is greatly appreciated

M.L.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 08:44 AM
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Conversely, I've used NGKs for 40 years without any real issues. I've used Champions and others too without issues. If your plugs are fouling, it's normally an indication of fuel or oil issues, unless your plug is maybe wildly wrong in terms of heat range, or you've got spark issues somehow. Though if it runs tolerably I guess that says you're getting spark enough to fire.

Is it oil or fuel fouling? Have you done a compression test, and how is your oil consumption and fuel mileage?

Andrew
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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 09:08 AM
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Try JEGS .. they handle that plug but might have to order your piece.
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
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Fuel fouling. Barely uses oil (for a 47 year old Alfa Romeo). If i replace a quart every 2000 miles or so thats pretty good.

Head machined and reworked 8,000 miles ago. Full gasket change at that time too. Equal compression on all cylinders. Also retorqued the heads after it sat in storage.

Car has always run a rich mixture. Even since new (or so ive been told). Several years back, I was told the only way to fix the mixture issue was to send the pump to Wes Ingram or switch over to dual webbers.

The car ran great without fouling issues with the bosch platinums.... so I drove it as it was. I need an equivalent plug.

Each Alfa is different.... and... climate/altitude also make a difference... so maybe why some do well with NGKs and others dont... but My car fouls that make of plugs like a pro, it also would destroy the OE 4+ golden lodge plugs back in the day which are no longer available.... so without switching to webbers or sending my injection pump off for a costly rework, I need a high performance plug.

Plugs are cheaper than a FI pump and or Webbers lol...

Suggestions are most welcome....
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 10:47 AM
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You sure you’ve got the right NGKs? They’ve always worked well for me in standard or iridium form.

The NGK iridiums seem to be particularly fouling resistant. I think it would be BPR6EIX for your car but verify that.

Tom

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 11:36 AM
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I was having fouling problems with my '74 Spica car while using NGK BP7ES. At the suggestion of another Alfa owner, I switched to a hotter BP6ES and that appears to have solved my problem as I've not had a fouling problem in 6+ months of driving.
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 11:40 AM
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6 is the proper heat range for most Nord engines. The Motronic cars use the cooler 7.

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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-07-2018, 04:51 PM
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Any normal street car should not be that particular to plug type, but somewhat particular to heat range. The OE plugs are GL HL plugs, and they work as well as the ngks in my 71 1750 with spica. I agree with Andrew there is something else going on. Check your mechanical and electrical timing

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71 Spider 1750 BOMBER ; 1995 LS 78K tight fast car
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 04:58 AM
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A SPICA Alfa does not run rich when new but can be adjusted. Consider buying Wes Ingram's SPICA manual for complete information for your your injection pump. Here's a digital version for $9.99 https://smile.amazon.com/Manual-ALFA...jection+manual

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Originally Posted by AlfaRomeo1750 View Post
...Car has always run a rich mixture. Even since new (or so ive been told). Several years back, I was told the only way to fix the mixture issue was to send the pump to Wes Ingram or switch over to dual Websters...

Suggestions are most welcome....


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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 05:10 AM
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Plenty of ways to adjust the mixture on Spica. Rebuilds are typically needed for plungers that leak oil into the gas side and vice versa. That doesn't affect mixture. You should be able to lean it out. Have you done a full Spica setup?
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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-08-2018, 05:23 AM
The most typical reason for running rich with a SPICA system is a bad TA and/or the adjustment of the ,019" gap. Replacing/adjusting is a whole lot cheaper than rebuilding the pump.

Ditto on getting Wes's manual. Also ask roadtrip for his write ups.

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 05:24 PM
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I've been running the Bosch Platinum +4 plugs in my '78 Spider for many years. Rebuilt engine & Spica. Never foul. I can only find the correct 4477 plugs now from suppliers on eBay.

Also on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Bosch-WGR7DQP...70_&dpSrc=srch

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Current: '78 Spider Veloce-250K miles-restored. Previous: '74 Spider (Killed by a Toyota). Way previous: Fiat 124, 1500 & 1200 Spiders.

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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 08:14 PM
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Unfortunately, if you are having to pull your spark plugs because they're fouling, I suspect you have a Spica problem or a piston ring problem. A fast and dirty solution: fit a more powerful ignition like a Pertronix along with a hotter coil. This is a simple expedient that will usually fire fouled plugs where a point-style oem ignition won't. Also, consider going to a hotter plug. Back in the Alfa-in-America dark ages a Champion N5 plug was considered a "hot" spark plug for Alfas. It isn't really all that hot but it may be hot enough to get you over your fouling problem. I've used either N4 or N5 Champions for several decades now in all of my Alfas. They're cheap and reliable.

Jim . . . '72 Super 1300, '70, 1750GTV, 2nd series,
'62, Lancia Flaminia Zagato3c, 2nd series
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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 10-22-2018, 08:29 PM
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Did you check eBay for the ones you want?

Thanks

1992 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce, 2017 Alfa Romeo Giulia, 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan SEL Premium
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