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Simon,

Best spark plugs for what?

On my GTV, I've always been happy with NGKs - BP6ES for daily driving and BP7ES for track days. The good thing about NGKs is they resist fouling quite well if your car is running rich and are inexpensive enough to have a couple of sets.

My Milano, on the other hand, seems to run quite well regardless of the plugs in it. I have used Champion, Golden Lodge, and NGK all without a noticeable difference in performance.
 

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My GTV had Champions but I replaced them with Golden Lodge 2HL's. I'm pretty happy with them.

I tried NGK's and Bosch Platinums in my Spider. Didn't notice a difference.
 

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I was told a few times that some spark plugs (although specified by Halfords etc. as correct for your car) burn hotter than normal Alfa ones, & could burn a hole in the top of your piston on prolonged use.

If the manual says "Golden Lodge" then I stick with them, theyre not expensive

Copper plugs are easier to fire than Platinum ones but the electrodes corrode more quickly. Platinum plugs are usually used on cars that have difficult access to the plugs, so you don't have to mess about changing them so often - the platinum tips make sure the gap stays constant.

The Golden Lodge plug electrode does not stick out so far as a conventional plug-therefore a conventional plug makes its spark closer to the piston crown increasing temperature on the piston. The main reason Alfa Romeo specify the 'proper' plugs is that they are supposed to last about 60,000 miles on the modern engines. Other plugs will last less and this can be a 'problem' on a car like the 164 24v as you have to remove the inlet manifold and other stuff to change them and what you end up in saving on the plug price you lose in labour cost because they have to be changed more often.

The Golden Lodge plugs have no outer electrode but 4 skinny metal tabs instead. That is a way to make sure the spark always has an alternative "path of least resistance".

Having one electrode or many makes no odds to the sparking. There is always only ever one spark at any one time - it occurs at whatever electrode-to-centre path offers the least resistance to the spark.

A single electrode plug has no option except to always use the same path, hence the multi-electrode plug offers a miniscule advantage. If one electrode becomes worn or dirty, another one that offers less resistance is used instead. The plugs also tend to last longer as each electrode is in theory only used 1/4 as much.

A platinum electrode will last longer as it harder in the first place and resists the build up of carbon and fouling. As that stuff burns off, it heats the electrodes and burns them up.

The projecting nose electrodes (the "P" in a NGK designation e.g. BPR8EGV ) is designed to place the spark at the optimum place for the car it is intended for. Cars with high piston crowns don't need a projecting nose plug and indeed, putting one in there is likely to let the plug bash the top of the piston.

The heat rating of the plug is dependent on the construction and how well it takes heat away from the electrode. A projector nose plug can be colder than a non-projector and vice-versa.

You absolutely can't guess the heat rating of a plug just by looking at it, though a multi-electrode, platinum tipped jobbie would be rather more plug than you need in a 1.0 litre shopping car.
 

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Great write up Jamie!! I also only use Lodge.
Not really very expensive compared to Platinum.

I might add that Alfas are designed to burn a
little oil, with 1 quart per 500 miles not
a-typical. This said, platinum plugs do not
do very well in this enviroment. They are more
suited to Japanese engines, which burn very very
little oil, and thus do not faul the plugs.

One other reason to use Lodge plugs is flame front
propagation from the plug into the cylinder.
Since Alfas have hemi heads, and the plug is
located directly over the cylinder, the open
design on the Lodge helps propagate a nice even
flame front down the cylinder. Note that most
engines using conventional one electrode plugs
have them mounted at an angle into the head.
And most street races index them to point the
gap towards the piston.

I just bought a copy of the Alfa Romeo Bible, and
really cringed when I read that the author prefers
to use Champion plugs. It really makes me wonder
about the rest of the info in the book. But the
book is well laid out, and lots of photos and other info.

BTW I dont even use Champions in my lawn mower:D
 

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Spark plugs

Yes, nice posts by both Jaime and Kevin. But I'm curious as to what caused Kevin's dislike for Champions - even for the lawnmower! My reason for using either Champions or Lodge 2HL, in that order is simple; whenever a 'freshly tuned' Spica Alfa would come into the shop with a drivability problem such as rough idle, poor transition, stumble, etc., I'd toss the plugs in the bin and install RN6Y Champs. Problems solved and a happy customer. And Bosch Platinums were the worst offenders! All my Alfas, both carbed and Spica, used to get Champ N3G for the street and N2G for the track (the 'G' stood for gold palladium or something) but, alas, these are NLA. Now I use Champ N6C - non-resistor (who needs tunes with an engine that sings like this) and non-projected tip because of the shaved head and hi comp pistons. The 'track set' are indexed toward the intake valve. My preference is to run a plug one or two steps colder than stock. The theory being that the intake charge will be leaner in the immediate vicinity of the hot electrode. A colder plug = a less lean mixture at the plug which means that not only is the flame front more uniform, there's less tendency to ping and less voltage is required to fire the plug. The result of all this is that the ignition timing can be advanced a few degrees giving better mileage, lower emissions and more power without engine ping. True or not, the phycological effect it has is REAL!
 

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Jim,
When I think about the last time I used Champion
plugs, it was in my 66 Chevy. That said, I should
not bash Champion plugs today, since they may have
improved over the years.

In my 66, the Champions would wear very fast, so
I switched to AC's, which when visually inspected
look like much higher quality than the Champions.
They also lasted longer had less electrode wear,
and thus held a gap better.

I also have a Mitsubishi, and I have always used
NGK's, which also are of very high quality. In
fact when I remove/replace them every 15K miles, they
still look very good. I also run the NGK's in my
mower, with good results.

It used to be before the internet days, it was a
hassle to get Lodge plugs for our Alfas. I always
bought them 8 at a time just to keep some around.
Now you can go on line and find about a dozen places that
stock them for around $5 each. As a comparision,
my NGK's run about $2-3 each, so not a significant
difference in price.

I also have a Honda Odyssey, and I think it has
Nippodenso plugs, and they want $12 each!! They
also say that they last 100K miles, we'll see.

Man, Im rambling here, coffee has not kicked in yet

:D
 

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I have found Champions work very well on Alfas that are prone to oil fouling their plugs.
 

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Hi crew

Great stuff you said, One poster asked about Champins I ask that also for years. But At seminars, I aways went to Smokey Y. plug seminars and he Made me run Chaps agian, But he was allways working with Champ. Plugs even with the F1 ccars what a guy.
Now Smokey has passed on and I can not find the plugs he would send me. so I use the NGK 7s on my 1300 and 1600 1750 and really love them. It is good to learn what you said about the Platiums in our cars. Now about the Honda car Plugs, Beleave it. My wifes Vteck 195 H.P. 1800ccs Stock normally assperated almost 90,000 miles and I changed them just because, Thay look like a plug in my 1750 with about 5,000 miles on them. How do thay do that Hondas .
Ok Teck Time smaller gap on plugs will help pinging, Larger on points also helps stop pinging.
My ? to you all Is, What do you gap your plugs if you have a Merelli Plex? or others. We should include size motor and years.
Peter
 

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NGK BP6ES in my 2.0L SPICA cars or 7ES depending on climate.


Anyone try new iridium plugs? I used a set on my 1990 VW Vanagon and had a surprizing performance gain. I switched back to Bosch Platinium just to verify the difference. For the $, basic Copper Bosch worked best in the VW.


Velocess
 

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I used to religiously run Golden Lodge in my GTV and the Spider I owned prior. A couple of years ago I asked Wes Ingram what he ran and he said he uses NGK BP7ES. Since then I've run NKG's in the GTV and never had a problem.

Cheers,
 

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What are recomended sparks for the 164/ Milano? and what engine oils?? agip?
 

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Keven wrote:

"Great write up Jamie!! I also only use Lodge.
Not really very expensive compared to Platinum.

I might add that Alfas are designed to burn a
little oil, with 1 quart per 500 miles not
a-typical. "


Can anyone else confirm this oil consumption?

Not that I have doubts. That's about how much oil I go through on my 88 Spider and was not looking forward to have major piston ring replacement done this summer (or valve guides...etc).

PG
 

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Keven said:
I might add that Alfas are designed to burn a
little oil, with 1 quart per 500 miles not
a-typical.
Digging up an old thread with some great information.

I thought the 'oil consumption' is just what winds up all over my engine, undercarriage and garage floor. :eek:
 
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