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I have had no operational problems either, I just noticed when I installed them that the ignition wire well cap bottomed against the cam cover before I could feel it snap on to the plug terminal. So it just kind of sits there and as I said earlier, I can just lift it out with one finger - no resistance. I had bought the new ignition wires off of eBay and they were about thirty bucks cheaper than the ones I had gotten for Blackie at Alfa Parts so I had just assumed it was the wires and I had discovered why they were cheaper. But apparently not, I just picked up the replacement plugs so we'll see for sure this weekend when I swap them out.
 

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Well, it'll probably still run okay with a gap there, it's just not optimal. The spark will jump the gap, which will weaken your spark at the plug and also eventually erode the metal at the plug/wire interface.

As an example, I pulled the distributor cap off the Milano once and found the whole outer part of the rotor missing. Just gone. Still no idea what happened there, the car was running fine. Modern electronic ignition is an amazing thing.

Despite that, however, you really want a snug connection from the plugs to the wires.
 

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That just sounds weird Mr Paul. You're getting no miss or odd running with partially connected wires? Sems to me, if you're getting a jump across the wire to terminal, you get none or minimal at the electrode. Ciao, jc
 

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I'll echo what Tom (Gubi) wrote. About five years ago I was driving my Fiat 850 Spider home from work, and it was running a bit roughly, but not too badly. Got home fine, removed the distributor cap and noticed the same thing Paul did with his Milano -- the entire outer half of the rotor was gone! And this was 1971-technology points/coil ignition.

It is remarkable how damage-tolerant ignition systems (old and new) are. I wouldn't be at all surprised if our Alfas ran flawlessly with the spark plug wire connectors just sitting on top of the plug cap, not snapped down.
 

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That just sounds weird Mr Paul. You're getting no miss or odd running with partially connected wires? Sems to me, if you're getting a jump across the wire to terminal, you get none or minimal at the electrode. Ciao, jc
Well heck let's take a look then. First thing, the ignition wires from Alfa Parts and the ones from eBay are indeed different - so there's your thirty bucks right there. The top one is Blackie and the bottom one is Red. It's hard to see in the picture but there is some evidence of arcing in the bottom one.





So it will be interesting to see how it runs when I put the new plugs in. :blink:



EDIT: and the part about not getting a spark at the electrode - the electrode is the part that is connected to ground so ultimately the spark has to jump that gap. It would not be possible for it to jump the gap at the lead connection and not the electrode, it's either going to be both or neither. But yes, the additional gap is going to consume some of the oomph. If nothing else I may just get better gas mileage.
 

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Wasn't one of the two giving you some fits with a CEL or some weird running or was this before you swapped wires? Can you post a pic of the wire and boots from the side? Any evidence of arcing down in the hole? Ciao
 

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No not me, I really knew nothing of this until Steve brought it up. There's not much evidence to be seen, very subtle signs at the contactor in the connector boot is all I can see. I can look at the plug terminals when I pull them out on Saturday.
 

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Granted mine is a different animal altogether, I can hear when the plug wire is off the screw thread of the plug and making partial contact. It sounds like squirrels chirping for lack of better description. I don't note any diff in running since the car has two ignition systems for the most part. If I pull one of the offending cylinders plugs, I can tell which has been weird. I'm more convinced, the flat cover over top of the plugs is Alfas way of keeping the bloody wires attached. Ciao,
 

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Not on the 12V sixes, that cap just sits over the lip at the top of the well and provides no hold-down security. Also the wells are pretty deep and the 12V's make some good clattering noises anyway as they are by nature so you probably wouldn't hear a bit of arcing from the connectors.
 

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Refresh our memory, which car was giving you fits passing emissions? It will be neat to see what the old plug and the new plug look like in a side by side foto (hint hint). Ciao
 

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Discussion Starter #52 (Edited)
To Many Old Sparkplugs?

Emptied out some old containers today and found only 6 old Bosch Platinum (4417) 4-tip 5/8" hex plugs from Myron's 24v as you can see they are shorter than the 13/16" hex head WR7DP plugs.

As for 24v engines you can't get a 13/16" plug into the smaller hole in the head so that engine has to use 5/8" hex plugs.

I found a set of Champion RN7YC and a set NGK BP7ES from my 164B and about 12 Champion RN9YC (415) plugs I ran in it later in its life when it used some much oil.

Also found 10 Golden Lodge HL and 8 Lodge 2HL plugs.

Sure which I had the old sparkplug cleaner and tester my boss had in the 50's to clean and test all this plugs.
 

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Refresh our memory, which car was giving you fits passing emissions?...
That was Blackie but it had nothing to do with plugs/wires as they were all new from the get-go. As far as a "weakened" spark goes I'm not so sure it's going to be at all noticeable. The fact is that in optimal conditions the spark you are getting is nowhere close to being marginal so you've got some built in "slack" for lack of a better word, meaning it could be compromised to a great degree and still be delivering all that is needed to accomplish the job. The arcing however is going to progressively deteriorate the connection between the plug terminal and lead however since they were not designed for that kind of energy transfer so over time I believe symptoms would begin to appear.

Not in my case though because I'm on it like flies on stink! :wacko:
 

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Steve-
I have a pneumatic spark plug cleaner (from Harbor Freight years ago) that actually works like a champ. By sheer coincidence, while shopping for an el-cheapo mechanical gauge oil pressure test kit which was on sale for $19.99-including a buttload of brass thread adaptors-I bought a 1 lb. jar of media as the tester was mothballed several years ago when I ran out.
My fouled plug collection, while prodigal, is not as impressive as yours!
 

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Checked the Milano, and it does have 13/16 inch NGK Iridium plugs. I knew it did, but wasn't sure which size the Iridium plug was.

Well, next time I feel the S needs new plugs, I'll try the 13/16 inch version, if nothing else, to satisfy old Stevie, lol.
 

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I have to clean and test aircraft plugs all the time as it's required at every annual inspection and because aircraft fuel has such a high amount of lead you need to actually clean deposits out from around the bottom of the cone with a vibrator.

So I have one of those vise held plug cleaners but I normally I use my blast cabinet for the job. I turn the pressure down to about 40 psi and it only takes a few well directed shots. I like doing it this way because you can see the plug while cleaning it whereas with the plug cleaner gizmo you are wobbling it around in the blind and actually end up doing more abrasion than necessary by the time you're done.

Anyway I do that with the few Golden Lodge plugs I have because although they do get dirty and fouled they take FOREVER to actually wear out. Problem is you can't get them anymore but I suppose Steve ain't the only old Alfisti out there with a barn full of them laying around.
 

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...Well, next time I feel the S needs new plugs, I'll try the 13/16 inch version, if nothing else, to satisfy old Stevie, lol.
Del, for curiosity's sake just go out and do a tug test on one of the front wires to see if it's actually clipped onto the plug terminal or just laying in there like mine are.
 

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Ok, just went out and tried the front three. They snap off and back on with considerable force, and the middle one actually is on so hard that I have to use a wedge (screwdriver) under the cap to pop it off. Don't want to just pull on the wire. Doesn't tell me that they are snapped on the top of the plug, but at least they are not bouncing up and down at all.

I see no problems with mine. The wires are the original OEM.
 

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Interesting, so perhaps my issue does relate to the "eBay" wire set as I had originally suspected. Oh well, if nothing else I can at least replace the Bosch Plat4's everyone is telling me are no good.
 

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Paul-
I had an issue with an Ebay wire set on my 154L. I really had to mash them down to get them to make the connection. They work fine so far with the OEM spec plugs.
 
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