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Wingless Wonder
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Discussion Starter #1
Who has heard of these?


I know that several of us have tried Iridium plugs with only mixed results on turbo Esprits, but those PSPE tips made for turbo engines might be a Good Thing. Supposedly they would eliminate wear because of the GM waste-spark ignitions?

Here's a discussion:

 

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Wingless Wonder
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Discussion Starter #4
They are actually a couple cents cheaper than Iridium on other cars...so Dr. Ruth's element isn't THAT rare. Haven't yet checked fitment options for Esprits, though.

More seriously, yesterday was the first day I had heard of Ruthenium plugs, as well.
 

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These "exotic" plugs are just meant to last longer. If you keep up your service at the recommended intervals the specified plugs should be fine. If you are looking for more performance, look somewhere else.
 

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Car Adicted
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148 Posts
At one point when I was doing a Minor/Major service that included, Fuel filters, air filters and new fuel injectors, new coolant sensor, coils, and wires and new spark plugs I installed Iridium plugs. I thought it would be better.....but the car ran initially like it was on 4 cylinders and I have a 98 V8. It sounded like the one of the coils was not working or 4 plug wires were pulled off. I thought about it and ordered the stock NGK plugs and bam......ran beautiful. That was it for me, as JTRealty said.... just change the stock plugs and you are good to go.
 

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Over in the world of Deloreans we tried using the iridium plugs when they first came out. Very pricey but they claimed very long life and of course increased performance. If you know anything about Deloreans, any promise of increased performance and we're on it! Anyway we started seeing failures of the seals between the shells (the base) of the plugs and the porcelain. Losing compression does not help with trying to increase performance as you might suspect. Using the NGK plugs is still the best plug despite what anyone else claims (at least for the Deloreans). Be very suspicious of claims that offer improved performance. If it was that easy to do, the manufacturers would be doing it. Same goes for other things like air filters, ignition wires, oil additives, whatever. There is no "Magic in a bottle".
David Teitelbaum
 

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From my (admittedly limited) experience the advantage of iridium is with older carbureted cars that tend to run rich. I had an old Aston with four Webers that despite professional tuning never ran right until I used iridium plugs. Most Esprits in the US are fuel injected and in that case I think the main advantage of iridium, to run a bit hotter and potentially cleaner, is not relevant. My HCI runs just fine on stock NGKs.
 

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The automakers and parts suppliers are being pressured by environmental agencies to make a car that needs no service and will run emission compliant for 100,000. That means the spark plugs can't wear out because if they do, and the motor misfires, the catalytic converter will become contaminated. This is an issue only for newer cars that have been designed to use these parts. Taking these parts and putting them into older cars won't make them maintenance free because they were not designed to take advantage of them.
David Teitelbaum
 

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Beside everything else. The most important point is to choose the right range for that particular spark plug.
Particular on a boosted engine.
 

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Car Adicted
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David definitely is correct. I chased performance gains for many years in many muscle cars and other cars and quite frankly never saw
too much difference on the positive side, but definitely on occasion, like with the iridium plugs saw a larger detriment. Staying with the stock plugs and maybe varying the heat range is about as wild as you need to get on a stock engine even one with slight mods.
 

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My first exposure to terrestrial exotic metal spark plugs was with carbureted snowmobiles back in the '70s. The two strokes ran rich, most had imprecise pumper carburetors and magneto ignition, and so fouled or glazed plugs with attendant hard/no starting were very common. Going to platinum plugs really helped with cold starting the cantankerous beasts.

As David said, the car OEMs are using them just to make EPA happy (same as with OBD2) because they last longer, or more precisely, they erode more slowly than traditional iron or copper electrode plugs do.

With enough ignition voltage (modern transistor-switched Kettering ignition) nearly any plug will do the trick as long as the heat range is right and the gap is within the allowable range. The benefit of the exotic metal plugs is just that they stay at the desired gap for a longer interval.
 
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