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G and C Johnstone

Cheap Spark Plugs

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My ES300 1996 and was on the original ND double side electrode spark plugs. If I used my imagination I could detect a slight shaking of the engine immediately after starting. It would sometimes take a few extra compressions before firing up. So it must have been time for some new plugs. In New Zealand the correct grade of plug is $41 each. The incorrect single electrode NGK was about the same for six of them accompanied with the standard warning on the packet that they are not suitable of aviation use.

It was a job to change them but it was done in less than two hours aided by a wandering light and a double jointed tee handled plug spanner. Some help from short pieces of half inch copper pipe for torque amplification and the donation of a bit of skin here and there. To start the thread of the new plugs I used a short piece of plastic pipe with the plug in the end and long meat skewer jammed down the pipe beside the plug. This allowed feel that the articulated socket would not give.

You can growl at me if you like but I always oil the threads on plugs and at the back of the engine it was exceedingly easy to limit the tightening to only half a turn to squeeze the gaskets.

I can remember when spark plugs were only good for a 10 thousand miles because of the lead purgatives in our petrol. Exhaust systems used to cut out in only two or three years as well. The expensive plug coming out of the car were good looking and the gaps were only very slightly grown. Without the tetra ethyl lead octane booster and

purgative in petrol I may not even notice the lesser quality in the plugs for a long time. I do not care if these new plugs start to show aging at only another 60 thousand because by then I probably will be too old to drive on the road.


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