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NGK multi ground spark plugs
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dubman67
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

raygreenwood wrote:
dubman67 wrote:
Do they make a 12mm version? I couldn't find one in the ngk charts.


12mm reach or 12mm thread diameter?

Ray


12mm thread 3/4" reach. Equivalent to D6EA
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 10:41 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

dubman67 wrote:
raygreenwood wrote:
dubman67 wrote:
Do they make a 12mm version? I couldn't find one in the ngk charts.


12mm reach or 12mm thread diameter?

Ray


12mm thread 3/4" reach. Equivalent to D6EA


I will see what I can find. If it exists it will probably not quite be a normal plug nomenclature.

Ray
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 2:55 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Mutterranch wrote:
Was using NGK BP6ET. When I went to electronics and needed resistor type plugs the rep at NGK said the BKUR6ETíS were the resistor equivalent.


Thank you! I was wanting to find some of these with the resistor but they didn't follow the same part numbering system so adding the "R" never turned anything up for me...
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

nogoodwithusernames wrote:
Mutterranch wrote:
Was using NGK BP6ET. When I went to electronics and needed resistor type plugs the rep at NGK said the BKUR6ETíS were the resistor equivalent.


Thank you! I was wanting to find some of these with the resistor but they didn't follow the same part numbering system so adding the "R" never turned anything up for me...


Its likely cause the resister electrical party pooper cancels out the performance gain of the multiple ground
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 4:32 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

jpaull wrote:
nogoodwithusernames wrote:
Mutterranch wrote:
Was using NGK BP6ET. When I went to electronics and needed resistor type plugs the rep at NGK said the BKUR6ETíS were the resistor equivalent.


Thank you! I was wanting to find some of these with the resistor but they didn't follow the same part numbering system so adding the "R" never turned anything up for me...


Its likely cause the resister electrical party pooper cancels out the performance gain of the multiple ground


Possibly, but they do still make it. I was previously using BPR7ES, just recently installed BPR6ES. So the part number is different but still matches up with what I need, doesn't really matter what the wrench size is to me.
And in some cases you do NEED the resistor plugs. My EFI will not run with standard plugs. Too much electrical noise.
I do run slightly high compression and with EFI cruise fairly lean so I would like to at least try the triple electrodes.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2021 9:06 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

jpaull wrote:
nogoodwithusernames wrote:
Mutterranch wrote:
Was using NGK BP6ET. When I went to electronics and needed resistor type plugs the rep at NGK said the BKUR6ETíS were the resistor equivalent.


Thank you! I was wanting to find some of these with the resistor but they didn't follow the same part numbering system so adding the "R" never turned anything up for me...


Its likely cause the resister electrical party pooper cancels out the performance gain of the multiple ground



Mmmmmm....yes.....kind of....I think that is right.

But thats on OUR cars and ignitions.

I had a set of Bosch Triples a few years back that were in 16mm hex and 19mm reach...triple with resistors. I 'think" they were FR7DTC. I know they are out of production now.

They were an option for my 2006 Jetta 5 cylinder. On a modern car with "coil on plug".....that does not have the chain of resistance....rotor....rotor to cap gap and ignition wires.....they are just fine. They need the resistor. Those worked really well on my Jetta.

However....I think you are right....that on our systems with wires, cap and rotor....I would bet that unless the windings on the coil were just right and the resistance of rotor and wires were just right....they lose something running the resistor. Ray
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 6:54 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Nice write-up Ray.

Very good explanation that makes sense.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 7:38 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

My daily driver is a 2007 Jetta with the the 2.5L five cylinder, lovely engine for a daily- I can squeeze 29MPG highway out of it fairly easily, but mixed traffic it gets ~24-26MPG commuting.

When I first got it this year it needed new plugs, and had a misfire code due to a bad coil. I went cheap and used ZFR5BGP platinum plugs in it. I went for these as an affordable recommendation at the time and they work well enough. I also replaced all five coils with new Bosch units at the same time. I've been wondering if this car would see any MPG improvement going to a better or triple electrode plug Think

My commute is 90-100 miles round trip daily, and gas is $4.50-5.00 a gallon depending on where you go. If there is even a small improvement it mihht be worth a shot. Confused
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 26, 2021 8:57 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Lingwendil wrote:
My daily driver is a 2007 Jetta with the the 2.5L five cylinder, lovely engine for a daily- I can squeeze 29MPG highway out of it fairly easily, but mixed traffic it gets ~24-26MPG commuting.

When I first got it this year it needed new plugs, and had a misfire code due to a bad coil. I went cheap and used ZFR5BGP platinum plugs in it. I went for these as an affordable recommendation at the time and they work well enough. I also replaced all five coils with new Bosch units at the same time. I've been wondering if this car would see any MPG improvement going to a better or triple electrode plug Think

My commute is 90-100 miles round trip daily, and gas is $4.50-5.00 a gallon depending on where you go. If there is even a small improvement it mihht be worth a shot. Confused


NGK stock #6737 which is PZFR5Q-11 (supposed to be latest and greatest)
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 7:48 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Lingwendil wrote:
My daily driver is a 2007 Jetta with the the 2.5L five cylinder, lovely engine for a daily- I can squeeze 29MPG highway out of it fairly easily, but mixed traffic it gets ~24-26MPG commuting.

When I first got it this year it needed new plugs, and had a misfire code due to a bad coil. I went cheap and used ZFR5BGP platinum plugs in it. I went for these as an affordable recommendation at the time and they work well enough. I also replaced all five coils with new Bosch units at the same time. I've been wondering if this car would see any MPG improvement going to a better or triple electrode plug Think

My commute is 90-100 miles round trip daily, and gas is $4.50-5.00 a gallon depending on where you go. If there is even a small improvement it mihht be worth a shot. Confused


My current daily driver 2012 Golf....has 221,000 miles on it. Idles smooth as silk. Yep....I average right at 30 hwy with no wind.

Original clutch....all original coils.

The issue is this. These engines use "ion sensing". They are very sensitive to variation in plug gap within a set......and GROUNDING of the plugs. They are used as part of the sensor network for determining spark timing and advance and ......spark timing and advance are used to help determine fuel enrichment.

Plugs on these engines should NOT be run for excessive miles.....LIKE THE DEALERS DO.....(and they recently....quietly.....cut back on this habit)......BECAUSE IT OVERHEATS AND BURNS OUT COILS! Wink

The dealer mechanics will tell you....and many do not know why.....that you should never, ever, ever....use anti-seize, oil or any lubricant on the plugs in this engine....and they are correct.
The vast majority of anti-seize.....and greases...or oils......have additives that are highly "dielectric".....which means electrically insulating.

It affects the ground just enough that the state of ground between the plugs varies enough that the system sees it as different gaps. It screws with idle and enrichment.

On long mileage plugs .....like iridium.....and these plugs really will run 80k miles....and people and dealers stupidly do this (because they are told they can do so)....as they start to get up around 50-60k miles.....the gaps start to increase enough (even though they stay very uniform within a plug set)......that the ignition system notices.... and increases saturation of the coils to produce the voltage needed to continue to jump the increased gap.....to keep ignition uniform.

This runs the coils HOT. They overheat. The first sign this is happening.....at a glance.....is that the covers on the wiring run where the plugs connect to the coils......starts to distort and melt back from the heat .....look for it..... Wink

This starts killing coils. First you will lose a single coil. You replace it for about $100. Then a few weeks or a couple months later.....you lose another coil. Replace it. Then shortly after its very common that you lose the control module.

Among water cooled VW people.....its common conversation that these cars start burning out coils.....in the 80-100k miles range. In virtually all cases.....its because they are changing plugs on the "dealer schedule". Stop that!

Change the plugs in the 40-50k miles range max.....and your coils will last forever.

The dealers LOVE iridium plugs. Because it means they will likely NEVER have to pay for a plug change during the average 35-50k miles car warranty Laughing .

As extended warranties for VAG products have become the vogue......they have "quietly" stopped....reduced.....the 60-80k plug change habit because they have been having to pay for too many coils and modules on cars with 100k warranties. Wink Wink

Other European and Japanese car dealers have been quietly following this same pattern.

On my original 2006 Jetta with L-5.....While I found that the triples ran really well.....I originally installed them to try and get rid of a very, very faint and subtle problem.
At certain times.....with an otherwise silky idle.....it produced a very faint "miss". Not a "mis-fire"......where it did not spark......but more like one cylinder or another was stronger or weaker in output.

No codes.....nothing. It "seemed" like fuel mixture was varying between cylinders. Cleaned injectors.....checked and cleaned everything.....injectors, filters....everything. Started learning about how the system worked. Noticed the "melt back" of the coil connectors. This car had barely 70k miles on it.

Pulled the plugs to check.....and the iridium gaps had increased to almost 0.75mm larger than specification.....but perfectly uniform.....at 70k-ish miles Confused

Put a set of copper triples in.....and stupidly used a small amount of motor oil on threads. Within a couple of weeks .....the problem came back much worse. I started getting a misfire code. And it failed emissions.

An experienced local mechanic.....who was doing my emissions testing......noted that lube on the plug threads...... on these cars .....was a no-no. Smart guy. I learned something!

I pulled the plugs......and cleaned the living crap out of the threads on plugs and heads. Removed all oils. Installed them dry and smooth.

Fixed the problem COMPLETELY.

While triples are nice on these engines and may give you a bit more uniform combustion......in later years on other cars......however I found that these systems are sophisticated enough that they dont care.

My 2012 came from the factory ....oddly.....with Bosch FR7HE02 ...single electrode Bosch super plugs (copper/nickel/yttrium)......and they MUST be replaced at at 40-45k miles max because they wear fast.

Found this out the hard way.....because all of these same issues started again on this NEW car......when .....thinking it probably came with iridium plugs.....and the dealer told me it did......I did not bother to look at them .....and..... at about 45k miles.....the strange and familiar faint mis-fire started. And.....I was angered to see, the slight "distortion/melt back" of the coil wiring plugs......because I knew exactly what it was.

Pulled the plugs and was stunned to see the gap was HUGE!......and even more stunned to see a copper plug on a 2012 car!

Dealer said......uh.....wait.....do you have a manual transmission??? I said....Uh.....yeah? They said...."oh....for some reason the manuals came with copper plugs in the US".

I replaced the plugs...cleaned the threads......with the FR7HE02 stock copper plugs.....about $4 each.....problem vanished.

I re-gap them every 20k miles and replace them at 40k miles. I could run iridium and replace them at,50k miles.....but you cannot safely and reliably re-gap them.....so why bother?

I dont think these modern systems care about plug configuration as long as gap is correct, uniform and ground and voltage are stable.

Sorry for the length. Ray
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:03 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Wrong engine Ray! Our '04 Jetta went 470K km (deer hit Crying or Very sad ) and our '02 Jetta now has 330K km with NO spark plugs at all an they get between 55 and 63 mpg (Imperial).

PS, you will be doing the clutch shortly, that is about the life span of them in my experiance.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

oprn wrote:
Wrong engine Ray! Our '04 Jetta went 470K km (deer hit Crying or Very sad ) and our '02 Jetta now has 330K km with NO spark plugs at all an they get between 55 and 63 mpg (Imperial).

PS, you will be doing the clutch shortly, that is about the life span of them in my experiance.



Oh man...the diesels...properly cared for are VERY nice.....but the five cylinder...especially the later ones like mine with 172hp and a manual trans...8 seconds 0-60 and silky smooth and long life.... Very Happy ...second best to a diesel but very nice.

Yes...correct! I am at end of life on clutch but it already has new master and slave. Will probably be doing clutch in November or December.

For better clarity on that last long post.....I just do not have enough data on the triples for these modern engines. I traded in my Jetta at 102k miles for my new Golf.

I think they should do very well as these modern "ion sensing" engines tick all the boxes....very high ignition voltage....lean burn, high compression etc.

I may buy a set for my next plug change

Just so everyone does not think we are off topic....data abut triples is data about triples.


Ray
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:08 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Great info Ray!

The importance of spark plug thread grounding is paramount to good spark. Champion makes a special anti sieze dedicated to spark plug threads. Its super runny like water and totally different then normal anti sieze. Just enuff to provid protection from corrosion.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 1:47 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

jpaull wrote:
Great info Ray!

The importance of spark plug thread grounding is paramount to good spark. Champion makes a special anti sieze dedicated to spark plug threads. Its super runny like water and totally different then normal anti sieze. Just enuff to provid protection from corrosion.


One thing I have also found....and this going back to my current watercooled Golf.....but...I THINK.... has relevance to my type 4's.....is that I have found that the plugs are getting loose from a combination of the crush washer crushing (it is not a spring)...and heat cycling.

Its been a common issue. Since the day I bought this car and it was the same on my Jetta...and the same on a few other comparable WC VW's I have worked on......when I get to the point say....20-25k miles and its time to at least gap the plugs....and I know its time because I start getting that almost imperceptible misfire that tells me that the gaps are getting large......the plugs crack loose at about 5-8 ft. lbs Shocked

I know this because after a few cycles of this .....about two plug cyles ago I used my cheap torque tool to measure the break free torque on the plugs when I took them out. This is when I measured 5-8 ft lbs....8 was peak. Thats loose.

The key point I am making.........two years ago after I discovered this.....instead of changing the plugs or even removing them or gapping them (and they did need gapping)......I just tightened them back up to spec.

Guess what.....the imperceptible misfire went away! Wink I can tell you that with heat cycles and tighter and looser...this affects plug grounding.

See...these modern cars....with their ion sensing and "learning mode" cycles.....they do not run strange because gap has increased. They compensate and "learn". This is WHY people can drive them forever on one set of plugs ....and never notice a thing....until finally they burn up the coils.

But....low voltage or poor ground....it cannot work with.

So....lets jump to our air cooled vehicles and drag this train of thought along with us.

Its already a problem with the fuel injected vehicles...with all of their case grounds....when you have poor grounding of the entire engine case/drivetrain because of crappy transmission tail cone braid....or other ground issues.

It has made me wonder if ....since the higher compression type 4 engines from the factory were already under ignited.....if when upgrading the ignition to a better coil and better plugs like these we are speaking of......if maybe installing a dedicated ground braid with a plug contact could help.

There is another point of data concerning ground and ignition and fuel injection. I owned a digifant 2 injected Golf at one time (90 model cabrio). It had a big problem that took me forever to track down. Turns out a lot of digifant owners have this issue and never figure it out.

The ignition and injection...are grounded at one central point on the engine block ...at a bolt that joins the block to the transmission case.

If you get any rust...and corrosion...any looseness....excessive oil and grease on that bolt with its ring terminals.....it creates a huge variation as the case flexes during spirted driving or high speed highway driving.....that causes intermittent full enrichment and limp home mode every other second or so randomly.

Its all about ground. Ray
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 3:25 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

I think you'll find that any mechanical electrical connection is only as good as how tight it is and the surface area involved. If spark plugs are loose, the connection is not going to be as good. Regarding lubricants, they are used on very low voltage connections all of the time (including fuel injection connectors) because they maintain the mechanical electrical connection intact since the lubricant repels moisture and prevents corrosion (corrosion being a terrific insulator). Dielectric grease is commonly and successfully used on low voltage connections and works equally well on high voltage connections without 'insulating' the contact surfaces. If a lubricant made a spark plug ground less conductive, I would say with some confidence that the spark plug was not tightened sufficiently. New spark plugs have lovely plating and do not require as much (if any apparently) lubricants to be installed or removed without damage, but certainly that wasn't the case 60 or 70 years ago when the threads were not plated and usually covered with rust right out of the box. Fred
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 6:57 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Fred Winterburn wrote:
I think you'll find that any mechanical electrical connection is only as good as how tight it is and the surface area involved. If spark plugs are loose, the connection is not going to be as good. Regarding lubricants, they are used on very low voltage connections all of the time (including fuel injection connectors) because they maintain the mechanical electrical connection intact since the lubricant repels moisture and prevents corrosion (corrosion being a terrific insulator). Dielectric grease is commonly and successfully used on low voltage connections and works equally well on high voltage connections without 'insulating' the contact surfaces. If a lubricant made a spark plug ground less conductive, I would say with some confidence that the spark plug was not tightened sufficiently. New spark plugs have lovely plating and do not require as much (if any apparently) lubricants to be installed or removed without damage, but certainly that wasn't the case 60 or 70 years ago when the threads were not plated and usually covered with rust right out of the box. Fred


Totally agree.....degree of tightness and surface contact is directly related to conne tivity.......however ....nope.....spark plugs are torqued with a beam type torque wrench that gets used only for this.....and gets checked for calibration about every 2 months. I frequent a few factories that have their own calibration labs. They do me favors....I do them favors....every time I come in! Very Happy

The spark plugs are not loose or torqued incorrectly....or do not stary out that way.. Its an oddity of the sealing washer on these plugs is all I can figure. Surface area issue? Thickness? Don't quite know.....but its not an issue I get with the 22mm hex plugs on other engines with the same type of crush washer. These are F series plugs.....5/8" hex.

And.....thats an issue. These ARE crush washers. No spring to them. Also lots of driving and heat cycling.

And.....after they are torqued the 2nd time after I regap them.....they do not get loose again before I replace them in another 25k miles.

I suspect......and understand these ARE a Bosch plug......that some cross section in these sealing washers......is not made correctly.....and not compressing fully the first time.

Either that....or the torque spec is just flat out incorrect. The spec is 28nm or 20Ft lbs.
The Bosch site.....has a pretty decent method for each thread diameter with new plugs.....for emergencies when you do not have a torque wrench.

For the 14mm plug thread....with gasket......its snug and then 1/4 turn. I have checked this method and its bang on 20-21 ft lbs. I also installed a set only with this method for trial.....and same thing. Also no prohlem once they are removed, cleaned and regapped and reinstalled. While the plugs do not get factually loose and ever screw out or leak compression.......they are under 10 ft lbs to crack loose cold.

I think its odd sealing crush washers......but its a problem either way. I may try an NGK equivalent soon.

Ray
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:48 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

my understanding is that ... in typical usage throwing multi-prong plugs at a random engine ... what is achieved is basically indexing the spark plug without having to index it Smile and one of your 3-4 prongs becomes the favorite point for the spark and stays that one in that particular cylinder ...

for most applications it's hard to beat iridium .. they run better than 'regular' plugs and come out looking as good as new at 100k miles ...

there was a multi-prong bosch iridium for awhile but i believe they stopped making them
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2021 10:13 pm    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

metahacker wrote:
my understanding is that ... in typical usage throwing multi-prong plugs at a random engine ... what is achieved is basically indexing the spark plug without having to index it Smile and one of your 3-4 prongs becomes the favorite point for the spark and stays that one in that particular cylinder ...

for most applications it's hard to beat iridium .. they run better than 'regular' plugs and come out looking as good as new at 100k miles ...

there was a multi-prong bosch iridium for awhile but i believe they stopped making them




Mmmmm no.

If the double, triple or quad electrode plugs are PROPERLY gapped....meaning evenly within about 0.001"......all electrodes fire randomly.....but they all fire about the same amount of times over time.

Having set them up statically to test fire on a workbench....which is nothing like inside of a cylinder with high pressures, heat and widely varying ionization potential from electrode to electrode........and even so.... on a test bench.....the same electrode very rarely fires twice in a row.

You can both see and measure this over time with wear. Take a look at the pictures I posted earlier in this thread.

It has been exceedingly rare....to pull a triple plug and find differences in wear limit between any of the electrodes....IF....they started out the same.

If you are finding the opposite...only one electrode firing.....then its probably due to either :
A. The plugs are gapped really sloppy or
B. THe engine may be really rich and that electrode is right in the rich fuel path. In that case you probably have no need for them and are getting no benefit.


I can see them getting rid of a multi electrode iridium plug. It really does not make sense. Iridium electrodes are very, very skinny. Multi-electrode plugs are semi-surface effect plugs and fire from the side. Not enough surface area to make a difference. And.....the ground electrode gap needs to be pretty damn exact.....and trying to get these right without damaging the iridium center electrode would be very expensive. And....the vast majority of cars that use iridium are very modern computer controlled engines....that do not really need the multi ground plug. They have the software to work around almost anything.

Ray
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Fred Winterburn
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Location: Ripley Ontario Canada
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 4:34 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

The reason I am suddenly interested in them is because of a customer using the CDI on his Triumph TR6. He was really happy before, but was suggested to use the NGK bur5fet multi-ground electrode plugs. Those made an incremental improvement once again so he let me know. I have a set of the Accuspark variety coming for my Triumph TR3 engine. For testing, since I don't have access to a dyno, I will do some cold weather testing and see which perform the best with the least amount of choke. These sort of tests work best between 50 and 65 degrees F. It will be colder than that once the plugs arrive, so it may wait till Spring.

Other than indexing, I can see a couple of potential reasons why they might perform better. The first is more obvious and simply that the plug will fire the gap that has the richest mixture present which could vary even in such a small area. The other less obvious difference is the capacitance of the plug just prior to breakdown. The multi-electrode plug is going to have a much higher capacitance than a standard spark plug due to a much larger effective plate area. This capacitance may seem too small to be relevant, but it is the main reason why a CDI is far superior to an inductive system in resisting fouling deposits (any shunt resistance for that matter). Why it would also benefit a high powered inductive system, I do not know except that perhaps it does allow for a higher deposition of energy as the spark is struck. All 3 electrodes will experience a corona discharge prior to spark breakdown and even though only one gap fires, this may also play a minor role. Fred

raygreenwood wrote:
metahacker wrote:
my understanding is that ... in typical usage throwing multi-prong plugs at a random engine ... what is achieved is basically indexing the spark plug without having to index it Smile and one of your 3-4 prongs becomes the favorite point for the spark and stays that one in that particular cylinder ...

for most applications it's hard to beat iridium .. they run better than 'regular' plugs and come out looking as good as new at 100k miles ...

there was a multi-prong bosch iridium for awhile but i believe they stopped making them




Mmmmm no.

If the double, triple or quad electrode plugs are PROPERLY gapped....meaning evenly within about 0.001"......all electrodes fire randomly.....but they all fire about the same amount of times over time.

Having set them up statically to test fire on a workbench....which is nothing like inside of a cylinder with high pressures, heat and widely varying ionization potential from electrode to electrode........and even so.... on a test bench.....the same electrode very rarely fires twice in a row.

You can both see and measure this over time with wear. Take a look at the pictures I posted earlier in this thread.

It has been exceedingly rare....to pull a triple plug and find differences in wear limit between any of the electrodes....IF....they started out the same.

If you are finding the opposite...only one electrode firing.....then its probably due to either :
A. The plugs are gapped really sloppy or
B. THe engine may be really rich and that electrode is right in the rich fuel path. In that case you probably have no need for them and are getting no benefit.


I can see them getting rid of a multi electrode iridium plug. It really does not make sense. Iridium electrodes are very, very skinny. Multi-electrode plugs are semi-surface effect plugs and fire from the side. Not enough surface area to make a difference. And.....the ground electrode gap needs to be pretty damn exact.....and trying to get these right without damaging the iridium center electrode would be very expensive. And....the vast majority of cars that use iridium are very modern computer controlled engines....that do not really need the multi ground plug. They have the software to work around almost anything.

Ray
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raygreenwood
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 11:41 am    Post subject: Re: NGK multi ground spark plugs Reply with quote

Fred Winterburn wrote:
The reason I am suddenly interested in them is because of a customer using the CDI on his Triumph TR6. He was really happy before, but was suggested to use the NGK bur5fet multi-ground electrode plugs. Those made an incremental improvement once again so he let me know. I have a set of the Accuspark variety coming for my Triumph TR3 engine. For testing, since I don't have access to a dyno, I will do some cold weather testing and see which perform the best with the least amount of choke. These sort of tests work best between 50 and 65 degrees F. It will be colder than that once the plugs arrive, so it may wait till Spring.

Other than indexing, I can see a couple of potential reasons why they might perform better. The first is more obvious and simply that the plug will fire the gap that has the richest mixture present which could vary even in such a small area. The other less obvious difference is the capacitance of the plug just prior to breakdown. The multi-electrode plug is going to have a much higher capacitance than a standard spark plug due to a much larger effective plate area. This capacitance may seem too small to be relevant, but it is the main reason why a CDI is far superior to an inductive system in resisting fouling deposits (any shunt resistance for that matter). Why it would also benefit a high powered inductive system, I do not know except that perhaps it does allow for a higher deposition of energy as the spark is struck. All 3 electrodes will experience a corona discharge prior to spark breakdown and even though only one gap fires, this may also play a minor role. Fred

raygreenwood wrote:
metahacker wrote:
my understanding is that ... in typical usage throwing multi-prong plugs at a random engine ... what is achieved is basically indexing the spark plug without having to index it Smile and one of your 3-4 prongs becomes the favorite point for the spark and stays that one in that particular cylinder ...

for most applications it's hard to beat iridium .. they run better than 'regular' plugs and come out looking as good as new at 100k miles ...

there was a multi-prong bosch iridium for awhile but i believe they stopped making them




Mmmmm no.

If the double, triple or quad electrode plugs are PROPERLY gapped....meaning evenly within about 0.001"......all electrodes fire randomly.....but they all fire about the same amount of times over time.

Having set them up statically to test fire on a workbench....which is nothing like inside of a cylinder with high pressures, heat and widely varying ionization potential from electrode to electrode........and even so.... on a test bench.....the same electrode very rarely fires twice in a row.

You can both see and measure this over time with wear. Take a look at the pictures I posted earlier in this thread.

It has been exceedingly rare....to pull a triple plug and find differences in wear limit between any of the electrodes....IF....they started out the same.

If you are finding the opposite...only one electrode firing.....then its probably due to either :
A. The plugs are gapped really sloppy or
B. THe engine may be really rich and that electrode is right in the rich fuel path. In that case you probably have no need for them and are getting no benefit.


I can see them getting rid of a multi electrode iridium plug. It really does not make sense. Iridium electrodes are very, very skinny. Multi-electrode plugs are semi-surface effect plugs and fire from the side. Not enough surface area to make a difference. And.....the ground electrode gap needs to be pretty damn exact.....and trying to get these right without damaging the iridium center electrode would be very expensive. And....the vast majority of cars that use iridium are very modern computer controlled engines....that do not really need the multi ground plug. They have the software to work around almost anything.

Ray




YESSSSSSS!

I think you are spot on and that was well explained!

Over the years...a lot of intelligent people ...have explained to me what they think or know about how these plugs and other types of plugs...function.

Before I say anything else....for others reading this....here is a really quick and CRUDE read that points out the difference in what Fred Winterburn just stated. That being the difference and effect between .....capacitance and resistance...and on a related tangent...makes mention of "dielectric permitivity"....which has importance....but for the sake of just understanding the basic concept of WHY capacitance can make or break how these multi-electrode plugs work....we will leave it aside for the moment.

https://www.differencebetween.com/difference-between-resistance-and-vs-capacitance/

In a very crude manner of explanation.....Resistance wise.....all other construction being the same...the triple and single electrode plug will READ roughly the same at the same voltage being put through by a VOM.

BUT.....a triple electrode plug has more metal mass in the circuit (so does a double or quadruple electrode plug)......but a triple has three times the electrode mass as a single electrode plug.

To try to CRUDELY explain why this means anything at all....let me steal a quote from that article I linked to:

"The capacitance of an object is a measurement of the amount of charges that object can hold without discharging"

To get an idea of what the hell that means....lets slow down the process to "electron scale". A millisecond is 1/1000th of a second. A "micro-second" is 1/1000 of a millisecond.

When you slow the spark jumping the gap down in your mind...to micro-second scale.....the whole operation of the rotor zooming around ....spark jumping the gap to the distributor cap.....electrical impulse going through the wire to the central core of the spark plug.....and starting the process of ionization to the point where it produces and electrical arc to jump the gap.....could be stretched out across a long period of time.....if you are the size of an electron Wink

The extra capacitance of the mass of those three electrodes....which technically ...are operating as the "plates' that Fred and that article mention.........means that the field effect is higher. There is more conductive and capacitive mass to charge up on the way to the ionization point.....to put it crudely.

And....yes...as Fred Winterburn noted and many others have stated over the years.......at the ionization point....the point where the arc is going to propagate.......will be the point of LEAST resistance at any given microsecond.

Having lower resistance between the center electrode and any of the three ground electrodes....if the gaps themselves are all equal.....will decide which electrode at any given micro-second....fires or arcs.

That lower resistance may come from more fuel rich air between the center and ground electrode.....or the temperature of the particular electrode....or the compressed density of the air/fuel mixture between the two electrodes.....and most probably all of the above.

This has not even gotten into the other design features of the plug that affect ionization and arc potential...like the pointed ends on the electrode....the side gap versus top gap of the ground electrodes (which is the semi-surface discharge gap type).....which has advantages under certain combustion chamber conditions and no advantage under others.

The standard multi-electrode plugs are simply designed to give as many chances as possible that there will be a lower resistance choice for an arc to propagate.

I say standard because there are other designs of multi-electrode plug with other design features that work under other conditions that we may not even see in our engines with our fuels....like the hybrid "fine wire" multi-electrode platinum plugs that incorporate normal top electrode firing...surface effect firing and semi-surface effect firing.

Ray
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