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Technical Favorite Spark Plug?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Crazy Steve, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. AC

    60 vote(s)
  2. Champion

    40 vote(s)
  3. NGK

    68 vote(s)
  4. Denso

    3 vote(s)
  5. Autolite

    59 vote(s)
  6. Mopar

    0 vote(s)
  7. Motorcraft

    10 vote(s)
  8. Bosch

    8 vote(s)
  9. E3, Splitfire

    3 vote(s)
  10. Other

    4 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. So what is your favorite spark plug for your vintage motor? Are you buying for 'correct' appearance or performance? How many choices are available for you? With all the options and manufacturer claims these days, it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff...

    It used to be simple. In the '50s, Champion was the overwhelming choice for performance. In the '60s, Autolite came to the fore and nearly put Champion out of business; almost every race car you saw had an Autolite sticker on it. Unfortunately for Autolite, they had too much success; a anti-trust lawsuit was filed and the spark plug portion of the company was sold in '73 to Bendix (who also made Fram filters). Bendix let quality slip to the point that they were forced in the late '70s to offer a 'lifetime' warranty to lure customers back after working to bring quality back. But Autolite's imploding market share opened the door for other brands like NGK and Denso to name just a few.

    So what are you using, and why?
  2. Paul
    Joined: Aug 29, 2002
    Posts: 14,407


    For the early Olds engines, vintage AC 44 but they are getting hard to find and expensive when you do.
    For a good non resistor replacement I like the Autolite 295

  3. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 3,820

    from So Cal

    I've always used AC plugs in my Chevy motors, but there have been some changes at AC Delco and quality has slipped. The last time I bought plugs I went with NGK and have been very happy with them so far.

    Re Champion, by the time I started driving and maintaining my cars in the 70's Champion's rep among everyone I knew was going down, and by the early 80's it sucked. Champion became the "Fram" of the plug world. Champion's would foul easier and would "wash out" making the engine hard or impossible to start. At least that was my anecdotal experience, and the experience of others I knew, mentors I learned from.
    zzford likes this.
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 43,495


    AC plugs were made in Mexico in recent years, but now in China, eh?

    I guess NOS is the way to go...oh well
    Deuces likes this.
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  5. Boneyard51
    Joined: Dec 10, 2017
    Posts: 2,748


    Autolites, back in the day. And Champion Gold plus, back in the seventies.

  6. 392
    Joined: Feb 27, 2007
    Posts: 933


    After my recent post about a mopar spark plug I had already switched from autolite to Ngk before thread. I’m amazed at plug after removing for different reasons ( antifreeze leaks, valve adjustments and miles etc. The ngk looks slight brownish and clean and correct. At first after 1000 miles they almost looked new like I never run them. Different than the autolite. So you know my vote. Could I go back to autolite sure.
    stillrunners likes this.
  7. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,927

    from Nicasio Ca

    I've had my go to brands as well but what I find interesting is that, aside from resistor and precious metal plugs, they are basically a nail driven through an insulator. Compared to the complexities of say a carburetor, how can one be so superior and others inferior?
    jimgoetz, Hnstray and Truck64 like this.
  8. Boodlum
    Joined: Dec 19, 2007
    Posts: 136


    NGK racing spark plugs available only directly from the factory in Japan.
  9. Torana68
    Joined: Jan 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,085

    from Australia

    Quality control , quality of the material in the “nail”. Not so good recommendations in their catalogue......... but I see s lot of issues with people who know nothing about plugs complaining about things they can control
  10. Champion failed to adjust heat ranges starting in 74 when unleaded gas and emission controls came into force that required a hotter heat range.
    There were many vehicles fouling plugs and the warranty claims were many. In some areas Champion never recovered.

    Autolite and NGK consolidated heat ranges up to work better with the changes, but they didn't last as long, but the installers didn't care.
    They sold more tuneups.

    Proper heat range is critical.

    I look for Champion Gold on e-bay, they have a few performance features that I find are worthwhile.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2018
  11. I like these because they're purty.

  12. patzfab
    Joined: Dec 30, 2008
    Posts: 157

    from Canada

    NGK, because many years ago when motorcycles were my big deal, the only plug that would last more than a few weeks were NGK. Especially in high revving ones,
  13. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 4,668

    jimmy six

    Anything in a Ford will only be replaced with exact same original substitutions ever period.
    NGK offers more heat rages and thread lengths for my GMC 6. I still buy old NOS Champions and AC's if I can get the cold enough ranges...
  14. Ive been running AC plugs in both my 36's ,,,V8 and inline Chevy engines but only NGK's 's in my OT Sub and Toy vehicles. For a season I used the Accel plugs in my SBC but after no noticible difference went back to AC. Also have used Autolite plugs when I had cars with Ford engines , cant remember how they were. And after hearing Jim's remark about Chineeze AC plugs I'll be using the NGK's in the hot rod too. Mitch.
  15. FityFive
    Joined: Aug 9, 2010
    Posts: 286


  16. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 3,373

    from Berry, AL

    Autolite or Motorcraft for Ford products, AC for GM's. I like Nippondenso for engines up to 4 cylinders also, but are harder to find.
    You couldn't give me a truck load of Champions. Have never got any service out of them.
    Frankie47 likes this.
  17. jim32
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 570

    1. Hamb & Eggs

    My favorite was Spark Plug the horse. Vintage-1954-AC-Spark-Plugs-Sparky-the-Horse.jpg
    29AVEE8 likes this.
  18. Deuces
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 17,715

    from Michigan

  19. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 5,927

    from Nicasio Ca

    Yes probably so. My understanding is when the points break, the electrical ion thingies gather at the plug tip until sufficient to jump off. A sharper edge facilitates this. If a plug is made of inferior metal it may quickly lose it's edge.

    But I may be wrong..
  20. Truckdoctor Andy
    Joined: Jan 13, 2017
    Posts: 871

    Truckdoctor Andy

    Up until about 5 years ago, I used Champions exclusively. Then the quality started slipping and I realized that they were no longer made here. I also used them because they had good coverage for the tractors, Harley’s and Hot Rods. Then I realized how good NGK quality is. I like how they put a cardboard “cylinder” over the business end. I also prefer a plated outer shell. Now I put NGK in everything. I always prefer made in USA stuff, but Japanese stuff is the next best thing in this case.

    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
  21. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 824


    I have been using NGKs forever because they would last forever when we were racing. Autolites are my second choice.
  22. I've installed thousands of spark plugs in my life. Back in the day I used Champion with very good results, and then they went for shit. I used Autolite after that for many years with excellent results. I still use Autolite today for the majority of my work, but NGK is running a strong second when supply is an issue. I do use NGK exclusively in snowmobile applications.

    When I built the 390 engine in my '63 I thought maybe I'd use Champion plugs because they did have a separate heat range listed for performance applications (RF9Y instead of RF11Y). They would barely run the engine before I had 100 miles on it so I tossed them and have used Autolite #45 since. I'm not likely to ever install a Champion plug again.
    Boneyard51 likes this.
  23. deucemac
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 979


    I ran a chassis dyno at two different Ford dealers. Until I ran a dyno, I would swear by Champions. I thought that Autolite/Motorcraft were junk. Both stores did diagnostic reports for auto club members which meant almost all brands of cars got run through the dyno. Grudgingly, I grew to respect Autolites no matter what the mileage was. They would come through the hard dyno pulls easily. I found Champion plugs to give give good results as long as they were low mileage. A/C would fail and start shooting ducks immediately out of the box. Others would fail intermittentlyrics but none of them had to lasting ability that the Autolites did. I have been running Autolites or Motorcrafts in everything I now and share what I found with anyone willing to listen. Even a Lincoln town car I have has gone 246k on its original plugs and I abused it for several years once I replaced it for my wife.
    Center of the Galaxie likes this.
  24. My Dart top end kit came with NGK plugs, I've never had a reason to change brands, so NGK it is. Regular cars that take plugs I'd use AC Delco most of the time.
  25. oj
    Joined: Jul 27, 2008
    Posts: 6,139


    Back when I was doing serious racing I always used AutoLite Race plugs but they took too long to get a read so I'd stick a set of NGK in and make a pass then was able to read the plug. When satisfied with the tuneup I'd put the Autolite Race plugs back in believing they were the more reliable. One day I said fukkit and left the NGK's in and have never looked back.
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  26. RichFox
    Joined: Dec 3, 2006
    Posts: 9,749


    Back in the old days Champion would give you one set of plugs with your entry at Bonneville. I was asking really dumb questions about spark plugs, so they gave me 3 boxes to go away. Since then i have mostly used Champions. But NGK works well for me.
  27. Flathead Dave
    Joined: Mar 21, 2014
    Posts: 2,351

    Flathead Dave
    from So. Cal.

    My favorite spark plug is the chicken enchilada at the Taco Station in Riverside, Ca.

    Their menu is motor related.

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2018
    Johnny Gee likes this.
  28. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,042


    Autolite 3924 in my 514 BBF. I get them cheap and honestly theyve been flawless, the engine has never missed a beat. I change them out once a year and forget about them.
  29. fordpatina
    Joined: May 12, 2012
    Posts: 1,098


    Champion H10
    stillrunners and 29AVEE8 like this.
  30. s55mercury66
    Joined: Jul 6, 2009
    Posts: 3,684

    from SW Wyoming

    I've always like Autolites in FE Fords because they are relieved at the end of the threads in a manner that won't allow carbon to build up there. I haven't run Champions in one for decades because of this.

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