Lotus Elan

New plugs - amazing

PostPost by: Lotus 50 » Sun May 05, 2013 9:02 pm

I got my car out of storage a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't reving freely, which is not unusual in the spring. I think the storage fog is hard on plugs.

New plugs today, and it ran crisp and reved freely. Like a new ride. Life is good.
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PostPost by: nigel+2 » Sun May 05, 2013 10:15 pm

exactly the same thing happened to me today,fine when cruising along,coughing and spluttering with a bit of load,new plugs ,sorted.:)
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PostPost by: rfurzer » Mon May 06, 2013 12:21 am

me too!
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PostPost by: robertverhey » Mon May 06, 2013 1:59 am

Yes it's interesting what the service intervals are for plug replacement on modern cars like audis, in the order of 60,000kms.....which is just as well given their price!

But many's the time I've been struggling to get an old banger (cortina, ?lan etc) going after a lay up, and when all else fails, whipping out the plugs and replacing them has had instant results, ie instant start, full power pickup and smooth idle.

Wonder what's changed over the years to make plugs last so long in modern cars.....
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Mon May 06, 2013 5:04 am

Does nobody clean plugs anymore??

John :wink:
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PostPost by: gherlt » Mon May 06, 2013 5:32 am

>Wonder what's changed over the years to make plugs last so long in modern cars.....

I would say, they have now "precision" ignition and therefore a much cleaner combustion.
1964 S1 (engine ready, awainting body paint)
1967 S3 DHC (now adjusted by Brian Buckland, totally calm idle)
1969 S4 FHC (final interior stuff)
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PostPost by: Paul Chapman » Mon May 06, 2013 8:33 am

Agreed, my S3 suffers from similar issues after the winter break, this year I have fitted a set of NGK BP6ES spark plugs and now I find that old engine starts better and runs smoother through the rev. range, It appears that these plugs seem to suit todays unleaded fuel better than the BP7ES plugs ......................... ???
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Mon May 06, 2013 2:31 pm

Paul Chapman wrote:Agreed, my S3 suffers from similar issues after the winter break, this year I have fitted a set of NGK BP6ES spark plugs and now I find that old engine starts better and runs smoother through the rev. range, It appears that these plugs seem to suit todays unleaded fuel better than the BP7ES plugs ......................... ???


The 6 runs hotter than the 7 and therefore won't foul as readily.
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1972 Europa Twin Cam
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Mon May 06, 2013 6:52 pm

The Lotus recommended NGK BP7ES or equivalent was always to cold for normal road use even back in the days of leaded fuel in my experience. I think Lotus based their recommendation on the hard use they expected from the buyers back then !!!!!


My experiences are:

Normal engine / normal road use - BP6ES
Normal engine / sustained high speed use - BP7ES
Race Engine / hill climb use - BP7ES or BP6ES depending on how much warm up chance you get
Race Engine / race use - BP8ES assumes a warm up lap to get the plugs up to temperature under load

Current emissions regulations require spark plugs to last typically 100,000 kms. This is possible with the fancy metals used these days to stop electrode erosion and with fuel injection and electronic ignition and low oil loss designs in modern engines all preventing fouling of the electrodes which is the normal reason plugs in a twin cam go off.

cheers
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PostPost by: alaric » Mon May 06, 2013 7:36 pm

Hm. My car will only run on 2 cylinders at the moment, but was fine the other day before I washed it. I checked out the plugs from the same lead and found that a couple of them had what I would call a healthy spark and two nothing to the electrode. All the leads seem to be working fine. It must be a combination of very old plugs - they've sat in the engine for some years now - and damp in the distributor cap or on connections to the coil.

Regards.

Sean.
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Mon May 06, 2013 8:32 pm

I agree with Everyone about NGK6's for every day running.

Interestingly, last week I was "fettling" to try and get in top of some uneven running.

I used a Gunson colourtune & the ste synchro device to balance the carbs up. As I only have one colourtune this meant I was having to swap plugs in and out with the engine reasonably warm. Having got the carbs much closer, I didn't have time for a final test drive & parked the car up.

Today, I took the car out again & it protested a bit here & there. Lots of popping and banging on the overrun & temperatures went up at the merest hint of a traffic queue. Went to check the plugs once I got back & they were all loose 1/2 a turn !!!

I usually torque them up but recall I didn't when tuning last week as the engine was hot.

When i did look at them- the Plugs were grey/white by the way !! Difficult to know if the lean running is because the were loose or whether it was down to my tuning attempts.

So moral is...check,check & check again !
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PostPost by: oldelanman » Mon May 06, 2013 9:28 pm

alaric wrote:Hm. My car will only run on 2 cylinders at the moment, but was fine the other day before I washed it. I checked out the plugs from the same lead and found that a couple of them had what I would call a healthy spark and two nothing to the electrode. All the leads seem to be working fine. It must be a combination of very old plugs - they've sat in the engine for some years now - and damp in the distributor cap or on connections to the coil.

Regards.

Sean.


Also worth checking the grub screws which clamp the HT leads into the distributor cap.....they go rusty and can be the cause of a weak spark.
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Plug lead #2  clamp screw-high resistance 002.jpg and
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PostPost by: rfurzer » Tue May 07, 2013 4:33 am

john.p.clegg wrote:Does nobody clean plugs anymore??

John :wink:


I wonder about this too - DOES anyone?

I find that a new plug is always better than one that ive cleaned (and at $4 a pop wonder whether messing about is worthwhile).

I am interested to know what techniques others use to clean plugs - I brush them, file the electrodes and set the gap.

Old books show a thing like a mini-sandblaster but Ive never heard anyone use one.

I do hate the waste of replacing a newish plug- and now have a collection of the undead ones.

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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Tue May 07, 2013 5:15 am

rfurzer wrote:
john.p.clegg wrote:Does nobody clean plugs anymore??

John :wink:


I wonder about this too - DOES anyone?

I am interested to know what techniques others use to clean plugs - I brush them, file the electrodes and set the gap.

Russ


I clean mine with a stainless wire brush and bend the side electrode to set the gap.....

richardcox_lotus wrote:
I used a Gunson colourtune & the ste synchro device to balance the carbs up. As I only have one colourtune this meant I was having to swap plugs in and out with the engine reasonably warm. Having got the carbs much closer, I didn't have time for a final test drive & parked the car up.



I'm not rich :lol: but have 4 colourtunes to overcome the problem,,,,but this only affects the mixture at tickover...

John :wink:
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PostPost by: rfurzer » Tue May 07, 2013 6:46 am

[

I clean mine with a stainless wire brush and bend the side electrode to set the gap.....

[tickover...

John :wink:[/quote]


That's pretty much what I do too. Do you think it makes a plug like new? Is it worth $4 of your time?
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