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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at replacing my spark plugs and wires soon and every time ive replaced my plugs ive just used the duralast plugs and for me they have always working well

But i was wondering is there a difference if i use motorcraft plugs or like the e3 type plugs , would it help at all with the motor running any better or would it all be about the same
 

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I'd be interested in seeing if anyone has used the E3 plugs in their cat. I tried them in my Hummer and heard horror stories from people who'd used them for awhile so I swapped them out. Then I put them in my son's altima and when he had an oil leak they took them out and the guy said they looked horrible. But every car show loves them so I wonder if they're really that good or are they a good sponsor?
 

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I think E3 spark plugs are just gimmicks. Remember Splitfire V tip spark plugs? Even indexing your spark plugs has limited up side potential according to NGK. They say that indexing is difficult without a dyno and can only improve the performance by at most 1%. http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/techinfo/spark_plugs/installation.asp#indexing As for Copper vs Platinum vs Iridium, it does make a difference in spark plug life, but not performance.

I've always gone with Autolites for $2 a pop and have never had a problem.

Here is some useful information on spark plugs.

http://www.carcraft.com/techarticles/spark_plugs_tips/index.html

I haven't tried side gapping, but it looks interesting.

http://performanceunlimited.com/documents/plugsidegapping.html
 

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I would second the opinion on platinum plugs. When I converted to electronic ignition I tried the platinum plugs.
I also hade a set of Autolite(yes the ones for about $2 a pop) and saw and felt absolutely no difference. After doing this
trial I read an article that stated the same....Needed the article about two weeks sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So probably even the actual motorcraft plugs probably arent much different then just getting the autolite or duralast plugs

Because if motorcraft was a little better then i was gonna get new plugs and wires both motorcraft but it seems like it might not make much of a difference from what im reading unless im wrong
 

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Check out this thread ...
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/344467-motorcraft-vs-autolite-spark-plugs.html

There's a quote from Honeywell who makes both plugs:

"As a division of the Honeywell Corporation, Autolite is the manufacturer responsible for the production of all Motorcraft spark plugs in North America for the Ford Motor Company. Both Autolite and Ford/Motorcraft spark plugs are built to quality standards using quality components. Autolite manufacture's the Motorcraft plugs based on the specific design requirements of the Ford Motor Company. Autolite and Motorcraft spark plugs are manufactured side-by-side at our facility in Northern Ohio."

So most likely the same plugs, just different labels.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So basically there just the same plugs , thats pretty sad but then not completely surprising with having a private label

Ive used duralast mostley , would the autolite ones be better and if so which is preferred the platnium ones or what , atleast with the wires they are fairly simple choosing either get the autolite ones or spend a little more and get actual motorcraft , but now that i read that they are the same then it doesnt seem to make send spending more
 

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Just as a quick second to the E3 bash above... I tried a set in my 2006 Silverado and lost about 2 MPG. At the price I paid for a set, I was not happy at all! I left them in for a few months just to make sure the computer had time to adjust to the new plugs, but gas mileage never improved.
 

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Spark is spark end of story. The only differences are the heat ranges of the plugs and how long they last due to the material used and your engines health. For some reason the myth that X costs more than Z means X is better still prevails - marketing departments live for that....

Not true for all things of course - but you have to be on the lookout for marketing vs reality.
 

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so if the $2 autolites work fine, can the same be said for the wires? is a cheap set of motorcraft/autolite just as good as a $90 set from MSD?
 

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That depends. What other ignition improvements have you made? If it is all stock, then it doesn't matter.

I ran a set of Accel 8.8 300+ wires for about a year. It ran okay, but is was a pain to tune. Then it started to miss like it had a vacuum leak, but my vacuum reading was fine. I bought a set of Ford Racing wires because they were pre-cut, came with 135* boots and were cheap (Summit $43). It runs and idles a lot better. When you are shopping for spark plug wires remember that resistance isn't everything.
 

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That depends. What other ignition improvements have you made? If it is all stock, then it doesn't matter.

I ran a set of Accel 8.8 300+ wires for about a year. It ran okay, but is was a pain to tune. Then it started to miss like it had a vacuum leak, but my vacuum reading was fine. I bought a set of Ford Racing wires because they were pre-cut, came with 135* boots and were cheap (Summit $43). It runs and idles a lot better. When you are shopping for spark plug wires remember that resistance isn't everything.
Mallory distributor and electronic ignition. MSD Blaster 2 coil. Edelbrock 1405 Performer carb and intake. that's about it. 70 Cougar 351W.

unfortunately, had to buy the motor on the fly around 1990 so i can't say for sure what's inside. it certainly idles like it has some non-standard cam. but the dyno check seemed to show most everything in order, including my old wires.

still, probably time to replace them. what are 135* boots? that seems like a good price for Ford Racing wires. so if resistance isn't everything, what other considerations are there?
 

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I bought a set of the Flame thrower spark plug wires. Mostly when I converted to electronic Ignition.
Pretty much stock, 351W 2V only upgrade is the ele ignition.
 

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what are 135* boots? that seems like a good price for Ford Racing wires. so if resistance isn't everything, what other considerations are there?
135* boots = 135 degree boots. I don't know how to make that degree symbol on my keyboard and the asterisk is a commonly accepted substitution. The 135 degree boots fit and look better than 180 degree boots in my opinion.

When I said resistance isn't everything, I meant DC resistance isn't a good way to compare spark plugs wires. It is more complicated than that. We are more interested in the AC characteristics of the wires. To compare them properly we would have to know the impedance, which is frequency dependent and takes into account inductance and capacitance of the spark plug wires. But even that doesn't matter when we are talking about performance. Assume we only care about DC resistance. The voltage drop across a wire is equal to the current through the wire times the resistance (V=IR). Assuming the spark plug wire resistance is 1000 Ohms and the current is about 100 milliamps, then the voltage drop is 100 Volts. Compared to 45,000 Volts coming from the MSD Blaster 2 coil, the voltage drop is 0.22 %. That is nothing. Even if the current or resistance was 10 times as much, the voltage drop would only be 2%. What you do get with higher impedance wires is better electromagnetic interference. It won't mess with your radio as much and you won't induce sparks in near by wires and cause misfires. EMI can be reduced by proper routing also. You can look at diameter. The larger diameter wires have more dielectric material, which suppresses electromagnetic interference. Again, the difference between 8mm and 9mm is 12.5%. Don't worry about it too much.

In any case buy a good quality set of wires. Most of them will do just fine. If you buy junk, you will only have problems.

Also, if you read anything about skin effect, it is real science. It is not BS. How do I know? I'm a physicist.
 

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If anyone is interested in the cut back electrode that Adam posted about earlier, try out some Autolite AR 135 or 134's. You can get them from Advance for around 2.75 each. They already have the cut back electrode, and are shorter in case there is any header clearance issues (though I believe that is more of a Chebby thing). I have the 133's in mine and love the way they run. I am running 11:1 compression so I got a colder plug. I believe the 135's are spot on for 9:1 and below and the 134's are good for around 10:1.
 

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That's awesome. Thanks for the tip. Now I'm on the hunt for a set of AR33 (18mm plugs).
 

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For stock applications I recommend and use OE plugs when possible. In the 30+ years I have been an auto tech I have seen heat range problems using other brands. Not very often but it can happen. Since Autolite and Motorcraft are the same exact plug I use either in Ford products. I have seen non OE brand plugs even though correct for the application being cold and causing fouling and or warmup drivability issues. I have also seen ventilated pistons and or the upper ring lands being blown off by excessively hot plugs a time or two, Bosch Platinum's come to mind. From my experiences Bosch Platinum's heat range is all over the place even within the same batch.

Other thoughts: Fords seem to spec plugs that are on the edge of being too hot for some reason on several if not many applications, Windsor's mostly. If the plugs being removed so signs of overheating I drop the heat range down a notch if said plug number exists. This problem seems to get worse if going from a copper core Autolite/Motorcraft plug to a platinum Autolite/Motorcraft plug. Last time I checked Ford says not to use antiseize on plug threads because it ups the heat range. Seems strange to me as I would think if anything it would increase heat dissipation and lower the heat range, guess not.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #20
So if i just went with the autolites for $2 each , is there really any difference in which wires to pick , autolite versus motorcraft or is it mostly about the brand name

Initally i was set on getting the motorcraft plugs and wires since its basically like oem but it just seems stupid to spend more for a brand name , unless there is somewhat a difference but from reading it doesnt seem to be a difference

And my car is still all stock , i was thinking about replacing the points and goin to the electronic ignition , and if i did that would it make much of a difference in plugs and wires selection
 
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