double-tipped spark plugs

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Old 02 Mar 2006, 09:11 pm   #1 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default double-tipped spark plugs

I noticed the camry manual says to use twin-ground, platinum-tipped
spark plugs.

Is there a significant difference in performance between using, say,
Bosch (Pep Boys brand) vs. the original NGKs?

And is there a real difference in performance between twin-ground vs.
regular plugs? (For that matter, Bosch has a plug with 4 grounds... is
this better?)

Paid $13 per spark plug for NGKs, now I'm wondering if Bosch
twin-ground platinum plugs at $3 each would have been just as good.

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Old 03 Mar 2006, 01:24 am   #2 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: double-tipped spark plugs

Yes it's different. The reason is for the waste spark ignition system
used on the Camry. This is an old GM design that allows for the savings
of 50% of the coil-on-plug's. But the disadvantage is the spark plugs
fire at twice the rate of non-waste-spark systems and the plugs live
half as long.

>From the marketing perspective, this is simply not acceptable when

other companies are offering twice the tune-up intervals. So Toyota
went back to the old non-waste-spark system.

>From the electrical side of things, each coil in the waste spark system

drives two plugs! One the spark jumps from the center to the side
electrode(s); on the other plug the spark jumps from the side
electrode(s) to the center electrode.

Therefore, you should not use the Bosch plugs on any waste spark system
cars. This is because when a spark jumps from the nickle plated side
electrode(s) to the thin platinum center, it carries material with it
and covers/fouls up the thin Bosch center electrode.

The Bosch plugs, however, work fine otherwise because it spreads the
flame sideways across the center insulator towards the ground
electrodes on the side. A nice clean big unobstructed spark.

In general, these engines work best on NGK or the cheaper Denso (if you
think the NGKs are pricey). Something about matching the heat range or
such. I dunno. So go to Autozone and buy Densos at about 1/2 the NGK
price if you like. But NGKs are better, longer lasting plugs that don't
look like crap at the same miles. But I'd still replace any plug at
30,000 miles.

Both NGK and Denso list Iridium as acceptable replacements even with
just one electrode! Excellent plugs, clean burning. Wanna try them next
time?


onehappymadman@yahoo.com wrote:
> I noticed the camry manual says to use twin-ground, platinum-tipped
> spark plugs.
>
> Is there a significant difference in performance between using, say,
> Bosch (Pep Boys brand) vs. the original NGKs?
>
> And is there a real difference in performance between twin-ground vs.
> regular plugs? (For that matter, Bosch has a plug with 4 grounds... is
> this better?)
>
> Paid $13 per spark plug for NGKs, now I'm wondering if Bosch
> twin-ground platinum plugs at $3 each would have been just as good.


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Old 03 Mar 2006, 01:58 am   #3 (permalink)
mrdarrett@gmail.com
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Default Re: double-tipped spark plugs

I thought only the '98 had the waste spark system. '99 camry has it
too?

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Old 03 Mar 2006, 04:14 pm   #4 (permalink)
Daniel
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Default Re: double-tipped spark plugs

johngd@hotmail.com wrote:
"So go to Autozone and buy Densos at about 1/2 the NGK
price if you like. But NGKs are better, longer lasting plugs that don't

look like crap at the same miles. But I'd still replace any plug at
30,000 miles."
When I replaced the ND platinum at 60,000 miles they still looked fine
and the gap was exactly where it's supposed to be, so I'm not sure why
you're replacing them at 30k. Iridium can go 90.

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Old 03 Mar 2006, 04:36 pm   #5 (permalink)
onehappymadman@yahoo.com
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Default Re: double-tipped spark plugs


Daniel wrote:
> johngd@hotmail.com wrote:
> "So go to Autozone and buy Densos at about 1/2 the NGK
> price if you like. But NGKs are better, longer lasting plugs that don't
>
> look like crap at the same miles. But I'd still replace any plug at
> 30,000 miles."
> When I replaced the ND platinum at 60,000 miles they still looked fine
> and the gap was exactly where it's supposed to be, so I'm not sure why
> you're replacing them at 30k. Iridium can go 90.



I guess I could get the $3 Pep Boys plugs, and change them every 20,000
miles: that would be the equivalent of spending $9 per plug at 60,000
miles. (Ignoring my free labor to change the plugs.)

Still cheaper than buying a $13 NGK plug and changing at 60k miles.

Sounds like a plan?

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Old 03 Mar 2006, 06:57 pm   #6 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: double-tipped spark plugs

That's why I say Densos will look like crap but NGKs are better. 90K
iridiums use a platinum padded ground electrode with a heavier center
iridium electrode. Doesn't cost $2-3 more each. But don't drive the
regular iridiums to 90K!

I'd change them at 30K because I notice slight low-end performance
degradations. NGKs should be good for 60K. But that's pushing the
limit. In my experience, the 90K or more intervals were a result of
marketing than engineering. The plug tips and gaps may look fine, but
they don't work as well.

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Old 03 Mar 2006, 07:02 pm   #7 (permalink)
johngdole@hotmail.com
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Default Re: double-tipped spark plugs

I would not go with Bosch on that engine for the reason I mentioned
about the waste-spark system.

But if you are willing to change at a more frequent interval, which is
fine for a 4-cyl engine, piece of cake. Then go with NGK G-Power
BKR6EGP with the thinner platinum center electrode. Toss them every 15K
miles for $2.85 a piece (froogle.com price).

The BKR6EGP plug, by the way, is an approved application by NGK catalog
for the engine.

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