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Old 03-09-2006, 04:14 PM   #1
hondapwr
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Default NGK Iridium plugs - Warning

I just bought a set of NGK BKR6EIX-11 (3764) plugs for my B16A. The plugs came with a gap of 0.042in (the NGK website claims its 0.052in), I used a set of gapping pliers to try to bring it to the factory spec of 0.052in. That's when the center electrode broke off. For the other three I used a feeler gauge and carefully moved the side electrode with needle nosed pliers until I got the correct gap. At this point, I'm concerned that even touching the feeler gauge to the center electrode may have weakened it and will cause it to break off inside my engine.

I found this little tidbit of information on clubplug.net (I bought the plugs from summit-racing)
Should I gap my Iridium Plugs?
The manufacturers say NO.
This is because most people do not know how to properly gap a spark plug, and the center electrodes on the ultra-fine iridium can easily snap if mishandled. There is no warranty for snapped center electrodes. The manufacturers say an iridium spark plug will run so much better than a traditional plug, even if it is not gapped for that motor, that they would prefer you just leave it rather than risk snapping the center electrode.


Has anyone else experienced this? I think I'd rather run laser platinum plugs at the correct gap, than fragile iridium plugs at the incorrect gap. Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:05 PM   #2
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the same **** happened to me last week. i broke like three of them. the ngk website if wrong. .042 was the correct gap.
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Old 03-09-2006, 05:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: (erasable180)

the correct gap is .042 like stated. throw those plugs out and run NGK V-Power copper plugs.

There much cheaper and are more conductive for better performance (Copper is the second most conductive metal with silver being first).

Plugs are so easy to change in hondas who cares if you have to change them more often.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: (erasable180)

Quote:
Originally Posted by erasable180
the same **** happened to me last week. i broke like three of them. the ngk website if wrong. .042 was the correct gap.
I'm glad I'm not the only one! Click the image to open in full size.

The NGK website lists the gap as 0.052in for the laser platinum and the Iridium IX. However, if I measure both plugs with a feeler gauge, only the laser platinum plug has the 0.052 gap. I went to Advance Auto parts tonight, and measured yet another set of fresh Iridium IX plugs with a brand new feeler gauge. The Iridium IX has more like a 0.039in gap. (Honda service manual specifies 0.052in gap for B16A2)

If they require so much less voltage to spark, then why are they being shipped with such a narrow gap? I emailed NGK technical support to find out why.

Just to reiterate my warning to everyone: IF YOU DECIDE TO RE-GAP YOUR IRIDIUM PLUGS, AVOID TOUCHING THE CENTER ELECTRODE AT ALL COSTS, and be very gentle with the feeler gauge while checking your gap.
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Old 03-09-2006, 07:39 PM   #5
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your NOT SUPPOSE TO GAP IRIDIUMS PERIOD!!!.
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: (TurboEM1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboEM1
the correct gap is .042 like stated. throw those plugs out and run NGK V-Power copper plugs.

There much cheaper and are more conductive for better performance (Copper is the second most conductive metal with silver being first).

Plugs are so easy to change in hondas who cares if you have to change them more often.
i thought gold was first. then silver then copper.

And how long do copper plugs last in a n/a motor? is it any differnt to a boosted motor?
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Old 03-09-2006, 08:51 PM   #7
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you dont gap iridium plugs.
i bought the same plugs and they are working great.
i didnt gap them..
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Old 03-09-2006, 10:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: (Ruben19)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruben19
you dont gap iridium plugs.
i bought the same plugs and they are working great.
i didnt gap them..
Correct.. your not suppposed to gap iridium plugs. There supposed to be gapped at .044 already for the correct application. Both NGK & Denso have this.

Taken from Denso website:

IRIDIUM POWER™ GAPPING TIPS

Before attempting to gap any DENSO Iridium Power spark plug, please review the specification chart in the front of this catalog to verify the factory-preset gap. In most cases your Iridium Power plugs do not need to be gapped. Even with small variations in the factory set gap the ultra-efficient firing power design will compensate for those small variations.

Should you decide to re-gap your Iridium Power plug, use extreme caution as improper gapping may damage or destroy the Iridium center electrode or porcelain center.

To increase the gap size:
• Step 1: Use needle nose pliers or spark plug gapping tool to bend the ground strap up to the desired height. DO NOT LET THE PLIERS OR GAPPING TOOL TOUCH THE IRIDIUM CENTER ELECTRODE OR PORCELAIN.

• Step 2: Re-check the gap with a calibrated gapping tool.

To decrease the gap size:
• Step 1: Use the same method as above, however bend the ground strap down to the desired height. DO NOT LET THE PLIERS OR GAPPING TOOL TOUCH THE IRIDIUM CENTER ELECTRODE OR PORCELAIN.

• Step 2: Re-check the gap with a calibrated gapping tool. WARNING: Failure to follow these directions may permanently damage the spark plug. Note: Never use a round gapping tool to check the gap or to increase or decrease the gap setting.

WARNING: Failure to follow these directions may permanently damage the spark plug. Note: Never use a round gapping tool to check the gap or to increase or decrease the gap setting.

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Old 03-10-2006, 04:52 AM   #9
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Default Re: (K.H22hatch)

Quote:
Originally Posted by K.H22hatch

i thought gold was first. then silver then copper.
Click the image to open in full size. Yeah Gold is the most conductive metal....just too dang expensive to make wires from
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Old 03-10-2006, 07:31 AM   #10
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Default Re: (entityzero)

Thanks for the info from Denso. It's interesting that they say never use a round gapping tool. I assume they mean a circular ramp style feeler gauge?

This site sells wire type feeler gauges for measuring spark plug gap, but not in the correct size. (If anyone knows where to find a non-circular feeler gauge in the correct size, plz let us know)
http://www.mytoolstore.com/kd/kdfeel02.html

I'd really like to see some dyno tests of the Iridium IX -vs- Laser Platinum in a B-Series motor, and I also want to know why NGK gives false information on the website about the gap the Iridium plugs come with. I can't understand how decreasing the spark plug gap from 0.052 to 0.039 is supposed to improve performance. They don't even use precious metal on the Iridium ground strap like the laser platinum plug has.

They way I see it, the Iridium plug is for people that want the longer life of a platinum plug, but don't want to pay that much.

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Old 03-10-2006, 12:48 PM   #11
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Default Re: (hondapwr)

Quote:
Originally Posted by hondapwr
This site sells wire type feeler gauges for measuring spark plug gap, but not in the correct size. (If anyone knows where to find a non-circular feeler gauge in the correct size, plz let us know)
http://www.mytoolstore.com/kd/kdfeel02.html
I use one similar to the first one on that page

With it, it is not necessary to have every single size (although mine does have like 25 sizes). You can put 2 together and make the size you need. For example on that one put the 0.016 and 0.026 together or the 0.020, and 0.022. There not in numerical order so finding 2 close together is really easy. Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-10-2006, 01:35 PM   #12
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Default Re: (TurboEM1)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboEM1
I use one similar to the first one on that page
With it, it is not necessary to have every single size (although mine does have like 25 sizes). You can put 2 together and make the size you need. For example on that one put the 0.016 and 0.026 together or the 0.020, and 0.022. There not in numerical order so finding 2 close together is really easy. Click the image to open in full size.
Where'd you get it?

I got a reply from NGK corporate:
These plugs are made to the most popular gap sizes. In this case it is necessary to re-gap these plugs. Carefully open the ground electrode using a pair of needle-nose pliers or a wire style gap tool. Do not use a gap wheel type tool that will pry against the center electrode and could possibly break it off.
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Old 03-10-2006, 01:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: (hondapwr)

the one i have is really old and i havent been able to find one locally. Its pretty much the same one as the first one in the link you posted
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Old 03-10-2006, 01:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: (hondapwr)

Hrm. I guess I should count my blessings that I gapped the Iridium Lasers for my B16A3 using a round gap tool without any problem?

When I was growing up and learning how to work on cars, I was taught that the center electrode was delicate. I don't care what metal it's made of, if you exert enough force on that center electrode it's going to snap off. If you treat every single plug with kid gloves then you should be fine, no matter how brittle it is.

The idea is that the instrument used to measure the gap should move through the gap without unduly forcing it through the gap. What you don't want to have happen is for the gap change because you've forced the tool through the gap - that's not gapping the plug, that's abusing the center electrode. Adjust the side electrode, measure the gap, & repeat as necessary. Yes, it's painstaking and annoying, but if you don't like it then buy plugs that are guaranteed to be correctly gapped for your particular application (OEM, etc.).

Personally, I can't wait for it to warm up long enough so I can check my plugs. Installed them before winter hit, before I moved to a new place w/o a garage, and I'm seriously curious to see if the center electrodes have melted like every previous plug... if they've melted away then I'm ordering some cooler plugs. Yeah, I should have done that instead of getting the Iridiums, but I thought that maybe a higher melting point would do the trick. What the hell, it's just plugs...
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Old 03-10-2006, 05:30 PM   #15
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Default Re: (MonkeyBoy668)

Here's a good site explaining the heat ranges of a spark plug.
http://www.ngksparkplugs.com/t...ry=US#

I bought another set of Iridium IX plugs for $30 from Advance Auto tonight. I then took a wire style gapping tool and set each plug to approximately 0.050 (the closest size available). It took 45 minutes to do.

We'll see how they do when I install them tomorrow. Hopefully I won't have a broken Iridium tip gouging my piston rings and cylinder walls... Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-11-2006, 06:21 AM   #16
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I took my time installing the Iridium plugs this morning. (about 20 minutes)

The washer seems a bit more squishy than the laser plat plugs, so I just gave it a little extra torque.

I then took it for a few runs around the block, and then some WOT passes on the highway. They feel just like my old laser plat plugs so far, which I guess is a good thing. I still feel a bit nervous having something so fragile in my combustion chamber. We'll see how long they last.

I might do some G-Tech testing tomorrow.
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Old 03-12-2006, 05:17 PM   #17
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Test conditions: 56deg F, heavy humidity, and damp pavement.

Got 144WHP on two different passes. 3WHP less than I usually get at 42deg F in the dry. I also got plenty of 137WHP passes.

I'd say they're still on par with the NGK laser platinum plugs. We'll see how the fuel economy compares in a few days.
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Old 03-12-2006, 05:59 PM   #18
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Default Re: (hondapwr)

which gtech do you have? the rr or ss? how do u like it?
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Old 03-13-2006, 06:36 PM   #19
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Default Re: NGK Iridium plugs - Warning (hondapwr)

thanks for the heads up Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 03-13-2006, 07:25 PM   #20
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Default Re: NGK Iridium plugs - Warning (hondapwr)




Modified by CardDealer at 2:48 PM 11/16/2006
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Old 03-14-2006, 02:41 PM   #21
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Default Re: NGK Iridium plugs - Warning (schlit)

Thanks for the plug pics. I wasn't too happy with the NGK V-Power plugs in my B16. I think I'll stick with the Iridium plugs for awhile even though they're an amazing pain in the a$$ to gap. And yes, you should gap the Iridium plugs if they're off spec according to NGK.

NGK told me that the laser platinum plugs are still the best on the market for longevity, but as you said "it's not like the plugs on our cars are hard to replace".

As for the other question about my G-Tech meter, I have a very early model that looks like a radar detector. (Has a picture of a scruffy haired guy with a supra on the box)

I filled up my tank today and calculated the MPG. It's about the same as it was with the old plugs (25MPG).
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Old 03-14-2006, 04:10 PM   #22
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yea i heard you werent supposed to gap them, but i could be wrong
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Old 05-10-2006, 06:58 PM   #23
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Default Re: (SicilianSpeed42)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SicilianSpeed42

Click the image to open in full size. Yeah Gold is the most conductive metal....just too dang expensive to make wires from
they used silver in fort knox during a war because copper wasnt available at the time.
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Old 05-10-2006, 07:10 PM   #24
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Default Re: (SicilianSpeed42)

wrong..silver, copper, gold just as turboem1 said
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