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Can You Clean And Reuse Fouled Plugs?

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Old 04-16-2006, 09:39 PM   #1
nastee383
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Default Can You Clean And Reuse Fouled Plugs?

Or should you just replace them?
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Old 04-16-2006, 09:47 PM   #2
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no. just replace them this will get ansererd in so many ways. the cheap mechanic say yes but the good techs say replace. dont do the job twice
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:21 PM   #3
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Replace them.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:50 PM   #4
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If you "glass bead" them to remove all the carbon they will work just fine. Otherwise use new. I keep a bunch of cleaned spares for my Harleys and also do a lot for other scooter owners. It will not hurt any plugs however.

Last edited by Ironcross; 04-16-2006 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 04-16-2006, 10:59 PM   #5
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Eastwood makes a spark plug cleaning tool you hook up to your air compressor. Don't use it. Buy new plugs.
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:35 PM   #6
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plugs are cheap. replace them.
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:51 PM   #7
Corvette69w427
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I bet you also pull your air filter off, bash it against the side of the vette, slap it back in and say "good as new".
REPLACE THEM!
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Old 04-16-2006, 11:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvette69w427
I bet you also pull your air filter off, bash it against the side of the vette, slap it back in and say "good as new".
REPLACE THEM!
Well, I clean my K&N and re-oil...

I also clean my spark plugs. Unless the electrodes are worn there's nothing wrong with them. I have a little spark plug cleaner that uses shop air and glass beads the plugs. They come out like new. Just have to be careful to properly wash them off with carb cleaner before use to make sure no abrasive is lodged in them.
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Old 04-17-2006, 12:00 AM   #9
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it depends on the situation, i hate shotgun answers. If its been 40k since you replace the plugs then personally i would get new ones.

However, i also own a plug cleaner. For example i was troubleshooting a carb problem once and every time i started the motor to test the latest change it would foul the plugs. while it is true i may not be the best troubleshooter, i would have had to buy several sets of plugs after it was all said and done and the problem was not the plug.

all i am saying is it depends on how old the plug is and the environment it is in.

i never replace parts that are not broken.
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Old 04-17-2006, 01:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corvette69w427
I bet you also pull your air filter off, bash it against the side of the vette, slap it back in and say "good as new".
REPLACE THEM!


I will normally replace them. But I fouled a new set recently (too rich) when I put my Demon on after only 10 miles. So I used some brake clean, cleaned em off and put em back in.
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Old 04-17-2006, 07:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ironcross
If you "glass bead" them to remove all the carbon they will work just fine. Otherwise use new. I keep a bunch of cleaned spares for my Harleys and also do a lot for other scooter owners. It will not hurt any plugs however.
You can clean them by glass bead blasting. This is a standard maintenence procedure used on piston aircraft.

But automotive plugs are alot cheaper than aircraft plugs...I would just replace them.
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:28 AM   #12
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Thanks for the replies. I always keep replacement plugs on hand so thats not an issue. This is one of those instances where the plugs are brand new but fouled because of a too rich DEMON. I use ACCEL shorty plugs at $3-4 a piece so it can get pricey if they really don't need to be replaced.

I cleaned them with a brass bristle toothbrush, blew 'em out with compressed air and regapped them. I also rejetted the DEMON. So I think I'll put 'em back in and see if it works. If not I'll replace them. I'll let ya'll know how it plays out. Thanks again.
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:38 AM   #13
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Nastee: That's not a good way to clean them. The brass will imbed itself into the porcelin and make a low-resistance shunt to the shell loosing spark energy. Either glass bead them or replace. Wire-brushing is a no-no.
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Old 04-17-2006, 03:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zwede
Nastee: That's not a good way to clean them. The brass will imbed itself into the porcelin and make a low-resistance shunt to the shell loosing spark energy. Either glass bead them or replace. Wire-brushing is a no-no.
I never knew that. That's how I've always cleaned them in the past. I guess I need to break down and put new ones in...after I get the carb adjusted properly. Thanks
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Old 04-17-2006, 04:12 PM   #15
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After blasting I would re-gap them just to be sure
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Old 04-17-2006, 05:13 PM   #16
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Blasting will work....but you will often find that the rougher surface of the porcelain seems to attract gunk easier the next time around.

One thing I do when I'm "back road tuning" is to just change one plug..typically #6 on a bigblock..it usually runs leanest..... to work out the mixture and get close. That way if I get one all barfed up I just stick a new one in that hole and continue on until I get the right tune. When I'm all done..I either clean that set or stick a whole new set in.

Even running a Dominator, a big cam, 11.06 compression and street driving..I very seldom ever change plugs. I race with the same set I street drive with.....if it's tuned right, they don't get messed up and don't miss.


JIM
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:39 PM   #17
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The thing about those abrasive plug blasters that I worry about is what happens if you don't get all the grit out of the plug before you reinstall? Can't be good for the bores/rings/piston skirts if it gets down in there.

Just me worrying too much?

-Mark.
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Old 04-17-2006, 06:51 PM   #18
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REPLACE THEM !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
medium grade sparkers cost just $8 a piece, that's a total of $128 (sometimes less, cheapest are 4 bucks a piece)
If you can't spend that much, why are you talking about sand blasting and bead blasting, which might end up costing you even more....
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73L48 Dave
You can clean them by glass bead blasting. This is a standard maintenence procedure used on piston aircraft.

But automotive plugs are alot cheaper than aircraft plugs...I would just replace them.
Aviation fuel is leaded. You can clean and reuse plugs with leaded fuel.

Unleaded fuel contaminates the plugs. They never seem to "dry" correctly. Just replace them for the best performance.
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Old 04-17-2006, 10:53 PM   #20
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$8 spark plugs?? $124 a set? Two sets?

Either way..you need to do some price shopping.....bad boy race plugs don't cost that much until you get to the ridiculous stuff to try and live in killer nitrous motors. But even most of those guys don't use those!

JIM
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