Author - vdl

Anything and Everything You Want to Know About Spark Plugs

1991 SUPERFLOW ENGINE TECHNOLOGY CONFERENCE WRITTEN BY: Dan VanderLey / Motorsports Engineer, Champion Spark Plug Co. Mark Twain quotation – “Thunder is impressive and thunder is great but it’s lightning that does the work.” Definition – A device which provides a gap in the combustion chamber of an internal combustion engine across which an electrical discharge may occur which initiates the combustion of an air/fuel mixture.The spark plug performs a simple function in a complex environment. CANDLE IN A HIGH WIND just as in the title the candle is affected by the wind’s characteristics, so in our choice of plugs we must consider not only it’s basic function but more importantly the “wind” it operates in.   1. PARTS AND ASSEMBLY A basic understanding of the parts and assembly will later help in the application and interpretation of the plug. (Cut-away plug below) PARTS A. Insulator – Aluminum oxide ceramic, must have good dielectric and mechanical strength, good thermal conductivity and resistive to heat shock B. Center Wire – Must have good conductivity and be chemically and electrically erosion resistant (Approx. melt temp. of std nickel is 2500 degrees Fahrenheit) C. Terminal Stud – Either solid post or removable terminal nut made from mild steel D. Shell – Extruded or bar [...]