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Old 08-13-2011, 08:24 PM   #1
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Iridium plugs were in my wife's Lexus from the factory

Just because spark plugs are such an ongoing discussion, I thought I'd pass along today's experience replacing the factory installed spark plugs in my wife's Lexus LS-430 since it has 87,000 miles on it.

I was surprised to find the factory plugs were NGK fine-wire Iridium plugs. I wasn't surprised they were NGK, I was surprised they were Iridium since that plug is more expensive than platinum. I actually didn't know what plugs to expect but without knowing what was installed. I figured I'd swap them.

Bottom line? With over 87,000 miles on the OE factory Iridium plugs, there as absolutely zero wear on any of them... absolutely no gap erosion, the gaps were still precisely the factory gap. I had already purchased new double-tipped Platinum plugs to install and went ahead and installed them since I didn't check what was coming out until I had the first four out on the workbench.

Anyway, my first exposure to the zero wear of Iridium plugs was totally positive. I have a set of Autolite Iridium XP-985 plugs for my Rubicon that Autolite gave me to try that I'll install when it's time. Right now it's running so well on the APP-985 double-platinum Autolite plugs I installed last year that I'm not anxious to swap in the XP-985 plugs yet.

I'm still trying to truly understand the benefits/tradeoffs between Iridium fine-wire technology plugs and platinum plugs as both are superb. I know the fine-wire technology Iridium plugs are supposed to outlast and outperform even Platinum plugs but it's hard to fault the current platinum technology.

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Old 08-13-2011, 08:54 PM   #2
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Very cool Jerry.

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Old 08-13-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Most toyota/lexus/nissan and ze geramans have been using iridium for the last few years now. It's how they get away with saying no tune up for 100k.
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Old 08-13-2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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I've been planning on trying them in my Jeep ever since I felt the difference one made in my Honda Foreman. Just installed new champion platinum plugs about a month ago, hopefully there will be some reviews by the time they go bad.
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Old 08-14-2011, 10:26 AM   #5
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Wow Jerry your wife drives a new Lexus and all you have is an old jeep? At least I'm not the only one here who has a wife with tight controlls on the money!
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Old 08-14-2011, 11:01 AM   #6
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I wonder when they started using those? What year is the car? I may have to try these next time I do a plug swap on one of the cars, just did the Jeep so that is good for a long while now.
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Old 08-14-2011, 12:06 PM   #7
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I wonder when they started using those? What year is the car?
It's a 2004 so it's been a while.

What's funny is the reason I swapped them, since it was running perfectly. It needed a smog test for its registration renewal and it failed which surprised me to say the least. The smog shop guy said it may not have been hot enough so go drive it and bring it back. I had actually just driven it 25 miles non-stop before having it checked so I knew it couldn't be that so instead, I bought new plugs plus oil (just under 5K miles since the last change so it was time) and a filter hoping that would do the trick.

I decided to stop by the smog test shop again after buying the plugs and oil and have it checked and it easily passed the second time. The shop owner blamed his smog test system saying it was getting flakey.
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Old 08-14-2011, 03:23 PM   #8
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I am so glad we have no smog testing In my area, sounds like it can be a major pain.
I know a few people who don't even run CATs, its probably illegal but theres no one to look under the car and check. I respect the smog thing and dont think people should purposely violate it, but im glad i dont have to deal with the hassle.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:41 PM   #9
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Jerry. I am running Bosch Platinums in my Jeep and have been since I did m first tune up on it 10 years or so ago. I posted a picture of a mishap with my distributor cap that happened a few weeks ago where the coil connection actually separated from the cap and the rotor was trashed. I had done the latest tune up probably 6 to 8 months ago and even the guys at the parts store said they had never seen that before. When I posted it to the forum, not this one, I was told that those plugs were not good to run in the jeep by a couple of the people who replied. Like I said I have used these type plugs in it and never had an issue with fouling, detonation, or wear. Could it just be the Bosch brand they were referring to or platinums in general? Have you ever used Bosch parts in either of your jeeps?

Here is what happened to my cap, rotor, and coil wire.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:46 PM   #10
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I can't imagine Bosch plugs causing that issue. However, the history of Bosch in our Jeep engines isn't good, I've never read of anyone having good long-term results with them. Especially the Bosch Plus2 and Plus4 plugs with their extra electrodes.

The one thing I'd do is never run a distributor cap and rotor with aluminum contacts like you have in the above photo, aluminum contacts just don't last. It's always best to only install them with brass contacts which cost a bit more but not that much more.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:49 PM   #11
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Thanks Jerry. I was just reading another post you commented in about an 06 and the Bosch and was coming back to edit my original to "nevermind I saw your other post". Yeah I will definately be spending the extra on the brass caps and rotors from now on and will be trying a different plug as well. Any suggestions for a 98 with 160K miles?
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:53 PM   #12
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Your '98 would run very well on the Autolite AP-985 or Champion 3034, both of which are single-tipped platinum plugs that will perform well for 100K miles. No need to spend more for the APP-985 or 7034, both of which are double-tipped platinum models which have no added benefits for a 1999 or older 4.0L engine.
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Old 08-14-2011, 06:57 PM   #13
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Excellent. Thank you very much! I really appreciate your knowledge.
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Old 08-15-2011, 04:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for the info. Please let us know how your Jeep performs with the iridium plugs.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:14 AM   #15
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My fiancee's mother's '08 Honda Accord had the NGK Iridium plugs from the factory as well. She just turned over about 120,000 miles (yes, she has a bit of a commute to work) and it had started running a bit rough. When the shop told her it would be a little over $300 to replace the spark plugs, I said I'd take a look at it. I was a bit surprised when I took them out as they're longer and skinnier than any plugs I've had to replace in the past, but you can't beat them when they last over 100K. The plugs were a bit expensive, I believe around $10 or $11 a piece online (opposed to $30 from the Honda dealer), but I'd say they're worth it.

She ended up having one plug that was truly bad (which was causing the roughness), you could see that it was caked with carbon deposits. The other five were worn a bit, but would have easily lasted a while longer. I replaced all six just because we had them, and it was back to running smoothly.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:32 AM   #16
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Wow Jerry your wife drives a new Lexus and all you have is an old jeep? At least I'm not the only one here who has a wife with tight controlls on the money!
At 84000 miles, I wouldnt consider it new. If it were me, I think Id choose the Jeep over the lexus any day...I know that lexus couldnt hang nearly as long on the trail
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:36 AM   #17
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My Acura RSX Type S has Iridium plugs in it. I changed them at 100,000 miles per the book but they still looked fine when I removed them.

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