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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I got a set of Champion double platinun plugs - number 7034. I have gapped them all to .035. The plugs come with a metal "gasket" already on them - do I leave this on or take it off? Thanks.
 

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one more stupid question - do I need to disconnect the negative lead on the battery?
i never do, nor does anyone i know.plugs arent directly connected to the battery, so no harm can be done to the electrical system. manuals tell you to disco the battery while doing any engine work simply as a safety precaution.
 

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From what I've heard I'd stay away from the platinum's. All the sites I've checked when I changed mine say to stick with the reg copper plugs. Don't know why exactly but says to stay away from platinum, iridium, and split fires. Look at 4x4explor and jeep.us41.org. Also think Jerry has advised against them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did a search before I bought them. I saw one of Jerry's posts that reads:

"You should definitely be running double-tipped platinums in your distributorless '05 and not those single-tipped platinum plugs"

I figured that since my 03 is also distributorless, I'd go with the same advice.
 

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Oops, sorry about the miss quote. I was looking at all kinds of sites before I finally did mine... :p. Anyway, from what I found I decided reg old copper plugs would do just fine. Supposed to change them out every 30K anyway. Has anyone noticed a difference using the platinums. If so I might try them next time. Mine is an '02 6cyl.
 

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The platinums will last longer (a lot longer) and the copper plugs will wear twice as fast in the distributorless engines (2000 and newer) In other words the 30k copper interval will be reduced to 15k in a DIS system. Copper plugs aren't recommended for the newer DIS motors any longer. I learned this in the Autolite Challenge course I recently took which was linked to this site.

I like the Champion 4412 truck plugs (they're copper) in my '99 because I don't mind changing them every 30K. I think our 4.0 motors love the copper plugs, too bad they're no longer recommended in the 2000 and later motors.
 

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Do like your Jeep?

Do you think the engineers that designed your Jeep were crazy? If so, buy something else.

But - if you think they did a good job designing it, then maybe they weren't crazy when they put the plugs, brand, type, and gap on the underhood label on YOUR Jeep calling out what YOUR jeep should have to run the best.

Just because a plug fits the hole it doesn't mean it'll work right.
 

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The platinums will last longer (a lot longer) and the copper plugs will wear twice as fast in the distributorless engines (2000 and newer) In other words the 30k copper interval will be reduced to 15k in a DIS system. Copper plugs aren't recommended for the newer DIS motors any longer. I learned this in the Autolite Challenge course I recently took which was linked to this site.
X2. Well said and exactly right. The factory only installs conventional plugs because they save a few dollars each plug. Conventional spark plugs only
last half as long in 2000 and newer 4.0L engines as they do with older non-DIS style ignition systems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
just out of curiosity - what kind of plugs does the factory install? These NGK plugs? If so, my jeep needed new plugs more desperately than I thought...obviously the previous owner could have replaced them with the same plug, but I doubt it.
 

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The wife and I both use .79-cent copper plugs and they work just fine, DIS or not. I swap them out every 2 years, and they always come out looking brand-new with zero wear. In fact, I've cleaned and reinstalled them on several occasions.

The last time we smogged in CA, both nearly blew a zero on the dyno, in fact, they run cleaner than a Prius. I don't see any problem using something that has worked well for the past 40+ years.
 

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I took that challenge course too. It convinced me that maybe I was wrong all these years. I've had trouble with Autolites most every time I've used them in the past, not just Jeeps, everything, both Autolites and Bosch.
I stocked AC and Champion in my shops - 'cause I had to stand behind our work, I only used quality parts and Fram/Autolite didn't qualify.

After I took the course I opened my mind up, I put the double plats in my '03 Rubi, no trouble so far, but I've only driven it a couple hundred miles.

Then I put Autolites in my motorhome Ford 460 - the regular plugs recommended by the Autolite chart. I drove it about 125 miles and it started running terrible. I limped into a campground and rented a storage space - I barely made it.

Now it's sitting there waiting for me to bring some real plugs, plain old Champions. Fram/Autolite hasn't changed, still trash.

I got my jacket from taking the course too. I told them I wore an XL. The one they sent was at least a XXXXL - enough room for both me and the Jeep. They can't even get that right!

Isn't it strange that people insist on using plugs that the engine was not designed to use - plugs from a PT Cruiser, Chrysler Imperial, Yugo etc..

Or is it they just can't read the underhood sticker?
 

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I took that challenge course too. It convinced me that maybe I was wrong all these years...Fram/Autolite hasn't changed, still trash.
I read about this gig. It looked like a fancy sales promotion to me, nothing more. If Honeywell ever starts designing and mfg. a decent product, I'll buy. In the meantime, products like Fram and Autolite (as you mentioned, among others) are still junk.
 

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You guys are funny. You seem to think Autolite is the only frigging spark plug company that says the TJ's DIS ignition system should be run with double-tipped platinum plugs and that conventional plugs will suffer a greatly reduced life with such an ignition system.

Ok, Rich you are full of praise for Champion and NGK.

The following is straight from Champion's website:

Per Champion: "Distributor-less Ignition Systems are available in two types - Individual Coil Systems (also known as "coil-on-plug") and Wasted Spark Ignition.

Wasted Spark Ignition systems use one coil for every two cylinders. The coil provides the spark for one of the paired cylinders on the compression stroke and to the other on the exhaust stroke. Because the coil fires the spark plug on the exhaust stroke as well, it is appropriately named 'wasted spark ignition'. In effect, the spark plugs fire simultaneously and twice as often.

One of the two paired spark plugs is always negative polarity while the other spark plug is always positive polarity. Negative polarity means the spark plug's center electrode is negatively charged and its ground electrode is positively charged. Positive polarity is the opposite. Each time the plug fires, a rapid exchange of the protons and electrons occurs, called ionization.

The negatively charged electrons will be attracted to whichever side of the spark plug that is positively charged. The positively charged protons have much more mass than electrons, and thus cause more wear on the electrode they collide with. Hence, one plug will exhibit more wear on its ground electrode, while the other plug will experience more wear on its center electrode. If a spark plug with a precious metal on only the center electrode were to be used with this type of ignition system, there would be uneven wear on half the plugs. Although single precious metal or standard nickel plugs will still allow the engine to run, plug life will be greatly reduced."

And this is straight from NGK's website:

Per NGK: "A DIS ignition would fire twice as often as a conventional ignition system and change direction of fire. A conventional ignition fires on the compression stroke from the center electrode to the ground electrode. A DIS also fires on the compression stroke from the center to the ground electrode; however, the initial spark is stored and moments later, sent back through the ground to the center electrode usually as the engine is beginning its exhaust stroke. As this requires the spark plug to fire twice as often, it necessitated the advent of double platinum spark plugs which have platinum tipped ground and center electrodes or multi-ground spark plugs as the ground electrode would wear more quickly on these ignition systems. NGK laser platinum plugs have the highest platinum content in the industry, which is why NGK is one of the worlds leading supplier of O.E. double platinum spark plugs."

So there you have it... the two companies you love to praise say the same thing I've been saying here for years and is identical to what Autolite has been saying for years. And yes virtually all the other spark plug manufacturers I checked like Bosch (whom I am no fan of) all agree on this subject. None have any opposing opinions like you two guys do.

Hate Autolite if you feel you must but your beloved Champion and NGK companies agree with Autolite and what I've been saying for many years on the need for double-tipped platinum plugs in the type ignition system used on 2000 and newer 4.0L engines.

That Jeep chooses to install the least expensive conventional spark plugs is simply economics... they are cheaper than what Champion, NGK, and Autolite recommend for the type ignition system used in current Jeep engines... double-tipped platinums.

So if you still want to say that all three of those spark plug manufacturers are wrong and you are right, I say take it up with Champion, NGK, or Autolite... your choice. :D
 

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Just think of the bling Jeep would be able to capitalize on - "No tune up needed for 80,000+ miles!" They'd be able to compete with Cadillac and others advertising longevity. That's IF they only spent a few pennies more to put in plats - IF they worked.

I'm sure if Jeep wanted to use plats as OEM the manufacturers would give them unbelievable prices. It would only be a difference of pennies.

We know Chrysler already knows about plats, they use them on the PT Cruiser and a few others. But the heads were designed for them, not retrofitted. Notice those are Hemi shaped chambers, not the wedges like Jeep uses. I'd bet it has something to do with internal chamber windage.

Why did Jeep put the plug type and brand right on the underhood label?

Could it be Jeep wants their vehicles to run properly, get good mileage and produce low emissions? Do they avoid the gimmicks intentionally?

Or is it the Engineering Department is closed now? (So the story goes - In the 1800's the English Patents Office closed for 2 years. It closed because Thomas Edison invented the light bulb and A. G. Bell invented the telephone - "There's nothing left to invent now, no need for patents!"

Why is it Champ and others, even Bosch (sometimes) can make a regular spark plug that works properly and Fram/Autolite can't?

For the record, I'm not an enthusiast of NGK either, except in rice burners.

Of course the obvious come-back is they want the owners to take them back to the dealer frequently for plug changes. But the factory does not participate in what the dealer sells as customer pay - and if it comes back under warranty it costs the factory! If plats kept warranty costs down wouldn't they jump right on that?

Does the factory care if the dealer makes money or not? Ask a dealer principle!


When you use an ignition scope you can see the pattern on plats is different. It's so obvious you can see it from across the room. The spark line (burn time) starts out looking normal, but about 1/3 of the way across it slopes down till it goes out. For regular plugs that's an indication it's fouled or overheated - it's not, or just barely firing.

Seems like you (Jerry) said you have a scope analyzer, or am I thinking of someone else?

The DIS system Jeep uses is very hard to see that pattern - no #1 wire to sync off of, no coil wire to get the signal, and 1/2 of them fire opposite with polarity - and twice as often. It totally confuses a conventional engine analyzer. But a lab scope with a little creativity can see it.

On regular vehicles with more conventional ignition systems it's easy to see the plat difference.

Too bad I didn't save all the plat plugs I pulled out of customers cars when I had my shops. Typical complaint "Runs terrible, but I just had it tuned up." Parts houses were really promoting them then. A fresh set of real plugs, a pat on the po po and the customer was on his way smiling.

If I'd saved all those plugs for recycling, we could be having this conversation on the beach in Maui!

Obviously they work, and some people are happy with them. Plugs from a Yugo, Moskovich, or Citroen might work too - but I don't think I'll try it.
 

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So you still disagree with the recommendations from all three spark plug manufacturers, NGK, Champion, and Autolite? All three agree and all three agree on the same points I've been making for years.

One manufacturer could conceivably be wrong but not all three of the world's biggest spark plug manufacturers. Actually all four if you count Bosch who agrees with the other three as well. Come on Rich, even you can't be that obstinate. :D
 

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make sure you torque it down at least 20 ftlbs. the half turn on the box is wayyy to loose. manual says 30 ftlbs, I was too afraid to do that.
 

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Thanx Jerry - writing/thinking about it got me thinking about my lab scope that died - An old Dumont dated 1952.
I've been looking for another one to no avail.

Reason is I want to be able to get into the coil rail and "see" what's happening. It may even help when diagnosing or even "predicting" rail failure. So far I've personally encountered 7 or 8 coil rail failures, but each time it was an educated guess - proved by swapping them out. I keep a spare just for that purpose.
Now that they are aging, I'd suspect it will become more popular a failure.
When I talked to MSD about it they said they aren't interested in making a better rail - not a big enough market.

The Chinese are now importing junk knock-offs, making the situation worse.

Hopefully I'll be able to "see" the plug burning pattern and compare standard vs plats.

I just looked on Ebay - WOW, just what I want - a lab scope! I'll still have to fab some voltage and current probes for it, but that should be interesting too.

Yup, still a non believer in plats unless the combustion chamber was designed for them. The 4.0 has it's roots in the 4.2 - basically still the same head and chamber design - a modified wedge, not hemispherical. That head was designed long before plats were even thought of. Plats are a retrofit - and not suggested by Jeep for their engines. I think they may know more about it than we do.

For sure the makers of the plugs recommend them - they make more profit on them. But, they also suggest and sell other "trick" junk too - like Champion split fires, Bosch multi electrodes et al. We KNOW they don't work. Their credibility is in question with that crap.
I used to be very loyal to Champion, they helped me many times with highly modified performance engines. They'd even send a tech out with cylinder cameras and pyrometers to help find the winning plug. Fantastic support - and for free!
They probably don't do it now, at least not for the small places like mine.
I would certainly hope Jeep is not so old fashioned that they would not consider working with a plug maker if there was something viable to be had. It would be to the benefit of both Jeep and the plug maker to use them - IF there was an advantage.

I'd bet it has something to do with the windage (turbulence) - the swirling inside the chamber of the gasses during compression and ignition. A hemi chamber has less turbulence than other shapes. The wedge may blow out the spark kernal before it has a chance to fully ignite the mixture. The thin little center electrode may not give enough surface area.
The fact that platinum is more conductive than copper over that short a distance difference in length/resistance is infinitesimal.

After the next storm is over, I'll go put Champs in the motorhome. If that doesn't work, I'll have it towed the 150 miles or so home.
 
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