is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

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lukes
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is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby lukes » Thu Apr 27, 2017 7:33 pm

Howdy all,
I'm new to Airboats. Mine has a O-540 with automotive spark plugs. I'm wondering if it is ok to go back to aviation spark plugs? I wonder if aviation spark plugs are too hot for running always at ground level? I assume altitude plays a role in choosing proper heat range? I know they cost like hell. But I notice these automotive spark plug electrodes are collapsing and hitting metal-to-metal and lose spark? Anyone out there see this happening? No it's not the pistons hitting or FOD in the cylinders. It looks like aviation spark plugs are designed to prevent this collapsing with side electrodes?

Thanks for any feedback.

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blackpowderscout
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby blackpowderscout » Fri Apr 28, 2017 2:48 am

You don't need aircraft plugs. Don't waste your money on that.

What plugs do you currently have?
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby mojoe » Fri Apr 28, 2017 5:39 am

There are quite a few threads on here about 0-540 plugs. Do some looking. I run Champion D16 but any brand in that heat range will work.

If you are running the right automotive plug, you should get 25+ hours on them unless you idle around a lot in whick case you may foul a few.

If you are having "electrodes collapse" something is wrong. I would put a new set of D16 in there and watch them. If the same thing happens again, you need to find the culprit and it ain't the plugs themselves.

I have run hundreds of D16 in my 0-540. Had one foul out right out of the box. I assume it was dropped. The rest worked just fine.
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Gary S
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby Gary S » Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:17 am

You can use aircraft plugs, they were made for that engine. But they run around $30.00 each and minimal advantage, NGK around $6.00. If you don't have the aircraft leads thats even more money.

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Lil Wayne
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Re: RE: Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby Lil Wayne » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:02 am

mojoe wrote:There are quite a few threads on here about 0-540 plugs. Do some looking. I run Champion D16 but any brand in that heat range will work.

If you are running the right automotive plug, you should get 25+ hours on them unless you idle around a lot in whick case you may foul a few.


Could you get more hours out of aero plugs and leads? I use the champion d16s and its pretty common for me to put 25+ hours on our o320s and o360s in a week. Maybe that's why they get so hard to start lol
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406 JAMIE
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby 406 JAMIE » Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:55 am

Gary S wrote:You can use aircraft plugs, they were made for that engine. But they run around $30.00 each and minimal advantage, NGK around $6.00. If you don't have the aircraft leads thats even more money.


X2. On the NGK plugs i ran those in my io-540 AV . :rebel:
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby Lwells » Fri Apr 28, 2017 3:01 pm

I keep a plug cleaner from harbor freight handy and I use aircraft plugs and pull them and clean them. If you don't use a lean mixture control on aircraft engines they will eventually foul plugs for idling with the mixture tied open puts a lot of fuel in the cylinders that they dont need. I'm going to put a mixture cable on mine so I can lean it when idling and shut it off with the mixture control. I run a 0-470 in the boat I have now with aircraft plugs and so far so good.

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jopete
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby jopete » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:35 pm

I ran D-16's in my o-540. changed them every year or so. no problems.
I run d-16's that are probly 2 years old in my gpu. whenever they start to miss, I change them. if your motor is running right they last a long time.

if I had to change the plugs every 25 hours i'd sell that p.o.s. and go build me a car motor boat. lol

if something is smashing your plugs, you need to get that looked at, pronto.

good luck!!

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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby lukes » Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:42 pm

Hey thanks for all the kind advice fellers. Mine has D-16 plugs. I gawk around on Ebay and see used aircraft plugs and harnesses for a lot cheaper than new. I didn't know plugs were only good for 25+ hours. Thanks for sharing that. Great info

I am concerned about this electrode collapse biz. But I failed to mention I dropped an exhaust valve seat on #1. I noticed a lot of dings on top the piston ONLY. Not on the head, valves, or cylinder walls? DETONATION??? Also found carburetor mount loose surely sucking air. So lean mix maybe causing DETONATION (spark plug knock) maybe causing this spark plug damage? What ya'll think? And thanks again gents

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blackpowderscout
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby blackpowderscout » Sat Apr 29, 2017 3:17 am

You've got a bigger issue than simply using the wrong plug. I don't have a suggestion off the top of my head, but there's nothing wrong at all with D-16's. Way too many guys using them without having your problem. I've used D16's, Autololite's, and NGK's and never had an issue. It usually comes down to what the local store has in stock for my purposes.

Good luck.
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby mojoe » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:22 am

lukes wrote: I didn't know plugs were only good for 25+ hours


I don't mean to say that a D16 will crap out instantly at 25 hrs... I don't honestly know what they do after that. I trust and respect the knowledge of the man who built my 0-540 and he said to change them at 25 hrs so I do.

lukes wrote: I dropped an exhaust valve seat on #1. I noticed a lot of dings on top the piston ONLY. Not on the head, valves, or cylinder walls? DETONATION??? Also found carburetor mount loose surely sucking air. So lean mix maybe causing DETONATION (spark plug knock) maybe causing this spark plug damage? What ya'll think? And thanks again gents


The theory is sound... if you are running lean you are creating excess heat. Once a plug or 2 fails, the rest of the cylinders start to get overworked and create even more heat. This would lead to the piston wear, burnt valve(s) and plug deterioration. But there should have been some dramatic symptoms. I have seen it happen. The burnt valves and the burnt electrode. I have also seen a couple fouled plugs with no other previous issues nearly destroy a motor. Running lean, running hard and fouled plugs is a death sentence.

The term "breaking up badly" should make sense to you.
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Re: is it ok to use aviation spark plugs O-540

Postby mojoe » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:26 am

Look familiar?
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