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#4449600 - 07/04/17 04:59 PM Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos
92saturnsl2 Offline


Registered: 03/02/04
Posts: 1278
Loc: Flaherty, KY
Surely you folks will remember the splitfire spark plugs that came out sometime in the 90's-- they made all these claims about how great your engine will run with these plugs, were heavily advertised on TV, magazines, etc. I found them on closeout at Rockauto for about a buck a piece.

They were run in my '04 Honda Odyssey 3.5L V6 for about 36k, the interval I usually run copper plugs for. Before putting in these plugs, I had the engine out of the van for a rebuild-- I did everything but the bottom end. New seals/gaskets, cylinder heads went to machine shop for a valve job, new seals and milled the head. Reason was that the PO overheated the thing and blew a headgasket. Compression was good so I left the pistons/rings/bearings (the entire bottom end) alone. Van has run great since, no issues.

Plugs look to have normal wear for 36k miles. Color was a nice grey/tan-- a tad bit of deposit accumulation, but otherwise a clean plug. My conclusion is that the split-fire design is pure marketing hype, as the center electrode wore down primarily in one location (the rear, toward the outside electrode) on all plugs. That seems to go against the marketing which suggests the split ground electrode promotes multiple spark paths. There is zero evidence that the design allows the plug to last longer, as these are well used up and definitely due for replacement.

I once helped a buddy change plugs on his Jeep Commander that was misfiring. He ran copper plugs over 100k, and at that point the center electrode was worn down below the ceramic insulator, but many were still firing in that condition. So surely I could have run these longer, however the center electrodes were extremely rounded off and the gap had widened significantly from the 0.044 they were originally set at.

I have six more new ones that I'll be putting back in. Not a bad plug, but similar performance to an Autolite or other cheap copper plug, in my opinion. The only good thing worth noting is that they're made in the USA. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think they're made any longer. I don't mind running coppers in this engine; they are super easy to change for a transverse engine-- literally a 5 minute job.







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#4449614 - 07/04/17 05:10 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Chris142 Offline


Registered: 06/05/03
Posts: 16821
Loc: Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Ya they had some wild claims about those plugs. A plug will only spark to one side not both like they claimed.
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#4449631 - 07/04/17 05:21 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
RichardS Offline


Registered: 01/14/17
Posts: 621
Loc: Melbourne, Florida
Help me here.

If the gap expanded on one side as the copper eroded, wouldn't the spark start traveling from the other side to a closer ground?
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#4449655 - 07/04/17 05:40 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Starman2112 Offline


Registered: 11/27/15
Posts: 313
Loc: East Tennessee
Wikipedia says they're still in business, despite this:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-re...ency-claims-are
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#4449658 - 07/04/17 05:41 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
CT8 Offline


Registered: 10/09/14
Posts: 10984
Loc: Idaho
Marketing works as usual.
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#4449668 - 07/04/17 05:49 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5043
Loc: USA
They dropped the split V design years ago,but still sold that design overseas,not in the USA after getting sued by the FTC.They promoted more power and better gas mileage.Yes,compared to worn out,old plugs.The idea was to open up the flame kernel for more complete combustion...the same language that E-3 plugs do now with "Diamond Fire" technology.They even marketed plug wires with 2 conductors within one jacket....allowing 2 paths for current to flow.More hype. I must say though,that everything I put them in years back....ran better.In a VW,Bosch plugs would foul almost instantly,and in a Mitsubishi they allowed a faster engine start cold.The stock NGKs almost wouldn't start in the winter.Not scientific,but my experience.Sort of sad to see them go.If they hadn't hyped them to the moon (a'la Edsel) they probably could have kept going.

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#4449672 - 07/04/17 05:50 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
NHGUY Offline


Registered: 10/09/11
Posts: 5043
Loc: USA
I had heard that Autolite was making the plugs for them,using Autolite bodies and then welding on the Split-v.

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#4449682 - 07/04/17 05:55 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2969
Loc: USA
Gimmicky, but hey they worked so no loss.

The previous owner of my lawn mower put one of those E3 spark plugs into it. I can't say I have any spark issues and I see no reason to replace it with a less expensive plug since it seems to be working great now.

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#4449693 - 07/04/17 06:07 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
oil_film_movies Offline


Registered: 06/13/16
Posts: 2569
Loc: MN
Those plugs were a get-rich scheme for somebody. Is there really anything better than modern iridium plugs?

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#4449720 - 07/04/17 06:38 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
AntsinmyEyes Offline


Registered: 08/09/15
Posts: 199
Loc: Colorado
Never used them but i remember when pro circuit Kawasaki was sponsored by them they had some sweet graphics



Edited by AntsinmyEyes (07/04/17 06:50 PM)
Edit Reason: Added pic
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#4449732 - 07/04/17 06:45 PM Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2]
CR94 Offline


Registered: 03/20/16
Posts: 1120
Loc: Western S.C. since 1996
Originally Posted By: 92saturnsl2
Surely you folks will remember the splitfire spark plugs that came out sometime in the 90's-- they made all these claims ...
They were advertised long before the 90s.

I ran regular copper-core resistor plugs over 100K at least twice without problems. Replacing them then didn't make the engine run noticeably better or more efficiently.


Edited by CR94 (07/04/17 06:48 PM)
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