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Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos #4449600
07/04/17 03:59 PM
07/04/17 03:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,492
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline OP
92saturnsl2  Offline OP
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,492
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.









1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Castrol GTX 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 184k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 254k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 4.0L 134k Chevron Supreme 5w-20
Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449614
07/04/17 04:10 PM
07/04/17 04:10 PM
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,841
Deplorable in apple valley, ca
Chris142 Offline
Chris142  Offline
Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 17,841
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.


02 Wrangler carlube 5w30
87 F250 traveler 15w40
07 fjcruiser Chevron 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor 15w40
Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449631
07/04/17 04:21 PM
07/04/17 04:21 PM
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 639
Melbourne, Florida
RichardS Offline
RichardS  Offline
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 639
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?


2008 Dodge Caliber SE 2.0 117k
4qt Imeditsu 0w-20, 1/2qt Mobil SS 5w-20 Fram HM

2003 Buick Century 107k
4.5q Havoline 5w-30 HM Fram XG
Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449655
07/04/17 04:40 PM
07/04/17 04:40 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 346
East Tennessee
Starman2112 Offline
Starman2112  Offline
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 346
East Tennessee
Wikipedia says they're still in business, despite this:

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-re...ency-claims-are


2018 Toyota Tacoma SR5 2.7L, Mobil 1 AFE 0W-20, OEM filter
2010 Toyota Camry LE 2.5L, Mobil 1 AFE 0W-20, OEM filter
1998 Nissan Frontier XE 2.4L, Castrol GTX HM 5W-30, M1 filter
Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449658
07/04/17 04:41 PM
07/04/17 04:41 PM
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,594
Idaho
CT8 Online content
CT8  Online Content
Joined: Oct 2014
Posts: 12,594
Idaho
Marketing works as usual.


2015 Ford F150 2.7
2018 Ford F350 6.2
Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449668
07/04/17 04:49 PM
07/04/17 04:49 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,091
USA
NHGUY Offline
NHGUY  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,091
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.

Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449672
07/04/17 04:50 PM
07/04/17 04:50 PM
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,091
USA
NHGUY Offline
NHGUY  Offline
Joined: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,091
USA
I had heard that Autolite was making the plugs for them,using Autolite bodies and then welding on the Split-v.

Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449682
07/04/17 04:55 PM
07/04/17 04:55 PM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,231
Where the wind comes sweepin'
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.

Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449693
07/04/17 05:07 PM
07/04/17 05:07 PM
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
oil_film_movies Offline
oil_film_movies  Offline
Joined: Jun 2016
Posts: 3,566
MN
Those plugs were a get-rich scheme for somebody. Is there really anything better than modern iridium plugs?

Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449720
07/04/17 05:38 PM
07/04/17 05:38 PM
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 204
Colorado
AntsinmyEyes Offline
AntsinmyEyes  Offline
Joined: Aug 2015
Posts: 204
Colorado
Never used them but i remember when pro circuit Kawasaki was sponsored by them they had some sweet graphics


Last edited by AntsinmyEyes; 07/04/17 05:50 PM. Reason: Added pic

1987 mazda rx7
2004 mazda rx8
1995 miata
2005 dodge ram
Re: Splitfire copper plugs after 36k photos [Re: 92saturnsl2] #4449732
07/04/17 05:45 PM
07/04/17 05:45 PM
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,656
Western S.C.
CR94 Offline
CR94  Offline
Joined: Mar 2016
Posts: 1,656
Western S.C.
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.

Last edited by CR94; 07/04/17 05:48 PM.

2011 Toyota Prius now at 95K
1981 Mazda GLC (323) retired at 606K
1972 Subaru DL retired at 190K
1954 Chevrolet retired at 121K

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