Over the weekend two Wisconsin clubs got together and had a gimmick rally. We were given instructions to find certain things. Then afterward we had an excellent lunch and prizes were given for the most correct answers. I finish near the end. Anyway, this caused most drivers to run their cars in low gear at slow speeds a lot. Half way into the rally, my 1926 TuDor developed a miss. I found that #1 was not firing and just out of economy of time I replaced the coil and plug. The plug was all black and sooty. We then finished the rally. Today, I found that the coil was OK and the plug was the real problem. I have a set of Champion X plugs in the engine, so I took the plug apart and cleaned it with a rag and carb cleaner. After reassembly I tried it in the engine and it still didn't work. Fouled again in short order. So I cleaned it again with carb cleaner with the same results. So I put the plug on the HCCT and looked at the sparks, looked fine, but this is not the environment of the combustion chamber. I thought that I had a bad plug. Later this afternoon I was thinking about the plug and how to clean it and thought of trying toilet cleaner, works on porcelain. So I soaked the plug in it for a few minutes, rinsed it with water and then blew it out. Set it aside to dry. It's in the engine and is working fine.
Sounds like you flushed out the problem Mike.
But who won the rally?
My son is an auto mechanic by trade. He taught me how they clean plugs. You just hold 'em with a pair of pliers and hit 'em with a propane torch. Burns the carbon right off.
I always tell him I taught him everything he knows. Don't tell him it's not actually true!
I had the car out this morning and it still works fine, suppose it's down the drain. All I can say is it worked for me. I have forgotten who won, but it wasn't Tommy and I. I was kind of surprised on white the insulator got with the cleaner. For what it is worth.
Interesting. What kind of cleaner did you use? Is it sodium hydroxide based? Did it react with the metal electrode at all?
I clean acft plugs by inverting them and filling with Hoppes #9 solvent. Let sit overnight and blow them out with naphtha, pick out any remaining lead reinstall. Works every time. They look like new.
I think it was Lysol, something my wife uses. Didn't seem to affect the metal. I see that Hoppes #9 is a gun cleaner. I suppose that that would work good on carbon too. Next time I'm over at the gun shop I'll see if I can get some and give it a try.
Toilet cleaner covers a very wide range of chemicals. The really strong stuff is 23% hydrochloric acid. There are several other dilutions of HCL also available 10-12% and 7%. There is also Phosphoric acid and non-acid formulas. Which one you used would be a big help, as the 23% HCL product might not be a real good choice.
It is, LYSOLŪ Brand Disinfectant Power Toilet Bowl
Cleaner. The hazmat sheet says it is 10 to 20% HCL. I'm sure the amount of time the plug is immersed in the stuff has a direct effect. I only had the porcelain part of my Champion X plug (and tip) in the stuff for a few minutes.