I finally brought in a drawer of spark plugs from my great grandfathers workshop. The building collapsed about 10 years ago when a tree fell on it so now everything inside is a mess. These are all used and all from before 1940. For fun I'm going to try and clean them up. Any tips besides "no abrasives on the porcelain?" I counted about 90 plugs here. Some are too far gone as the threading is rusted away but many are worth saving.
I am using a set of Edison #13 plugs, I would be interested in another as a back up. If you would like you can contact me at rskingley at peoplepc dot com ..........thanks Bob
There was a thread a couple months ago on the 2013 forum that recommended toilet bowl cleaner or other porcelain cleaners for use on the three piece plugs center electrode/porcelain. They also recommended gun cleaning solvent to remove carbon from the porcelain electrode. I tried the gun solvent soak followed by scrubbing with as plastic bristle brush and it seemed to work better than carburetor cleaner. The evaporust and similar products for the metal parts works well and then follow up with some cold bluing that you use on gun barrels. You wipe it on the clean bare ,metal then rinse with water and wipe dry. The take apart plugs will be easier and you can use a wire wheel on a bench grinder motor to clean them or bead blast them but I wouldn't sand blast them. The one piece plugs will require chemical cleaning of the metal parts as mentioned above, no bead blasting as you don't want to make the porcelain surface rough and collect carbon as you already have stated.
Awesome tips guys. I'll try the evaporation today. I will have to find blueing and gun cleaning solvent somewhere. Maybe Outdoor World?
These are mostly AC, Champion, and some odds and ends. I didn't see any Edison's.
Get you a tub and buy you some mineral spirits and soak them for a while. Let them all soak at the same time. Or try Evaporust or some type of solvent.
You will be surprised what they will look like after a month soaking in mineral spirits. But you have to have a little patience. You can just rub the softened rust and grease off with a rag.
Try Evaporust also. It worked for me on some small parts. Never tried it on spark plugs.
Robert Skingley.... Edison 13's ??? what do they look like ??
These Champion X parts were derusted with Evaporust, then cleaned with a wire brush. I get the rust remover at Orscheln. O'Reilly sells it too,at a slightly higher price.
These are treated with gun bluing.
Alright, here is my testament to Evaporust. Before and after.
Steve, where's Waldo? Waldo being the Fly.
Ryan, Looks like Evaporust shrinks them. :0,
For gun bluing I use Midway USA and Brownell's. Generally Midway has the best prices and selection. You can also try Natchez Shooters Supply. Cabelas and Bass pro sell it also but the selection is limited. Midway and Brownells also have browning supplies. I get most of my gun stuff from those 2 suppliers.
To remove rust, put about a dozen plugs in a Zip Lock bag and add about 1/4 cup of rust remover. Seal the bag after squeezing out most of the air and drop it in a half bucket of water.
Everything will come. in contact with the solution. How long you let it soak is up to you.
You will be surprised how little chemical you use, and how many bucks you save.---You will not hear about this secret method from the chemical manufactures. ---Len
Leonard what is the brand of rust remover you mentioned using. Thanks
I used Evaporust and it worked awesome. I dipped the hot metal in lindseed oil to seal them instead of blueing. I read about this method and had the oil in the basement. They came out well. I put an old champion in there to show what they looked like before.
Presently, the jug I have is "Rust Away--by Captain" But I've found they are all pretty much alike. I usually pick it up at Hershey at the nearest vendor to my spot and over the years if the jug says" rust remover", it always has worked for me. I've used "Heinz cleaning vinegar". Try Pepsi Cola. Sometimes it works very good on other metals also.
Efferdent for porcelain
Here is a picture of Edison #13 plugs, there are two ground wires on the bottom. They are large and use a 1-1/8 inch wrench........
Just a few comments on the Edison #13, I have four of them and using them on my 1913 Runabout......I just like the #13 , I don't know if it refers to the year or not, I also have the #14 Edison plugs , but they are smaller and use the 15/16 inch wrench...vs 1-1/8. I reconditioned mine by wire wheel and solvent. The finish you see is gun metal bluing, that is done cold with a paste.
A friend of mine is looking for a Maytag spark plug. He is using a Model T plug in his antique Maytag washing machine, but says the original spark plug looked like a Model T plug and threads like one but it says Maytag on the porcelain. He would like to make it original by using a Maytag plug.