Hi all, just thought I would pass this on for future reference, I finally got up enough courage to order champion x plugs for my '26 touring car because I want to tune it up and make it a little easier to hand crank start. (They are pretty expensive) I took the advice of some board members and ordered them at a decent price from o'reilly's, they arrived a couple of days ago. I unpackaged them from their original boxes, (boy, are they pretty, almost hate to use them!) I noticed that all of the ground pieces were bent down alongside the electrode and couldn't understand how they would have got damaged because they were packaged so well! When I tried to pull the ground piece up to gap the first plug, the grounding price broke off in my hand!!!!!!!! I got sick to my stomach and just stood there looking at the broken off piece dumbfounded!!!!! I quickly repackaged them and emailed oreilly's to complain about them being damaged in transit and they graciously agreed to pay return shipping and refund my credit card! I sent them these pictures and when all was said and done, I was informed that the x plugs have a unique configuration and that the grounding piece is supposed to be down alongside the electrode for the gap!!!!!!!!!! I feel like a real idiot at this point! I can't believe I never even noticed that the grounding strap is too short to gap it "over" the electrode, so the gap is "alongside" of it!!!!!!!!!! Just thought I'd pass on this embarrassing experience in the hopes of saving someone else from feeling like a fool!!!!
We have all done something DUMB working on T's at one time or another.
I sure someone here will post the period literature about the X plugs. They were designed that way so oil would drip off and not foul the plug.
Here's a set of old plugs from the twenties. Note the ground is to the side of the cathode. There are earlier versions of this plug, but that feature is similar on all of them.
You can order new plugs if you're in a hurry, but originals turn up at swap meets and on eBay a lot cheaper if you have the time to look for them.
As Larry says, most of us have done bonehead stuff when working on a T. I always tell people it's a relatively simple car, but it's full of surprises. You just found one of them.
I can't see the electrodes on the ones in the picture, but I would have never guessed that the gap is set from the side of the electrode!!!!!!! I wonder why these are made different from a normal plug set up with the gap being on top of the electrode?
Oops, once again spoke too soon, now I see the electrodes!
Dennis, look at the long list of T era plugs images I have here from many makers. Lots were made that way back then
Actually these are normal plugs. Everything since is different. <grin> It's all how you look at it.
Champion (and many other companies) offered plugs both ways for the Model T.
Dennis I just got a set of the X's from O'Reilly's last Friday and when I opened 'em up to inspect them all the guys at the counter were shocked to see the way the ground piece was also! Plenty of company in that department. They were just as impressed with the fancy box as the plug and all the brass! Told 'em I'll be keeping the boxes too as they are too cool to just throw away. Too bad they're still not 75 cents...LOL.
If you look at Royce's ad above, notice the Champion O ground electrode. If you have an oil burner, oil will run down the plug after stopping it for a little while. A drop of oil will form at the gap if the bottom of the electrode happens to slope that way. The drop of oil will foul the gap and not spark till the engine has been cranked enough to "blow" the oil away from the gap. Makes for hard starting, especially if hand cranking. Now look at the Champion X. The oil drop will form at the bottom of the bend in the ground electrode with no chance of fouling the gap. I also think the Champion O is a "special" for Overland cars. Not sure but I remember reading that somewhere.
Unbelievable amount of interesting information!!!!! especially all the literature on the other types of plugs, amazing, only wish I would have scoped it out BEFORE I messed with the plug!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank's all
i have seen modern plugs with no electrode. Now those would be hard to set the gap on.
kep, a lot of those modern plugs are a lot more expensive than champion x's. Tuned up a Toyota Avalon for my brother about eight years ago and the plugs then were 33 bucks a piece! KGB
I bought one plug from O'Reilly's, more for as a souvenir, than anything else. Same problem that Dennis has.
I believe the correct way to set the gap is to take the center electrode out, and side grind the metal "finger electrode" (if that is a correct term). Grind a little at a time, because it is hard to "un-do" a too short finger! Then reassemble and hope you can get it resealed.
Best regards to all.
Whether it's ninety years old or brand new, you should be able to set the gap with no grinding. Bend it the same way you would any other plug. The minimum movement needed should be no problem. Up for a wider gap, down for narrower.
Steve Jelf: I think you have the answer. I get to learn every day. Thanks.