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Thread: Extreme MotorSports SD® officially presents the unofficial ultimate Spark Plug Thread

  1. #1
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    Extreme MotorSports SD® officially presents the unofficial ultimate Spark Plug Thread

    I've posted a couple spark plug threads in the past but I figure it's time to post an Unofficial Ultimate Spark Thread here, and sell some spark plugs.

    I'm going to try to recap a lot of the information from other threads in this one to avoid the necessity to search amongst them all. but feel free to ask a question and I'll answer it the best that I can. Others should feel free to chime in, as long as you know what you're talking about. If you don't, just read or ask.

    Generally our OEM plugs are multi-electrode, and I don't like multi-electrode plugs. The theory behind them is that as one part of the center electrode starts to wear, a different side electrode will fire because it will be closer than the side electrode than has worn down the center electrode. This will help with longevity. I'm more of a performance guy, so I would prefer to not try to squeak every last mile from my plugs. Here's a picture to illustrate a side and center electrode. I'll include pictures of the actual plugs below.



    Lets start with the most common plugs for our cars, and my recommendations for most M50/52 & S50/52 engines.


    NGK BKR6E - $1.83 - Copper plugs from NGK's V-Power line. These plugs will give excellent performance, but should be changed more frequently than Iridiums. I run this type of plug in my daily driver (see sig).



    NGK BKR6EIX - $7.22 - Iridium plugs from NGK's Iridium IX line. These plugs will give excellent performance and long life, they will last longer than standard copper plugs. Copper plugs will produce better performance, although probably not noticeable, even by me.



    Denso IK22 - $9.74 - Premium plugs from Denso's Iridium line. These plugs will produce excellent performance and long life. They are expensive, and I have never heard a complaint from anyone who has used them.



    Below are some other plugs that some have had good results with. Because I've seen mixed results with these, I generally do not recommend them. But if you know that your car likes them, here they are.
    Note: I'm not saying that these are bad, but some cars do not like them even if they are OEM plugs.


    NGK BKR6EQUP - $7.96 (4 prong)


    NGK BKR6EK - $4.64 (2 prong)


    Bosch F7LDCR/FR7LDC+ - $4.04 (2 prong)


    Bosch FGR8KQE - $5.87 (4 prong)


    And of course a Bentley Repair Manual if you don't have one.



    If you have any questions or aren't sure which plugs to go with, just ask.


    Spark Plug Gap
    The gap of a spark plug is the distance between the center electrode and the side electrode. The gap is only adjustable on the single prong plugs using one of the two tools below. The plugs listed above come pre-gapped at .032", which is the correct gap for our cars.

    FI guys may want to use a colder temperature plug, and may want to close the gap a bit. This is done so we don't overheat the plug. But because our coils still produce the same amount of spark, we need to close the gap to ensure that our plugs fire when they're supposed to. If the plug gap is too wide it can cause a misfire, if the gap is too small it can cause pre-ignition.

    Here are two images of the most common type of spark plug gapping tool, and how they are used. I like to re-check the gap when installing, but it isn't necessary since these come pre-gapped to the correct gap. The tool can normally be found for $.99 at an auto parts store.
    Note: Do not use the edge of the gapping tool to open the gap. Use the smaller circle labeled ""GAP OPENER" to do that.






    You need 6 plugs for an M50/52 or S50/52.


    If anyone sees a mistake, feel free to correct me. I have no problem editing the post to clarify or correct information.


    Cliffs Notes:
    Best Copper plugs: NGK BKR6E - $1.83
    Best Iridium plugs: Denso IK22 - $9.74
    Good Iridium plugs with a slightly better price: NGK BKR6EIX - $7.22


    To order the plugs please click the image below and enter the part number. Then click go and take it from there.

    Last edited by ParadigmGuy; 12-05-2007 at 12:09 AM.
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


  2. #2
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    Very nice. I need to add this to the parked FAQ thread.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    Very nice. I need to add this to the parked FAQ thread.
    Sounds good. Is it OK if I cross post it in the normal E36 forum too?
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


  4. #4
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    K

    I bought Denso Iridiums from autozone a year ago and 5 of them were not gapped correctly (all were wider than the .32)

    I suggest checking the single prong plugs just to be certain.
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  5. #5
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    Nice. Clear and concise w/o a lot of techy mumbo jumbo. I need to do plugs soon, for your efforts you should be getting my business.

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    so are the NGK BKR6E - $1.83, the best plugs to buy performance wise (and they are the cheapest!) ?

  7. #7
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    I've seen the copper plugs are even said to improve power in FI cars beings they pull heat away better than other plug types. Either way, I've read a number of places to change them every oil change for the best performance.

  8. #8
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    what have you heard about the NGK BKR6EQUP?
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrón View Post
    K

    I bought Denso Iridiums from autozone a year ago and 5 of them were not gapped correctly (all were wider than the .32)

    I suggest checking the single prong plugs just to be certain.
    Did you buy IK20's or IK22's? IK22's are gapped to .032". IK20's are gapped to .044". Some places will list IK20's as the right plugs for our cars. Although they'll work, they're hotter than stock and the gap is too wide. I.E. you won't see the performance benefit of spending the extra money on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theodore View Post
    Nice. Clear and concise w/o a lot of techy mumbo jumbo. I need to do plugs soon, for your efforts you should be getting my business.
    Thanks, sounds good.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nadroj View Post
    so are the NGK BKR6E - $1.83, the best plugs to buy performance wise (and they are the cheapest!) ?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by cranch View Post
    I've seen the copper plugs are even said to improve power in FI cars beings they pull heat away better than other plug types. Either way, I've read a number of places to change them every oil change for the best performance.
    I change mine about every 4K miles. But I don't think that's necessary for the majority of cars (i.e. not FI).

    Quote Originally Posted by Xiphos View Post
    what have you heard about the NGK BKR6EQUP?
    Some people (and their cars) like them, some do not. I ran them on my car when I was NA and it didn't like them. They are designed more for longevity than performance.
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmGuy View Post
    Did you buy IK20's or IK22's? IK22's are gapped to .032". IK20's are gapped to .044". Some places will list IK20's as the right plugs for our cars. Although they'll work, they're hotter than stock and the gap is too wide. I.E. you won't see the performance benefit of spending the extra money on them.
    I have to double check. If they are the IK20s, I'm roundhouse kicking the salesman in the vagina. I made him triple check that they were the correct ones for my car as he had them delivered from another store.
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  11. #11
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    Do you still have to gap the 4 prong sparkplugs? / how?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by revenson10 View Post
    Do you still have to gap the 4 prong sparkplugs? / how?
    Nope. No gapping the 2 or 4 prong plugs.
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrón View Post
    I have to double check. If they are the IK20s, I'm roundhouse kicking the salesman in the vagina. I made him triple check that they were the correct ones for my car as he had them delivered from another store.
    fu**

    they sold me the K20s.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrón View Post
    fu**

    they sold me the K20s.
    LOL, sorry to hear that. On the plus side, I know where you can get some IK22's.
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmGuy View Post
    LOL, sorry to hear that. On the plus side, I know where you can get some IK22's.
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  16. #16
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    Paradigm Guy, so you run the BKR6E on your FI M3?
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  17. #17
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    very nice.. thanks for the info!
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by BJO View Post
    Paradigm Guy, so you run the BKR6E on your FI M3?
    I run BKR7E's. Same type of plug, just one step colder.
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


  19. #19
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    great write up, i'll be ordering some from you soon
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  20. #20
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    ParadigmGuy: Thanks for superb thread. Oh, I finally got the Extreme Motorsports SD Checkout system to work for me. Excellent service with fast shipping. Highly recommended!
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ParadigmGuy View Post
    You need 6 plugs for an M50/52 or S50/52.

    ...And if you need kurt to tell you this, step away from the BMW.... do not attempt this yourself



    Good thread Kurt, GREAT info.

    FWIW... I am running the 6equp's. I decided on them after doing a long search on the e36m3 forum. It seems that these are (were at the time) the hot plug to get. It seems as though when a person says something is great, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon..... when they say something sucks, same deal.... all aboard the bandwagon. (witness the whole crank pulley scramble of '04, the seafoam extravaganza of '07 lol)
    Last edited by xjeeper; 10-24-2007 at 05:40 PM.
    1/4 mile in 13.1 @ 106++ (calculators put this at 0-60 in "4.21" seconds.)

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by WK446 View Post
    ParadigmGuy: Thanks for superb thread. Oh, I finally got the Extreme Motorsports SD Checkout system to work for me. Excellent service with fast shipping. Highly recommended!
    Same here, got my plugs the other day! New checkout and everything worked great. A lot of spacing in firefox though, don't know if it is there in IE.

    1997 M3 2000 528i Sport

  23. #23
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    NGK BKR6E - $1.83

    you selling these pre-gapped? And the difference between what I am running and these are what now?

    Thanks..
    1/4 mile in 13.1 @ 106++ (calculators put this at 0-60 in "4.21" seconds.)

  24. #24
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    I have the NGK V POWERS in my 98 M3. Does anyone else have these???

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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjeeper View Post
    ...And if you need kurt to tell you this, step away from the BMW.... do not attempt this yourself
    Let's just say that the question has been PM'd to me more than once.

    Makes me laugh, but it's OK. Everyone has to start somewhere.

    Good thread Kurt, GREAT info.

    FWIW... I am running the 6equp's. I decided on them after doing a long search on the e36m3 forum. It seems that these are (were at the time) the hot plug to get. It seems as though when a person says something is great, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon..... when they say something sucks, same deal.... all aboard the bandwagon. (witness the whole crank pulley scramble of '04, the seafoam extravaganza of '07 lol)
    I even tried the QUP's myself back in '04 before I went turbo. My car didn't like them though.

    Quote Originally Posted by EricP View Post
    Same here, got my plugs the other day! New checkout and everything worked great. A lot of spacing in firefox though, don't know if it is there in IE.
    Yeah, my web guy was working on the spacing issue before the fires came rolling through SoCal. I haven't heard from him in the last few days though. He lived on one of the areas that was hit the hardest too. I'll try to get the spacing fixed soon though.

    Quote Originally Posted by xjeeper View Post
    NGK BKR6E - $1.83

    you selling these pre-gapped? And the difference between what I am running and these are what now?

    Thanks..
    Yeah, the come pre-gapped at .032"
    The BKR6EQUP's are "Laser Platinum" plugs and as you know are 4 pronged. They're great for longevity and would do just fine in most daily driven cars. But they aren't performance plugs.

    The BKR6E's are single electrode copper plugs. They're more oriented toward performance, and won't last nearly as long as the QUP's.

    Quote Originally Posted by NAZ1998BMWM3 View Post
    I have the NGK V POWERS in my 98 M3. Does anyone else have these???
    The BKR6E's are V-Powers, there are a lot of people running them. How do you like them?
    Kurt for Congress in 2020


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