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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?


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  #1  
Old 03-14-2005, 09:28:27 PM
Scott L Scott L is offline
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Photo Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Can anybody tell me what engine this was used on and what the advantage to using 2 spark plugs is ?
Repaired Link: http://mercury.walagata.com/w/slangemo/DSCF0084.JPG

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Scott
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  #2  
Old 03-14-2005, 10:14:14 PM
Kevin O. Pulver Kevin O. Pulver is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Scott, I didn't see the photos. Sorry too many hoops to jump through, but the only old engine I remember seeing with dual plugs was a Rumsey in a fairly recent GEM. The '70s Yamaha 2 stroke motorcycles used to have 2 plugs. We were told if your plug fouled out, you just switched the wire to the other plug. But we thought that unless you had dual plug wires also, the dormant one would foul out wouldn't it? It's possible that the other hole in the motorcycle was originally for a compression release, but I don't know. Sorry my post isn't more relevant. If I saw the photo I might have a better story. Kevin
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:31:23 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

I didn't see the photo(s) either, but some marine engines used two spark plugs per cylinder and think aircraft engines also used that feature as well as others. There should be ignition wires to both plugs so that if one misfired the other one should complete combustion in the cylinder. I think the idea behind the double plugs was to add some additional reliability to the operation of the engine in less than ideal conditions. Others with more knowledge on the subject can elaborate further.

Bill
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:33:16 PM
hit-n-miss166922 hit-n-miss166922 is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Hello from Wisconsin!!! Having limited computer skills, I can't get to the photos!!!! Having worked for Waukesha Engines for many years, I remember that the engines they built for firetrucks and other fire service had dual ignition, two spark plugs per cylinder, one mag. fired and one distributor fired. Threy being that if one system failed you could switch to the other.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:34:01 PM
Dave Nielsen Dave Nielsen is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

The reasen they use two spark plugs on some engines is to get a more even burn and more complete combustion.Dave
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:35:12 PM
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Keith Smigle Keith Smigle is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

The Cook engine, built here in Delaware, oHIo had twin spark plug ignition. One plug on either side of the cylinder amd they both fire at the same time. They came with a twin ignition buzz coil. Some one's crazy idea for better ignition.
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Old 03-14-2005, 10:48:03 PM
John Davidson John Davidson is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

I tried to see the site but wouldn't come up. Many early cars with 4 & 6 cylinder T head engines had a dual setup with a spark plug over each valve. A 1914 Case car I once owned used a Bosch dual 2 spark magneto to fire both plugs at the same time.
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:26:12 AM
BobRR BobRR is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

How many spark plugs&mags in a fuel dragster? Most engines that have duel plugs was for dependabilty(back up).The dirt bikes with 2 is for switching from one plug to another in case one fouled.BobRR
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:28:30 AM
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Craig A Craig A is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Boy John.......I'll bet you rue the day you sold that Case car!!!!
And about that 2 spark magneto---we fixed a Bosch 2 spark mag for the FWD Company's "Battleship" they have in their little museum in Clintonville.
I don't think a LOT of folks know the difference between a DUAL spark mag, such as used on fire trucks which fires two plugs independently, and a 2 spark mag which fires two plugs simultaneously. It's a stupid setup really~~~
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Old 03-15-2005, 07:10:00 AM
bimjy bimjy is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

My 1999 Kawasaki Vulcan motor bike has 2 plugs/cylinder. "They" tell me that it is for a more even spark and also a wider flame path so the cheap pump gas will all burn up! (epa I suppose)
Jim Hunter
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Old 03-15-2005, 10:13:21 AM
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Keven Withers Keven Withers is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

The Miller Improved Gas Engine used two plugs. It used a sliding plate to shut off the opening of one of the plugs the plug could then be removed for cleaning without shutting the engine down. Coolspring has 3 very nice Millers on display that uses this system. Keven
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:09:20 PM
Harry Harry is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin O. Pulver
Sorry too many hoops to jump through.
We go the extra mile here - the link is repaired.

This looks like a special setup and I recall seeing one somewhere. It appears that the spark is isolated from ground by arcing between the electrodes, rather than having a return path through the casting.
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Old 03-15-2005, 12:23:30 PM
Bill Sherlock Bill Sherlock is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Thanks Harry for fixing the link. Now that's a set up I didn't expect to see. Almost looks like the spark plugs are set up for the spark to jump between the two plugs rather than individually as I would have expected. Never saw anything like that in my travels.

Scott, are there any numbers on the spark plugs?

Bill
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:00:22 PM
Chad Johnson Chad Johnson is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

I've seen these before, and I know that the early Cadillac cars used a set up that looked just like the one you show.
one electrode is positive and one is negative so it arcs between the two creating one spark between the spark plug bodies.
There was a 1906 Cadillac that a fellow used to show around here and he had an extra plug set up like the one you have that he would bring (out of the engine) to show how it worked.
hope this helps
Later
Chad
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Old 03-15-2005, 01:54:16 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Cool Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

The Auburn automobile engine had 2 plugs per cylender. This same engine was manufactured for the American - La France (ALF) fire trucks, and was used into the 1960s! I am currently working on my fire department,s 1948 Quad ladder truck. It has the 'Junior' series V-12 engine: 527 CID (cubic inch displacement), 215 HP, and although I haven't found a torque spec yet, with 3 - 3 5/8" pistons under combustion at any one time, it must be considerable! This baby (if you can call it that!) has 2 dual point, dual ignition distributers, that are attached to about 130' of Hi-Tension ignition wires. Last year I had to replace them, and what a bear that was! When the engine was in good tune the following test was factory recommended: "After thorough warm up, with the ignition selecter in center position (both), perform the following test: With the engine at normal idle (650 RPM), turn the ignition selecter switch to the left (left plug) position. Allow the engine to run 45 seconds to stabilize RPM, and note engine speed. Return selecter switch to center (both) position and let engine resume normal idle speed for 2 minutes. With the engine at normal idle speed (650 RPM), turn the selecter switch to the right (right plug) position. Allow the engine to run 45 seconds to stabilize RPM, and note engine speed. Return selecter switch to center (both) position. Check notes. Engine speed drop for each side should be equal, and should be approximately 10% less than rated RPM setting. If the engine does not meet this criteria, a tune up, or other work may be indicated." In laymans terms, the company expected a 10% loss of power if you lost either distributer Setting this engine up was a real chore, and usually took the ALF mechanics 2 - 12 hour days to accomplish! The following procedure was used: First, all 4 point sets were replaced, one at a time. Each set was gapped at .019 (19 thousandths). The engine is timed to the right bank point set, as this is directly attached to the distributer point mounting plate. The left bank points are mounted on independant mounting plates, that are in turn, also mounted on the primary mounting plate. Each distributer has an adjustable base, that has a brass plate set on it, that has degree marks stamped into them. The words 'octane setting' are also inscribed on these plates. The distributers are set at '0' on these plates, and the initial timing is set. All 4 point sets are checked with a dwell meter. The initial ignition timing is then set, using a pair of timing lights, making sure that both distributers, on both plugs, fire simultaniously. There are stamped timing marks for left bank and right bank cylenders, both static (retarded) and advanced (the distributers have a mechanical advance). After all the primary timing tasks are accomplished, the valves are adjusted for lash clearances (a 2 hour job), and then the carburetors are adjusted. After all this, the truck is then run up the steepest and longest hill in town, about 20 times, on each distributer! This is done to set the engine up for peak performance. At the beginning of each run, the distributer timing is advanced 2 marks on the 'Octane' plate, until the engine pings. Have you ever heard 12 cylenders sounding off with detonation knock? After 'knock point' is reached with each distributer, the timing was then retarded in 1/2 mark increments, until the engine was fairly quiet. After this was done, the ignition selecter switch was then set in the center (both) position, and the final fine tuning was done. This meant, re-setting the carb fuel settings, syncronization, and idle speeds, again, and then another 20 or more runs up the hill, with both distributers working. That poor old engine sure got a work out, and so did the 2 ALF mechanics that worked on it! On the final distributer set up, sometimes each bank point set had to be adjusted to stop the pinging, and once one adjustment was made, the entire process had to be repeated. I was told by one of the old truck officers, that it took 20 to 30 runs up the hill to satisfy the mechanics that they had it right! Usually the mechanics wanted to do the final tuning in a foggy or rainy day. This made sure that the engine got a maximum density air charge, into the cylenders, and the engine made the most power. The truck,s driver,s were not thrilled with the choice of the weather though - it was an open cab truck!
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Old 03-15-2005, 02:51:18 PM
John Davidson John Davidson is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Well the picture came up today. Yes it is a spark "plug" for a single cylinder Cadillac. It really is not 2 spark plugs but is a non grounding setup. Instead of going to ground in regular circuit, wire from other core goes back to ground side of coil. The Cadillac used Benford cores. That "plug" does not scew into cylinder but has a "dog" that holds it down tight with a copper gasket in between. I have one of these in my spark plug collection.

Last edited by John Davidson; 03-16-2005 at 08:48:22 AM. Reason: replace the word "magneto" with "coil".
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Old 03-15-2005, 11:23:30 PM
Scott L Scott L is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Thanks everybody for the information.I suppose that they figured that this was a better way to ground by going back to the mag or coil? No numbers anywhere on it. I would also like to thank Harry for bringing such a huge number of people together to share information, veiws and other stuff on his web site. I made a crude web site once. What a pain in the butt that was. My hat goes off to Harry for all his time and effort. Thanks
Scott
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Old 03-16-2005, 01:27:57 AM
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Craig A Craig A is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey
This same engine was manufactured for the American - La France (ALF) fire trucks, and was used into the 1960s! I am currently working on my fire department,s 1948 Quad ladder truck. It has the 'Junior' series V-12 engine
We had the PLEASURE (this is meant as sarcasm folks!) of working on one of these ladder trucks too with that engine. EXCEPT when it came to the shop the front cover was off and all the gears had been removed as well as the distributors and more....
FORTUNATELY a book came along with the truck. The V12 runs as two separate 6 cylinder engines, each bank, essentially, being a separate engine INCLUDING the carburetors PLUS electric AND magneto ignition. AGAIN!
Well, I DID get it back together but the dual ignition, as you said, was a bear!!! And timing the distributors and magneto.....YIKES.
But did that baby run SWEET!!! I had the fun of driving it 16 miles to the Iola Car Show that year!!! Driving that tractor onto the Car Show grounds DURING the show----talk about making an ENTRANCE!!!!!
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:56:09 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

So far I have about 100 hours on this engine. This truck was purchased by my Fire department, new, in 1948. It is 1 of 4 built that year, and of the 4, is a it is 1 off version of the type. It was built with a 6" front suction connection, by our departments request and specification. We have since learned that our truck was listed as a prototype - all work done was detailed and recorded, as well as all materials, and these were then put into production specifications for the following year! So far I have completely rebuilt the internal componants of the engine. The truck was sold as surplus in the 1980s, and after 10 years, it was offered back to us as the owner had died. The 10 years had not been kind. The truck had been left out in the open, and had been vandalized as well. When we got it back, there was 4 gallons of water in the crabnk case, the engine was stuck, most of the instruments were smashed , and the truck was rusted pretty badly. Scince, we have done a frame up rebuild. One of our fire department members managed to drain and flush the crank case, and freed the engine. We took in on our town's 100th aniversary parade, running on 9 cylenders, and the town did not have a mosquito problem for a month! This has been an adventure!
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Old 03-18-2005, 01:14:54 PM
Chuck Rich
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Default Re: Can you ID this engine spark plug setup?

This is not a dual sparkplug. it is an ignghter such as was used in oil furnases. the spark jumped from one point to the other until the oil ignighted and then it shut off.

Chuck in Central Oregon
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