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Antique Gas Engine Discussion

Alpha Delaval spark plug

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Old 03-25-2005, 12:13:48 AM
Mike C. S. Mike C. S. is offline
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Angry Alpha Delaval spark plug

I am 13 and enjoy old hit n miss engines. My spark plug on my 1.5hp Alpha delaval always fouls out, ands its a new plug. I was wondering what I could do to get the plug to last.
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Old 03-25-2005, 12:48:35 AM
Harry Harry is offline
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Default Re: Alpha Delaval spark plug

I have noticed that the one on my engine is a long reach plug. I don't have a number handy. I have tried a Champion 569 W14 but it's reach is no way long enough. I'm sure that the plug would run cold if it didn't seat all the way into the combustion chamber.

Hopefully someone who knows for sure will show up here. Of course, it could be that your fuel mixture is too rich.
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Old 03-25-2005, 09:27:44 AM
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David M. Lyon David M. Lyon is offline
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Talking Re: Alpha Delaval spark plug

Best I remember, an Autolite #3077 is a 7/8ths long reach plug...You could verify this at any local auto parts store..BUT make sure that the piston does not hit the tip of the plug!... When you install it, roll the engine over slowly to make sure there is enough clearance between the piston and plug tip..On my Alpha 3 1/2 horse the plug is mounted vertically in the end of the head and clearance is NOT a problem..I think running these old engines slow with no load contributes to the fouling problem.

David M.
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Old 03-25-2005, 10:34:31 AM
Neale Behm Neale Behm is offline
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Default Re: Alpha Delaval spark plug

The current Champion 7/8" long reach plug is the W18.
Rather than taking a chance by putting the plug in and turning the engine over I'd use a small wooden dowel and measure the distance from the piston on TDC to the top of the threads on the head and compare with the spark plug.

Thanks Harry!
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Old 03-25-2005, 01:26:51 PM
Mike C. S. Mike C. S. is offline
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Smile Re: Alpha Delaval spark plug

Thanks for the advice everyone!!
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Old 03-25-2005, 11:29:29 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Exclamation Re: Alpha Delaval spark plug

Is your plug fouling:
A) Dry - Grey to black carbon? Engine is running slightly rich, adjust carb.
B) Wet, Sooty black, smells of gas? Engine is flooding, check float for saturation (bad seal on cork), leak in brass [if you shake it and hear fluid in it, it is NFG] Check float level setting and / or carb mixture way too rich - big clue: black smoke from exhaust!
C) Oily and wet? There are a few possibilities - Bad oil control ring, oil overfilled, wrong weight oil (10-30 instead of SAE 30?), and this can go back to a bad float - oil dilution (do you smell gas in the oil?) Is the engine smoking bluish white smoke after warm up? It's oil! Are you over oiling the valves and rockers? You only need a drop or 2 when starting.
If after checking all this out, and repairs are too expensive or not available, you might look into a spark plug spacer. This device looks like a spark plug base. It screws into the head, and the spark plug then screws into the spacer! They were pretty common for anti-fouling, back in the '50 and '60s. They are available at good auto part stores, I know they are available for 14 and 18 millimeter plugs, and I believe they are also available for the 22 mm (7/8) on special order.
D) Is the plug fouling with tan or brown fluffy deposits, or a hard deposit that shorts out the electrode (bridging the gap)? If one of these are the case, the plug heat range is probably correct. The engine is probably burning oil at a slow rate, and the ash generated by the burning oil is being deposited in the combustion chamber, and on the plug. There are several causes of slow consumption - basicaly the same as those listed in 'C', and here are some more: The biggie, I find: engine overheating! Is the engine running too lean? Is your DeLaval water cooled? - make sure the water passages are clear so the engine cools properly. Cooling hoses clear - not kinked , hoses not collapsed internally (they may look OK outside but be collapsed internally). Is water circulating into the hopper (or is the engine 'percolating')? You should not hear the engiine boiling, unless it is loaded up pretty well. Is the engine air cooled? Make sure that the cooling fins on the cylender and the head are clean and clear. I had an air cooled model that was completely choked up with grease and debris. It took me 3 days to clean out all the grease, mouse nest, and the gunk left from oiling the valve rockers for 40 years! Also check the flywheel cooling fins, mine were loaded with grease. You should definately feel air flow from the air cooled engine, especially at high speed! Lastly, you might see what the combustion chamber looks like. If the head has never been off, then the head might be 'coked up - that means that there is a lot of carbon in the head, which prevents the top end from cooling properly.
Good luck, and if you need help - by all means ASK!
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