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Username Post: Cleaning Sparkplugs        (Topic#374035)
Senior Member
Posts: 1930

Loc: Whitewater, CO
Reg: 05-25-01
11-17-23 10:14 AM - Post#2864241    

I just pulled, looked at and cleaned all my plugs on my Suburban's 350. I used a wire brush on my bench mounted grinder to clean them.

Is that a bad idea?


Valued Contributor
Posts: 3186

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
11-17-23 11:52 AM - Post#2864242    
    In response to Stinky

Maybe very fine wire. Why did you have to do this, there may be better ways to do this. You don't want to wire brush insulator either way.


Posts: 2189
Loc: No. Virginia
Reg: 01-18-13
11-17-23 01:12 PM - Post#2864244    
    In response to Stinky

I would not do what you did.

A loooong time ago when I really needed to get another month out of my plugs (because I was cash strapped), I would hand wire brush them very gently, re-check the gap, put them back in; adjust dwell and timing. I 'bought' about that much time/miles out of the ignition.

As soon as I could afford differently, if I went to the trouble of removing the plugs; I replaced them. But that was integral with a general ignition tune up; points/plugs/condenser/ti ming.

Just my 2 cents.


"2nd Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 300
Age: 69
Loc: Charlotte, NC, USA
Reg: 09-05-22
11-17-23 02:15 PM - Post#2864247    
    In response to japete92

Probably all of us have cleaned plugs with a wire brush at one time or another, even though we know better. The problem is hidden damage to the porcelain insulator and a motor-driven stiff wire brush can do that pretty fast! Like Shepherd says, gently cleaning just the electrodes with a small fine, wire brush is probably OK.
Back in our shop in the 70's, we had a plug sandblaster that ran off the compressed air hose. It was pretty slick, but I wonder if that thing wasn't good for the plugs either?

'65 Impala SS 396 Convertible

Edited by Magnetocheck on 11-17-23 03:51 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 3186

Loc: Lake George, NY
Reg: 11-11-15
11-17-23 02:25 PM - Post#2864248    
    In response to Magnetocheck

You're right about the old school blaster, it, if overused, wore
down the insulator, did it myself. Lol

Edited by Shepherd on 11-17-23 02:25 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

Super Senior Member
Posts: 6461

Loc: paradise
Reg: 09-05-03
11-18-23 09:34 AM - Post#2864258    
    In response to Magnetocheck

bits of sand can get stuck between the electrode and the porcelain. wire brush may leave carbon tracks on the porcelain.

70 L camino, grampa engine, g-force 5 spd, road rage suspension. Pray first before all else fails.

Valued Contributor
Posts: 4041

Reg: 04-15-05
11-18-23 02:35 PM - Post#2864260    
    In response to Stinky

I use this method on both two and four stroke plugs, especially if they are oil/gas fouled.

I set the plugs up side down in my bench vice, loosely.

I literally heat the firing ends and porcelain with flame from a propane torch, getting everything on the plug dried out, even dry deposits.

I then let the plugs sit for a half hour to cool off

Then, I have a glass bead blaster, I bead blast the firing ends of the now DRY plugs, and compressed air blast to remove the excess bead

Bead blasting a wet/contaminated plug porcelain area only lifts the contamination up, then high pressure air force the contaminants back into the now open pores of the porcelain from jacket to firing tip, NOT GOOD.

When doing it this way, and resolving just why the plugs got contaminated stops, and the plugs go far farther in mileage than when contaminants are forced back into the porcelain.

"9th Year" Silver Supporting Member
Posts: 3518
Loc: Kaleva, Michigan
Reg: 09-28-12
11-19-23 02:41 PM - Post#2864284    
    In response to IgnitionMan

Been using Harbor Freight plug sand blaster forever without a problem.


49 Deluxe Sport Coupe, 4.8/4L60E, MII, power brakes, power steering, air conditioning. /album...


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