"All that glisters"
You asked about readers experiences with the new-type sparking plugs. After a recent decoke and valve-grind, the plugs were fitted at the same time as new points and condenser. After a thousand miles petrol consumption had increased by 20% top speed had fallen off, and power and torque had begun to diminish.
After 2,000 miles the car ran like a stationary gas-engine and accelerated like a lame snail, to such a degree that a couple of rustic yobs in a Welsh Llandrover were able to prevent my passing all the way from Abergavenny to Ross.
The plugs were removed and found to be in the condition described by Mr. Buckley, as you can see from the attached photograph. They were replaced by four old Champions and all the troubles disappeared.
So much for the Midas touch.
We have read with interest the letters you have published from your readers on the subject of the Golden Lodge plug but are concerned at the editorial comment published in your issue for September.
"This old and respected company" certainly would not be party to the marketing of a gimmick in the guise of "the old spark gap stunt." The plug was developed over a period of years in conjunction with Messrs. Joseph Lucas Ltd. and is a serious attempt to improve upon the conventional H.T. plug, in which the only major improvements over the past 20 years, have been in the form of new materials.
The conventional H.T. plug works very well over a limited range, in engines of moderate power, provided electrode adjustments are carried out at regular intervals.
Due to the particular form of combined surface and air gap on the Golden plug, the voltage demanded does not increase with wear, as it does with H.T. plugs and electrode adjustment is unnecessary for the life of the plug. We have test plugs that have completed more than 40,000 miles without adjustment.
On engines of high specific output, the cold plugs necessary for full throttle driving become fouled with lead during protracted traffic conditions and will cause misfiring when next high power is used. The Golden plug will become equally fouled but due to the combined spark gap and capacitor, the resultant electrically conductive film on the insulator will not quench the spark as it does with H.T. plugs.
In support of these claims, the following cars, all of which we think are of a type of particular interest to your readers, are now fitted with Golden Lodge plugs as original equipment at the factory: Aston Martin, Lagonda, Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Maserati. Other manufacturers have the plug on test and the Fiat organisation have already granted it full engineering approval. Again, it will undoubtedly be of interest to your readers, to learn that the Ferrari which won the T.T. in 1961, driven by Stirling Moss and in 1962 driven by Innes Ireland, was fitted with Golden Lodge. Racing versions of the plug are under development and tests to date show great promise.
The Golden Lodge plug is not a substitute for piston rings or worn cylinder bores and it will not revitalise an engine which is out of tune. In this respect, we made contact with Mr. Buckley whose letter originated your correspondence and arranged for the car to be given a Crypton Motorscope Test by Messrs. C. W. Chapman & Son Ltd. of Stockton-on-Tees. The following is an extract from their report:—
1. Distributor rotor gap—too great.
2. "Hash" at points.
3. Ignition timing retarded.
4. Distributor dwell angle—too great.
5. Mixture requires resetting.
6. Tappets require adjustment.
A number of your readers appear to have experienced trouble with these plugs. Our Servicing and Engineering Departments are at their disposal and if any of your readers are not satisfied with the performance of Golden Lodge, we do hope they will communicate with us, giving us full particulars of their trouble.
for S. Smith & Sons (England) Ltd.
M. H. Bland, Chief Engineer,
Spark Plug & Ceramics Division.