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Spark Plug Info For Our Birds

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  • YellowRose
    Super-Experienced


    • Jan 21 2008
    • 17170

    Spark Plug Info For Our Birds

    I have been looking for good information regarding which spark plugs we should be running in our Tbirds. According to the VTCI Official Factory Specifications, our Birds came out of the factory with Champion F-11Y plugs in them. An approved substitute, according to the OFS, is the Autolite BF-42. I know that some of you have commented that they have not gotten good service out of the Champion F-11Y or the newer RF-11YC's. I have heard the same thing from some of the Tbird parts houses I contacted today.

    So what is available and recommended out there today? Here are some answers from those parts houses and what they recommend...

    Pat Wilson's Tbird Parts has Motorcraft BF-42 in stock but only about 16, at $4.00 each. Motorcraft 45 was considered a good substitute. The Champion RF-11YC were not, but the F-11Y is what came in our Tbirds for years. The Autolite AC-45 was also mentioned as being a good substitute.

    Larry's Tbird & Mustang Parts says they have the Motorcraft BF-42C in stock and plenty of them, for $2.20 each.

    Concours Parts has the Motorcraft BF-42 for $2.95 each. They also mentioned the Autolite AC-45 as being a good substitute.

    Tbird Headquarters has the Autolite AC-45 for $4.00 each.

    Mac's Antique Auto Parts has the Motorcraft SP-420 (BF-42?) at $2.99 each.

    So there you have it. Now for some cross reference information from www.sparkplugs.com

    For the Champion F-11Y go here to see the cross reference information for it.



    For the Autolite BF-42 (sometimes referred to Motorcraft BF-42. It is my understanding that Autolite split off from Motorcraft, or Motorcraft became Autolite. Not sure which) go here to see the cross reference information for it.



    For the Motorcraft/Autolite 45 go here to see the cross reference information on it.



    Although the Motorcraft/Autolite 45 is not listed in the VTCI as an equivalent replacement for the F-11Y or RF-11YC, it is here..

    Of course, there other other replacements for these spark plugs for our Tbirds, such as Bosch, Denso, and Splitfire, but I intend to stick with one of the plugs recommend for our Birds, but not Champions... To many people have said that they often do not run well in our Birds... That is good enough for me.

    Hope this helps!

    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
    The Terminator..... VTCI #11178 ITC #6000 Yellow Mustang Registry (YMR) #12188
    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

    https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
    Faye's Ovarian Cancer Memorial Website.
    https://faye.rayclark.info/index.html
  • Dan Leavens
    Moderator / Administrator


    • Oct 4 2006
    • 6359

    #2
    Ray excellent stuff and excellent thread. This is the very thing that all members should know and print for reference. Thanks for taking the time to research.

    Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
    Dano Calgary,Alberta Canada
    Thunderbird Registry
    58HT #33317
    60 HT (Sold )

    Comment

    • KULTULZ

      #3
      For the Autolite BF-42 (sometimes referred to Motorcraft BF-42. It is my understanding that Autolite split off from Motorcraft, or Motorcraft became Autolite. Not sure which) go here to see the cross reference information for it.
      CHAMPION was the supplier for FORD until they bought AUTOLITE (an independent manufacturer) in 1961

      FORD was stripped of the AUTOLITE name by an anti-trust court ruling I think about 1973. MOTORCRAFT was the new name used.

      AUTOLITE is now part of TENNECO (FRAM) (or was).

      BF-42 is the correct PN for an FE.

      BF-42C signifies the plug as being copper, not platinum.

      BRF (resistor) and BSF (suppression) prefixes designate suppression type. 42 the heat range. A BF-32 would be used on a high compression street engine while a hotter 82 was used on the Y-BLOCK and sixes.

      B designates the plug as 18MM whereas A designates 14MM.

      Comment

      • dgs
        Super-Experienced
        • Feb 13 2003
        • 962

        #4
        That's too bad about the Champions. My Dad worked for Champion in Toledo for 30 years, starting back in the late 60's. He, of course, swore by them. Got two free sets a year as I recall.

        A few years before he was laid off, the company was sold to Federal Mogul, who I think still owns them today.
        DGS (aka salguod)
        1960 Convertible - Raven Black, Red leather
        www.salguod.net

        Comment

        • YellowRose
          Super-Experienced


          • Jan 21 2008
          • 17170

          #5
          Spark Plug Infor For Our Birds

          KULTULZ,

          Thanks for the additional history on the spark plug manufacturers, and also for the breakdown on the spark plug designations!

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          The Terminator..... VTCI #11178 ITC #6000 Yellow Mustang Registry (YMR) #12188
          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

          https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
          Faye's Ovarian Cancer Memorial Website.
          https://faye.rayclark.info/index.html

          Comment

          • KULTULZ

            #6
            You are more than welcome Sir...

            Comment

            • bcomo
              Super-Experienced
              • Sep 23 2005
              • 1223

              #7
              Are there any disadvantages to using a "Supressor/Resistor" type plug such as the BSF-42 instead of the BF-42?

              Is it more difficult for the spark to jump the gap?

              I'm using Autolite AP-45 (P=Platinum tip). I'd like to try the BSF-42's to help eliminate the rest of the radio ignition noise.
              Bart
              1960 Hard Top/430
              Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

              Comment

              • KULTULZ

                #8
                Originally posted by bcomo

                Are there any disadvantages to using a "Supressor/Resistor" type plug such as the BSF-42 instead of the BF-42?

                Is it more difficult for the spark to jump the gap?

                I'm using Autolite AP-45 (P=Platinum tip). I'd like to try the BSF-42's to help eliminate the rest of the radio ignition noise.
                Resistor type plugs became popular with the introduction of hotter ignition systems as the resistance makes them harder to fire. If you are experiencing ignition interference on your car radio, there are suppression system(s) that will work better. Most interference (IMO) is caused by wire sets. If not resistor type (or bargain brand), they will interfere with the radio.

                Even a platinum plug is of little use with an older ignition system as the fire will not be high enough to burn off certain deposits and they will foul as easily as regular plugs. The best improvement for cars such as your guys is a PERTRONIX II installation (IMO). It will give a much hotter spark and not be noticeable..

                Here is some Tech Info-

                car car parts part performance speed quick faster sport spark spark plug auto automobile fast drag race racing stock engine motor wires distributor cap

                Comment

                • bcomo
                  Super-Experienced
                  • Sep 23 2005
                  • 1223

                  #9
                  Very good. Thanks for the information.

                  I have a Pertronix I system, and I'll go with the non-resistor plugs.
                  Bart
                  1960 Hard Top/430
                  Thunderbird Registry Number 1231

                  Comment

                  • KULTULZ

                    #10
                    The PERTRONIX I will fire the resistor plugs easily. Platinum plugs are of the supression type (except racing).

                    Comment

                    • YellowRose
                      Super-Experienced


                      • Jan 21 2008
                      • 17170

                      #11
                      Spark Plug Info For Our Birds

                      After KULTULZ posted that information for Nology and their silver spark plugs, I read the whole FAQ about plugs. It is interesting reading. You might want to read through it if you have not.

                      Then I talked with a Nology techie about their plugs for our Birds. They do not have a plug using silver because there is such a low demand for that type of plug for our old Tbirds that it would have been cost prohibitive for them to have them manufactured. Also our old Birds have a different sized base on them then the newer plugs. They do have a very good non-resistor copper tipped plug available though. It is their Model 18K-6BU at $4.80ea. He says it will do an excellent job in our Birds. He is a Tbird guy also, who likes the Bullet Birds. You can contact them for any additional information at Nology 800-665-6491

                      Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                      The Terminator..... VTCI #11178 ITC #6000 Yellow Mustang Registry (YMR) #12188
                      Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                      https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
                      Faye's Ovarian Cancer Memorial Website.
                      https://faye.rayclark.info/index.html

                      Comment

                      • scumdog
                        Super-Experienced

                        • May 12 2006
                        • 1528

                        #12
                        Originally posted by KULTULZ
                        The PERTRONIX I will fire the resistor plugs easily. Platinum plugs are of the supression type (except racing).
                        So what plugs would be my best bet considering my fouling problem - and I already have a Petronix system??
                        A Thunderbirder from the Land of the Long White Cloud.

                        Comment

                        • KULTULZ

                          #13
                          Originally posted by scumdog


                          So what plugs would be my best bet considering my fouling problem - and I already have a Petronix system??
                          Sorry, I wasn't aware you had a problem. Are you the gentleman with the mixed plug useage?



                          Can you identify your plug deposit(s) from the chart? You are positive you have the correct heat range? Is this BIRD an export or US model?

                          Comment

                          • KULTULZ

                            #14
                            Originally posted by YellowRose


                            After KULTULZ posted that information for Nology and their silver spark plugs, I read the whole FAQ about plugs. It is interesting reading. You might want to read through it if you have not.

                            Then I talked with a Nology techie about their plugs for our Birds. They do not have a plug using silver
                            ...whoops...

                            I posted that site for tech info, not an endorsement of their product. I personally have always used AUTOLITE(FORD)/MOTORCRAFT. They can be sourced cheaply, are more than reliable and have products for any application, including racing.

                            Comment

                            • YellowRose
                              Super-Experienced


                              • Jan 21 2008
                              • 17170

                              #15
                              Spark Plug Info For Our Birds

                              Just so ya'll understand.. The inclusion of the Nology spark plug was not an endorsement of their products either..I was just looking for spark plugs that will work right in our Tbirds for ya'll. When I saw that Nology also made one that would work, I included it. They are expensive, compared to some of the other ones. Mainly I thought their FAQ was a good article to read regarding spark plugs.

                              Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                              The Terminator..... VTCI #11178 ITC #6000 Yellow Mustang Registry (YMR) #12188
                              Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or Call (Cell) 210-875-1411

                              https://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm
                              Faye's Ovarian Cancer Memorial Website.
                              https://faye.rayclark.info/index.html

                              Comment

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