Need everyone's input using anti-seize on spark plugs - Pro and Con
I'd really like to hear everyone add their personal opinion, professional opinion, or any opinion in general, about using an anti-seize compound on spark plugs.
I know there is a big debate of this and maybe nothing will come of it, but I would like to hear some logical input dealing with the pro and con of this issue.
I know aluminum and copper are not too friendly to each other if you do a little research on "galvanic action".....but I assume this is ignored and the compound continues to be used on aluminum heads.
Short of the Bean Counters having their say at GM, how is it that if this was such "the cat's meow", why isn't this being done on the Corvettes which have such a low production run from GM? You would assume because this is their prized sports car, they would give the car enthusiast every possible advantage for performance.
Wouldn't you have a better chance cleaning a dry spark plug hole with compressed air, than you would with remnant seize compound left deep inside the thread hole? If anything, the chances of dirt being "pushed into" the compound, rather than being blown away, tends to be the more obvious dilemma here. Now you have this grit crunching down into the threads, snowballing aluminum off the thread pitch, and creating something you wanted to avoid in the first place.
Then there is the subject of 'heat transfer' of the plug to the head. Would not the compound interfere with this process?
Your comments please.
Gone but not forgotten
It mainly concerns aluminum heads (disimilar metals between the iron plug and aluminum head). The plug can easily sieze in the hole and ruin your day.
Just tape 'em on... they will be fine.
I have always used anti sieze on all plug thread in iron or alum and have never had a plug bind up. Maybe not by the book, but it has worked. Hate it when the neighbor is howling that his GD theads just came with the plug.
I always use antiseize on aluminum and even on iron (when I can find it laying around the hovel.) On iron I will occassionally use a coating of heavy oil (synthetic gear oil or synthetic 20W50) or teflon additive like Slick50 - just a few drops to wet the threads.
I really can't say I've had a problem with something I've owned or maintained, but I have never bought a car less than 15 or 20 years old and have had a number of spark plugs, mainly on iron heads at that, break up they took so much force to unscrew when I first changed them. On one or two occassions the threads were damaged - fortunately always on the plug and not the head (being iron versus dleiberately softer, typically galvanized, steel.)
As to cons? I can't think of of any legitimate ones - except not to put so much on it ends up on the electrode and fouls the plugs for an hour before it burns off. Heat conductance is not going to go up all that much from metal to metal for a few ten-thousandths of antiseize or oil in between (possibly at the pressure between those threads the heat transferance from dry metal to dry metal is actually higher.) Nor is galvanic action all that critical in anhydrous environments. The plugs are quickly over the boiling point and thus dry so any galvanic action is much slower than that commonly seen in everyday life where water serves as a conductor between the dissimilar metals.
Likewise, and maybe more critically, I use a generous amount of silicone dielectric grease on the insulators when putting on plug wires. I don't know how many boots have ripped apart, stuck to the plugs. This really makes a simple tune up or just looking at a few plugs really annoying.
I do something else far more controversial but more common on older machinery. I put drops of oil or grease on lug nuts. Many think this makes them prone to loosening, but I have never observed this and it isn't a huge problem on trucks and agricultural equipment, even those lacking cotter keys or safety wire. The slight stretching of the threads when properly torqued is what locks it in, not simple friction. Then again I check lugnuts and tire pressure at least every two weeks.
Oh, and as to dirt contamination. Unless your changing plugs in a sandstorm, you shouldn't be adding all that much grit at any time. If the threads are getting dirty enough you may need to run a thread chasing tap - although I might be a little nervous on doing this to aluminum routinely. I think some heads have pre-helicoiled plug holes anyhow. I know my Edelbrocks have many of the main holes helicoiled, but do not know about the plug threads.
Compressed air (especially from a regular air compressor, which is typically not all that dry) will not move any corrosion or deposits at all, although a little blast of brake cleaner may better flush out any excess oils and such - into the combustion chamber (don't expect it to run real good the first minute!)
GM may not do antiseize from the factory simply because they are new cars and planned to both have routine maintenance and, frankly, not be the factory's problem in ten years.
At a tech seminar at last years Cruisefest this question came up. c4c5specialist recommened putting a drop of synthetic oil on the threads of the spark plugs instead of antisieze.
Originally Posted by Ken
Wow- I have NEVER had one do that to me. Then again, I am a big fan of the VORTEC cast iron heads, so the metallurgy issues are different.
I usually run with Bosch platinum+4. No problems there either.
I saw a note in my documentation (from trick flow) that said NOT to use anti-sieze on the header bolts.
Anyone know why?
What about using ARP moly lube on threads, especially the spark plugs? Will this help when using aluminum heads?
I've always gotten a fast response from Trick Flow tech support when asking questions, but when I asked about using anti-sieze and stainless arp bolts on their aluminum heads I can't get a reply, from 3 tries.
Can't imagine why they'd advise against using anti-seize; I've used it on spark plugs and ARP header bolts on Edelbrock aluminum heads for years; Edelbrock heads have Heli-Coils in the header bolt threads - don't know if Trick-Flows do or not.
Originally Posted by tigernut
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