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Behold the humble aviation spark plug. The reason was that each time the plug fired, a significant quantity of metal was eroded from the electrodes. So far all looks good. Even had a 400-hour warranty. Social media is so effective. The thing these spark plugs had in common were that they were all Champion-brand plugs and they all measured very high resistance or even open-circuit when tested with an ohmmeter. The result is a hotter, more well-defined spark that improves ignition consistency and reduces cycle-to-cycle variation. Contact your authorized Champion distributor to enquire about Champion’s Ignition Lead Exchange Program. No plug fouling since then. I own a flight school… we had far too many problems with Champion plugs. In the DC-3 I fly every day, we have had the same experience and we have quite a few plugs to check to find one that’s bad. Any spark plug showing a resistance of greater than 5K Ohms should be replaced. Eventually, the ground electrodes became so thin or the center electrode became so elliptical that the plug had to be retired from service. Champion Aerospace has pioneered a unit to provide Uninterruptable DC Power for Avionics to “Ride Through” AC Bus Transfers, Voltage Sags, and Other AC/DC Power Interruptions. First annual, 117 hours, found 1 cracked fine wire and two massives failed the Ohm check, replaced. These tools are designed to do a specific function and help make the removal and replacement process easier and less time consuming. The silicon carbide resistor is a high voltage device and cannot be tested with a standard ohm meter. But I would not jump to the conclusion that Tempest has discovered some previously unknown secret about spark plugs, except maybe how to sell them. Delayed Shipping. I was floored! Last fall, during a plug “bomb” test, two of the plugs didn’t pass. Please click here to email Champion Aerospace. I had already swapped out for Tempest plugs after experiencing poor starting problems. I ohm test them all at oil change, every 25 hours. We also saw a number of cases where high-resistance Champion plugs caused serious internal arc-over damage to Slick magnetos (mostly in Cirrus SR20s). Compare Compare Now $2.39 USD Open Delay. You have options, starting with the manufacturer. I never checked the resistance and never had a miss or a rough moment with the engine (and no mag problems, if that was going to be your next question). I checked with a number of A&P mechanics and they verified that the latest Champion spark plugs they ordered do indeed have the new design. Q: What do you call an airplane with Slick magnetos and harness and Champion plugs? It is built to withstand temperatures of 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit, pressures of 2,000 psi, and 24,000 volts. Spark plug manufacturers found that they could extend the useful life of their plugs by adding an internal resistor to limit the current of the spark that jumps across the electrodes. So far as I have been able to tell, they didn’t even issue a press release. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DERIHonZT-k I am an A&P mechanic and we do believe that Champion Spark Plug Corp. should compensate for all the trouble they created. I’ll be looking for the new non slotted types. He said that the rep he talked too was VERY nice and accomodating and even stated that “the competition” was killing them so they are trying to regain the market. The spit really hit the fan when Champion’s primary competitor in the aviation spark plug space, Aero Accessories, Inc., launched a marketing campaign to promote sales of its Tempest-brand aviation spark plugs by highlighting the resistance issue. I tested them first on the Tempest gizmo ( it is fairly quick and accurate) then because of the red light (failing), tested for the Ohms value.They were all very high. How to Check Spark Plugs: A Detailed Analysis. I as an A&PIA and business owner have been steering my customers to the Tempest brand because I was throwing away SO many Champion SP! Since this was a new engine (about 40 hrs since new), I called Champion and was able to talk to Kevin Gallagher, their Piston and Airframe Manager. ... Champion 101 RN13LYC Nickel Spark Plug. However, because of the extremely high dependability of the SAC-9, spark plug resistance should not be of concern in diagnosing ignition system performance problems. When spark plugs are new, the resistance value is between 500 and 3000 ohms. If the damaged mag was replaced without replacing the spark plug, the new mag would be damaged in short order. Many plugs measured tens or hundreds of thousand ohms, and it wasn’t unusual to find plugs that measured in the megohm range or even totally open-circuit. EVERY CHAMPION SPARK PLUG IS COMPOSED OF FIVE MAIN COMPONENTS 1. It was ridiculous! Nerheim also disassembled the resistor assemblies of a number of high-resistance Champion plugs and found that the internal resistor “slugs” were failing. After reading your article, I’m suspecting that the defective plugs may have caused my 2 year old mag to fail as well, but I hold little hope that Champion will freely replace or reimburse that item! Each spark plug shall be checked for stability of internal resistance and contact by measurement of the center wire resistance by the use of a low voltage ohmmeter (8 volts or less). Cessna 172N Skyhawk High Resistance The pilot observed a unusually high EGT reading. Since we switched to Tempest we have not had one plug issue. New Tempest-brand plugs typically measure about 2,500 ohms. Please click here to email Champion Aerospace, Applications for virtually every aviation reciprocating/piston engine, Sales, Technical and Customer Services available, Sales, technical and customer services available, Applications for virtually every military and commercial aero turbines and most ground turbine applications, Proven Pedigree and Quality of Solid State Designs since the 1990s; Developed the first High Tension Solid State Exciter, Commitment to Advancing Existing/Emerging Technologies, Advanced Engineering Test and Analysis Capability, Designs suited for any turbine based engine; compliant designs to ABD100 and Boeing 7E7 requirements, Commitment to technology advancements and resolving in-service challenges, Custom or standard ignition lead designs available for all turbine applications, Plug Master Ratchet Wrench (Formerly CT-405), Magnetic Spark Plug Socket (Formerly CT-430), Commitment to Technology Advancements for Cleaner Power, Advance Engineering and Unmatched On-site Engineering Support, Power Conversion and Bus Hold Up Applications for Virtually Every Turbine Based Airframe, Bus Hold Up Applications for All Airframe Applications, Sales, Technical and Customer Services Available. Mike, can you show pictures of the old and new metal contact you’re talking about for identification purposes? We were seeing numerous cases of Champion spark plugs that were causing bad mag drops, rough running and hard starting even though they looked fine and their electrodes weren’t worn anywhere near the retirement threshold. that’s why i had it installed, that’s why i keep it. Since 2008! How other people maintain and operate their airplanes, I know not. The older-design plugs have a straight screwdriver slot machined into the metal contact, while the newer-design plugs do not. these groups of people collectively forgot how to make them ? If the resistance was too high, the plug would fire weakly, resulting in engine roughness, hard starting, excessive mag drops, and (if the resistance was high enough) arc-over damage to the magneto and/or harness. Each time we traced it to high resistance. Last week, I replaced the 12 fine wire Champions in my plane with Tempest due to this resistance problem. Magnetos fire alternate spark lugs with alternate polarities, so half of the plugs suffered accelerated erosion of their center electrodes, and the other half suffered erosion of the ground electrodes. A spark plug is a device installed at the top of an engine cylinder that generates sparks at the tip of its electrode when a high voltage is applied across its terminal ends, thus igniting the compressed air-fuel mixture in the cylinder. Max Nerheim discussed his high-voltage test findings with Kevin Gallagher, Manger of Piston and Airframe at Champion Aerospace, and Gallagher acknowledged that Champion was looking into the issue with the resistor increasing in impedance, but did not have it resolved yet. Replaced ALL plugs with tempests. Any resistance at all would mean the plug is bad. 06-17-2020 - Champion Aerospace awarded Elite Supplier Status from Lockheed Martin, 05-10-2018 - Champion Aerospace announces AS9100 Rev D Certification, 1230 Old Norris Road If a spark plug falls off a workbench or is dropped, it’s possible for the carbon resistor to break. After all, the plugs did cost close to $1200. after 125 hours it was quite loose. i only report my data so that others may benefit from my limited data point. Examination revealed one of the engine’s eight REM38E spark plugs was not firing. understood and my best wishes as well, of course. have a look if you haven’t. They didn’t change any part numbers. 1-864-843-1162 General Office Line Our goal is to be the preferred supplier of aerospace ignition systems and airframe power components. Talking to champion they said they haven’t changed their plugs in over 20 years. (Since Slick magnetos are physically smaller than Bendix, they might be more prone to arc-over between leads). Champion offers traditional spark gap technology in legacy products, but has transitioned to pioneering designs solely utilizing solid-state technology incorporating our patented multi-voltage “Spider Switch” or new (patent pending) Solid State Spark Gap (S3G) design to maximize reliability, efficiency and capability while minimizing weight. They should have adopted Auburns design immediately. AT5K Resistance Tester Tempest has developed an easy-to-use tester that makes it very efficient for IA/AP's to test the resistance in all aviation spark plugs. Predictably, this provoked a rather hostile response from Champion. Engine overhauled in 2012 and new Champion massive plugs on top, fine wires on bottom. New Tempest (formerly Unison-Autolite) will measure 1000 OHMS. 1-864-843-5469 Fax Line Shop Champion spark plugs for automotive, lawn and garden and marine applications on ChampionIridiumPlugs.com - an authorized Champion Auto Parts dealer. I went to another auto parts store and checked the resistance of a RC12YC made in Japan. Most Champion "R" type resistor plugs are Champion SAC-9 suppressors. In the meantime, we’re all stuck with $400+ per engine in defective Champion plugs until we have to come up with spare $ to buy Tempests. The function of a spark plug is obviously critical. It’s important to keep an eye on your spark plug wires to avoid subsequent engine issues. Resists fouling Replace any plug above 5000 OHMS. Now then, Champion has been building spark plugs for a while, a long while. such that i scrap them at annual and put the mag driven plugs in their place. 3. Advanced-engineered Champion Aerospace spark plugs, designed for the critical difference in performance, are far beyond the ordinary. An Ohm meter, which is part of a multimeter, can only check a spark plug for a short circuit or a breakdown of insulation resistance. I first became aware of the Champion spark plug resistor problem in 2010, although there’s evidence that it dates back to 2008. Although many volt meters use nine volts batteries, thats close enough. If the solution to the problem was a long time coming, they certainly have recognized that their customers are their best assets. CHAMPION AVIATION SPARK PLUG TESTERS 110V AND 220V Designed to clean and test all 14mm & 18mm massive and fine-wire electrode aviation sparkplugs. However, just because the electrodes read good does not mean the plug is good. The Champion Aerospace website makes no mention of any recent design changes or product improvements. Every spark plug manufactured has built-in design advantages that assure longer life and greater reliability. My engine starts first time, every time, and runs much smoother. These plugs came from cyls 2 and 3, which run hottest in the engine. A typical low voltage ohm meter (or the Tempest AT-5k meter which relies on a low voltage circuit) can help identify suspect plugs. Champion’s PCTRU exceeds power quality requirements of industry standards. One very unfortunate scenario could happen if one spark plug is bad (open resistor) and the next in the firing sequence is “good” – the arc could conceivably jump inside the magneto to the next cylinder in the firing sequence! Is it going to take serious injury or death to convince Champion to completely come clean on this problem? Advanced rectangular bar design provides improved ignitability and longer life. i get hot start performance now due to the electronic ignition on my fuel injected Lyc 4 banger. In the face of both overwhelming technical evidence from the field that their spark plugs had a resistor problem, and a virtual blitzkrieg from their principal competitor that was starting to erode their dominant market share, Champion began having some self-doubts. did you happen to have a look at Max’s you tube video ? Lets see do I want old tech or new tech plugs. Our broad range of plugs provide performance, fuel economy, durability and reliability. Video tutorial on how to test a spark plug wires. Then Champion bought Auburn (2004, maybe) and shut them down. I had trouble with Champions much earlier than that–in the late 90s, at least. CET2 Nerheim’s findings flatly contradicted Champion’s company line, and agreed with what we were seeing in the field. Every spark plug manufactured has built-in design advantages that assure longer life and greater reliability. Well, you first have to know what does a bad spark plug look like before knowing how to check spark plugs. Most failed the Ohm test. He gave me a contact at the factory and said they would replace them all, which they did without a flinch. the magneto points were bad. They cleaned and replaced all the resistors, replaced a couple plugs that had other defects, turned them around and sent them back to him in a week and free of charge! As the preferred supplier of spark plugs for general aviation aircraft, Champion Aerospace designs, engineers and manufactures piston-engine ignition components for both OEM and aftermarket applications. When I checked the resistance of the brand new Champion plug removed from the no.7 cylinder, I got a resistance reading of 60,000 Ohms. Resistance values were 20,000 ohms or more for some of the plugs. We are dedicated to this mission. visually, the rivet operation was done obviously wrong. Here’s what I know. These extremely reliable resistors are formed from strontium carbonate, aluminum oxide and copper oxide powders. If you fly with Champions, I would remove them every oil change, check for cracks and resistance! Sometime in late 2014, it appears that Champion very quietly changed the internal design of their spark plugs to use a sealed, fired-in resistor element that appears to be quite similar to the design of the Tempest/Autolite plug. My tempest are working great. As a powerful symbol of performance driven quality, this experience and commitment has led to design enhancements that optimize the performance of every spark plug we make. I just bought a box of Tempest plugs from AC Spruce. If the resistance was too low, the plug electrodes would erode at an excessive rate and its useful life would be short. ITEM #CHA101. With more than 300 different igniter designs, 150 lead designs, and more than 50 exciter designs, Champion’s ignition system products are specified as original equipment on products from CFM International, General Electric, Honeywell, Pratt & Whitney, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Rolls-Royce, Solar, Siemens, Sundstrand, Teledyne, Turbomeca, Volvo, Westinghouse, and Williams International. I suppose grief is a very personal thing, and everyone deals with it differently. Crack the engine and check for a good spark at the spark tester. I hope they’ll honor the request. Mr. Teasel of Champion Spark Plug Company 1951 Aircraft Spark Plug and Ignition Conference Report Additionally, the electrical resistance of a compound decreases as its temperature rises. Meanwhile, the Champion field reps continued to insist to anyone who would listen that claims of resistor problems in Champion spark plugs were false and that the ohmmeter test was meaningless. SKU #RN13LYC. Liberty, South Carolina 29657 … Champion Aerospace Aviation Spark Plugs are the preferred ignition spark plug for reciprocating engines. And it happened regularly, not just to me but to others at my airport. I have used Aircraft Magneto Service (aka Cliff Orcutt) exclusively for mag rebuilds during the same period and had great results using his mags and 5k testing techniques. Last annual, ALL massives failed Ohm check, found another fine wire cracked. Thanks Mike for bringing attention to the issue, hopefully it will save someone from getting into serious trouble. Champion Aerospace has pioneered a power supply system described as a Passively Controlled Transformer Rectifier Unit (PCTRU). Very hard starting signaled the problem for me. Since the 1950s, Champion brand power supply (TRU) products have been trusted for commercial and military airborne use. An important feature of Champion plugs with the SAC-9 suppressor is that the resistance of the plug cannot be accurately measured with typical low voltage ohm meters. fwiw, i had a problem with my slick ( champion ) magneto as well. One enterprising Cessna 421 owner named Max Nerheim performed high-voltage testing of Champion spark plugs, and found that plugs that measure high-resistance or open-circuit with a conventional ohmmeter also had excessive voltage drop when fired with high voltage, and required a higher minimum voltage to produce any spark. При всём том, что, Champion Aerospace: From Denial to Acceptance, http://www.beechtalk.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=59668&p=671584&hilit=Max+Nerheim+champion+Cessna+421+cracked#p671584, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DERIHonZT-k, BACK UP FOR IGNISTION FAILURE (WHAT IF) - Page 4. Max Nerheim wasn’t just an aircraft owner, mind you, he was also Vice President of Research for TASER International, Inc. and was exceptionally qualified to perform high-voltage testing of Champion spark plugs. It requires high voltage such as the CT475 cleaner/tester. items in my cart: 0 current subtotal: $0. The cause-and-effect relationship was pretty obvious. resistance throughout the plug’s service life. Hundreds of millions of spark plugs later its safe to say that the MIL Specs advice is good. If a spark is present, the problem is probably in the distributor cap, rotor or spark plug wires. what i failed to mention here was i ohm check my plugs at oil change and have had to scrap a low time – less than 100 hour – plug driven by the magneto. it ran smooth from the electronic ignition only, real bad from the mag, barely at all actually. We’d seen numerous instances of high-resistance Champion plugs that tested fine on the bomb tester but functioned erratically in service. This plug measured 5,000 ohms and when I installed it in my generator, it started immediately. Military Specification MIL-S-7886 provides guidance for aviation spark plug manufacturers. At numerous aviation events and IA renewal seminars, Champion reps dismissed the significance of resistance measurements. Simply look at the metal contact located at the bottom of the “cigarette well” on the harness end of the plug. It requires high voltage such as the CT475 cleaner/tester. World leader in aerospace ignition & power systems, Spirit of St. Louis 2016 Airshow Photo Gallery. The higher the resistance, the lower the current. In February 2013, they issued a Tempest Tech Tip titled “The Right Way to Check Spark Plug Resistors,” started selling a fancy spark plug resistance tester, and launched a big “What’s Your Resistance” advertising campaign in the general aviation print media. I am glad that Champion is finally doing something about it. I own and fly radial engines for a living. Hot-Lock Nickel Plated Shell Seal dramatically increases strength, rigidity and resistance to lift. Resistance check of all eight plugs revealed five exceeded the two kiloohm limit. Question for you, you mention Champion was in denial for 6 years. It’s easy to tell whether a given Champion spark plug is of the old or new variety. Doing it right takes more than desire, it takes good set up tools. i’m a mechanical guy, not a spark chaser, but even i can tell, that aint right. (Aero Accessories acquired the Autolite line of aviation spark plugs from Unison Industries in 2010, an re-branded them under its Tempest brand.) The silicon carbide resistor is a high voltage device and cannot be tested with a standard ohm meter. New ignition leads from Champion Aerospace are available for a wide range of turbine engines, from small turbine to the largest turbofan engines. Spark plug wires deliver thousands of volts – up to 45.000V, depending on the application – to the spark plugs. More than half my Champion plugs had internal resistances well over 10K ohms, and after replacing them with tempest plugs these problems vanished. I operated the 182 for 6 years which included 3 years of daily commuting between Olympia and Seattle, on the same set of Champion fine wire plugs and Slick magnetos. Two layers of corrosion protection. Loss of business will hopefully get the Champion leadership fired, sending a message to Corporate America that this behavior is not tolerable. From innovation aviation technology to a tradition of motorsports dominance, the Champion brand has been a part of product development in every type of engine. – To conventional spark plugs check out the spark plug continuity, using the megohmmeter, spark plugs without continuity should be replaced. Every spark plug manufactured has built-in design advantages that assure longer life and greater reliability. I bought (8) Champion RJ12YC on Ebay, and they all measured 100k-300k resistance. You could have very easily been lucky and gotten a “good” set of plugs that performed better-than-average. This can be seen in a Scanning Electron Microscope, little holes in the walls of the resistor,more holes equal more resistence.I sent the SEM pictures to Champion Research they replaced all my plugs! How to champion aviation spark plug resistance check a spark is present, the problem is probably in the engine and for! Our perfectly good spark at the factory and said he would overnight a complete new set me... Older-Design plugs have shown a much accelerated effect of increased resistance as compared to the distributor,! Within a piston engine with Champion plugs set up tools or death to convince Champion to come... Pressures of 2,000 psi, and they all measured 100k-300k resistance too ) and shut them.. Economy, durability and reliability preferred ignition spark plug resistance using a low voltage to... 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