Platinum or Copper Spark Plugs - DodgeTalk : Dodge Car Forums, Dodge Truck Forums and Ram Forums
 
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#1 Old 11-15-2006, 10:03 PM
Taz8172
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Platinum or Copper Spark Plugs

I have a 2003 1500 4x4 Quad Cab w/ the Hemi. I was at the local Dodge dealership having the computer reprogrammed for my over size tires, LT 285/70/17, and I was talking to them about the spark plugs and wires. I just bought the truck on Oct. 30 and it has 60,000 miles. They were really pushing the replacement of the plugs and wires when I was talking to them since it is recommended at 60,000 miles.

The parts guy was telling me that the Hemi use a double copper plugs because they do not run as hot. When I asked him about platinum plugs he told me that Dodge wants double copper plugs for some reason but he could not say why. He also tried to tell me I need to do it because it could damage the engine and Hemi's are very expensive to tear into. The service guy told me that he did not know where the parts guy was getting his info. They told me that it would be about $350.00 for the plugs/wire and labor total and that it was quite the job. They also told me that another Hemi in there had pushed the plugs to 62,000 and they were shot.

I then stopped by a local private mechanic and was asking him if he had worked on the Hemi and he has not. He found it very hard to believe that the Hemi could not take platinum plugs and that it was just a money maker for Dodge. We pulled one of the plugs, I think they are the originals, and it looked good and so did the wire. The wires are still the originals by the date stamp on them.

Has anyone had any problems with the plugs going bad every 30,000 miles or wires? Has anyone heard if you have to use the double copper and not the platinum and why if so? Just wondering if anyone knew Dodges thinking

This is the first Dodge I have owned in about 14 years. I love the truck so far and it is still running great.

Thanks for the help

2003 1500 4x4 Hemi
SLT Quad Cab
Exterior Color: Graphite Metallic Clear Coat
Interior Color: Dark Slate Gray Cloth
5 Speed Auto 45RFE Transmission
Electronic Shift On The Fly Transfer Case
Axle Ratio: 3.55
Wheels: 17x8.0 Painted Cast Alum
LT285/70/17 Michelin LTX M/S2
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#2 Old 11-16-2006, 06:30 AM
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I think that the rumored reason for not using platinum plugs is that the ignition coil packs could overheat and burn out. I've had Bosch Platinum II's for about 20K miles with no problem. I changed over at about 30K miles. I noticed minimal change in performance. Maybe smoother revving thats about it. The condition of the originals were almost like new. I think that there were almost signs of electrode wear. I think that they recommend such frequent intervals so the plugs don't get seized in the head.

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#3 Old 11-16-2006, 07:36 AM
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I say get a set of Iridiums if you you can afford them. They are like 6.00 a plug and the Hemi has 16 of them. They will give you added performance and they will outlast most other plugs. As far as the plugs getting seized in the block? Use a little anti-seize on them when you install them and you won't have a problem getting them out when it comes time to change them, MANY years down the road!!

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#4 Old 11-16-2006, 07:54 AM
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I changed my plugs at 30k and used the recommended champions. After changing the third plug I almost stopped because the plugs that I took out looked pretty good. I went ahead and finished the job and was glad I did. My mileage improved almost 2 mpg after the change. I couldn't tell much difference anywhere else (responsiveness, idle) but the mpg was noticeable. Definitely change them out and from my experience the champions work great and you can't beat them at $1.78 each. Also, don't be afraid to change them yourself, it looks hard but once you get started it's not so bad and actually kinda simple. The hardest looking ones are on the driver's side rear but you can reach around behind the brake booster and there's plenty of room. Let me know if you're going to do it and I'll give you a few tips. Also, be sure and change the wires at 60k and take a look at some of the shorty systems available.
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#5 Old 11-16-2006, 08:04 AM
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I'm not sure what you mean by "double copper" plugs. The stock replacement plugs (Champion) are copper and cost about $2 each. Anything else is not necessary and usually more expensive, but may last longer. I'm sure one of the reasons for the recommended interval is the $350 price tag. Buy stock replacements and do it your self, and save about $250 including wires. No plug will give you a significant performance gain, but even the cheap stock replacements will make it run a bit smoother. Other than having 2 plugs per cylinder, there's no special requirements like the dealer would like you to believe.

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#6 Old 11-16-2006, 08:12 AM
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I really can't comment on the copper vs. the platinums - I don't know for sure what they might do to our computers/ignition systems. I've used some of the "gimmicks-of-the-moment" plugs in the past on other cars I've owned, but seem to have the best luck with the common run of the mill Champions. With only about 22k on my Ram, I haven't had the opportunity to change them yet on this truck. But for the wires, don't cheap out on them just because they look OK. You can't really tell if they are good simply by looking at them. At a minimum, look up their spec's and check them with an Ohm meter. A wire could look absolutely fine but might not be performing the way it should. Sounds weird, but is true. And while they aren't cheap, they are a lot less money than a lot of "mods" that a lot of people are quick to spend their cash on.

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#7 Old 11-16-2006, 11:13 AM
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Thanks for all the help. Anyone know how hard the wires are to change and what all it takes to do it?

Thanks again for the help and advise

2003 1500 4x4 Hemi
SLT Quad Cab
Exterior Color: Graphite Metallic Clear Coat
Interior Color: Dark Slate Gray Cloth
5 Speed Auto 45RFE Transmission
Electronic Shift On The Fly Transfer Case
Axle Ratio: 3.55
Wheels: 17x8.0 Painted Cast Alum
LT285/70/17 Michelin LTX M/S2
Black Diamond Plate Toolbox
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#8 Old 11-16-2006, 11:15 AM
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Also, I am not sure either what they meant by double copper plugs. That is what the parts guy told me they were and had to be from the local Dodge dealership

2003 1500 4x4 Hemi
SLT Quad Cab
Exterior Color: Graphite Metallic Clear Coat
Interior Color: Dark Slate Gray Cloth
5 Speed Auto 45RFE Transmission
Electronic Shift On The Fly Transfer Case
Axle Ratio: 3.55
Wheels: 17x8.0 Painted Cast Alum
LT285/70/17 Michelin LTX M/S2
Black Diamond Plate Toolbox
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#9 Old 11-16-2006, 11:27 AM
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To make your wire change EASYIER you may want to pick up a set of SHORTY wires, there is NO WAY you could mix them up since they go from the coil directly to the plug next to it... And they are not very expensive.

We offer the SHORTY wires & NGK plugs on our site with FREE shipping...We also carry the TAYLOR FULL LENGTH WIRES in the 8.2 T-Volt If your wanting a full length set of wires... Either set will offer increased performance over your stock wires.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

SPEED SAFE, NICK

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#10 Old 11-16-2006, 11:31 AM
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I went to shorty wires and bosch platinum 2's and it was great.

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#11 Old 11-16-2006, 11:32 AM
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Thanks I will check into those

2003 1500 4x4 Hemi
SLT Quad Cab
Exterior Color: Graphite Metallic Clear Coat
Interior Color: Dark Slate Gray Cloth
5 Speed Auto 45RFE Transmission
Electronic Shift On The Fly Transfer Case
Axle Ratio: 3.55
Wheels: 17x8.0 Painted Cast Alum
LT285/70/17 Michelin LTX M/S2
Black Diamond Plate Toolbox
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#12 Old 11-17-2006, 08:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taz8172
Also, I am not sure either what they meant by double copper plugs. That is what the parts guy told me they were and had to be from the local Dodge dealership
That's a stealership for you...

HEMI-Now
'04 RAM 1500 QC HEMI on stock 20s
Mods:
True-dual - Flowmasters
JBA Cat-forward headers
K&N drop-in filter with Airaid MIT
Viper electric fan
PowerWire
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