Mark Simpson

Install New Spark Plugs: Bringing a Car Out of Long-Term Storage

Mark Simpson
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Duration:   11  mins

Before trying to start any classic car coming out of long-term storage it’s a good idea to inspect the entire ignition and electrical system, and replace spark plug wires if needed, change out the points and condenser and drop in a fresh set of spark plugs. Even though the car may have run just fine when it was stored away, moisture corrosion or even rodents can be drawn to electrical components or the insulation can become dried out or damaged.

The first time you try to start your car after its long hiatus you’ll want to deliver as much spark to the cylinders as possible and a fresh set of spark plugs accomplishes this goal. We join Mark Simpson as he works to bring our project car out of it’s 30-year slumber and installs a fresh set of spark plugs. He’ll demonstrate several different tools used to gap new spark plugs and methods to increase or decrease a spark plug’s gap.

Simpson then removes each of the spark plugs from our project car and evaluates each of them to better understand how well our engine is running and identify any potential problems. He notes the importance to only service one spark plug at a time to ensure the spark plug wires don’t get crossed between cylinders.

He also recommends using a small amount of anti-seize compound on the threads of each plug to ensure easy future removal which he points out is a “must” when threading them into aluminum. A fresh set of plugs is a quick way to bring back performance for any car and is guaranteed to make starting classic cars easier when coming out of long-term storage.

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