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Brass Autolite 3x spark plug issues?


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I bought a set of 4 Autolite 3x plugs for a future project (Ford Model A) and found them at a good price (assuming from the other prices on eBay).  I bought them, then the seller cancelled the sale 2 days later and sent me this response.

 

Item:  1928-1931 Model A Ford Spark Plug & Wire Set w/Brass 3X Tops & Copper Washers

 

"Hello and thank you for your purchase. However recently we have had some trouble with the 3X type tops not fitting securely, therefore we have cancelled the order and issued a full refund. We do have the autolite spark plugs with the steel top and washers in stock. Thanks again, [seller name redacted]

 

Thoughts and comments? 

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You bought the reproduction Champion 3X spark plugs, not Autolite.  Champion makes the 3X and it is a Champion designation.  Autolite plugs are a usable substitute I suspect, but are not an authentic looking plug.  If you need to just run the car, the Autolites should work, but if you are looking for something reasonably authentic looking, the 3X is the way to go. That is, unless you are looking for show-car perfect, then you'd need to find a set of originals that are either NOS or restored.  There are differences between the originals and the reproductions that an "expert" (or a Model A Judge) can spot. 

 

I've not heard of problems with the reproduction 3X plugs, but then I don't currently own a Model A.  I'm currently running a set of reproduction Champion X plugs (1/2" pipe thread) with the brass "hat" and have not experienced any problems with those.

 

Those reproduction Champion plugs are getting pretty expensive so let your fingers do the walking and ebay will be your friend.  You might also want to check with other Model A parts vendors as they might have some older stock on hand that don't have the problems.  

 

The pre-war swap meet at Luray Va, or later in the fall, the Hershey swap meet should turn up plenty of plugs for you to choose from. 

 

Terry

 

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This was the photo associated with the initial eBay ad that I purchased.  I’m assuming these are Champion plugs just reboxed, correct?  
 

Thanks for the info on the plugs!  I am beginning the Model A path soon. 
 

9E255520-AA84-40C9-B023-3EB46F999D5A.thumb.jpeg.48afed31a910efba2585442d24f587ff.jpeg

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That is an Autolite plug, Not Champion. The brass knurled nut on the top is an ad-on. The top that comes with the Autolite plug is the small silver cone that is sitting next to the washer....

 

Frank

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Ok, I’m wondering if he just realized he sold them to me for a really cheap price and gave me an excuse to cancel the sale.  They are running ~$30 each on eBay and I bought these for $37.95 for 4 plus shipping/tax put them at just under $50 for all 4.  

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30 minutes ago, AURktman said:

This was the photo associated with the initial eBay ad that I purchased.  I’m assuming these are Champion plugs just reboxed, correct?  
 

Thanks for the info on the plugs!  I am beginning the Model A path soon. 
 

9E255520-AA84-40C9-B023-3EB46F999D5A.thumb.jpeg.48afed31a910efba2585442d24f587ff.jpeg

If those plugs were advertised as Champion 3X it was either a SERIOUS error, or willful deception on the part of the vendor.  Those are Autolite plugs.  Here are photos of a reproduction Champion 3X plg and four boxes for a set of plugs currently listed on ebay for sale. 

Terry

Champion 3X repro spark plug.jpg

Champion 3X repro spark plug boxes set of four.jpg

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3 minutes ago, AURktman said:

Ok, I’m wondering if he just realized he sold them to me for a really cheap price and gave me an excuse to cancel the sale.  They are running ~$30 each on eBay and I bought these for $37.95 for 4 plus shipping/tax put them at just under $50 for all 4.  

Nope, I suspect you paid the right price for AUTOLITE plugs.  I think you learned there are differences between vendors.  I don't know who you bought them from but again, if they were advertised as Champions, that's a big problem.  It sounds like from their email or letter to you they were pretty clear about not selling you the champion 3X and substituting the Autolites.  Sounds like your Model A experience is limited, so my recommendation is to join a club and make use of the Model A discussion forums before you spend any significant money.  You'll find out there are vendors you probably want to avoid and others that will give great service.  If this amounts to just a misunderstanding, then don't let it spoil your fun.   The Autolite plugs will probably work just fine in the Model A so use them and wait to find a good set of Champion 3X if that's what you really want.

Terry

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Thanks for the info!  I’m just getting into the Model A scene, I haven’t bought one yet but I do my best to know what I need to know before I dive in. They were advertised as Autolite, so no problems there.  I’ve already received all of the judging standards books and info and joined MAFCA and have their info.  I just have to complete my 57 Chevy and sell it so I have the cash/space to get a Model A.  Since the Champion are better /more accurate, I will wait to find some of those. 

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IMHO good choice - sell the Chevy and buy a good Model A - and use left-over money to add on to your garage.

Have fun- and join AACA and a local region too for the many touring opportunities.  Lots of shows too and since it looks like you've got a variety of interests (still got the Pontiac?) AACA is the best choice to play.

Terry

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Yep, the Pontiac will never leave, it’s an heirloom.  I’m planning on two Model A’s, one I can daily drive and one I can do a proper restoration.   I think there is a Model A club in Montgomery or Birmingham, I’m in Auburn, AL.  

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The original style Champion XXX spark plug costs about $40 each give or take a few bucks. The plugs pictured in post 3, are similar to the replacement plug by Motorcraft that sell for about $5.00 each. There is another plug for the Model A, Champion W16Y and they run about $12 each. If you are having your car judged you need the Champion XXX. 

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15 minutes ago, 46 woodie said:

The original style Champion XXX spark plug costs about $40 each give or take a few bucks. The plugs pictured in post 3, are similar to the replacement plug by Motorcraft that sell for about $5.00 each. There is another plug for the Model A, Champion W16Y and they run about $12 each. If you are having your car judged you need the Champion XXX. 

I agree with 46 woodie regarding Champion 3X plugs for judging.  I would say, on the other hand, if you just want a plug that fits and runs well, I have had success with the Motorcraft plug on my Model A.  You can buy them for about $5 a piece from Mac’s or one of the other Model A suppliers.  I use the Autolite 3076 plugs on one of my brass cars, and they work well, but I haven’t tried them on the Model A.  They might work well for you too.

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AUR, I would get a Bratton's or Mike's or Bert's Model A catalog for your future reference on Model A parts. They all specialize in Model A parts and the catalogs are extremely helpful.

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16 hours ago, Terry Bond said:

If those plugs were advertised as Champion 3X it was either a SERIOUS error, or willful deception on the part of the vendor.  Those are Autolite plugs.  Here are photos of a reproduction Champion 3X plg and four boxes for a set of plugs currently listed on ebay for sale. 

Terry


Being on eBay I would think it was willful deception...
 

You have to wonder why Champion doesn’t reproduce the C-4 plug too... seems to be a lot of people looking for those and paying good money for NOS.

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2 hours ago, Mark Wetherbee said:


Being on eBay I would think it was willful deception...
 

You have to wonder why Champion doesn’t reproduce the C-4 plug too... seems to be a lot of people looking for those and paying good money for NOS.

They weren't advertised as Champion, they were advertised as Autolite.  Not sure how I left the impression that they were.  My concerns were that they were selling them at a cheap price compared to the others on eBay and the order was cancelled.  It was stated there were issues with the brass nut on top on the Autolite.  I will check with Bratton's for parts certainly.  I just tend to wander through eBay like a kid in the hobby store.  

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Even if you purchase the Champion 3X plug, the brass, top nut's aren't correct for fine point judging. They are close but not exact, they are slightly smaller. Bratton's, PN 17720 are the correct nuts.

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4 hours ago, AURktman said:

They weren't advertised as Champion, they were advertised as Autolite.  Not sure how I left the impression that they were.  My concerns were that they were selling them at a cheap price compared to the others on eBay and the order was cancelled.  It was stated there were issues with the brass nut on top on the Autolite.  I will check with Bratton's for parts certainly.  I just tend to wander through eBay like a kid in the hobby store.  

Bratton's is a great source for any parts you will need but keep in mind, they charge a ridiculous price for shipping so, try to think several months ahead and order what you need at one time. But, like I said, Bratton's is great ! I use them all the time.

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9 hours ago, Flivverking said:

You can find those 3076  Autolite as cheap as 2.02 each..

Take the refund and move on .

Done.  I should have done more research first, that what I get for jumping the gun.  Another lesson learned, but zero cost this time.  That’s rare. 

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