Glass beads are not good when it comes to cleaning aircraft spark plugs. Let’s understand why and, importantly, what’s right.
Cement fills the space between the center electrode and the ceramic insulator in massive electrode spark plugs. The cement transfers heat to the insulator, then the insulator transfers the heat to the cylinder head.
Eroding the cement opens the gap and makes a place for glass beads to lodge. It doesn’t matter who made the spark plug, using glass beads will ruin spark plugs. The glass beads will either melt, leaving a conductive lead film on the insulator that may lead to misfiring, or they’ll fall out in the cylinder, doing damage there.
You wouldn’t put sand in your engine. You don’t want glass beads in it, either.
Use an appropriate spark plug cleaning abrasive. Properly-sized grains cannot get into the narrow gap and erode the cement.
Please login to continue enjoying members-only content
This section of the article is only available for our members. Please click here to join to view this part of the article. If you are already a member, please log in.