abrasive spark plug cleaner

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by 1MajorTom, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    harbor freight has an abrasive spark plug cleaner that you screw the plug in, and you hook up your air compressor to it, and it cleans the plug like new.
    assuming the engine is running fine, when you take the plug out, would it be like installing a brand new plug? i have always just replaced plugs regularly, but i'm probably replacing 30 plugs a year, if not more. just talking equipment here. it's on sale right now for 6 bucks, normally around 20 i think. what are your thoughts on this?

  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    All this thing does is remove any carbon build-up from the spark plug tip and further round the flat edge on the center electrode, It is not like a brand new plug.

    Another thing, The porcelain (white center part) is made in a tapper down to the metal casing inside. This is a place for sand to get jammed and stuck until the spark plug heats up, Then the sand dislodges right into your cylinder.

    IMO, I wouldn't recommend using any type sand base cleaner on a spark plug.
    You could clean carbon deposits safer on a bench grinder with a wire wheel going lightly so not to further round the center electrode.
  3. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Thanks I appreciate your opinion, was hoping you would respond.


    DUSTYCEDAR LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 5,132

    plugs r cheep and if the need to be cleaned i would replace it anyhow if the plug fouls a lot its a carb problem that needs fixed
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Messages: 10,812

    you can end up with grit in the cylinders:cry:
  6. steve45

    steve45 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    If you MUST use an abrasive cleaner, use plastic beads.
  7. Mic_bug

    Mic_bug LawnSite Member
    from N.B. MI
    Messages: 201

    I have one and use it alot...cheaper than buying new plugs all the time.

    Yes it does run like new plugs in it
  8. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Its an old school machine from the time when spark plugs were much more expensive relatively than they are today. Today its cheaper to grab a new plug off the shelf....
  9. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    Well, I would hope so after all the carbon build-up etc. is removed. But the fact remains the center electrode is still burnt and has a rounded edge so it's not like installing a new plug. And you still have the possibility of getting sand that is stuck in the plug into the cylinder.

    MOW PRO LAWN SERVICE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,568

    Plugs are cheap i buy bulk pack in 24 count in a Styrofoam pack sometimes as cheap as 11 bucks a pack.

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