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#268557 - 08/04/09 7:03 pm 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires  
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 42
Stickanddice Offline
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Stickanddice  Offline
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Boston, Massachusetts - USA
Did the A65 Lightning run on Champion N3 or N4 plugs? Also, are there modern equivalents out there? Anyone have any they recommend? Ditto for the plug wires.

Thanks!

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#268561 - 08/04/09 7:14 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Stickanddice]  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,072
Lannis Online content
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Lannis  Online Content

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Posts: 12,072
Central Virginia
Champion N3 is the A65 spark plug. N4 is considerably hotter; only go to it if you need to and you know that you aren't running lean and hot already.

Here's the equivalence list:

http://www.gsparkplug.com/products/spark_plug/champion/n3

NGK plugs DO NOT WORK in my A65, no matter what kind of ignition I use. Some other people say the same, others say they've never had a problem. It's just a data point.

Lannis


OK, I admit it, I'm addicted to brake fluid.

But I can stop any time I want.
#268564 - 08/04/09 7:29 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Lannis]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 294
Valk Offline
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Valk  Offline
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Bethesda, MD
I run Champion N4Cs in my A10 and NGK B8ES in the a65. Lannis, what's the issue with running NGKs?

(PS. Got the coil yesterday - thanks a million - check went out Sat Priority mail)

Peter


'56 Road Rocket
'66 Lightningbolt
'98 Valk
#268584 - 08/04/09 8:46 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Valk]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 294
Valk Offline
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Valk  Offline
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Posts: 294
Bethesda, MD
check that. I run B7ES in the a65...


'56 Road Rocket
'66 Lightningbolt
'98 Valk
#268611 - 08/04/09 10:21 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Lannis]  
Joined: Jan 2006
Posts: 1,838
JD Offline
Moto-Amish
JD  Offline

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Posts: 1,838
Maryland
I'd have to agree with Lannis. Champion's are what I run. NGK would run well for me for a few miles and then start missing.


Josh
#268629 - 08/04/09 11:45 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: JD]  
Joined: Oct 2006
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Bob S Offline
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Bob S  Offline
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, Lower -Lower michigan
And I!!! said the blind man!..i have thrown away more champions than i have purchased.........now figure that one out :/NGK'S Are the best plug i have used, when not using these i always used ac plugs. Takes a lot of different choices to make the world go round laugh



1970 bsa thunderbolt
1970 triumph bonne both bikes have ngks.

Last edited by Bob S; 08/04/09 11:46 pm.

Bob S
Street Rods, Kustom Kars,A BSA,Cushmans,H.Shadow ACE, Now a 2004 triumph america . "More than enough!!!!
#268630 - 08/05/09 12:10 am Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Bob S]  
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leon bee Offline
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leon bee  Offline
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arkansas
Champion N3Cs for me. NGK plugs DO NOT WORK in my A65s, no matter what ignition I use. Wait.......is there an echo in here?

For the plug wires, most shops/parts guys have nice copper wire with the plug ends molded on. I buy the ones that are a length of wire with a plug end on each end, then cut to exact desired length.

#268632 - 08/05/09 12:15 am Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: leon bee]  
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,648
raf940 Online content
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raf940  Online Content
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gastonia nc
my 2 cents worth.........i used autolite AP64 in T120 and A65...then sourced champion N4C from an eBay site for $1.29 each and switched to them....both types gave good service but i think the bikes run 'smoother' with the champions...i use Lucas solid core bumble bee wire


1972 Triumph T120
1968 BSA A65
1968 MGB Roadster
1979 Chevrolet Camaro Berlinetta
1969 Honda Mini Trail
1939 farmall f30 tractor
2004 Honda Shadow Aero
1972 BSA Thunderbolt
1975 yamaha xs650b
1972 Norton commando project
#268718 - 08/05/09 10:56 am Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Stickanddice]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,954
Rich B Online happy
Rich B  Online Happy



Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 4,954
Stone Creek OH USA
Like many others in this thread, I run Champion N3's & Autolites (whatever the N3 cross over) in my BSA's. NGK's just do not last. The NGK's will work ok for a bit, then start fouling very easy and missing. Champion & Autolite seem to last a LONG time.

But, I have a Y@m@h@ trials bike, Champion lasted like one evening in the woods. Went back to NGK, haven't changed a plug in 2+ years....go figure.


Life is too short to drink cheap, bad beer.
#268793 - 08/05/09 5:46 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Valk]  
Joined: Jul 2001
Posts: 12,072
Lannis Online content
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Lannis  Online Content

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Central Virginia
Originally Posted By: Valk
I run Champion N4Cs in my A10 and NGK B8ES in the a65. Lannis, what's the issue with running NGKs?

(PS. Got the coil yesterday - thanks a million - check went out Sat Priority mail)

Peter


Peter -

Have no idea what the reason is. I use NGKS in my Guzzis, and always used them in my Japanese bikes with no problems.

But you can see from the other responses that there's something funky about them when it comes to our BSAs. Mine were a problem no matter whether I used Lucas coils or Dyna coils. They'd work for a while then start missing and getting hard to start. They'd look OK but cleaning didn't help, just changing to new ones. Then the new ones would start doing it.

Then change to Champions, and no more problems. All I do is share the experience, I don't really have an explanation .... ???? 2c

Lannis


OK, I admit it, I'm addicted to brake fluid.

But I can stop any time I want.
#268822 - 08/05/09 8:48 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Lannis]  
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 251
stu88 Offline
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stu88  Offline
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florida
I also use nothing but B8ES plugs in my A65, champions seem hard to find at the local stores. I think its a Ford/Chevy thing.
Interesting someone else uses the Bumbelbee wire, I first found it from Moss Motors for my TR3 car. Its great for Boyer systems.


I am 79, not riding anymore because my knees and balance are shot.lasr bike was a 74 commando.
#268932 - 08/06/09 2:38 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: stu88]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 294
Valk Offline
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Valk  Offline
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Posts: 294
Bethesda, MD
Is the B8ES hotter than the B7ES? If so, I might give them a try since my B7s get a bit sooty even after only a few miles.

Thanks Lannis - I just wanted to know your symptoms (popping, missing, etc.,)when using the NGKs.

Peter


'56 Road Rocket
'66 Lightningbolt
'98 Valk
#269002 - 08/06/09 11:37 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Valk]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,017
Bob S Offline
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Bob S  Offline
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Posts: 3,017
, Lower -Lower michigan
I have bsixes in both my bikes.But now after years of not using "champions" i may do a little returning to them for awhile. Maybe they have improved.[in my case]can't hurt to try them again. Around the detroit area the champions are definitely cheaper than the NGK s. frown

Last edited by Bob S; 08/06/09 11:38 pm.

Bob S
Street Rods, Kustom Kars,A BSA,Cushmans,H.Shadow ACE, Now a 2004 triumph america . "More than enough!!!!
#269078 - 08/07/09 2:22 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Bob S]  
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 27
jonnyFG Offline
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Posts: 27
Norway
Have been using NGK B8ES and champion , both hard to find (have to order). Have chance to DENSO W24ES-U, works very well. (Sparx ignition and Mikuni carbs)


JFG
#271360 - 08/21/09 2:21 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Lannis]  
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 64
MikeA65F Offline
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MikeA65F  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 64
Aberdeen MD
Bike started breaking down at between 3&4K rpm and eased it home last weekend. Thought the problem may have been related to an oil leak that suddenly appeared on the head at the left side plug. Would start and idle fine. Pulled and cleaned plugs (champion N3)that had less than 1000miles on them... no change.
Bought new set and bike runs fine. Any ideas on what would cause plugs to fail so quickly?

#271479 - 08/22/09 9:51 am Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: MikeA65F]  
Joined: May 2004
Posts: 3,548
BSA_WM20 Online content
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BSA_WM20  Online Content
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Posts: 3,548
Sydney Australia
Modern fuels have a lot of very heavy parts.
These will burn just fine in modern high temperature lean burn fuel injected engines but in our volumetric low temperature engines they just do not volatalize so can not burn and cause that black deposit on your plugs that most mistake for soot and then look to rectify the "richness".
Once this deposit forms on a standard plug then it allows a conductive path between the electrodes and the plug is then effectively trash.
This is how an almost new plug will go bad very quickly.
Over the years I have come to the conclusion that these deposits form when the plug is cold and running the bike at a fast idle from cold accelerates this formation.
I am currently running a BP5HS in the WM20 ( should be a 6 but they go bad very quickly with unleaded). It has been in there for around 5 years now and never misses a beat but I put it in there after a sucession of 4 other new plugs all on the same run and within an hour or so of each other going bad.
Shane had a similar problem with his Firebird. Brand new plugs, went for a test run of around 3 miles, left it in the shed for 3 months then it would not start the next time as one plug had fouled and they were Champions.

The real problem is the fuel which is not suitable for our bikes.
Brian had a similar problem with his DB32 , B31 & A10 so he has gone to regeime of emptying the tank after each run ( pops it in the truck) then always filling the bike with very fresh fuel the night before he is going to use it and has not had a problem with plugs fouling since.
I do a similar thing by running my tank as low as possible then filling it with fresh fuel ( from a drum) prior to trying to start it and as stated above I have now been using the same plug for about 5 years which would equate to around 15,000 miles.

As for HT leads, any one who is not running the spiral wound inductive leads has rocks in their tank. Not cheap but good for 20 years if not longer. Never break, never short and available in a wide range of colours and sizes.
In Oz they go under the name of "Magna Core" and "Dyna Core".
And if you want to be really anal they make a range with silver spiral electrodes which is apparently the bee knees for top fuelers , rails & muscle cars.


Bike Beesa
Trevor
#271482 - 08/22/09 11:40 am Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Lannis]  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 3,871
Mr Mike Offline
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Mr Mike  Offline
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Posts: 3,871
Cape Carteret, NC
I use NGK's for the most part without problems and only because finding Champions is more difficult. I have done two things a little differently. First, I have that bright yellow Mallory spark plug wires that they made in the sixties on all my bikes. It has a heavy solid wire conductor. I have had no luck with composite wires. Two, I have found, especially on the A65 that the factory setup is close but generally is on the rich side. I do not know whether this slightly rich condition was a precaution taken by BSA to prevent seizures or is just an issue with todays fuels, but leaning out the slide (2.5 to 3) has really helped.

Mr Mike

#271687 - 08/23/09 7:37 pm Re: 1970 A65 Lightning spark plugs and wires [Re: Mr Mike]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 1,512
Ignoramus Online content
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Ignoramus  Online Content
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Posts: 1,512
Auckland NZ
As I understand it that nice light grey colour which showed your motor was right on the mixture is gone for ever thanks to the new "fuel" I was think the colour was due to lead oxide.

Im running Bosch "super" plugs in the A65, stock ignition, (no number, made in India FFS)I was buying them every other day whist trying to sort the carbs and before I rebored and ended up with a large handfull of heavily sooted/oiled ones. Being to cheap to throw them out I bead blasted them all. The pair I put back in have done around 10k miles now....no probs.

FWIW my pre 66 factory workshop manual says champion N4 for the A65, my 70 factory workshop manual says N3.
the parts list (70) shows N3 for lightning/fbird and N4 for Tbolt/royal star. Must be something to do with jetting?

Last edited by Ignoramus; 08/23/09 8:32 pm.

"There's the way it ought to be and there's the way it is" (Sgt Barnes)

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