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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2007, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Spark Plugs

Hi my car is in need of some new spark plugs. (2001 SLK 320) I have close to 80,000 miles on the ones that are in it. Bosh FR8DPP33 are the ones that are recomended but after viewing several sites I see that there are several others that will work.

Your Parts Search Returned 4 Part(s)

I was just looking for some opinions on if it was worth spending any extra money buying these other plugs. I was looking at the Bosh+4 plugs that cost a dollar more but then see that there are other ones listed too. I could use a little education on plugs to help me decide.

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2007, 12:52 PM
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What does your Operator's Manual and/or MB dealer recommend? That is what I would use...

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-29-2007, 01:11 PM
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Parts manual was written more than 7 years ago. Technology made big progress since. Now we don't use tape players and CDs anymore
I used Bosch Platinum 2-electrodes, what I consider the best value. 4-electrodes is overkill, since even single electrode is adequate.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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Are the Iridium plugs worth the extra cost?

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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 12:22 AM
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Hi, Chris.

I put in iridiums for my 210 just because. Car ran just fine with the stock Bosch, I can't tell any difference with the iridiums.

I'll throw out my standard comment on plugs: If it ran good with what was in there and you're satisfied with their longevity, just get what's in there, you know they're good for at least as long as the others. Given the small chip to the platinum 2s, you might go that way, but going to iridiums I think isn't worth it. If I had it to do over again I wouldn't; I'd bet the difference in the long run is you get maybe 15,000 more miles out of the iridiums, certainly not worth the cost difference.

Take care and enjoy the ride,
Greg

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 01:23 AM
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I’ll try to keep this short, which is usually the lead in to a long answer.

Spark plugs are supposed to do two things: (1) ignite the mixture of gasoline and air, and (2) remove heat from the combustion chamber. If I understand the question, it’s “why should you use a plug other than the OEM part?” Here is the question I typically ask when someone suggests a different plug:

Do you have a stock car? I’m not talking about a car with different “air filters”, or an aftermarket exhaust, that’s still a stock car. I’m talking about one with some modification that would cause increased difficulty in igniting the fuel. Things like increased compression, different cams, modified air/fuel ratios, turbo, supercharger, nitrous, or something along that line. If so, talk to the engine builder about what they think is best.

If you car is like mine (stock), I’d use what Mercedes-Benz recommends. I changed my plugs in February. I bough 16 Bosch FR8DPP33’s from my local Mercedes-Benz dealer’s parts counter at $7.50 a plug. If I were to use another plug, it would only be because I thought something else was more efficient. For me to think that another plug was more efficient, I’d have to believe I could stumble across something that the powertrain engineers at Mercedes-Benz had overlooked. Since (1) some of these powertrain engineers have PhD’s, and (2) their full time job is to know which ignition parts are the best for this application, I’d say they are the experts in this area.

I don’t know if you’re aware of it, but the ignition system used in the three-valve engines is artwork. It’s a dual plug ignition system that uses a staggered fire based on load. I haven’t come across anything I can do to improve it.

Lastly, multiple electrode spark plugs have been available for decades now. Despite their existence, Mercedes-Benz decided to use something else.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 01:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MarcusF
For me to think that another plug was more efficient, I’d have to believe I could stumble across something that the powertrain engineers at Mercedes-Benz had overlooked. Since (1) some of these powertrain engineers have PhD’s, and (2) their full time job is to know which ignition parts are the best for this application, I’d say they are the experts in this area.
Nice if you trust German engineering to this degree. Good for you.
Having to deal with bad harmonic balancers, cheap materials replacing good items from window regulators from 20 years ago and several other issues, I'd say everybody is subject to improvements.
Than, since you asked (didn't you) for longer reply - American CEOs and managers are famous for making greatly profitable business. Look what they did to GM lately.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 08:17 AM
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MarcusF's post makes a lot of sense to me!
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 10:43 AM
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I’m glad my post was readable without boring everyone to tears. I’d like Kajtek1 to list some of the big improvements in spark plug technology that have occurred over the past 7 years. I’ve written several articles on ignition systems for print publications over the past 3 years and would like to update my notes and references with this new technology.

Lastly, Kajtek1, do your multi-ground electrode plugs have a feature that allows them to get around the quench problem?
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-30-2007, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the replies. After reading these I then called Bosch 1-800-715-3616

The Man I talked to explained that the FR8DPP33 is a standard older Platinum plug. He stated that it was a very good plug and meets the requirements of my car.

He then said that the Bosch 2 and 4 are a improved version of that plug. They improved it by providing more platinum and multiple spark paths. He said that the more platinum keeps the center electrode from wearing and since electricity will always follow the path of least resistance the multiple electrode spark plug allows the spark a less restrictive path to follow. As one electrode wears the path gets more restrictive and the spark will chose another path. By this happening the plug will tend to last a lot longer and maintain its characteristics longer.

He stated that some cars do not like Platinum plugs but since mine came from the factory with platinum plugs my car could benefit from the newer style platinum's.

Thanks again for the replies I have learned quite a bit and with the information you guys provided I was able to ask some good questions from the Bosch rep.

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