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12-29-2009, 04:11 AM #1
OT Champion Sparkplug Blaster Tester
I recently acquired a Champion sparkplug blaster tester unit model F.800.XA with a date of 10/03/78 on the label inside. These are a floor standing design that would date back to the sixties at least with rounded square hammertone silver unit on four steel legs. Does anyone know where I can locate a manual for one of these or even spares like the rubber blaster boots?.
This may be an Australian only made unit as it has rubber feet with "Advanx" moulded into them which was made by the "Advanx Tyre and Rubber Company" of Australia.
12-29-2009, 04:20 AM #2
Try the "Sparkplug Collectors of America". I've been a member forever and there's a lot of guys from around the world that collect this stuff. Some are from Australia and may be able to help you. I've got a couple of blasters, but they're from the 20's and 30's.
12-29-2009, 05:21 AM #3
I've got one of the cheap spark plug blasters that is an aluminum casting with a cloth bag and you put the blast media in it. You move a lever from blast to blowing air. It has a push button to turn on or off the air. You put the spark plug into the end and move it around in the rubber grommet/disk.
The rubber grommet wore out and I made another one from sheet neoprene either 1/4" or 1/8" I forget which. I just used a gasket punch set from Harbor Freight (the large set that comes with the plastic case). The grommet just fits inside a groove on the blaster.
If yours has the flat grommet it is easy enough to make.
12-29-2009, 08:32 AM #4
If this is the unit I'm thinking of - with a sandblaster, air blaster, and a chamber with a window where you apply air pressure & watch the sparks - it's still in everyday use at nearly every general aviation repair shop. Spark plugs for small aircraft can approach $50 each, so they're cleaned & regapped, and then tested on this machine. I've used one many times.
Perhaps one of the usual sources for general aviation parts could help:
Aircraft Spruce & Specialty
I realize you're in Australia, which has a fairly big general aviation community, so there must be some local suppliers.
12-29-2009, 02:43 PM #5
Tim: It's has the cloth bag blaster inside, the boot that came with it seems ok but I would like to find out if there were other sizes.
Fasto: It's identical to one I used as a kid (might even be the same unit) to blast hundreds of aircraft plugs during the school holidays where my Father worked at the airport before setting the gap with an arbour press and gap dies before testing them.
12-29-2009, 03:13 PM #6
these had 3 sizes of rubber boot, and 3 sizes of bushings for the plug tester. I owned one in the 70s when I had a repair garage.
12-29-2009, 03:49 PM #7
12-29-2009, 08:03 PM #8
Yep, the same one I was thinking of, except the one I used was bolted to a bench. I always liked the challenge of making the 2 electrodes spark evenly after cleaning & gapping, kinda like getting a drill bit evenly sharpened throwing two equal chips. The A&P/IA wouldn't let me put them back in the engine unless they sparked evenly, though I think the Lyc. O-360 probably wouldn't care.
12-29-2009, 08:17 PM #9
Test a new, out of the package plug. 50/50 chance of getting both to spark consistently at the same time. I've been told that the ionization path across the electrodes is not stable, and swaps back & forth. The spark will take the path of least resistance, no matter how careful you are. And the sparking set of electrodes gives up a little metal each time it fires, doesn't it, widening the gap? Thus the process is self regulating!!
I wonder how your guy handled the Iridium plugs, which only have one set of electrodes anyway.
Anal/retentive behavior in not necessarily a bad thing in Aviation maintenance, but in this case, you ain't gonna make the flat rate by spending half a day gapping spark plugs.