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Wartsila’s User Group Forums 50 SG Engine Sparkplug spring-connector failures

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    Dave Mordecai
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    We’re seeing quite a few failures of the sparkplug spring-connector (part# 501 111) on our 50SG units.  Some are found broken and burned, some have burned away completely.  This arcing has resulted in burning and cracking of the lower end of the coil extension in some cases, requiring replacement of the extension.   Since commissioning we’ve not run more than a few hundred hours without coil & valve cover removal to check or change valve clearance, replace pre-chambers, or other activities related to meeting performance test requirements, so we’re nowhere near the expected 1000 hour service life of the sparkplugs in a peaking application.

    We’ve been careful to install the sparkplugs and connectors in a clean and dry state per Wartsila’s recommendations, cleaning the electrical connections with contact cleaner each time the coils are removed.  (sparkplug threads are anti-seized, of course)

    Our findings have us wondering if silicone sparkplug boot grease would improve the service life of the spring connector, as is common practice in automotive applications.

    Has anyone else experienced similar failures and tried using sparkplug boot grease on your units?

    Thanks in advance for any shared experiences,

    Dave Mordecai, City of Tallahassee, Hopkins Station

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