Hmmm....well it appears that one of the RATS has surfaced. Told ya, it was a matter of time. As it turns out, a mother fuker who I saved at work a few times, plus went to the Q Course with has an issue with me...running his mouth and posted my social security number on topix. Well, Mr. Mike Thompson, I guess when the FBI escorted your ass off of KAF and onto a plane after NE& fired your dud ass you started to realize what a shitbird you were right?
Fucking faggot. Mike, one day RAT...one day. Have fun in Washington DC you faggot ass piece of shit.
For those of you who remember Special Forces in the early 90's...this is for you.
For those that werent around, this publication was one of the things that made us different....we were more defiant. Even now, after achieving success and having risen through the ranks...this publication makes sense...its about issues that confronted us then and still do now. It about telling some bitch that toilet paper is NOT a luxery...standing up to fight for the outstanding NCOs we have in Group. Read at your own risk!
The Official Publication of the Special Forces Underground.
Volume I, Number 1. Summer 1994.
Boxholder, P.O. Box 1403, Addison, Texas, 75001
Welcome to this, our first issue of The RESISTER. Over the years, we have seen so many attempts to produce so-called underground newspapers treating the issues that concern the various special forces groups in general, and the special operations community in particular. Our only response to such efforts is disgust.
For an organization that is touted as the elite of our armed forces, past attempts to expose the ineptitude of our command, the incompetents in our officer and non-commissioned officer corps, and the inequities and injustices of whimsical policies have been embarrassingly amateurish. Casual reading of the myriad publications masquerading as underground newspapers reveals them as unconscionable drivel; snivel sheets hacked out by a couple of disgruntled want-to-be's venting their collective spleen about issues they do not understand while sitting around a lap-top computer in their team room drinking beer. If found out, these incompetents deserve expulsion from Special Forces for bringing dishonor on the traditions of Ethan Allen, T.E. Lawrence, Orde Wingate, Roger Trinquier, Frank Kitson, Vo Nguyen Giap, Collin Gubbins, and Denis Sefton Delmer.
The editorial policy of The RESISTER is simple.
First we publish only the pertinent. We will not publish whining, invective letters treating purely local issues, nor anything containing profanities. Second, we publish as you write. We have neither the time nor the inclination to make your writing appear more intelligent than it really is. Third, we are not an intellectual charity and we do not believe in so-called "equal access." If we publish an opposing view it will be for the sole purpose of exposing its falsehoods and identifying its true philosophical premise. Finally, intelligent, rational, reasonable discourse is always welcome.
The question of attribution is always of concern in any publication. we simply must know whether you actually wrote what we intend to publish. Our verification procedure is relatively simple. On your correspondence include your name, mailing address, and a phone number where you can be reached. We will contact you. Have in your possession a copy of your letter, article, or opinion.
We will simply tell you a paragraph, line, and how many words from left or right margin. Identify the word correctly and you are in print. We will not publish your name unless you authorize us, in writing, in your original letter. If you wish to use a _nom_de_plume_ that is fine with us. How your correspondence reaches us is our business. One individual per unit who writes will receive a copy of The RESISTER. You know what to do with it.
A Brief Synopsis of our Philosophy
Breaking with the almost universal tradition of underground publications we are going to inform our readers precisely what we stand for, and why. Have no doubts, we are political. We are also soldiers. There is no contradiction. Every member of the armed forces takes an oath to defend the Constitution against "...all enemies, foreign and domestic." The RESISTER does not take this oath lightly. But one of the most perfidious assaults on the integrity of the armed forces in general is the unconscionable notion that the military must remain aloof of politics and perform any mission assigned to it by its civilian chiefs without question. Take this argument to its logical conclusion and you will understand why the Founding Fathers of this nation strenuously opposed a large Federally controlled, standing army.
What We Stand For
The philosophy of The RESISTER is straightforward: strict constitutionalism, isolationism, laissez-faire capitalism, individual rights, limited government, and republicanism.
What We Oppose
The RESISTER opposes statism, liberalism, tribalism, socialism, collectivism, internationalism, democracy, altruism, pull politics, and the New World Order.
There you have it.
Why We Are Anti-democracy
For the Last seventy-seven years, since the first American died in France to keep the world, in the words of our first socialist president, Woodrow Wilson, "Safe for Democracy." Americans have been subject to the "progressive" notion that this nation was founded upon , and ruled by, the principles of democracy. This Hitlerian style "Great Lie" has over the years, flushed America down the sewer of altruism, leaving it to sink slowly into the rancid cesspool of liberalism, tribalism, internationalism, and socialism. The RESISTER's opposition to democracy is simply that democracy ultimately must, by definition, result in totalitarianism.
The theory of democracy is equality. The principle of democracy is for people to administer their government in person. The premise of democracy is majority rule. The postulate of democracy is societal leveling, social equality, and egalitarianism. The presumption of is that all people are equal in status, equal in ability, and equal in reason. Thus the practice of democracy make the incompetent the equal of the competent, the inept the equal of the able, the lazy the equal of the industrious, and the ignoramus the equal of the intelligent. In the exercise of law this is just. In the exercise of government this is tyranny. In short, this country was not founded on democracy but upon it's opposite -- individual rights -- which can neither be abrogated by majority opinion nor subverted by minority plotting.
"From this view of the subject, it may be concluded, that a pure Democracy, by which I mean a society, consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person, can admit of no cure for the mischiefs of faction. A common passion or interest will, in almost every case, be flat by the majority of the whole; a communication and concert results from the form of government itself, and there is nothing to check the inducements to sacrifice the weaker party, of an obnoxious individual. Hence it is, that such Democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have in general been as short in their lives, as they have been violent in their deaths. Theoretic politicians, who have patronized this species of government, have erroneously supposed, that by reducing mankind to a perfect equality in their political rights, they would, at the same time, be perfectly equalized and assimilated in their possessions, their persons and their passions."
James Madison, November 22,1787
All men are _not_ equal in competence, ability, or intelligence. Because the combined efforts of the incompetent, inept, lazy, and ignorant can (rightfully), never hope to equal the individual efforts of competent, able, industrious, and intelligent the former will, out of envy, form factions against the latter.
These factions are never organized for the purpose of raising the low to the standards of the high, instead they are formed for the expressed purpose of dragging the high down to the level of the low. The concept of democratic government expressed by the socialists of the Democratic Party, their antagonists of the quasi-socialist Republican Party, and the international socialist of the New World Order, is nothing less than an intentional effort to make the competent slaves of the incompetent, the able slaves of the inept, and the intelligent slaves of the ignorant.
Democracy is government by mediocracy. Democracy is nothing less than the rule of the mob.
The RESISTER is not opposed to democracy _per_se_, rather we oppose democratic process by a simple 51/49 majority. If an issue is important enough to vote on there must be a clear 2/3 majority for it to carry. If not, the issue is subject to the whims of factionalism, where lies carry the equal weight of truth and the irrational is the equal of reason.
Under our Constitution an individual is legally free to take any action he pleases (so long as he does not violate the rights of others), while a government official is bound by law in his every official act. A private individual may do anything except that which is legally _forbidden_; a government official may do nothing except that which is legally _permitted_.
The RESISTER's objection to democracy is its use by the incompetent, inept, and irrational to abrogate individual rights enumerated by the Bill of Rights to the Constitution by the whim of a simple majority voting without any pretense of thought, logic, or reason.
We often hear the phrase, "But this is a democracy," when the mediocracy of the many is eclipsed by the excellence of the few. When we hear this twaddle we know we are in the presence of wilful, cultivated evil.
DELTA, SEALS, Asked To Help Confiscate Civilian Arms
Several disturbing reports have surfaced that both DELTA Operators and SEALS have been canvassed by the Justice Department regarding their willingness to participate in Justice and Treasury raids on U.S. citizens who own so called "assault weapons," or who are deemed to pose a threat to "public safety." Given the DELTA advisors sent to Waco to assist the FBI following the abortive Treasury raid on otherwise law abiding citizens exercising their Constitutional rights of free assembly, religion, and keep and bear arms, we can only assert that where there is smoke, there is fire. We have no proof these allegations are true. If you do, write us.
Haiti Mission Analysis Proceeds
Our Correspondents in the 1st and 2nd Ranger Battalions informs us that the Ranger Regiment staff has been planning the seizure of the Port Au Prince International Airport for months.
When we protested that that is their job our correspondents assured us planning had begun as early as February, far in advance administration public announcements about the "possible" use of force to restore the communist Aristide to office.
More disturbing are reports that classified plans regarding the employment and deployment of United States military forces to Haiti are being briefed in detail to the United Nations Security Council.
The expenditure of American lives, taxpayer dollars, and national resources to replace a peasant nation junta with a communist "priest" endorse by the tribalists of the Black Congressional Caucus and by our socialist administration now seems imminent. If you have more information, write us.
to the Editor
On the eve of the United States invasion of Haiti I reminded of the shrieking yellow journalism hysteria that preceded the Spanish American War of 1898. There is on compelling reason to invade Haiti. Haiti poses absolutely no threat to the security of this nation.
The only reason invasion is even being contemplated is to satisfy the political whimsy of the Black Congressional Caucus, intellectual mystics who are the vanguards of neo-communist tribalism.
The Black Congressional Caucus' irrational meaningless bromides about the lack of action on Haiti because it is a predominantly black country would drive any rational person to ignore the issue all together.
The Black Congressional Caucus' demand that Aristide, a communist, a voodoo mystic, and a common street thug disguised as a catholic priest, be reinstalled as president of Haiti by force of arms borne by the United States military says volumes about their political philosophy.
Haiti's problems are Haiti's. Let them murder themselves, starve, and perish from AIDS. Good riddance to them. They brought their problems upon themselves. That entire pesthole is not worth a single American soldier's life.
Name Withheld By Request 3 SFG(A)
YOUR RIGHTS AND YOU
If you have been following the latest breech of your rights by the federal government, you may wonder why the government insists on penalizing honest citizens rather than the true criminal. I refer of course to the "Assault Rifle Ban" that the government is trying to make you believe will curb crime. Total garbage! As we all know, the only people effected by this ban will be those of us that are part of the honest citizenry. No criminal will even be concerned; by definition does not abide by the laws that each of us feels compelled to support.
If this is not about crime control and criminals will not be effected, what is it about? It is about people control plain and simple! Look back into history to the battles of Lexington and Concord. The Crown (then government) sent General Clinton (deja vu) to confiscate the weapons of the citizenry. The rest is history and the basis for our nation. Now the federal government headed by President Clinton wants your weapons and the reason is the same. Without weapons to repel a tyrannical government the citizens become subjects.
But no one has said anything about confiscation you say. In New York City registration was an initial requirement that was followed later by mandatory disposal (equals confiscation). The government wants to remove your means of resistance. Do any of you really expect to repel armed agents of the state with single shot rifles and shotguns?
The real point is that the proposed ban is unconstitutional. It is a violation of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, a portion of the Bill of _Rights_. At this point I could begin the history lesson but I will not. Rather I challenge each of you to avail yourselves of the public library and research the intent of the Second Amendment and others you feel relevant to your every day lives. A place to start may be the Federalist Papers and any work by the opposition then known as Anti-Federalists.
PRESIDENTIAL DECISION DIRECTIVE TWENTY FIVE
On 3 May, 1994, president Clinton signed PDD-25 defining policy involving our military in international "peacekeeping." The only people permitted to read this document are policy advisors and selected members of Congress.
A formal Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of this document results in nothing but a form letter from the National Security Council acknowledging its existence without revealing anything of its content. A fifteen page summary of this document was distributed in Congress. However if the summary of PDD-25 provided to Congress is anything like the summary of NAFTA provided to Congress, it would be wrong to assume the summary of PDD-25 is an accurate description of the base document.
Challenged further to supply the text of PDD-25, the NSC provided the text of a 5 May, 1994, press briefing conducted by National Security Advisor Antony Lake. But again, no text of the base document.
Since when is policy concerning so-called peacekeeping operations a national secret? Unless, of course, this administration, despite statements to the contrary, are planning to subordinate the American military to the whims of the United Nations.
My concern is that the sovereignty of America is being sold down the river and that our Army is becoming little more than a slave army of the United Nations.
SWCS INSTRUCTORS PARTICIPATING IN DRUG RAIDS
I am writing to expose what I believe to be a gross violation of USC Title 10 and Posse Comitatus.
For almost a year SFARTEC committee of Company D, 2nd Battalion, USAJFKSWCS, has been participating in drug raids with the Cumberland County Narcotics Task Force. SFARTEC instructors participate in these raids as active players, their role being to serve as back-up for police making drug busts. These SFARTEC instructors are positioned at the end of the stack during assaults on suspected drug residences.
Since when has the Army become concerned with active law enforcement? What is next, raids on law abiding civilians for exercising their Second Amendment rights?
My friends and I are all in agreement; our government is getting out of control and the first time we are given a mission to disarm the citizens of this country we are going to desert and join whatever guerrilla movement demonstrates it is fighting to restore the principles this country was founded on, republicanism and individual rights.
Keep up the good work. Don't let the b---s shut you down.
"John" 7 SFG(A)
Thank you for your vote of confidence. There are many more who think as you do than you believe. Yet, for whatever reason, fear of retribution by their chain of command, or belief that they are alone, keeps them silent. If anyone has further information about this matter write The RESISTER.
NO COMPROMISE: Don't Tread on Me
As a soldier-historian I have been watching, with considerably more than passing interest, The very document I have sworn to defend against both foreign and domestic enemies, the Constitution of the United States, sink deeper and deeper into a socialist cesspool; a cesspool constantly fed by the sewer of compromise.
On 19 April 1775, a handful of men in Lexington Massachusetts took up arms in defense of their peers at Concord to oppose a force sent to confiscate their means to resist tyranny. This confiscatory force was not a foreign invader, nor an army of occupation; it was the army of their government. Our ancestors resisted, and won.
Modern Americans are content to grovel at the feet of their government, compromising at every turn, whimpering insipid platitudes of subservient thanks when their Constitutional rights, assured by the original ten Amendments to the Constitution, are granted to them anew as privileges.
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are limitations on government -- not the individual. Bear in mind that the original ten Amendments to the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, were not the product of those who wrote the Constitution, the Federalists, but to those who opposed it, the Anti- Federalists. The Anti-Federalists recognized the potential for tyranny in the Constitution and insisted on guarantees of inalienable rights that could not be abrogated by the government. They recognized that all government is, by definition, tyrannical.
Socialists believe words are fuzzy, undefinable constructs that assume whatever meaning they want under whatever whim context they invent at the time. Socialists hate the 18th century language of the Constitution because the words used actually had specific meaning in the context in which they were used. Thus the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution states in full:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
In context, the term "...regulated Militia," meant the whole citizenry, independently armed, practiced and drilled in the use of their arms, prepared to take up those arms to preserve their property, as individuals, and their rights as freemen.
In context, the phrase "...free State," meant not only defense against foreign aggression, but more explicitly, defense against domestic tyranny.
Note the elegance and exclusivity of the closing to this keystone of the Bill of Rights, "...shall ont be infringed." In context this means: No organization, government or non-government, by design, neglect or whim, through legislation or regulation, for reasons specific or implied, shall restrict this right in any way, form, or condition.
Socialists believe the Second Amendment refers only to State government, or even more terrifying, to the Federal Government. Their shopworn bromide that the term "...the people..." in the Second Amendment applies only to the National Guard, Reserves, standing army, and police, but not to individuals, is a base lie.
"...(T)he people..." means all individuals. Period. The National Guard is an instrument of force of a state government. The Reserves are an instrument of force of the Federal Government. Both organizations are, in 18th century terms, a Select Militia. It was in wise opposition to a government monopoly of armed force by a Select Militia in general and a standing army in particular, that the individual's right to keep and bear arms was guaranteed.
No wonder our socialist government and their despicable altruist cheerleaders despise the Second Amendment.
Supreme Court rulings on the Second Amendment have affirmed that the Second Amendment applies only to individuals, not to armed gangs on federal or state payrolls. Indeed, the Supreme Court has ruled that the right of individuals to bear arms appropriate to (select) Militia use is unquestioned. This means: If the National Guard, Reserves, standing army, and innumerable armed gangs of local, state, and unconstitutional Federal police have, for example, M-16 rifles, it is not only the right of individuals to possess and openly bear the same weapons, it is contrary to the preservation of their liberty not to.
Political socialists in the U.S. Congress, as well as police state socialists in the unconstitutional Justice and Treasury Departments are using the typical stalking horses of government tyranny, public safety, and some undefined mob of irrelevancies called "the children," to creep up on and abolish the sole guaranty of personal liberty in the Constitution, the Second Amendment.
By "public safety" the Federal government means greatly expanding the powers of their own armed gangs of badge wielding thugs. By those amorphous abstractions they call "children" they are referring to 15 - 24 year-old minority street garbage killing each other over drug and extortion turf.
Socialists are constantly calling for compromise on Second Amendment issues which they themselves fabricate. Compromise, as any intelligent person knows, is unmitigated evil. Only the inept, irrational, and intellectually corrupt ask for compromise and only they win when compromise is conceded by the able, rational, and intelligent out of some fear of being labeled "extremist."
Socialists revile those who stand on principle, those who distinguish right from wrong, and those who can differentiate between truth and lies. Whenever socialists fling accusations of extremism you can rest assured that their opponents have the truth of their side. Simply put, in any compromise between poison and food, only death wins.
Regarding the Second Amendment, the victor in the compromise between the right to keep and bear arms equivalent to those of the Select Militia, and government legislation against them, is slavery. The men who stood armed against their government at Lexington knew that their only choice was liberty or serfdom. They did not compromise.
Two-hundred years ago Randy Weaver and David Koresh would have been heroes for resisting government whimsy. Today they are vilified for having defended their liberty by force of arms. The unconstitutional Federal police, as always, demonstrated groveling cowardice in their investigation, execution, and cover-up of these outrages.
The media, as always, whined, simpered, and adopted the greasy socialist party line like the practiced second handers they are.
Adopting the bald eagle as the national symbol was a mistake. It should have been the rattlesnake.
Philosophically, the only flag in our history that reflects the cause of the American Revolution, resistance to government tyranny, is the coiled rattlesnake over the words: "DONT TREAD ON ME." No one can look upon that flag and misunderstand its meaning.
Under the Constitution the only Federal crime is treason. Subverting the Constitution can only be construed as such. Those in government, Federal state, or local, who by action or inaction would legislate away the only individual guaranty against tyrannical government, the right to keep and bear arms, and those who support such legislation, are traitors to the Constitution.
As a soldier of the standing army I am sworn to defend the Constitution against these domestic enemies of the Constitution. I will, and I am not alone.
solder and bakers fluid - dont use fluxcore its not upto the job.
feed the cable through the nipple and splay the ends out so i cant fall / pull out
heat from the side with the soldering iron - for this job you dot need to put solder directly onto the iron
drop in some bakers fluid down the splayed end - if it bubbles brown then your cable is dirty and needs cleaning thorougly [just heat it on the iron and dip it in bakers fluid, repeat untill clean bubbles] or your soldering wont be strong enough. feed in solder down the hole till it fills up and you can see a tiny little bit out of the cable end of the nipple [ok so im running out of hands so you get the idea
dress off with a file and there you have it - one new cable to your exact length. done like this you end up with a wedge of solder inside the wire itself. basically means you cant pull it out through the smaller hole
the cable outer - i just put in vice and cut with angle grinder. that way you dont make a mess of it bending it with wire cutters or something. nice clean cut every time. with the universal cable kits you get cable ends to push on as well as a selection of nipples
dont know where you will get it in america but its readily available over here in england. above is the link to its spec. search from america and google will probably find it for you. from here it just tells me nearby shops
Looks like it may save some time, money and get you the cable length you want.
Anyway...I found this article about spark plugs. Ive fucked this up a time or two so read and pay heed.
How you can read spark plugs and select them - by Gordon Jennings
Stay with motorcycling long enough to swat a few gnats with your nose and you will at least begin to realize how much there is to know about spark plugs. Bikers like to tinker, and will replace spark plugs even if they don't venture anything else. And in just replacing plugs the motorcyclist becomes acquainted with the fact that there is more than meets the eye.
The first thing you have to learn is that there are some important differences in spark plugs' threaded ends, which are made in four diameters and lengths. Most plugs' thread diameter is a nominal 14 millimeters, but Honda -for example- uses 10mm plugs in small displacement engines and l2mm plugs spark all the Honda Fours. There also are 18mm plugs, seen only rarely in motorcycle applications despite the advantage they bring to two-stroke engines. At one time you had to cope with slight differences in thread configuration on spark plugs from different countries; this worry mercifully has been ended by an international standardization of thread forms.
Because differences in thread diameters are so large, few people get into trouble through trying to stuff a l4mm plug into a 12mm hole -or vice versa. The same isn't true of plugs' threaded lengths, or "reach." Setting aside for the moment the small variations created by the use of an inch-based standard in a mostly-metric world, there are just four nominal reach dimensions: 3/8-inch, 1/2-inch, 7/16-inch and 3/4-inch. These dimensions are followed by engine manufacturers in the depths they give plug holes, and the idea is that the lower end of the plug's threaded shank should come up flush in the combustion chamber.
We know from personal observation that people do make plug-reach mistakes; using 3/4-inch plugs in 1/2-inch holes is the most common error, and one fraught with unpleasant consequences. One of the disasters you can have from using a long-reach plug in a short-reach hole is purely mechanical in nature. In time the plug threads exposed inside the combustion chamber may become filled with hard-baked deposits. If that happens you'll find it almost impossible to remove the plug without also removing the plug hole threads. Reversing this kind of mistake, using a plug reach too short for the hole, lets deposits fill the plug hole's exposed threads and may cause difficulties when you try to install a plug having the correct reach.
The worst and most immediate problem created by an overly-long plug in an engine is that the exposed threads absorb a terrific amount of heat from the combustion process. This raises the plug-nose temperatures, and may take them up high enough to make the side electrode function as a glow plug. And when that happens you have the white-hot electrode firing the mixture far too early, like an over-advanced spark timing but worse because the early ignition causes yet higher combustion chamber temperatures, which causes even earlier ignition. This condition is known as "runaway pre-ignition," and if it is allowed to proceed it will wreck your engine.
Even a single plug thread exposed in an engine's combustion chamber will raise electrode temperatures quite markedly. That could be a real problem as engine makers don't hold plug-hole depths to close tolerances, and the near-universal adoption of crushable plug washers gives the user a chance to compound errors by over-tightening when installing fresh plugs. Spark plug manufacturers have solved the problem by leaving an unthreaded relief at plugs' lower ends. The relief also serves as a pilot, guiding a plug straight into the plug hole. Finally, the relief accommodates differences in opinion between plug makers about how nominal reach dimensions should translate into actual metal - and there are some small differences.
Matters of thread diameter and length resolved, you can still get into trouble with a spark plug property called "heat range." All conventional plugs, whatever the application, have to stay hot enough to burn away deposits (oil, carbon, etc.) that otherwise would short-circuit the spark, and that places the lower limit for temperature at about 700 degrees F. There are multiple upper limits for plug temperature: sulfurous fuel elements begin chemical erosion of the electrodes above 1100 F.; oxidation of nickel-alloy electrodes begins at 1600-1800 F.; and at some point (which depends upon compression ratio, mixture, throttle setting, etc.), the electrodes will be hot enough to cause pre-ignition. So, to be safe, plug temperatures must be held between 700 F. and 1000 F. over the whole range of operating conditions.
If all engines, and riders, were identical, the spark plug manufacturers' jobs would be easy, as a single plug would be suitable for all applications. Instead, engines vary enormously, as do specific operating conditions, and so the plugs themselves have to be given equally varied thermal characteristics. This is done by varying the length of the path taken by heat as it travels from the very hot center electrode and insulator nose to the relatively cool areas around the body's threads and the plug washer. Plugs with a long insulator nose, which leads heat high into the plug body before it turns back toward the cooler cylinder head, are "hot." Short-nosed plugs, with a shorter heat path, are "cold." And these terms are very misleading, as in all cases the object is to match the thermal characteristics of plug and engine so the electrode temperature will stay between 700 F. and 1000 F. We must emphasize that it is the engine that puts heat into the plug, and not the reverse. A "hot" plug does not make an engine run hotter; neither does a "cold" plug make if run cooler.
The entire question of heat range is something most people find terribly perplexing - and deal with simply by following the recommendations of their bike's manufacturer. But this does not always yield satisfactory results, because many motorcycle engines make impossible heat range demands. Free-air cooling broadens the range of engine temperatures; so does the typical bike engine's specific power output, which is a level encountered only in outright racing engines little more than a decade ago. Manufacturers tend to specify plugs with heat ranges chosen with an eye toward "worst-condition" operation, which means that bikes' original equipment spark plugs often are a bit cold for those who ride conservatively. Unfortunately, the conservative rider is mostly likely to also be conservative in other ways, and in most cases will stick with whatever plug his owners manual suggests; the speed merchants, who are the people manufacturers have in mind when they make their heat-range recommendations, usually assume their own bikes need colder plugs.
Knowing which plugs are hotter or colder than the ones you presently have in your bike is easy if you're content to stay with the same brand. Nearly all of the world's plug makers use a number-based code to designate heat range: foreign firms follow a system in which higher numbers mean colder plugs; American companies do just the opposite, assigning hotter plugs higher numbers. Unfortunately, there is no semblance of order beyond this point. One company, Champion, is in a state of nomenclature transition that makes its product line inordinately confusing. The American Rule applies at Champion, but in an odd way, spread across three series of heat ranges that encompass touring and racing spark plugs, old and new, with double-digit numbers assigned to some and single digits for others.
Bosch's three-digit numbers are a holdover from the early days, when plugs were rated for engines' "indicated mean effective pressure." But combustion chamber pressures alone soon proved inadequate, for it was found that the thermal load on a plug also depended upon spark timing, cylinder head cooling and even on the flow of mixture into the cylinder. These factors greatly complicate the business of assigning plugs thermal ratings. Each spark plug manufacturing firm has its own test procedure, and though there are efforts being made to bring the whole thing under some international standard no agreement exists today.
On the other hand, there is an enormous amount of mutual product testing being done, and this enables plug manufacturers to offer accurate cross-brand conversion charts. However, it should be understood that the equivalents are not exact. When plug maker-A's chart shows "equivalents" from maker-B and maker-C it only means those are the nearest equivalents; they aren't necessarily identical. This creates a little confusion, and an opportunity: if you think a particular plug is just a hair too hot or too cold, try its equivalents in other brands. You might hit upon precisely the thermal characteristics you want.
The last point of confusion in the area of heat range is the fact that the progression of numbers within a manufacturer's line of plugs may not accurately reflect the extent of the shift toward hotter or colder thermal grades. It appears that all the companies began with some neat, evenly-spaced arrangement of numbers and heat ranges, and then had to shuffle everything around to align themselves with reality. Apparently some plugs are thermally biased, hotter or colder, to make them better suited to particular applications - as when an engine manufacturer is willing to order large volumes of plugs if they're biased to suit his needs. And if one of a plug maker's best-sellers is biased colder, while the next-warmer thermal grade is biased a bit hotter, you get a kind of heat-range gap, which can be bridged only by switching brands.
There is more to spark plugs than just thread diameter and reach, and heat range. Cramped installations have created plugs with stubby insulators and small-hex bodies; aircraft plugs often require strange provisions for shielding; aerospace work has brought us spark plugs that look like a death ray firing-pin. Most of the far-out variety have no conceivable application in motorcycling and can be ignored; but there are a few "special" spark plugs you definitely should know about.
One very useful variation of the standard spark plug has its insulator nose and electrodes extended from its metal shell. The projected-nose configuration moves the spark gap a bit farther into the combustion chamber, which tends to improve efficiency by shortening the distance traveled by the flame front and also making the combustion process more regular. But there is a more important benefit: the projected-nose plug provides, in many engines, what effectively is a broader heat range than you get with the conventional flush-nose type. The projected nose is more directly exposed to the fire in the combustion chamber, and quickly comes up to a temperature high enough to burn away fouling deposits after ignition occurs. Then during the subsequent intake phase this plug's exposed tip is cooled by the swirling air/fuel mixture. In this fashion the higher temperatures existing at full-throttle operating conditions are to some extent compensated by the greater volume of cooling air, and the net effect is to make the projected-nose plug better able to cope with the conflicting demands of traffic and highway travel.
It should be evident that the projected-nose plug's effectiveness depends on the pattern of incoming mixture flow. Four-stroke engines often have intake ports angled to promote turbulence. If the plug is positioned directly in the path of the intake flow there will be a large amount of heat removed from the plug's tip by this direct air cooling, and that is just what you get in most four-cylinder motorcycle engines. Indeed, any hemi-head four-stroke engine gives its plugs' tips quite a useful blast of cold air during the intake stroke, and we think projected-nose plugs probably should be in wider use in bikes than is the case. Two-stroke engines can benefit from projected-nose plugs' fouling resistance which they get simply through the sheer length of their insulator (it's a long way from the center electrode's tip back up to the metal shell). However, the two-stroke's incoming charge doesn't always do a good job of cooling its plug, and you have to be very cautious in using projected-nose plugs in the valveless wonders.
Some four-stroke hemi-head engines' domed pistons extend up into the combustion chamber too far, at TDC, to leave room for plug tips that extend inward. This can prevent the use of projected-nose plugs; it's something you check by covering the plug nose with modeling clay, shaping it so you have a 360-degree electrode contour, and inspecting for signs of contact after you've installed your "clearance" plug and cranked the engine over a couple of turns.
Limited plug/piston clearance in certain racing engines has prompted plug makers to create the recessed, or retracted gap, configuration. Champion inadvertently did everyone a great disservice by labeling its retracted-gap design as an "R" plug: people thought the letter meant "racing" and used the R-series in all kinds of high-performance applications, which was a terrible mistake. Even if an R-plug's heat range (all are very cold) is right, its gap placement lights the fire back in a hole and the combustion process never is quite as regular as it should be. The retracted-gap plug exists only because some engines present a clearance problem; it never was intended for use where conventional or projected-nose plugs can be fitted.
At one time there was a lot of excitement over another unconventional plug-nose configuration. In the "surface-fire" plug the spark gap was between the center electrode and the flanged-inward end of the metal shell, and the insulator material filled its interior out almost flush with the electrode's tip. Surface-fire plugs don't even have a heat range; they run at about the same temperature as the combustion chamber's walls and are completely immune to overheating. Neither can they cause pre-ignition. These features were stressed at the time of their introduction, and everyone thought surface-fire plugs were just wonderful. They aren't, because they make their spark too close to the chamber wall, and require an incredibly powerful, CDI ignition system.
Motorcycle ignition systems are the weak sisters of the world's spark generators. Bikes therefore need all the ignition help you can give them, which brings us to yet another useful group of special spark plugs: those with precious-metal electrodes. Conventional plugs have thick, blunt electrodes made of an alloy that's mostly iron, with a little nickel added to lend resistance to erosion. Special-electrode plugs have a side (ground) post made of ordinary nickel-iron alloy, but a center electrode of something much more costly - which may be a silver alloy, or gold-palladium, or platinum, etc. Bosch still favors platinum; Champion, ND and NGK offer plugs with electrodes in materials ranging from silver to tungsten. Gold-palladium seems to be the alloy that offers the best price/performance advantage; we don't entirely trust silver electrodes, which if overheated will over-expand and crack the insulator nose.
Platinum and gold-palladium alloys can survive the combustion chamber environment as very small wires, and in that rests their great advantage. Electrons leap away from the tip of a small-diameter, sharp-edged wire far more willingly than from one that's fatter and rounded. So the fine-wire plug requires less voltage to form a spark than one with conventional electrodes, and the difference becomes increasingly biased in the former's favor as hours in service accumulate and erosion blunts the iron-alloy electrodes. There are, of course, drawbacks with precious-metal plugs: they are more expensive, and they are very sensitive to excessive ignition advance. The overheating you get with too much spark lead effects plugs' center electrodes before it can be detected elsewhere in an engine, and when subjected to this kind of mistreatment fine-wire electrodes simply melt. In one sense this is a disadvantage, as it means the ruination of expensive spark plugs. Seen in another way it's a bonus feature: it is better to melt a plug electrode than an engine.
A final variation on the basic spark plug theme you should know about is something NGK calls a "booster gap," and is known at Champion as an "auxiliary gap." By any name it's an air gap built into a plug's core, and it improves resistance to fouling. Conductor deposits on a plug's insulator nose tend to bleed off the spark coil's electrical potential as it is trying to build itself up to spark-level strength. If so much energy is shunted in this way that firing does not occur we say the plug is "fouled." It is possible to clear a lightly fouled plug by holding the spark lead slightly away from the plug terminal and forcing the spark to jump across an air gap. The air gap works like a switch, keeping plug and coil disconnected until the ignition system's output voltage rises high enough and is backed by enough energy to fire the plug even though some of the zap is shunted by the fouling deposits. Mechanics discovered this trick; plug makers have incorporated it into some of the plugs they sell, and booster/auxiliary gap plugs work really well in bikes with an ignition system strong enough to cope with the added resistance. Such plugs more or less mimic the fast-voltage-rise characteristics of CDI systems - and offer no advantage used in conjunction with a capacitor-discharge ignition.
It is necessary to know all these different plug configurations if you are to be completely successful in doing your own maintenance work, and it is absolutely essential that you know how to "read" plugs if you're dealing with a high-performance bike (whether factory-built or do-it-yourself). Sports/touring machines usually are well sorted out before they're sent to market, but even the best racing bikes seem to be timed and jetted a little off-the-mark for our fuels and riding conditions. We suspect that the laboratory-quality gasoline that some factories use in their development work warps manufacturers' ignition advance recommendations; whatever the cause, nearly all the factory-built racing engines with which we have direct experience run better when their spark timings are slightly retarded. Typically, too, their spark plugs are one heat range too cold and they're jetted a bit rich. Also typically, these same bikes are fitted with even colder plugs, richer jetting and sometimes are given more spark advance by those who buy them.
The worst, most destructive, combination of mistakes we see begin with two widely-held assumptions: first, that a cold spark plug will help fend off that old devil detonation; second, that more spark advance -not less- is the thing to try when reaching for power. Try to use a too-cold spark plug and you very likely will have to jet for a lean mixture to avoid plug fouling - and as you lean an engine's air/fuel mixture down near the roughly-14.5:1 chemically-correct level it becomes extremelydetonation-prone. Excessive spark advance is even worse in its ability to produce detonation, and when combined with a lean mixture it's enough to quickly destroy an engine.
Most people who've had some experience with racing bikes (especially those with two-stroke engines) know that detonation is a piston-killer. Few really know the phenomenon for what it is: a too-sudden ending to the normal combustion process. You may imagine that the ignition spark causes an engine's mixture to explode, but it actually burns. There's a small bubble of flame formed at the spark gap when ignition occurs, and this bubble expands - its surface made a bit ragged by combustion chamber turbulence - until all the mixture is burning. This process begins slowly, but quickly gathers speed because the mixture beyond the flame_ bubble is being heated by compression and radiation to temperatures ever nearer the fuel's ignition point. When the initial spark is correctly timed the spreading flame bubble will have almost completely filled the combustion chamber as the piston reaches top center, and all burning will have been completed by the time the piston has moved just a millimeter or two into the power stroke. But the final phase of this process can be shifted from simple burning into a violent detonation of the last fraction of the whole mixture charge.
Starting the fire too early will produce detonation, as it gives the mixture out in the chamber's far corners time enough to reach explosion-level temperature. And a slightly lean mixture detonates at a lower temperature. It's all a function of ignition timing and mixture in any given engine, and spark plug heat range plays absolutely no part in it.
Your engine's spark plug doesn't cause detonation but it can tell you when and why the phenomenon has occurred. Moreover, the spark plug can tell you with remarkable precision how much spark advance and what jetting your engine needs. Those are things you can "read" in a spark plug, and all that is written there will be revealed very clearly when the heat range is right.
So how can you tell whether you've chosen the right heat range? It's easy: a spark plug should be getting hot enough to keep its insulator nose completely clean, with all deposits burned away, but not so hot that its electrodes show signs of serious overheating. These are things to look for on a new plug that has been subjected to a few minutes of hard running. After many miles of service insulators acquire a coating of fuel deposits, with some coloration from oil in two-stroke applications, and there will be some erosion of the electrodes even when everything is normal. Don't try to read old spark plugs; even the experts find that difficult. New plugs present unmuddled information about what's happening inside an engine, and can give you a complete picture after just minutes of hard running. At least they will if they're running hot enough, and that should be hot enough to keep the insulator clean.
It's impossible to separate the question of ignition advance from the primary evidence of spark plug overheating, which is most strongly shown on the plug's center electrode. If you inspect this electrode's tip with a magnifying glass and see that its edges are being rounded by erosion, or melting, then you know there's overheating. You should also have a close look at the tip of the ground electrode, checking for the same symptoms. Finally, inspect the condition of the insulator, which should be white but with a surface texture about like it was when new; a porous, grainy appearance is evidence of overheating. If the signs of overheating are confined mostly to the center electrode you can bet you're using too much ignition advance. Retard the spark timing in small (two or three degrees) increments and as you get close to the optimum advance you'll find two things happening: first, the whole plug will be running colder; second, the center electrode will begin to acquire a film of fuel deposits extending out from the insulator nose toward its tip.
The fuel film mentioned here is what you watch when making fine adjustments in ignition advance. In an engine that's been given just a few degrees excessive advance (as most have) the fuel film will only extend outward along part of the center electrode's exposed length, ending abruptly a couple of millimeters from the tip. The portion remaining won't be filmed over simply because it has been hot enough to burn away the fuel salts dusted on the rest of the electrode, and you'll see that sort of localized overheating created by too much spark advance even on a plug that is two or three heat ranges too cold. And you'll have the correct spark advance when the center electrode's fuel film continues right out to within a hair of its tip. There are a couple of caveats to be observed in this matter. An overly-retarded spark timing won't show except as an absence of any evidence pointing to too much advance. Also, the spark itself will blast clean spots in the electrode's fuel film, and when there's enough combustion chamber turbulence to blow the spark sideways into a curved path you'll get a cleared area on one side of the electrode. This lop-sided spark blush shouldn't be mistaken for the more sharply defined ring associated with the electrode tip overheating produced by excessive spark advance.
Once you have brought your engine's ignition timing close to optimum you'll almost certainly have to make a further change in spark plug heat range. Manufacturers' specifications for racing models very often advise you to use too much advance and a too-cold plug, and when you shorten the spark lead to suit commonly-available fuels it almost certainly will be necessary to use a warmer plug. Then, when you have found plugs of a heat range that will keep that insulator nice and clean you can start adjusting your engine's air/fuel mixture - a task that will be easy if you can forget everything you thought you knew about this aspect of plug reading.
A lot of amateur tuners, some of whom are fairly successful, will look at some plug freshly removed from a two-stroke engine and offer advice based on the color of the oil deposited on the insulator nose. In fact, if the plug is hot enough there won't be any color, and if there is that still has nothing much to do with air/fuel mixture. If you think about it you'll realize that the only color you can get from an air/fuel mixture is the color of soot. When the mixture trapped in an engine's combustion chamber has more fuel than can be burned with the available air, then combustion will be incomplete and the excess fuel will remain as soot, which is not brown or tan or magenta or any color other than black. And if your engine's mixture is too rich, the sooty evidence will be present on the spark plug's insulator, in a very particular area.
You won't find any soot out near the insulator nose, on a plug that's running hot enough to keep itself from fouling, because temperatures there are too high to let soot collect. But the insulator is much cooler deep inside the plug body, and coolest where it contacts the metal shell, which is precisely where you "read" mixture strength. Look far inside a plug, where its insulator joins its shell, and what you'll see there if your engine's mixture is too rich is a ring of soot. If this ring continues outward along the insulator to a width of even a millimeter you can be sure the mixture is rich enough to be safe, and too rich for maximum output. In most engines best performance is achieved when the mixture contains only enough excess fuel to make just a wisp of a "mixture ring" on the plug insulator. Air cooled two-stroke engines often will respond favorably to a slightly richer mixture, which provides a measure of internal cooling; some four-stroke engines give their best power when the mixture is leaned down to such extent that the last trace of soot deep inside the plug completely disappears.
Never try to jet too close to a best-power mixture until after you've taken care of spark advance. As previously noted, the air/fuel ratio that yields maximum power is only a shade richer than the one that is most detonation-prone; fortunately, the plug will tell you when there has been even slight detonation inside your engine. The signs to look for are pepper-like black specks on the insulator nose, and tiny balls of aluminum concentrated mostly around the center electrode's tip. Severe detonation will blast a lot of aluminum off the piston crown, and give the plug a gray coating-which is a portent of death for the engine. A few engines will show just a trace of detonation when jetted and sparked for maximum power, but that never produces anything more than a few miniscule spots of aluminum gathered on the center electrode's sharp edges. If you see more aluminum and an extensive peppering evident on your plug, you're in trouble.
We cannot stress too strongly the need to give spark advance your closest attention, because excessive spark lead is the most frequent cause of detonation, which is a real engine killer. You can't stop advance-produced detonation with a cold spark plug, nor with anything but a wildly over-rich mixture. Also, excessive ignition advance has a bad effect on performance. We ran a 250cc road racer at the drags a few months ago, and found that retarding the spark about five degrees from the manufacturer's setting raised the trap speed from 106 to 110 mph. Similarly, there's a 125cc motocross machine residing in our shop which runs a lot stronger and cleaner since it has been retimed for less advance, jetted leaner, and been given a hotter spark plug.
Even touring bikes sometimes benefit from revised spark timings. Only rarely will their carburetion be off enough to need attention, but the ignition advance they get represents a compromise between the optima for power and economy. For some riders, especially those who use a lot of throttle much of the time, stock ignition advance is too much advance. And of course many riders find that their specific requirements are better met with non-standard plug configurations.
The trick in all this is to know enough about spark plugs to be able to choose the right basic type, and to understand what the plug has to say about conditions inside your bike's engine. It's not an altogether easy trick to perform, with so many things to be remembered all at once; it's a terrifically effective trick when you get it right.