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Discussion Starter #1
Just wondering - dealership is trying to upsell me telling me that my iridium single electrode plugs are really bad. The manual does call for platinum double electrode, and I'm sure there is all kinds of argument about which is "better", but can the iridium really cause damage? I got the NGK iridiums sold at Rock Auto.
 

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2001 Camry XLE 1MZ-FE
2001 Camry XLE
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Just wondering - dealership is trying to upsell me telling me that my iridium single electrode plugs are really bad. The manual does call for platinum double electrode, and I'm sure there is all kinds of argument about which is "better", but can the iridium really cause damage? I got the NGK iridiums sold at Rock Auto.
NGK Iridiums are fine and will last a long time, and will perform as well if not a little better than the original spec'ed platinum plugs.

How much did you pay for the Iridium plugs? And how much does your dealer want to charge for the Platinum plugs?
 

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2001 Camry XLE 1MZ-FE
2001 Camry XLE
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Thanks, not sure about the price yet, why?
You didn't say what year/make/model you had so I'll go with mine, a 2001 6-cyl.

RockAuto shows the double platinum plug, Denso part # 3253 for $5.73 each. The Denso part #3297 Iridium plug is $6.14 each and the NGK Iridium part #3764 is $6.48 each.

I'm betting that the dealer will tell you the factory, double platinum super duper plug they stock costs between $12.00 and $14.00 each. See what they say.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
98 V6, but yea of course their prices are insane, should be expected. What's much worse is that they want $200 in labor to replace an ignition coil, which takes. literally. TWO. minutes.

I'm just curious what it is about dual electrode spark plugs that would make them different in any way functional way.
 

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Toyota Collector
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Your car has a "waste spark" system, meaning the spark plugs get energized twice as often versus a system that has a coil per cylinder. I find in Toyota engines they always run best with the plug that came with car so I would use that. You can buy an entire wire/plug set on Ebay for about $100, it could be out there for cheaper that's just the first result that came up.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Hi 71, thanks, could you explain how having two electrode grounds is related to this waste spark system, and how only having one electrode could damage the coil pack?

When I think about it, people may be getting confused about "double platinum", thinking that it means two electrrodes, when it doesn't mean that at all.
 

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Toyota Collector
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The spark plug gets twice as many electrical pulses in a waste spark system versus one with not. That is why the dual electrode is there, to spread the wear over more material. I have never heard of a coil being damaged by a single electrode plug myself. You are right "double platinum" has nothing to do with a dual electrode.

What I am saying is, in my experience the engine runs the best when using spark plugs that came with the car. I've tried other versions several times and the car either ran the same, or ran worse and I got worse gas mileage. So I stick to what came from the factory. The ignition systems on these cars are designed for a specific type of plug, changing to something else can and does have negative results.
 

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'00 4 Cyl. Auto Camry LE
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Just replaced the plugs in our 4cyl 2000 Camry last night with Denso PK20TR11, which were the same plugs pulled, mileage 218,000+, plugs pulled had at least 118,000 miles on them..

Electrodes and tip were obviously worn, but overall were in amazingly good shape for the amount of mileage on them..

+1 for replacing w/ the factory Denso PK20TR11 plugs if due.
 

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'00 4 Cyl. Auto Camry LE
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882 Posts
Both NGK and Denso make double-electrode platinum plugs spec'd as OEM for the motor, I think that is the reason. (The owner's manual lists both plugs as OEM replacement.)

The NGK plugs are more $$$, was able to compare side-by-side vs. the Denso plugs - while the NGK plugs may have more platinum content for the additional $$$ (guessing here), I could not see any significant difference between the two brands.. Both appeared to be high quality plugs.

*If your plug wires have high mileage or are original, you may want to provision for a plug wire change - when removing the wires to do the plug change (3) were in excellent shape, (1) was obviously dry / in poorer condition vs. the other three..

Picking up a new NGK plug wire set today to complete the service.
 

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Noob
1997 Camry 5SFE
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230 Posts
I did my wires as well when I replaced my plugs. You won't believe the difference it makes. You get used to old worn parts, you never realize the pep it picks up when replaced with new parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I replaced my wires as well, didn't make much difference, I don't think wires would ever add performance so much as eliminate performance problems. But installing new injectors...now THAT added some zoom.
 

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イリジウム
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Here is what one member did with new NGK wires on his 1MZ. He reported higher power in the upper rpm range.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-3rd-4th-generation-1992-1996-1997-2001/404341-why-bother-changing-your-spark-plug-wireset-1mz-fe-even-if-car-runs-fine.html

I'd go with NGK Iridium IX plugs and NGK wire set. As mentioned in another of Numberforty1's threads (http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-3rd-4th-generation-1992-1996-1997-2001/744770-single-electrode-plugs-damage-coils-over-time-v6-engines-use-3-coil-packs.html):

You'll be fine using NGK Iridium IX. Have a word with NGK tech if you have to. It'll last the 60K interval and probably to 75K. And the wear will be mostly on the ground electrode too. For some reason NGK removed the Laser Iridium (extra platinum ground pad) from the waste spark application list.

Iridium plugs weren't available back then. To me platinum plugs are like dinosaurs. Now Toyota's using iridiums in newer engines going to 120K miles change intervals (with platinum ground pad, like NGK Laser Iridiums). And of course they moved away from the el cheapo waste spark system, not that people notice any difference.

Iridium plugs with its thinner center electrode can fire leaner mixtures and have lower coil voltage requirements, and IMO that's extra safety margin in any engine and better for the coil in less misfires.

Here's NGK's claim on the advantages of iridium plugs:
Designed specifically for the performance enthusiast. Iridium IX® offers extreme ignitability, improved throttle response and superior anti fouling

Fine Iridium tip ensures high durability and a consistently stable spark
Iridium alloy has extremely high melting point, perfect for today’s high-tech, high-performance engines
Trivalent Metal Plating - superior anti-corrosion and anti-seizing properties
Outstanding acceleration, high fuel efficiency and durability
Ultimate design, technology and performance.

And here's what Denso says about iridium:
Q. What makes Iridium better?
A. Until recently, platinum was considered the best material to use on the top of an electrode because of its durability. However, Iridium is 6 times harder, 8 times stronger, and has a melting point 1200 degrees higher than platinum. Put that into a harsh environment such as an engine piston chamber, and you have a spark plug that can resist wear much better than platinum. Additionally, the DENSO Iridium Power alloy is so durable; it allowed our engineers to produce the world?s smallest center electrode (.4mm) which reduces the voltage requirements, concentrating its sparking power. Also, its smaller size, combined with the tapered U-Groove ground electrode, allows more room for the flame kernel to develop and produce a more efficient combustion.




I did my wires as well when I replaced my plugs. You won't believe the difference it makes. You get used to old worn parts, you never realize the pep it picks up when replaced with new parts.
 

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Speedkar99 on YouTube
2003 Camry
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1,877 Posts
The spark plug gets twice as many electrical pulses in a waste spark system versus one with not. That is why the dual electrode is there, to spread the wear over more material.
+1

Use a dual electrode plug for the waste spark ignition. NGK only makes platinum dual electrode plug, and not an iridium. Under the hood of my V6 1MZ Solara, there's a sticker saying to only used dual electrode plugs only.

At least these plugs aren't that hard to change more frequently compared to a 3MZ or 2GR engine.

http://www.toyotanation.com/forum/103-3rd-4th-generation-1992-1996-1997-2001/533441-diy-camry-3-0l-v6-spark-plug-replacement.html
 

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Discussion Starter #17
But it would seem there is a reason why they don't have dual electrode iridium...because the higher properties of the metal don't require it. At least it seems that way.

Thanks again speedkar for that video - I actually replaced all 3 rear bank plugs with just a straight 6" extension. It helps a bit to loosen the rear intake plenum brackets.
 

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'00 4 Cyl. Auto Camry LE
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882 Posts
johngd, -Thanks- for posting the link and to fenixus for the excellent writeup.

On the '00 4cyl Camry here, long term fuel trim was -3.5% rich, after plug and wire replacement long term fuel trim reported 2.9% lean after monitoring on a 30 mile commute home last night..

The 'after' LTFT is still subjective at this point, need to run the vehicle more for the value to settle in, but a dramatic difference in fuel economy to start - it shouldn't take too many fill-ups to for the parts to pay for themselves based on fuel savings..

Will consider Iridium on the next plug interval also.
 

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When I did my spark plugs on my 1997 Toyota Camry v6 1MZ-FE, I bought new NGK (NGK 3764) Iridiums, which are a "single electrode" spark plug, as recommended on NGK website. I finished up, tried starting. Car sputtered but would not start. I tried repeatedly. Nothing. Would not start. I sat there for hours going over everything as I had changed valve cover gaskets at the same time so I removed intake, throttle body, wire harness, etc..... After finding nothing wrong, and looking at that Toyota sticker on my hood warning to use "platinum dual electrode spark plugs only", I thought "the only thing different is the spark plugs". So I swapped the easy to change 3 front ones and put the old Denso Platinum dual electrode spark plugs back in. Car started this time, but was running horrendous, on 3 cylinders, shaking like mad. But it started. So I knew I was on to something. So I spent 90 minutes swapping out the new rear plugs with the old. Car immediately started and ran perfect. It was definitely the plugs. So next day I went and bought the NGK Laser Platinum dual electrode spark plugs (NGK 3452) and installed them. Car started up perfectly. So there is something about this "wasted spark ignition" and why Toyota recommends only using a specific plug style. It seems there is a difference. I bought the NGK Iradiums initially because I figured they'd last longer and be a higher quality spark plug, along with costing half the price of the platinum's. But it bit me in the a_s. So I'd strongly recommend going with the platinum dual electrode OEM plugs. If you don't, you may find you wasted a heck of a lot of time and money and will be forced to do the job over again. There's a reason that sticker is attached to the hood. I wished I heeded that warning.
See attached sticker.
IMG_20200302_223038.jpg
 

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straight cash homie
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There's a reason that sticker is attached to the hood. I wished I heeded that warning.
See attached sticker.
The 97 Camrys came out right before Iridium plugs became OE on the vehicles. I also looked at the NGK website, and honestly, I think the NGK IFR6E11 (6741) would've been better matched than the Iridium IX plugs you initially bought.
 
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