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Old 05-02-2004, 01:25 PM   #1
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Just bought a set of RapidFire #14s for my car but after the installation noticed that I apparently had been given two different RapidFires



The "Platinum" one has a three year garentee while the "Performance" a two year.

Not the first time AC has done this: marketting different brands under the AC name with the same part number, most recent before was labelling Champ oil filters as AC 47s, but now wonder what I have in there.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:19 AM   #2
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Just talked to AC (guess they did not want to put their reply in writing 8*/ and according to them all Rapidfires that have the pin-type electrode (not the original serrated) are platinum plugs reguardless of what it says on the box.

And now the bad news: despite what it says on the Delco web page, Rapidfires should now be regapped before installation (thought the only difference between a #3 and #14 was the gap). Evidently they could save a few pennies by leaving off the tube protector.

So Rapidfires are now platinum (maybe) but check the electrode and gap when purchasing.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:44 PM   #3
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Had installed the #14s in two cars before I noticed the new regap requirement. Oh well.

Does anyone know if the #14 is the same heat range as the #3 (only difference is the .040 vs .060 gap ?), my 1999 ACD spark plug manual does not list and when I asked 1-800-ACDELCO, I was told that that information was proprietary. Right.

If so I have some platimum tip #3s that I can regap to .060" easily enough.

BTW I had a new DR-158 module that I could not get to work (tried on three cars) that has suddenly come to life and is working now. I have to wonder if there may be either a pin/harness issue or a grounding problem since the modules seem extremely rugged.

Have had several that tested good on the Autozone tester but would not run in the car. Has anyone had an ingmition module faile (car will not start) that cleared up if you R&R'd the harness connector ? Would like to know.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:46 PM   #4
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What advantage do platinum spark plugs have over the other ones? Just wondering was curious.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:53 PM   #5
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Generally platinum plugs last longer but then all Rapidfires seem to last a long time. Took an early set out that had been in the car for 45,000 miles and they showed almost no wear.

The late 2001 blurb that ACDelco put out said "ACDelco added a platinum tip to its RAPIDFIRE Spark Plug line, giving it longer life."

Have put more than you ever wanted to know on my web page.
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:54 PM   #6
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Just wondering thanx it is getting close to the time to replace mine so i think i will go with the platinums this time.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:20 PM   #7
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<rant>Have always thought AC parts were the best for GM cars but am really starting to wonder. Really statred when I found out that they were subcontracting oil filters to Champion Laboratories (Champ). Latest really makes me wonder.

Sent an e-mail to AC Delco with a simple question: Is the heat range of the #3 the same as the #14 Rapidfire. Note: "heat range" is a critical design parameter for a spark plug.

Answer I receved was:

"Thank you for writing ACDelco.

Please contact our Customer Assistance Center at 1-800-ACDelco as they are
in the best position to assist you with your inquiry. Our hours of
operation are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time.

Thank you for your interest in ACDelco.
ACDelco Customer Assistance"

So I called. Several times. Answers ranged from "It doesn't have a heat range", "that is GM proprietary information", to the most absurd "heat range depends on the vehicle it is installed in", to the most honest "we do not have that information". Requests for how to contact someone who did know were refused.

Looks like a backchannel is needed to find out what the specs are since I have some regappable (says so on the box) platinum #3s and if the only difference between them and a #14 is the gap...

This is not a good way to keep customers.</rant>
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:48 PM   #8
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I have not been able to find a specific listing for the #14 but since it is now the preferred plug for all 3800s (at least 1988-2001) replacing the #3 for most applications, it is probably similar to this: (AC Delco plug numbers) R44LTS, 41-601, R45LTS6, R44LTS6, R44LTS6K, R45LTS6K, R46LTS.

That alone would make me suspect that it is the same heat range but is hard to say.

Does anyone have a 2002, 2003, 2004 ACDelco spark plug catalog with the RapidFire #14 ? (my most recent is 2000 which only goes up to a #11).
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