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Post  roddie on Mon May 25, 2020 11:37 am

Yea.. this is out there.. but what if there were a glow-plug core-return program (GPCRP) focused on retrieving the remaining (open) platinum/iridium coil from the plug-body?

Do we (you) throw-out burnt-out plugs (discard in trash)?

The $$ of these precious-metals has risen disproportionately.. as of late.. Shocked
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Post  balogh on Mon May 25, 2020 11:43 am

Roddie I understand some plugs have full platinum coils while others only are plated in platinum iridium..I think only selective collection of the 2 designs would yield good results because the plated platinum recovery probably has a different technology than pure platinum coils would have...
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Post  Iceberg on Mon May 25, 2020 11:47 am

Hi Roddie
I have many times lathed out the center (for plug length needed) and drilled and tapped out the center hole where the element was. Then used a fireball or similar plug. This glowplug adaptation really worked well. The compression and burning characteristics were excellent.

Sorry didn't save the platinum:(
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Post  Ken Cook on Mon May 25, 2020 12:50 pm

Enya uses a recycling program. Depending on the Enya  plug number and how many you have burnt out, you send them in and they offer a new plug.
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Post  Surfer_kris on Mon May 25, 2020 1:32 pm

I don't think that there is more than about 1$ worth of Pt/Ir wire in each glow plug (1cm of wire at around $100 per meter), and I can easily go through a full flying season without blowing a single plug. Once you blow/melt a plug you tend loose a bit of the wire too, so money vice there isn't much in it.

Sending individual or a handful of plugs back to Japan by mail, cannot be of much of a total benefit to the environment either...
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Post  ffkiwi on Sat May 30, 2020 4:41 am

There are one or two of the Russians who operate this sort of setup-you have to send in 5 or 6 blown plugs to get a working one in exchange....and it seems they prefer Nelson type plugs. As surfer kris has noted its a game of diminishing returns-and by the time return post is factored in-almost certainly not an economic proposition either for the individual sending the plug s nor the chap doing the re-elementing work. I doubt that Enya likewise get anything productive out of it, other than a bit of virtue signalling...its the same basic problem that afflicts a much greater range of recycling activities all over the world-the costs invariably outweigh the economic returns of doing it.

Now if you are in a part of the world where Nelson plugs are in short supply....well it might be worth while doing even at a loss-simply to obtain things in quantity that you might find difficult to get through normal retail channels either for reasons of cost, import restrictions etc-and if through other sources you can acquire suitable wire for relementing....then you may be on to something worthwhile-even if only relevant to a specific region or country...in any case I very much doubt that the worldwide consumption of platinum-iridium-rhodium wire by glowplug manufacturers accounts more more than an infinitesimal fraction of the worldwide consumption of this material-which is bound to have many other uses in industry and commerce-but of course being precious metals, the price is always going to be steep, regardless of the end usage...

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Post  Ken Cook on Sat May 30, 2020 5:00 am

I go through dozens of plugs a season. Flying higher performance engines takes out a plug a run.  We run a lot of Fox MK 3/4 series engines which has a poor head design. Adding head gaskets doesn't resolve the issues. We use Enya #6 plugs which can last anywhere from one run to 10 runs if your lucky. The Enya 6 costs around $15 a piece. By the end of a season I can fill a sandwich bag. So for me, I don't recycle them for the environment, I do it for my wallet. If it was going to go out in the trash, and I can send them back and receive 6-10 plugs, I'm not complaining. I don't send them back so I have no idea how much it costs. One of my club members owns a print shop in which he obtains discounted  rates with Fed Ex, he takes them and sends them back.
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Post  roddie on Sat May 30, 2020 3:14 pm

Thanks very much for the feedback guys. Many of you already know.. of how I try to re-purpose/recycle what I can.

Regarding our Cox glowheads.. I'd like to think that they could see life after they burn-out; in the form of to-be-machined "cores" which would become the insert-type/clamp-ring assemblies.. although I don't know if they'd qualify for that application.

Maybe diesel/compression-ignition heads could be made from them? Davis Diesel figured it out.

It would also depend on the condition of the head.. (cooling-fins in particular) whether it would be salvageable as a cylinder-head.

When any glowhead is discarded in the trash.. along with-it, goes the possibility of it becoming an actual cylinder-head modified to receive a standard or insert-type plug. It's already threaded to fit the cylinder.. which is a major plus. Source some spare head-gaskets.. and your great grandchildren's children might be running your engine.. if it's a Cox  Small Cox Logo engine.  Smile



Last edited by roddie on Sat May 30, 2020 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : removed content)
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Post  Surfer_kris on Sat May 30, 2020 3:29 pm

I have never thrown away a cox head, as far as I can remember. So far I have always saved them, as they can easily be converted into glow heads for turbo plugs. It works for anything from .020 and up to .15, and there is no power loss (unlike the regular glow plug adapters).

Glow-plug recycling Img_0126
Glow-plug recycling Img_0127
Glow-plug recycling Img_0128
Glow-plug recycling Img_0129
Glow-plug recycling Img_0130
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Post  Surfer_kris on Sat May 30, 2020 3:37 pm

And yes, one can also make diesel heads out of old cox glowheads, here are two .049 examples (not made by me):

Glow-plug recycling Zoom11
Glow-plug recycling Fd933910
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Post  aspeed on Sat May 30, 2020 3:47 pm

Al Kelley used to rewire plugs for $5 before he started Merlin plugs. I doubt the wire was recycled. I think Enya does the recycle thing for the loyalty benefit. I have made a lot of heads for the turbo plugs like Surfer Chris, but am now reconsidering it. In this country, the turbo plugs are getting very costly. Even a standard OS plug is up there. The gold ones are about the price of gold. I have made a head now for the Nelson plug. They are more reasonable.
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Post  Surfer_kris on Sun May 31, 2020 4:26 am

Nelson plugs are really hard to find around here, in the past I have only gotten them from US. I then have to pay for shipping and taxes (20%) plus a fixed tax handling fee of $8.

Turbo plugs are still relatively easy to get here though, most national stores carry them and I can get e.g. the P4 plug for about $8 (while regular OS #8 plugs are about $6.50). Enya #3 and #4 plugs are around $12 though, so perhaps the others will follow shortly.
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Post  getback on Sun May 31, 2020 5:50 am

I have thrown a few away ' if you don't have a lathe how do you hold the plug without distorting the fins so you can drill out the center ? Huh... I have a drill press.
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Post  aspeed on Sun May 31, 2020 8:04 am

getback wrote:I have thrown a few away ' if you don't have a lathe how do you hold the plug without distorting the fins so you can drill out the center ?  Huh... I have a drill press.
I use the lathe of course, but you can hold the threads on Cox heads on a cylinder or crankcase with a collet, chuck or vise I suppose.
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Post  Surfer_kris on Sun May 31, 2020 10:55 am

Yes, a drill press should work too, just don't move anything between each machining step. The plug doesn't have to be that well centred in the head (I guess) but the conical part has to be on the very same centre as the threaded part.

Here is a thread by AndyW on RCU about how to do it in a drill press:

https://www.rcuniverse.com/forum/1-2-1-8-airplanes-70/4533758-turbo-plugs-how.html
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Post  getback on Mon Jun 01, 2020 6:31 am

Thanks Kris , Some good info in there but was a Long read! Very Happy
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Post  Surfer_kris on Mon Jun 01, 2020 8:13 am

It was "Japanman" and "AndyW" who showed us all how to do it, I simply learnt from them, so credit should be given to the right person. Wink

Lots of useful knowledge was spread on RCU some +15 years ago when that forum was more active. It is still all there but it is hard to find it these days, it helps to remember a few key words or specific phrases from the conversation otherwise the search functions don't really work well enough.
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Post  GallopingGhostler on Mon Jun 01, 2020 11:56 am

Surfer_kris wrote:I have never thrown away a cox head, as far as I can remember. So far I have always saved them, as they can easily be converted into glow heads for turbo plugs. It works for anything from .020 and up to .15, and there is no power loss (unlike the regular glow plug adapters).

Glow-plug recycling Img_0126
Nice, good work, Kris, especially the flats for the Cox wrench, same compression and new option for keeping these Coxes running.
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Post  aspeed on Mon Jun 01, 2020 9:40 pm

Funny how things go in circles. Back then there were no manufacturers for Cox plugs, so everyone had to get creative. The Norvel plugs were hard to get too. Then Merlin (Al Kelly) made them and no problem for a while till he passed. Too bad, I always liked talking to him whenever I could. Then it was time to get creative again. Fortunately Kamtechnik and our sponsors here went up to bat.
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