View Full Version : Lodge plugs

04-26-2007, 11:11 PM
The source of my early poverty was a Rover 2000, the single carburettor version. I bought it new in Phoenix, in 1966. An engineer from the Solihull factory came out to see how it was doing, in the extreme Arizona heat.

I can't remember if the Rover used Lodge plugs, but I can remember buying some. They were pink. When did these bite the dust? Or can you still buy them somewhere? They sure were pretty!

Jim Hubbell
04-26-2007, 11:51 PM
I must have been daydreaming when lodge plugs were taught. Please explain or describe what they are. Thanks


04-27-2007, 12:07 AM
They are spark plugs, haven't seen any in over twenty years. I ran them in my race bike's back in the early seventies :D


04-27-2007, 12:22 AM
I believe it was Sir Oliver Lodge that invented electric spark ignitions as we know them, and of course he is also credited with the invention of the spark plug.
I think that I still have a few left from my old Norton,Triumph, and MG days.All of the ones I had also had a light pink insulator.Haven't seen or heard anything about them in years.

04-27-2007, 12:45 AM
I still have a Lodge spark plug for my SeaGull outboard motor....I even sometimes use it. Probably over 40 years old but it still works, unlike some of the "Champion" socalled replacement sparkplugs that maybe last the summer.
The Lodge has been cleaned, sandblasted & gapped numerous times....I think it even came with the motor when my dad bought it (used of course) some time in the early 70's.
We also had an "Auburn" sparkplug or two from something kicking around the shop for years. I've only seen them used as ignitor plugs on industrial gas burners but no doubt they had other uses....Iirc they were made in New York, possibly Auburn, NY. ???
There probably are some people who collect old sparkplugs, likely more valuable unused in the original box etc. Just like Barbie dolls etc....
I know there are people who collect & restore Seagulls...there's a website, "Save our Seagulls" & a retired Thames river policeman has a large inventory that he cleaned out of the factory in England. A guy in New Zealand restores & races Seagull outboards (if you can imagine anything sillier...) but then they also race belt sanders....These guys may even have Lodge plugs in their stashes of parts. Google them, maybe...
Me & a friend of mine just keep ours as a joke and to power our cartop boats.
An outboard that looks like a bastard offspring of a dough mixer from a bakery sure gets comments at the launching ramp. My friends Seagull is smaller than mine & even starts with a Bakelite knob on the flywheel. At least mine uses a piece of rope with a wooden handle. (Present one was turned on the South Bend...) No doubt the Seagulls will follow us into retirement, but they'll definitely outlast the little 2.5 hp. Tohatsu's that he has....What a piece of crap....
I deliberately neglect my Seagull, leave it in the shed, don't change the fuel (5 yr old gas/ oil mix...) When I want to use it, clean off the Champion or screw in the Lodge, whack the Amal carb with a mallet or screwdriver handle to unstick the float, flood it with the flooding valve (tickler), choke the air intake with my hand & it usually starts on the 6th to 8th pull....blue smoke & raw gas smell & we're away....This is a motor that hasn't had points cleaned or any type of major maint in almost 30 years....Ugly as sin & definitely doesn't meet current pollution standards though. (Whay they went out of business mainly...)
More than you wanted to know about Lodge plugs...

Your Old Dog
04-27-2007, 06:18 AM
Rick, someday when you're wondering around the shop with a camera I'd sure like to see the seagull you got.

Peter S
04-27-2007, 07:21 AM
When I was growing up in the 1960's I can recall the pink Lodge plugs fitted to Villiers engines etc.

It just so happens I am looking for a Lodge CB3 at the moment for an old engine I am restoring - I have the broken off stump only :(

The Rolls-Royce Heritage Trust recently re-printed their booklet "The Vital Spark! The development of aero engine sparking plugs" by Keith Gough. The author gives some background history, including Lodge, as he was involved with this company. An interesting little book.

He attributes Lenoir with the first spark plug in 1860.

Lodge was apparently the first British spark plug manufacturer, beginning in 1904.

Lenoir used porcelain as did most others until around 1911 when Kenelm Lee Guinness (KLG) got sick of broken bits of porcelain falling into engines and developed the mica plug. Mica was fine until TEL was added to fuel, it attacked the mica. Hence the development by Lodge and Bosch of aluminium oxide-type ceramics. Lodge and KLG were apparently world leaders in plug technology and seemed to supply most of the British aero engine plugs (and a lot for the Americans during WW2).

KLG became part of the Smiths group in 1926, Lodge did the same in 1962. I believe Smiths are still producing ignition systems for gas turbines, not sure if the Lodge and KLG names have survived.

04-27-2007, 08:29 AM
Sparking plugs?

NGK U-groove.. I changed plugs in the 58 panhead about every week of the 18 years I had it, till I got them NGK plugs.. they were in it when I sold it. Unlike a Champion split fire, they have a u milled in the end of the electrode. They just didn't foul.

Now what was thier secret? A jap plug, the best to run in a hotrod Harley.. HA...

04-27-2007, 10:27 AM

nice to see another Seagull nut here- I have 5 and lots of bits -Seagull racing is a seriuos sport!

04-27-2007, 05:33 PM
If I recall correctly, another pink spark plug is (was) the Beru. I'm guessing they were French as I first saw one when I was given one at a camp ground near Monaco in 1969. I had fouled the plug on my Montesa and it saved the day until I could find and buy the proper replacement. Haven't seen them since the 70's. But then, I don't get under the hood much anymore.


04-27-2007, 11:59 PM
But then, I don't get under the hood much anymore.


Ya' know, I kind of miss those days myself!

Still buy trucks and bikes that need work on them, but make sure they're running before I go anywhere in them.

Back in the old days it was perfectly acceptable, expected even, to work on something for an hour to ride around for 20 minutes, only to start all over again at the end of that 20 minutes.
I realy have no idea how many times I went on a hundred mile ride three or four miles at a time back when I was 14/15.

The old BSA (my first 65 bsa lightening) had pink plugs when I got it, could always get it to start till I listened to the knowledgeable ones and bought new plugs....

$20 and push it home, recovered the seat, patched the tank, dug up some errr, umm, welll better tires, found some fenders, carbs (650 lightening dual carb oh yeah!) only had to rewire part of it, but it was in great shape, fantastic bike, couldn't believe the deal I got!

Guy must have realy been unhappy about selling that bike, cause when I looked over my shoulder he was rolling around on the grass making wierd noises, kicking his feet and hitting the ground, realy felt bad for the guy.....


remembered, they weren't pink plugs, but normal white with pink lettering, so apparently weren't the lodge plugs you're talking about.