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Resistor Spark Plugs for Radio

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  • Ignition: Resistor Spark Plugs for Radio

    I have a 56 Commander 4 door sedan, 259 auto. I'm new to this forum, so forgive me if I've posted in the wrong place. I've searched for info, but all I find is over 10 years old.
    I'm looking to be able to play my radio without 'noises'. It works great when motor is off. I've read about Champion RH18Y plugs, but can't find them. Oreilly's says AC Delco R435 plugs cross over from the Champions. I bought the car with the radio already in it, also has big amp under drivers seat, 4 speakers and a sub woofer.

  • #2
    You might need something like this:


    • #3
      Before going to resistor type plugs, replace the plug wires with supressor core wires and replace the filter capacitors on the ignition coil, generator armature terminal and the battery terminal on the voltage regulator. Campion RH18Y plugs are available with a new part number and the AC plug number does not sound correct for a V8 Studebaker engine as the number used to be either 43LS or 45LS. Studebaker V8 engines use a 7/16ths reach plug which is sometimes hard to find so the parts counter person will try to sell you a 3/8ths reach plug which is not the correct plug for a stock Studebaker engine. Bud


      • #4
        My car came with Autolight 216 plugs. Napa, Oreillys, and Autozone didn't know what they were. Neither of those stores could get me the Champions, Oreillys crossed them to the R435.
        I was wanting to change plugs anyway as I'm doing a full tune up. Car runs fine and plugs look medium brown. I get 15mpg with careful driving with Edelbrock 600cfm (I know, too big, but came with car). Can I get better mileage? When I bought it, I found two plug wires were crossed. But gas mileage hasn't improved with tune up.
        I follow you with the plug wires, but what are 'filter capacitors on ignition coil'? Is that the capacitor inside the distributor? Are those 43LS & 45LS resistor plugs? I was aware about the 7/16- 3/8 thing and will double check that.


        • #5
          Thanks MoJo, the Amazon reviews were pretty spotty. have you tried this product?


          • #6
            Had the same experience with a ‘51 Commander V8. A set of silicone plug wires resolved the problem. Ready-to-install sets are available from the major Stude vendors.


            • #7
              I'm 68 years old, bought my Studebaker 3 months ago. My last Studebaker was a 64 that I bought when I was 18 and owned for a year. So perhaps let me know where to find "Major Studebaker vendors" as i'm a bit out the loop.
              Thanks, mbstude


              • #8
                I don't think spark plugs alone will help much with the static, but I'd like to share this anyway. The RH18Y is better known by its 'sales' number 857. They are popular as small engine spark plugs.
                D 'N Q RACE ENGINES


                • #9
                  Welcome to the fold.

                  Here are the big three:




                  And a compilation of all of them:


                  • #10
                    Autolite #437 is what most of us use in Stude. V8's and OHV Sixes, the Original Champion number was H14Y, Now it is called 91.
                    Do not try to cross over Autolite 216, as it is the Wrong Reach, Wrong Tip Type, and Wrong Heat Range Plug.
                    You do not need Resister Plugs and won't need them with Radio Resistant Plug Wires.

                    Here is the O-Reilly's Listing:

                    You have completely Wrong Plugs, and should change them anyway, regardless of the Radio situation.

                    Nowadays, you have to go in Parts Stores armed with the Mfg.'s Part Numbers, because: "I want Spark Plugs for a '56 Studebaker" no longer works.

                    You will get the Deer in the Headlights LOOK and be asked what Country is that from, then if you say USA, you will be asked well is it GM, Ford, or Fiat Chrysler?
                    Last edited by StudeRich; 01-14-2021, 05:40 PM.
                    Second Generation Stude Driver,
                    Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                    SDC Member Since 1967


                    • #11
                      Welcome to the forum. You posted in exactly the right place.

                      As others have mentioned, you need "radio suppression spark plug wires" and they are available at any good auto parts store or through our Studebaker parts vendors.

                      I THINK the diameter is 7mm but am not sure.

                      The Studebaker vendors will have the correct wire sets, or you can buy a universal set at a local store and replace the wires one by one. Do not take them all off and then start putting the new ones on. Easy to get mixed up that way.

                      Be aware that the distributor turns the opposite direction of many more popular makes of cars.

                      If your 56 still has the original steel plug wire troughs/guides, be aware that on the driver's side The front wire trough gets the wires for plugs 1 and 5, while the rear trough gets the wires for 3 and 7. The wires for 3 and 5 cross to the correct plugs after they exit the troughs. The basic idea is that 1 and 3 (or maybe it's 5 and 7) cannot run parallel to each other as they will inductively cross fire and you will have a high speed miss that will leave you pulling out your hair trying to find.
                      RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

                      10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
                      4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
                      5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon


                      • #12
                        Yes, if you route #5 and 7 which are the Only ones that fire consecutively, so that they are apart and never Parallel, the rest will fall into place where they need to go.

                        The '56 Models had the (4) 2 Wire Clips for each Pair on the Valve Covers under the Cover Acorn Nuts, and Two Standoffs on the Rear Intake Manifold Screws to hold all 4 on each side to route to the Dist.

                        After this many years many no longer do.
                        Here is a quite Original Black and White '56 President 2 Door Sedan's Engine Compartment. A Commander 259 looks the same except the Decals. This one used to belong to a regular here, Matt B.

                        Unfortunately the Plug Wires are not visible.
                        Click image for larger version

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                        Last edited by StudeRich; 01-14-2021, 08:09 PM.
                        Second Generation Stude Driver,
                        Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                        SDC Member Since 1967


                        • #13
                          I like to use Silver Beauty "Magnetic Suppression Wire". It consists of fine wire wound in a helix around a magnetic rubber core. DC resistance is low, but it acts like a filter choke for the radio frequencies generated by the spark. It has always worked well for me to knock down ignition noise on radios.
                          Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands


                          • #14
                            Thanks everyone. I was back at Oreillys, the sales person was trying his best to help me figure out stuff when he saw a guy drive up in an old Chrysler Newport 440. He exclaimed "Thats Jacob, he's they guy you gotta talk too!" So Jacob, maybe only 35, knows old cars, has owned Studebakers. He got me hooked up with Autolite 437 plugs and I ordered magnetic suppression wires. I should be fine.
                            The 435s were too short of thread reach. My old 216s looked very good. The 437 have same thread reach but the electrode extends a but farther into the cylinder. Jacob, and several of you and other forums say that will work better with modern gas.
                            I have another question, but its about timing, so I'll start another thread.


                            • #15
                              Autolite 216 plugs are the correct reach and correct heat range, but they do not have the projected electrodes. The Autolite 437 plug is what is recommended for Studebaker V8 and OHV 6 engines. As far as timing, there are two marks on the vibration damper. If I remember correctly the first mark says UDC and the second one about 1/4 to 3/8ths of an inch from the first mark says IGN which is the mark to use for stock timing which is 4 degrees before top dead center. You can push it a few degrees advance of that but I wouldn't go much more. There are people here that will tell you to set the timing with a vacuum gauge or by the seat of your pants, but that is a 100% guarantee that the timing won't be correct and will be way too far advanced which can lead to major engine damage if the engine starts to detonate and you don't hear it. Use a good timing light, disconnect and plug the vacuum line and get the idle speed down to around 500 to 550 rpm before setting the timing. Bud