Author Topic: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967  (Read 959 times)

Dan Case

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Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« on: February 15, 2020, 03:22:42 PM »
Just for fun, some of the early versions of BF32 spark plugs. THIS IS IN NO WAY A COMPLETE CIRCA 1956-1966 COVERAGE.  This is just a sampling of some of the versions I have collected to cover the three basic designs.  Two manufacturers made these plugs. The BF32 was just one of the cooler temperature range ‘racing’ spark plugs THE ELECTRIC AUTO-LITE COMPANY made in the mid 1950s for automobiles and believe it or not aircraft. Over decades of time this company sold multiple lines of automotive products under the AUTO-LITE® and AUTOLITE® brand names.

The Ford Motor Company purchased the Autolite brand and some parts designs in mid 1962 from The Electric Auto-Lite Company.  What Ford bought name and design wise became a division of Ford.

Sample packaging; this is not all of the versions before about 1967, just the ones I have collected.




Sample parts; this is not all the exact in small details versions made over a ten year span, just the three basic designs. 

Far Left: The Electric Auto-Lite Company original design.

Middle: The Electric Auto-Lite Company design in use when Cobras were created. Ford Motor Company made, sold, and used the same design. That means this version can be found in packages from both companies. This was the design installed by the Ford engine assembly plant building 1963½ and 1964 HP289 engines at least through August 25, 1964. I know about Cobras but Fairlanes and Mustangs after that I don’t. 

Far Right: Ford Motor Company redesign to solve field service issue. I lost my copy of the Ford T.S.B. on the subject but owners were experience significant insulator failures (cracks) and subsequent current leakage (misfiring).  I wish I could find that T.S.B. because it, from memory, stated that the engine plant was going to continue using the three rib insulator plugs until supplies were exhausted. Dealers were instructed to replace original equipment three rib plugs with new improved five rib plugs if customers had any problems.  Surprise, new cars used one part and the service part sold another.  (Ditto BF42 spark plugs.)


Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

s2ms

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2020, 09:11:13 PM »
Cool pics, thanks for sharing Dan...

Here's a few more showing a variant I've wondered about but found very little info on. In the middle on the top photo panel. It looks basically identical to the 5-rib, star logo BF32, except for 2 main details: there is no star logo, and has a much shorter electrode tip like the later Powertip version. In some examples I've seen the knurling was also a little different. There was some discussion about this on forum 1.0, IIRC it was thought this plug was used around 1966(?) and was probably a transition variant between the star logo and Powertip plugs.



Electrode tip differences...

Dave - 6S1757

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2020, 09:21:33 PM »
These pictures are getting scary...I thought Shelby's were are about fun?
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deathsled

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2020, 09:49:20 PM »
I love that "Made in the USA" stamping.  I go out of my way to buy American. 
"Low she sits on five spoke wheels
Small block eight so live she feels
There she's parked beside the curb
Engine revving to disturb
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427heaven

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2020, 09:51:21 PM »
They are... You cant have fun without them. ;)

CharlesTurner

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2020, 09:57:38 PM »
There's other variants without the star logo also...
Charles Turner
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deathsled

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2020, 10:59:25 PM »
There are so many individual parts to a car, one could write a whole thesis on a particular part alone or how an assembly was done on a particular day at a particular time.  It is all very interesting to me.
"Low she sits on five spoke wheels
Small block eight so live she feels
There she's parked beside the curb
Engine revving to disturb
She's the princess from his past
Red paint gold stripes damned she's fast"

Coralsnake

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2020, 07:50:35 AM »
Thanks Dan.

The Concours forum is an excellent place for sharing this information

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Dan Case

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2020, 11:10:29 AM »
You are welcome.

I suspect that the volume of parts required by Ford on a daily basis meant that spark plugs were a part that required more than one Tier 1 supplier and or more than one production line or plant to keep up, especially during the long 1965 model year for Mustangs. Different operations, different machines, different people, and the way Ford worked (still works) more than a few design or process revisions all got jumbled together.

I also cannot rule out the possibility of one or more counterfeiting companies fed parts into the local parts stores supply trains. By the early 1970s counterfeit automobile replacement parts was big business in North America with sales in many BILLIONS of dollars. I myself discovered two counterfeit parts being sold under the Motorcraft® brand in the 1999-2001 time frame (back when I did almost all my own service work still on daily drivers). The Ford VPs and lawyers I worked with seemed to really appreciate the assist when a national parts and service chain was selling and installing counterfeit Ford branded oil filters…..oops.

For a while I had the idea to collect one of every version I could find of “BF32” circa 1955 through the sale of the Autolite® brand. I started buying parts. Two things stopped me. One summer a $12 box of new old plugs (any version) jumped up to $100± and up.  I kept coming up with more versions. I had been thinking a shadow box with maybe five or six versions not an extended family that never seemed to end.

Dan
Dan Case
1964 Cobra owner since 1983, Cobra crazy since I saw my first one in the mid 1960s in Huntsville, AL.

Royce Peterson

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2020, 04:28:22 PM »
Thank you! Well done.
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roddster

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 06:34:55 PM »
  So, when did the "star" part of the logo imprinted onto the plug disappear?

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #11 on: April 06, 2020, 01:02:46 PM »
Cool,but I am ready to move onto valve stem caps. ;D

kingchief

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #12 on: April 06, 2020, 01:27:51 PM »
Yes, thank you for posting these photos...very helpful.

All the best,

Steve
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Bob Gaines

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #13 on: April 06, 2020, 02:42:59 PM »
  So, when did the "star" part of the logo imprinted onto the plug disappear?
My best guess is sometime in later 1967.
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rcgt350

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Re: Some of the BF32 variants before about 1967
« Reply #14 on: April 14, 2020, 02:54:29 PM »
Is there a picture here if an Autolite power tip ?