Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tool review: Performance Tool W80521 6 Wire Ford Spark Plug Gauge

A good wire spark plug gauge comes in handy when gapping spark plugs, especially older or worn plugs.  There are many different wire gauges to choose from, and the Performance Tool W80521 6 Wire Ford Spark Plug Gauge is not one of the better ones.

This product uses pivot-style wire gauges, similar to how a Swiss Army Knife works.  There are six wires, labeled both in inches and millimeters:

   - .032" (.813 mm)
   - .034" (.864 mm)
   - .041" (1.04 mm)
   - .044" (1.14 mm)
   - .050" (1.27 mm)
   - .054" (1.37 mm)

However, the .044" wire is actually labeled as .045" on the gauge itself, as opposed to the .044" advertised on the packaging, so someone purchasing this gauge specifically for a spark plug that requires a .044" gap will be disappointed.  Contacting Performance Tool customer service does no good, as this particular gauge is no longer made, and the company does not offer a comparable replacement.

The wires are riveted into the gauge itself, and the wires riveted into one side are very loose, while the wires riveted into the other side are very tight.  The whole tool feels slippery, like it was dunked in oil before it was packaged.

In addition to the wires, this tool does come with a gap adjuster and a spark plug cleaner brush.  Those two tools make the gauge slightly more appealing, but you could easily find a much higher quality product without too much shopping around.

The W80521 spark plug gauge comes with a lifetime warranty, but since it's not made anymore, that warranty may not be good for much.  Also, according to the package, this product contains lead.

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