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Old 06-18-2007, 06:41 AM   #1
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Pulsing Spark Plugs

Hi all,

I was reading an add in a car magazine at the doctor's office about a 'new' kind of spark plug that supposedly improves HP and or fuel economy.

A yahoo skim of the internet seems to show mixed opinions.

Green car congress says this:
http://www.greencarcongress.com/2006...plug_demo.html

They are referring to this:
http://www.pulstarplug.com/

Has anyone tried these?
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:01 AM   #2
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If this actually works, the shorter but stronger spark seems like it would be most useful for big inch engines. In the Ford 460 each cylinder is about 950cc and with a single plug the flame takes a long time to complete the burn in such a large area. For a 1.5L Honda, the 375cc/cylinder flame completes in a much shorter time anyway, prolly less benefit.
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:03 AM   #3
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Have any of the large engines started using two plugs? I know honda has started doing it but I don't know about anyone else...
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Old 06-18-2007, 08:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SVOboy View Post
Have any of the large engines started using two plugs? I know honda has started doing it but I don't know about anyone else...
The only multiple plug engines I know of are Porsche 964 (911) 3.6L - 2 per cyl, Ford 2.3 Lima or Pinto - 2 per cyl, Honda experimental lean burn - 5 per cyl. What large Honda motor are you referring to? Haven't heard of this one yet.
With 2+ plugs per cylinder it apparently helps complete the burn with increased NOx reducing EGR. The added complexity and cost of a redundant ignition system along with the use of faster, more complete burning 4 valve heads along with squishing everything into the head and the extra energy required to run the extra plugs just isn't worth it for most OEMs.
The new cats deal with NOx so maybe a large amounts of EGR is no longer necessary further reducing the requirement, not to mention more refined burning characteristics in the 2 and 3 valve heads of the newer larger engines (Ford, GM).
The Ford 2.3 netted something like 12 hp and a couple of mpg with a less efficeint flowing head (due to the second plug on the intake side). On the Porsche 911, pre 964 dual plug engine, a rule of thumb for converting to dual plug is you can raise compression one point ie 9.5:1 to 10.5:1 with the same fuel requirement. Driveability is also much improved, especially when cold, hp is up from 180 to 205 or so. They have a really disorganized swirl if you could call it that, and a highly domed piston with a large half domed shape combustion chamber, no squish area, so dual plugs are a big help to get everything lit. Modern designs with squish, small flat or sphere-like combustion chambers burn much better with a single plug right in the center of it all, good recipies for a fast burn. Fast burn means less ignition advance and less ignition advance means less pressure on the piston as it comes up during compression before pressure spikes at peak pressure. This all means more power for the fuel used.

Ok I'm done. Sorry for the disorganized ramble. Back to work...

Is Honda yet again improving the burn efficiency of thier engines, this time with dual plugs? If this nets a tangible gain, maybe other mfrs will follow?
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:18 AM   #5
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5% increase doesn't seem like much for $25 bucks a plug
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:30 AM   #6
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I believe honda is using dual plugs in the new HCH and prolly will open it up to more cars in the future. It's not a large engine, but there you have it.
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Old 06-18-2007, 09:58 AM   #7
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Hello -

If it claims to generate more PSI in the explosion (more power), would that imply that it is going beyond the engine compression spec?

I just asked them about "waste spark" ignition systems (my bugaboo). Here is one note on their site :

"CAUTION: Pulstar model recommendations are for stock, unmodified engines. If you have added an aftermarket turbocharger, supercharger, nitrous or any other product that increases displacement or compression to your engine you will require a colder heat range pulse plug in order to avoid possible damage to your engine."

It definitely sounds cool. I like the capacitor thingy. I am going to monitor this.

They are also selling this spark plug/wire kit for high compression/turbo systems :

http://www.directhits.com/index.html

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by typhoidmary View Post
Hi all,

I was reading an add in a car magazine at the doctor's office about a 'new' kind of spark plug that supposedly improves HP and or fuel economy.

Has anyone tried these?
Interesting. They do look like they have the very thin electrode like an iridium plug which is supposed to initate a spark at lower voltages. Don't think I'm up for trying them at $25 a plug though.

I did see a noticeable difference when I replaced worn copper plugs with NGK Iridiums though. Yea, I know thats not exactly a fair comparison of old worn plugs against new plugs but thats all the info I have.
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Old 06-18-2007, 10:20 AM   #9
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Mentalic -

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentalic View Post
Interesting. They do look like they have the very thin electrode like an iridium plug which is supposed to initate a spark at lower voltages. Don't think I'm up for trying them at $25 a plug though.

I did see a noticeable difference when I replaced worn copper plugs with NGK Iridiums though. Yea, I know thats not exactly a fair comparison of old worn plugs against new plugs but thats all the info I have.
Hrmmmmmm, now I am confused. They do look smaller, but when I went here :

http://www.pulstarplug.com/howtheywork.html

I saw this image :

Attachment 604

This leads me to believe that the independent test was comparing the Pulse Plug to a Denso-Iridium style "thin electrode" spark plug, which may not be representative of what the normal public uses in their cars.

Curioser and curioser ...

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Old 06-18-2007, 10:54 AM   #10
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Interesting "test" they've developed for themselves to show their product in the best light. I'd have hoped they'd at least use the standardized EPA city / highway cycles, but no, they drive on closed course roads, with no control on acceleration/deceleration rates. They may or may not have an average speed calculated from a time over the course, but a 1/4 mile in 15 seconds is a fast drag strip time or a nothing more than a steady 60 mph. Which has better fuel economy over the same time on the same distance??
The first test is with factory plugs (and cold engine too?). The second is their product (and a warm engine?). There is no indication that an A-B-A test with factory plugs is re-run.
The propogation test of the flame front has their product at 16000 milliseconds at the same volume as the 'standard' at 32000 milliseconds. Even at 6000 rpm (100 rev/sec) the crankshaft angle difference is .58 degrees. At a more typical 3000 rpm the angle difference is .29 degrees. Since most modern engine have knock sensors that retard timing from a far advanced position anyway, the .3 to .6 degrees effective advance will be moot as the engine's management system merely retards timing that additional amount to offset the quicker ignition.
The fuel still burns at the same rate so the only way to increase cylinder pressure is to advance timing to the knock threshold. Whether the ECU delays the spark an additional .000016 seconds (.575 degrees at 6000 rpm) or not isn't worth $200 to me.
Oh, and the payback period is fudged, too. They claim the major cost of traditional spark plugs is the labor to install them, but that labor is handily ignored for their product. Well, If I can install theirs, why do I need a mechanic to install Champions?

There are enough scams for the diesel users. I am glad I don't have to slog through these intended for the gullible with gasoline engines.
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