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More Mpg Part 2.


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#1 ikester7579

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 11:34 PM

In part 1 I spoke about how synthetic oil can help your MPG and reduce engine wear. And what to look for in a synthetic oil.

In part 2 I will be discussing ignition systems. How a higher performance ignition can help you get more MPG, more power, and less emissions. And I will also discuss what to look for on how to know when to change your spark plugs.

For single and some multiple coil ignitions:

You have the choice of MSD (multi spark discharge). This is a capacitive spark discharge unit that that takes the one signal from you ignition module. Which translates into one spark (normal OEM function). And multiplies that by three to six signals to the coil. The number of sparks is according to which unit you buy. Each spark is done withing milliseconds of each other. This ensures a more complete fuel burn.

You can read about the choices here: http://www.msdigniti.../1ignitions.htm

MSD Products:
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They have analog ignition boxes which are good. Or you can pay about twice the price and get digital controlled processing box which is a lot more precise in timing. Some boxes have the option of dialing in your own timing curve which can make it easier to run lower grade fuels, and Tailor your car to run it's best and get more MPG.


Optional Accessories include a timing control that plugs into the ignition box and gives you control of engine timing from within your vehicle.

Timing control:
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These units produce so much voltage to the plugs, I have seen them on a race car produce a spark 12 inches from the motor. Not something you want to get zapped with. So be careful if you install one. Your arm will hurt and go numb for more than an hour if you get zapped.


Then we have the ignition wires that have zap built in.

Nology wires:
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Being that the capacitor is placed right before the spark plug. It takes the full duration spark, compresses it into one big zap. And that picture above is the difference that you see. But because that one huge zap ignites the fuel better, you may have to adjust your timing so your engine won't knock when you use these wires.

And because these replace your factory wires, their is not need to worry about whether you have a single coil, or multiple coils. Will work on either so nothing special to buy. But because the energy produces is a lot at one time, you may have to use their special spark plugs.

Also because each wire has a built in capacitor, each wire has to be grounded, and come with a ground wire that bolts to anywhere on your motor or ground source.

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I have heard that both ignition system can be combined, and with that much zap, the only good that I would see is in all out racing. Because for the daily driver going with to many volts to each plug can cause driving problem as the voltage will try to go to the easiest ground source. So what is known as voltage leakage would not be uncommon. Which can make a motor miss and backfire. So for the dependable daily driving car, it's best not to go beyond a certain point because it becomes more trouble than what it's worth.

I know because I had a couple of performance street cars. And when I put an extra high voltage system on them it gave me headaches as the spark was always looking for a better ground. So sticking with what most ignition companies deem as streetable is your best selection. So in this case, more is not always better.

Example: Have you ever seen lightening with several arks coming from the main one? What this means is that the original strike point is not a good enough ground to take the full voltage strike. The smaller arks is voltage leakage that is looking for a better ground. Lightening that mainly stays in one arch has found a good ground and needs not to look for a better one.

The one arch example is how you want you ignition to work. Because one arch contains all the power from the original source and needs not look for another ground that is better.

Dielectric grease:

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Dielectric grease keeps the energy from high energy ignition from flowing down the side of the spark plug instead of through the center (where it's supposed to go). Energy lost down the side will make the engine miss and backfire at low and high rpms. And if it gets bad enough, the engine will miss as if you had pulled the spark plug wire off.

As shown in the pic above, you apply the grease to the inside of the plug wire, then slip it over the plug. This will also keep the plug boot from sticking to the plug next time you change them, which will keep them from ripping which means you will have to replace the wires whether you need to or not. So the grease has a dual benefit that can save you money.

The more expensive better wires usually come with grease already in the box for you to use. It looks like a blister pack which is the same as those ketchup packs you get from your favorite fast food restaurant.

#2 ikester7579

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 04:58 AM

Plug wire boot protectors:

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These protectors just slip over the end of the boot. They protect the boot from the exhausts extreme heat and make the boot last longer. They can be reused each time you change your wires as long as you are careful not the rip them as you remove them.

When to know to change you plugs:

It is often confused that a plug with carbon (dirty) need to be change. Only clean plugs work good. This is a misconception. This is because the spark energy that produces the spark. Works off the "sharp" edged of the center electrode. The sharp edges are the most important part of how the plug will work.

The sharp edges allow the spark to be condensed and hot to burn the fuel. When this edge wears off, the spark is no longer condensed and widens. The wider the spark gets, the cooler it gets. Which means it will not ignite the fuel as good.

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Here is a picture of the end of the spark plug. The part where the arrow points is the center electrode (surrounded by white insulation). Around the top edge is the "sharp" surface in which the spark works off of. When that sharp edge wears off, the center electrode will start to look rounded and no sharp edge will be present.

As the edge wears off and affects the characteristics of the spark (making it wider). If you could see the spark, it would change color as the spark plug wears. the spark itself is what erodes the sharp edge off the plug because it basically melts the metal on the edge a spec at a time. The color of the spark actually tells you how hot the spark is.

Blue sparks are the hottest (this is what you get from sharp edge plugs).
Purple sparks are the next step down (as the edge wears down)..
Orange and white sparks may not even ignite the fuel in the cylinder because they are not hot enough (edge is basically gone, and center electrode looks rounded off).

Spark plug gap:

The gap on all your plugs being the same, and to factory specs is important. This keeps the spark heat going to each cylinder near the same. Which means the fuel is burning at the same rate from cylinder to cylinder. A balanced fuel burning engine is an engine that runs:

1) Smooth.
2) Has good acceleration.
3) Gives more MPG.

A spark plug gap that is to wide forces the coil to have more rise time (building up spark energy to jump the gap). Each coil design is only designed to produce a certain continious voltage, and a peak voltage. The gap being to wide makes the coil go beyond it's designed voltage which will cause the coil to over heat, and quit working.

A spark plug gap to small is just not using your optimal spark energy which means you won't get the three things I listed above. This is because it does not take more voltage to jump the gap if it is smaller then what it is supposed to be.

The average original equipment coil on what is known as HEI (high energy ignitions) produces about 40,000 volts continious, and about 50-60,000 voltage when you accelerate.

After market Perfromance ingnitions produce 60.000 continious voltage and 80-100,000 on acceleration.

Pre 1980 vehicles use a low voltage ignition which produces 30-40,000 volts. Which covers most point ignitions. Switching to a high energy ignition makes a big difference in these vehicles.

What makes the spark need more voltage.

Energy sparks require that "all" air molecules to be removed from it's path of it's spark. A good example of this is how lightening works. Ever wonder why lightening makes a noise? When lightening strikes, all of the air molecules have to move out of the way. This creates an area that has no air (vacuum). When the energy from the spark is gone, the air molecules rush back together colliding and making a loud noise.

In a combustion chamber of an engine, the compression of air acts as a resistance being turned up for the spark to jump the gap on the plug. So the coil has to build up more voltatage to do this. The compression is higher on acceleration because more air is being allowed in to be compressed to complete the burn cycle. Higher psi in the chamber translates into more energy needed to make the spark jump on the plug.

Pre-ignition verses engine ping.

When you accelerate, sometimes you can hear your motor make a knock sound or pinging noise. Each engine, because design varies, will sound different when this happens.

Pre-ignition is actually when to much carbon gets built up in the combustion chamber and the carbon itself becomes hot enough to ignite the fuel before the spark plug even sparks. The untimed fuel burn makes the fuel burn explosion happen while the piston is still in it's upward motion (supposed to happen on downward motion). So you have exploding gas expanding, while the piston is still compressing the air. This has a hammer affect on the piston which is the knock that you hear. It makes the piston cock to one side slamming itself against the cylinder wall. Which has been known to break the sides of a piston off.

If not corrected by having the motor de-carbonized by a mechanic. It can cause internal engine damage up to holes being put into the top of the piston itself. Most cars do not develope this problem as long as name brand fuels are used. Some off brand gas merchants use what is known as dirty fuel the name brands will not use. Which is fuel that is at the bottom of storage tanks, which contains the impurities of the fuel that was made. Cleaning solvents are all mixed with this fuel as the pipes are cleaned. This fuel is bought at a cheaper price to make more profit.

Engine ping is actually where either bad gas is used, low octane gas. And can even happen when the air fuel mix ratio is off. This is the most common noise heard when accelerating. And because it involves all cylinders, it sounds more like a bunch of rattling than a distinctive knock (pre-ignition). Engine ping due to the varibles mentioned are not as destructive to an engine as pre-ignition is. But over a longer period of time can cause simular damage so it needs to be corrected.

Continue later.




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