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Bullitt
06-12-02, 09:23 AM
I ran into this website of engine building Q&A. Granted, this guy is running a buisness and is giving his opinion based on his background, but I like his no-nonsense attitude. For example:


Q: Do those fancy split tip sparkplugs really work?

A: No. Electricity follows the path of least resistance. It has nothing to do with a split tip or a fancy U groove! The sparkplug does one thing only. It acts as the grounding source for the ignition and that's it, period, end of story. The only difference with a sparkplug is that there is a gap in the current path. The size of the spark is dictated by the voltage and amperage output of your coil and the output of your coil is dictated by the saturation (dwell) time of your ignition system. You'll hear claims like, "it made more horsepower" or "I got better gas mileage". Well of course they did! Their engine needed a tune-up or they wouldn't have tried the new plugs in the first place! Any engine would get better gas mileage and more horsepower after a tune-up!


What split tipped plugs can do is promote pre-ignition and/or detonation. How? Try this, take a hanger and try to heat it up with a cigarette lighter. Oh yeah, it gets hot, but not hot enough to glow cherry red. Now take a paper clip and heat it up with the same lighter. It gets hotter faster and glows cherry red! It's simple, it takes less heat to heat-up smaller objects. What do you think those tiny little pieces of split tip electrodes are doing in your engine? Now add more compression and heat (a race engine) and they act like a dog gone glow plug... detonation... ka-boom! Just about in that order.


Solid lifter cams are always a good choice for a hot street or race engine. They usually have faster ramps (lobes) than hydraulic cams but not as fast as roller cams. They also usually need a stouter spring than a hydraulic cam but not nearly as stiff as a roller cam. They're kind of the middle of the road between the two. Forget about those lame wives tales about solid lifters always going out of adjustment! That's just not true! The ONLY way the adjustment (lash) can change is if something is either wearing out or going bad, period! If a rocker stud starts pulling out, the lash will increase. If the tip of the valve is getting hammered or mushroomed, the lash will increase. That's what lash caps are made for. If the tip or the cup of the rocker arm starts to wear out, the lash will increase. If a push rod bends or wears out one (or both) of the tips, the lash will increase. If the lifter is getting cupped or the cam is going flat, the lash will increase. If a valve seat "sinks" or recesses, then the valve is actually lifting or sitting higher, the lash will decrease. No matter how you slice it, if a solid lifter cam keeps going out of adjustment, something is seriously wrong! Most of the time it was just a wives tale being spread by someone who's probably never even ran a solid lifter cam or had a piece of junk engine that was falling apart.

Here's the link to his site: BA Tech Tips (http://www.badasscars.com/techtips.html).

--Bullitt

Ken
06-12-02, 03:29 PM
:upthumbs

Bullitt
06-13-02, 04:32 AM
This answer piqued my interest the most. If anyone has a supporting or differing point of view, please feel free to elaborate.


Q: When do I need an after market ignition system?

A: Probably never! All of the after market ignition companies claim that you'll get more horsepower by using their ignition system. I hate to burst bubbles but the fact is, numerous independent dyno studies have shown no gain what so ever! Don't get me wrong. I like a lot of after market ignitions and my own blown and nitroused car uses one as well. The object of the game is to ignite the cylinder. Once the cylinder is lit, it's lit. It either fires or it doesn't. I can't tell you how many racers and street buffs I know that have small fortunes invested in their ignition systems when GM's stock HEI system would have done the same job... if not better! Ford has the worst stock (electronic) ignitions systems. Their factory modules stink. They have the least amount of dwell time and the most expensive price. Chrylser has a great module that will saturate the heck out of the coil, causing a big spark. A neat trick is to use a Chrysler module on a Ford engine. It really wakes-up the coil. I can't tell you how many people say that you can't run an HEI distributor an a high performance engine because they "sputter" after 6,000 RPM. Say that to our Super Gasser that runs 9.90's all day long and goes through the lights at almost 8,000 RPM without a glitch. I took that MSD 7AL2 box, billet distributor and funky coil and trashed 'em because they were doing strange things and dropping cylinders when the car came-off the trans brake at 6,500RPM. I've had people come-up and say "hey, you can't run an HEI distributor at those RPM's", as they watch the car go down the track without a glitch! You can't check those elaborate ignition systems and when they need fixing, you've either got to send them back and wait 2 weeks or spend a fortune on a new one. I've built street cars that run 11's and 12's using HEI ignitions and stock Ford distributors using Chrysler modules, and when you hear one of those engines wound-up to 8,000 RPM without a sputter you'll be a believer!

BigRed
06-14-02, 02:09 AM
I hate to be the MSD Rep here but I don't agree with this AT ALL!

I don't know what hes refering to (Certain vehicles or what) but Ive/we've MSDed 3 three cars already..THERES A DIFFERENCE Like HUGE!

Acceleration on a 1990 GMC Step side was like another 1/3 !! we could'nt believe it!

My Corvette make a good difference but not as noticable as the GMC was

And a Honda Prelude (89) WOW thats exactly what that car needed

Now for the forth we put a Crane Fireball HI-6 with PS-92 Coil in a 1970 GTO with a 400 (Judge kit as well). So far with the engine being redone its hard to tell however shes out this coming Monday. But by the sounds of the motor the response sounds REAL quick. <-- 6000 Rpm Rev limiter

JohnZ
06-14-02, 03:27 PM
I gave up on "whizbang" ignition systems years ago - my (dead stock original) '69 Z/28 and my '67 Corvette both use the original Delco point distributors (with Accel or Borg-Warner A112HP 28-32oz. tension points), .007" shaft end-play, with stock coils, caps and wires, Champion J12YC or J14YC plugs, VC-1810 vacuum advance cans, and both run like gangbusters. The Z/28 will howl to 6500+ all day long without a miss. A properly set up stock distributor with "good" points (not the junk stock points or the junk "Uni-Set" points) will perform extremely well; ignition systems require some maintenance just like anything else does, and a 30-year-old distributor in lousy shape naturally doesn't perform up to snuff, but nobody ever pays any attention to their stock distributor. If you take care of it, it will take care of you! :D

Evolution1980
06-14-02, 03:44 PM
Same here...I gotta disagree with the ignition system. I have a Jacob's Ignition system in my car. DynoJet proven results. Also noticed it on my calibrated butt-dyno.

Unfortunately, when someone gets so cock-sure about something and is then wrong, it makes me question everything they say. Case and point...

Tom Bryant
06-23-02, 11:54 AM
Originally posted by JohnZ
I gave up on "whizbang" ignition systems years ago - my (dead stock original) '69 Z/28 and my '67 Corvette both use the original Delco point distributors (with Accel or Borg-Warner A112HP 28-32oz. tension points), .007" shaft end-play, with stock coils, caps and wires, Champion J12YC or J14YC plugs, VC-1810 vacuum advance cans, and both run like gangbusters. The Z/28 will howl to 6500+ all day long without a miss. A properly set up stock distributor with "good" points (not the junk stock points or the junk "Uni-Set" points) will perform extremely well; ignition systems require some maintenance just like anything else does, and a 30-year-old distributor in lousy shape naturally doesn't perform up to snuff, but nobody ever pays any attention to their stock distributor. If you take care of it, it will take care of you! :D

I have to agree with John. I have run set up Corvette dual points distributors in all of my small blocks with great success to 7000rpm+. I have never been able to tell any difference in the electronic ignitions I have tried. I do, however, think they might give you an advantage during starting if you have a tired engine, bad plugs or a partially fludded engine. I had a 283 that if you didn't rev it when it first fired it would die. Then the plugs were wet and it wouldn't restart without either removing and drying the plugs or finding something else to do for a few hours. An HEI cured that.

Tom