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Old 08-12-2004, 07:50 AM   #11
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the other thing that goes with this that I don't think they mentioned is Indexing your plugs

basically all indexing does is place the electrode RIGHT at the top of the combustion chamber.. pointing your newly exposed spark directly to the fuel/air charge

to do this ... mark somewhere on the plug that remain visable when your plugs are installed showing the location of the electrode. you may have to try a few diff plugs or pick up a small collection of plug washer/spacers

just one of those things that can get that lil bit more outta your engine for cheap/free

*claimed* power gains from sidegapping and indexing on warmed up small blocks is 5-9 hp

I personally haven't tried this myself but I will be soon doesn't sound like much but when you add up all the little 4 hp here 5hp there cheap and free mods up... it can make a nice difference
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Old 08-12-2004, 09:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelePlayer
I dunno, most spark plug gap ideas seem like snake oil to me. One electrode, split electrodes, v shaped electrodes, two electrodes, four.... they would put in a hundred if there was room. The way I see it, there is a spark, the fuel ignites, end of story. I would guess that 90% of all spark plugs in use are still the standard single electrode style.
Then again, the new version of the Dodge Hemi motor has 2 plugs per cylinder. Imagine how important the spark must be for a manufacturer to go through the expense of designing and implementing a 2-plug-per-cylinder motor. Especially when you consider that a car manufacturer doesn't want to put a penny more into a vehicle than it absolutely HAS to (a penny x 1,000,000 vehicles = someone'* yearly salary)...
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mecg
Quote:
Originally Posted by TelePlayer
I dunno, most spark plug gap ideas seem like snake oil to me. One electrode, split electrodes, v shaped electrodes, two electrodes, four.... they would put in a hundred if there was room. The way I see it, there is a spark, the fuel ignites, end of story. I would guess that 90% of all spark plugs in use are still the standard single electrode style.
Then again, the new version of the Dodge Hemi motor has 2 plugs per cylinder. Imagine how important the spark must be for a manufacturer to go through the expense of designing and implementing a 2-plug-per-cylinder motor. Especially when you consider that a car manufacturer doesn't want to put a penny more into a vehicle than it absolutely HAS to (a penny x 1,000,000 vehicles = someone'* yearly salary)...
I feel bad for that poor guy who is only making $10k per year.

Anyways, I wrote this mostly to "spark" some debate. Hmm two plugs might make sense because now you are starting the combustion from two points in the chamber.

I remember when I was a kid in the 60'* looking at all the hokey spark plug ads in the JC Whitney catalog. All these multiple electrode things have been around forever. They don't put them in the cars because they don't make a difference, but they can still get the average home mechanic to shell out a premium to buy a plug that seems special.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelePlayer
Anyways, I wrote this mostly to "spark" some debate. Hmm two plugs might make sense because now you are starting the combustion from two points in the chamber.
Isn't that EXACTLY what we DON'T want? Knock is the colliding of two flame fronts within a cylinder.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:36 AM   #15
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I thought knock was a violent, quick combustion of the mixture, when what you really want is a nice even burn.
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:39 AM   #16
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The Hemi'* have two spark plugs because by Design, the Hemi doesn't have the best combustion. The hemi, normally leaves a little air/fuel behind on most strokes, and it'* not good for wear, or emissions AT ALL. It'* also for a more Even burn. I don't know the specifics of it.

Here'* a brake down of both Hemi'*, new and old. http://community.webshots.com/album/138915209ljJFHE
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Old 08-12-2004, 10:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TelePlayer
I thought knock was a violent, quick combustion of the mixture, when what you really want is a nice even burn.
Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.zzperformance.com/zzp/info/knock_retard/kr_about.htm
What is detonation?
KR is a result of detonation. To have 'real' (more on 'real' vs 'false' KR later) KR, you MUST have detonation. Detonation is the uncontrolled combustion of the intake charge. "Uncontrolled" means that the mixture ignites via a means other than the spark from the spark plug. In most cases, the uncontrolled ignition is due to a 'hot spot' in the cylinder. Hot spots can be caused by uneven combustion, spark plugs that are rated too 'hot', lean fuel conditions, breathing restrictions (exhaust / intake), bad gas and so forth. One problem in particular that came to light for me was the head gaskets. During one of my engine teardowns, Zooomer from ZZP pointed out that, while my cylinder bores are perfectly round, the head gaskets are NOT made perfectly round. Some of the gasket material actually protrudes slightly into the combustion chamber. Since the head gasket bore linings are made of metal, that little bit that protrudes into the cylinder glows red hot, thus creating the potential for a nasty 'hot spot'. This is a good area to check and perhaps replace with an aftermarket head gasket. In other cases, the 'hot spot' is due to unreasonably high cylinder compression. Either way, the 'pinging' or 'rattling' sound you hear is the result of the actual collision of the flame front produced by the 'hot spot' and the normal flame front produced by the spark plug. Typically, these two flame fronts are opposing fronts, meaning that they are expanding, or propagating toward each other, thus the collision. Real KR does NOT occur without detonation occurring FIRST.
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:03 AM   #18
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Guys, I know debate is a good thing. But, I've actually TRIED this sidegapping thing. I read the article, thought about it, decided to spend the few bucks and few minutes to give it a fair shot, bought the plugs, sidegapped them, installed them, and did a real-world test. They WORKED.

I just thought I'd pass along a good thing...
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:14 AM   #19
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I'd love to see how this plays out. Unless your existing plugs are really old or prematurely eroded, you can't feel the difference when you change them. I'd bet you can't FEEL the sidegapping. The only way to prove it is to dyno it over time. It'll take alot of dyno runs to see that small of a trend.

I'll admit that it makes sense, but it doesn't look like the kind of thing I'd do to a daily driver. Maybe if I put plugs in specifically for a day at the track, though.
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Old 08-12-2004, 11:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willwren
Unless your existing plugs are really old or prematurely eroded, you can't feel the difference when you change them. I'd bet you can't FEEL the sidegapping.
The only "proof" of a difference I could offer is the hill. My truck only downshifts once now, and that'* only at the worst (steepest) part. Before sidegapping my plugs the truck ALWAYS downshifted at least twice, sometimes 3 times. This is consistent now and was consistent before the swap. It'* a real-world, quantifyable difference.

The plugs that were replaced were due to be replaced, but they were not overly worn in any way.

The only thing I could or would suggest to anyone is simply this: try it yourself. You don't have to take my word for it. Buy a cheap set of plugs at Wally World, sidegap them, and try it. What do you have to lose? Nothing more than a few bucks and some time (and yeah... maybe some knuckle skin trying to get the back plugs out)...
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