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Conducting spark plug testing

 
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Old 26 Mar 2014, 10:29 pm
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Location: Northern Iowa
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Default Conducting spark plug testing

I have read a bunch of different forums concerning which spark plugs to use. I have a 1st generation Cruiser and recently replaced plugs and wires. I noticed my gas mileage dropped off about 2-3 mpg AFTER replacing the plugs and wires. I received some great input on the issue (thanks guys!!) but ultimately did not fix the issue. So I decided to use this opportunity to do some real world comparisons on spark plugs. After reading through some of the earlier threads I decided to test:
1. OEM Champion plugs
2. Champion 7570 double platinum
3. NGK V Power Nickel 5306

Baseline: I used the original OEM plugs and wires as my baseline. Traveling 44 miles round trip to work on a regular 5 day week (using the same route each day), I was averaging 24mpg....and this was on worn plugs and wires with 60,000 miles of use!

I replaced the wires with BWD Select CH74200 and used these with each of the plugs noted above

Test 1: Champion 7570 plugs. Tested on a duration of five full refills of the gas tank. Averaged 20mpg. Car ran great and I honestly felt like the car had gained some pep. I did not try to spin tires or set a 0-60, just merely noticed an improvement in acceleration and throttle response. Not mind boggling but still noticeable. I was disappointed in the gas mileage. After pulling the plugs I checked gap and found that all four plugs were pre-gapped to .045 which surprised me as these were supposed to be pre-gapped to .040. Since I had already installed the NGK plugs, I decided to move ahead with the next test. I will re-gap the Champion 7570 plugs to .040 and perform another test.

Test 2: NGK V Power 5306 plugs. Checked gap and found all properly pre-gapped to .040. Tested on a duration of five full gas tank refills. Averaged 24 mpg. Car ran great but with less pep than noticed with the Champion 7570 plugs.

I will be swapping plugs in April to the Champion OEM plugs. Afterwards I will try the Champion 7570 plugs again after they are properly gapped.

Trying to keep this test as consistent and objective as possible but as this is real-world testing, there will be a few uncontrollable variations (weather, wind, outside temps, etc).

Eric
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Old 26 Mar 2014, 10:39 pm
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Location: Northern Iowa
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Default Re: Conducting spark plug testing

One thing I forgot to explain.....I am testing a new set of OEM Champion plugs to maintain consistency of the test...i.e the other plugs are new so will test new OEM plugs as well.

Eric
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Old 26 Mar 2014, 10:45 pm
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Lightbulb Re: Conducting spark plug testing

The normally recommed plugs are the Champion #RE14MCC5,and the NGK/V-Power #LRTR4A-11,and of course still gapped @ 0.040.
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Old 27 Mar 2014, 08:22 am
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Default Re: Conducting spark plug testing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liferjoesquid View Post
I have read a bunch of different forums concerning which spark plugs to use. I have a 1st generation Cruiser and recently replaced plugs and wires. I noticed my gas mileage dropped off about 2-3 mpg AFTER replacing the plugs and wires. I received some great input on the issue (thanks guys!!) but ultimately did not fix the issue. So I decided to use this opportunity to do some real world comparisons on spark plugs. After reading through some of the earlier threads I decided to test:
1. OEM Champion plugs
2. Champion 7570 double platinum
3. NGK V Power Nickel 5306

Baseline: I used the original OEM plugs and wires as my baseline. Traveling 44 miles round trip to work on a regular 5 day week (using the same route each day), I was averaging 24mpg....and this was on worn plugs and wires with 60,000 miles of use!

I replaced the wires with BWD Select CH74200 and used these with each of the plugs noted above

Test 1: Champion 7570 plugs. Tested on a duration of five full refills of the gas tank. Averaged 20mpg. Car ran great and I honestly felt like the car had gained some pep. I did not try to spin tires or set a 0-60, just merely noticed an improvement in acceleration and throttle response. Not mind boggling but still noticeable. I was disappointed in the gas mileage. After pulling the plugs I checked gap and found that all four plugs were pre-gapped to .045 which surprised me as these were supposed to be pre-gapped to .040. Since I had already installed the NGK plugs, I decided to move ahead with the next test. I will re-gap the Champion 7570 plugs to .040 and perform another test.

Test 2: NGK V Power 5306 plugs. Checked gap and found all properly pre-gapped to .040. Tested on a duration of five full gas tank refills. Averaged 24 mpg. Car ran great but with less pep than noticed with the Champion 7570 plugs.

I will be swapping plugs in April to the Champion OEM plugs. Afterwards I will try the Champion 7570 plugs again after they are properly gapped.

Trying to keep this test as consistent and objective as possible but as this is real-world testing, there will be a few uncontrollable variations (weather, wind, outside temps, etc).

Eric
You won't notice the pep difference because, One you get used to it and two the big thing. You went from new to new. Unlike when you pulled the original 60k plugs. You will fell the restoration of power when you replace a high milage plugs. When you change them like your doing you no longer have that much fall off of power between the two plugs.
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Old 27 Mar 2014, 09:57 am
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Default Re: Conducting spark plug testing

I hate seeing tests conducted like these on the internet. They have a way of becoming false forum facts?
The testing method described to be used is not being run in any fashion even real world with any set of controls. Therefore any results are going to be highly inconclusive and very subjective and argumentative!

The spark plug gaped is subjective in that the manufacture of the spark plug NOT the manufacture of the engine sets there universal gaping. Most gaps are conservative for a universal consideration of applications.
This is why on the package of the spark plug you do not see application guides.
The only real way to find the optimal spark plug gap is be doing a series of mileage runs on the same road same and same environmental conditions. Or in the case of maximum power by the method of power gaping.

Simplified:
The fundamental electrical function of any spark plug is to create a flame kernel to ignite the fuel. The transfer of electrical current to create the ignition process at the spark plug is the coil and the spark plug wires.
The longevity of a spark plug is related to the materiel of its composition and the environment it is running in.
Electricity by nature is very slow so wider gaps have their own issues. Electricity will always find a path of least resistance. Relating to a spark plug all angles and spacing or gaps must be greater at side electrode then any other part of continuity other then the intended end gap at the center electrode.
The only way to do accurate spark plug gaping is with special spark plug gaping tools. The wire or wedge spark plug gaping tools are not considered to be accurate.

Some variables that effect a test of this sort (Following these conditions would all be very "real world" testing methods which could have some evidence of differences between spark plug types and manufactures relative to their MPG supporting performance?)
Fuel consistency usage and brand is highly important.The fuel used may have varied in the mixture from testing which can drastically effect the results between spark plug changes.
A baseline OHMs reading preformed on the new spark plug wires. Unless the OHMs at each spark plug change can be verified any difference could effect the results.
The air cleaner should be cleaned or replaced at the time prior the testing and should be checked at each spark plug change.
The engine oil and filter should be been changed at the beginning of the test.
Tire pressure should be constantly checked through out the test.
Ambient temperatures should be recorded during the runs on the different spark plugs.
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Last edited by NitroPT; 27 Mar 2014 at 10:02 am.
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