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Spark plug tech information and understanding them

This is a discussion on Spark plug tech information and understanding them within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Originally Posted by Mr. Luos Now we are getting into stuff I know nothing about. It's ok, I drowned a ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Luos View Post
    Now we are getting into stuff I know nothing about.
    It's ok, I drowned a long time ago..

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandmanWs7 View Post
    So if we run your spark plugs, we can no longer use a radar detector? Is a laser/radar detector still good? I think around here the po po use laser for detecting speed.
    More then likely you would have some interference issues when going to a non-resistor spark plug. If your running an Autolite AR series race plug and don't have issues you should be OK with our spark plugs as well. This is the general trend we have noticed with other customers as well. It really depends on the sensitivity of the radar in question and the types of noise suppression they use.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1 TRANS AM View Post
    I understand what you are saying about the resistance. I cant help but think that once a spark plug reaches a certian grade it cannot do any more to help the burn. You can ignite gasoline with a lighter or a flame thrower, both are going to do the same thing. I would like to see Extensive dyno testing on several different plugs. All the variables would have to be the same. I am up to try out any new spark plug. I am not trying to sound like I am bashing. I think you are on to something good. I would just like to see some real power difference. Thanks Josh
    This is why the higher output the engine the greater the returns. You can light a fire with a spark but it would start quicker and more intensely with a torch. Both will start but one will cause the wood to start releasing it's energy quicker and more completely within a smaller amount of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    after seeing how you measured your plug, i decided to measure the autolite racing AR-94 plug i will be using in my motor. i did three readings. here's the pics of the results. i tried to mimic the exact way you laid your terminals on your plug.
    Yes, those Autolites are zero resistance but they are not the official 'replacement' spark plug. As you can see on this site they are 'RACING' spark plugs.

    http://www.sparkplugs.com/results_cr...ar+103&x=0&y=0

    NGK also has a copper 'RACING' spark plug called the RR5724, but as you know the TR55 and TR6 are the official replacement spark plugs that have the resistor inside. All racing spark plugs have a copper core (like ours) but the only difference is that nobody sells an Iridium copper core spark plug that fits our engines. Many racing teams use a copper core, Iridium electrode design, and NGK, Denso etc do make them for race teams BUT non of them fit our engines. The Iridium design lowers the total amount of power required to first start the spark which means more energy at the spark gap. This is the reason we developed them.

    BTW there is some very intelligent questions in the other thread, BTW nice to meet you Eugenio WeaponX is actually a Canadian Company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "I have a few questions, though.

    Ohm's law is not really applicable on a spark plug, the theory of electrostatics and Coulomb's law would be more appropriate.
    Basics on a spark plug is on the stated above... you have electrically charged plates with a given distance from one another (gap).
    Now, by increasing the voltage difference, you will reach a point where the attraction on the charged particles will exceed a threshold, and charges will jump from one side to the other, creating the spark."
    Yes, and resistance does affect this so while OHMs law is still appropriate, since there is a voltage potential across the resistor, I do agree 100% about Coulomb's law as well.

    The difference in testing has been that with an increase of resistance the more prone the spark plug is to fouling and mis-fire. During some tests with a 1 MEG ohm resistance the slightest amount of fuel on the electrode tip would cause the spark plug to not fire. The theory during testing was that even with VERY high resistance levels the plug would still fire but the more the resistance level was increased the more prone the plug was to misfire and fouling in harsh in cylinder environments. This is why the lower the resistance and the more abusive the cylinder environment the more the returns.

    This is also the reason racers have access to Iridium non resistor designs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "Now, if you increase the gap, it takes more potential (voltage) for the spark to occur... the reverse is also true."
    Absolutely, I agree when in regards to the spark gap.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "As for the internal resistance in the spark plug, it would limit the amount of current flying through the spark plug when in "spark" mode... ie when the voltage is big enough to cause the spark. (Remember that when no spark, there is no current, it's an open circuit).

    Now let's consider the closed circuit when "in-spark".
    With a 0ohm equivalent resistance, the whole charge would dissipate very fast, but stronger... a higher resistance will limit the current and make the spark last longer... yet the spark won't be as strong.

    Now the questions:

    1. Given that I have a certain amount of fuel and air in the combustion chamber, based on the car tuning... all being equal, for burning fuel, which is more efficient @ burning more fuel... shorter-time/more intense-spark or vice-versa ?"
    The spark without the resistor is more intense and the type of ignition coil will usually determine how much energy is allowed to move during a given timeframe. All ignition coils have a recovery time and discharge time but I do agree that typically with a high resistance value this can impede the flow of energy from the ignition coil to the spark gap and potentially create a longer duration spark. The issue with high resistance is the greater potential to fouling (so energy is wasted in potential misfires) and the voltage loss potential across the resistor that limits electon flow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "2. Can't the same result be achieved with changing the gap parameters ?"
    Yes and no. This is because lowering the gap will lower the resistance during the time the spark is first initiated but the resistance in the spark plug stays consistent. Once a spark starts the resistance level drops dramatically across the gap since a bridge has been formed for electron flow. Even though the bridge has been formed and the resistance was lowered, like you say, at the moment of firing, a fixed resistance still exists in the circuit increasing the resistance levels while the spark is firing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "3. Let's assume the new spark plug actually burns fuel more efficiently, which means that it would increase the A/F ratio... which means I would have to retune the car with more fuel so I don't run too lean... if that is the case, then I can see where I can get more hp, because it's burning way more efficiently... but that can't be achieved with simply a dyno pull. That means I need to tune on the new plugs.

    Let's say this is the case, and the spark plugs do that... which is a good thing for the product, actually... that means I should be careful on just putting those plugs and running WOT, cause if they are more efficient, my A/F is higher and I'm running leaner... I need to tune, and I can see getting some more power by running lean, but not a position I would want to be in ... if anything, I can add more fuel and still have a bit more power and feel better with the given A/F ratio.

    "
    There have been cases with high output (700rhwp or more) Ford engines where they did require a re-tune. We are pretty new to the LS scene so I can't comment on how well they will alter the performance characteristics of the LS engine at the same power levels. I can say that our dynos did show and we have felt a noticeable change but our own testing is not what we believe in pushing our customers. We would rather they come to their own conclusions on the matter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "4. have you seen that comparing back to back, by simply changing plugs that the A/F will increase ?... and by which extent ? This should give a good indication on the gains one could achieve with the "improved" plugs if they do as claimed."
    Again, I don't like to push our results so take this test for what it is worth. During a test on the 700rhwp Lightning engine the dyno run needed to be aborted. Half way through the run the engine was over 1 full point leaner then it should have been. Back to backs with smaller, less aggressive engines did not need to abort the runs but a change was noted. Our conclusion was because of the increase air fuel in the ignition chamber it caused a much more dramatic result.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    "I'm not bashing, but as an Electrical Engineer I still have some unanswered questions that I would like to be answered with some credibility, not with confusing and inconsistant nomenclature, mixing power, potential, current, as stated previously."
    No bash taken. I'm not infallible (nobody is) but I'm glad I could answer your questions to the best of my ability.
    Last edited by WeaponX_Perf; 07-15-2008 at 01:20 PM. Reason: changed now to not!?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    but, did i do it right? is the autolite racing plug any better than the weaponx, because of the lower resistance reading i got?
    No you are right. I will post a graph on the difference in voltage requirement between an iridium design vs a copper design in the near future.

    Few things.

    1) It's about 5000 less volts to fire an equiv Iridium design.
    2) The smaller tip doesn't quench the flame front.
    3) The tapered lower electrode lowers the voltage requirement over the copper non tapered ground strap.
    4) The Iridium design can handle a higher output spark for a longer duration of time because of it's hard characteristics.
    5) Like wikipedia says "electrons are emitted where the electrical field strength is greatest; this is from wherever the radius of curvature of the surface is smallest" because of the smaller radius the electrons can fire sooner and with less energy then a copper design.

    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    dwell time is more important, i would say. i've had a little training from mallory ignition back in my younger days. the more time you can keep the plug firing, the better. causes less misfires. overall more power. now, there is a limit to how much time you can fire the plug and get the mixture lit off before it's too late. i think it was around 22* crankshaft rotation.
    You won't get any disagreement with dwell time from me. It can be important to tune in depending on the ignition coil in question. I've been fighting the powers that be at Ford sites for years in regards to ignition dwell adjustments. They think it doesn't matter what dwell time you input. :/ This is because they have only recently been able to modify dwell. All previous year vehicles automatically charged coils to 6.5 amps without the need for dwell adjustments. I keep telling them to optimize dwell with our ignition coils for better results and some others say I'm on crack.... lol... oh well sooner or later they will learn.
    Last edited by WeaponX_Perf; 07-15-2008 at 10:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wultdat View Post
    It's ok, I drowned a long time ago..
    LOL.. hopefully we can get into some easier stuff in the near future, dynos would be nice, we will just need to wait it out for a bit.

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    BTW if there are any questions or responses please post them here. I do not have the ability to post in the other spark plug thread or to PM anybody.

    MRR23, no point in having 2 threads with the same info, you minus well remove the previous one.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponX_Perf View Post

    Yes, those Autolites are zero resistance but they are not the official 'replacement' spark plug. As you can see on this site they are 'RACING' spark plugs.

    http://www.sparkplugs.com/results_cr...ar+103&x=0&y=0

    NGK also has a copper 'RACING' spark plug called the RR5724, but as you know the TR55 and TR6 are the official replacement spark plugs that have the resistor inside. All racing spark plugs have a copper core (like ours) but the only difference is that nobody sells an Iridium copper core spark plug that fits our engines. Many racing teams use a copper core, Iridium electrode design, and NGK, Denso etc do make them for race teams BUT non of them fit our engines. The Iridium design lowers the total amount of power required to first start the spark which means more energy at the spark gap. This is the reason we developed them.

    on the box it says racing. now, to say that the AR-94 are not 'official' replacements because they are racing, would mean yours are not official replacements as well. in one of the other threads, you even said because you are not in the USA, you do not have to meet the USA standards and your plugs are considered off-road use only.

    now, being the only one that has iridium for our engines is a good point. helps to last longer and first start the spark.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    on the box it says racing. now, to say that the AR-94 are not 'official' replacements because they are racing, would mean yours are not official replacements as well. in one of the other threads, you even said because you are not in the USA, you do not have to meet the USA standards and your plugs are considered off-road use only.

    now, being the only one that has iridium for our engines is a good point. helps to last longer and first start the spark.
    Yes, it shouldn't be advertised as the stock replacement spark plug if it is non-resistor. It needs to be advertised as a 'Racing' or an 'off road use only' spark plug since they do not have the internal resistor. At least that is the guideline for us.

    The TR6 can be listed and advertised as a stock replacement unit because of the internal resistor.

    We advertise ours as 'racing', since they were designed as a high end racing spark plug but will work for the stock engine without issue, just like the Autolites. The major difference between them are the electrode designs.

    BTW I'd wager the Autolites work better then the NGK because of the resistance differences, but that is a presumption on my behalf. On the bench there is a difference.
    Last edited by WeaponX_Perf; 07-15-2008 at 02:46 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1 TRANS AM View Post
    I understand what you are saying about the resistance. I cant help but think that once a spark plug reaches a certian grade it cannot do any more to help the burn. You can ignite gasoline with a lighter or a flame thrower, both are going to do the same thing. I would like to see Extensive dyno testing on several different plugs. All the variables would have to be the same. I am up to try out any new spark plug. I am not trying to sound like I am bashing. I think you are on to something good. I would just like to see some real power difference. Thanks Josh
    You can reach your own conclusions I do applaud their 3 run per plug average.

    http://www.sparkplugs.com/sparkplug4...fid=0&KID=3147
    Last edited by Sarge; 07-15-2008 at 06:39 PM.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    the most consistent plug was the NGK Iridium. very little change between each run.


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    who cares about peaks anyways ?
    My engine is on a few pieces of wood... I have ordered 8 new NGK spark plugs (picking them tomorrow)... would be interested in finding out how well these things would react.
    A local friend has an engine dyno... not even needing to put back the engine back in the car... easily swappable plugs... but I ain't paying for it.
    My engine makes enough hp/tq I ripped my serpentine belt forcing me to go w/ a fixed tensionner...
    Those #s make me laugh... my new startor has more tq than that engine... lol 250+lb-ft
    Last edited by Eugenio_SS; 07-15-2008 at 08:53 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    the most consistent plug was the NGK Iridium. very little change between each run.

    Click for full size
    All these tested plugs are resistor spark plugs, but you can see a difference between them when it comes to reliably igniting the mixture run after run. On the street it means better mileage and throttle response.

    I know why the NGK's are more reliable run after run on a 200hp engine... and why the Denso's had a higher peak hp then the NGK. Pulsestar, I can't comment on.

    NGK CHARACTERISTICS

    The NGK have a larger projection into the combustion chamber with a 0.06mm fine wire electrode. The more centralized, and un-shrouded, the spark is the better chances the air fuel will ignite. This is only finite though. You don't want a projection on a high boost or high hp engine because it puts the spark dead smack in the air fuel and swirl stream. This can lead to spark blowout, electrode contamination and a potential misfire. (resistor style spark plug)

    DENSO CHARACTERISTICS

    The Denso on the otherhand has a 0.04mm fine wire electrode which requires a smaller power requirement to start a spark, this leads to more ignition energy but the design is such that it is non-projected (less projection and less centralized spark then the NGK spark plug) so the spark is shrouded and not in the combustion chamber as much as the NGK is. This means when it can ignite the air fuel it does it much better then the NGK but it can't do it as consistently because of it's location. (resistor style spark plug) It also means at high boost it will more then likely be more reliable and create more power then the NGK. (heat index 8)

    WEAPONX CHARACTERISTICS

    Our spark plugs are designed as such. WeaponX uses a 0.05mm fine wire electrode which requires a smaller power requirement then the NGK but more then the Denso when taking into consideration only the electrode design. Our design, because of the lack of internal resistor, actually requires less energy to fire then the Denso 0.04mm design and offers a longer life expectancy then a 0.04mm design. WeaponX also uses a fully projected tip, just like the NGK Iridium on our heat index 5 and 6 spark plugs for reliable and consistent performance characteristics on smaller hp engines. Our heat index 7 plugs have a smaller projection and our heat index 8 plugs have a non-projected tip to keep the spark kernel away from the inrush air fuel swirl. This means more reliable ignition characteristics at high boost and high power levels.

    We also have an exclusive WeaponX only electrode design called cutback technology where we cut the porcelin section higher on the electrode tip. This allows the spark to be more un-shrouded then the NGK and further increases the chances of the air fuel being reliably ignited in the combustion chamber. It also allows the flame front to propegate quicker. Below you can see the differences.





    The cutback on our heat index 5 is the greatest, 6 is reduced, 7 is reduced further and 8 has very little cutback. This is because at varying levels of CFM the spark kernel needs to be shrouded to maintain its stability.

    Also, like we said, the greater the numbers the greater the potential for improvement. I would personally tell a customer that gains on a 200hp engine would end up being marginal. You really need to push the engine but we have done as much as possible to try and optimize all our spark plugs at varying levels of horsepower.
    Last edited by WeaponX_Perf; 07-16-2008 at 06:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eugenio_SS View Post
    Those #s make me laugh... my new startor has more tq than that engine... lol 250+lb-ft
    ROFL.. I shouldn't laugh... I have a 220hp turbo car that is fun to drive but your right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrr23 View Post
    the most consistent plug was the NGK Iridium. very little change between each run.

    Click for full size


    The differences here are less than one-half of one percent and fall within the repeatability of the dyno and the weather.

    There is no weather or correction data, no AFR or timing data, and in just 2-3 hours enough can change to cause even more of a shift than is posted.

    Where is the real dyno data?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post
    The differences here are less than one-half of one percent and fall within the repeatability of the dyno and the weather.

    There is no weather or correction data, no AFR or timing data, and in just 2-3 hours enough can change to cause even more of a shift than is posted.

    Where is the real dyno data?
    dyno sheets are in the link sarge posted
    http://www.sparkplugs.com/sparkplug4...fid=0&KID=3147

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    Man those numbers fall within repeatability of the dyno, and as mentioned, with no weather data how does anyone know that the environmental variables are the same. Also, a footnote, but people will always question tests on a MD to some extent, given the fact that the operator can pretty much get whatever number he wants from it through weather variable/other variable manipulation. That is one of dynojet's selling points. Their weather stack manages these variables and with this and SAE conversion, results are more easily comparable from one locale to the next. Just some thoughts.

    It's not an attack, I just don't understand all of the hoopla being made over less than one half of a % difference.

    I went to the "weaponx" site and I see no data there at all to support claims made. Subjective results like "customer says car is much faster" etc. are posted.

    Again, this is not an attack, just looking for the meat and potatoes, not some guy's uncalibrated butt-dyno

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frost View Post
    Man those numbers fall within repeatability of the dyno, and as mentioned, with no weather data how does anyone know that the environmental variables are the same. Also, a footnote, but people will always question tests on a MD to some extent, given the fact that the operator can pretty much get whatever number he wants from it through weather variable/other variable manipulation. That is one of dynojet's selling points. Their weather stack manages these variables and with this and SAE conversion, results are more easily comparable from one locale to the next. Just some thoughts.

    It's not an attack, I just don't understand all of the hoopla being made over less than one half of a % difference.

    I went to the "weaponx" site and I see no data there at all to support claims made. Subjective results like "customer says car is much faster" etc. are posted.

    Again, this is not an attack, just looking for the meat and potatoes, not some guy's uncalibrated butt-dyno
    Totally understandable. I can post dynos, I have them on hand from previous customers and vendors that have tried our equipment but WeaponX has never operated like that.

    The way it's always been with WeaponX has been to show the technical merits of the equipment and let the third parties, customers and equipment speak for itself. It may sound stupid but you and I both know that if I provided you with our data it would be met with scrutiny and doubt anyway so it's better to let things fall where they may. Good products eventually make themselves known and others will eventually fall away.

    The other reason is that results have varied widely from vehicle to vehicle. I can't say that every vehicle, and every engine will respond in the same manner but if we posted all the dyno and testing data in one extreme case it would be met with doubt for someone that didn't receive the same results.

    For example, with our ignition coils people always ask us. How much horsepower? My typical response is. It depends on the application. I won't lie, there have been people that saw 0hp but there have been others that have seen 10, 25, 35, 45, 200+ rwhp with an ignition coil swap. In our opinion, it's just not fair to release data on a 200+rwhp increase. It just isn't a common number or a common result.

    Ignition components are one of those things where things are not set in stone. There are so many variables such as camshaft size, intake, CFM into the chamber, A/F, compression etc that it makes it impossible to say or give specifics on output.

    What I can say is that the design is more electrically efficient, without a doubt, and should output a better spark vs any competing spark plug for the LSX application.

  17. #37
    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    are your plugs used in any race only applications by any major/minor teams?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponX_Perf View Post
    Totally understandable. I can post dynos, I have them on hand from previous customers and vendors that have tried our equipment but WeaponX has never operated like that.

    The way it's always been with WeaponX has been to show the technical merits of the equipment and let the third parties, customers and equipment speak for itself. It may sound stupid but you and I both know that if I provided you with our data it would be met with scrutiny and doubt anyway so it's better to let things fall where they may. Good products eventually make themselves known and others will eventually fall away.
    I'd say show them and put your $ where your mouth is... and don't come dancing around the bush saying you are willing to pay for dyno... show the data you have.
    Not showing that data that is "available", makes ppl think it's a very shady operational strategy... if the claims are true, then the data would support it and can only help.
    As you said... you MAY sound stupid... and I agree.
    It would only make sense to share the information... not just the theory.

    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponX_Perf View Post
    The other reason is that results have varied widely from vehicle to vehicle. I can't say that every vehicle, and every engine will respond in the same manner but if we posted all the dyno and testing data in one extreme case it would be met with doubt for someone that didn't receive the same results.

    For example, with our ignition coils people always ask us. How much horsepower? My typical response is. It depends on the application. I won't lie, there have been people that saw 0hp but there have been others that have seen 10, 25, 35, 45, 200+ rwhp with an ignition coil swap. In our opinion, it's just not fair to release data on a 200+rwhp increase. It just isn't a common number or a common result.
    you must be kidding right ?
    Unless you think we are so gollable.
    200+ rwhp gain from spark plugs
    Were most of the plugs dead ? were there some ignition plugs missing ?
    do your plugs produce fuel and nitrous in the combustion chamber ?
    ... unless you come out with all the data you say you have, I call it Big-Time BS and I wanna see the data where you got the 200+ rwhp, even if it's a 5000rwhp car.


    Quote Originally Posted by WeaponX_Perf View Post
    Ignition components are one of those things where things are not set in stone. There are so many variables such as camshaft size, intake, CFM into the chamber, A/F, compression etc that it makes it impossible to say or give specifics on output.

    What I can say is that the design is more electrically efficient, without a doubt, and should output a better spark vs any competing spark plug for the LSX application.
    Prove it... or show some proof.
    It's looking shadier by the day... can't help it.

    I'm getting to the point that I'm starting to believe you just a politician trying to scam.
    Unless you post the "data" you have readily available, I call all your claims pure BS.
    Last edited by Eugenio_SS; 07-16-2008 at 08:51 PM.

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    Senior Member mrr23's Avatar
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    the 200+ was with his coils as well as his plugs.

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    i guess he dynoed his 220hp turbo engine with no spark plugs vs with spark plugs.
    i'm wondering how he got the dyno graph with no spark plug @ 0hp @ all rpm range.
    Even Fred Flinstone would produce some power without spark plugs.
    show us that data... or it's PURE

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