Spark - Plugs, Gaps, Wires, Coils and StuDog! - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Spark - Plugs, Gaps, Wires, Coils and StuDog!

I guess I must have too much of a tinkering mind. Last night I decided to mess around with my 2006 Honda 599 ignition. I was in the garage with the lights off and testing different Coils, Spark Plug Wires, Spark Plug Caps, Spark Plugs and Spark Plug Gaps. I had a flash light for setting up each test and then tested with flash light off and headlight off, running lights were on. I found some rather interesting results. NOTE: I am not making any suggestions; I am only sharing the results of my own tinkering curious mind.

My testing procedures: I used an aluminum adapter block that I machined to connect the spark plugs to, and this block was grounded via a 12 gauge copper wire going to the negative battery terminal. My tests were done with two plugs attached to the aluminum block at the same time for a side by side comparison. I would only use one terminal on the coil during testing, and the other was just covered up with an empty boot. That is one spark plug per coil. I used my already installed DynaTek Dyna 2000 ignition unit. All results were based on sound and sight, when I state the results it is just the best I could tell by using my ears and eyes. These are just my opinions and are not scientific tests and results.

TESTING ROUND 1
I tested three different coils side by side, two at a time in various combinations.

The stock coils are definitely weaker at what I would guess is maybe 20K volts.
Stock coils basically only performed well with stock wires, spark plugs and spark plug gaps.
Changing spark plug wires, spark plugs and spark plug gaps almost always gave poor sparks, missed sparks or no sparks at all.
The DynaTek Dyna DC1-2 Coils were very impressive, small coil that fits the 599 stock mounts and is strong at about 35K volts.
The Accel 140403 Coils were also impressive, but they are a big coil and hard to fit on 599 - it can be done with modifying the mounting brackets and is strong at about 30K volts.

RESULTS ROUND 1
Discard stock coils, Accel coils are great, but I am going to continue to use the DynaTek coils which are also great and fit well. I was impressed the most with the DynaTek Dyna DC1-2 Coils, which is great since those are what I had already chosen to use. So from this point forward I will only share the results of the testing using both of the DynaTek Dyna DC1-2 Coils.

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post #2 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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TESTING ROUND 2
I tested six types of spark plug wires with DynaTek Dyna DC1-2 Coils and Standard NGK CR9EH spark plugs.


The generic brand 10,000 ohm per foot graphite core suppression wires would not spark at all.
The High-Performance 4000 ohm per foot graphite core suppression wires had lots of miss fires.
The High-Performance 500 ohm per foot stainless steel spiral core suppression wires sparked great.
The High-Performance 50 ohm per foot stainless steel spiral core suppression wires sparked great.
The stock almost zero ohm stainless steel core that has a 5000 ohm resistor in the spark plug boot for suppression wires sparked great.
The High-Performance zero ohm stainless steel core with no EMI (Electro Magnetic Interference) and RFI (radio frequency interference) suppression wires sparked great. Unfortunately they caused erroneous spark signals due to what I am assuming is the interference and did not spark consistently. They had a very erratic fire, but it was always strong.

RESULTS ROUND 2
Graphite core suppression wires and stainless steel core non-suppression wires do not work well with my Honda 599. Which is surprising since the High-Performance 4000 ohm per foot graphite core suppression wires came with my DynaTek ignition system and coils. Stainless steel spiral core suppression wires and stock wires seemed to all be equal as best as I could tell, so any of these three sets are good to use. So from this point forward I will only share the results of the testing using both of the DynaTek Dyna DC1-2 Coils with stock wires and Stainless steel spiral core suppression wires.

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post #3 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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TESTING ROUND 3
I tested several different spark plugs and spark plug gaps, using the Stainless steel spiral core suppression wires and stock wires. All spark plugs were resistor (R) type plugs, most measured at 5000 ohms, but a few were at 4000 ohm and 6000 ohm. I have a huge assortment of new spark plugs and don’t feel like typing all the brands and types, so I will keep this concise.

The standard spark plugs gave a great spark that danced around a little on location. The bigger the gap, I tested with 0.035, 0.045 and 0.060 inch, the better the spark.

The iridium spark plugs were very consistent on spark location, but with a bigger gap I could tell the sparks were not as strong as the standard plugs. Not a huge difference, but it was there. I guess this makes sense because Iridium is not a better conductor, but is used because they last longer.

The spark plugs with multi-ground electrodes gave a good spark that danced around on location. The bigger the gap, I tested with 0.045 and 0.060 inch, the better the spark.

The surface-discharge plugs gave a good spark that danced around on location. These have no gap adjustment and I am going to guess that all of the ones I tried were equivalent to 0.045 and 0.060 inch gaps.

The multi-spark plugs gave a great spark. I only have one brand/model of this type of plug, and I was very impressed with how it sparked. It had huge multi-sparks that danced all over the place with a noticeably longer duration.

You may have noticed I did not test any of my U-Groove, V-Groove, Twin-Groove or any other of the Groovy spark plugs. I have tested them in the past in a high-performance big block street racer, and I was not impressed any more than just standard AC Delco plugs. I had also tested iridium plugs in that car, and they sucked. I couldn’t find anything that out performed or better priced than the AC Delco plugs, and trust me I had tried them all. When it was all said and done, I used a standard AC Delco with a 0.080 inch gap and they lasted and performed great. But let’s get back to this test!

RESLUTS ROUND 3

The bigger the gap, I tested with 0.035, 0.045 and 0.060 inch, the better the spark.
The 0.045 and 0.060 inch gaps just made fairly similar sparks, but they were a big difference compared to the 0.035 inch.
The sparks had a much louder snap and were HUGE compared to the 0.035 inch sparks.
It seems that most of the multi-ground electrode spark plugs are probably not going to give good performance.
They seem like they would block most of the spark from being exposed to the air/fuel mixture.
With an exception in my limited stock being the Brisk AOR10LGS multi-ground electrode spark plugs, they have much shorter electrodes and better exposed spark.
The surface-discharge plugs seem like they would work good since the spark is well exposed.
The multi-spark plugs seems like they would work the best since it is projected into the fire chamber like a typical plug, but the spark is completely exposed all the way around the plug.
Iridium spark plugs are okay, but I am guessing they would be best for fuel injected engines.
With the consistent spark location, I bet that would perform best with the good mixture of air/fuel that comes with EFI.
I would guess that carbureted engines would do best with a spark that is able to dance so that it can consistently follow the path with the most fuel (least resistance) and burn more consistently for best performance.

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post #4 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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FINAL RESULTS

I played around for way too many hours and way too long last night and was tired in my 7:30 class, but I got some good results that will give me some more things to tinker with if I feel like it. My opinion is that the DynaTek Dyna 2000 ignition and Dyna DC1-2 Coils are awesome! Now I need to decide between which plug wires I want to use; Accel 8.8mm high-conductivity silver plated copper woven around stainless steel suppression core yellow jacket wires or my stock Honda red jacket wires. I will probably go with the stock red wires for now since they have the correct connect on the spark plugs. If I use the Accel wires, I have to install the screw on cap adapters to get the correct connection. As for plugs, I will pull the Iridium NGK CR9EHIX-9 plugs and throw them in my spark plug collection. I am going to try using the stock standard NGK CR9EH-9 spark plugs and see if I can open the gap up just a little. I wish I could find a set of standard plugs that fit and are 0.045 inch gap because I bet those would work the best.

In the future I may need to get a few complete sets of Brisk spark plugs to install and test in my Honda 599 to see if I like them better; Brisk spark plug models: AR10ZS (multi-spark), AOR10LGS (multi-ground electrode) and ARO8GS (surface-discharge). I was impressed the most with the Brisk AR10ZS, but don’t know how they would fit/run. They are not half threads like the stock spark plugs are, even though they will fit, I wonder if that would have any bad effects. Besides that, they are fairly expensive plugs, but I do only need a couple more to have a set…….hmmmmmm….

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 01:00 PM Thread Starter
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Today I installed the standard NGK CR9EH-9 spark plugs with a 0.40 inch gap and stock wires.
Bike starts and runs great, a very noticeable difference.

I really need to do some research and see if I can find some standard plugs with a 0.045 inch gap so that the electrode surfaces stay parallel.
It may be difficult to find plugs that only have half thread.
I just don't know what to expect from a full thread even though the plug seats seal with a crush ring.

I may switch to the Accel wires, I think the yellow wires look better than red.
I will run with these for a little while and then do the switch in a week or so.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 01:27 PM
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Soooo......... what color is your 599?

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post #7 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
Soooo......... what color is your 599?
Currently the stock black, but it will eventually be done in the Red Honda Super Sport Theme.


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post #8 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 02:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StuDog View Post
Currently the stock black, but it will eventually be done in the Red Honda Super Sport Theme.


I think it looks very very beautiful in black. Do not paint it, spend that time riding it instead.

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 04:38 PM
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My recollection from the mid to late 70s or so is Bill Jenkins opining that no gain from gap came until at least 45 thou.
Larger gaps could be better, but the system had to be capable of establishing the spark, and not leaking.

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 05:11 PM
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Thanks to the OP for the write-up, interesting reading.

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post #11 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcromo44 View Post
My recollection from the mid to late 70s or so is Bill Jenkins opining that no gain from gap came until at least 45 thou.
Larger gaps could be better, but the system had to be capable of establishing the spark, and not leaking.
is Bill Jenkins in any way related to old man Jenkins aka Cannonball Jenkins aka Sailor Jenkins, son in low of Smitty Werben Jaeger Man Jensen? Man, recollections from mid 70's, wow

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post #12 of 14 Old 07-16-2013, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaq123 View Post
is Bill Jenkins in any way related to old man Jenkins aka Cannonball Jenkins aka Sailor Jenkins, son in low of Smitty Werben Jaeger Man Jensen? Man, recollections from mid 70's, wow
I don't think so.
Bill was known as Grumpy.
His cars were known as Grumpy's Toy 2, 3 etc
NHRA Pro Stock maestro with Chev's.
Started out in the big car 409 engine era and was always part of the evolutions and revolutions.
Twin point distributors for mega dwell plus a point set trip out for high gear only to effect an ignition retard.
First builder of the so called "bird cage" cars, as in full tube cars with Monza sheet metal hung on it.
Went small block for higher power per cube in a cube : weight class structure.
He's been dead for a few years now.
I got to see him a few times at big races at the tracks I managed to get to as a spectator.
Cayuga in Ontario, Sanair in Quebec, US131 in Michigan.
(my pencil holder is a smoked piston out of the Petersen & Fitz T F car, from a shake down run at the 72 Popular Hot Rod Meet at US 131. Herm P gave it to me, still warm, still with the Amalie Pro oil on it. Stroked and bored Donovan 417. I'm smiling at the memory of it all, thanks for bringing it back)

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post #13 of 14 Old 07-26-2013, 11:34 AM
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Won't you have an issue with the larger gap with high cylinder pressures? Under higher loads it is harder to have a spark with the bigger gap. Thoughts?

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post #14 of 14 Old 07-26-2013, 12:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nalla View Post
Won't you have an issue with the larger gap with high cylinder pressures? Under higher loads it is harder to have a spark with the bigger gap. Thoughts?
I tested bigger gaps just to see the color of the spark and if it could do it.
The stock coils couldn't handle a bigger gap very well at all.
The Dyna coils were jumping an inch gap on my tester, but that wouldn't work for the 599. lol
I always keep my spark blue, when it is yellow then the gap is too big.
Well at least that is the way I have always done it.

Currently I am running with a gap at 0.040 inch which is only 0.006 inch bigger than stock.
I would really like to try a 0.045 inch gap, but I don't see going any further than that in this engine (just guessing).
The higher output coil can handle this with no problem and still gives a blue spark.
I am pushing 35,000 volts instead of the stock 20,000 volts, so I see no issue.
So far the bike runs great at all loads and rpms.
It's the higher rpms were I will probably see any issues when pushing the limits.

I plan on doing some more testing with a few other spark changes, timing, and such.
Another great thing about a blue spark and larger gap, is I should be able to up the jetting and get more power.
A strong spark always does well with a little richer mixture and give a noticeable power increase.
I don't know why, but that has been my experience anyways.
When I tinkered with my 425 big block (11.5 compression), I played with getting the biggest blue spark I could, then I was able to jump the jet sizes up two more in the carb.
The 599 is a whole different engine scenario, but I will play around and see what I like.
I am very interested in trying a set of the multi-spark BRISK spark plugs in the bike.
They gave a great spark with longer duration, so they may prove to work great, but then again maybe not.
Further goofing around will help me decide.
After some more testing, I may play with the jetting.
I will share my results as I get further along in my tinkering.

Also, for some reason my bike is running richer at start-up, so it really starts better with the slight gap increase.

Above all remember that I was just tinkering around and am not making any suggestions, just sharing my results and opinions.

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