Pimp Your Ride By Modifying Spark Plugs
If you really want to perform some car modification, the best thing is to first take care of your engine performance because car modification is not only about changing your car body kits and installing some sub woofers to add a groove in your sound. No car modification is completed if the car's performance is not state of the art. For this purpose, you may get many advice. I would specifically refer to the car's spark plugs and their impact on engine performance and how you can do some modifications either by some spark plugs replacement or spark plug gapping or choose the right spark plugs for your car by assessing and reading spark plugs requirements for your car.
Before getting into details I would just peek into the spark plug's functioning or how does a spark plug work. I know many of you car enthusiasts must know the purpose of spark plugs and how does a spark plug work. So I will not go into a detail.Just a quick review.
Purpose Of A Spark Plug, How Does A Spark Plug Work?
Spark plug actually causes an ignition through its ignition coil in the internal combustion chamber of the engine which creates a small spark. Search out for internal combustion engine fundamentals for more details. This spark when unites with the air and some drops of fuel, it creates a perfect combination for a small explosion. This small explosion creates a pressure which causes the pistons in the engine's cylinders to move and eventually creates a torque to move the cam shaft and ultimately the car starts to move. As simple as that.
So the purpose of a spark plug is integral in moving a car. Obviously if the spark is of not a good quality there would be implications on the car's engine performance so to perform some car modification pertaining to spark plugs, one has to make sure that the spark plug is of good quality which produces a better spark to ensure swift movement of a car.
Now coming to the spark plug modification or replacement, let us first analyze that what effects the performance of the spark plug. The spark plug's performance is effected by following factors.
1) Wear and Tear of spark plug.
2) The gap between central and ground electrode or spark plug gapping.
3) Voltage provided to create a spark.
4) Altitude and temperature of the location.
To alter the performance or efficiency of spark plugs, one should try to alter the above factors or if he is going to perform some spark plugs replacement he should keep the above factors in mind. Now let's see how the above mentioned factors effect the efficiency of a spark plug and how you can modify or use the above mentioned factors in better performance of spark plugs and ultimately of the car.
1) Wear And Tear Of Spark Plug.
Spark plugs have to go through series of small explosions in order to be functional thus making them more prone to wear and tear. So definitely a damaged spark plug or a spark plug having a lot of carbon deposited at its tip will not perform adequately. So make sure that spark plugs are always in a good condition in order for your car as whole to be efficient or perform well. Generally a spark plug's life is about 10,000 to 20,000 miles. However some manufacturers assemble spark plugs which have two or in other words multiple ground electrodes to enhance the life of a spark plug. But it has been observed that it has some implications on fuel injection of the car.
2) Spark Plug Gapping.
This is the most important factor of spark plugs performance. However people have different views about the spark plug gapping. Some say that the more the gap, the better is the spark. Where as some say that small gap is good as it requires small amount of voltage to create the spark. Normally a spark plug requires a very high voltage of about 40,000 to 100,000 volts to cover the gap. I am open here for suggestions. Tell me if you have any suggestions regarding this topic. However if you really want to make the spark plug gapping larger or smaller you can use a very fine nosed pliers as a spark plug gapper or spark plug gap tool. To enlarge the gap, pull the ground electrodes outwards using pliers. However be extremely cautious here and make sure you do not apply pressure on the center electrode or it may damage.If you want to make the gap smaller, gently tap the ground electrode on a hard surface. You can use a feeler guage to measure the gap between center and ground electrode.
3) Voltage Provided.
As described above spark plugs need a very high amount of voltage to create a spark so use a good quality car batteries to make sure that a voltage is provided to create the spark.
4) Altitude And Temperature Of The Location.
The altitude where your car operates and the temperature in which your car operates is crucial for the performance of your spark plugs. For this reason the spark plugs have been divided into two kind which are:
a) Hot Spark Plugs:
Hot spark plugs are spark plugs in which the surface area of ceramic exhaust coating contacts less with the metal part of the spark plug thus exhausting less heat. I am saying the ceramic insulator as an exhaust because the ceramic insulator coating works as a heat exhaust. So hot spark plugs are good in low performing cars or in cold areas. Similarly they are good at high altitude areas where oxygen is less to burn the fuel.
b) Cold Spark Plugs:
These spark plugs have larger surface area of ceramic insulator coating thus exhausting more heat and keeping the spark plugs cold. You can have a look at the image of spark plugs structure for spark plug cross reference. Cold spark plugs are best for high performance engines or turbo charged engines. If you are looking forward for engine upgrades then I reckon you should also pay some consideration towards your spark plug replacement.
Above mentioned factors are helpful in assessing and reading spark plugs requirements for your car. You may have come to know how spark plug can be modified by changing spark plugs gapping as well as what spark plugs would be better for your car's specific requirements.