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HuskerFlex

e85 sparkplugs?

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What is the scoop on the high priced special spark plugs that some claim to be a must for optimizing e85 on engines...  I've seen various claims for various products...

 

Do any of you "experts" have any first hand experience?

 

I have a 2008 3.3l Chrysler FFV, and a 1999 Chevy 3.1l that I blend up to 60% with.

 

I'm open to suggestions on how to best increase my e85 efficiency.

 

Thanks

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Since you have cold winters like myself. A big improvement to mpg, fast warm ups, and easy starts especially for ethanol blends.....block water jacket heater. Think of it as a low cost plug in. Get better performance quicker.

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Oh, and some like the after market high voltage coils. They have have hotter spark and multiple sparks. Auto manufactures utilize hotter spark ignition for FFV as I remember articles. Some will post more.

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Where I see the most folks using something like high voltage coils and special plugs are over in the performance world where they are boosting and experiencing "spark blow-out" (usually due to their set-up or tune). I have yet not seen much data supporting special plugs in FFV's.

 

Would love to see real life data if it exists for special plugs or higher than normal ignition being used for better fuel economy.

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the two I've heard of a lot are

1. special spark plugs

2. special high flow air filters.

 

I'm not a mechanic or even much of a tinkerer.  I'm simply a suburban dad who wants to do what I can to make sure that I'm getting the most I can for my transportation $

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IMHO, most of the claims for 'fancy' plugs are bunk.  3, 4, 5 electrodes, diamonds, splits, stars, etc - not really needed.  The very first rule people learn about electricity is it follows the path of least resistance.  So, no matter how many electrodes you have, you get one spark to the one electrode with the least resistance.

 

A good single tip platinum plug will help reduce electrode wear and may offer a slight gain in efficiency as the miles pile up.  And really, I think both of those engines/vehicles you mention have transverse V6's which are legendary in the 'PITA" factor for changing the rear bank of plugs...sometimes requiring partial engine removal to access them.  If so, you may be looking at a couple of days wrenching in the driveway or several hundred dollars at a shop for the plug change.  In that case, I'd definitely go platinum because the longer service interval will pay for the cost of the plug easily.

 

As far as maximizing efficiency, probably the most cost effective is keeping the tires aired up to the proper level.  Air is free, or maybe 25 cents at some stations - even if it only gains you 1% efficiency, that quarter will probably be paid back on the very next tank of gas.

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No data on the improved mpg on after market coil. But, Dan's post on cold starts (the gasoline tank)  some one posted of the high voltage coil trick with brand name. I did go to website and found a $100 red flat coil claiming improvement in  E-85 starts. Higher energy / temperature and multiple sparks.

 

Also, remember reading the Fords Eco-Boost technology and higher energy spark requirement. Also, one company had dual spark plugs for similar improvement in IC technology with ethanol.

 

You do remember the old coil and point days with .o30 gap low energy? We now enjoy big gap energy....must be an improvement in their some place? I remember reading a Combustion Engineer writing of diesel ignition superior as it had multiple ignition points and paths.

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Clear difference between NGK normal plugs (less than 1000 km) and new NGK IRIDIUM IX. Reliable cold start minimum temperature drop about 5 C on E85 summer blend. Much better cold start at close to minimum temperatures. Have been thinking about PULSTAR plugs. Have someone tried with E85?

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Husker - not all FFV's are the same but one trick I learned- particularly with our Impala FFV's was to never to idle them immediately after a cold start AND do not drive 1-3 miles after a cold start and then restart again after p/u your AM coffee. E85 burns colder and warms up a little slower. After starting when the engine stops racing, drop it in gear and avoid nailing (technical term for flooring it ;D) and then drive to a coffee stop 10 miles down the road instead of one close by your house. This avoids going back into a second long cold start/warm-up enrichment where it drinks heavy. This little trick is worth closing the gas to E85 economy gap by 1-2 mpg on regular 45 mile trip runs @ hwy speeds and in an Impala. I do not see it quite so dramatic in the Taurus FFV.

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thanks outlaw

 

since it is my WIFE that primarily drives the "mommy-van", I will need to "train" her on the different cold weather driving practices. ???

 

I've noticed NO cold starting problems what so ever.  This could be part of the reduced mileage issue though.  We do have the van in the garage, and the few times we had to park it outside (on trips) it was "not that bad" outside.

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