Re: Spark Plugs and Leads
I've just had a look at these peoples website. It's all well and good that they get 500 amps of current flowing through the spark plug (10,000 times as much current as normal) but that will just cause the spark plugs to wear out 10,000 times as fast. You don't need a huge current to ignite the fuel air mixture- what you need is huge voltage, and that is supplied by your cars ignition coil/coils. (on the order of 30-60 thousand volts) Adding a capacitor in line with the plug and lead will do nothing to increase voltage...maybe current, but that doesn't matter anyway.
What they fail to mention is how the capacitor affects the timing of the spark. In an AC circuit (which is what a car ignition circuit actually is) a capacitor will alter when the current flows in relation to the voltage- it actually advances it. So while the voltage may rise at the spark plug, the current will already be flowing, thus altering the ignition timing. (research AC impedance on the net for more info)
Notice also that several of the vehicles in their 11 vehicle test had interesting results. 2 of them had "radio interference problems"- supposedly being correctable, which isn't necessarily true. Three units withdrawn due to some problem, one wouldn't work with CNG. Two had no change in fuel economy whatsoever which indicates no change in engine behavior and two had "no change" written as their result. Frankly these results are sh!thouse.
If you really want to increase your cars ignition performance, then what you need is more voltage supplied from the coil so you can run bigger spark gaps without worries. I ran the gaps on my mums EL falcon up to 1.7mm and I actually noticed an increase in performance and a decrease when i closed them back up again. This was after months of driving around and testing 0-100 times etc, so it should not be attributed to different petrol or weather etc.
Take note also that a pointy object will discharge a current better than something less pointy. This is why we see the new Iridium fine electrode spark plugs on the market nowdays. They could probably be safely run with an even wider gap again and outperform regular spark plugs, but you have to ask whether $23 per plug is worth it in the long run.
You have to consider that these engines run a relatively low compression ratio in the grand scheme of things and you're unlikely to NEED better ignition untill some serious mods have been done.
1987 Jaguar Sovereign - Metallic Green
3.6L DOHC 24 Valve