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Well, talking to a buddy of mine that has some experience in racing, he says that there is a very easy and free way of getting a few extra ponies out of any engine. This is done by simply turning your spark plugs so that the spark is facing your exhaust manifold. He said all ya do is make a mark on the spark plug where the spark is and turn it until the line you made is lined up with your exhaust. This may require putting some different thickness of washers on the spark plug to act as spacers in order for things to line up just right.

Not sure how true this is, but considering it is free, what the heck, why not try it. :p
 

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id rather just stick big honda stickers and such on my car...thats alot easier and prolly the same or more amount of horse power.... :huh:
 

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Indexing the spark plugs, yeah I've heard about it..... racers use it all the time, it's more for when you have hi-compression engines, so that you don't take out your plugs
 

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Well, your buddy got it wrong. What he's trying to tell you about is indexing your spark plugs. This is nothing new... it has been done since the 50s. However, it has nothing to do with making the spark plugs face the exhaust manifold, except perhaps by coincidence in some engines.

In many engines (like the Vulcan and Essex, for example) the spark plug is not centered and in the cylinder head, nor is it perpendicular to the piston face. As a result, the ground electrode on the spark plug could possibly act as a barrier between the spark kernel and the center of the combustion chamber. However, it is unlikely that the ground electrode will be in the same relative position in all the cylinders, so as a result, the specific HP production for each cylinder can vary to a small degree. This results in less efficient operation of the engine, and hence less net power output.

By indexing your plugs, you are making sure that the open gap opposite the ground electrode faces the center of the combustion chamber. In doing so, you shorten the combustion time by a few nanoseconds. This maximizes output of each cylinder, and since each piston is contributing the same forces onto the crankshaft, the overall gain in engine output is compounded.

In both Yamaha engines, and in the Duratec, there is no way (or need) to index the plugs, since they are centered and perpendicular to the piston face. In the Vulcan and Essex, indexing is best accomplished by trial and error. You can't use washers, since the plugs utilize a tapered seat. Mark a line on the insulator corresponding to where the ground electrode joints the threaded portion of the plug. Then insert the plugs and screw them hand-tight. Try switching the plugs around to different cylinders until you get most of the lines pointing more or less directly away from the piston face (toward the top center of the combustion chamber.)

Net gains will vary, and generally won't exceed more than 1 or 2 HP. When you do this to a race engine that sees excess of 10K rpms, there is a much bigger difference, since the combustion process happens so much quicker. I always index my plugs on the Falcon, since it's so easy to tinker with. The Vulcan plugs are a PITA to see on the back bank, so I don't bother indexing.
 

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Originally posted by SixFoFalcon@Jun 15 2004, 11:35 PM
Well, your buddy got it wrong. What he's trying to tell you about is indexing your spark plugs. This is nothing new... it has been done since the 50s. However, it has nothing to do with making the spark plugs face the exhaust manifold, except perhaps by coincidence in some engines.

In many engines (like the Vulcan and Essex, for example) the spark plug is not centered and in the cylinder head, nor is it perpendicular to the piston face. As a result, the ground electrode on the spark plug could possibly act as a barrier between the spark kernel and the center of the combustion chamber. However, it is unlikely that the ground electrode will be in the same relative position in all the cylinders, so as a result, the specific HP production for each cylinder can vary to a small degree. This results in less efficient operation of the engine, and hence less net power output.

By indexing your plugs, you are making sure that the open gap opposite the ground electrode faces the center of the combustion chamber. In doing so, you shorten the combustion time by a few nanoseconds. This maximizes output of each cylinder, and since each piston is contributing the same forces onto the crankshaft, the overall gain in engine output is compounded.

In both Yamaha engines, and in the Duratec, there is no way (or need) to index the plugs, since they are centered and perpendicular to the piston face. In the Vulcan and Essex, indexing is best accomplished by trial and error. You can't use washers, since the plugs utilize a tapered seat. Mark a line on the insulator corresponding to where the ground electrode joints the threaded portion of the plug. Then insert the plugs and screw them hand-tight. Try switching the plugs around to different cylinders until you get most of the lines pointing more or less directly away from the piston face (toward the top center of the combustion chamber.)

Net gains will vary, and generally won't exceed more than 1 or 2 HP. When you do this to a race engine that sees excess of 10K rpms, there is a much bigger difference, since the combustion process happens so much quicker. I always index my plugs on the Falcon, since it's so easy to tinker with. The Vulcan plugs are a PITA to see on the back bank, so I don't bother indexing.
I completely agree, although I did see a few years ago someone was selling tapered washers for those with tapered plugs (don't remember where, it was back when I had my 4.0 Ranger). Either way, it's a alot of time spent to only gain maybe 1-2 HP if you're lucky.
 

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1 to 2 horsepower cost zero
7 to 10 horsepower cost 350 dollars That equals up to 50 dollars per every 1 horsepower some people here are paying. Id say 1 horsepower increase for free is a pretty good bargain at these prices.
 

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Originally posted by snakeeyes@Jun 16 2004, 09:28 PM
1 to 2 horsepower cost  zero
7 to 10 horsepower cost 350 dollars  That equals up to 50 dollars per every 1 horsepower some people here are paying. Id say 1 horsepower increase for free is a pretty good bargain at these prices.
...except that it's not 1-2, it's 0-2HP. :)

And those back plugs are enough of a PITA to change on the Vulcan. Imagine putting them in, trying to get a good look at them, then pulling them out and repeating that process 4 or 5 times. :blink:
 

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Sounds like way too much work for me...just get rid of the "Vulcan Powa" and get a Duratec...we don't need no stinking catch phrases...lol...

JR
 

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if you want real free mods to gain power, get a smaller belt, ok well its not free, but, you lose the AC and power steering and you'll make it jumpier...and remove all exxcess crap winshield washer pump and resivore the horn and its crap... spare cut your stock muffler off and get a lighter turbo one....my turbo2 weighs like 4lbs, my stock when i took it off weighed like 40 it was insane.....There is some easy stuff for some grande power.....hehe....and doin all that would take less time then gettin those plugs to face the right way....
 

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if you want real free mods to gain power, get a smaller belt, ok well its not free, but, you lose the AC and power steering and you'll make it jumpier...and remove all exxcess crap winshield washer pump and resivore the horn and its crap... spare cut your stock muffler off and get a lighter turbo one....my turbo2 weighs like 4lbs, my stock when i took it off weighed like 40 it was insane.....There is some easy stuff for some grande power.....hehe....and doin all that would take less time then gettin those plugs to face the right way....
dont forget you could also change to an electric water pump.

You want free horsepower put on an MSD sticker or have your local ricer shop plaster their name across your windshield.

You will only find a gain indexing plugs on engines running extremely high rpms, maybe if you really really beef up your engine you could waste time with that, I used to try that stuff in my escort when it still had N2O in it and I never saw anything on the dyno, and that was turbocharged and with digital ignition I could increase revs to 8000. These engines just dont have the kinda tuning and the kinda flow that you need to see things like that.
 

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Id say 1 horsepower increase for free is a pretty good bargain at these prices.

Free is good. Easy, it ain't. Time consuming, it is. And what are the results? Nada.

You will never, ever notice the improvment of 1 or 2 HP in your mostly stock Taurus. Now if you can come up with 5, 6, or 7 such improvements, you *might* have something.

Why do racers index plugs? Because *every* trick they can find adds up, because they *use* every trick they can find. And whether one is talking intake mods, exhause mods, or internal engine mods, it's a matter of percentages, not just seat of the pants guesses as to what amoung of HP will be unleashed.

That percent (expecially in this case) give us 0-2 HP (and that's a maybe on anything over 0) but on a *race* engine that percentage may really mean something.

Free and easy? The returns aren't worth my time.

I say the other guys are right-- get some high performance stickers-- Accel, MSD, Zoom... And for some serious HP aesthetics, some kind of NOx would be off da hook!


if you want real free mods to gain power...

No, they aren't free and call for a lot of sacrifice... you should probably gut the trunk and toss out the passenger and rear seats. Free, not so easy, and the ROI on those mods... Your call.

An electric water pump could make a noticeable difference, but I think it would be slight. But there might be a decent gain in gas mileage. Again, one has to analyze the cost versus the return. For some of us it would be worth it.

Does the Gen IV have an electric fan? I'm embarrased to say I've never looked.

Short of yanking the engine and adding some more cubes, there is just not a lot of potential with minor tweaks.

But I would like to know why the '04 Taurus is rated at 30 mpg highway and my '02 is 27 (I think). Final Drive/OD gearing?
 

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ALL FWD cars have an electic fan. How would the drive belt power the fan if it's on the side of the engine bay?



I haven't found replacing the plugs on my Vulcan very hard. I have done it in less than 15 mins in a parking lot before. Maybe it's just because I have done them so much......
 

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If you have 735 Watts of audio power and you aim the speakers to the rear you get 1 HP extra power to your car. :D
 

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You're talking about screwing a threaded part (the plug) into a threaded hole (the block). The only way you can change the orientation of the tip to the combustion chamber is to use a trial and error method using shims. You could be there a long time doing one plug, let alone 6. If you think you can do it by just tightening the plug until you get where you want to be might mean you snapping it off. or "pulling" the threads and ruining them.
 

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Hi output motors may blow the spark out or weaken it if the plug gap is facing the valves. This is done on dragsters and such.

As much as I like picking up any cheap hp at all this is a waste of time IMHO.
 

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in my last car, i had to get new plugs, and i had read somewhere that you might get more power if you file down you top electrode so it only goes out so it is half-way across the bottom electrode, and you have to be careful to not damage the bottom one. then you re-gap the plugs and install them. this is supposed to better expose the spark to the cylinder. maybe it worked, i don't know, a couple of HP aren't worth much.
 

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Indexing the plugs might be worth the time if you have a 1000 HP or so.......
 

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Dont file your plugs. Especially not platinum plugs. Filing plugs is for copperplugs after they have built up a sufficient amount of FUNK. If you are buying good plugs they will never work as good as when you take them out of the box. Like I said indexing doesnt work for anything except in very high RPMs (like over 7000-8000). You do it to keep the huge rush of air from your intake from messing up your spark.

By the way, you cant call it free horse if you are spending money on shims
 
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