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February 04 2012


Diagnosing A High Performance Modified Engine Is really a Work And It Is Lots of Secrets

A very common approach to diagnose and tune-up an improved or racing engine is by looking the spark plug firing tips because its appearance can reveal in case your engine includes a problem that require correcting. However, you need to be aware that the same spark plug firing tips appearance may have different root causes:

A) Mixture or timing misadjustment or other possible mechanical troubles.

B) High performance modifications that boost the horse-power level, augmenting and so the combustion chambers temperature and stress at high RPM.

C) Colder racing spark plugs fouling at idle, stop and go, minimizing speeds.

Unfortunately, for every spark plug firing tip appearance, the original spark plug troubleshooting charts only are considering as you can trouble causes the initial list A.

However in high end modified engines and racing applications, this list B is usually the main reason for the bigger temperatures inside the combustion chambers that generates overheating, pre-ignition and detonation; and the list C may be the main cause of fouled spark plugs that generates misfiring, hard starting, black smoke and great loose of power.

In spite of this, carefully report on most of the troubleshooting charts, reveals the causes of the B and C lists aren't included, or at least mentioned. However when talking about the high performance field, these causes are with extreme frequency the primary responsible for a lot of the troublesome spark plug firing tip appearance.

As a consequence of this lack of information, was not ever sufficiently clear that the undesirable spark plug firing tip could be as a result of an inappropriate spark plugs heat range. Either never was mentioned strongly enough the transcendent importance that have to change the spark plugs heat range, so it wasn't considered.

Forasmuch it should not surprise that even experienced engine builders, modifiers and tuners often confuse an overheated spark plug brought on by the newest amount of power at high RPM, having a lean mixture trouble, as the appearances of its firing tip look exactly the same; making wrong diagnostics, and enriching the mixture, rather than get a new heat range for the engine's power.

And worst, if the heat excess level provokes pre-ignition or detonation (which can be very frequent due to the high amounts of demands the racing engines are submitted) most of the times the standard troubleshooting charts are guiding them erroneously to think that the engines are receiving some mechanical troubles and so they may be engaging unnecessarily in repair nonexistent mechanical problems, like cooling system failure: in order to suppose that it is owed to some mixture or timing misadjustment, consequently enriching a combination and/or retarding the ignition timing, arriving inclusive to decrease the boost pressure, the nitrous flow, the compression ratio, etc. losing with this way plenty of power, instead of the unique right, simplest, fastest and cheapest solution which is to customizing the spark plug heat range towards the huge power, stress and also heat achieved at high RPM.

Because of the same lack of information, they are unable to either distinguish when the cold racing spark plugs are fouling at idle, stop and go, and lower speeds, when has a rich mixture, because have the same carbon fouled firing tips appearance; and what's still worst, they can not either distinguish once the colder racing spark plugs for heavily modified engines are fouling at idle, stop and go, reducing speeds, when the engines has worn-out piston rings and cylinders, because both have the identical oil fouled firing tips appearance.

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Those wrong diagnostics are leading them to wrong solutions: wanting to adjust unnecessarily the air-fuel mixture when they see carbon fouled spark plugs, and being bottled without need in overhauling the engine to repair mechanical troubles that do not exist, once they see oil fouled spark plugs, rather than avoiding idle reducing speeds in engines built for run at high RPM, or to customize the spark plug heat range because of these kind of show off usage.

Also when the traditional spark plug troubleshooting charts mention "wrong heat range" or "check for your correct heat range", since it is not enough clear, a great majority of they may be quite familiarized using the concept that "wrong heat range" only might be a spark plug diverse from the stock or even the suggested through the manufacturers, ignoring that they should switch the spark plug's heat range.
And, as though wasn't sufficient using this confusion using the information, until very small amount of time didn't exist method neither tool to do the key task of change the heat array of the sparkplug, based on any sort of powerful modification level, so, the election from the aftermarket sparkplug that best works at any RPM load or stress, remained for the intuition, experience and also the criterion of every technician, who only had the unfriendly guesswork of never-ending experimentation proofs, testing different spark plug sets, with inexact and risky results.

Nevertheless the racing field isn't any spot for mistakes.

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Is for that reason that the original troubleshooting charts usually are not the most adequate self-help guide to properly and accurately diagnosing your expensive high performance modified or racing engine, risking one to lose your engine and that is still worse, to get rid of the race.

What exactly is then your proper way to properly diagnose the spark plugs inside the powerful field?
Be sure that, if you aren't having real mechanic problems, you must check the heat range of the installed spark plugs, and select the replacement using the colder heat range more appropriate to your exactly high performance modification level.

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Is it a difficult work? This will depend. If you use the right tool, that lets you see, confirm, verify, select, and judge the exact heat range you have to install in your powerful modified engine, this is a easy!

Needless to say or even..... it may be unending, unfriendly, blind and risky guesswork.

You choose!

Don't be the product, buy the product!