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Sparkplugs.com has received a lot of questions in regards to the performance gains and reliability of newer spark plug technology. They decided the best way to decide if some of the newer technology is just a gimmick, or if they have some true performance benefits would be to have them dyno`d. Therefore we took seven different types of spark plugs (stock Champion nickel, NGK nickel, NGK single platinum, NGK double platinum, NGK IX iridium, Denso iridium, and Pulstar pulse plugs), sent them to an independent dyno shop, and thought we would share the information with you.

The test vehicle was a stock 2005 Dodge Neon SRT-4, provided by Manny Gomez, a member of SRTForums.com (screen name: hawkable). The test was performed on a Mustang Dyno. We completed three runs for each plug in a cold, warm and hot state. We then averaged these runs to find the final average horsepower and torque numbers. There is a link below that points to the location where all of the dyno sheets can be reviewed. All results are based on the vehicle factory-specified gap setting of .050", except for the Pulstar plug, which had a maximum manufacturer recommended gap of .045".

After testing, the Pulstar plug had a horsepower advantage, having both the highest peak horsepower (205.95hp) and the highest average horsepower (204.04hp). The NGK Iridium IX showed the second highest average horsepower (203.78hp), and highest average torque (230.27 lb-ft), however, the NGK Iridium IX also displayed the most reliable and consistent horsepower figures. The Denso iridium showed the highest peak torque (235.96 lb-ft), third highest average horsepower (203.67hp), and second highest peak horsepower (205.51hp) and average torque (229.74 lb-ft).

All testing performed by Design Craft Fabrication for Sparkplugs.com

To see the complete set of dyno charts at Sparkplugs.com, click here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
We're considering running another test in a couple of months on a larger, higher gas-consuming vehicle, but this time testing the mileage instead of the hp and torque.
 

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These numbers are all statisically identical. Even the stock plug had the same numbers...
 

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todd92 said:
These numbers are all statisically identical. Even the stock plug had the same numbers...
I'm not sure I understand what you mean...The lowest average hp was produced by the NGK G-Power (single platinum) at 200.75hp, the stock Champion plugs showed an average 201.1hp, and the highest average hp was the Pulstar plugs at 204.04hp. That's an average of 2.94 hp increase over the stock plug.
 

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OK, there is NO difference between the Pulstar and the two Iridium and almost no difference between the others. Dynos aren't accurate to more than +/- a couple of HP, you are reporting results to the hundreth of a HP which is meaningless.
 

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Here's the thing...

The Pulstar plugs claim 4-12% increase in torque. The dyno tests show the Iridium plugs made more torque than the Pulstars, which barely made more torque than platinums.

They also made 0.26HP more, on average, than the Iridiums. That's 0.001%, statistically insignificant.

At $25/ea for the Pulstars, vs $8/ea for the Iridium...well, you do the math.

This is in no way intended to be a bash on our vendor, it just supports the statement I made some days ago on the very subject of Pulstar plugs.

It will be interesting to see how the mileage test turns out. :D

Thanks for taking the time and effort to do these tests, too! I always like to see unbiased tests with real results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I would just like to clarify something in regards to the intent of the dyno test and the information that was posted.

Our intent in performing this dyno test was not to sponsor or promote any one plug brand over another. We've learned that there are a lot of technical reasons why fine wire plugs should perform better than standard nickel plugs, but have heard mixed feedback on the plugs and wanted to find some hard stats on one aspect of performance benefits - if "high performance" plugs created higher horsepower or torque than the stock nickel plugs.

In our post, we did not promote any one brand over another. We listed the top 3 performing plugs in this test. The link on the post takes you to all the dyno sheets, and at the very bottom of the page, there is a link to a summary of the figures of how each plug performed. The point of the dyno and the post is the data on how the "high performance" plugs performed over a standard nickel plug, and, it is up to each individual consumer to take this data and decide if any performance benefits are worth the cost.


Yahooligan provided a very good synopsis for us on the claims that a manufacturer made vs. hard data vs. cost of product. :cheers:
 

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Had much better results with a regular Motorcraft copper plug than I ever did with NGK Iridiums.
 

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todd92 said:
These numbers are all statisically identical. Even the stock plug had the same numbers...
I agree. Completely.

I don't mean to be critical of the testing, but it's just not statistically valid. Not even close.

What he means is that in statistical analysis one has to take into consideration the run to run variation in the testing equipment itself as well as production variations in the product being tested, in this case the sparkplugs. When what seems to be gains falls within the run to run variation and the product production variation, they are phantom gains -- not real.

One must also eliminate all other variables that can influence the outcome. Testing must be done on the same machine, on the same day, with the same atmospheric conditions, including same engine operating temperatures, air density, temperature, humidity, etc.

For instance, you could compare eight different sets of spark plugs in this test. They could actually be all the same brand and temperature rating. One of those sets would produce gains like the "best" in this test and one would produce power like the poorest . But since they all fall within the run to run variation of the dyno, the results are meaningless. This is also true in comparing plugs of different configurations from different manufacturers.

One reason: Most dynos cannot reliably get closer than 5 horsepower from one run to another. So, if you kept the same plugs in and made the same number of runs on the same dyno without changing the plugs at all, you'd see the same variations as reported in this test.

Now if you can show repeatable gains of 10 horses or greater, while eliminating all other variables, then there is a basis to claim that there is an improvement.

Measuring horsepower or torque on a dyno down to fractions of a horsepower and claiming this is accurate is, respectfully, pure fantasy.

Anyone here who has had their truck dynoed, is going to say that the run to run variation on the same truck on the same dyno on the same day, at the same temperature and humidity is highly likely to produce variations far larger than that found in these spark plug tests.

That's why multivariate statistical analysis is used in scientific research. You must eliminate as many variables as possible and identify and allow for the margin of error of the test equipment and production variations in the product.

This is also why tests which show differences in fuel mileage from one tested product to another will not be statistically valid unless all the other variables are eliminated -- changes in temperature, humidity, altitude, throttle position (heavy foot, light foot, going up hill down hill, vehicle weight variations, tire pressure -- the list goes on and on.

Designing tests that produce statistically valid results when the differences are small is very hard work.


Just one opinion.
 

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I think you guys are getting to worked up over a simple spark plug test. If you think its b.s. that a plug can make HP due to the variables, dyno errors, etc. then thats your opinion but dont knock on someone who is simply passing on info from a test. In the world of performance even a 1 HP gain is a good thing. All i know is that when i switched from stock plugs to ngk iridiums in my race bikes i noticed a great differance. Thats why i have them in my titan and even if it doesnt do anything it still makes me happy. Now lets get back to the positve and all be happy that we have nissans.:jester:
 

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Man $25 a piece for 3hp gain. Ouch. With these trucks though I am very interested in seeing mpg gains!
 

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I think people who buy plugs based on hype and advertised numbers deserve to have their pennies jacked. I've seen highly controlled tests using lab quality instruments and engines and there are some validity to some of the claims but for the end user it's going to come down to their specific engine setup. Some setups will prefer one type of a plug to another. In my case 0.035" gapped Motorcraft copper plugs at $2/ea worked much better than 0.054" gapped NGK TR5IX iridium plugs even with hotter coil packs and a booster.
 
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