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Is there such a thing as too much spark??>>>>

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Burt4x4, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    I am getting ready to buy an aftermarket HEI dist. and for 50 bucks more I can get a higher output dist. ie. bigger spark.
    Got me thinkin(ouch) When is too much spark an issue. Does too much spark create a hotter running engine? Is the average HEI spark pleanty of spark? is it the More Spark the better?
    Anyone have the time to talk "Spark Theroy"?
    This is for a FI454.
     
  2. RingMaster4x4

    RingMaster4x4 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Not sure I ask the same question awhile back but I did not get a answer /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  3. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Hmmm, Ya I was thinking about this and if a big huge spark would heat up the combustion chamber then the engine may run hotter. There is only so much fuel in there to burn so at some point I would think the spark can only be so hot before it becomes overkill??
    This is the Distributor I am thinking of buying:
    [​IMG]
    Quote from Summit:
    Chevrolet: 262-502, HEI Flame-Thrower distributor

    Pertronix says their Flame-Thrower distributor will produce 67 percent more energy in the coil and deliver twice the energy across the spark gap. Plus, it delivers misfire-free performance up to a minimum of 7,500 rpm, a 3,000 rpm improvement over most original HEIs. Features include an adjustable vacuum advance, a high performance mechanical curve kit, aluminum housing, a high dielectric strength cap with solid brass terminals, a balanced rotor, and a centerless ground shaft.

    So what do you all think?????? /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
     
  4. 83ZZ502_Jimmy

    83ZZ502_Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    IMO, no, get the bigger, badder one. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif The more spark energy, the bigger you can make the plug gap. Thus increasing performance. The "heat" from the spark is minimal. The real heat is from the mixture actually igniting.

    John
     
  5. 4xcrazy

    4xcrazy 3/4 ton status

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    If your sittin in your ride with it idling, and your getting zapped everytime a cylinder fires,,,,chances are you have too much spark.

    No i do not believe even the aftermarket makers of these products will create something like that without a warning, i mean everything else built for an extreme running motor usually has warnings attached saying what else you will need to use that paticular product. A hotter spark will definately give you a better, more efficient, controlled spark and should help the engine run smoother along with overall performance. Good luck and have fun !!
     
  6. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    No there really isn't "too much" spark, at least not what you are going to find being sold.

    The "problem" with the HEI happens in higher RPM's. Believe the term is coil saturation, and as the firing events get closer together (more RPM's means each spark needs to happen closer together) the coil can't "charge up" in time to generate a decent spark. Thus, ignition becomes sporadic. You see some varying accounts as to when this happens. I know people turning 7000RPM constantly (circle track) on stock HEI, but you'll see ads claiming the problem starts at 4000RPM. Without my own testing on a dyno, I can't say for sure whether the ignition is holding back an engine turning 7000RPM, but they seem to run fine.

    The extra spark energy is helpful in engines that foul plugs, or run forced induction. Stock HEI can easily and reliably jump up to a .080" gap. Stock Chev's at some points in the SBC history ran .060" gap on the same coil that ran .035 or .045" gaps, and the same coil that the SBC's ran (at least in the 80's) was the same one used on Oldsmobile motors that run .060" stock. Some Olds ran .080" stock as well, but I never compared that coil number to see if it was the same as the SBC one or not.

    Aftermarket coils and the module in the distributor can both be had, I've heard nothing bad said about them.

    Whats the 454's gap?
     
  7. 88Silverado

    88Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    That dist is approx 50Kv coil. I have a similar one on my 71 ElCamino I noticed the car ran better. I also noticed when you get zapped by a bad plug wire it hurts a heck of a lot more /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif

    The hotter spark helps the fuel to burn more efficiently. 40-50Kv HEI's are pretty common now.
     
  8. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Thanks Fellas, Somtimes when I think(rare) I tend to overthink everything /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
    Maby I should contact Edelbrock and find out what works best with their MPFI cuz there is an insert pickup that goes inside the HEI for FI timming.
    I still have yet to talk to anyone running this Pro-Flo setup /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif Hey I found a new question...... /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Do a search on google or yahoo for jeff davidson and his monte carlo.

    He's been running an Edelbrock system for some time on his car (385CID I think) daily.
     
  10. fatboy

    fatboy 1/2 ton status

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    I am with you all the spark wont creat the heat but your timing will....little story>>>>>a friend told me after i had installed a jacobs system to set the timing according to the ping. when it pings stop and back up a bit. I had over 20 deg of timing advanced in and it would run good but hot.Plus the jacobs kit says to open up the gap so mine is set to 55 thousands eventualy I burnt that motor up /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif along with many plug wires.

    bigger spark good> burns all fuel guicker IMO
    to much advanced bad> hot engine to much heat in chamber melts stuff lol
    /forums/images/graemlins/burb.gif
     
  11. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    You want a good intense spark with some duration to it.
     
  12. ntsqd

    ntsqd 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    No there really isn't "too much" spark, at least not what you are going to find being sold.

    The "problem" with the HEI happens in higher RPM's. Believe the term is coil saturation, and as the firing events get closer together (more RPM's means each spark needs to happen closer together) the coil can't "charge up" in time to generate a decent spark.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    That's part of it. The stock module looses dwell angle as engine speeds increase. So it will have 45* dwell at idle, but the one a friend & I tested (factory GM module) was down to ~30* at 3000 RPM. By 4k the dwell would be so small that the engine would effectively have a rev limiter.



    [/ QUOTE ]Aftermarket coils and the module in the distributor can both be had, I've heard nothing bad said about them.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The Performance Distributors module we tested at the same time had 45* dwell as high as we cared to rev the engine.
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Was that a used GM module or new?
     

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