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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Spark plugs........

Long story short - history first.
32ft Class A motor home (OK, OK, stay with me) 2004 Workhorse chassis, 8.1 liter Chevy Vortec, 5 speed Allison. I'm a Mech Engr (but not auto) - I'm skeptical on "gizimos". But I install Pulstar plugs from Enerpulse and gave it 2 seasons. Litttle or no freeway - mostly back highways, curves and/or climbs - same routes, days/times/conditions, etc. to regular haunts - long weekends - Oregon - over coast range, Mt Hood pass, etc. Speeds up to 65. Finally I'm willing to believe the mpg. 14% improvement towing V8 Ford Explorer 15% not towing. (Granted it was only 6 and 7 mpg before, but % is % on my gas dollars.) Also instant start - virtually no turn over - immediate reduction in engine noise - whirrs like an electric motor idling, and smooth - very smooooooth. Noticable better throttle response and acceleration. Those @#@#$% noisey progressive cooling fans hardly ever come on now, even climbing.

Jump forward to today. So I just fitted them in the 02 Explorer and 08 RedLine SKY (they were doing a 25% off offer). Explorer quieter, definitely smoother - wife noticed it immediately. seems livelier to, but we'll give it a tank or so.

SKY seems to be getting similar - definitely noticeable smoothness on 1st gear launch. Not a daily drive anymore, so it'll take a while to evaluate. Does seem a bit perkier so far. We'll see how it goes long-term. MPG readout seems a bit better so far, but need to run a few tanks through and check the old fashioned way. Don't get to push it much - usually just overtaking.

Anyone else experienced with these plugs? looks like a regular plug, but totally different technology inside the plug. Kinda super-MSD-in-a-plug. Bit spendy at $25 a pop. Gives extreme high voltage short duration "plasma arc". Seems to burn more efficiently for sure, with extremely smooth consistent ignition.
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jr1 View Post
Long story short - history first.
32ft Class A motor home (OK, OK, stay with me) 2004 Workhorse chassis, 8.1 liter Chevy Vortec, 5 speed Allison. I'm a Mech Engr (but not auto) - I'm skeptical on "gizimos". But I install Pulstar plugs from Enerpulse and gave it 2 seasons. Litttle or no freeway - mostly back highways, curves and/or climbs - same routes, days/times/conditions, etc. to regular haunts - long weekends - Oregon - over coast range, Mt Hood pass, etc. Speeds up to 65. Finally I'm willing to believe the mpg. 14% improvement towing V8 Ford Explorer 15% not towing. (Granted it was only 6 and 7 mpg before, but % is % on my gas dollars.) Also instant start - virtually no turn over - immediate reduction in engine noise - whirrs like an electric motor idling, and smooth - very smooooooth. Noticable better throttle response and acceleration. Those @#@#$% noisey progressive cooling fans hardly ever come on now, even climbing.

Jump forward to today. So I just fitted them in the 02 Explorer and 08 RedLine SKY (they were doing a 25% off offer). Explorer quieter, definitely smoother - wife noticed it immediately. seems livelier to, but we'll give it a tank or so.

SKY seems to be getting similar - definitely noticeable smoothness on 1st gear launch. Not a daily drive anymore, so it'll take a while to evaluate. Does seem a bit perkier so far. We'll see how it goes long-term. MPG readout seems a bit better so far, but need to run a few tanks through and check the old fashioned way. Don't get to push it much - usually just overtaking.

Anyone else experienced with these plugs? looks like a regular plug, but totally different technology inside the plug. Kinda super-MSD-in-a-plug. Bit spendy at $25 a pop. Gives extreme high voltage short duration "plasma arc". Seems to burn more efficiently for sure, with extremely smooth consistent ignition.
We had 1 guy, that is ONE guy try them out, don't remember who now since it was awhile ago, he wrote that they were OK at the time.. You will haveta do a search however to see or find that thread... BTW, welcome to the forum.. Just type "Pulsar Plugs" in the search function, enjoy the reading..




Don't interfere with anything in the Constitution. That must be maintained, for it is the only safeguard of our liberties. Abraham Lincoln

The Constitution is essentially an obsolete charter of negative liberties. Barack Obama

Last edited by MidniteBlues; 07-08-2009 at 04:49 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:29 PM
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I had them .. forum pulsePlug tester. Actually had them installed and dyno'ed at Enterpluse corporate office/test Lab in Albuquerque, New Mexico. At first they did seem to improve performance and gas milage. But a plug broke in half in the motor while in Phoenix, Arizona.
I was in contact with engineer at Enterpluse and was told they were working on a special plug for turbo's. So far they never got back to me and I have not seen any ads for this special style plug.

When I was going to get my GMRoadster performance tune, I asked what spark plug would be best to improve performance. I was told they discovered from all the dyno'ing that the factory plug proved most reliable. So that is the plug I have in there and to date ... not one problem .. not one!

Happy trails!

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-08-2009, 08:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jr1 View Post
I'm skeptical on "gizimos". But I install Pulstar plugs from Enerpulse...





You'll be sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry.






Go back to the AC Delco 41-108s.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 12:42 AM
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You'll be sorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrry.
You're talking to an engineer. Nothing drives them (me) more crazy than an effect without an identified cause.

Same goes for assessments/conclusion without the reason.

"be sorry"
Why?

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 01:34 AM
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C'mon, the current issue Delco plugs are one of the few things that GM did right. During the past three years no aftermarket plug has been any better and no reputable tuner is recommending changing from the stock sparks.


Effect: quality factory plugs in the Kappas now.
Probable cause: top of the line engineers at AC Delco.



This is NOT an advertisement, just the observation of apparent facts.

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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 10:49 AM
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doesn't have anything to do with pulstar plugs....but i posted a while back that when i changed my plugs at 15k miles with new "stock" plugs from saturn, i noticed the ones i pulled out were gapped below what the spec was. When i put the new ones in and gapped them to the correct spec, i noticed smoother warm-ups in the mornings, less soot from the tailpipe, and my mpg has gone up noticeably from an avg or 26-27MPG to over 29.xMPG based on the DIC which i reset once at 4k miles. I now have 24k miles and have a gone a full seasonal year with these plugs , so i cannot say that cold weather vs warm weather had anything to do with it. So my question was never initially answered which was
" are our cars leaving the factory with mis-gapped spark plugs?"

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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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well................. hmmmmm...........

Bogie - I am also an Engineer (now Senior Mech Eng Manager for a large international company.) Never was an auto Eng, but I have done a lot of things on both sides of the Atlantic from typewriters (look 'em up a in a history book ) computer peripherals, weapon systems (yes, I was a rocket scientist years ago!!), CAD systems, aircraft structures and for the last 20 years rather specialized avionics systems. And yeah, we do all seem to have ancestors in Missouri somehow, don't we!!

SkyVue2 - I agree the stock plug is good. Pulstar is not a standard spark plug. It's not a tweak like the old Splitfire or the Bosh 4 point platinums, etc. It is compltely electrically different inside. It has an internal super capacitor and circuit that produce a completely different arc effect with extreme high voltage and short duration. They definitely work extremely well in the big 8.1 Vortec V8 and the Explorer 4.6 V8. We are already seeing noticeable mpg improvement in the Ford too.

................. but yer gonna love this one............... I have hardly driven the SKY since I installed them. Had to drive to work this morning. The first time I have really (reeeeeally) stepped in the gas to pass someone since then. Blew a plug

For a fraction of a second it felt almost like the RedLine ION rev limiter "brick wall" before they did a flash upgrade. then it run fine for about 1 minute and started missing on one cylinder. Turned round and went home and change the plugs back to stock. One of the electrodes was loose.

Can't really say I'm sooooooory. It was a good experiment and no harm done.

So it could be just a bad plug, or maybe they don't fair so well in the turbo. Either way, I'll listen to what Enerpulse has to say, but I think I am going to just send 'em back for a refund and stay stock in the turbo. I have to admit the acceleration (until it crapped out) was nice in 2nd gear. Seemed like it spooled up faster on boost too. But I am reluctant to take the risk of a plug actually coming appart in the engine

Be interesting to know which cylinder the other person mentioned in this thread blew the plug in.

BTW: I learned something else in the process. It's surprising how much power it still makes on 3 cylinders................

Keep y'all posted............
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-09-2009, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by GetAboutRL View Post
a plug broke in half in the motor
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Originally Posted by jr1 View Post
Blew a plug
Two data points that suggest this plug is probably not a good idea for the kappa turbo.

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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-14-2009, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
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Not sure those two comments aren't the same thing. I shall try to be more specific in future - "blew a plug" was not very informative.

Actually turns out mine just was a bad gas seal. When I stepping in the boost real hard, it just blew through - it was right on rev limiter in 2nd gear. They have improved their manufacturing processes recently, so I doubt it would happen again. The center electrode assembly was sliding axially in the plug - it did not come appart and would not have due to the construction. There was no loss of compression as it could not blow through the rest of the plug. I have had plugs blow gas seals in the past - it's rare but certainly not unknown.

As far as the broke in half comment. If it really broke in half "in" the engine and was not a gas seal failure, one would assume that would have to be the threaded portion and most likely due to overtorquing on installation. If the insulator broke (technically "outside" the engine, while installed "in" the engine) is was probably due to excessive side load during installation starting a crack. They tell you to remove any rubber insert in your plug wrench socket for this very reason. I removed all mine years ago, because you can crack any plug if you are not careful. I does mean you need to use a piece of rubber hose or similar to insert or extract the plug from it's deep - deeeeeep hole, but I have never trusted those rubber inserts, so I made a nifty tool for the purpose (now, if I could just find the darned thing....).

They gave me a choice of money back or replacment with absolutely no hassle at all. They are sending me a replacement set and will continue to honor the money back guarranty. So I am going to give it a fair trial, since it they have worked fine and taken quite a beating in the big Vortec (like 13 mile 6% uphill pushing 4500 rpm over the pass on Mt Hood). Performance and economy reports on most turbo's seem to be good.

(Oh, and before anyone picks up on the obvious - don't worry, those big Vortecs in the RV's are built for that kind of work-out.)

I'll keep y'all posted.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 07-17-2009, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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on closer inspection

I lied................ Before I send the dud back I took a closer look at it. The electrode is intact. Only the insulating sleeve around the center electrode is loose. Never seen that before, but probably explains why it was not 100% misfiring at low revs. Had to be a manufacturing flaw. Putting the them back in this evening, so we'll see how they do.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 08-14-2009, 04:58 PM Thread Starter
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Update as promised

The PulStar plugs are now working fine with the defective one replaced. I have pushed it pretty hard and they are doing great. Gas mileage is improving. Definitely perkier - crisper response to throttle commands. The SKY RL is not even close to the notorious ION RL launch, but even so it's noticeably smoother on launch in 1st gear. - more torque at very low end - happily tolerates lower speeds in higher gears. Quieter and smoother also which oddly enough kind of accentuates the BOV "whoosh". Very much the same type of results as in the motor home and the V8 Explorer. Another odd thing - used to be idling and turning on the A/C, you could detect the Rev counter dip and recover slightly - now it does't.
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