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  1. #1
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    Default How To: Side Gap Spark Plugs

    Side Gaping Spark Plugs

    Side gaping the spark plug allows for the spark to travel down and forward instead of just one direction. This allows for a better burn of the fuel, thus giving more power and increasing gas millage.

    This is a fairly simple modification and doesn't require too much work, time, or too many tools. I highly suggest using this method along with Indexing for the most efficient "burn" of the fuel. I've noticed that after Side Gaping and indexing the copper spark plugs will run just as well and if not better then Platinum's and Iridium's but for far less in price!

    Original How To on the web.

    Please take a look at these examples. (Courtesy of The world's most powerful spark plug from Enerpulse)



    As you can see the ground electrode is blocking the fuel expansion, you want it to hit the freshly entered fuel, not the exhaust side where some exhaust gases are still left over. Plus side gaping allows for the flame front to go down, thus helping it expand faster.

    Tools
    • Sharpie
    • Dremel or something to cut metal with precisely
    • Spark Plug Gaping Tool



    1. Remove your spark plugs from the engine or if they are brand new take them out.



    2. Take a sharpie and mark the amount that you want to cut off.


    You want the ground electrode to end where the spark plug's center piece begins.



    3. Properly bolt down the spark plug so that you don't have to hold it by hand when you use the dremel.


    4. Now Dremel sells cutting bits, you will need one of those, they cut through the ground electrode like butter



    5.All done with the cutting



    6. Now you want to adjust the gap, the original manual calls for a .010 reduction in the gap, but I think this is for older ignitions. I personally run OEM gap, .039 on coppers and .044 on Platinum/Iridium tipped plugs, I have no spark breakup issues. Boost applications will vary on boost levels though, run the biggest gap without breakup!


    Install them in, Index them, and you should be getting the best you can out of your $2 spark plugs!

    Onto the Dyno numbers...
    Now unfortunately I do not have a graph for the non-gaped plugs that were just indexed, but I received 2whp by just indexing, then 5whp more by side gaping.




    Gas Mileage Gains
    I've seen 2-3mpg gas mileage increase by simply switching to side gapped plugs.
    Last edited by Vadim; 01-02-14 at 01:26 AM.
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  2. #2
    Turbo Junky
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    Hhmmmm cheaper alternative to that expensive ass plug that sends the spark straight down (don't remember the name of them) Did you try this already? also did you notice a difference? WHat do you mean by index them?
    Once you go turbo you'll never go back!!! :racer:

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Scrildo View Post
    Hhmmmm cheaper alternative to that expensive ass plug that sends the spark straight down (don't remember the name of them) Did you try this already? also did you notice a difference? WHat do you mean by index them?
    HOW TO: Index Your Spark Plugs

    i'm interested to see how well this works for others

  4. #4
    Turbo Junky
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    Quote Originally Posted by junknstuff View Post
    HOW TO: Index Your Spark Plugs

    i'm interested to see how well this works for others
    Oh thanks for that link man some good reading material right there.
    Once you go turbo you'll never go back!!! :racer:

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrildo View Post
    Oh thanks for that link man some good reading material right there.
    np man. it was actually in Vadim's first sentence on this thread lol

  6. #6
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    Default

    If I can scrape up another set of 7E's, or even 6E's I might have a difference dyno chart by next week...
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  7. #7
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    this might be off but from what i have seen and read jagged plugs will have problems with hot spoting the plug and add to the chance of detonation. i think this will be come an issue if you up the boost or run a hotter plug like your 6's.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.sentra_specv View Post
    this might be off but from what i have seen and read jagged plugs will have problems with hot spoting the plug and add to the chance of detonation. i think this will be come an issue if you up the boost or run a hotter plug like your 6's.
    Hmm more reason to run 7E's I guess. I can see this being the case because this technically should give you a better burn, better burn means hotter gasses...
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  9. #9
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    mmmmmmmm interesting... but im affraid of detonation
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn B View Post
    "Every breakdown is an opportunity to upgrade."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando Alday View Post
    mmmmmmmm interesting... but im affraid of detonation
    Never had that problem haha. Other then say added heat I don't see why it would have an issue...
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  11. #11
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    Guys, this works VERY well, it yielded me 7WHP over non-gaped and not indexed brand new plugs! Check first post for dyno numbers.
    Last edited by Vadim; 04-11-09 at 10:31 PM.
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  12. #12
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    you've convinced me... after all, i can always call kevo to get me a set of the 7's he's got... or buy a new set of 6's or just turn the timing down a notch.... i'll try to go for this tomorrow afternoon and see what the dyno butt yields on the n/a side...
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn B View Post
    "Every breakdown is an opportunity to upgrade."

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando Alday View Post
    you've convinced me... after all, i can always call kevo to get me a set of the 7's he's got... or buy a new set of 6's or just turn the timing down a notch.... i'll try to go for this tomorrow afternoon and see what the dyno butt yields on the n/a side...
    Haha now you listen!

    When I was NA Butt dyno picked up nothing, but MPG went up quiet a bit. Like that's the first time I got 38mpg on the highway.
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    I need to try this. I've got them indexed, but not gapped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim View Post
    Haha now you listen!

    When I was NA Butt dyno picked up nothing, but MPG went up quiet a bit. Like that's the first time I got 38mpg on the highway.
    oh i do listen to you mate... just hadn't taken the time to do it... i'm glad i did thought got an almost perfect index and butt dyno picked a slight improvement on low end...... havenīt driven it hard but i hope i get a chance... i'll let you know
    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn B View Post
    "Every breakdown is an opportunity to upgrade."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabrits View Post
    I need to try this. I've got them indexed, but not gapped.
    Sweet, let us know how it turns out, esp with gas mileage

    Quote Originally Posted by Fernando Alday View Post
    oh i do listen to you mate... just hadn't taken the time to do it... i'm glad i did thought got an almost perfect index and butt dyno picked a slight improvement on low end...... havenīt driven it hard but i hope i get a chance... i'll let you know
    Haha yeah, I got perfect index on first 3 cylinders, then the last one had to ruin it, so had to switch out 4 and 2 hehe.
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  17. #17
    Weekend Warrior
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabrits View Post
    I need to try this. I've got them indexed, but not gapped.
    ^You running NGK's? Did you only use one washer per plug? In Vadim's :HOW TO: / :NOTE: #4 says you may have to use another plug if the one washer don't get you close enough to the right index.
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    NA is a thinking man's game, alot of people dont have the stomach to play NA.

  18. #18
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    Well, since I'm halfway in between plugs (as in I won't change for about another 20K miles) I put the plug that matched the best in each slot. Three of them are off by about 20-30* and the other cylinder is actually way off. I didn't have any washers, nor really plan on buying any.

  19. #19
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    I would use the crush washers that come with the plugs and tried to get the best index possible, but without replacing the washers.

    If you just can't get a good index, try another spark plugs hehe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim View Post
    I would use the crush washers that come with the plugs and tried to get the best index possible, but without replacing the washers.

    If you just can't get a good index, try another spark plugs hehe.
    I remember my NGKs came with washers already one them. I didn't try taking them off, but if they are removable, should I try removing them to get the best index? I don't want to have the plugs hit anything down there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabrits View Post
    I remember my NGKs came with washers already one them. I didn't try taking them off, but if they are removable, should I try removing them to get the best index? I don't want to have the plugs hit anything down there.
    Those washers are supposed to be there hehe, I mean using indexing washers like I did, those are not suggested in my opinion hehe.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim View Post
    Those washers are supposed to be there hehe, I mean using indexing washers like I did, those are not suggested in my opinion hehe.
    I would prefer not to use the extra washers at all. I think I'll just keep them at their mediocore indexing location for right now. But when I replace them, I will buy 8 or so and index them all and return the ones that didn't index very well.

    I know it's been beat to death in the other threads that I searched, but has it ever been solidified what gapping works best on a NA lowport RR? I am planning on side gapping probably this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabrits View Post
    I would prefer not to use the extra washers at all. I think I'll just keep them at their mediocore indexing location for right now. But when I replace them, I will buy 8 or so and index them all and return the ones that didn't index very well.

    I know it's been beat to death in the other threads that I searched, but has it ever been solidified what gapping works best on a NA lowport RR? I am planning on side gapping probably this weekend.
    I wouldn't honestly worry about it THAT much, midcore indexing gave me 2whp anyway. But side gapping was what made the power, now I was also told that at 0.032 and not side gapped I probably was blowing out the spark, but side gapping helped the spark not get blown out.

    I would say your best bet is 0.039 for NA.
    Last edited by Vadim; 12-24-13 at 02:56 AM.
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  24. #24
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    7whp is easily within the % error of a dyno...
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    I <3 Boost

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mafoose View Post
    7whp is easily within the % error of a dyno...
    Lol I've done 24 total runs, all of them were consistent depending on what mods.

    Since all the runs before and after had similar if not the same numbers, I'm pretty positive it is just from side gapping. What does explain it is, it reduced the spark blow out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim View Post
    I wouldn't honestly worry about it THAT much, midcore side gapping gave me 2whp anyway. But side gapping was what made the power, now I was also told that at 0.032 and not side gapped I probably was blowing out the spark, but side gapping helped the spark not get blown out.

    I would say your best bet is 0.039 for NA.
    Bumpski

    I plan on side gapping today. You said 0.039 would be best for my NA application. Does that number account for the side gapping? Because I know you said you need to adjust the number by .10.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dabrits View Post
    Bumpski

    I plan on side gapping today. You said 0.039 would be best for my NA application. Does that number account for the side gapping? Because I know you said you need to adjust the number by .10.
    Yes that should do fine, that would technically equal to a .049 gap. Which for NA on a OBDII car should be fine. Reason I say OBDII because older SR20's had a weaker ignition system, but it has improved since then.

    I'm running a .032 side gap on my turbo car. I'm thinking about side gapping my other set to .022 and take it to the dyno .
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vadim View Post
    Yes that should do fine, that would technically equal to a .049 gap. Which for NA on a OBDII car should be fine. Reason I say OBDII because older SR20's had a weaker ignition system, but it has improved since then.

    I'm running a .032 side gap on my turbo car. I'm thinking about side gapping my other set to .022 and take it to the dyno .
    Thank you kindly. I just side gapped them at .39. Haven't driven with them like that, but it started up and sounded fine.

  29. #29
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    are you running side cut plugs on your turbo application? ive been huge plug gap on my setup .45'' i wonder if i could run this large of a gap on side cut plugs?
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT2871RBLUBIRD View Post
    are you running side cut plugs on your turbo application? ive been huge plug gap on my setup .45'' i wonder if i could run this large of a gap on side cut plugs?
    If your running 0.045" what ignition system do you have? I was blowing the stock gap, 0.032", thus I got more power from side gapping because it reduced spark blowout.
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  31. #31
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    stock iginition with the exception of the ngk blue wires... im running 18lbs of boost ive yet to see any negative effects of running such a large gap. but seen the side gapping but wasnt sure if it would or wouldnt effect the plug gap at .45''
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    I would gap them down to .035" that way it should equal to .045". If anything you can always increase or reduce gap.
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    question.

    wonder if you would see any differences with the splugs side gapped and indexed verses side gaped and non index? you would think that the side gapping would farther help the indexing of the plugs as you are cutting away more of the plug to expose the spark farther more to the fuel.

    what do you think
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    Quote Originally Posted by GT2871RBLUBIRD View Post
    question.

    wonder if you would see any differences with the splugs side gapped and indexed verses side gaped and non index? you would think that the side gapping would farther help the indexing of the plugs as you are cutting away more of the plug to expose the spark farther more to the fuel.

    what do you think
    Well I saw 2 whp difference on a turbo motor between random index and a pretty decent index. As in not every single plug was perfectly facing the Intake ports.

    Now you do bring a good point. With NA you are better off indexing and side gapping. With turbo side gapping and actually having a reverse index might work better on keeping the spark from blowing out.
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    so you mean that in NA engine you should sige gap a close the gap? sorry for the confusion but i do not know the terminology.

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    Na you can get away with a bigger gap. I would run huge gaps but boost blows them out.
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    If I didnt see the charts I would still be thinking electric supercharger inside the intake about this...
    SR20VE

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    Quote Originally Posted by gtswrx View Post
    If I didnt see the charts I would still be thinking electric supercharger inside the intake about this...
    snake oil all the way eh?

    I honestly didn't expect 7whp, 1-2 yes. Which is what I got from indexing the plugs.
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  39. #39
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    Gonna try this on a bone stock SR20DE, what gap should I use? And the numbers mentioned here are in inches? Need to know, cause I need to convert to metric system :P.

  40. #40
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    I feel like trying this in the morning since I have a long commute. I usually know what I spend in fuel and could see if this helps my car at all. Surprised I haven't seen this till now. Sweet.
    -Bes
    SR20DEEP

 

 
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