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Discussion Starter #1
I contacted Nathan over at Enerpulse, the maker of the Pulstar Plugs. I asked him about having some members of the EOC test their plugs to see how they worked in terms of fuel mileage. I said that some of us have been discussing them on here and wanted to know for ourselves how they worked before everyone began plopping down $100/set.

He more than readily agreed to this. He just wanted to make sure that we gave them our feedback and we were more than fair in our testing methodology. I contacted 2 other members and asked if they were interested in doing this as well and they both agreed. Nathan sent the plugs this week and we should be receiving them any day now.

The 3 EOC testers will be:

spdrcr5 (me)
ramblerdan
wastedonanime

What we will all be doing is getting a baseline with 3-4 tanks using brand new spark plugs. Both ramblerdan and I have been tracking our mileage since day 1 of ownership, for me that's over 4 yrs and for him it's over 3 yrs. After that baseline we will switch over to the Pulstar plugs for 3-4 tanks. Then we will switch back to the just removed plugs for another 3-4 tanks then back to the Pulstar plugs. This should give us just about as fair a test as we can possibly get.

Something that we have to keep in mind is in the Northeast the fuel blend is about to switch over to the "Summer Blend" so the mpg might improve slightly with less oxygen in the fuel. This is why I want to go back to the original plugs and the Pulstars a second time just to even out the results.

We will use this thread to post all of our results as we each get them. Please keep in mind this is only a fuel economy test not a HP/torque test. Brian might try dyno'ing his E to see if there is a change, but that has nothing whatsoever to do with what we are testing for.

We will be as open and honest as possible with this. We will share everything we find.

Here is the thread that started this whole thing.

If anyone has any questions please post them here. Do not contact the company looking to get in on this test, they just wanted 2 or 3 people. We hope this gives everyone the answers they are looking for as that is the sole purpose of us doing this.



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This should be very interesting. A couple of thoughts:

1. Don't you think you also need new OEM plugs to test against?
2. For in-town driving, every time I fill up I get a different mileage. What will you consider to be an indicator or a real improvement? 2 mpg? 3?
3. Have you considered doing at least one tank of each on an identical interstate run on consecutive days with consecutive weather?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This should be very interesting. A couple of thoughts:

1. Don't you think you also need new OEM plugs to test against? We will all be installing new OEM/NGK plugs for the initial 3-4 tanks. I thought I said that in my post. Maybe I forgot about it. lol
2. For in-town driving, every time I fill up I get a different mileage. What will you consider to be an indicator or a real improvement? 2 mpg? 3? I don't do anything that would be considered "in-town" driving. My driving consists of a constant mix of under 25mph and over 60mph speeds, with lots of 30-50mph thrown in. I never will be able to get even a qtr tank at speeds less than 40mph. Long Island is just not conducive to that.
3. Have you considered doing at least one tank of each on an identical interstate run on consecutive days with consecutive weather? You're asking us to find the time to drive 600 miles for no reason at all for this? lol Sorry, that won't happen until some time this summer when I at least have some road trips planned. The others might have other thoughts though.
As to the question of what I will consider an improvement? A consistent increase in mpg to me would be an improvement. Whether it is 0.1 or 10.0 that is still an improvement. Now, what sort of improvement will it be worth spending an additional $10/plug? That is the big question.

Brian purchased new NGK plugs for the two of us and he said he spent $15/plug as compared to the $25/plug of the Pulstars. If you can recoup the $40 over the life of the Pulstars in improved mpg then that would answer those questions. Obviously in order for them to be worth the money you would want to start cutting into the cost of the plugs in terms of fuel savings over the life of the plugs.



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Being a man of science, I can assure you that the most accurate testing would have to be conducted over a long period of time to generate the best average results due to way too many variables. You could factor in every single thing including environmental conditions, automotive status, fuel consistency, paths taken (increasing or decreasing load on the engine)... many will cause minimal variances but you know what they say - little things add up.

There are way too many things basically. However, some variables can be controlled and assumed to provide the most accurate results per vehicle. Personally I plan on filling up at the same station, same pump, approximately the same tank level (1/2 tank), and maintaining the tire pressure every week at a set level. Well, I will try to do so for testing purposes. There may be some variances in tank fill up due to unpredictable weekend driving but I will ensure to use the same station and pump at least. I will have my car maintenance performed prior to testing (it's due for it's 40k anyway) and new wheels on. All of those in addition to other testing requirements that are required.

We'll see how it goes! Worse comes to worse I destroy my engine then I wont have any choice but to construct the frankenstein torque monster.
 

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Thank you guys for this testing. I am looking forward to seeing how things go with your Es and if we see much of a difference between the 3 different drivers. I would be willing to try some highway runs if you can swing another set.:D

This could be pretty exciting to watch unfold. Maybe we can get the EOC test quoted in some advertising.
 

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What is the plan for analyzing the data you will be collecting? If you have data for several years there are some statistical analyses that you could run to determine the significance of any changes in mpg.
 

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In addition to the hard data, please include personal impressions (feels more powerful, runs like limp spaghetti etc) You've all owned your Es for a while and any impressions you get can be taken into the review with ease. Thanks.
 

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I'm about a half step ahead of you guys. I purchased my Pulstar's through a group buy on another forum a few weeks ago. I have figured the MPG on 5 tanks, before installing them on 3-24-08. My testing decidedly will not be as detailed as yours, but I will post my numbers for reference and comparison.
I also have the issue of the winter/summer blend fuels, but hope that I can get a few tanks in before the change. Please be sure to note that although Honda calls for a gap of .044, the maximum gap recommended by Enerpulse is .040 under any condition.

Jake
 

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It's just real world field testing !! To me that's more meaningful than having 50 lab's run 100 tests under varying conditions. Chances are that no matter how good those lab results are, I will never be able to duplicate them in MY CAR, ON MY ROADS !!

Thanks to all involved in this testing project!

Dom

Hell yes! I'd rather see a mountain of data from the real world than a Saturday's worth of dyno pulls. There's only so much that can be done in a lab.:D
 

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I installed new NGK IZFR6K-11 plugs this afternoon. The engine seemed to run just fine with 77,718 miles on the old plugs, but they're not pretty! Notice the burn marks on the bases of the insulators:




Plugs 3 and 4:


Side view of No. 3:



The No. 2 plug's ground electrode was ever so slightly cracked, and No. 1 seemed just fine. The breakdown in Nos. 3 and 4 was enough to change the gap; both were a tad under the specified 1.0–1.1 mm (0.039–0.043 in.). All the anodes look good. (I've never seen little pin-style anodes like that before.)

Larry suggested putting the new plugs back in after testing the Pulstars, in order to account for any change in mpg caused by the upcoming switchover to summer gas. That's a fine idea, but if we do this, we'll need to replace the crush washers. Anybody have a part number?
 

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Discussion Starter #11

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I guess we'll get to see a nice progress of plug destruction since I'll be pulling mine at nearly 40k (currently at 38300ish). When does the 'summer blend' take effect?
 

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Discussion Starter #13

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When does the 'summer blend' take effect?

Depends on the dealers supply chain. They will change over at varying times each year, depending on several factors.

It's not like it's may 1St every year.

Wow paul, I changed the plugs on our E's, they looked nothing like that! Those look like there's a chance that a chunk of the negative Electrode could come off and screw up a cylinder wall or a ring. Now I know that my changing plugs every 17 or 18 months is worthwhile!

Look at this, The test has not yet started and it has produced some worthwhile information! ! ! ! :shock:

Dom
 

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That is amazing how those plugs are comming apart. I agree with Dom, makes me want to change my plugs now to prevent anything from getting knocked off and destroying the engine. Too bad you guys don't have this pulstar test done yet before I go buy some new plugs.
 

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Holy crap! I've never seen that before. I'll be checking my plugs early.
 

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I installed new NGK IZFR6K-11 plugs this afternoon. The engine seemed to run just fine with 77,718 miles on the old plugs, but they're not pretty! Notice the burn marks on the bases of the insulators:
The staining that you notice at the base of the ceramic is not abnormal. It is called "corona staining".

All the anodes look good. (I've never seen little pin-style anodes like that before.)
iridium is not native to this planet, so I'd imagine the manufacturer's are trying to be pretty frugal with what they have. :razz:

http://www.densoiridium.com/

http://www.ngkiridium.com/


I would say that you have some issues going on in cylinder's #3 and #4. Those ground electrodes do not look normal at all. Is that residue build-up that is all burnt and cracked, or is that the actual metal of the electrode? Either way, you might want to investigate the root cause, because that ain't right. :shock:
 

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I'll have mine out on Friday since all I have right now is 2 plugs. I would imagine at 40k they are not cracking but who knows. We'll see soon enough. You guys notice any difference since you replaced the old ones?
 

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The staining that you notice at the base of the ceramic is not abnormal. It is called "corona staining."
Huh, never saw that before, and I've pulled a lot of plugs! Then again, I've never run a set for 77K.

Is that residue build-up that is all burnt and cracked, or is that the actual metal of the electrode?
It's the electrodes themselves. They're relatively free of deposits. Will go check my spark plug diagnostic reference photos tonight. Gunky black buildup (from my old cars) is a lot more familiar!
 
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