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Improving spark, Upgraded Ignition Coil VS. OEM Equivalent


05MountainGoat

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Vancouver Island
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
Vulcan V6 3.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
1.5" T-bar Crank, Aftermarket Forged Keys
Tire Size
32"
Alrighty folks!

Based on everyone's feedback, it seems the hotter coil isn't going to be necessary, even with gapped plugs. I've put a bit of non-conductive epoxy on the damaged tower of the stock coil, and added a little tiny bit of dielectric grease to keep it from grounding out, it shouldn't be an issue going forward since the coil is otherwise working just fine. You've all recommended some great stuff for improving efficiency, some of which has already been done, others are in the works, and some I hadn't really considered, so thank you as always!

But in the game of maximum efficiency, every single percent counts.

Here's the plan with what we have on hand:

I'm going to be installing the NGK Iridium IX plugs gapped to 0.065, and try to index them to the best of my ability. Frankly I've never actually indexed my plugs, but hey, it's probably a good idea when we're going for even the tiniest of gains (thanks @Uncle Gump).

When it comes to wires here, we've got 3 options, and I'm going to measure the resistance on all of them with a multimeter to see which wires work best:
  1. Stock wires, I think they're motorcraft, but frankly they're still in the truck and I haven't had a chance to read what's on em.
  2. Standard Motor Product, 8MM Standard wires, (for some reason I thought I had bought NGK wires)
  3. A set of unused JDMSpeed 10.5MM wires that I forgot I had, I may need to splice on different plugs from the original wires, or the standard set if they don't fit the coil's towers.
When it comes to the coil: Given the fact that I live in snow 6 months of the year and I don't want to short anything out, I will be replacing the coil pack at some point soon, I may just grab a motorcraft unit from the junkyard given that new ones cost around 90-120$, give or take some shipping and handling. Or if I'm having trouble with the now gapped plugs, ordering the upgraded MSD unit.

Testing and measurement: Aside from testing the resistance on the wires, I'm not sure how best to go about measuring any efficiency upgrades short of subjective observations.

Fuel economy data is great, but affected by so many other factors, it'll be difficult to figure out if in fact we're getting more efficiency. Unfortunately I don't have a dyno laying around (or within 400kms of where I live) to help me out on this one.

If you have any ideas on how I can gather some data, let me know!
From a fellow 3.slow driver with NGK plugs and wires...

I bought my truck about 20,000kms ago, decided to do plugs/wires last month at 290k km. NGKs plugs and wires were already equipped on the truck. Reading these forums, I opted to use NGK Double Platinum "Laser." Laser just means there's a very tiny nipple on the outer prong facing towards the center electrode- there were six available locally which was the deciding factor in purchasing them. They were pregapped to 0.046, and within spec. When I pulled the old plugs, I found the center electrodes on the old drivers side plugs were worn down past the rim of the concave area they protrude from. Fuel Economy has improved with the new plugs/wires- to an extent. Theres definitely more power available, and more power is potentially better fuel economy. Potentially. Regular gas is 89 octane locally, I no longer have to run 91 to avoid a bad time at high RPMs. Definitely a learning experience. Super nice to get about 500km to the tank 70/30 highway/hill infested town- was 350km to a tank at the same average before new plugs/wires.

The moral of the story is, make sure your NGK plugs are Double iridium, Double Platinum, whatever so long as both electrodes are coated in that fancy material. There's lots of posts here which explain the how and why behind this more articulately than I could.
 


bhgl

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Mazda B3000
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Transmission
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2WD / 4WD
2WD
Update for you folks,

I was able to scavenge the boots from the original set, they're indeed 8mm Motorcraft parts. Since I've gotta keep my truck in a running state, I only had time to replace, scavenge the Motorcraft wire's boot and connector, and fix it to the new wire.

The setup looks kinda goofy right now but the wire works! New plugs haven't gone in yet, I've gotta keep my truck running, and I had a few more pressing matters like attending to the girlfriend's Toyota.

PXL_20240412_022736941.jpg


I'm glad I have the wires from Standard Motor products as a backup, but I'm happy that I figured out how to make the JDMspeed wires work. They were originally for a GM setup HFI setup I think, they're basically the cheapest 10.5MM spark wires you can get, they're made in China, but I've used em on proper Mazdas, and GM 3800s and they've been rock solid. They're also insanely thick to the point of being kinda inconvenient. Take a look:

PXL_20240412_023741185.jpg
Here's the resistance of each wire, I chose one of each set that was similar or approximate in length. Here they are in order:
  1. Original Motorcraft wires, after god knows how many years: 4.1K Ohms
  2. New Standard Motor products Pro series wires: 7.9K Ohms
  3. JDMSpeed wires with the Coil side boot swapped: 0.9K Ohms
Ohm ratings are gonna differ from wire to wire, and increasing with lengths. Needless to say a pretty big difference, props to the original wires for being so good!

I'll post an update either here on the truck's main thread with the results soon.
 
Last edited:

05MountainGoat

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Joined
Sep 4, 2023
Messages
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14
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Location
Vancouver Island
Vehicle Year
2005
Make / Model
Edge
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Engine Size
Vulcan V6 3.0
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
1.5" T-bar Crank, Aftermarket Forged Keys
Tire Size
32"
I forgot to mention that I changed the original U-joints the week before I changed the spark plugs- didn't bother to measure its impact on fuel economy alone. I was just glad it had stopped snowing minutes before I was ready to put the driveshaft back on, slipped my mind to consider measuring.

Needles to say, your mileage may vary. And "by you", I mean the kid reading this in 2030 trying to figure out why his beater truck is eating 3 plugs a month.
 

bhgl

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Mazda B3000
Engine Type
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Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
I forgot to mention that I changed the original U-joints the week before I changed the spark plugs- didn't bother to measure its impact on fuel economy alone. I was just glad it had stopped snowing minutes before I was ready to put the driveshaft back on, slipped my mind to consider measuring.

Needles to say, your mileage may vary. And "by you", I mean the kid reading this in 2030 trying to figure out why his beater truck is eating 3 plugs a month.
I intend to keep this truck until either I, or the truck dies.

It's already a frankenstein monster with parts from at least 4 different trucks included, by the time I'm through with it, the teenager who ends up picking it up and trying to mess around with it is going to have a hell of time trying to figure out what to ask for at the part store.
 

bhgl

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Mazda B3000
Engine Type
3.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Gentleman, the ignition upgrades have been completed.

It started with the gapped NGK Iridium IX spark plugs, and the 10.5MM JDM Speed wires. The stock motorcraft coil did well and pushed a spark through to them no problem, subjectively the truck ran better, and sounds like it has a meaner growl in the lower RPMS, which is where the fuel mixture for this truck tends to be more rich. I can't tell if there's any particular difference in acceleration or fuel economy just yet, but subjectively I would say response and acceleration has improved somewhat.

I just finished installing the MSD Streetfire 5229 ignition coil, I haven't had the chance to do any driving with it yet, but the truck seems happy.

I'll have more updates about what fuel economy and other benefits come in the future on the main thread linked in my description.

As always, thanks for all your help and advice, I'm gonna hold onto the motorcraft coil as a spare just in case. Never hurts to have a known-solid coil on hand.
 

O No 3.0!

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Ranger xl 3.0
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Automatic
If you want the higher output unit, go for it. I went with the dui & livewires on my 3.0, along with brisk irridium plugs. Made a noticeable difference. Starts easier & gets better mileage. Pulls cleaner thru the entire rpm range. My truck has an e-fan, ported maf, larger intake pipe with factory filter housing that has the silencer removed and a bigger hole in the end. Flowmaster 1 in 2 out muffler with cat delete & larger pipe. 4.10 geared 8.8. Truck has gone from a complete slug to actually a little peppy. Nowhere near fast, but fun. It ran a 10.8 at 65 in the 1/8 mile before and now has ran a 9.7 at 69mph. It gets better gas mileage around town now too by about 2-3 mpg.
 

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