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Does side clearance or shortening of a spark plug electrode really help?

Does side clearance or shortening of a spark plug electrode really help?

Does side clearance or shortening of a spark plug electrode really help?

The role that spark plugs play in the operation of any gasoline engine is essential. In fact, without proper spark plug function, your car most likely won't be able to run at all.

The main purpose of spark plugs is to create the spark that ignites the air-fuel mixture, creating an explosion, which causes your engine to produce power.

A shorter ground electrode can reduce preignition changes


Some racing plugs offered by Champion and other leading manufacturers come with their side (ground) electrode tips trimmed, rather, they do not fully extend over the center or positive electrode.

This is commonly known as lateral separation in an extreme high performance or racing engine, this improves the efficiency of the flame core and the spread through the combustion chamber.

Side separation spark plugs have benefits like.


  • Exposes more spark to the fuel mixture. A full-length ground electrode spark plug can block some of the air mixture.
  • Allows more heat to flow into the combustion chamber, in certain cases this may result in the need for less firing voltage for sparking.
  • A shorter ground electrode can reduce preignition changes, especially with power adders that include nitrous oxide, supercharged, and turbocharged.


These are just some of the advantages, depending on your car and engine the result will be different. It is recommended to go to a trusted mechanic, analyze if the change is possible and consider all the consequences.

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