Forced induction has become the power-adder of choice for many high-performance enthusiasts. An important part of the boosted equation is how much spark you have available to ignite the combustion process. It doesn’t matter if you have a pair of massive turbos or a small supercharger, you need the right ignition system for a boosted application.
An OEM-style ignition is designed to handle an engine that has a certain level of horsepower, compression ratio, and cylinder pressure. When you add boost to any engine, you’re possibly going to alter several of these factors, thus a better ignition system is needed to keep the engine happy. The last thing you want to deal with is a situation where you don’t have enough spark to light the fuel and air in the cylinder that’s now under even more pressure.
Steve Davis from Performance Distributors talks about the three most important things to think about when building an ignition system for a boosted application.
“You need an ignition system that can provide the right amount of timing. Boosted applications have more cylinder pressure, so less timing is necessary in order to avoid detonation. We normally dial in less mechanical advance in boosted applications, and in many cases, we delay the RPM at which full timing advance is achieved. The spark quality needs to be high because boosted applications can really ‘snuff out’ the spark produced by a stock ignition system. A high voltage coil and module are a must to maintain quality spark, especially as RPM levels rise. Finally, you need good spark plug wires to deliver the spark to the cylinder.”
Now, if you’re new to boost and need some ignition assistance, Performance Distributors can help. They have several solutions that work with the key things you need for a boosted application’s ignition system.
“We can build a custom DUI Distributor for a customer running a boosted application that has the proper amount of mechanical advance. These units are calibrated using weights and springs on a distributor machine based on the engine’s specs, including the fuel type, and how much boost the customer plans to run. Our DUI Coil and Dyna-Module work together to provide a longer duration spark — this is ideal for a boosted application. The Live Wires spark plug wires we’ve developed have a low 300 to 350 ohms resistance per foot,” Davis explains.
If you’re thinking about adding boost to your engine and have more ignition-related questions you can contact the team at Performance Distributors right here to get the info you need.