Brisk USA Is Slimming Down With 12mm Performance F150 Plugs

While it’s no secret that the past few decades have seen incredible advancements in both OEM and aftermarket technologies, one thing that doesn’t seem to get much consideration is one of the most important components of the engine: the spark plug. Brisk USA works hard to stay at the forefront of technology, so when the OEMs release a new design, they are right there with a performance variant.

In the 2021 model year, Ford’s Coyote engine got a new cylinder head design specific to the F150. With the addition of the variable displacement system, Ford moved to a narrower, 12mm plug to free up some space from the traditional 14mm plug. “This is going to be a plug that will become more and more prevalent, I think,” says Brisk USA’s Bret Lednicky. “In the 2000s to 2010s, we saw a lot of engine platforms going to the one-inch-long 14mm plugs, and as the valvetrain sizes in these engines increase, they add variable valve timing and switch to direct injection, I feel like we’ll see plugs slim down more, and the 12mm plugs will become a lot more common.”

Brisk XER10S spark plug with cup style nut

The cup-style spark plug nut isn’t new, but is becoming more common. Luckily, it doesn’t require a different style of connector. It allows for an improved insulator design with increased dielectric strength to be utilized.

Looking closely at this new spark plug — the XER10S — it looks significantly different. The main difference is the terminal nut,” explains Lednicky. “ With the 2008-’10 3-Valves, Ford went to a VW-style cupped terminal nut. A lot of engines come with higher compression and forced induction from the factory, and what that nut style does is allow you to make the insulator longer, so you increase the dielectric strength of the insulator while keeping the overall functionality the same. You don’t need any special type of coil or anything like that. It still uses the compression-spring style connector, it just sits inside the cup instead of on top of the nut.”

Making a colder plug for an F150 might seem a bit confusing until you look at the current trends of the performance aftermarket. “Most of these guys who are buying single-cab F150s for performance use are slapping a Whipple or a turbo kit on it, and then going out and hurting feelings. I think we’ll see the Mustang Coyotes going in this direction as well, which is why we’re ahead of the game by having a colder plug for the application already. The new Brisk XER10S is one heat range colder than the OEM plug, equivalent to an NGK-9,” says Lednicky.

Brisk XER10S

The main feature of the new 12mm plugs is, well, the 12mm-1.25 threaded body. The plugs are one step colder than OEM (Brisk heat-range 10) and have all of the same features normally found on a Brisk Silver Racing spark plug.

Using Brisk’s proven racing spark plug formula of a silver electrode to conduct as much spark energy as possible with an improved insulator design, the new plug fits several 12mm-1.25 threaded applications. Notably, in addition to the 2021-’24 5.0-liter F150, the plug also fits the 4.2L twin-turbo Blackwing engine powering the Cadillac CT6.

When it comes to boosted performance, spark plugs play a critical role, and you can’t just slap any old plug from the parts store in there. This is why Brisk is constantly developing performance and racing plugs for big-power forced induction and nitrous applications. As the OEMs continue to evolve their engine designs, Brisk will be right there, making OE replacement and colder plugs for them.

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Greg Acosta

Greg has spent nineteen years and counting in automotive publishing, with most of his work having a very technical focus. Always interested in how things work, he enjoys sharing his passion for automotive technology with the reader.
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