Mythbuster/Does-it-work? Spark plug cables

Discussion in 'News and Features' started by Izso, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    Mythbuster/Does-it-work? Best I-Cable spark plug cables

    [​IMG]

    As some of you may already know, I'm a huge DIY junkie and if I can do it, I will. This has presented me with a problem - skepticism. I am one of the biggest skeptics known amongst my friends when it comes to car modification voodoo. So hence this new article.

    Welcome then, to episode one of my many soon to come future 'mythbuster' / 'does-it-work' type of features where I'll dissect (where possible), provide unbiased critique and where possible scientific data on anything that I come across. I'll be purchasing most of the items myself (otherwise donated) so there will be no twisting of words just to favour the product, manufacturer or seller.


    [​IMG]

    First up, Best I-Tech's spark plug cable. In the market these days there are so many aftermarket cables that claim the world and each brand has their own market. But to date my question "How is your cable better and why?" is only responded with marketing hype without any scientific proof or any logical reasoning on how it works. That was until I came across this video :


    <center><iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/GZnonRjy3_4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe></center>


    Just by changing the cable your spark energy is increased by that much? I had to do my thang and asked the combo trio "what, how and why". Surprisingly, Best I-Tech's big kahuna, the inventor and patent holder for this cable responded to my query and even agreed to a meetup to discuss technicalities of his product. Dr Joe Lam, a Canadian Chinese (I think), the mild manner man but has great technical know-how on all things automotive as well as electrical. After a good hour of discussion on his product (I could go in-depth about what we discussed but it would be too long and too boring) I was still not convinced.

    Essentially what his product does is what MSD is doing with their powerful aftermarket coils : making the spark bigger and way stronger. The only difference is this Best I-Cable (as Joe called it) is easily one quarter the price of a MSD coil.

    Not bad.

    Joe explained that he holds the patent for this cable design so his product is unique. He's also approached several OEM manufacturers and offered his product to be installed in their factory output cars, just so they have, I quote : "Better emissions, better torque, better power and cheaper to operate in the long run". Save the catcons!

    He offered a loaner cable for testing purposes with no strings attached. Whether it worked or not I'd publish my findings here in ZTH. Yes - a loaner. Meaning I have to return it. Meaning I can write whatever I find out whether good or bad and their reputation will be put on the line.

    Big balls! I like that.

    Ok! Challenge accepted.


    [​IMG]

    I had it installed on my Wira since it's easier to plug and play compared to the COP (coil on plug) Myvi which required some modification to my stock cables which I wasn't keen on doing since this was just a test. Bright red silicon sleeves and shiny black ends with what seems to be copper/brass connectors. I'm totally digging the colour scheme. Did I ever mention I am a closet Ah Beng? Bring on the bling babeah!

    First impressions was.... nothing felt different. Now, Joe explained earlier that since the spark is a lot stronger, I'd need to tune the car to make use of stronger spark, much like what I'd have to do if I were using a MSD coil. But since my car is using the stock ECU (Siemens VDO), I'd just have to wait for it to self adapt.

    Now at this point I must mention that my car has been setup to run on RON95 but it'll knock during higher revs. A little aggressive ignition timing mods, hello-kitty camshafts, stroker, oversized pistons, high compression, the works. Everything NA I could have possibly DIY-ed (sorta), I have already done so. So essentially any differences in performance would stick out like a sore thumb, for me anyway.


    [​IMG]

    The next day I decided to take the car for a Dyno test. My car had been dynoed at GT-Auto sometime ago and the figures from then-stock to now-modded is about 15~20whp so imagine my surprise when I saw my A/F so majorly screwed up. The two lines you see is blue line - stock Proton spark plug cables and red line - Best I-Cable.

    2ps difference? That's it? GT-Auto's Thomas at that point adjusted my AFPR for me and re-tested with the Best I-Cable.

    [​IMG]

    Better. Unfortunately at that time it started to rain and I had to rush back to attend to a personal matter and I wanted to avoid the massive jam usually associated to Federal highway, PJ and rain.

    At this point I wasn't sure what was what. Perhaps my ECU hadn't adapted? Siemens VDO on the Wira usually takes a day or 2 to adapt to changes in A/F which is why air chargers don't work with Wiras running VDO ECUs. They just adapt and make your RM100+ purchase redundant.


    [​IMG]
    Picture courtesy of Ahjun Soo

    I recently had the best time revving the crap outta my car at the 4G1Series Dato Sagor track day (which I'll be writing about later) and that gave the car plenty of time to get used to the new cables.

    This is where it gets interesting.

    After almost a month of using the Best I-Cable I could not for the life of me feel any difference, until I decided to swap back to my original Proton cables. My car was sputtering during idle, revving was significantly slower, car felt sluggish, the works! Just to make sure it wasn't just a placebo, I got my wife who's significantly butt-dyno numb to try the car with the stock cables. After which I reinstalled the Best I-Cable and lo-and-behold, she told me it felt faster and was significantly better to drive.

    I didn't tell her what had changed because that would've been pointless. She can't tell the difference between an oil filter and an oversized piston, so why bother?

    But the unscientific evidence was irrefutable. The car was more responsive, had better power, better acceleration and even idled better with the Best I-Cable. The car had adapted to whatever it was the Best I-Cable gave it and damn was it good.

    Once I find the time this month or next, I'll bring the car to GT-Auto again for another dyno-run. Best I-Tech themselves have their own Dyno test results too if you're interested.

    Until then I'll leave you with these closing remarks :

    Does it work? Hell yes. Caveat is you need to have your ECU tuned to work with the cables. In my case it was self-adapting. Once tuned, it'll work nicely.

    Would I buy it? Are you kidding? How can I go back to stock after this?

    Who should buy it? Anyone with spark plug cables.Apparently they cater for COP as well.


    Their website : best-itech.com
     

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    #1 Izso, Mar 14, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  2. peterj

    peterj Senior Member
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    where to get such brand cable btw?
     
  3. jeff_sin

    jeff_sin Senior Member
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    may i know where is the dealer for this cable?
     
  4. xtremeleo

    xtremeleo Senior Member
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    impressive, how much is a set ni?
     
  5. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    The website has all the information. I've also mailed Joe to have a look at this post so if he decides to create an ID for himself, he'll respond here. Otherwise suggest to mail them directly via the website "contact us".

    I honestly can't remember. And mine were loaners so I can't really tell you what the price is.
     
    #5 Izso, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2012
  6. D7zul

    D7zul Senior Member
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    oh ya.. forgot to include plug cable in my 1st stage modification.. hehe..

    anyway, it's good to have an aftermarket plug cable.. but u also need an aftermarket distributor and/or coil to go with it as well :wink:


    Air + Fuel + Spark = Power

    More Air + More Fuel + More Spark = More Power

    :biggrin:
     
  7. bera

    bera Senior Member
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    nice write up...
     
  8. DanzEterna

    DanzEterna Moderator
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    ive seen this cable before...if not mistaken the owner is a malay guy...
    he had a kiosk at the proton gathering somewhere end of last year...he offered a demo....was quite interesting,
    exactly the same cables like wat Izso showed, he also claimed somewhat it was close to MSD coils....for pv6 it costs RM400++ on promotion, normal price RM600++......i wanted to buy but didnt have $$$$

    ---------- Post added at 10:36 AM ---------- 6 hour anti-bump limit - Previous post was at 10:33 AM ----------

    izso...
    how much u go for dyno + tuning at GT auto?
    blackhowling got give u discount ah? hehehe...
     
  9. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    Not so sure about the coil part. I'm using stock coil so I don't see the need to upgrade it if the spark energy is that much stronger. For small fry mods like mine, I don't think I'll need the MSD anytime soon. If I do get it, I wonder if it'll work with these cables. Joe did mention that it's possible but I'd like to test it myself to see for myself.


    No malay guy. Joe Lam is confirmed 100% Chinese and he openly claims ownership for the patent and is the inventor. I don't think you can lie about that! Unless the malay dude you met was a distributor. Joe has a few distributors in M'sia but I'm not sure who exactly they are.

    As for dyno, I didn't go for a tune, I just went for baseline figures. It just so happened we discovered I was running way too rich so he reduced the fuel pressure there only.

    As for BH, he doesn't know me la. We've indirectly met but he doesn't know me. Everyone on the other hand knows BH. :biggrin: I didn't know he was related to GT-Auto? Thomas' price was pretty anyway and gave me a pretty good deal for a before and after dyno test so I'm not complaining.
     
  10. DanzEterna

    DanzEterna Moderator
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    i dont think the malay guy is a distributor cos he said its his own invention...
    its also installed in his track honda...i'll try to find out his name as i threw away his namecard...:biggrin:
     
  11. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    Different guy I suppose.

    But anyhow, this Best I-Cable works. I'm quite keen to redo the dyno again.
     
  12. DanzEterna

    DanzEterna Moderator
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    how much it costs u for the cables?
     
  13. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    Item #1
    Would it be safe to say that the ECU was NOT adapted to the stock cables thus the sputtering, slower revving and sluggishness?

    a cable that measures the same, would perform the same. a cable that doesn't, well, doesn't perform similarly. being different doesn't necessarily means better.

    also, its safe to assume there's a margin of error between dyno runs, maybe +/- 5%? I'm not sure as I don't own one, but its standard for any measurement device.

    Item #2
    You mentioned the creator approach OEMs, so is any car manufacturer using it? Just curious.​
     
  14. Andy0625

    Andy0625 Senior Member
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    Care to try Firestorm Ignition Booster and share the result with us?
     
  15. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    They're loaners. I'm returning them. F-O-C.

    Correct. If the Best ICable was worse than stock, it would've stuttered after 1st time installation. But since (my assumption) it's better than stock, current (at that time) ECU state still worked fine except it could have worked even better if it readapted. Having left my car to adapt for a month, going back to stock instantly there was a power loss. If the cables hadn't provided some performance gain my car wouldn't have lost that much power.

    And that's also why I'm keen to re-do the dyno. I'm expecting significant improvement in figures. And agreed again, + or - 5% is acceptable tolerances when doing a dyno so I won't judge 5% increase as a performance gain. Only if it's significantly more like perhaps 8 to 10 ps then I'll consider it a performance gain.

    Right now though, butt dyno tells me stock cable is crap even after adapting!

    Item #2, I'm not sure. I'd be interested to know who would have bought into his product too.



    If you're bold enough to give me a set for testing then I'd be more than willing to test it. But as I mentioned, it may or may not be beneficial for the sellers of this product. If it works wonders then great, if not I can be pretty negative.
     
    #15 Izso, Mar 15, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2012
  16. Hartge

    Hartge Senior Member
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    for an NA to increase 8 to 10 ps is no easy task. Then again i've heard that dynojet and dynodynamics yield a 20% difference , so in the event you 1st dyno in dynodynamics , then go dyno again in dynojet ( similar car ) doesnt mean u gain 20% power
     
  17. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    That's why I go back to the same place I did the 1st dyno. I'm not particular about the result, just the difference in results when comparing is interesting!
     
  18. ixeo

    ixeo Senior Member
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    Fair observation, and agreeable. Looking forward to your dyno, since numbers walk the talk.

    Personally I won't invest so much in cables since over time they will corrode/oxidize.. and more interested in active spark amplifiers such as those that raise the voltage for spark plugs or something like okada projects.. not sure how those works.
     
  19. infinity.melvin

    infinity.melvin SlowPoke
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  20. Izso

    Izso Boooooossst
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    I am interested. But for testing purposes it's a heavy investment so I'd only do it if someone donated or loaned a unit to me.

    I have other things I want to debunk that's coming up real soon.
     

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