Welcome to our resource for MG Car Information.



MG parts spares and accessories are available for MG T Series (TA, MG TB, MG TC, MG TD, MG TF), Magnette, MGA, Twin cam, MGB, MGBGT, MGC, MGC GT, MG Midget, Sprite and other MG models from British car spares company LBCarCo.

MG MGB Technical - e3 lithium spark plugs

Anyone ever try running the e3 lithium spark plugs? They claim better fuel economy and a slight increase in power.

Typically, those claims aren't anything you'll be able to actually measure.

The claims alone are absolutely not worth the added cost to the plugs.

Just get a good NGK or other name brand plug and you should get similar gains to older worn out plugs.
Jeff Grant

Thats about what I figured. I still run champions. Some Ford guys I know were talking big about the e3's.

Actually, on Horsepower TV (I think) this past weekend, they dynoed a 400 or so HP engine and gained about 6 horsepower with E3s compared to what looked like Bosch platinum +4s (which they simply called "the popular contender").

Wayne Pearson

A friend of mine saw that same dyno on horsepower tv this weekend. That is what started the talk.


I've been running Champions on my B ever since I got it in 1984. No problems so I can see no reason to go with someting else. We had a discussion talk today with a numnber of MG owers and my feeling is the factory knew what they were doing when they built our cars, so I will abide by their recommendations. So far, things are fine and I've had no problems with the car. It starts when I want it to, takes me where I want it to, no matter what the distance is, and as a bonus, puts a smile on my face while I'm driving it. That's been enough to keep me happy for the past 24 years.

George Herschell
George R Herschell

I caught that too. They even compared the spark intensity to that of a copy cat brand, and the e3's were dramatically brighter. I didnt catch the name of the other brand though.
The gain in HP was somewhere around +30 HP. I'm going to try them myself, but I find it hard to believe that number.

AHH! My page just timed out on submitting my last reply. I'll type something up quick again.

I watch Horsepower TV and enjoy it in general, even though it's mostly carb related and I'm an EFI guy at heart. I often chuckle at some of their comparisons which most viewers just don't know better when watching. It makes for a good show though.

Anyway, here's your hope for comparison that they've made.

400hp motor + 6hp from plugs = 1.5% gain.

Being hopeful, I don't know the stock MGB hp rating, so don't flog me for this...
120hp MGB motor + 1.5% = 1.8hp gain.

And how much did that 1.8 crank hp (which is barely over 1hp at the rear wheels) which you won't be able to physically feel cost you?

You can get more by changing your air filter and putting a fresh distributor cap on.
Jeff Grant

Just saw in another thread that the B motor has anywhere from 65 to 95 crank HP pending year.

65 * 1.5% = 0.975hp (barely 0.6 rwhp)
95 * 1.5% = 1.425hp (barely 1 rwhp)
Jeff Grant

I think the key to so much of the hype on a lot of "performance" stuff is verifying a truly "significant" gain of any sort. So many things are incremental in their affect, but to such a small extent that even when added together with other things like them in a given system, it is still difficult to pull out a "significant" difference, and isn't that what most folks are looking for rather than incremental differences??? Much probably depends upon your objectives.
Bob Muenchausen

I doubt that you could feel any difference driving with the minimal increase you are supposed to gain. Significant gain normally requires significant $$$.
John H

Jeff Grant's reply is very accurate IF you've made all the same modifications to your engine as on the 400 hp engine. If not, the performance increase will likely be even less.
I'm assuming to get 400 hp, they have at least a cam, big carb, intake, headers, and probably aluminum heads on that engine. On a hot stage II B motor, you may be able to get to the point to justify these plugs, at a potential 1.5 - 2 hp gain.
Jeff Schlemmer

WELL, WE'RE ALL SEARCHING FOR THE SCREW ON PANACEA FOR OUR DEAR CARS.The onliest item in 33 years of hacking through the Slick 50 jungle is the supercharger. The bang for buck continues to be the best treat a guy can do for 'ol Bee. The one I like is the 24 volt ducted fan ( which I use in rc flying) turning around 26000 rpms and inline with the intake air. Claimants swear they are getting 2-3 pounds boost and "noticeable horsepower" improvements. Gimme a break then gimme shelter. Cheers Vic
vem myers

Those fans in the intake system always give me a good chuckle. Of course, it's because I know that my 2.5L 10:1 compression import motor on just 2-3 pounds of boost makes anywhere from 50 to 75 WHEEL hp (dyno proven to gain 100whp at just 5psi over NA).

I'd say the best bang for your buck would be to just add a Nitrous kit. But I don't know how these motors react to such violent actions considering the vacuum advanced timing and no way of adjusting it on the fly regardless of dumping in enough fuel with a wet kit.
Jeff Grant

I saw these in Road % Track...

This new technology is a drop-in replacement for all spark plugs, including those iridium, high performance spark plugs. Pulstar is designed to more efficiently ignite the fuel in an engine's cylinders increasing fuel economy, horsepower and torque. Pulstarô pulse plugs look and fit like spark plugs, but incorporate an internal capacitor to deliver a spark 10 times more powerful than a spark plug with less cycle-to-cycle variation.

Pulse plugs are safe for use in all vehicles and improve combustion efficiency in all spark-ignited internal combustion engines, yielding better overall engine performance, with fuel consumption and associated green house gases reduced by as much as 10%.

There seems to be some very dodgy "science" on that website.

"Instead of 50 watts of peak power typical of all spark plugs, pulse plugs deliver up to 1 million watts of peak power."

1 million watts - 1000kW - is equivalent to about 1340HP ... do I get this in each cylinder?

"When the ignition power overcomes the resistance in the spark gap, the pulse circuit discharges all of its accumulated power - 1 million watts - in 2 billionths of a second!"

You cannot accumulate *power* ... you can accumulate energy, but that's not what it says.

If you're trying to sell something on a scientific basis, you should at least get the basic terminology right.

Forget the fries

More snake oil! The amount of power obtainable is limited to the total caloric value of the fuel/air charge. Once combustion starts efficiently at the optimum moment, the rest is just a matter of the mechanical efficiency of the engine design. 35 to 40 Kilovolts from the coil and a spark plug gap of about .035" should be fine up to a Geometric Compression Ratio (GCR) of 10.5:1, even when running a richer mixture for starting in cold weather. Anything more than that won't (and can't) produce any more power. However, it is theoretically possible that a super megaspark could induce detonation!
Steve S.

They cant function any other way but as a type a capacitor, which could be beneficial depending on the vehicle.

Correct me if I'm thinking wrong here, but one horsepower ADDED to an engine (cams, sparkplug, fuel injection, whatever) is one horsepower ADDED at the rear wheels because all the friction, accessories, etc. losses are already accounted for.

Not that I'm advocating these plugs, but say on a 65 HP output engine you have 25 HP of losses so the rear wheels see only 40 HP. Add a horsepower, and now the rear wheels see 41, right?

Dave Braun

Dave, that is incorrect. What you're referring to is often commented as the "drivetrain loss". In a RWD application, that's typically upwards of 20% depending on the weight of the rotational mass within the transmission/rear diff/drive shaft.

So taking a 20% loss means that 1HP added at the flywheel nets approximately 0.8HP at the rear wheel.

By the way, I had DVR'd the Horsepower episode from last weekend, the one mentioned here and saw it mid last week. They claimed they let the motor cool so it could be tested during the same oil/water temp conditions. That's all fine and dandy, but it was still a fairly fresh motor. The second block of runs on the E3 plugs could have been better just because the rings had seated tighter.
Jeff Grant

Once again and of course, the bottom line is: Anyone got testimonial for these fandangles???? Vic
vem myers

Best bang for the buck is found here:
Carl Floyd

How about a more specific link Carl instead of just plugging a competing website.
Jeff Grant

I remember similar claims by Split fire Plugs, but most Rolling Road operators say bin them!
K Harris

has anyone actually tried and proven these plugs for themselves???

because unless your going to do this, why spout on what you think is right. "forget the fries", your MGB will never have a 1000kW engine maybe 65kW at most, i had a 1.3 tuned engine 4 cylinder which was only at 50kW, so at most your going to get about 0.7/0.8 HP increase, and by the looks of that it does match what everyone else has been saying!
Crotch Rocket

I quoted from the linked website -

"Instead of 50 watts of peak power typical of all spark plugs, pulse plugs deliver up to 1 million watts of peak power."

and commented that 1 million watts was about equivalent to 1340HP - agreed?

So what does this have to do with my car, your car or any other?
Forget the fries

Hello all,


There are no segnificant differences with sparks on the B-Series engine.
Comparing old ones with any type of new ones, you will feel a little difference, sometimes, but starting to dig for power with a new design of sparks seems to be comparable to try to saddle a horse from it' tail.

As long as the ignition system can deliver enough voltage to the sparks and the gap is ok, every type is adequate for our cars. Keep it simple and well maintained!

@ Carl

exactly, that's it, BINGO :)


This thread was discussed between 14/04/2008 and 22/04/2008

MG MGB Technical index

This thread is from the archive. The Live MG MGB Technical BBS is active now.