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Grooved cylinder heads???

Started by shinnlinger, June 15, 2010, 06:55:03 PM

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I read in farmshow about guys taking the cylinder heads off and grinding grooves from the spark plug hole to the edge of the cylinder.  Some will do it to look like a hens foot.  THe idea is it spread the spark to the side if the cylinder where it has more pop or somesuch.  Supposedly increases power AND economy.  Any one HERE done this?


Woodshop teacher, pasture raised chicken farmer
34 horse kubota L-2850, Turner Band Mill, '84 F-600,
living in self-built/milled timberframe home


this would be a bad idea for several reasons.

groves could cut into a water passage
groves would cause hot spots that can cause pre-ignition/detonation
groves of any depth would lower compression ratio
flame migration might be slightly better with some direction but generally a swirling pattern leaving the intake valve swirling past the spark plug getting ignited and continuing to swirl as the piston drops and the exhaust opens swirling out of the exhaust port.

directing the airflow inside the cylinder is more important than any small groves that will catch & hold carbon create hot spots ect.

best bet is to keep engine tuned correctly install good aftermarket spark plugs such as the E3s or the DIAMOND FIRE type plugs.   the V grove ones also work well.
next would be a bump up in the coil output and the following would be better intake air filters such as K&N intake system these small improvements will lead to a much better fuel usage as well as longer engine life better power ect..
Ive been long time hot rod builder but drive daily cars my old 100K mile ford escort would get 38~44 miles / gallon after the above changes were done and add/run full synthetic oil change I averaged 44 MPG for first 3 K miles and 38MPG for next 4K miles on same oil new syn oil change it would go back to 42~43 MPG ave for the first 3K miles on the synthetic oil and slowly drop back to ~38MPG by &K on the oil the fresh oil change & would clean the aftermarket air cleaner I adapted.   I put 35K on the plugs when a brake cyl started leaking mid winter so I parked it and the clutch froze up.   It never moved on its own after that as I had other play toys to drive.   I pushed it to the back of the property where she sat for last 7 years now, I kept it for the engine to stick into ???  soemthing

I'm looking for help all the shrinks have given up on me :o


I think I read an article about a guy in India doing that.  He had plenty of speculation of why it worked.  I don't recall any real evidence that it did actually do anything positive for the engine.

SAF Certified Forester


I remember that article. Very interesting stuff. Quite a few people have experimented with it. Here's a site describing it:

Somender-Singh appears to have a LOT of experience on this:


it is hard to believe that those grooves would make any difference. they would lower the compression ratio a little bit. but probably not enough to matter.
i am not going to pull the head off any of my engines to find out if it works.

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