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Unleashing the Power of Ignition: An In-Depth Look at FuelTech's FTSPARK

February 05, 2024

In the world of high-performance automotive engineering, the quest for more power, efficiency, and reliability is never-ending. At FuelTech, a leader in advanced engine management and monitoring systems, we understand that high performance engines require an ignition that delivers a powerful spark consistently, which led to the development of our FTSPARK Capacitive Discharge Ignition system. Designed to work on just about any engine combination, and proven on race cars with over 5,000 horsepower. As a complete standalone ignition, the FTSPARK is compatible with most aftermarket ECUs. This groundbreaking ignition has redefined the standards of ignition systems in high-performance engines. In this article, we delve into what makes the FTSPARK a game-changer in the automotive world.

FuelTech FTSPARK-8 ignition system for high horsepower applications like racing.

What is the FTSPARK?

The FTSPARK is an integral part of FuelTech’s advanced engine management ecosystem, but it is not limited to being used with FuelTech ECUs. It's an ignition module designed for high-energy discharge, ensuring more power and efficiency in engine performance. It stands out in the market for its ability to provide an exceptionally strong and consistent spark, a critical factor in engine combustion efficiency, especially in high-boost or high-compression engines.

The standard FTSPARK is available in 4, 6, or 8 coil models that generate a spark with up to 750mJ (mJ=mili Joules) of energy and are capable of firing the spark with 140 Amps of current in the coil primary. The FTSPARK Extreme generates a spark with up to 1750mJ (mJ=mili Joules) of energy and is capable of firing the spark with 175 Amps of current in the primary of the coil with FuelTech's CDI Racing Ignition Coils. The FTSPARK Extreme is available as a single unit for 4 cylinder applications or dual boxes for 6 and 8 cylinder applications.

FuelTech recommends pairing the FTSPARK ignition with their CDI Racing Coils. Pairing a different CDI coil with the FTSPARK may reduce the ignition’s performance or lead to coil damage. FuelTech is offering free CDI Racing Ignition Coils and plugs with the purchase of any FTSPARK ignition through the end of February 2024.

FuelTech CDI Racing Coils for FTSPARK Ignition

Pairing the FTSPARK with a PowerFT ECU

FuelTech FTSPARK Ignition paired with the FT600 ECU.

While the FTSPARK is compatible with almost any aftermarket ECUs on the market, the full range of features are accessible when paired with an ECU from our PowerFT line, including the FT600, FT550, FT550LITE, and FT450. Energy level is programmable based on rpm and boost. You can also gain valuable feedback from the FTSPARK by viewing the ignition’s data on your ECU log. The FTSPARK’s data logger channels provide information on discharge time, supply voltage, supply voltage drop, and capacitor data. Internal temperature sensors can trigger protection protocols, preventing damage.

Key Features and Technologies

  1. High Energy Discharge: The FTSPARK is engineered to deliver a more powerful spark compared to traditional ignition systems. This high-energy discharge is crucial for ensuring complete combustion, when using extremely rich fuel mixtures.
  2. Programmable Energy: Customize your spark via CAN or digital input.
  3. Advanced Timing Control: With precise timing control, the FTSPARK allows for optimized combustion at various engine speeds and conditions. This flexibility is essential for engines that operate across a wide range of RPMs and under varying load conditions.
  4. Automotive Connector with Gold-Plated Terminals: For superior conductivity.
  5. Integration with Engine Management Systems: The FTSPARK is designed to work seamlessly with FuelTech’s engine management systems like the FT600, FT550, and FT450, allowing for a cohesive and integrated approach to engine tuning and performance. However, the FTSPARK may be used with most aftermarket ECUs.
  6. Durability in Extreme Conditions: Recognizing the demanding environments of high-performance motorsports, the FTSPARK is built to withstand extreme conditions and temperatures up to 212 F, ensuring reliability and consistency.
  7. CAN Communication with FuelTech PowerFT ECUs: Diagnostic and datalogging features provide insight into your ignition's performance.
  8. Rotary Engine Compatibility: FTSPARK 4 is compatible with rotary engines (for 2 rotors use 1 FTSPARK 4, for 3 rotors use 2 FTSPARK 4s).
  9. Backed by a 1 year manufacturer warranty and FuelTech’s industry leading tech support.
FuelTech's FTSPARK in drag car breathing fire on the line

Benefits for High-Performance Applications

  • Enhanced Engine Efficiency: By providing a stronger and more consistent spark, the FTSPARK ensures better combustion, translating into more power and efficiency from the engine.
  • Improved Engine Response and Power Output: The precise timing control leads to improved engine response, especially in high-demand situations like racing or high-performance power sports applications.
  • Reliability in Extreme Conditions: High-performance engines need components they can rely on, and the FTSPARK’s robust design ensures reliability even under the most strenuous conditions.

User Experiences and Applications

The FTSPARK has already gained a reputation in the high-performance community. Users report noticeable improvements in engine start-up, throttle response, and the ability to run at richer air fuel ratios than before. . It's become a go-to choice for racing professionals and enthusiasts who demand the best from their engines, whether on the track, the water, or anywhere in between.

FuelTech's FTSPARK and FTSPARK Extreme are race-proven ignition systems. Their blend of high-energy discharge, advanced timing control, and durability makes the FTSPARK ignition an invaluable tool for anyone looking to push the limits of their vehicle's performance, especially in high horsepower applications. As the automotive world continues to evolve, technologies like the FTSPARK from FuelTech will be at the forefront, driving innovation and excellence in high-performance engines.

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