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  #1  
Old 08-10-2007, 04:14 PM
bcomo bcomo is offline
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Default Spark Plug Wires -- Which Ones ???

I got this flyer along with a spring that I ordered from Daytona Parts Co. (Carburetor).

I wanted to post this -- but PLEASE don't shoot the messenger. I don't know exactly what to make of it, and offer it for discussion.

"Daytona Parts offers new high quality "Metallic Core" spark plug wire sets for all pre-1970 vehicles.

These wires were made to operate and deliver correct voltages to the spark plugs thru low-resistance metallic solid core wires.

If you operate your pre-1970 vehicle with newer HEI supression RFI wires (Bart note: the ones that look like carbon core), you are causing low voltage to the spark plugs, which may result in hard starting, poor gas mileage, decreased performance, rich running, fouled plugs, and other symptoms that seem carburetor related.

All american ignition systems from 1974 and up, use HEI (High Energy Ignition) with output of 35,000 to 45,000 Volts. Your original point sytem runs in the 20,000 Volt range, and will not be able to provide the necessary voltage through modern HEI wires."
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Last edited by bcomo : 08-10-2007 at 05:14 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-10-2007, 04:33 PM
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Cool

U many be on 2 something there "bcomo"....
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  #3  
Old 08-10-2007, 05:12 PM
bcomo bcomo is offline
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I just spent $40 on a new set of HEI type wires. I didn't know that the old kind were still availabe, and to tell the truth, I never thought about it.

Jon: Where abouts in Texas are you? I'm in San Antonio -- are you HOT enough there??
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:31 PM
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hi Bart

Without alot of research I think you are headed in the right direction.

Let's think about the basics of spark plug wires for a sec. On the one hand you want as much of the spark that your (somewhat feable) coil is putting out as possible to ignite all the gas you can. Note your spark plug gap is supposed to be .032 to .035 which indicates there isn't all that much spark to work with. On the other hand people didn't want the sparks scrambling their radios (which also weren't all that great) so something less than solid metal (very low resistance = little loss of spark) wires were used (put an Ohmeter on your new ones - readings are in the tens of thousands of ohms). As you have correctly noted, newer cars have higher output coils (note how much wider modern gaps are) and thus the wires can be made to be merciful to the radios (meaning higher resistance). I am told that the higher resistance wires also cut down on electronic noise that can screw up the onboard computers, but I cannot vouch for this myself.

But your coil does not have the higher, modern output (unless you have swapped it out) so as noted, if you use modern wires, you squander what modest spark you began with.

In short (no pun), this is very likely sound advice and an appropriate product. In fact I am gonna see what I have for resistance on mine and perhaps upgrade.

If you do buy some, would you put a multimeter on one and see what you have for resistance??? I would be most curious.

I will give you an example of old and modern not mixing well. When I bought my TBird in 2003, the previous owner had installed new points, plugs, cap and wires. The car would often barely not start or not start at all when hot. I checked all kinds of things and came up empty. Finally it turned out that the plugs were at a "modern" gap of about .043" . I closed the gap down to .032" and the car started and ran fine thereafter. I now have it back to .045 but only after installing an MSD high output coil.

Bottom line: anything conducive to the best possible spark is good, in my book.

John
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Old 08-10-2007, 05:58 PM
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JohnG:

So, your current (no pun) wires, are HEI wires same as mine? I'm using the Pertronix Coil with 12 volts to it. That should up the Volts to those wires, same as your MDS coil should.

If you take an Ohm reading on yours, measure the length of the wire that you used and let me know what the Ohms were. I'll do the same on a similar length and let you know.

But I'm wondering -- isn't the final judgement the way the plug looks? I mean, if the plugs are cream colored, then isn't the combustion correct? Or, is that just correct mixture?

I'd hate to change wires just for the sake of doing it.
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:17 PM
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hi Bart

I don't know what mine are...I have never changed them. I did go through them with the multimeter a year ago to see if any had problems. I have notes on what resistance values I got which I will look up. I will put up another post when I dig those out.

Basically you are correct... if the plug is firing properly (as evidenced by how it looks and how the car runs) then things must be set up correctly.

If you are (as I am) looking for a little improvement and better gas mileage, then a better coil and better spark are a goal. If the wires are an impediment to that, then I would look for alternatives. I had not thought about the wires in awhile so I am glad you got me thinking about them.

Since this is a "system" (ignition), whenever you change one component or setting, a strong possibility exists something else either will suffer or need to be changed. A high output coil is tougher on the points. Higher resistance wires impact the spark... etc etc.

Semi related story: about 40 years ago we had antennae TV (got 4 stations on a good night). Each night about 8:00 one of the neighbors would drive by in his pick up truck and the TV would respond as he had solid copper core wires. ("there goes Paul".... sure enough I would look out the window and see his truck) My father noted at one point the pattern had become ragged. He called the guy up and suggested he consider a tuneup. Sure enough, two plugs were not firing. Next night, when he went by, the perfectly regular pattern on the TV reappeared at 8:00.

John
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Old 08-10-2007, 06:50 PM
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I like that story of the truck with the copper core wires.
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  #8  
Old 08-10-2007, 07:46 PM
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....cheap way to get your vehicle tuned up "on a scope" !!

I looked in my notebook and found my wires last fall had readings in the ball park of 8.5 using the 20K scale on the ohmeter, so I am taking that as meaning 8500 ohms.

I just changed the wires in my Subaru so I will get one of the discarded ones and see what it has for a value.

Later on.... I found a discarded one from my wifes Saturn. I got a reading of 5.5 on the 20K scale. I then took the wire to the #1 cylinder of the TBird and got 11.4 on the same scale. Now the TBird wire is about twice as long as the Saturn wire, and resistance is proportional to length, so it would seem these wires are made out of the same material and have the same resistance (per inch). The TBird wire has some printing on it about silicone core.

This being the case, by what Bart quotes, I have the wrong wires. So Bart, if you don't want those wires, send 'em along!
John

PS: Do these Daytona guys have a "Contact Us" kind of email address or website ?

For you TX guys, I am in MA and the outside temp is 55. No fooling. Got a heavy shirt on.

Last edited by JohnG : 08-10-2007 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 08-10-2007, 11:47 PM
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I also got kick out of the antenna story. Who would think that's possible.

The wires that I have on the car now now are new Autolite HEI type wires (the carbon core ones) that are higher resistance. My AP45 plugs are pure cream colored, so that's why I'm wondering if I should even buy the metallic core wire that Daytona is talking about.

Talk to Ron at Daytona Parts Co. in FL (386-427-7108). This guy is very easy to talk to, and is extremely knowledgable about carbs, and ignition. He will actually tell you much more than you wanted to know.

Their web site is http://www.daytonaparts.com/

Note: They do not list the plug wires on their web site. You have to speak to Ron about them, as they were just in the flyer that I got. Price is $40 + shipping. They are universal sets, so the plug boots are attached, but you have to cut the wire to length and install the distributor boots. They are all black, just like stock.

Tomorrow, I'll take an Ohm reading of one of the wires on my car and let you know what I got. I'm interested too.

P.S. Enjoy your cool weather !!!
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Last edited by bcomo : 08-10-2007 at 11:50 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2007, 11:59 PM
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I do believe modern wires reduce by a small amount the energy going to spark plug but I think it is related to plug gap size.How much smaller I dont know and how would you test all the wires on a running engine without some special equipment. How much energy is needed to jump the spark plug gap, anymore is wasted. Run new modern wires-close the gap on the plugs, just as you would increase it with the Pertronix. Just installed new Motorcraft replacement wires on my 60 430 and it runs better than the old wires.
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