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View Full Version : Plug wires - anything of quality out there?



bigjones
11-08-2010, 09:25 AM
Just got a "high quality" set from BPNW for the 1500. I'm a bit disappointed - they have the straight rubber boot whereas the picture showed the (old fashioned?) right angle (plastic?) connector to the spark plugs.

The straight boots are fine if you plan on never taking them off - they stick to the plug and keep the moisture out. Even if you smear dielectric grease all over the plug and then turn the connector clockwise, anti-clockwise, they are a bear to get off. Usually resulting in the back of the hand contacting something sharp when they do let go. Once even tried using the special tool to pull the old leads off - all that done was to rip the metal connector off the wire.

Not sure whether to send the wires back. They are made by "Powertune" - anybody heard of them?

It would be nice to get to the same level of ignition tune up as on my Camry - there I replace dist cap, rotor, wires and plugs every 60k miles, whether they need it or not, ha!

In other words, I'm looking for a high quality set of wires, preferably with the right angle plastic boot that will last a fair while.

Any suggestions?

Cheers.

PS. I'm not ragging on BPNW - all parts I get from them are usually very good quality, as far as I can make out.

aeronca65t
11-08-2010, 09:44 AM
I go to Aircraft Spruce and buy the solid core wires and connectors and make up my own. The connectors for solid core wire are more like the old Lucas stuff.
Works great unless you have a radio.

You can also buy solid core wire and connectors at your local motorcycle shop (Harleys use them).

I have read that you are not supposed to use solid core wires with the Pertronix unit, but I've had this setup for almost 10 years......no problem.

Spridget64SC
11-08-2010, 10:01 AM
Haven't had to build a set of wires in quite a while, but this is what I like to do. Go down to my local parts place (in this case A****ce, since its close and I work at the plant with the managers brother) and get them to pull some sets off the wall and let me take them out of the box and look at them. Usually some kind of V8 set that has the right sparkplug end I'm looking for, wire diameter and "Feel" and then I cut and fit the other end to the particular vehicle and it's particular distributor cap or "distributor-less" ignition system. A V8 set lets me have two sets for the in-line 4.

I've also bought bulk sparkplug wire in the past and made up my own as well. If I'm looking for a particular look (RAJAH Clips or Champion boots or Bumble Bee wire), then that is what has to be done. Sometimes, you have a particular wire type that the ignition system maker says to avoid. Then it helps to look at the wires themselves. Not too many really knowledgeable parts purveyors anymore. Plenty of people that can drive a computer and find the part number the computer tells them is assigned to that car, but not too many that really know the parts themselves.

Not sure about the "Powertune" stuff.

HTH,
Mike Miller

Guest
11-08-2010, 11:10 AM
No biggie, use needle nose pliers and uncrimp the end and reinstall it on the wire and recrimp. You'd have to do the same with a cut-to-fit set.

I have Accel solid coil wires on my car. You can get 4 sets out of them. The only thing I HATE about them is they make my inductive timing light go nuts. No radio noise to speak of, just the light picks up signal;s some times about three feet from the car. Still tiimes good, just the tach goes crazy.

I prefer straight boots at the plugs, that way you're 100% sure you're on the plug and not to the side of it. Another plus is you can slide the boot up till the tip is exposed, snap it on and slide the boot down as far or as little as you want. I set mine deep.

I hate sticky boots too, it happens. Consider moving the boots as oil change maint.

drooartz
11-08-2010, 01:12 PM
have Accel solid coil wires on my car. You can get 4 sets out of them. The only thing I HATE about them is they make my inductive timing light go nuts. No radio noise to speak of, just the light picks up signal;s some times about three feet from the car. Still tiimes good, just the tach goes crazy.
I've got the same problems with mine (Accel solid core wires as well). I find that my older light seems to work better than my new one.

1974MGMidget
11-08-2010, 02:07 PM
While we're on the subject, what about the other end - the distributor cap? Any thoughts on side entry vs. top? I had the side entry until I replaced the cap recently and went with a top plug in. Works the same, but the wires coming out are real close to the bodywork. The plug ins are alot more convenient than the side entry that you have to drive a screw into. Just wondered what you're using and pros and cons of each.

Sarastro
11-08-2010, 02:44 PM
Resistor wires or plugs might help the timing-light problem. Triggering it from three feet away is really impressive. Electronic ignitions sometimes put out more than one pulse, and if the timing-light's sensor is fairly sensitive, it could bollix it up (sorry for the technical terminology) pretty well.

If you use a side-entry cap, I think you have to use 7mm wire (going from memory here; correct me if I have it wrong), which is somewhat less common. Also, you can't use resistor wire, as the screw in the cap that punctures the wire won't make a reliable connection.

I'd be careful about trying to modify resistor wire. It's hard to make a good connection to it. Solid core wire is easy, though.

I really doubt that there would be a problem with the Pertronix and solid-core wire. I can't think of a reason why that would be the case. Also, I have a Pertronix and solid wire in my Porsche, and it works fine.

Guest
11-08-2010, 04:24 PM
I'd be careful about trying to modify resistor wire. It's hard to make a good connection to it. .

Some come in kit form. It's the same as a factory wire that pulled out.

It doesn't alway trigger from three feet. I was impressed too.

Guest
11-08-2010, 04:26 PM
Tell you what Mr. Jones. Several members have helped me out with free stuff when I needed it. In that spirit, if you'd like, I'll make you up a set of solid core wires and send them to you......BUT, your timing light may not like them.

startech47
11-08-2010, 04:42 PM
NAPA has all the parts you need to make up a set of wires. They sell the solid core wire by the foot.

bigjones
11-08-2010, 04:48 PM
Kellysguy,

That is a most generous offer. However, I couldn't possibly accept. I'll hang on to this BPNW set. Couldn't be bothered sending it back - do you ever get like that or is it just me?

I wonder if you could start a business though - I'm sure plenty of folk would buy some off you.

The solid core's ability to disrupt a radio is, to my mind, a positive selling point. I think rap music is absolutely fantastic but I'd rather not listen to it, if you don't mind.

Cheers!

Guest
11-08-2010, 06:42 PM
Kellysguy,

I wonder if you could start a business though - I'm sure plenty of folk would buy some off you.

Cheers!

Na, too easy to do yourself. I have some left from the last Accel kit I bought; enough to do another car.

Guest
11-08-2010, 06:44 PM
NAPA has all the parts you need to make up a set of wires. They sell the solid core wire by the foot.

That's good to know.

Billm
11-08-2010, 07:02 PM
Yep- its called "Packard 44" or something like that
BillM

leecreek
11-08-2010, 07:21 PM
Packard 440 and Rajah clips. Classic

Guest
11-08-2010, 07:28 PM
Yep- its called "Packard 44" or something like that
BillM
Packard 440 and Rajah clips. Classic




(steps to counter) "Yes, I'd like a 44 pack of Ray's classic clips please."

dklawson
11-08-2010, 07:56 PM
I have a modified set of Accel wires on the Mini (part of a Chevy V8 set). I never noticed any problems on my tack or timing light. In fact, I got a new Actron digital timing light with built in tachometer for father's day and the first place I tried it was on the Mini. No problems on that tach or the one I had been using for years before the new one.

bigjones
11-08-2010, 08:38 PM
Doug,

How do you like that Actron timing light?
Can you dial back the timing?
Is the tach feature accurate?
How long do you think it will last?

(too many questions, but Christmas is coming and that means prezzies!!)

Cheers!

scoutll
11-08-2010, 09:24 PM
FWIW.
Powertune used to be Champion's low priced bargain brand. I suppose it probably still is.

Guest
11-08-2010, 09:51 PM
FWIW.
Powertune used to be Champion's low priced bargain brand. I suppose it probably still is.

I sold Chumpions for years and always told customers, "I wouldn't put Chumpions in my lwanmower".....and I don't.

Pythias
11-09-2010, 08:58 AM
I'm a believer in simple maintenance so I get the plug in caps from the later model cars so I can use standard wire sets. Currently I'm running a Bosch set with 90 degree ends as sold by Jeff at Advance Distributors.

bigjones
11-09-2010, 01:17 PM
a Bosch set with 90 degree ends as sold by Jeff at Advance Distributors. Now you're talking! They look like the real deal.


...Chumpions... :lol:Good one!


FWIW.
Powertune used to be Champion's low priced bargain brand. I suppose it probably still is.
That settled it.
I've just emailed BPNW saying I was hoping for the right angle set but got a straight set. They emailed right back and said to keep this set and they were sending out the correct set at no charge.
Pretty decent of them, I say.

Cheers!

dklawson
11-09-2010, 07:51 PM
The Actron timing light is nice but I have only used it once or twice so far. I asked for it after reading the reviews at Amazon. They were all 4 & 5 out of a possible 5. The other common advance lights with tach are made by Equus and I remember that they had a much lower review rating with many people complaining that the units failed very quickly.

The Actron light I have is model CP7529. The tach appears to be accurate and the controls are simple and easy to use. I recommend this light to anyone who needs one. Compare prices but it will be hard to find a better deal than Amazon.

drooartz
11-09-2010, 08:51 PM
Thanks for the model info, Doug. I'm not happy with mine at all -- it is very unreliable with my solid-core wires. Tach is 100% useless, actually.

My birthday is coming up, maybe a gift to me. :smile:

Guest
11-09-2010, 10:28 PM
Thanks for the model info, Doug. I'm not happy with mine at all -- it is very unreliable with my solid-core wires. Tach is 100% useless, actually.

My birthday is coming up, maybe a gift to me. :smile:

Just get new wires and keep the light.

drooartz
11-10-2010, 09:19 AM
Just get new wires and keep the light.
So now I'm confused... are there solid core wires that won't mess up a timing light? I've got a side-entry cap, so figured I needed the solid core wires to get a good connection at the distributor cap.

aeronca65t
11-10-2010, 09:29 AM
Yeah, with side entry cap you should really use solid core wires (that's the setup I have).

I'm not familiar with the problems related to the timing light. I have two different, inductive timing lights (I forget the brand names) and they both work fine on my solid core wires.

1974MGMidget
11-10-2010, 10:32 AM
Several people have mentioned problems with solid core wires and radio interference. Does anyone have experience with solid core wires and using MP3 type players through a radio? Is the interference from picking up the ignition pulses through the antenna (which shouldn't be a problem with an ipod) or through the amplifier section of the radio?