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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed the Elky was running funny down the road. I pulled the hood open to see if maybe my dizzy was off or something timing related, and it was then I saw spark after spark jumping from the plug wires to the exhaust manifold and other metal parts.

I get home and pull the wires to notice their all brittle and cracking (the outer protective layer)

These are fairly new Autolites. I am now not too fond of autolite anything :let_it_all_out:

Anyway, I need a set of wires FAST, for I have a cruise night in less than 24 hours. But I dont want to throw away $20 on a set of POS brand wires. I have HEI dizzy and want as much spark as I can get, especially since that means better fuel economy, and I'm young and poor.

What brand wires should I get for daily driving use for my small block 400 with HEI distributor. Colors are nice, but I'll take a black set if they were good.

I need them tomorrow, so I need to be able to get them at a store, no mail order.

Thanks for all your help, I really want to get the elky at the cruise night tomorrow, but dont want to ruin the engine running while missing a cylinder.
 

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I use AC Delco on my 87 & Accel on my 84 !!
You should be able to find some good wires at the local parts store !
ACCEL, AC DELCO,TAYLOR, MSD are good wires !
 

· ZERO MPG
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I'm looking towards Accel and Delco. Any other thoughts??


I'm installing a set of these tomorrow. Everybody say Taylor makes good .wires.:secret:




 

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Pay a little more attention to the routing when you run your new ones. If the old ones are arching to the manifold maybe you have them too close. Don't ruin another set. If they are laying on the manifolds it won't matter what brand they are they will get brittle and start arching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Now I must also find wire protectors !
Thanks for the heads up! I dont wanna ruin another set. Luckily this first set was under $10 on rock auto, so not too bad of a loss
 

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Heat and Oil are the Killers...
(Silicone Jacketing has the best resistance to heat)
Route the new ones to avoid both...

Autolite is a Price Point product brand...Avoid.
Be carefull of the flashy performance brands...they do not make the wire, and most of it is marketing hype!


NAPA has Quality wires, and are locally available.
 

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Better Wires....

I know you just purchased 'ACCEL' brand wires. Perhaps they'll last for a bit; However, their Silicon cover is super soft and cheap, and prone to damage/cuts/abrasions. Taylor makes a great wire, and I've used them a lot. I also have checked the ohm resistance of a Taylor wire compared to an MSD wire and the MSD wires flow with less resistance hands down every time (less resistance = bigger spark to the plug).

for factory wires the AC Delco's are definitely a winner. Feel free to check the Internet to verify any of this info.
 

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Less resistance does not equal less energy. It's more complicated than that...

The coil builds an electromagnetic field based on the saturation time (we called that Dwell in the old Pont days) The Rotor Gap, the Spark Plug Gap and the Resistance in the wire deturmine when the coil will release the energy that is stored up in it and fire. You can actually advance or retard the firing of each cylinder by adjusting the plug gap. (Micro Tuning - Best done with a Scope and a 4 Gas analyzer).

The greater the total resistance the longer it takes the coil to fire...It builds a higher voltage, overcomes the resistance and releases more energy. The new High Energy coils use larger plug gap than the old coils for this reason...If the resistance were too low, the coil will only produce enough spark to jump the gap.

Newer cars have individual coils to allow longer saturation times (Or Dwell) instead of a coil firing 8 times, it only fires once giving the magnetic field longer to saturate the windings in the coil and produce even more energy.

Most Performance wires will not live on the street...The silicone is Clay Based for High Heat performance applications, not wet / Oily / Dirty street use. They assume you have a clean engine and Heat is the only issue...They will get soft, spongey, absorb water and leak energy...eventually they get brittle and the outer jacket will fall off in chunks...

A Quality set of Belden or whatever OE style wires kept ayay from the heat will outlast most Trick wires on the street.

By the way, It's the resistance in the wire that keeps the Noise out of the Radio and other electronics...Without that Resistance (Also known as Supression Wire in the old days) you have created a Spark Gap Transmitter...Ok at the Drags to use solid or low resistance wire, but not on the street...Click-Click-Click everytime it fires...
 

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Just my .02 cents , I have had good luck using the Life Time warranty spark plug wires from Auto Zone , I believer they come in the 8.2 or 8.4 diameter wires , never had any problems ... if they act up , just take them back for an exchange for another new set .... Thanks the Geezer :nanawrench:
 

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sparky wires what to/not buy

So many wire choices, so many application uses....

Well Now; for the average driver, you can see there are some basic good quality wires out there.
If you need to eek out every drop of performance, you will need to upgrade to a heavier duty, less ohm resistant wire and match it to your plugs.
If you install an MSD add on ignition, you'll have to be even more specific.
If you're science orriented- Buy 69/84 a cup of coffee and start to listen. He's absolutely correct in the holistic approach and I've never had to think it through to the engineering side before; although I'm still processing why you would want to use a more resistant wire in some specialized application. Did I miss something??? Nitro
 
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