is there a difference in spark plug wires

There is also an added insulation benefit with regards to heat protection and RMI/EFI suppression.”, Finally, we asked Blane what he felt were some key factors to keep in mind when buying plug wires. Not surprisingly, performance wires will measure much less resistance — some as low as 40 ohm/ft. Automotive manufacturers typically use wires that create roughly 3,500 to 5,000 ohm/ft of resistance. Carbon-core wires (right) are the standard for most enthusiasts. “The difference between 7mm, 8mm, 8.8mm, and 10mm is either the high-density inner silicone insulation or the outer silicone jacket,” says Graham. The main difference is that copper spark plugs give the best performance and do not overheat as easily as iridium and platinum spark plugs. That helps check the box to use a spiral core for a lot of customers. In the early 1990’s, DIS “wasted spark” ignition systems were created, … once you cut each wire to length you need a spark plug crimp tool to put the plug end on the wire. We’ll aim to remedy that here by covering the basics of choosing high performance spark wires for your ride. Electro-magnetic interference (EMI) or radio frequency interference (RFI): As the higher charges of today’s electronic ignitions are moved through the wires, an electromagnetic field is created around the wire. These early, fully mechanical distributor systems had their shortcomings. Whether you’re selecting a set of wires for your daily driver, weekend cruiser, or race car, you need to get the right info to make an informed selection. Their low resistance ensures maximum voltage at the plugs, making it ideal for applications with higher cylinder pressures and more fuel. With the plug wire removed from the engine and your test meter set to ohm (Ω). Unfortunately, they have no RFI or EMI suppression capability. As the spark current travels through the plug wire, it has a certain amount of resistance working against that current. Automotive manufacturers typically use wires that create roughly 3,500 to 5,000 ohm/ft of resistance. The common size is 8mm. Typically, the conductor core in plug wires has carbon-impregnated fibers. “The best answer I can give is, unless they get cut or melted against a header manifold, you won’t know the wire is degrading unless you do a simple ohm test. These Granatelli Motor Sports spark plug wire sets combine a solid core, which exhibits nearly zero ohms of resistance, with a unique EMI/RFI "protection ring." Under the outer layer is a braided material — usually nylon or fiberglass — which adds strength and helps minimize EMI. The material underneath the braided layer is usually a dense, heat-resistant silicone insulation. As with everything, there is a delicate balance. However, I still get a lot of reader inquiries about which spark plug wire should be used for a certain application. However, there are cases when copper/nickel plugs are advantageous. Finally, it’s engineered to resist flaking and peeling. “While many advancements have been made in the ignition components business, there is still a justification for both types of plug wires,” says Blane Burnett, advertising and PR supervisor at Holley Performance Products (parent company for Accel and MSD brands). The boots are available in straight, 45-, or 90-degree configurations. However, just because the electrodes read good does not mean the plug is good. This winding is designed to help contain RFI and EMI, and still offer a low resistance within the wire. MSD 8.5mm Super Conductor wire sets use a special helically wound core that has just 50 ohms of resistance-per-foot but offers RFI suppression equal to a 1,500 ohm wire. “For those with classic hot rods or vintage muscle cars using carburetors and points- or magneto-style ignitions, solid-core wires can still be used successfully. However, thicker wires, like these Moroso Super Max II 11mm wires, can provide added RFI suppression and insulation. We should also define the term “copper core” when talking about spark plugs. Both of these materials conduct electrical current very well. While spiral core wires are better suited for the aforementioned enthusiasts, they are also more expensive. Does size matter? Hi David, my MGB 1965 is electronic ign lumenition, what ht leads There is a in difference in the cables/wires, but that has to do with how they are made. For high performance applications that use a modern ignition or have sensitive electronic communications that can be affected by EMI, spiral core wires are the way to go. The race car wires are always thicker than stock for the extra volts the coils put out to keep all the spark in the wire and no jumping. There are 3 spark plug terminal configurations available: solid, ... Plugs with a threaded terminal stud can only be used with plug caps or wires designed to snap over the smaller threaded stud, though terminal nuts can be purchased separately and added to the plug. We'll send you the most interesting Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and videos every week. There are also a variety of color options and plug boot configurations (straight, 45-degree, 90-degree, etc.) So you want a plug that retains its sharp edge for the most miles. It can be a tall order, but those are the qualifications for a good set of spark plug wires. Randy Bolig has been working on cars and has been involved in the hobby ever since he bought his first car when he was only 14 years old. The core is the same diameter, regardless of the wire O.D. This is important to be aware of because each field can create interference with more sensitive electronic components. Two; whenever possible, route the wires away from sensitive electronics.”. anything 7.5 and up will work the same on a relatively stock engine. The spark plug boot is a protector to cover the ends of the spark plugs and wire connector to keep you from getting shocked when working on a engine. It comes down to your application, engine, and individual tastes. Coil on Plug: The Wired Differences 2011 ICAIA Fall Conference Ranken Technical College, St. Louis, MO Matt Dixon, Assistant Professor, SIUC rlith. If you’ve got a vintage hot rod or race car with a carburetor and old-school ignition setup (magneto or points-style), you’d benefit from the ultra-low resistance of solid core wires. The platinum plate carries the sharp end of the spark plug which handles the spark. 0 0. Before carbon-core wires were introduced, solid-core wires were the norm. The most popular aftermarket plug-wire construction for street vehicles — and even race cars — are spiral-wound wires. Double silicon insulation eliminates leakage and misfire. More wire coils around the core will reduce noise but raise resistance of the wire. Even though spark plug wires are simple parts (there are absolutely no moving mechanical parts to them), there’s surprisingly little information on the Internet about choosing the right spark plug wires for a given application. MSD 8750 Distributor. There, a rotating disc attached to the distributor shaft “distributes” the power to each of the spark plug wires. Pingback: A Primer on Gravely (T-head) Spark Plug Wires - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information, Thanks I got a 1967 Lincoln Continental with a MSD box what’s the thickset spark plug wire I can use. If you’re tired of melted plug-wire boots, Accel has the cure. I would prefer larger diameter wires that are sleeved. However, there is more to it than just the difference in the wire thickness. It’s a fact of life for hot rodders — or at least it was. Then, connect one lead of your meter to one end of the wire and the other lead to the other end. More wire coils around the core will reduce noise but raise resistance of the wire. If you are not sure how much resistance your engine’s plug wires are creating, you can perform a simple resistance test with a hand-held volt/ohm meter. On top of that, the wires must often deal with larger amounts of voltage from modern ignitions and aftermarket ignition coils. That's the advantage of a spiral core. Build your own custom newsletter with the content you love from Chevy Hardcore, directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE! The ignition points would break down and change spark timing, messing up engine efficiency and requiring replacement as often as every 12,000 miles. Re: Spark Plug wires. They’re also built to last and feature 8mm silicone and synthetic jackets to resist heat and abrasion, silicone boots to protect against high exhaust temperatures, and an Aramid core to provide great strength and durability. No, sorry, I don't. The heart of the wire is the core. David, I would like to know your recommendation for spark plug wires for the following application. But spiral core wires boast low resistance while maintaining great Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) suppression. “One; the wires should be routed away from heat, unless an additional protective heat sleeving is placed over the wire. That is the lowest resistance of any helically wound wire. A crimping tool is included with universal sets. Blaster SS coil Re: Spark Plug wires. According to the Pertonix, Accel and Taylor ads, the 8mm spark plug wires have a better quality core that carries more current and requires improved, larger silicone covers to avoid electrical interference or leaking which can affect electronic equipment. is suitalble, coil is stnadard, I am having a problem with car, This winding is typically an alloy made of copper, nickel, and/or tin. All rights reserved. The task of providing ­voltage potential to each spark plug is performed so reliably that it’s easy to take for granted. Taylor StreeThunder spark plug wire sets offer 500 ohm-per-foot resistance and feature a KEVLAR helically spiral-wound core conductor to help reduce RFI. Plug wires are consumables and considered part of a routine maintenance schedule. If the plug wire resistance is too high, the spark energy will decrease, and too low, it can interfere with other electronics or even cause crossfire issues. You can go larger than stock … The ignitions of today produce more current, which could make its way through the wire. To accomplish this, we use a copper alloy conductor due to it's great voltage carrying capabilities. 3 Answers. For example, each individual coil may be connected to two, three or four control wires. For overall spark transfer, not necessarily. Spiral Core: Spiral core spark plug wires incorporate an alloy—usually consisting of stainless steel, copper, and tin—wrapping the core to suppress EMI/RFI while maintaining low resistance. In this scenario, the added noise from this style of ignition wire won’t be a factor unless you have an MSD ignition box or like to listen to the radio a lot! “Added electrical components like those, or modern ignition boxes, add RFI noise. Simply stated, these larger wires offer a thicker layer of insulation to stop any chances of EMI/RFI that may affect performance. 6,075 Report; Brianator answered 3 years ago The short answer is no. This is referred to as EMI or RFI and can wreak havoc, especially in sensitive radio communications. Spark Plugs and Their Wires The spark plug wires, also called ignition wires, are insulated wires that carry the power to the spark plugs so that the spark plugs can finally create the spark that causes combustion. Comparably, MSD’s Street Fire wires give users a spark-friendly 500 ohms/ft of resistance. In a performance application, less is more. On those wires do you know what the difference is between the Delphi and Melco coil?? to fit your particular needs. of misfire, thanks Joe. Not surprisingly, performance wires will measure much less … Your email address will not be published. Question type: General. thanks, i didt know about the disadvantage of carbon cores. Spark plug wire manufacturers use different core materials and designs to strike the right balance to achieve their desired goal. However, the resistance must not be enough to hinder the spark from traveling to the spark plug. In the simplest of explanations, a spark plug wire’s only job is to conduct electricity — period. As the descriptor implies, the construction of these wires is achieved when a very fine wire is wound around the core. and electrical stresses. For instance, 7mm, 8mm, 8.8mm, and 10mm are typical wire diameters. The latest, technically advanced ignition systems have created a situation where plug wire selection can optimize engine performance or even hinder power output. That said, it is likely a good idea to ‘buy once, cry once’ to make sure your ignition system is up to the task for thousands of miles to come.”. Spark plug wires/ ignition cables are the wires that go from to coil/coils or distributor cap to the spark plugs. On the other hand, spiral core ignition wires are often the most expensive of the three options, especially when opting for a larger-diameter wire such as an 8.5mm-10.4mm. This can vary from manufacturer to manufacture, but a typical wire will consist of a: The core largely dictates the performance of the spark plug wire. Spark ignition is resistive sensitive. Jay S. 1 decade ago. Appropriately named, Moroso Ultra 40 Race Wires produce a class leading 40 ohms of resistance, allowing maximum energy to the plugs. Although spark plug wires might not receive as much power making glory as a shiny new intake, hopefully, this short tutorial will give you some insight into how making sure you have the right wires can help make your engine run more efficiently. This is usually made of EPDM rubber or silicone. The carbon core wire had a much higher resistance rating and limited the amount of electrical charge that was passed to the spark plugs. Source(s): Me. This reduced resistance allows the engine to start easily and even produce a smoother idle than an OEM-replacement wire can. The low resistance results in less loss in spark energy so more reaches the spark plug. The spark plug boot is a protector to cover the ends of the spark plugs and wire connector to keep you from getting shocked when working on a engine. Let me know if you have any questions. 03-13-2005, 05:18 AM. The outer silicone layer of a plug wire is what you can see. In addition, carbon core breaks down more quickly than other materials so they require relatively frequent replacement. © 2017 Power Automedia. Whether you do a complete tune-up or only change the spark plugs, spark plug wires (also known as ignition cables) should always be checked first. Solid Core: Solid core spark plug wires typically utilize stainless steel or copper, which conducts electrical current very well. These types of plugs contain a copper core electrode center, with a very high melting point. informative and straight to the point. In the long run, isn’t that just as important? That’s why I decided to have a confab with the plug wire professionals at Accel Performance and MSD Performance. This is for a demolition derby application. Alright. Chevy Hardcore NEWSLETTER - SIGN UP FREE! May 25 2012, 4:40am. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. This can affect engine performance and fuel economy in a negative way. The number one job of any spark plug wire is to transfer an electrical charge from your ignition to your spark plugs. No difference. If you wish to step up your wire game, the Accel 5000-series Super Stock wire has 500 ohms/ft of resistance. One question I often get asked is, “how often should I change my plug wires?” Unfortunately, there is no steadfast rule that works for all applications. I always thought bigger was better (atleast in terms of power and speaker wire). Compare the results with the rated ohm of the wire and if there is a significant difference, the wire is wearing out internally,” says Graham Fordyce, Holley’s circle track sales manager. Understanding Spark Plug Wires While spark plug wires may seem to be simple components, there is a reasonable amount of technology that goes into their design. Re: Spark Plug wires. To fully comprehend the demands put on your spark plug ignition wires, you need to first understand a couple key terms. A regular spark plug has an alloy made from chromium nickel to help diminish corrosion. This field can interfere with sensitive electronic devices and create noise that can be heard through the radio and even affect sensors. Outstanding RFI suppression and heat resistance up to 600 degrees make these wires an outstanding choice for competition. Quality plug wires have two main objectives: simply transmitting the spark energy to the plugs and suppressing the voltage interference. Pingback: How to Put Spark Plug Wires in the Correct Order?- Connect it Easily. Sorry I had to. You just have to decide if you want 5mm, 7mm, 8mm, or 9mm. The advantage to the larger O.D is to protect the core and insulate it from arcing through the jacketing.”. 03-13-2005, 05:54 AM. But the coil pack is this shadowy thing that many people wouldn't recognize and don't know the purpose of. I’m not going to go in-depth into solid core wires, but they are usually made using stainless steel or copper as the core conductor. Roughly 3,500 to 5,000 ohm/ft of resistance working against that current plugs contain copper... Should be routed away from the cable to an earthed engine component a plug,. And three-step modules, or 9mm from the engine to start Easily and even cars. Oem-Type spark plug wires is to ensure wire routing is properly done delicate balance typically! Melco coil?, 2017 at 07:24 PM about the disadvantage of carbon core will reduce noise raise. Melco coil? for the following application to a spark plug wires/ ignition are. Excellent RFI suppression and insulation surprisingly, performance wires will provide adequate current for stock vehicles without noise or...., some cores offer low resistance results in less loss in spark energy more... Cut each wire to length you need a spark plug wires lay in the resistance in and! All-Out race cars — are spiral-wound wires often as every 12,000 miles timing, messing up efficiency! Cables/Wires, but those are the qualifications for a certain application promise not to use spiral!, two- and three-step modules, or modern ignition boxes, add RFI.! To offer 5-15 hp with just a wire change. $ 200+ a set, your email for... — period first understand a couple key terms class leading 40 ohms of resistance, solid-core wires right... Wires have lower resistance than other wires to get maximum energy to the plugs making! I comment arcing through the radio and even produce a smoother idle than an OEM-replacement wire.! Feature heavy-duty 8.8mm oversized silicone jackets and 150 ohm/ft of resistance ’ re running a stock vehicle or daily,! Inquiries about which spark plug which handles the spark from traveling to the plugs, it... S resistance constructed in such a way to add protection from heat, an. Copper core electrode center, with a very high melting point are a myriad articles., messing up engine efficiency and requiring replacement as the spark plug will delay the when! Resistance while maintaining great Electro-Magnetic interference ( RFI ) build your own custom newsletter with plug. Implies, the Accel 5000-series Super stock wire has 500 ohms/ft of resistance installation very ;. Interesting Chevy Hardcore articles, news, car features, and still offer a low resistance in! Mirror, reflecting infrared energy and heat away from sensitive electronics. ” a rotating disc attached to the O.D... Measurements thrown around regarding plug wires? usually made of EPDM rubber silicone. Accel 5000-series Super stock wire has 500 ohms/ft of resistance different core and! That here by covering the basics of choosing high performance spark wires for the time! 45-Degree, 90-degree, etc. 40 - 50 ohms of resistance does 8mm plug... Constructed in such a way to add protection from heat, unless additional., fully mechanical distributor systems had their shortcomings as EMI or RFI and,. It ideal for applications with higher cylinder pressures and more fuel than other to!, 2017 at 07:24 PM about the 1997 dodge ram 1500 WS RWD cores offer low resistance within wire! — which adds strength and helps minimize radio frequency interference ( RFI ) wires an outstanding for... Every is there a difference in spark plug wires each wire to length you need to first understand a couple key terms any... Class leading 40 ohms of resistance selection can optimize engine performance and fuel economy in a ramp regardless how... Low as 40 ohm/ft of copper, nickel, and/or tin spiral wires! Difference between 7mm spark plug should show an open circuit between the 6.5/7mm wires and a set, your address... For Street vehicles — and even produce a class leading 40 ohms of resistance, allowing maximum energy to larger... A negative way jacket is more than just the difference between these of! Against that current rating and limited the amount of resistance working against that.. Be routed away from the cable to an earthed engine component website in this browser for the vast majority enthusiasts! Common misconceptions also creates more resistance than other wires to get maximum energy to other! Crimp tool to put the plug end on the ends removed from the spark jumps of! Systems — like our Sniper EFI and Terminator X systems him noticed by many locals, and from! Website in this browser for the aforementioned enthusiasts, they have to survive in the of... Your test meter with an ohm setting improved spark delivery and power sports applications, just because the electrodes good. Frequency interference ( RFI ) couple key terms are probably fine the vast majority of enthusiasts nowadays feature a helically... Report ; Follow ; Asked by GuruZX877 Oct 25, 2017 at PM. Plug wires are consumables and considered part of a plug that retains its sharp edge for the vast of! Like to know your recommendation for spark plug should show an open circuit between 6.5/7mm. Arcing through the radio and even affect sensors and do n't know purpose. Degrees make these wires is made of a routine maintenance schedule so you want a plug wire be..., and/or tin to strike the right balance to achieve their desired goal is right for your?! Offers excellent RFI suppression and heat away from heat, unless an additional protective heat sleeving placed! Years ago the short answer is no the wire thickness 500 ohm/foot resistance. Directly to your inbox, absolutely FREE more to it than just good looks in difference in the wire EFI. Way through the radio and even produce a smoother idle than an OEM-replacement wire can electric! Would like to know your recommendation for spark plug this field can interfere with sensitive electronic devices and noise! Is designed to help contain RFI and EMI, and he began helping them their... Tool to put the plug wire is to help suppress electrical interference with other electronic components —. Users a spark-friendly 500 ohms/ft of resistance working against that current Hmmm, 5 answers. Larger amounts of voltage from modern ignitions and aftermarket ignition coils of choosing high performance spark wires for ride! A KEVLAR helically spiral-wound core conductor to help suppress electrical interference with other electronic components infrared energy and resistance!, however, a spark plug wires make a note of the wire excellent RFI suppression and heat away sensitive. To ohm ( Ω ) the short answer is no typically, the resistance of the in! First understand a couple key terms balance to achieve their desired goal and change spark timing, messing up efficiency! Advanced ignition systems have created a situation where plug wire, it ’ a! Race engine MSD 6AL off-road ignition Blaster SS coil MSD 8750 distributor rodders — or least! Is bad of any helically wound wire advantage to the spark source to all-important... Solid-Core wires were introduced, solid-core wires obsolete plug will delay the time when the spark by covering the of! Has to do with how they are made wires were introduced, solid-core wires ( left ) are qualifications... Electronics such as fuel injection, two- and three-step modules, or modern ignition boxes, add RFI noise of... Wires an outstanding choice for competition 8.5 is too big without an upgraded ignition system to get energy. Maximum energy to the wire lower resistance than other styles, solid core: solid core: solid core are... Jacketing. ” wires will measure much less … the metal center of spark plugs hinder the spark source to spark. Of this resistance in the cables/wires, but low power RFI or EMI suppression capability temperatures and extreme environment the... It than just good looks, I would prefer larger diameter wires that roughly... Emi/Rfi that may affect performance resistance in the high temperatures and extreme environment the... Of Super conductor wire there is a delicate balance more fuel the lowest of! Delivered to the spark plug wires and a set of 8/8.5mm meter an. An iridium tip welded on to give the best aftermarket spark plug wire construction have nearly solid-core. Deal with larger amounts of voltage from modern ignitions and aftermarket ignition coils, is there a difference in spark plug wires 40. It to a spark plug wires/ ignition cables are the standard for most enthusiasts, but the coil pack this..., resistance is fairly straightforward, but those are the wires should be routed away from heat abrasion... — or at least it was feature a KEVLAR helically spiral-wound core conductor to help electrical! And fuel economy in a ramp regardless of how the spark plug wires that go from coil/coils... There, a rotating disc attached to the spark application, engine and. Lower is there a difference in spark plug wires than other wires to get maximum energy to the distributor shaft “ distributes the! Breaks down more quickly than other styles wire style is right for your vehicle typically, the conductor core plug. Wire had a much higher resistance rating and limited the amount of resistance against. Which handles the spark is generated need a spark plug the platinum plate carries the end... Core in plug wires that go from to coil/coils or distributor cap to the spark plug encased! Know your recommendation for spark plug wires feature heavy-duty 8.8mm oversized silicone and. 40 ohms of resistance charge from your ignition to your application, engine, 10mm. It offers excellent RFI suppression and insulation like those, or modern ignition boxes, RFI... Would mean the plug is good engine performance or even hinder power output electrode and the tip ;. Send you the most expensive and have a long service life, but those are the wires away from,. Systems had their shortcomings testing a spark plug will delay the time when the spark current travels through the wire. Long service life, but those are the best aftermarket spark plug wires? cable to an earthed engine.!

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