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Never say "It can't get any worse"... Unilite, plugs, wires, etc.. need help...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Buzznut, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    Well damn, not sure if I'm unlucky or just a victim of the crappy-parts-quality we keep finding more and more these days.

    Since the NGK's I had in my 327 fouled after only 300 miles, I've replaced them with Autolite 85's. Anyone who's been watching the board can see my thread about the China crap quality I found in 4 out of 8 of these plugs. Long story short, I found 8 decent 85's...all from Mexico. i installed them and the 327 fired up...and...proceeded to run like $h!t. I listen for about 30 seconds (won't idle for nothing) and it sounds like the right bank has a miss. I pull the #2 wire while it's running and it doesn't change a thing - #2 wire fouled. I proceed to pull#4 and it runs worse...put it back on and pull #6 and get shocked - check, #6 wire is fine. I pull shock, no arc, doesn't change how it runs - #8 wire fouled. These are Moroso BlueMax that I paid nearly $70 for about 6 months ago and two out of 8 are already fouled! Are these ALSO Made in China?

    So, I use some old Autolite wires I have and bypass my fouled (brand new) BlueMax it doesn't have a miss, but is still running like garbage. I pull the air cleaner and inspect. I slowly push on the linkage and listen to the carb as it's coughing, sputtering, can't meter the fuel. Sounds like an emulsion tube is blocked. I tear it down, not only is it blocked, but the coating that was on it from the factory is coming off...clogging the tube. Is this ALSO Made in China!!!

    I found the Edelbrock Performer that I bought back in 1998 - Stamped right on it "Made in USA", nice smoothed casting, no excess flashing, sturdier design, better plating - I'll be rebuilding this one and scrapping the other one.

    First off, I simply CANNOT believe that ALL of these problems happened at once - it was running like a beast just a week ago. And second, I cannot believe the crap out there being sold to us as "useable" or "quality" parts.

    BTW: Does anyone know if Moroso BlueMax are in fact made in China? Also, if I'm running a Unilite distributor, could that have fouled these wires? I was told that I have to run resisted wires, but an older buddy who has been a master mechanic for over 35 years is telling me to run solid wire, unresisted wires. Any suggestions on good plug wires?
  2. mammyjammer
    Joined: May 23, 2009
    Posts: 506

    from Area 51

    My last two weeks has been spent chasing gremlins, so I feel your pain.

    Here's a great link on Uni Lite testing:

    Also check the wires to the module where they enter the dist. I had them wear through due to a bad groment.

    I swapped out my Blue Max wires for a set of Taylors and they seem OK so far. Never had any problems with resisitor wires on anything I have.
  3. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 26,150

    Jalopy Joker

    so, maybe go one step at a time: plugs fouling due to carb not functioning properly? or do plug wires seem to have cracks or other problems? engine not burning oil? what coil are you running? use ballast resistor? distributor cap OK inside and out? timing checked? intake manifold leak? post a pic of your engine and, of fouled plugs. Taylor, Accel, etc have good resistor wires.
  4. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    Step 1) remove all Chinaland crap....

  5. Airwolf
    Joined: Jun 30, 2013
    Posts: 37


    Often wondered if the Chinese think that stuff made in China is quality stuff....
  6. studebaker46
    Joined: Nov 14, 2007
    Posts: 675


    I could never get any thing but ac plugs to work in 327 . ac gm autolite ford and champion chrysler
  7. chopolds
    Joined: Oct 22, 2001
    Posts: 5,893

    from howell, nj
    1. Kustom Painters

    Just because a cylinder is dead doesn't mean you have bad spark plugs, or wires. If you've been fouling plugs, of different manufacture, relatively few miles/hours on them, I'd start looking at other problems.
    What's the condition of the engine? Rebuilt? Supposedly low miles? Junkyard one, of unknown origin?
    V8 Chevies are famous for having valve seals, and guides go bad. Esp. on your end cylinders, but can happen anywhere. Do the plugs have deposits on them? Wet, fuel smelling ones? BLack or brown oily ones? Ro powdery tan/whitish ones?
    Do you have good compression? If not, do a cylinder leakdown to isolate where the pressure is going...tailpipe, intake, or out your oil cap/PCV?
    If you keep replacing the same parts and still have problems, look somewhere else.
    I do agree about the shitty Chinese, Indian, Paki, parts being sold to us...WAY too many failures of brand new parts!
  8. Fairlane Mike
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 389

    Fairlane Mike

    I've had plug problems too, lately. Chinese crap is CRAP!! I've been digging out old American plugs, cleanin' 'em amd puttin' 'em back in. Plugs can be cleaned many times. Another trick is to "side-gap" them. 2 stroke plugs used to be made this way. Helps to keep them from fouling. Have a nice day!!
  9. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 3,171

    from illinois

    I know you've got it in your head that the "chinesium" parts are your problem ,before you go off the deep end , stop & do some diagnosis , make sure all your parts are compatible , check your plug wires w/ an ohm meter , read the century performance mallory help info, take a breath , lower your blood pressure , LIFE IS SHORT !!
  10. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,646


    Fouled plug wires? Listen to chopolds.
  11. rockfish
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 445


    What he said. Don't let your unreasonable hatred of China keep you from diagnosing in a reasonable way. Better dead than red.

    p.s. This thread almost makes me nostalgic for the goog old days of poor quality parts from Mexico, India and eastern Europe. They knew how to make a quality shitty part. :D
  12. Mustangclyde
    Joined: Aug 1, 2008
    Posts: 7


    also, consider the coating coming off of the carb as a result of alcohol in the fuel, it is not compatible with older cars, need to run marine gas or 91 octane to get away from it.
  13. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,539

    from Oregon

    I feel your pain, as I too have been chasing all sorts of little problems on my recently completed Falcon gasser. Many were carb related, from stuck floats flooding the engine, to stuck check balls on the accelerator pump circuit, to poorly cut threads on my balancer that sent the gilmer pulley sailing off to never never land!
    Mine is running well again, but still fine tuning, and checking everything two-three times now.
  14. derpr
    Joined: Mar 11, 2007
    Posts: 257


    sounds like its time for a compression test, ohm out your spark plug wires. and I run a resistor before the coil on my unilite. check your cap and rotor too.
  15. 62nova
    Joined: Jul 13, 2008
    Posts: 340


    It sounds like you have a chinese fuel problem not a chinese spark plug problem.
  16. 40 & 61 Fords
    Joined: May 17, 2006
    Posts: 2,000

    40 & 61 Fords

    I had a cast iron 4 barrell intake on my coupe when I 1st built it. I took it on a long trip. I fouled plugs every couple hundred miles. I later found out it was doing it because the intake was warped. Who would have guessed a CAST IRON intake would warp bad enough to foul plugs!?! Could be your intake!
  17. rockfish
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 445


    Very funny but good advice. It does sound like it could be a fuel issue.
  18. CGkidd
    Joined: Mar 2, 2002
    Posts: 2,863


    I agree with Chopolds on this. Take a step back and start trouble shooting from scratch. I would check the compression and the rest of fuel system myself.

    Posted using the Full Custom H.A.M.B. App!
  19. This,,, plus have you replaced the coil? HRP
  20. Maybe they have an "export version" that they are screwing us with...
  21. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    Once I bypassed the bad wires it fired on all 8...wires were bad.

    I understand what you're saying, and I have considered the valve seals and guides. I ran a leakdown test about a year ago before I pulled the engine to work on the suspension and frame and everything checked out. I think they were all over 140 and leakdown was no more than 5% each...but I'm getting older so the numbers in my head may not be exact (I have it written down in my notebook). The engine was completely rebuilt around 1996, ran for about 1,000 miles in one truck, pulled and installed in this truck and run for maybe another 1,500's relatively new.

    The odd thing is that I am getting blow-by, and more than I think is acceptable. Could something have changed in the engine while it was sitting? Doesn't seem likely, but hell....
  22. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    The coil also has only 300 miles on it.

    Here's the breakdown of all parts with only 300 miles on them:

    Brand new Mallory Unilite
    Brand new Blaster II coil
    Brand new Mallory ballast resistor (recommended for this distributor)
    Brand new fuel pump
    Brand new NGK's that fouled after 300 miles and now Autolite 85's with 10 minutes on them.
    Brand new Moroso BlueMax wires (of which, 2 have fouled)
    Brand new Vette style exhaust manifolds
    Rebuilt 4 core radiator

    plus hardware and misc parts.
  23. Here is what I know, or think I know;
    Moroso wires are Not made in China
    Unilites need "suppression" or "resistor" wires
    the Unilite likes to see a minimum of 2.9Ω resistance. And they recommence that with a 1.5Ω coil and 1.5Ω ballast visitor. The Blaster II coil is only .7Ω, so you either need a 2.2+Ω resistor or a different coil.

    There was probably nothing wrong with the NGK plugs other than those are factory set up for .060" gap which is too large for your application and can cause fouling - that is why I recommended to you to get the XR4 version and run .030-.035" gap

    Curious, what was the carb that you took off - you said Chinese?
  24. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    I'm not too savvy on the math for the resistance, but I do know that many forums stated that the Blaster II was a good match to the distributor. I installed the Mallory ballast variable resistor, which I believe is 1.5Ω, but I may be remembering that wrong. It was recommended that this ballast resistor be used with this coil, but you're saying that the coil is a bad match? I really don't want a box, I prefer the traditional round coil. Any suggestions on what coil would be a good match? I just didn't think that a stock coil would be enough to run the Unilite.
  25. El Caballo
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 5,913

    El Caballo

    Odd about the NGKs, I used them on my O/T '86 300E Mercedes and they worked great.

    "It can't get any worse"...

    Sure it can...

    Just trying to cheer you up; you are getting good advice.

    Attached Files:

  26. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    I totally appreciate the advice!
  27. "A stock coil" is not enough information. There are stock coils with anywhere from 0Ω to 4 or more Ω . According to Mallory's own instructions they want to see at least 2.9Ω. You have maybe 2.2Ω if the ballast resistor is really 1.5Ω
    It may be close enough to not cause problem - I am just stating what Mallory says you need to have, and you aren't there. Not saying it will or won't cause a problem, I don't know the Uni Lite's well enough, but I do know they can be temperamental about both voltage and amperage from previous experience.
  28. Oh, and the Blue Max wires are a suppression wire - not a solid core.
  29. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,449


    HAHA, they get a sense of pride when they see a "Hecho In China" sticker or do they realize everyone else on earth knows that its just cheap crap.

  30. Buzznut
    Joined: May 9, 2008
    Posts: 2,349


    The master mechanic buddy was telling me that I should have been running solid core after I told him I had two of the BlueMax wires fail on me...said resistor wires fail too easily, especially if they come close to heat. Should I run suppression with the Unilite? Are suppression the same as resistor wires? I was told by the old guy behind the counter at the parts store that if I run without resistance on the highway I will piss cops off because it will interfere with their equipment and that they may choose to pull me over just because we they cannot get an accurate reading off my truck.

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