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Technical Plug wires

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by trollst, Jun 14, 2021.

  1. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,025

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Got a 64 327 in my 36, hei ignition, never has had an issue with anything to do with it. I just fixed a huge vaccum leak, (power booster), but still get an intermittent not runs quite right sometimes, stumbles a bit under acceleration, sometimes idles rough, but generally runs really well.
    New plugs less than a thousand miles, inside of cap looks clean and nice, rotor looks good, so, I'm leaning to plug wires which are, say....15 years old? I have replaced three, the header boots went all soft, and that cured an obvious misfire, but this intermittent thing is making me crazy, no vaccum leaks, carb is good (edelbrock), runs mostly like a hot damn, what is the collective opinion here?
    Mileage wise, they may have thirty thousand on them, they are high performance aurora wires, still got the box with spares.
    So....I ordered a new set, just looking for opinions, how long can a guy expect to get out of a set of wires?
     
    Mario p herrera likes this.
  2. Mario p herrera
    Joined: Aug 27, 2020
    Posts: 35

    Mario p herrera

    From my personal experience header heat is killer for spark plug wires hope you figure it outOTE="trollst, post: 14096206, member: 175645"]Got a 64 327 in my 36, hei ignition, never has had an issue with anything to do with it. I just fixed a huge vaccum leak, (power booster), but still get an intermittent not runs quite right sometimes, stumbles a bit under acceleration, sometimes idles rough, but generally runs really well.
    New plugs less than a thousand miles, inside of cap looks clean and nice, rotor looks good, so, I'm leaning to plug wires which are, say....15 years old? I have replaced three, the header boots went all soft, and that cured an obvious misfire, but this intermittent thing is making me crazy, no vaccum leaks, carb is good (edelbrock), runs mostly like a hot damn, what is the collective opinion here?
    Mileage wise, they may have thirty thousand on them, they are high performance aurora wires, still got the box with spares.
    So....I ordered a new set, just looking for opinions, how long can a guy expect to get out of a set of wires?[/QUOTE]
     
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  3. Describe the problem. What did the plugs look like that you removed? Need some more info on what your engine is doing wrong.
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,748

    squirrel
    Member

    heat and oil are hard on plug wires.

    Run the car at night, hood open, when it misfires do you see an arc at a plug wire boot?
     

  5. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,025

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Roll to a stop, idle is rough, roll to second stop, idle is perfect, 650ish, pull away when idle is good, pulls strong, runs perfectly. Pull away from rough idle, feels like slight misfire, little stumbling, nail it hard, revs right to the end, other times, feels like there just isn't the willingness to rev out. Mostly it'll rev to the moon, on my shop floor, after coming in from a drive, it runs unevenly, almost a miss, but, shut it off, restart it, runs like a clock, in my shop, squirrel, I have done that, runs like a hot damn, no visible spark.
    I'm gonna do the wires, I'm pretty sure the wires are tired and one or two are breaking down, Mikey, the last set of plugs were tan coloured, all the same, changed last fall, but the gap had grown considerably, over 50 thou, new plugs gapped at 35 thou. I'll let you guys know......
     
  6. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 29,161

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    From experience older resistor wires that you have on a rig with headers get a bit brittle internally after a few years. Then you move them around to change plugs and while they look ok on the outside they don't work so well on the inside.
     
  7. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 48,748

    squirrel
    Member

    see if the mechanical advance mechanism (under the rotor) is sticking or worn or has rust powder all over it.
     
  8. Almostdone
    Joined: Dec 19, 2019
    Posts: 506

    Almostdone
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Recently had a similar problem. Looked at ‘everything’.

    Took it to a friend with an old Snap On scope.

    He found a miss on a cylinder that turned out to be a poor seating of a plug wire into the distributor cap.

    I guess I didn’t check everything.

    John
     
    jaracer, trollst and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  9. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,025

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    So....dumbass I am, it was plug wires, I installed a set of Blue Streak wires, old mary idles and runs like she hasn't in a long time, tickety boo.
    Rant, sort of, tongue in cheek, wires only lasted 15 or so years, does nobody make shit to last? I probably paid a hundred bucks for them and they only went 15 years in a hot sometimes dusty, sometimes drag raced, sometimes hiway stuff for a couple days, continuous heat and strain, I mean....geez, shit don't last any more......
    Looks like I'll buy another set of Auroras, seem like pretty good quality stuff.
    Thanks for the advice guys.
     
  10. onetrickpony
    Joined: Sep 21, 2010
    Posts: 503

    onetrickpony
    Member
    from Texas

    When you checked the rotor, did you turn it over and check the center area for a burn or discoloration? If you find one, it is a dead give away that the wires are bad on an HEI. You will need to replace the rotor, too, if that happens.

    Also, don't forget that there is supposed to be a ground from the corner of the coil to the plug on the cap.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  11. trollst
    Joined: Jan 27, 2012
    Posts: 2,025

    trollst
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yup, all good, everything looks brand new, except the wires, they were looking a little tired, thanks.
     
  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,648

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I think you're lucky you got 15 years out of them. Knowing that the average lifespan of an automobile is 12 years, I think the engineers did an admirable job on the wires. Designed to last 3 years longer than the car, it seems they were even a little generous with the design. You also have to remember the environment they are expected to function in.
     
    trollst likes this.
  13. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,210

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    Probably some soy in those 15 yr old wires. I often run shit on wires that are much older, so old I'm almost ashamed to say. Almost...;)
     
    5window, F-ONE and trollst like this.
  14. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,007

    jaracer
    Member

    A friend with a scope can find an ignition problem in minutes.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy and Almostdone like this.
  15. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,632

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    I read somewhere, that carbon core wires "wear out", particularly the coil wire. That's the first one to go, it sees the most firing pulses.

    Ignition scopes are pretty interesting. I once replaced all the ignition components, with the logic that all new parts would guarantee a return of everything ignition related to OEM factory goodness. That was my thinking anyway. Just throw parts at it till the problem goes away.

    Well I'm here to to tell ya, it doesn't necessarily work out that way. Everything has to be matched and compatible with each other to work right, high voltage ignition is strange stuff. I wasn't too sure about what I was looking at exactly on some of the finer points of ignition scope display patterns but it was obvious right off the bat the ignition system had major defects. After that I was sold on them. In the hands of a skilled mechanic they can really save time, and help get a really sharp tune, of that I have no doubt.

    I had an auto repair shop owner tell me that ignition scopes were just a gimmick, that they were just for "show". Hm.
     
  16. bschwoeble
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 619

    bschwoeble
    Member

    I sold scopes when I was a tool salesman decades ago. Marginal mechanics thought a scope would make them smarter. Nope. A good mechanic knows you have to know what your looking at.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  17. I miss my old Sun scope days, we could even pick out valve train related problems. There were 2 of us in one shop that were good with diagnosing odd problems.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  18. 5442E8BA-CA2B-44E7-AB98-EBE07B6DB039.jpeg


    I’ve got this guy and an old Allen tester with scope as well.

    the snap on one has all the connections for hei ignition and checking sensors etc.

    It does not get used much, but has helped us a few times with diagnosing strange issues .


    Picked up the Allen for under 100 bucks and the snap in scope for a bottle of crown royal !!

    old diagnostic tools are not worth much in the wrong hands
     
  19. I was in a junkyard and someone at the counter was playing with something he found in a junk car that came in. He had no idea what it was. It was a lead sharpener for good drafting pencils, I gave him a buck for it, it worked perfectly and I still have it.
     
    pprather and VANDENPLAS like this.

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