BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 Plug wire question

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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:16 am

I have three sets of TBI truck ignition wire sets sitting at my house, 2 are brand new, one is a Delco set I only used on my Blazer for about 6 months.

Lately the Caprice has been misfiring at idle, I changed the cap and rotor which helped, but I was still noticing it. Last night I popped the hood in the dark with the underhood light disconnected and the plug wires looked like Aurora Borealis. Laughing It actually looked pretty cool...I'm just glad that this is probably what the issue is and not something serious. I figured they needed to go anyway, 2 have rubbed through on the pass. A-arm.

Anyway, I noticed that on the truck TBI wire sets, all of the boots are the "L" angled boots. On my TBI Caprice, most are angle boots also, but a few have the longer straight boots. WTF? Why didn't they just make them all the same, or did someone toss a random set together on my car? Laughing Was this because of the different exhaust manifolds? It's just odd because looking at the wires, it seems like they could have just used all of one kind anyway from where they're routed.

I'm just going to throw the Delcos on there and see what happens, they don't owe me a dime.
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 3:41 pm

Sounds like a plan. I'm guessing the different wires are because of the manifolds and location of some stupid sensor or something. Let us know for anyone else running that engine in the future.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:34 pm

Ok, so I got them on, some of the Delcos were definitely a little longer than the CarQuest crappy ones I removed...but I think this may be because a truck TBI small block has a taller distributor shaft? They still weren't too long to a point where it was a problem, I kept any slack up around the distributor, or used it where I could to route them where I wanted. Came out pretty neat looking.

Everything worked out fine, I had to zip tie the ones on the pass. side strategically in order to keep them from hitting exhaust parts or A-arms, one of the factory plug wire retainers was missing...lol. On the driver's side a wire is close to the 02 sensor where the other set of wires had that long boot, but it's not really an issue with the L-boots.

The car still isn't 100 percent perfectly smooth, but I'd say most people would disagree with me...I'm super OCD about it. I did NOT change the plugs yet so it could be that, and these plug wires have been hanging in my garage since 2007 so they may have a little dirt in the boots or gotten dried out, but it's a thousand times better already. I think this fixed the radio frequency problem too, as the radio hits every damn station on "SEEK" where before it picked up Mike FM and 2 other stations. Laughing The ones I took off were 7mm, the Delcos are 8mm. If you get new Delcos BTW, check where they were made. I remember this box said they were made in China, I just didn't bother returning them.

Basically if I were getting new wires, I'd get the correct application, but I had three of these sets kicking around already, so why not! If these start acting up I'll just throw the unused Napa Beldens I have on there.
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:03 pm

check the coil too if your still experiencing a missfire (aspecially if its when the car is warm...)
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:04 pm

Oh Jesus...

Just checked after driving the car and still noticing some skipping, these wires are arcing too! Just as bad! Rolling Eyes

Now I'm split. Should I just get a new set of wires, or should I use the Napa ones I have that are new in the box? I'm afraid maybe they've deteriorated from probably being 6 or so years old...but Beldens are pretty damn good wires. Decisions decisions...I also have a set of KEM wires that are new in the box too I might try.

On the bright side, I still know what the problem is. Very Happy
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:06 pm

msd 8.5mm superconductors Smile
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:07 pm

bfurches wrote:
check the coil too if your still experiencing a missfire (aspecially if its when the car is warm...)

Thanks man. I had an MSD coil on my truck once that sucked from day one, put the original back in and the truck ran smooth!

Sick and tired of rough running TBIs. I am getting ready to get my truck back on the road, and now that's running terrible all of a sudden. I just replaced the fuel filter before the rear end went and all the tune up stuff was fairly recent as well.

Surprised
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:08 pm

bfurches wrote:
msd 8.5mm superconductors Smile

I hate those!!!!! I had a set that never stayed on the plugs...MSD's response was to use a tube of dielectric grease for each wire...lol.

Then the boots fell off the wires, I didn't even manhandle them or anything...wound up selling them on craigslist. Laughing
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:17 pm

I have had amazing luck with them. I will admit, they are hard to get them to clip onto the plug initially, but I remove them from the plugs regularly as I read my plugs all the time, and the clips havent warn out yet lol.

different strokes for different folks.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 10:42 pm

bfurches wrote:
I have had amazing luck with them. I will admit, they are hard to get them to clip onto the plug initially, but I remove them from the plugs regularly as I read my plugs all the time, and the clips havent warn out yet lol.

different strokes for different folks.

I guess I got a bad taste in my mouth from the set I had coupled with the bad coil I had too and didn't want to deal with them anymore...they were pretty pricey!
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:02 pm

Most outsourced stuff is hit or miss. Some of them chinese kids just do better work then others. Must be based on who sits closer to the bosses desk Rolling Eyes
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:38 pm

So tonight I tried putting the KEM set on, seem like good quality, the wire material felt similar to the MSD ones I had. But, one of the wires was way too short to be used on the car, it was stretched across to the dist. cap and barely clicked on, so I took those all off and put the Napa ones on. The box said they were Beldens, but the wires didn't and looked a little chintzy. Suspect I think someone chucked a different set in there.

Box said they were from 2001, I put them on, they fit but some wires are too long. Tt runs better, but there is still arcing on a couple of wires, looks like dim light flowing through the wires in the dark with no ambient light around.

Here's the thing, some of the wire retainers are broken and I had to zip tie some wires together to keep them out of the way of stuff, so they're touching. Is it that bad to have them like this, that it would cause cross-arcing, even if the wires were new [old stock]?

I think I'll get some new retainers first and deal with these for a while if I can, but if they drive me nuts, I'm just going to get brand new wires that were made for the Caprice. Probably Taylors or those really thick blue ones that Napa sells. Laughing

Oh yeah, my parking brake handle with the thin cable that goes to the pedal mechanism snapped off in my hand too when I was checking for arcing with the car in drive and idling to put a load on it. That's awesome! Rolling Eyes Found them on gmpartsgiant.com for about 23 bucks shipped.
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:04 pm

I'd think they're arcing from having bad insulation or from them pumping too much amperage through em. Either way I'd make sure they aren't touching each other or anything electrical since it can short out alot of stuff if it starts to pass on the charge.
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Wed Aug 11, 2010 9:10 pm

I don't have them touching any thing aside from other plug wires,but I guess that's bad...lol
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bfurches



Posts : 1061
Join date : 2010-04-20
Age : 29
Location : Springfield, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Wed Aug 11, 2010 10:54 pm

yea, def. dont have the plug wires touching if it can be avoided. It will cause cross arch and even in severe cases misfire (which a cross arch will also cause)
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Wed Aug 11, 2010 11:28 pm

bfurches wrote:
yea, def. dont have the plug wires touching if it can be avoided. It will cause cross arch and even in severe cases misfire (which a cross arch will also cause)

Cool. I am going to get some separators from VatoZone tomorrow! I just checked again and I couldn't really see any arcing, but I can still feel it a little bit. I still want to get a correct set of wires though. While these get the job done, I'd really rather have something made for the car considering how close they run to the exh. manifolds and stuff.
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MASShole9C1



Posts : 4211
Join date : 2009-12-16

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:02 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
Ok, so I got them on, some of the Delcos were definitely a little longer than the CarQuest crappy ones I removed...but I think this may be because a truck TBI small block has a taller distributor shaft? They still weren't too long to a point where it was a problem, I kept any slack up around the distributor, or used it where I could to route them where I wanted. Came out pretty neat looking.

Everything worked out fine, I had to zip tie the ones on the pass. side strategically in order to keep them from hitting exhaust parts or A-arms, one of the factory plug wire retainers was missing...lol. On the driver's side a wire is close to the 02 sensor where the other set of wires had that long boot, but it's not really an issue with the L-boots.

The car still isn't 100 percent perfectly smooth, but I'd say most people would disagree with me...I'm super OCD about it. I did NOT change the plugs yet so it could be that, and these plug wires have been hanging in my garage since 2007 so they may have a little dirt in the boots or gotten dried out, but it's a thousand times better already. I think this fixed the radio frequency problem too, as the radio hits every damn station on "SEEK" where before it picked up Mike FM and 2 other stations. Laughing The ones I took off were 7mm, the Delcos are 8mm. If you get new Delcos BTW, check where they were made. I remember this box said they were made in China, I just didn't bother returning them.

Basically if I were getting new wires, I'd get the correct application, but I had three of these sets kicking around already, so why not! If these start acting up I'll just throw the unused Napa Beldens I have on there.

ONLY zip tie companion cylinders(plug wires) side by side other wise, if you have a crossfire on non companion cylinders it could cause serious engine problems...
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Thu Aug 12, 2010 12:40 am

Zip-ties are meant for holding on licence plates and securing brake lines. Stop using them for other stuff you dangerous person you Razz
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:49 pm

LOL

I got a new set of wires on there tonight. I got "United Ignition Wire" ones because they were made by Delphi/Packard. I remember Packard always being the OEM on GM stuff. Came with some dielectric grease too.
The engine looks a lot neater now, the TBI wires were just way too long. And the new set had three wires with the long straight boot on one end.

I also did the plugs, somehow managed to reach all 8 plugs from the top using a standard length 3/8 socket wrench, plug socket, and universal, didn't have to come from underneath or pull a wheel. I was amazed, because it looked impossible. I saw 1984twodoor's 87 Caprice coupe at Kitty's on Thursday and he was telling me how much of a beeyotch it was trying to get at his, and he couldn't get to one or two.

The car runs much stronger now, and has smoothed out, but there is still a small misfire! I popped the hood in the dark and noticed some arcing. Now, this is what I don't get. What defines "arcing"? Does it have to be an actual spark coming off the wire? My first 2 bad sets did that, but another newer set that I just removed and this brand new (made in June at the factory in Ohio) set do this thing where you can see the electricity flowing very slightly through a couple of them if you stare in the pitch dark. So weird.
Do all wires just do this because of the amount of electricity flowing? I used new wire separators and got them all apart from each other, except one spot by the 02 sensor that I plan on messing with tomorrow to correct that. I also have some of that Conduct-Tite plastic wire loom crap I am thinking of putting over the wires in a few spots, I'm just afraid it might melt near the manifolds, even though it says it's flame retardant.
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Fri Aug 20, 2010 11:53 pm

I'm betting it's just the amount of electricity and the thickness of the protective rubber that lets you see the glow. Here's the big question though, why are you staring at your engine in the pitch black for?
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Matt Trakker



Posts : 5075
Join date : 2009-07-30
Age : 35
Location : Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Sat Aug 21, 2010 10:36 am

Why to check for arcing wires of course! Laughing
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bammax



Posts : 2301
Join date : 2009-02-22
Age : 35
Location : Mansfield, Ma

PostSubject: Re: Plug wire question   Sat Aug 21, 2010 2:51 pm

likely story Suspect

I wouldn't worry too much about it unless it's effecting your radio reception or something
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