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russ02

Spark Plug Wire

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stevei46
engines with magnetos and other points and condenser ignitions don't make enough voltage to go through a carbon wire. i have tried to use carbon wire a few times on old farm tractors and never got them to work. older cars also had copper plug wires. the car companys went to carbon wires when they switched to HEI ignition. copper plug wire is getting very hard to get a few years ago i bought a 50 ft roll of packard 440 wire at an old time parts store its almost gone and i don't know if i can get it anymore

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DeltaBravo
A lot of "hi performance" auto aftermarket wires claim to have a metallic core, so maybe those would work. Personally I like Taylor Spiro-Pro wires. The cut to length and assemble sets should be good providers of some lengths or wire for small engines.

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HubbardRA
Russ, You seem to be getting the insulation and the core mixed up. 8mm silicone is the insulation on the wire, it is still a carbon conductor. The copper wire is a copper conductor, but has much less than 8mm of insulation on it. There is also what is called magnetic suppression wire, which is carbon core, but has a solid wire would around it. Carbon conducter wires have a tendency to leak off energy and arc. That is the reason for the 8mm silicone insulation - to prevent arcing and misfire. With a copper wire there is not an arcing problem because of the direct, very low resistance connection, and a thinner insulation can be used. Carbon core wires are high resistance to help prevent radio interference. Copper wires can create radio static, that is why they were replaced with carbon wires for automobiles, back in the 60s.

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UCD
I have'nt looked at a speed catalog for Ignition wires in about 4 years but at that time you could get 8 & 9mm silicone wires with copper core. [url]http://www.magnecor.com/magnecor1/truth.htm[/url] THE TRUTH ABOUT IGNITION WIRE CONDUCTORS CARBON (SUPPRESSION) CONDUCTORS Carbon conductors are used in original equipment ignition wires by most vehicle manufacturers, and in the majority of stock replacement wires. This style of ignition wire is cheap to manufacture and generally provides good suppression for both RFI (radio frequency interference) and EMI (electromagnetic interference). Conductor usually consists of a substrate of fiberglass and/or Kevlar over which high-resistance conductive latex or silicone is coated, and functions by reducing spark current (by resistance) to provide suppression — a job it does well while the conductor lasts. Vehicle manufacturers treat ignition wires as service items to be replaced regularly, and limited life is never an issue. This type of conductor quickly fails (burns out) if a high-powered aftermarket ignition system is used. EMI (electromagnetic interference) EMI from spark plug wires can cause erroneous signals to be sent to engine management systems and other on-board electronic devices used on both racing and production vehicles in the same manner as RFI (radio frequency interference) can cause unwanted signals to be heard on a radio receiver. Engine running problems ranging from intermittent misses to a dramatic loss of power can result when engine management computers receive signals from sensors that have been altered by EMI emitted from spark plug wires. This problem is most noticeable on modern production vehicles used for commuting where virtually every function of the vehicle's drive train is managed by a computer. For many reasons, the effect of EMI on engine management computers is never predicable, and problems do become worse on production vehicles as sensors, connectors and wiring deteriorate and corrosion occurs. The problem is often exacerbated by replacing the original ignition system with a high-output system. SOLID CORE CONDUCTOR WIRES Solid metal (copper, tin-plated copper and/or stainless steel) conductor wires are still used in racing on carbureted engines, but can cause all sorts of running problems if used on vehicles with electronic ignition, fuel injection and engine management systems, particularly if vehicle is driven on the street — and damage to some original equipment and modern aftermarket electronic ignition and engine management systems can occur. Solid metal conductor wires cannot be suppressed to overcome EMI or RFI without the addition of current-reducing resistors at both ends of wires. "LOW-RESISTANCE" SPIRAL WIRES By far the most popular conductor used in ignition wires destined for race and performance street engines are spiral conductors (a.k.a. mag, pro, super, spiral, monel, heli, energy, ferro, twin core etc.). Spiral conductors are constructed by winding fine wire around a core. Almost all manufacturers use constructions which reduce production costs in an endeavor to offer ignition component marketers and mass-merchandisers cheaper prices than those of their competitors. In the USA in particular, most marketers of performance parts selling their products through mass-merchandisers and speed shops include a variety of very effective high-output ignition systems together with a branded not-so-effective ignition wire line using a spiral conductor. Most perpetually try to out-do their competitors by offering spiral conductor ignition wires with the lowest electrical resistance. Some publish results which show their wires are superior to a competitor's wires which use identical cable (on which another brand name is printed). The published "low" resistance (per foot) is measured with a test ohmmeter's 1 volt direct current (DC) passing through the entire length of the fine wire used for the spiral conductor.

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