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Tested all major spark plug wires. My results...

This is a discussion on Tested all major spark plug wires. My results... within the External Engine forums, part of the LSx Technical Help Section category; Originally Posted by DarthD Summit refunded my $39.95 for the wires but did not refund their $9.95handling fee or the ...

  1. #61
    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthD View Post
    Summit refunded my $39.95 for the wires but did not refund their $9.95handling fee or the $8.50 it cost me to send the wires back. So, believing Crane's FALSE ADVERTISING was a mistake that cost me almost $20.00.

    Crane has lost a customer.
    This could constitute for another thread, but Crane does some bitchin' work on our rear ends, and I'd do it if my rear goes. http://videos.streetfire.net/search/...7100245b61.htm

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    I read this on the Magnecore site and thought it was interesting



    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.

    "Low-resistance" conductors are an easy sell, as most people associate all ignition wire conductors with original equipment and replacement ignition wire carbon conductors (which progressively fail as a result of microscopic carbon granules burning away and thus reducing the spark energy to the spark plugs) and with solid wire zero-resistance conductors that were used by racers with no need for suppression. Consumers are easily led into believing that if a spiral conductor's resistance is almost zero, its performance must be similar to that of a solid metal conductor all race cars once used. HOWEVER, NOTHING IS FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH!

    What is not generally understood (or is ignored) is that as a result of the laws of electricity, the potential 45,000 plus volts (with alternating current characteristics) from the ignition coil (a pulse type transformer) does not flow through the entire the length of fine wire used for a spiral conductor like the 1 volt DC voltage from a test ohmmeter, but flows in a magnetic field surrounding the outermost surface of the spiral windings (skin effect). The same skin effect applies equally to the same pulsating flow of current passing through carbon and solid metal conductors.

    A spiral conductor with a low electrical resistance measured by an ohmmeter indicates, in reality, nothing other than less of the expensive fine wire is used for the conductor windings — a construction which cannot achieve a clean and efficient current flow through the magnetic field surrounding the windings, resulting in poor suppression for RFI and EMI.

    Of course, ignition wire manufacturers save a considerable amount in manufacturing costs by using less fine wire, less exotic winding machinery and less expertise to make low-resistance spiral conductors. As an incentive, they find a lucrative market amongst performance parts marketers who advertise their branded ignition wires as having "low-resistance" conductors, despite the fact that such "low-resistance" contributes nothing to make spiral ignition wires perform better, and RFI and EMI suppression is compromised.

    In recent years, most ignition wire manufacturers, to temporarily improve their spiral conductor's suppression, have resorted to coating excessively spaced spiral windings, most of which are crudely wound around strands of fiberglass or Kevlar, with a heavy layer of high-resistance carbon impregnated conductive latex or silicone compound. This type of construction hides the conductive coating's high resistance when the overall conductor is measured with a test ohmmeter, which only measures the lower resistance of the sparse spirally wound wire (the path of least resistance) under the conductive coating and ignores the high resistance of the outermost conductive coating in which the spark energy actually travels. The conductive coating is rarely shown or mentioned in advertisement illustrations.

    The suppression achieved by this practice of coating the windings is only temporary, as the spark current is forced to travel through the outermost high-resistance conductive coating in the same manner the spark current travels through the outermost high-resistance conductive coating of a carbon conductor used in most original equipment and stock replacement wires.

    In effect, (when new) a coated "low-resistance" spiral conductor's true performance is identical to that of a high-resistance carbon conductor.

    Unfortunately, and particularly with the use of high-output ignitions, the outermost high-resistance conductive coating over spiral windings acting as the conductor will fail from burn out in the same manner as carbon conductors, and although in most cases, the spiral conductor will not cease to conduct like a high-resistance carbon conductor, any RFI or EMI suppression will be lost as a consequence of the coating burning out. The worst interference will come from the so-called "super conductors" that are wound with copper (alloy) wire.

    However, despite the shortcomings of "low-resistance" spiral conductor ignition wires, these wires work satisfactorily on older production vehicles and race vehicles that do not rely on electronic engine management systems, or use on-board electronics effected by EMI — although with the lowest-resistance conductor wires, don't expect much RFI suppression on the AM band in poor reception areas.

    Some European and Japanese original equipment and replacement ignition wires including Bougicord and NGK do have spiral conductors that provide good suppression — usually none of these wires are promoted as having low- resistance conductors — however, none are ideal for competition use, as their conductors and pin-type terminations are fragile and are known to rarely last as long as good carbon conductor ignition wires.

    To be effective in carrying the full output from the ignition system and suppressing RFI and EMI in particular, spiral conductors need windings that are microscopically close to one another and precisely spaced and free from conductive coatings. To be more effective, the windings need to be wound over a core of magnetic material — a method too costly for wires sold through mass-merchandisers and most speed shops who purchase only the cheapest (to them) and most heavily promoted products.

    Claims of Horsepower Gain

    Every brand of spiral conductor ignition wires will perform the function of conducting coil output to the spark plugs, but NONE, despite the claims made in advertisements and other promotional literature, will increase horsepower. Independent tests, including a test performed by Circle Track Magazine (see May, 1996 issue) in the USA, show that NO "low-resistance" ignition wires for which a horsepower increase is claimed do in fact increase horsepower - the test also included comparisons with solid metal and carbon conductor ignition wires.

  3. #63
    Member since 1998 DarthD's Avatar
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    Black ASC#7564 May11,2001
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    I read this also, however, recent tests have shown a horsepower increase with low resistance wires. The Granatelli wires have shown a significant increase in two separate independent tests.

  4. #64
    Member myk02k's Avatar
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    I've read that before. Magnecor has worse OHM readings than a stock wire, and they appear misleading by talking about everyone else while not disproving their wires add HP. My guess is the word got out and this is Magnecor's way of trying to sustain a market.

    We need a Roy Rounder for spark plug wires...

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    Just a data point, stock wires were about 25-31 Ohms (83K), new Napa Premium tested around 11 Ohms give or take 1-2 between the eight tested.

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    Magnecor's information is technically correct. You aren't running 12 VDC through your wires, you're running a very high energy high voltage pulse with a very fast rise and fall time.

    RF theory applies more here than does DC theory.

    http://www.magnecor.com

    If nothing else I like the fact solid wire is the main conductor of the current, not some carbon impregnated core. I can run Magnecors right next to red hit stock exhaust manifolds without heat shields and they hold up just fine, I can get them wet and they don't stutter, I can run them for years and years and they still run as good as the day they were installed.

    Just my 2 cents from decades of experience with them.

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    plug wires

    I have a friend, masters in electrical engineering, hands on, works with this type of stuff guy. He read the Magnacore literature and said that technically the argument holds up, different things are happening statically at 12 volts and dynamically at 45,000. I'm thinking there may be more to this then simple OHM resistance measurements with a VOM.

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    He is correct, there is a lot more to this than simple DC ohmage.

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    I just changed my wires on the driver's side a week ago and got tired of busting my nuckles, will finish passenger side tommorrow. I read this thread and tested the four new wires and the four old wires I removed a week ago (31,000 miles). The stock were 342 to 346 and the Autolite Professional Series wires I bought years ago at Advance for $34.99 but never put on till now were .94 to .96.

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    Not to change the subject, but may I ask what "few bolts on's" you have to run low 12's??

  11. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjones69 View Post
    Not to change the subject, but may I ask what "few bolts on's" you have to run low 12's??
    ONE.......... A baby shot of nitrous.
    I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS THREAD GOT RENEWED!!


    PLEASE LOCK I THINK THE 4 PAGES OF DEBATE WERE ENOUGH IN FEB....6 MONTHS AGO!!!
    Don't be afraid of the bottle!!! Be afraid of your tune!!!

  12. #72
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    i'm planning another fun day of PM, and plugs n wires are on the list. Dude, you made my day, hell yeah thanks.

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    I tried reading all the material on their website... they must have a lot of free time to write all of that blurb... I found a few technical inaccuracies, and one technical accuracy.

    I have done this test: using an inductive pickup clamp, view the waveform on plug wire on a scopemeter (no it didn't have the ability to export data); this is what I found (2001 F-body):
    - GM factory wires: could see ignition spike;
    - Taylor Spiro Pro: could see ignition spike;
    - MSD SuperConductor: could not pick up any signal (yes, engine was running);

    The inductive clamp works by picking up the changing magnetic field outside the plug wire...

    the changing magnetic field outside the wire is capable of inducing external voltages in any metallic/conductive object in the engine compartment... "EMI"... inducing external voltages like this requires energy, and this energy is taken from the available spark energy... i.e. less energy is available for spark;

    but if the plug wire is a very tightly wound spiral (they got that part right), the the magnetic field outside the spiral cancels itself out (~almost same intensity B in opposite directions)... resulting in almost zero magnetic field intensity outside the plug wire... which means the change of magnetic field outside the plug wire is so small that my inductive clamp was not able to see it;

    a changing magnetic field of almost zero intensity produces almost zero induced external voltage... so almost zero energy is lost externally... it's so small it looks like zero (the tighter the spiral winding, the closer to zero)... almost all of the energy is available for spark.

    Also, note that voltage does not flow, and it certainly does not flow using the "skin effect" (they got these points wrong)... AC current flows in a skin effect manner, but a train of ignition HT pulses is not AC (there's too much DC "time").

    Joe

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    Junior Member MNR-0's Avatar
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    Good insights there Joe. Very informative. Guess the poeple that have been doing this the longest have got it right after all.

    Another thing I would like to add is all computerised ignition systems manufactured by car makers require a resistor style spark plug or interference causing misfires *could* result. The resistor in a spark plug is 5K ohms. So if a plug lead measures 600 ohms or 60 ohms, in the overall scheme of things, it means crap all.

    If a car runs a computerised ignition system with non-resistor plugs then it's best to move the computer as far away as possible from any EMI and RFI.

    Quality leads, no matter what the resistance, are always the best buy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joecar View Post
    I tried reading all the material on their website... they must have a lot of free time to write all of that blurb... I found a few technical inaccuracies, and one technical accuracy.

    I have done this test: using an inductive pickup clamp, view the waveform on plug wire on a scopemeter (no it didn't have the ability to export data); this is what I found (2001 F-body):
    - GM factory wires: could see ignition spike;
    - Taylor Spiro Pro: could see ignition spike;
    - MSD SuperConductor: could not pick up any signal (yes, engine was running);

    The inductive clamp works by picking up the changing magnetic field outside the plug wire...

    the changing magnetic field outside the wire is capable of inducing external voltages in any metallic/conductive object in the engine compartment... "EMI"... inducing external voltages like this requires energy, and this energy is taken from the available spark energy... i.e. less energy is available for spark;

    but if the plug wire is a very tightly wound spiral (they got that part right), the the magnetic field outside the spiral cancels itself out (~almost same intensity B in opposite directions)... resulting in almost zero magnetic field intensity outside the plug wire... which means the change of magnetic field outside the plug wire is so small that my inductive clamp was not able to see it;

    a changing magnetic field of almost zero intensity produces almost zero induced external voltage... so almost zero energy is lost externally... it's so small it looks like zero (the tighter the spiral winding, the closer to zero)... almost all of the energy is available for spark.

    Also, note that voltage does not flow, and it certainly does not flow using the "skin effect" (they got these points wrong)... AC current flows in a skin effect manner, but a train of ignition HT pulses is not AC (there's too much DC "time").

    Joe
    I had a good discussion with a very knowledgable person in ignitions recently and they said that in order to have some electronic interference control from the wires you absolutely need a magnetic field to supress RF noise in the system. Apparently the cables are the number one emitter of noise which can cause electronic problems.

    Apparently the magnetic field causes the electrons and voltage to stabilize. Without the magnetic field there is no stabilization. It was also suggested to me that the properties of the silicone, due to skin effect, also effects energy output so depending on the type of silicon used this could adversely effect ignition power output. The point was that even though something measures low, while energy is flowing through it, it may be restricted by the surrounding materials. You would have to ask them personally, I don't understand the electronic stuff all that great.

    In the end it was suggested that instead of messing with 200 or 300 ohms in a critical component such as a spark plug wire simply use a spark plug that is designed to reduce internal resistance by as much as 10,000 ohms. It made 100% sense to me. While WeaponX was pulling my NGK TR55IX spark plugs they ohmed them at 4750 - 8500 ohms of resistance each, some other plugs they showed me measured over 10,000 ohms. They measured their Iridium K6CF plugs infront of me and they measured 1.8 ohms each. I have to say they made a noticeable seat of the pants difference.


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    Thank you, threads like this are very helpful, insightful and much appreciated

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    similar subject.......plugs?, what brand of sprk plugs do you guys recomend?, i've been using NGK TR-55, with Taylor wires, which i'm about to change out soon. i haven had any problems with the NGK's, and i'm a big fan of them, just wondering if you guys agree.
    thanks...

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarthD View Post
    It has been over a week now so I checked the Crane wires again and ofcourse, the resistance has not changed. Summit sent me a form to return the wires for a refund. I bet they are not going to refund my $10 "handling fee" or the money it cost me to ship them back.
    I wish I could do something to Crane for false advertising, but I can't even send them a nasty email, because they are too lame of a company to have an email adress on their web site.
    link to crane email page

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackLT1Z28 View Post
    I like the write up, very informative, but your control group (LS1 stock wires) are different from the experiemental groups. If you are going to measure one thing against another, make sure they are the same. 12.5" wires are different from the shorter 6" wires. One of the factors of resistance is wire length. The longer the wires, the more resistance they accumulate.

    But overall, major props. Good to see a third party test shit for themselves. Maybe someday, someone will take it a step further and get some before/after dyno numbers or maybe test the longevity of all these wires. Like test the resistance of all the wires after 50K/100K miles to see how they hold up lifespan wise.
    FYI since all the wires were tested at 12.5" they are comparable to each other. They are also comparable to a 6" wire because resistance is linearly dependent on the length of the wire that means you can approximate the resistance of a 12.5" stock wire from the resistance of the 6". 351 ohms * 12.5"/6" = 731.25 ohms

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    I have Granetelli wires, What can i say about them? Hmmm, they are blue, they have stainless steel cores instesd of copper, 0 ohms per 25 feet of wire they claim. Do i notice any difference? No, you just have to keep telling yourself that you have no resistence in your plug wire and that makes it all better

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