Spark plug wires/distributor wires

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Spark plug wires/distributor wires

delco1946
No idea how old my wires are...and seeing as I plan on dying with my truck in 50+ years i thought now is as good a time as ever to replace what already may be 40 year old wires with likely lower performance (higher resistance etc). I try to avoid generic/cheap brands when possible ( firm believe in you get what you pay for!).

Any recommendations for high/good quality wires that look like NOS/original (just in case I start going to antique shows in the next decade )

Thanks!
Christopher in Portland Or. 1981 F250 Ranger XLT 4x4 trailer special 351M, and auto C6
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Rembrant
delco1946 wrote
No idea how old my wires are...and seeing as I plan on dying with my truck in 50+ years i thought now is as good a time as ever to replace what already may be 40 year old wires with likely lower performance (higher resistance etc). I try to avoid generic/cheap brands when possible ( firm believe in you get what you pay for!).

Any recommendations for high/good quality wires that look like NOS/original (just in case I start going to antique shows in the next decade )

Thanks!
My 1984 still had the original plug wires on it when I bought it back in 2017.

I replaced them at the time with brand new 8mm wires from Ford. They very much looked like the originals that were on the truck. The main difference was that the original Ford wires were numbered.

If you're wanting to look original, I'd go with FoMoCo 8mm wires.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by delco1946
Christopher, can you post a picture of your OEM wires?

I'm not sure exactly what they looked like.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

delco1946
This is what’s currently on the truck.

Christopher in Portland Or. 1981 F250 Ranger XLT 4x4 trailer special 351M, and auto C6
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

delco1946
Grrr. You get the point, yellow wires and the rubber part that fits over the spark plug is orange. Says 8 mm radio suppressed on the wire.
Christopher in Portland Or. 1981 F250 Ranger XLT 4x4 trailer special 351M, and auto C6
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
Yeah, Accel definitely wasn't stock.

I was just wondering if the original wires were blue with gray boots or all black.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

delco1946
I'm wondering the same thing! the yellow really pops out - looks like a nest of snakes!
Christopher in Portland Or. 1981 F250 Ranger XLT 4x4 trailer special 351M, and auto C6
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

old55pete
In reply to this post by delco1946
Sad to say you are right about them looking funny in there. It's sad to say that those Accell wires are a whole lot better then stock. A lot of racers run these or the MSD wires because we run the higher voltage coils to get more bang for our buck. Which you also have a higher voltage coil also. You might not notice the difference in your daily driver but when you are always running between 6200 and 7500 RPM's there is a big and noticeable difference. Just a thought.
Steve
62 F100,351 C, C6 auto
86 Bronco, XLT, 5.0 EFI,AOD, IFS, 3.08 gears
90 brick nose F Super duty ( F450 ), 7.3 IDI, Banks turbo, ZF 5 speed trans. home made air to air after cooler.
07 F150 Quad cab, 5.4, 4x4
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Angelo Voltura
In my experience Accel products have gone to absolute trash.

Personally running Moroso Blue Max. They have been excellent.
1979 F150 "406M"
1985 F250 (Dads) 351W
1995 F150 (1985 clip swapped) 300
1997 F250 HD 351W
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

delco1946
How do you know they are accel? I don’t see a brand name anywhere...?
Christopher in Portland Or. 1981 F250 Ranger XLT 4x4 trailer special 351M, and auto C6
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Frank Wyatt
Yellow wires with the orange spark plug boots is an Accel color combo for their plug wires. I'm running Accel plug wires but I have the black ones which don't stick out like a sore thumb, and I have not had a problem with them. Plus with being the black ones, they look closer to factory installed, which that was not a concern for me. I was just getting a good set of wires without breaking the bank. On the coil though, unless you are running a capacitive discharge ignition box, the higher voltage coil will fire with the same voltage as the stock coil. Another thing to consider is the coil needs to be matched to the ignition box because if not it can cause premature failure of the ignition box. In those regards I am running a stock coil with my Duraspark ignition module, however it will work just fine with any coil that meets the same specs as the factory stock coil.
1981 F 150 Custom 300 ci Carter YFA T-18 3.25 9" rear 2WD
all emissions intact except thermactor pump and cat
dual gas tanks
1990 Lincoln Town Car 5.0 AOD
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
In reply to this post by delco1946
Yep, yellow silicone wires with red silicone boots (like 'red' high temp RTV) are a trademark.

Over the years for performance applications I've gone from Packard 440 cable, to Taylor Spirocore's, today -on my truck- I'm using NAPA's Belden Premium Plus cables.

The are supple and don't have much, if any, radio interference.
Seem to last forever if not physically damaged (I do ohm them out annually)

I won't run an MSD box, and my DSII module seems fine right up to 6k where the valves start to float.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Rembrant
In reply to this post by ArdWrknTrk
ArdWrknTrk wrote
Christopher, can you post a picture of your OEM wires?

I'm not sure exactly what they looked like.
The OEM Ford wires on my 1984 302 were grey with black boots. Since my truck was such low mile and had been sitting in a barn for god knows how long, it still had a lot of original parts on it when I dragged it home. I was told that a way to identify the original factory installed wires was that they were numbered, and mine were. Thew new Ford replacement wires I installed looked very similar to the originals, but were not numbered.

My truck also had a funky looking rotor button in the distributor, which I was told was also original. Odd looking tip on it that I had never seen before.



1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

ArdWrknTrk
Administrator
That really is odd looking Cory.
Maybe they did that to reduce arcing, and therefore pitting of the terminals in the cap?

The whole "factory v/s OEM" wires thing started a mess here, while Gary was on his anniversary cruise.
I don't want to dredge that up but it is good to know.
 Jim,
Lil'Red is a '87 F250 HD, 4.10's, 1356 4x4, Zf-5, 3G, PMGR, Saginaw PS, desmogged with an Edelbrock 1826 and Performer intake.
Too much other stuff to mention.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Rembrant
ArdWrknTrk wrote
That really is odd looking Cory.
Maybe they did that to reduce arcing, and therefore pitting of the terminals in the cap?

The whole "factory v/s OEM" wires thing started a mess here, while Gary was on his anniversary cruise.
I don't want to dredge that up but it is good to know.
I was told that Ford used that style rotor button very briefly in the 80's, but I have no idea. It is the only one I've ever seen like that.

As for the Factory vs "OEM" terminology, I do try to use the correct terminology whenever I can, but it is usually understood what one is talking about one way or another. I know people like Bill/NumberDummy scoff at using unofficial terminology, but I think the majority of the general public are usually OK with generic terms for things. Steve83 gave me crap one day for calling the start relay the starter solenoid....but everybody and their dog calls it the starter solenoid, even the companies that manufacture and sell them...lol, so I think it all just depends on one's own POV;).

The one acronym that I do not use is OBS, and that's only because it is not really clear to me what trucks OBS refers to...lol.


1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Gary Lewis
Administrator
There are purists and then there are PURISTS.

To me, calling a Flareside a Stepside says you don't know your Fords.

Calling the starter relay a starter solenoid says you use colloquial terminology.  I grew up calling it a solenoid, and still frequently do, but try to be correct when posting and especially when creating a web page.

As for OBS, I don't use that term at all.  I don't understand it and it makes no sense because it should include everything from some perspective back.  But what perspective?  Older than my 2015?  What happens when a new body style comes out?  Does the current body style get included?  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

old55pete
Gary, I know I am one of the ones that uses "step side" instead of "flair side" and have been corrected several times. In my mind, I will have to say that it is because of the steps that are between the front of the rear fender and the back of the cab. My 62 F100 " flair side" has these steps. the original ones had a rubber  no slip pad on them. The rubber pads were worn out and the steps were rusted through and I replaced them with polished stainless after market steps. Old habits die hard.

At this point in the game, I don't know why any one would want to use year original OEM ignition parts. Just spark pug wires and spark plugs have come a long way in the 30 plus years that our trucks have been around. I could see it if it is an original OEM restortation. If it is your daily driver, wouldent you want to use what ever would increase fuel millage and performance?
Steve
62 F100,351 C, C6 auto
86 Bronco, XLT, 5.0 EFI,AOD, IFS, 3.08 gears
90 brick nose F Super duty ( F450 ), 7.3 IDI, Banks turbo, ZF 5 speed trans. home made air to air after cooler.
07 F150 Quad cab, 5.4, 4x4
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Steve - I understand.  And I don't condemn anyone that uses a Chevrolet-branded term to describe a Ford.  

Seriously though, I know people who get really up in arms about that term.  That's not me.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI

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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

Angelo Voltura
In reply to this post by Rembrant
That rotor to me looks like the end of it just simply broke off over time.

However I could be wrong, but to me it looks like unless it had a super hot spark enough to jump that sort of gap, it looks broken. I have seen the ends of those rotors disappear more than once.

Also, those wires may be old school Tiger hair? or Tiger wire...I forget which they were called. I had a few pieces of them kicking around my garage. They were also yellow and could be easily mistaken for Accel wires if you weren't paying attention.
1979 F150 "406M"
1985 F250 (Dads) 351W
1995 F150 (1985 clip swapped) 300
1997 F250 HD 351W
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Re: Spark plug wires/distributor wires

85lebaront2
Administrator
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Rembrant
That rotor looks like one for an EEC-III system possibly, they were extremely strange.

On plug wires, two things I learned owning my shop:
First, if the manufacturer isn't proud enough of his product to put his name on there, run from it!
Second, back in the early high output ignition days, and especially on some engines, and wires over 3 years old were suspect, the old 1000 ohms per foot applied for resistance checks (this meant a MOPAR big block #7 wire would be roughly 7000 ohms).

Gary, feel free to measure the one on your MOPAR. It went from the distributor, down under the AC compressor, across the front of the block, down the inside of the left valve cover, over the back of the head, through a plastic "spool", then out through another "spool" and to the plug under the exhaust manifold. Thankfully Ford came to their senses after the Y-block era.
Bill Profile

"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional" Darth Vader 1986 F-350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator Wife's 2011 Flex Limited Daily Driver 1994 Taurus LX Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413

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