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Thread: Ignition wire suggestions

  1. #1
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    Ricky RoadKing's Avatar
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    Ignition wire suggestions

    I'm thinking about replacing the stock ignition wires on my '03 RoadKing. Any suggestions? I've been looking at the Magnum Chromite ones (http://www.magnumshielding.com/ignition.htm) but wonder if they're worth the bucks. HD has some Screaming Eagle ones for half the price.
    Oh I used to be disgusted
    and now I try to be amused.

  2. #2
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    If you must have chain mail wires, I'd go with the half price.
    "What does it mean to you? For me, it's something I just do."

  3. #3
    Lost bufordtpisser's Avatar
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    Ricky, I'm kind of thinking that without grounding straps that they are gonna cause misfires. I have never seen braided steel wires without grounding straps. I have Taylors on my Lincoln, and they all have grounding straps on them.

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    They are shielded by teflon. The braid is form, not function.
    "What does it mean to you? For me, it's something I just do."

  5. #5
    Lost bufordtpisser's Avatar
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    The braid is form not function on every braided wire I have ever seen. But the braid acts like a capacitor of sorts and builds a charge every time the wire fires. And eventually the that charge is induced back into the wire causing misfires. That is how it was explained to me by the Taylor reps at a car show and confirmed by other braided wire manufacturers. Touch an ungrounded braided wire sometime and you will see exactly what I mean.

  6. #6
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    Ok, let's talk basics here. If you can touch a wire and get a shock, it's leaking. If you can touch it and get a shock, it can short to anything grounded on the bike. The wires can short to each other too, crossfire.

    If any of the above are possible, then the wire is useless. (Pronounced crap).

    Now, imagine that same wire wrapped in metal and deliberately grounded. Get the picture?

    The metal braided jackets are for solid core wires to reduce inductive output (EMI) IIRC.

    The claim of this wire is that the braiding is a match to their aluminum products and the braiding does not need to be shielded because of the core type and Teflon jacket performing the shielding and insulating.

    Note to self, cross Taylor off the usable products list.


    EDIT: Look here...
    Read starting at paragraph 8. http://www.magnecor.com/magnecor1/frequent.htm#16
    "What does it mean to you? For me, it's something I just do."

  7. #7
    Oh, I'm sorry I thought this thread was in the comedy section; What to do with an semi-shielded, high capacitance, high inductance, un-insulated ignition wire? (pronounced crap) I don't think since the electric fence thread we can convince anyone to touch it. There is a lot of military shielded ignition; to make it stealthy in the Radio Frequency? Or does it make it very reliable in bad weather? That stuff is so old, the military phased out gasoline (generators, ect.) that the spark plug wires have all but rotted away. It didn't look good anyway.

    Buff is right in theory, FX is right in practice. Rickey should try to convince Aja that it will curl her hair. Isn't spark ignition similar to raidio frequency power ...Alternating current ...the only spark pulse we care about is the first one ...the rest is just ringing?
    Promote Hunanism (extra spicey)

  8. #8
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    What did you just say?

    In context, I think I'll stick to wires that don't shock me or ground out in any way.

    As for RFI EMI and such, I don't care about my neighbors TV too much. But I do care about my ignition and it will screw up from noise.

    Ignition wires with grounded braided metal sleeves over the cable have come and gone all over the world for (at least) the last 30 years, and similar wires were used over 20 years ago by a few car makers to solve cross-firing problems on early fuel injected engines and RFI problems on fiberglass bodied cars — only to find other problems were created. The recent Circle Track Magazine (USA, May, 1996 issue) test showed Nology "HotWires" produced no additional horsepower (the test actually showed a 10 horsepower decrease when compared to stock carbon conductor wires).

    The perceived effect a brighter spark, conducted by an ignition wire, encased or partially encased in a braided metal sleeve (shield) grounded to the engine, jumping across a huge free-air gap (which bears no relationship to the spark needed to fire the variable air/fuel mixture under pressure in a combustion chamber) is continually being re-discovered and cleverly demonstrated by marketers who convince themselves there's monetary value in such a bright spark, and all sorts of wild, completely un-provable claims are made for this phenomena.

    Like many in the past, Nology cleverly demonstrates a brighter free-air spark containing useless flash-over created by the crude "capacitor" (effect) of this style of wire. In reality, the bright spark has no more useful energy to fire a variable compressed air/fuel mixture than the clean spark you would see in a similar demonstration using any good carbon conductor wire. What is happening in such a demonstration is the coil output is being unnecessarily boosted to additionally supply spark energy that is induced (and wasted) into the grounded braided metal sleeve around the ignition wire's jacket. To test the validity of this statement, ask the Nology demonstrator to disconnect the ground strap and observe just how much energy is sparking to ground.

    Claims by Nology of their "HotWires" creating sparks that are "300 times more powerful," reaching temperatures of "100,000 to 150,000 degrees F" (more than enough to melt spark plug electrodes), spark durations of "4 billionths of a second" (spark duration is controlled by the ignition system itself) and currents of "1,000 amperes" magically evolving in "capacitors" allegedly "built-in" to the ignition wires are as ridiculous as the data and the depiction of sparks in photographs used in advertising material and the price asked for these wires! Most stock ignition primaries are regulated to 6 amperes and the most powerful race ignition to no more than 40 amperes at 12,000 RPM.

    It is common knowledge amongst automotive electrical engineers that it is unwise to use ignition wires fitted with grounded braided metal sleeves fitted over ignition cable jackets on an automobile engine. This type of ignition wires forces its cable jackets to become an unsuitable dielectric for a crude capacitor (effect) between the conductor and the braided metal sleeves. While the wires function normally when first fitted, the cable jackets soon break down as a dielectric, and progressively more spark energy is induced from the conductors (though the cable jackets) into the grounded metal sleeves, causing the ignition coil to unnecessarily output more energy to fire both the spark plug gaps and the additional energy lost via the braided metal sleeves. Often this situation leads to ignition coil and control unit overload failures. It should be noted that it is dangerous to use this style of wires if not grounded to the engine with grounding straps, as the outside of the braided cables will be alive with thousands of volts wanting to ground-out to anything (or anybody) nearby. (pronounced crap)

    Unless you are prepared to accept poorly suppressed ignition wires that fail sooner than any other type of ignition wires and stretch your ignition system to the limit, and have an engine with no electronic management system and/or exhaust emission controls, it's best not to be influenced by the exaggerated claims, and some vested-interest journalists', resellers' and installers' perception an engine has more power after Nology wires are fitted. Often, after replacing deteriorated wires, any new ignition wires make an engine run better.
    source
    I wrote what I wrote from common sense. The article backs me. I dunno about army stuff from the 50's or what ever. I'm keeping a modern motorcycle running.
    "What does it mean to you? For me, it's something I just do."

  9. #9
    Lost bufordtpisser's Avatar
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    Hard to explain this without going into a primer on how electricity works, but every electrical wire with current running through it will have a certain amount of inductance. That is how transformers work. You wrap big coils of wire around little coils of wire and then induce a current through the big wires and then tap the little wires to reduce or increase the voltage that is going into the big wires. There is no physical connection between the two sets of wires. Better explained here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inductor. All wires produce a certain amount of EMF when current is passed through. A spark plug wire does not have to have a short in it to cause cross fire. It happens all of the time in poorly designed wires. And unless they are shielding those wires inside and using that as a ground path, then they too can build current in the braid and shock you. Magnecor has been writing that BS for years and when they were challenged to prove it with real world testing and side by side comparisons they backed down. Grounding the braid does not increase the amount of leakage, it lowers it. If it increased it as they say, they why are all cable and satellite wires protected by braided and grounded shielding?? Because they keep the signal in, and the interference out. Want to prove this to yourself?? Hook up a braided and grounded sparkplug wire and a braided and non grounded wire and check the current flow to ground. I have seen these tests performed.

    All manufacturers of so called the best of the best type products will talk about their so called proof. I read the entire article that you provided a link to, and it states a lot. Like this statement "Although using a grounded metal shielding over the entire length of each ignition wire will certainly provide RFI suppression, and this style of wire is still used on low-revving piston driven aircraft engines, it is common knowledge (from experience) (who's experience)amongst automotive electrical engineers (what engineers??)that it's unwise to use ignition wires fitted with grounded metal shielding over ignition cable jackets on a high-revving automobile engine — as the problems caused by any style of ignition wires which need to be grounded have proven to be so great, that using them should be avoided at all costs!" to which they offer no proof. I use Taylors on my Mark VIII on the advice of a Lincoln Engineer who stated to me that with the sensitive electronics on my car that the grounded, stainless braided Taylors were the best bang for the buck improvement that I could make for my ignition system.

  10. #10
    Lost bufordtpisser's Avatar
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    Greg, this part of your response is exactly what I stated in my original response: "It should be noted that it is dangerous to use this style of wires if not grounded to the engine with grounding straps, as the outside of the braided cables will be alive with thousands of volts wanting to ground-out to anything (or anybody) nearby. (pronounced crap)"

    And those wires that Ricky was looking at are exactly that. Braided and non grounded.

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