Spark Plug Wires
Posted by DavidPackard on 2016/2/7 12:58:53
I'm about to restore the spark plug wires on my '48 Deluxe Eight (221/2262), back to the way they should have been when new. I do need a bit of help from the experienced members of the forum.
My questions are;
Are non-insulated straight connector ignition leads correct for the last three cylinders of an electromatic equipped engine?
Is there a preferred routing of the ignition leads through the cable support block for an AutoLite equipped vehicle?
Here's some background information and research with regard to these two questions.
My research to date would indicate that the correct configuration would be cloth covered, black in color, high tension leads, with straight un-insulated connectors at the plug. However . . .
I was looking at plate number 60 - Clutch "Electromatic" - 22 Series (my car is so equipped), and it is quite clear that the forward cylinder ignition leads have straight connectors. It is equally clear that the leads for the rear cylinders are routed under the vacuum line from the intake manifold to the electromatic control unit. If I had to guess I would say that plate 60 depicts that the rear three cylinders are either equipped with right angle connectors, or those three wires had much less of a 'loop' as the wire approaches the plug.
Plate number 84 Engine "Left Side" is for a non-electromatic equipped car. This plate depicts straight connectors on the rear three ignitions leads and the 'loop' in the wire is quite restricted ( I wouldn't have installed a wire with that tight of radius).
Plate number 85 Engine "Right Side" is for a non-electromatic equipped car. This plate depicts straight connectors on the rear three ignition leads. The 'loop' in the wire is far less restrictive than shown in the previous plate.
Plate number 86 Engine "Right Side" is for a non-electromatic equipped car. This plate depicts straight connectors on the rear three ignition leads. The 'loop' in the wire is more generous than shown in plate 84, but to my eye the 'loop' appears less than shown in plate 85.
Plate 87 shows the left side of a 24/25 series engine ( an electromatic clutch was no longer available ), again the rear plug wires have straight connectors with a generous loop in the cable.
From section 4 of the parts catalog, part number 394497 (that's the ignition cable set) appears to apply to all of the engines depicted in the plates. There does not appear to be a separate ignition wire set for electromatic equipped vehicles. Equally, part number 317540 ( that's the plug terminal) appears to be use in all series 22 applications. I have no information on whether this terminal was intended to be 'bent to fit', and could be either straight or angled. From all of the plates I would conclude that the terminals are straight and are not 'field' bent.
From the information I have looked at I have drawn the conclusion I should not be fixated on the amount of 'loop' shown in the plates. It would appear that this was not necessarily a controlled characteristic. There is the possibility that for electromatic equipped cars the loop was minimized to keep the leads from touching the vacuum line.
The second question concerns the routing of the wires through the rubber block held in the coil mounting bracket. On my '48 the rear wires are routed through the four holes closest to the head, with the forward wires in the upper four holes. On my '54 the rear wires are routed through the rear holes (two low, two high), with the forward wires routed in a similar way. Both of these configurations result in a lot of wire crossing between the distributor and mounting block, but 'neat' wire routing from the block to the plug. My '48 is equipped with an AutoLite distributor and I was thinking that the wires should be routed as to minimize the amount of crossing and run the leads as straight as possible from the distributor cap to the wire block. By straight I don't mean Banjo string tight, I'm thinking to minimize the torque required to rotate the distributor, since the vacuum advance/retard rotates the entire distributor.
Plate 87 suggests that 'neatness' of the wires between the block and distributor may have been a consideration. This plate depicts an AutoLite equipped engine, and I do see one or two wires that cross, but in general it isn't like a complete jumble of wires. I believe if the oil pump has been installed such that number one distributor tower is essentially at 07:00 then there is a routing that has no wires crossing between the distributor and block. Unfortunately all of the plates are with the coil installed, which pretty much blocks the view of the block and the wire routing details.
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