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Ignition Wires
#1
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BigKev
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Has anyone ever had a problem with spark plug wires that just don't seem to stay or snap into the distro cap. I bought a set of wires from Max Merritt, and you had to assembly them yourself. So it came with all the boots and terminals. But the Distro caps ends really don't seat that well in the cap. They pull right out. Bad terminal ends? Or perhaps they are crimped to tight?

What do you guys use for wires?

Posted on: 2007/5/27 17:57
-BigKev


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1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Ignition Wires
#2
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BH
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IIRC, there is a slight groove down inside each tower on the dist. cap, and a rib on the terminal end catches on that groove to help retain the wire to the cap.

There used to be a special tool with a wire brush on the end for cleaning the inside of those towers, but you had to be careful not to overdo it - else the terminal will not release once installed.

For wires, I suggest you get a spool of Packard wire, some boots, terminals, and a crimper and make yer own. That way you know they're right - provided you have access to a correct set of wires to go by as an example.

Posted on: 2007/5/27 18:41
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Re: Ignition Wires
#3
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BigKev
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The cap is new. So it's pretty clean. I think it's a problem with the terminals I am using. If I bend the ridges on the terminals out a little bit then they seem the snap in better.

Posted on: 2007/5/27 19:27
-BigKev


1954 Packard Clipper Deluxe Touring Sedan -> Registry | Project Blog

1937 Packard 115-C Convertible Coupe -> Registry | Project Blog
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Re: Ignition Wires
#4
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PackardV8
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The terminals should be have a split up one side of them. Expand the OD of the terminal and push it place. This a fairly common procedure that usually needs to be done when ever wire is removed from cap. Also may have to compress the spark plug terminal end if it is not one of the banded type.

Posted on: 2007/5/27 20:59
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Re: Ignition Wires
#5
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Eric Boyle
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I have found that the easiest way to do that is stick a spark plug in the distributor cap end of the wires. It usually expands the brass end enough to get a good grip. OR, you can wiggle the plug around in there to get it a little bigger. Cheap and easy, plus no tools required.

Posted on: 2007/5/27 22:50
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Re: Ignition Wires
#6
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BH
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Eric -

That's a good tip for modern caps (like the HEI distributor you put in your Pat), which have a terminal much like the top of a spark plug.

However, BigKev is using the old point-style distributor, which have terminals more like the coil tower.

While BigKev has a new cap, attached is a pic of the tool I was talking about.

Attach file:



jpg  (9.14 KB)
103_465ad7a5779a3.jpg 480X360 px

Posted on: 2007/5/28 8:23
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Re: Ignition Wires
#7
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Eric Boyle
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Actually, I meant the tip to be for the old style distributor caps. With an HEI cap, you'd want to make the ends smaller to fit over the "nipple" on the end of the cap. On the earlier ones, you'd want to make it bigger, to fit tightly into the cap.

Posted on: 2007/5/28 11:17
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Re: Ignition Wires
#8
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Joe Hall
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IIRC last time I installed a new set, the 1960s-70s, 389 Pontiac wires seemed close enough. None of the wires were excessively long, none were too short, and they plugged in similar to the OEMs.Of course I am not real picky when it comes to such details.

Joe H

Posted on: 2007/5/28 22:19
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