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An old wifes tale or not
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RCB
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:59 pm    Post subject: An old wifes tale or not Reply with quote

I was reading various posts here on The Samba and a post caught my eye.

In it...it says that the plug wires should not cross over each other or in any way touch each other.

As someone who learns from the wiser Im curious as to if this could cause a problem of any kind if the wires touch or overlap one another.

If it makes a difference I use the Bosch Super Wires part number 09171.

Thankx all
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SteveVanB
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it's worth, I have mine twisted aroung each other and it doesn't seem to affect anything.
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?Waldo?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's an interesting thought. Any pulse of current will create a moving magnetic field which induces a current in the adjacent wires. I'm not sure how dramatic the overall effect would be but there is a factual basis.
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Mr. Electric Wizard
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wive's tale or not I do not know, but I just replaced my plug wires and plugs (bosch ultra premium wires - NGK BP6ET plugs) and it is running really, really well right now. My wires touch each other too.
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Alan Brase
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Andrew A. Libby wrote:
It's an interesting thought. Any pulse of current will create a moving magnetic field which induces a current in the adjacent wires. I'm not sure how dramatic the overall effect would be but there is a factual basis.

Darn little, I'd guess. Perhaps enough to feel it if you ran a piece of hookup wire along the ignition wire and held onto both ends. There is not really very much energy going thru the wire, so it would be hard to lose very much.
(Unless you ran it thru a transformer, i.e. many turns and around an iron core.)
Al
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mcsyncro
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back it the day, when engines had copper core plug wires, and plain
old rubber outter covers, the wires could cross fire if they we're touching
together. But these days with silicone outter's and carbon inners, it's
not much of an issue any more.
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Volksbulli
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mcsyncro wrote:
Back it the day, when engines had copper core plug wires, and plain
old rubber outter covers, the wires could cross fire if they we're touching
together. But these days with silicone outter's and carbon inners, it's
not much of an issue any more.


Exactly... hah, some old tractors I have worked on have the old copper wire wires and you don't want to be touching them while its running either.
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VWGeorge
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 6:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the old days the RUBBER jacket on the SOLID COPPER CORE wires would rot and crack. In the event that the wires were crossing themselves would cause cross firing and the engine would run like shit if it got wet.
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regis101
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And by the same token, If you're into attention to details, It's one of the things that may prevent any future problems to pop up.
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tencentlife
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regardless of the wire core type (whatever it is made of, it has to carry the same level of power), any insulation will break down over time. There are factors that cause plug wire insulation to break down even faster, one being the high voltage itself, also the presence of strong magnetic fields (alternator, coil, and field generation in the wire itself) , heat, oil residue, and with anything except silicone the ozone gas present in any engine compartment. Of all these, ozone damages all kinds of rubber materials, natural and synthetic, faster than all the other factors combined, which is one good reason to choose silicone wires because it is one of the only materials suitable for insulation that shows little damage due to ozone.

Loss of spark energy can and will occur as the insulation breaks down. This is why you do need to replace the wire periodically. At tens of thousands of volts, electron pressure will find its way thru and ionise the air around the wire itself to seek a path to ground; that is why you can evaluate the condition of your wires by spraying a mist of water over them in the dark, showing visibly how much energy is escaping. Sometimes it's bad enough that you don't even need the water to see the blue sparks.

So any place you allow that energy an easier path to ground is a potential loss of sufficient power on that wire to jump the plug gap in the pressurised combustion chamber. At a certain point, and under certain conditions, enough is lost that there is no spark or only very weak spark at the gap, and that is a missed ignition. The conditions vary from stroke to stroke in the engine, which is why ignition misses are so variable and condition-dependent.

Any place you offer an easier ground path is a chance that a misfire can occur. A wire's voltage can jump to another wire if they are bundled together and their insulation is weakening. The plug gap in an unpressurised cylinder offers much less resistance than the one that should be firing, so some of the energy may jump to an adjacent wire to find ground that way, and that is a loss of spark energy in the cylinder that should be firing. If wires are in direct contact with grounded metals, there is a particularly easy path for spark energy loss.

So, no, it's not a wive's tale. When wires are brand new, if they are of good quality to begin with, they can contain the spark voltage effectively and little is lost, but they age inexorably, and as they do more and more spark voltage can be lost, up to the point that the losses prevent a spark from occurring where and when it should. So it's best to keep your wires isolated from each other and from grounded components as much as is practical. And even when that is done with care, you still need new ones periodically.
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crazyvwvanman
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 10:15 am    Post subject: Re: An old wifes tale or not Reply with quote

As these 2 images show, lots of German vehicles come from the factory with the installed plug wires run bundled together in a tube, touching each other willy nilly. BMW 3 series 6 cyl, Audi 5 cyl

http://www.autohausaz.com/secure/PartImages/12121705714.jpg

http://www.autohausaz.com/secure/PartImages/09500.jpg

Mark


RCB wrote:
I was reading various posts here on The Samba and a post caught my eye.

In it...it says that the plug wires should not cross over each other or in any way touch each other.

As someone who learns from the wiser Im curious as to if this could cause a problem of any kind if the wires touch or overlap one another.

If it makes a difference I use the Bosch Super Wires part number 09171.

Thankx all
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