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Old 02-15-2009, 06:45 PM   #1
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Spark plug wire Test

I am always thinking about ways to squeeze every drop of performance out of my vehicles. So when I was changing the plug wires in my wife’s van (The same applies to the Zetec engine with plug wires) I got to wondering If aftermarket wires could make a diffrence. For this test I used Summit Racing’s performance wire set. These are clamed to have 500 ohms per foot. Here is what I found out from the three wires I have done so far. **note the back three have to be done from underneath the vehicle so I waited till later for those.

Cylinder #1 Stock 12 inches long = 4.48k ohms
Summit 12 inches long = .465k ohms

Cylinder #3 Stock 16 inches long = 5.21k ohms
Summit 16 inches long = .865k ohms

Cylinder #5 Stock 18 inches long = 7.15k ohms
Summit 18 inches long = .664k ohms

I’ve always been a little skeptical about ignition companies claming an increase in power with wires but after seeing the diffrence just between the stock replacement wires and inexpensive performance wires I am less skeptical now. What these reading tell me is that more of the coils energy can get to the plugs faster. This is because the spark energy doesn’t have to fight as hard to get to the plugs, or less energy is lost as the spark travels to the plug. This could be especially beneficial to Forced induction, nitrous and high compression vehicles where cylinder pressure is high and having maximum spark energy is important. As far as daily drivers and mild performance engines, gas mileage and better throttle response is a plus to be gained from this. As for out right power it is not likely to be a lot unless you are dealing with high output engines.
Hope this little project/ R&D helps some one.


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Old 02-15-2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Its just basic physics... the larger the wire the less resistance it has.

At least you did the test and you did get some good info and thanks for sharing it.

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Old 02-15-2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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thanks for the compliment
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Old 05-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #4
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Its just basic physics... the larger the wire the less resistance it has.
Resistance is not the only issue. Ignition wires need an optimum amount of resistance — not a "minimum" amount. Considerations include crosstalk, optimal resonance damping, EMI radiation. I don't know what that optimum numbers are for Focus engines, but I assume they was determined when the ignition system was designed.

What's really ugly and non-optimal is the price of OEM wires. I was just quotes $80+ for a set of SVT ignition wires by a Ford dealer...
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Old 05-08-2009, 07:30 PM   #5
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^^Sure ...

Lower resistance = less amperage draw from coil = less load on electrical system (i.e. load on alternator).
EMI and what not isn't a big deal so long as a resistor spark plug is used and the engine grounds are up to par. Also a larger wire naturally has less EMI than a smaller when the same amperage is pushed through each.
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