All Big Six Performance Distributors Spark Plug Wires

Relates to all big sixes

wsa111

Distributor Recurving.
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I have heard from several owners of these wires with failures from arcing to the nearest metal.
In my opinion the best wires are made by MSD. They have 100 ohms per foot of wires.
Any one else experienced this condition??
 

Wesman07

Famous Member
Supporter 2020
I have no experience with MSD wires but I can say that every spark plug wire I have ever used will arch if routed wrong or under the correct conditions, what ever way you want to look at it. Thanks for the lead on the MSD. I’ll give them a shot.
 

63 Sprint

Well-known member
Supporter 2021
Yes, I am having the issues as wsa111 posted.

I found these, anyone know anything about them.


 
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63 Sprint

Well-known member
Supporter 2021
I just Ohm’d them out.

Spark Plug Wires
Tested them from the shortest sizes to longest.
1——12” long, 379.5 Ohm’s

2——12” long, 396.7 Ohm’s

3——12” long, 398.6 Ohm’s

4——14” long, 438 Ohm’s

5——16” long, 495 Ohm’s

6——16” long, 496 Ohm’s

Coil Wire
1——17” long, 516 Ohm’s



Notes:
All testing done with:
Fluke 87 III
Calibration expiration date:
8/13/2022

I don’t have have the equipment to do Hipot tests.
 
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BigBlue94

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The performance distributors LiveWires wouldnt even fit on my 300 engine... Much too short. Abandoned bronco had the same issue.

Im currently running an MSD autoparts store special with good results.

I really liked the Taylor ThunderVolt 8.2 wires i had on the old pertronix converted P&C distributor. I think they had 50 ohms per foot.
 

MikeyLawless

Active member
I like the MSD wires, but I buy the universal ones and make 'em to my own length for my drag race VW. I replace 'em every 3-5 years, because with a powerful ignition box such as the MSD 7AL, they'll burn out from the inside out. So, it's kind of a maintenance routine. I even run MSD wires on my Harley. Leftover pieces from universal kits. They are only a foot long tho!
I will probably use MSD wire on my 300 too. Buy a universal kit and cut 'em to the right length. I reckon it's just about time to just buy a bulk roll of wire and built out both ends
 

Pontus

Well-known member
Supporter 2021
I looked through all the specs on MSD and others. MSD is 50Ω/ft for $100/set, most others were 300+ for $50-100. On Rock Auto, they had Standard Motors Blue Streak wire sets for our motors for just $30, and they're 8.5mm, 170Ω/ft, spiral wound copper nickel, ferrite core, and silicone insulated. That seemed like a really good deal if the wires are as advertised. I'll report back on my experience when I get it all together.
 

63 Sprint

Well-known member
Supporter 2021
I looked through all the specs on MSD and others. MSD is 50Ω/ft for $100/set, most others were 300+ for $50-100. On Rock Auto, they had Standard Motors Blue Streak wire sets for our motors for just $30, and they're 8.5mm, 170Ω/ft, spiral wound copper nickel, ferrite core, and silicone insulated. That seemed like a really good deal if the wires are as advertised. I'll report back on my experience when I get it all together.
I’m thinking of giving Blue Streaks a try.

Thanks for posting the info.
 
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BigBlue94

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I’m thinking of giving Blue Streaks a try.

Thanks for posting the info.
Apples to oranges, but i just put a set of Blue Streak COPs on my pop's 03 F150. They were economical and are working great. Truck hasnt scooted around like that in a long time.

I had a set of Accel wires long ago on a 351w with long tube headers. They were cut-to-fit and had a giant boot on the plug end. Those were the toughest wires ive ever had. Those boots had some scars from header heat, but never gave up the ghost.
 

bubba22349

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Yes the Accel's were very good set of wires they were owned by NAPA's Echline.
 

F-250 Restorer

Famous Member
I've been using MSD wires for about 4-5 years. I made them myself. I think they're great wires that I run with an MSD 6A box and DS2 distributor. I have to change the Cap and rotor every 6 months, brass contacts, due to contacts getting fouled. But, they have a life-time warranty so I pop off the old and swap in the new without spending a dime. Maybe 10 sets for the price of one, and counting! curtesy of O'reiley's.
 

63 Sprint

Well-known member
Supporter 2021
Here is an update.
The reason there were fireworks under the hood is I had all the plug wires off the plugs and plugs removed for a compression test. I did not unhook the power wire from the coil. I’m lucky I did not fry anything, including myself. The spark found it’s least resistance. I just could not believe I had arcing well over 1” from the boot to the engine block. And, arcing through the sides of the wires. The MSD 6AL makes multiple sparks. It sounded like a squealing bearing. I’d say that probably could kill someone if they get hit a certain way. I learned to disconnect the power to the coil before doing any further tests as I done. I have gained much respect for the ignition system in the truck. Young and old mechanic’s that don’t understand how serious of a situation that I put myself in, please take note. I’m glad I’m still here to talk about it. I’ve learned some good lessons and feel it’s good to share with others. Work Smart when around High Energy Ignition Systems. Disconnect the power when working on ignition systems. And keep your fingers off the plug wires when the engine is running. And, don’t attempt to remove plug wires without high energy resistant insulated spark plug boot removal pliers with the engine running. And using such pliers is no guarantee your fully protected. From what I experienced, I would not attempt removing any boots even if I’m using the proper pliers while the engine is running. I would rather shut the engine off first.

So, the Performance Distributor Livewire’s are back on and working fine. But there are others mentioned here that have less resistance. I feel my next set will be low resistance wires such as MSD. Blue Streaks seems to be a great deal and they would probably be fine for my needs.
 
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sdiesel

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im going to throw my vote for the motorcraft factory wires.
in all cases they perform as expected and always fit.
 

pmuller9

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im going to throw my vote for the motorcraft factory wires.
in all cases they perform as expected and always fit.
They do not work with high energy systems like the MSD ignitions.
I had a DS2 distributor cap carbon track and cause cross firing due to high resistance factory wires with a MSD system.
Changed to low resistance spiral wires and a new cap and have not had the problem since.
 
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sdiesel

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well of course i would use the MSD with MSD ACCEL with ACCEL. etc.
even so its hard to beat factory spec and quality in general terms.
 
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