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The Answer to Spark Plug Wires ( Ignition Wires )

Posted by David15151, Oct 13, 2004

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  1. David15151

    David15151 Proven Member

    Joined Aug 31, 2004
    Augusta, Georgia
    This is to help all those looking to upgrade their ignition wires and are not sure what brand they would like to buy.

    The following is the resistance measured in ohms/ft by each major ignition wire distributer.

    (low = good, high = bad)

    MSD Ignition 8.5mm Super Conductor (40-50 ohms/ft)
    Accel Thundersport (150 ohms/ft)
    Taylor 8mm Spiro Pro (350 ohm/ft)
    Aurora ignition wire set (400 ohms/ft)
    Vitek Performance Cables (their web site does not mention resistance, but John Monnin measured them at about 800 ohms/ft; the label under Vitek's braiding says "Magstar Gold 8mm High Performance S-4 Stainless Steel Mag Wire" - thanks John!; Magstar wires are manufactured by Wiretec)
    Wiretec Magstar Gold (800 ohms/ft as measured by John Monnin)
    NGK Resistor Spark Plug Wire Set (2600 ohms/ft)
    Mitsubishi factory wire sets (3000++ ohms/ft)
    Car Quest brand wire sets (3000++ ohms/ft - Thanks to Bret for measuring these wires.)
    Magnecor KV85 (6000++ ohms/ft)
  2. 44pirate

    44pirate Proven Member

    Joined Jun 23, 2002
    CAPE CORAL, Florida
    So what your saying here is, these are what the manufacturers claim. Have you actually measured them yourself. How about we all go and measure what our wires are.
    There was a thread about this. From what I remember, the #'s I see do not look like what the actual's came out to be.

    529  0

    1992 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    manual · 1G DSM
    Tommy Bailey likes this.
  3. DSMJim

    DSMJim Proven Member

    Joined Jul 24, 2002
    I would suggest some more research is done before making a post like this. Basically what your doing is looking at manufacturers claims and taking them as the law and judging all spark plug wires based on Media hype. There is a lot more to a wire than OHM's / foot.

    Though this is from one manufacturers website, this information has been regarded as being truthful and accurate for many years now.


    776  0

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    12.123 @ 114.750 · 2G DSM
  4. AirborneShark

    AirborneShark Probationary Member

    Joined May 4, 2009
    Pompano Beach, Florida
    Spark plug wires carry the high output spark from the coil pack to the spark plug, and are basically speaking a simple electrical connector. So, the higher quality connector, wiring, and shielding will provide more of your spark from the coilpack, to your spark plug.

    One easy way to test a spark plugs conductivity is to test the wire with a OHM meter. Testing a spark plug wire's ohm resistance will display how much resistance there is to the current that passes through the wire.

    The lower the number, the lower the resistance, which means that more current will reach the spark plug. The lower the resistance, the better quality conductor materials are used in making the spark plug wires.

    Now, onto testing the wires. We will display the wires from top to bottom from lowest resistance to highest resistance. Remember, the lower the number, the better the wire set is. You should be buying the lowest resistance wire set possible.

    Granatelli wires (2 OHMs)
    Here we have the Granatelli wires. These wires were the lowest wire OHM resistance wire we have ever tested, at 2 ohms of resistance. Granatelli uses a stainless steel core, wrapped in silver plated copper wiring. This is the highest quality wire we have ever carried, and the wire that we strongly recommend.

    MSD wires (33 OHMs)
    In second place, we have the MSD wire set. Compared to the Granatelli wires in first place, these wires are red in color, and come in at 33 ohms of resistance to the Granatelli wires's 2 OHMs of resistance. The MSD wires are still good quality though. Msd states on their boxes that they use a copper alloy conductor for their wires.

    ACCEL wires 124 OHMs
    In third place, we have Accel wires. These use a copper/alloy wire core, and are has a 8mm silicone jacket. These wires had a cheaper feel, and look compared to the other wires, but still had a great, low resistance.

    Mopar wires 390 OHMs
    Fourth place belongs to the Mopar Performance spark plug wires. We measured these wires to have 390 OHMS of resistance which is quite high, but still acceptable.

    Magnecor wires 1548 OHMs
    Fifth place place belongs to the Magnecor wires. Magnecor wires had the highest resistance out of all of the wires we tested, coming in at 1548 OHMS of resistance. (In Magnecor's defense, they claim that low OHM resistance wires are not a measure of quality, you can read more about it on their website here: Magnecor Race Wires

    Check out what Magnecor says on the link, very interesting. Chime in.
    Tommy Bailey likes this.
  5. Rob10_99

    Rob10_99 Proven Member

    Joined May 22, 2005
    Ptown, Arizona
    The resistance is so you can listen to the radio while your driving. Sure 0 ohm wires are great, but don't bother turning on the tuner!
    Someone care to do the I/E=R math on the DSM spark configuration?
    What's the Voltage output on the coils?

    1K  0

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    29.320 @ 55.000 · 2G DSM
    Tommy Bailey and Hi-PSI99GSX like this.
  6. luv2rallye

    luv2rallye DSM Wiseman

    Joined Jun 7, 2003
    Minneapolis, Minnesota
    OK lets put this one to bed once and for all.
    DON'T BE MISLED INTO THINKING LOWER RESISTANCE WIRES ARE BETTER! I'm an electronic engineer and I'm telling you "E/I=R math" (not I/E=R btw) applies to steady state circuits - not to a pulse.

    A pulse has infinite frequencies of decreasing magnitude and in order to get the energy transferred, a fourier analysis and integration (of the calculus type) of the cable's properties would have to be done, which has different impedance (think resistance) for every frequency. This is because for all these frequencies, the cable is more of a radio transmission line than a simple wire. DSMJim HAS THE CORRECT ANSWER which as you can see, is way more complicated than simple ohms/foot. Rob10 is also correct that some DC resistance is deliberately put there so you can listen to the radio. 45000 volts has no problem overcoming this DC resistance. But the energy transferred to the plug is described correctly by DSMJim, NOT BY OHMS/FOOT!!!

    So lets stop having these "ohms/foot is better with measured values" posts! DC ohms/foot is near meaningless on a transmission line (which is what a spark plug cable really is) compared to the impedance generated at each frequency, along with "skin effect" and all the other things described by DSMJim.
    (Good work btw DSMJim on finding that link).

    3K  0

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    14.200 @ 95.000 · 2G DSM
    SoCal420a, Tommy Bailey and Mushin like this.
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