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article details
Author Tuan
Categories All Honda/Acura
Create Date January 15, 2002 01:06
Last Update July 16, 2002 11:28
Magnecor Plug Wire Review
Last Updated: 03/16/97

INSTALLATION

The wires came with very straight-forward instructions. It even included a separate sheet warning about the non-ribbed insulator of the Splitfire sparkplugs. Installation was a breeze. Just be careful about pulling out the old wires and remember to mark the locations where each wire was pulled from.

Here is the measured resistance of each wire. Acura states that the specification for the stock wires should be "less than 25 Kohm at 68deg F (20deg C)". Here are the actual measured values.

Measured Resistance
-------------------
Stock		8-12 K Ohms
NGK Blues	         4-6  K Ohms
Magnecor 8.5	3-5  K Ohms

The difference between the 8.5 mm and 10 mm Magnecor wires is the thickness of the insulation and the price. However, the thickness of the insulation allows the 10 mm wires to have better heat resistance and a higher dielectric strength. Magnecor does make wire guides for their 10mm wires.

		KV85 (8.5mm)	R-100(10mm)
Service Temp.	600 F		700 F
3 Minute Temp.	1,000 F		1,200 F
Dielectric Str.	60kV at 260 C	80kV at 260 C


G-Analyst Results

As expected, performance improvements were not noticeable even by the G-analyst. This is to be expected since my car has only 20,000 miles and I'm sure the stock wires are still good.

THE VERDICT

Hits

  • Good fit and easy installation
  • Good replacement for old, worn out stock wires
  • A must for capacitive discharge ignition systems
  • Does not affect stereo performance

Misses

  • No noticeable acceleration improvements compared to new stock wires

The Decision

A good replacement when your stock wires are getting tired or when you move up to a capacitive discharge ignition system.

Magnecor's Evaluation of RFI

by Richard Cox/Steve Brown
We rarely have anybody comment that Magnecor Race wires cause RFI interference, even though the wires are primary designed to eliminate EMI, and that's why we're curious about your problem.

Aftermarket AM radio/sound systems are inclined to pick-up RFI from ignition wires because the AM tuners used are generally not as capable in picking up the signal from the radio station as the original sound system's tuner. Better AM tuners overcome RFI noise picked up from ignition wires by drowning out the ignition noise with a strong signal.

It's important that no part of the antenna cable is in the engine bay, and that you establish that the antenna's outer sheilding is grounded to chassis or body. Also, make sure the antenna and its cable inner wire (in which the signal travels) are intact to the set and there's no corrosion at any connections, or water in the antenna housing or that the antenna lead or power lead to radio is close or attached to the tachometer lead. All the aforementioned will weaken the signal from the radio station to the AM tuner.

If the noise is a ticking sound, as though it's only coming from one or 2 cylinders at idle speed (listen with radio off a station), it could be that terminals at either end of ignition wires are not all the way connected onto spark plugs and distributor/coil.

Also, re: Nology HotWires. They consist of nothing other than grounded metal braiding over part of the ignition wires' insulating jacket. There's no separate capacitors included with the wires. The bits that screw on are usually European connectors (with resistors inside). We at Magnecor don't recommend capacitors be fitted to any ignition wires.

Metal braiding over ignition cable does cause a crude "capacitor" effect, which is of no use to your engine even if is was true it could shorten the spark duration (which is controlled solely by the ignition amplifier), as your engine runs best with the spark duration as close as possible to the original ignition. Integras don't like Nology HotWires, as all sorts of nasty things happen as the ignition cable's jacket under the metal braiding breaks down and eventually more and more spark energy is induced into the metal braiding, leaving little to fire the spark plug gaps.

We have never heard of RFI noise from ignition wires causing a "whistle" (usually associated with an alternator). Ignition wire noise can be identified from other noises because of it's a sharp ticking noise that gets faster as engine revs increase. A bad coil wire connection could sound like a ZZZZZZZZ. (again changing with engine revs).

As our previous e-mail mentioned, AM noises are more likely than not the result of a weak or badly shielded radio signal in the antenna (not necessarily the Alpine set), and the set's tuner picks up ignition wire and other noises in preference to the radio signal. The more energy the ignition wires can handle, the more RFI noise the tuner is inclined to pick-up from wires in preference to a weak radio AM signal. We also suggest you check the connections at the spark plug end and distributor ends of the ignition wires just in case they're loose.

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