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Glow in the Dark Plug Wire

gensys

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Hi all,

First post!

My father in law gave us his '97 Mountaineer which has picked up a miss. So I did the 'ol look under the hood at night trick to check for a plug wire short.

To my suprise most the entire length of the #4 plug wire was glowing / crawling with electricity! I've never seen such a thing (it looked rather cool, actually - almost like science fiction).

Is it safe to assume a new set of plug wires is the answer? Should I be looking into anything else? Money is very tight for our family right now so I don't want to be replacing parts unnecessarily.

Thanks!

Eric
 



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eXcali

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If money is tight and you know which plug wire you need, run to your nearest you pull it Junkyard and grab a couple wires from the yard. You can easily escape with 5 wires for like $10-20. Or you can pay $100+ for a new set. This will atleast get you through until better times financially. I would say that you got a shot wire from the sounds of it. Just don't grab it while the engine is running, that equals major burns.
 






99XSP

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Geee, that's a leftover from the '80s, I remember I had them (and boots for the plugs) on my first car.

Anyhow, you can find them at places which sell stuff for motorcycles. You can buy just the wire or the complete sets. They are also ignition coils which are clear.

Greetings!
 






gensys

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On further inspection I found a typical short (i.e. arc out 90 degrees to ground) a few inches from the coil. So I'll replace the plug wires for sure. Thanks for excali, but after seeing how worn they are and how difficult the routing is I think it best to go for go a full new set :(

It's interesting that I rerouted the bad wire away from the ground source until it would no longer arc -- yet nearly half the wire (nearest the plug) still has the electricity glowing / crawling along its surface.

Maybe the conductor inside is broken and the surface of the wire is now the path of least resistance?

I'll be ordering plugs and a new wire set from Rockauto.

Anything else related to this problem I should check for before placing my order (so I only have to pay shipping once)?

Thanks!!
 






eXcali

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I'd say your good on just the wires. Make sure you get stock or OEM equiv wires. If you buy cheapo's you could be in this same boat 3 months from now. Not to knock rockauto, but I never mail-order my plugs or wires just cause I have gotten to many wires that were trash straight from the box. But that's just my personal preference.
 






gensys

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Geee, that's a leftover from the '80s, I remember I had them (and boots for the plugs) on my first car.

Anyhow, you can find them at places which sell stuff for motorcycles. You can buy just the wire or the complete sets. They are also ignition coils which are clear.

Greetings!
Hey 99XSP, that sounds wild - I'd never heard of such parts. However, these are standard plug wires and for some reason the electrical current crawling all over and around the external surface of the wire!

My son said it reminded him of the scene in Star Wars where the Emperor attacks Luke!
 






IZwack

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Pics of the glowing wires or else you're lying!! :p:
 






gensys

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I'd say your good on just the wires. Make sure you get stock or OEM equiv wires. If you buy cheapo's you could be in this same boat 3 months from now. Not to knock rockauto, but I never mail-order my plugs or wires just cause I have gotten to many wires that were trash straight from the box. But that's just my personal preference.
Rats, I was hoping to get by for less. Rock has Motorcraft for $71.99.

These would be the same product the dealer sells, right?
 






eXcali

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Pics of the glowing wires or else you're lying!! :p:

I've had this happen to me before, oddly enuff it was after I had Pep Boy's do a tuneup with new plugs and wires. Unfortunately this was back in the days where if you wanted a picture, you needed a camera. Not like today where your super sized soda from McDonalds has a camera function. It was really neat to see, unfortunately I shocked the piss outta myself because it only did it after I reseated the plug onto the coil pack. It was a good 8-12 inches of telsa coil looking wire.
 






eXcali

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Rats, I was hoping to get by for less. Rock has Motorcraft for $71.99.

These would be the same product the dealer sells, right?

Yes motorcraft is. If they have it for $71.99 I'd give it a shot since most places want a C note or better.

Just don't throw your wires away just incase.
 






gensys

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Pics of the glowing wires or else you're lying!! :p:
Liar? Liar? Whos you callin a liar boy?

Hey pics is a good idea! But I tried and it's too dark for my point & shoot :( Even in movie mode.
 






eXcali

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Liar? Liar? Whos you callin a liar boy?

Hey pics is a good idea! But I tried and it's too dark for my point & shoot :( Even in movie mode.

Just pickup one of those camera equiped super size drinks at McD's, I believe they are up to 10MP with true night vison and infared modes.
 






gensys

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Yes motorcraft is. If they have it for $71.99 I'd give it a shot since most places want a C note or better.

Just don't throw your wires away just incase.
OK good!

Even better is they will be $63.79 as our Mountaineer takes the post 1/24/97 style.

Thanks for your help!
 






gensys

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Just pickup one of those camera equiped super size drinks at McD's, I believe they are up to 10MP with true night vison and infared modes.
So then do I want fries with that?
 






eXcali

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So then do I want fries with that?

Just get them unsalted otherwise they scratch the lense when u get it on your hands.

As for plug prices, I swear somewhere there is a little man who lives under a bridge who marks them with huge prices for no reason at all. I remember when I could pick up premium plugs for $30 and a gallon of gas was $0.35.....
 












99XSP

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Wow, with all the gizmo's you can buy for cars here, I can't believe you never saw the glowing ones.

Okay, thus we had them more then 20 years ago, I was able to quickly find them at, like I said, motorcycle stores. Just to be clear, you can see the sparks as the ignition is firing, when the engine is off, nothing is "glowing".

This is a NGK with red plastic insert, so you have the red sparks:

KerzensteckerNGK.jpg


And this is another one, all clear plastic:

Kerzenstecker.jpg


And I think this is the wires:

Kabel.jpg


Greetings!
 












IZwack

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Yeah but this is a bit different than the aftermarket doodads - the electricity in this case is travelling on the surface of the cladding/jacket, not the core. Thats why I wanted to see some pics :)
 



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410Fortune

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Taylor Spiro wires are good and far cheaper then the $72 :)
 






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