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Unread 01-20-2010, 10:18 AM   #1
wm69
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Teamrush MSD plug wires

I'm going to teamrush Dad's Scrambler soon. I already have a brass cap, rotor, adapter, MSD 8205 coil, and now I need plug wires.

I noticed Jeephammer recently said that plug wires have gone downhill as far as quality is concerned, and said MSD wires were the only ones he recommends anymore.

I've always bought off the shelf wire sets. Is there an MSD 8.5MM wireset that will pop in place on the 8205 coil and ford dist cap? I tried putting in an 82 F150 on MSD's website and got a "cut and crimp" wireset. Is there a custom fit set that will fit (like maybe a 4.0 Jeep set)?

How hard is it to crimp the ends on these wires CORRECTLY? If it's not too bad I would get a V8 set and have a couple of extra wires.

Is there a difference in black and red wire sets other than the color? Both are listed for the 4.0 Jeep engine, but no specs are given for either to see if there is a difference.

My ex brother in law said he could cut down my Jacobs wires years ago and managed to just ruin a couple of them before I told him to forget it.

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Unread 01-20-2010, 08:50 PM   #2
wm69
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bump. Surely someone has trimmed/put ends on a set of MSD wires.
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85 CJ7 258, borla header, Team Rush, MC2100 ,optima batt, Warn 8274, agr super box 2 & pump, T5 w/ B&M shifter, centerforce 2, superior 1 piece axles, warn hubs 2.5 in lift, 31" BFG MT

85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 01-20-2010, 09:10 PM   #3
PhatBasturd
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The MSD 8.5mm cut and crimp wires are not too bad.

The directions provided by MSD are hard to follow at first glance. So read them carefully a couple of times before starting.

Once you figure out the first one the rest will go a lot faster.

You will need dielectric grease to help pull the wires through the boots.

The MSD kits come with a gauge to trim the ends of the wires correctly and a crimping tool that you use with a workbench vice.
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Unread 01-21-2010, 12:35 AM   #4
JeepHammer
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Use the stripping gauge provided with the wires and you won't have any problems.
Just don't cut the spiral conductor in the center of the wire core and there are no issues.

Stripping gauge will let you get most of the way through the insulation without cutting into the core of the wire,
So then you just twist the insulation end and pull it off and you will have PERFECTLY stripped wires!

BEFORE you cut the wires,
Put them on the spark plugs, and plan your route to the EXACT distributor cap terminal you want them to go to so you get the correct length the FIRST time!
You cut one too short, and you can't 'Stretch' it to fit!

I even put mine in the wire looms I'm going to use to separate & manage them before I start cutting!
If you are reaching for a terminal on the FAR SIDE of the distributor cap, feel free to turn the cap boot so the wire crosses the cap,
You DO NOT have to go around and make the cap look like an Octopus!
Tidy and neet is the name of the game, and having wires sticking out all directions IS NOT TIDY!

NEVER BUNDLE PLUG WIRES!
When current travels down a wire, it creates a magnetic field.
When you bundle wires, you can actually fire the WRONG CYLINDER and rob the correct cylinder of some spark energy.
Keep your wires about 1" apart when they run the same way,
And if you can avoid it, don't run your wires through metal wire looms.
That will rob some of the spark energy through induction losses.

When you cut those wires to length, use something VERY sharp!
Side cuts are OK, but make sure the blades don't have defects and they mesh properly for a CLEAN cut or you will make a mess out of the spiral wrap wire at the core.

I often put them on a block of wood and use a razor knife to cut through the wires when I don't have the proper cutters with me.
Utility knife blades, Razor knives and even those heavy scissors work pretty good for shortening the wires!

Crimping is MUCH easier with a proper crimping tool,
But if you have access to a bench vice you can manage with the crimping tool provided with the wires (same tool as the stripping gauge).

Just remember, you are trying to CRIMP the connector on the spark conductor, not MANGLE IT!

Crimping the part of the connector that bites into the insulation is much easier if you use needle nose pliers and start the bends BEFORE you hard crimp them.

Most of the instructions tell you to pull the wires through the cap boots, then crimp on the terminals.

With a little dielectric grease, and a soft touch, you can crimp on the terminals,
THEN push them into the boots to the proper position.
Just remember, the terminals have some sharp edges and like to hang up on the boots, so finesse over force if you do it that way...

The MSD 'Blue' wires work best for Jeep ignitions without being overly expensive in the 'Cut To Fit' department.

And don't forget the MSD plug terminals/boots will bend up to 90 degrees from straight to make them a perfect fit at the plug ends and keep the boots off the exhaust!
-------------------

The best advise I can give you is once you have fitted the spark plug ends of the wires, and figured out your separation and wire looms back to the cap, take the wire with the most excess and start experimenting on it,
Practice those small cuts, twisting/pulling on the cut end of the insulation without unraveling the spiral core, Clean stripping is 90% of the battle and since you are going to have wire to spare, might as well practice a little!
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Unread 01-21-2010, 04:24 AM   #5
JCJ
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I did the MSD thing a few days ago and found 4 out of 6 of the factory plug end crimps to be bad, either not tight on the sheathing if they failed to crimp the core wire. It's worth pulling the plug boot back and at least having a look..
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Unread 01-21-2010, 09:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JCJ View Post
I did the MSD thing a few days ago and found 4 out of 6 of the factory plug end crimps to be bad, either not tight on the sheathing if they failed to crimp the core wire. It's worth pulling the plug boot back and at least having a look..
If I'm reading this correctly,

1. The insulation crimp DOES NOT crimp to the core.
And you should NEVER make the insulation crimp ends bite so much they will make it to the core!
There is a VERY thin wire in there and ramming a piece of sharp edged metal into it is a very good way to disable your plug wire!

It simply bites on the insulation so stupid people don't yank on the wire and break the core connection further down in the connector.
ALWAYS PULL ON THE BOOT, NOT THE WIRE!

2. The Core 'Crimp' isn't a 'Hard Crimp'.

The core is held between two metal ROLLED surfaces so they just make contact but DO NOT Cut into the core material.

The rolled, rounded contact surfaces are there to make sure you don't cut the spiral core material, and give the substantial spark energy a longer connection point to the terminal end.

And if you over crimp these, they shouldn't bite in short of total failure of the metal the connector is made of.

3. Anytime you have those boots pulled back to have a look at the terminal/wire,
It's ALWAYS a good idea to fill that cavity between wire and plug connection socket with dielectric grease before you pull the plug boot back into place.

The boots are NOT made to be water tight,
Even though they do a VERY good job of keeping moisture out of the connection points,
They can use a little help every now and again!

I like it when my plug wires are still working when the vehicle is basically under water!
A little dab of dielectric grease goes a LONG WAY towards that goal!
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Unread 01-21-2010, 11:33 AM   #7
wm69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post

The MSD 'Blue' wires work best for Jeep ignitions without being overly expensive in the 'Cut To Fit' department.
Are these the 8MM? (what's the difference in red and blue wires)?
If the 8.5MM are overkill (won't really be any better than the 8mm given the rest of the ignition system) then cheaper is always better.

Thanks for the input.
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85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 01-21-2010, 11:54 AM   #8
motiv8ya
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I put a set of these MSD wires on my AMC 401 and followed the instructions using their crimping tool with a vise...Easy install and no issues, a very noticable difference over my other wires....Take your time and follow the instructions.
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Unread 01-21-2010, 12:43 PM   #9
wm69
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double post.
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85 CJ7 258, A/C, T176, MC2100, Team Rush, Warn XD8000i, superwinch hubs, 3in lift 31" BFG AT/KO
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Unread 01-21-2010, 02:56 PM   #10
JCJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepHammer View Post
If I'm reading this correctly,
nah, I'm just really bad at getting my point across on the www.

The core was not in contact with the terminal at all on some of them. I'm talking about the double crimp 90's. The outer crimp was so loose it would spin with little effort.

Like you, I have been doing this stuff for a living for a long time and have never had an issue before with the factory ends. I've used more MSD sets on SCCA T/A cars and the like than care to remember..
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Unread 01-21-2010, 11:44 PM   #11
JeepHammer
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AutoTronic controls spun off MSD a few years back, and the quality, variety and customer service have suffered.

Stuff I used to install a lot of is no longer made,
And they have expanded into all sorts of new stuff that has nothing to do with ignitions...

I've seen this before,
A company does something focused, does a GREAT job, the company makes money and has a good reputation,
Then some conglomerate comes along and gobbles them up...
And the Bean Counters get into it and RUIN EVERYTHING!

Some conglomerates actually have a prospectus that predicts how much money they can ring out of the brand name before the name turns to mud and the company goes under or gets sold off to some foreign manufacturer.

I know the quality on some things has gone down...
(usually imported, which when AutoTronic controls was family owned NEVER happened!)
And now I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop...

I'd hate to see MSD as a brand from some china manufacturer selling junk!

I have a look at EVERYTHING when I'm assembling, and I haven't had an issue with plug wires yet,
But I'm retired from the shop where I put a set on about every day...

Now I do a set or two about every month.
Still the best wire on the market for the money!
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Unread 02-05-2010, 08:35 PM   #12
crrushing
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Jeep Hammer,

What do you think about the Heli Core plug wire Jegs part #121-3117? I was looking at them and notice everything was precrimped and ready to go. Should I go with the do it yourself wires or these wires that are pre-done?
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Unread 02-07-2010, 05:05 PM   #13
JeepHammer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crrushing View Post
Jeep Hammer,

What do you think about the Heli Core plug wire Jegs part #121-3117? I was looking at them and notice everything was precrimped and ready to go. Should I go with the do it yourself wires or these wires that are pre-done?
The problem with plug wires that are pre-made is they just don't fit.
I-6 wires pretty much fit any I-6 engine, but there are no good fitting plug wires for a V-8.

In my opinion, there is no better plug wire than an MSD set!
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Unread 02-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #14
boomvader
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JH,

Do you recommend a certain plug wire separator for the AMC V8?
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