ignition wires? - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 09-20-2004, 09:36 PM   #11
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I think dad told me something about this once... Something to the effect that electricity actually flows on the surface of a wire, not on the inside, hence stranded wire is rated higher. So... If the spark plug wire is bigger it has more surface area for electricity to travel over... So maybe you're removing a bottleneck?
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:38 PM   #12
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Read what I posted while you were posting.

Current carrying capacity of a copper conductor is directly attributed to the surface area. Correct.

So a 10mm diameter SINGLE conductor will carry less current than Ten 1mm strands twisted together.

The conductor in a plug wire is a totally different animal though.
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:41 PM   #13
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hmm..I get ya Will, and thanks for the explanation Dame. I didn't know it went on the outside...but either way it would seem that at some point...I dunno...I just keep thinking about taking a 9v battery and checking resistance using it across a huge powercable vs a little wire. I know near nothing on the matter but it doesn't take shape very well in my head haha. So is there a limit to this? I mean the resistance across a 8mm wire will always be more than one across say (lets get wild) a 80mm wire? apples and apples of course
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:45 PM   #14
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That'* a weird way to market things, I wonder if the core diameter is even advertised on most sets...
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:48 PM   #15
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You have to remember (to further complicate the issue) that conductors and semi-conductors will act differently under load. The current flow of a 9v batter for instance, is very low. Both wires DrJay mentioned in his theoretical suggestion would handle it pretty much equally.

Now kick that up to 25kV. Different world.

That'* why it'* nice to use a megohmeter. It can load the cirucit and test it under high load conditions.
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:55 PM   #16
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Um ok. Which wires should I buy?
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:55 PM   #17
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hmm...I got curious so I looked it up a little. Taylor claims with their 10.4mm wires 50ohms per ft....MSD claims with their 8.5mm wires 50ohms per foot. But I found this interesting tidbit:

Electrical charge flow for direct current (DC) occurs through the entire cross-section of a wire. Larger diameter wires of the same material have lower resistance (ohms) per foot of length. Unlike direct current, the charge flow for alternating current (AC) tends to be localized near the surface of a conductor. This tendency is called the skin effect. The higher the frequency the greater the tendency is to have current only at the surface. When skin effect transmission is occurring, the effective resistance along the wire increases because the area or volume of metal available for transmission has decreased. The higher the frequency, the higher the effective resistance becomes. The brief high-voltage impulses along our ignition wires can be considered similar to alternating current. Therefore, skin effect electrical transmission occurs in the ignition wires. At the relatively low frequencies our ignition system operates at, which is up to about 8000 Hz, the effective resistance is roughly only a few percent higher to perhaps double the DC resistance
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:59 PM   #18
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That sounds right. Been a long time since my AC/DC theory (over 15 years ago).
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Old 09-20-2004, 11:59 PM   #19
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Oh yeah? Well BAM!


Back me up on this TaylorD.
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:02 AM   #20
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holy jebus! hahaha

How much were those suckers? I gotta admit they do look nice casting a shadow on the supercharger
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