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Re: Magnecor Wires, was high boost miss

I'm almost tempted not to post this til I cool down, but given the very
recent threads asking for experience with Magnecor wires, I feel I owe it to
the community.  I used Magnecors when I "refreshed" my engine prior to it's
transplant, the stock wire boots were disintegrating at 100K miles.

Two days ago I'd posted about a mysterious, sudden cutout under high boost.
It was as if someone turned the switch off, as I hit 23-15 lbs., although it
was intermittent, and jerky.  Listers responded with the usual helpful
deluge of advice, mostly suspecting a pressure leak.

I had some free time today at noon, so I drove down to George Baxter's
garage.  We hooked up the analyzer, and drove around.  No codes.  George
showed me an obvious method for producing high load without going 110mph
each time:  Step on the brakes with the left foot.  We were able to
reproduce this high load stumble repeatedly.  Back to the shop, check all
hoses; they're tight.  (all new)  Pull plugs, they look Ok, although three
are pretty loose(?).  Torque all plugs to 18 (is that right? _Lost_ my
Bentley, with all my engine notes in it, suspect cleaning lady threw away)
Now, stumble is much worse, occurs at 5psi.  What the heh?  We pull over to
the curb, pop hood.  George pokes around, checking plug wire tension,
touches coil lead, gets a massive zap.  That shouldn't happen.  Now we're
listening to the engine carefully, and can hear a little chorus of arcing
wires.  It's hard to see in the sunlight, but once or twice I get a glimpse
of a tiny lightening bolt emanating from the insulation around a wire boot
at the distributor.  Each time we hear a zap, the engine stumbles ever so
slightly; I'd been thinking that my idle was more uneven than it was 2000
miles ago.

Case closed.  We pull off the Magnecor's, substitute the stock wires from a
spare 3B George has in the basement, and voila, no arcing, no stumble, pulls
like a freight train up to 15 psi and a bit beyond.  Idle rock steady at

Examining the Magnecor wires, the insulation on the wire side of each
connector at the dist and coil _barely_ covers the brass connector
underneath.  This boot is about 3/4 of an inch long, versus 1.25" for the
stock pieces.  The stock piece appears molded to the wire as well, the
Magnecor piece can easily be pushed back with a finger.  Why didn't this
happen at once?  Who knows, maybe heat shrank the boot a bit?

So.  The magnecor wires look neat, and maybe there are virtues to the high
silicon construction, but I'll never use them again.

Signing off now to call Magnecor...

Brandon Hull
'91 ersatz S2, stock wires