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mrmike

Does Plug Wire Color Really Matter?

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The is something that has been bugging me for a while and I would like to hear opinions from others about this. I have been using blue and red wrapping wire from Radio Shack for my plug wires for years and lately it seems that I have committed some sort of crime by using this wrapping wire. I have heard this on this forum and several others that I belong to. Well, here's the deal-

  1. I find that purchasing plug wire in 3-foot lengths to be overly expensive.
  2. I am not about to start stripping telephone cable or old electronics for black wire.
  3. The majority of my builds are not "Factory Stock".
  4. Coloring wire is a pain, but I do it if I really, really need to.
  5. I just don't care! If the color of the wire appeals to me for a particular build, I'll use it.

I have seen other builders use wire that is the scale size of radiator hose, and no one tells tell them it's wrong. So why question me about the wire color? I didn't post this because I am upset with some one's comment. It is because I have heard these comments off and on for a couple of years. I recently saw a model detailed with sewing thread for plug wires and no one said anything about it to the builder. IMHO, the model looked great overall and I was easily able to look past the sewing thread plug wires.

I am in no way calling out anyone nor would I ever do that. I just want to hear some opinions from other builders. Does plug wire color really matter?

Edited by mrmike

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I thought the purpose of this forum was to express our creative sides... how we interpret (sp) our builds. If your a average builder like me, who cares what you use to create a outcome. In reference toe the sewing thread for wires.... guess what.. I DID! I did it on my Mercury. :lol: I say use what you want.. how you want. :unsure:

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The only time wire color should matter is if you're building a replica of a real vehicle. If it's a creation of your own, hey, use chartreuse if you want to!!! I think customs look kinda cool when the wiring is keyed to the color combo.

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Real cars mostly have black or gray. I have seen yellow on show cars or street racers.I tend to color theme.Who cares,it aint like it's gonna start up and drive around the shelf.Whats wrong with a little fantasy? :lol: oversize does bug me tho,thread seems to be the perfect scale.

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Real cars mostly have black or gray......

That might be true for factory stock, but performance wires come in many different colors. my father-in-law's '66 Nova has blue wires.....

z16-1.jpg

My old dirt track racer back in the '70s had orange wires...........

8-1.jpg

I've had yellow Accel wires on a LOT of personal vehicles. Now that I think about it, I see very few hot rods/race cars with plain ol' black or gray wires.

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I guess it depends on,who's car are you making?Here in N.Y. if you drive it,they won't stay shiny and bright for long. :lol:

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just get a thin roll of white wire from radio shack, an use your favorite color magic marker. An DON'T worry about what others(who AREN'T judges) think of it, it IS your model., build it as YOU please!:huh::unsure::lol: Real cars have alot of colors for wires, why not your models?

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Do a google on kynar wire. It's the correct gauge and goes in a variety of colors at a very reasonable cost. I guess this kynar stuff is used on PC motherboards and gaming consoles.

My neighbor & friend stopped over Wednesday with I was working on the engine of an '83 Camaro build. I told him I was going to use either lavender or gray ignition wire. He said it wouldn't be correct unless I used yellow (Accel) wires or red (MSD) wires.

I remove the copper wire from telephone wire and use the vinyl covering for spark plug boots. The wire is way too large for ignition wire.

I don't care about the correct 1:1 color. This is my build and I do them the way I want.

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Hmmm ... kynar wire ... thanks for that, Jim. I never heard of that wire type. Searching I saw colors not available in Radio Shack wrapping wire.. like black! And it is available in different gauges to boot. My wife's sewing basket is safe again! :lol:

As for wire color, it's your build and do it the way YOU want! That's why this hobby is so infectious .. we can build cars as we like without losing the mortgage payment. B)

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FYI: Kynar wire and wrap wire are one and the same. The insulation used on almost all wrap wire is made of Kynar.

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Not problem Foxer. I believe it was Ian Ashton who suggested that wire several months ago. I picked it on an Ebay store.

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No,it doesn't matter what color plug wire you use unless it's factory stock. Personally,I don't care if anyone else likes my builds or not. You shouldn't either. After all,it's your model. Build it however you like.

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I've had all sorts of different plug wires on race cars and real cars throughout my life. Everything from "glow in the dark" green to baby blue. Granted it helps when the local engine shop also does custom wiring (I think they have close to 50 colors they can order). I even ran alternating black and purple plug wires on a car for a charity race.

Just go with whatever color you think works for the car or do every plug wire in a different color. The great thing about model cars is that it doesn't have to be real it can be as crazy and off the wall as you want it to be.

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This has crossed my mind in the past too but I never gave it much consideration. Early to mid 80's my personal experience was the standard, over the counter, parts store plug wires were black, grey, blue, and yellow. Even that only effects my build to the degree of what I feel like putting in there. Seems it would only matter when trying to be historically accurate to a vintage. Otherwise, custom is custom. Make the model you want to build and tell the rest to go get you a soda.

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Most of the time, when I'm building, I am building with a what if attitude. Other times it is an attitude of what can I use to represent plug wires.

While I understand and appreciate Bluesman's remarks I always look at my model as a representative look. Extreme accuracy is of no concern.

That's not to say that it will always be that way, but for now I use what I have.

The problem, or more correctly the comments, are the reason I usually don't bother to post pictures of the models I build.

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I think it wouldn't even matter on factory-stock cars either. Think about, how big is the chance that the same wires are still in the car since it left the factory after 20-30-50-60 years?

I think it is a safe statement plug-wires would be replaced once a 10-years, so the chances are high that even in a stock vehicle, colored wires appear. I had once (long time ago) a stock '87 corolla from the first owner (oldtimers) that thing had lightblue, non-performance plugwires.

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I think it wouldn't even matter on factory-stock cars either. Think about, how big is the chance that the same wires are still in the car since it left the factory after 20-30-50-60 years?

I think it is a safe statement plug-wires would be replaced once a 10-years, so the chances are high that even in a stock vehicle, colored wires appear. I had once (long time ago) a stock '87 corolla from the first owner (oldtimers) that thing had lightblue, non-performance plugwires.

I was thinking the same thing, but it would depend on ones perception of "factory stock". I'm thinking that when a build is referred to a "factory stock", it means just that, as it was when it left the factory on its way to the dealer lot.

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I think it wouldn't even matter on factory-stock cars either. Think about, how big is the chance that the same wires are still in the car since it left the factory after 20-30-50-60 years?

I think it is a safe statement plug-wires would be replaced once a 10-years, so the chances are high that even in a stock vehicle, colored wires appear. I had once (long time ago) a stock '87 corolla from the first owner (oldtimers) that thing had lightblue, non-performance plugwires.

I was thinking the same thing, but it would depend on ones perception of "factory stock". I'm thinking that when a build is referred to a "factory stock", it means just that, as it was when it left the factory on its way to the dealer lot.

Eirk, I think the biggest statement in Bill's post is the word "perception", and in my perception of the term "factory stock", you are both right! I also believe it depends on the contest as to their perception, too, if you are building for contests, but even at that, the contest the model club I was a member of until we disbanded a few years ago never took into account the color of the spark plug wires.

Honestly, like I said, both of you are correct. I see it this way, a factory stock is supposed to be like the vehicle left the factory like Bill said, but that same car can be 20 or 30 years old and still be factory stock like Erik said. I see it the same as a beautifully restored car in the 1:1 world, that car may not have every part that it originally left the factory with, but if it is built just as it looked on the day it did leave the factory with the same type of parts, is it not still factory stock? I see it the same way with those of you who may take your vehicle to the dealership to have your car serviced. The Ford dealer is more than likely putting the same spark plugs and spark plug wires on your 2002 Taurus as they would be a brand new one, so unless you put a sticker of your favorite NASCAR driver, floormats, or a Ford Racing steering wheel cover on it, would the old Taurus still not be just like it left the factory?

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I use yellow on older cars for the idea of Accel wires. Someone else said they used them a lot and me too. It's all I used on V8 engines. Plus Mallory and MSD use red. Some use blue. I agree only factory stock is plain jane grey or black.

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My only bugaboo about plug wires are yellow ones. They remind me of those cheap ACCEL stuff you buy from an auto parts store. Most factory

wires are black with maybe dark red boots. Sorry bout the yellow guys, I just DON'T like it. On a nice build it makes the car look cheap to

me. Don't mean to hurt any feelings but thats just my take on the subject.

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My only bugaboo about plug wires are yellow ones. They remind me of those cheap ACCEL stuff you buy from an auto parts store. Most factory

wires are black with maybe dark red boots. Sorry bout the yellow guys, I just DON'T like it. On a nice build it makes the car look cheap to

me. Don't mean to hurt any feelings but thats just my take on the subject.

This is just a matter of personal taste, but I have used Accel caps, rotors and plug wires, (and not the cut to fit wire, the PROPER wire set for the car) and on a few occasions the spark plugs, too. I would call them anything but cheap, and I'm not talking price! The quality of Accel products are far better than the parts store stuff, and I would never think of anything less on anything I own with a gas engine. I've even had a couple cars where opening the hood and seeing those pretty yellow wires and tan distributor cap was the nicest part of the car! :lol::lol::blink:

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I'm with the Depends Camp, if I were replicating one of the vehicles I've owned or building a vehicle "inspired" by the ones I've owned (since the only one of them have been offered as a model of some sort :) ), the wires would need to be blue since I've run either Talyor or Mopar (which I think were made by Taylor anyway ;) ) wires on them. I'd also have to use black, white, orange, candy blue, or safety yellow on oil filters too for the same reason. If I were replicating a factory fresh car, black might be right, if I'm replicating a specific modified car, then the wires should be the same color as what the prototype has. Now if it was a fantasy hot rod of some sort, I'd go for wires that worked with the type of car (street rod, specialty shop style custom, or true Kustom might get a color matched set while a regular street machine might get Yellow, Red, or Blue wires). If I were to get creative and were building a beater, I'd mix and match things like that, wheels and tires, body panels, or other similar, removable and junkyard source-able parts B)

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Well Mike I being the lazy type on some thingstongue.gif I tend to order pre wired Ds since I have some friends who make em and to repeat I can be a little lazy..usually I'll get a few each of orange ,blue black gray and yellow kinda covers most my bases...but as a modeler I'm always looking out for "stuff" that might be useful like wire etc.. from your post I'm not sure if their referring to the color or the material your using but having seen an awful lot of your work, I never saw anything that would make me point and say look at those plug wiresrolleyes.giflaugh.giflaugh.gif and aside from the colors I buy, I've seen 1:1s with green, purple,red etc. Pwires sooo..hey if ain't broke don't fix it!!

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I use yellow on older cars for the idea of Accel wires. Someone else said they used them a lot and me too. It's all I used on V8 engines. Plus Mallory and MSD use red. Some use blue. I agree only factory stock is plain jane grey or black.

Yup - what he said.

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