Making your own plug wires! (step-by-step instructional)

Electrical and Ignition

  1. PanGasket

    PanGasket has cork sides

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    Okay guys! I said I would make a walkthrough of how to make your own plug wires and here it is. This was my first time making plug wires, but it's not like it takes a genius to do it though. Its very simple and only takes a little while to make a set that may fit better or as good as your current set. I made mine as I wanted HEI style distributor 90* terminal ends and boots but with 180* spark plug terminals and boots. Also, there isn't a wire set that is made for a small block with an HEI conversion dizzy in it. You can use a set of '87-'95 Chevy Camaro 305 350 plug wires, but I figured I'd make my own set as I don't know how well those would fit. Anyhow, all rambling aside, let's get down to business. I bought a set of universal Summit Racing ignition wires for $30. They are just rebranded Taylor spiro-wound wires.

    Be sure to buy a DECENT spark plug wire stripper/crimper and 2 spare terminal ends of each type. You will probably need them, if not, always handy to have a spare for the $.50 O'reilly's will charge you.

    The first step is to strip the wire. About a half an inch of core showing will do just fine. Just take a knife/razor blade and gently and very cut the silicon rubber insulation. Be careful when cutting it not to cut the core! Just simply cut just deep enough to cut the insulation then bend at the cut gently all the way around til you feel it break loose, then remove insulation. The finished product should look like this.

    [​IMG]



    Next, you are gonna take the core and bend it back against the insulation, like so
    [​IMG]



    Now, grab a terminal end and slip it on. You are gonna wanna grab the flat parts and squeeze them towards each other just enough to fit in your crimper
    [​IMG]


    squeeze them til they look like this. I just used this as an example as what the terminal will look like squeezed ready to go in a GOOD crimper. I had no luck with this style crimper. That's why I said buy a good one. I wasted 3 terminals trying to get this one to work.
    [​IMG]



    Get a stripper/crimper like this. Its worth every penny. Be sure to put your wire and terminal into whatever style crimper you use with the open side towards the M at the top of the slot and crimp away! It'll take a try or two if you are a rookie like me to get it right. That's why I suggested buying some spare terminals, so if you mess it up, you aren't freaking out.
    [​IMG]



    Bam! Boom! Now you're all crimped and ready for a boot! put a lil bit of silicon grease under and above the black ring on the terminal and a lil here and there where you expect it may need some help sliding into the boot.
    [​IMG]



    put some around where the plug wire is gonna go into the boot. You're gonna need it.
    [​IMG]


    Now, PUSHHH!!!! This parts a pain, you may have to pull the plug wire out and re-grease it again to get it to slide all the way into place. Just grab the wire nice and firm and your boot as well and push like hell!
    [​IMG]


    Va va vavoom! Now you have one sexy plug wire done, 8 more to go!:glasses7:

    [​IMG]

    In the end, you will have something like this. Now relish in the fruits of your labor with a cold brewski:supz:
    [​IMG]



    Thanks for checking this out! I hope this can actually help someone out. If not, I at least learned something:D
     
  2. 66plyValiant

    66plyValiant Well-Known Member

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    I think one tip of advice is to put the boot on the wire first, then crimp your end on and pull the boot back over it, easier to pull the boot then try and push it
     
  3. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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    I always put my boots on the wire before the end is installed.
     
  4. PanGasket

    PanGasket has cork sides

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    That wasn't happening with these wires. I really tried to do that and it just didn't wanna go. I spent a solid 10 minutes trying to push the wire through to no avail
     
  5. PanGasket

    PanGasket has cork sides

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    is it out of style to make your own wires or was that just last years trend? :toothy10:
     
  6. pishta

    pishta I know I'm right....

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    Pushing it on reduces the chance of unknowingly pulling the crimped end off under the boot. Also the metal crimped tip makes it a little easier to get it in the boot, but lube is your friend either way.
     
  7. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

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    Lol, I grew up when you bought a spool of plug wire or plug wire by the foot, boots and connectors so this is pretty old school for us poor boys. Them ready made wires were for the rich people.
     
  8. PanGasket

    PanGasket has cork sides

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    Yeah, I wasn't raw-doggin' it this time LMAO!!

    That's pretty neat. I was actually thinking about that earlier, just buying a big spool of 8mm wire and just buying a few boxes of terminals at some point so I always have plug wires on hand
     
  9. dcdriver

    dcdriver Well-Known Member

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    Not to mention "self" made wires fit a hell of a lot better as you can cut them to the "right" length. I've never installed a ready-made set yet.
     
  10. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod I was born on a Monday. Not last Monday. FABO Gold Member

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    Exactly. I remember working at a local speed shop that's all we carried for a while. We had spools of Accel wire. Then right before I left they started getting in ready made sets.
     
  11. abodyjoe

    abodyjoe Well-Known Member

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    i always make my own wires. they fit how i want them to fit that way.

    i always put the boot on before crimping though. personal preference i guess.

    those vice crimpers area bit of a pain in the ass but work very well. i have a moroso hand held set of crimpers that work very well also.. have also used a msd crimper too with awesome results..
     
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