Spark plug leads - rubber cover for distributor - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 09:03 AM Thread Starter
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Spark plug leads - rubber cover for distributor

While tuning the carbs on my 68 Spider I noticed that one of the spark plug leads was arcing to a water hose where the lead fits in to the top of the distributor. I have the old style, thin green spark plug leads and the set I have has a sort of rubber boot that the 5 leads pass through that looks like it should sit on top of the distributor, but it is too small to stretch over it. If it did fit properly it would prevent this arcing. What is the function of this rubber cover if it doesn't fit the distributor - or do I have the wrong distributor cap? Is there any other way to add insulation at the point where the plug leads exit the distributor cap?

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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 10:41 AM
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There is a plastic cover that fits over the distributer and held closed with a big clip. The rubber piece you describe fits on the top of it. I've always thought the primary purpose was to waterproof the distributer.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 10:49 AM
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sounds like you need new spark plug wires.
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 10:50 AM
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Do you have the small individual boot on each plug wire - where it plugs into the distributor cap?

I agree with Ken - the distributor cover is more of a splash shield. If you have a spark plug wire with visible arcing, the wires are well past their useful limit. You need new spark plug wires!

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
Do you have the small individual boot on each plug wire - where it plugs into the distributor cap?
No, it is one large rubber cup with 5 holes for the spark plug leads.

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Originally Posted by ghnl View Post
I agree with Ken - the distributor cover is more of a splash shield. If you have a spark plug wire with visible arcing, the wires are well past their useful limit. You need new spark plug wires!
The wires are brand new, the arcing is going from the point of entry of the plug lead, where a small amount of metal is exposed, to a water pipe very close by. An individual rubber boot over each lead would fix it, or if the cap that the lead set came with properly covered the distributor that would also work. At the moment it is little more than a spacer for the leads.

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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 05:42 PM
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Bad supplier. The original green wires were copper, not graphite. Lousy radio receeption but good ignition. You should have individual boots on each wire, as well as the coil lead ends. The rubber piece you describe goes over a splash guard that showed up in mid 70's. Cylindrical, about 3 1/2 inch dia and 10 inches long, in two haves that fit together; black semi matte plastic a bit like the steering wheel/ignityion cover. Held together with a big wire c-clip. The rubber you have then goes over the upper end of that, which is about 1 3/4 inches diameter at the top.

Use both rubber bits. The plastic piece was for water splashing. Racers used it sometimes even. Sometimes shows up on eBay. Or drive only with the top down on great sunny days......
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 06:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmo View Post
The wires are brand new, the arcing is going from the point of entry of the plug lead, where a small amount of metal is exposed, to a water pipe very close by. An individual rubber boot over each lead would fix it...
You've solved the problem! You are missing the boots that should be on each plug wire and the coil wire on the distributor (& coil).
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-11-2007, 06:44 PM
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Starting with the 1750 series in 1968, Alfa installed a 'distributor & ignition coil protection kit' (part number 105.26.05.920.00). The kit consisted of six pieces; a rubber boot for the coil, a rubber top seal (the rubber boot your wires have), two half shell distributor covers and two clamps to secure the covers. The original 5mm green ignition wires did not have sparkplug wire boots on the distributor side.
Many have found, including myself, that the dizzy covers present a bit of a challenge to R&R and either shelf or bin the things. In my experience, the covers are not mandatory. However, with your bootless wires, and especially with one wire having exposed metal, I'd put boots on all the dizzy wires and be done with it.

Jim

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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 06-15-2007, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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I'd put boots on all the dizzy wires and be done with it.
Yup, done with it now. Couldn't find boots that snugly fit the 5mm leads but it looks and performs 100% better now.

Thanks!

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