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I am suddenly missing on one cylinder of my 74 Spider. The fuel system is well tuned so I suspect electrical. I see spark at all four cylinders, but could it be too weak? Do spark plug wires wear out or otherwise fail?

(Electronic ignition, good clean plugs, distributor cap and rotor look ok)

I see a big difference between the price of standard ignition wires and the high-end set - $31-99. Is there that much of a difference in the high-performance Magnicore wires?
 

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Yup, they can fail.

Some of the stuff they can do is:

Break down internally (the lead that goes through the middle is suceptrible to breakage over time)

Lose insulation properties on the outser sleeves (cool to watch them arc in the dark with the hood open and engine running)

Have the end clips insdie the boots rot/corrode/snap off

Get oil/fluid saturated

Or, just generally get old and wore the heck out


Wires are what they are price-wise, though several of the more expensive sets available through most regular Alfa suppliers can be had for cheaper through other sources (becuase they aren't selling them as 'Alfa' replacements)

Fr'ininstance, magnacores:

If you look around enough, you'll likely find a 'build your own' (you cut them to length and put the dizzy end connector on yourself) kit for a V8 that's less than what a 'specific length' set of 4 costs, and you end up with enough wires to make two sets. (as in they cost less than half by the time you're done)

This is not to say all wiresets are gonna end up with a gouge in your pocket, as there are some out there that literally are Alfa specific from a concours perspective where nothing else is an accepted substitute, and they can be pricey, but for a reason.

Anywho, yes, plug wires wear out and need to be periodically replaced as a matter of regular maintenance rather than an after thought while chasing a gremlin, just like doing the plugs, the cap-n-rotor every couple years, or oil changes at X miles.

A 10 year old plug wire is OK for your lawnmower or chainsaw, but not for your automobile engine. (any automobile engine, regardless of make)

You don't need to change them every year, but you do have to change them.
 

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I think Tifosi covered this pretty well...

LM - this is an Alfa forum! Now go and ask the Alfa gods for forgiveness! :mad:

Best regards,
 

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:rolleyes:the motor was for illustrative purposes only - the purpose of the post was to show the quality of the Magnacore wires:mad:



;):p
 

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I am suddenly missing on one cylinder of my 74 Spider. The fuel system is well tuned so I suspect electrical. I see spark at all four cylinders, but could it be too weak? Do spark plug wires wear out or otherwise fail?
Yes, ignition wires can fail, and it may be much more complicated than just a go/no-go situation. A faulty ignition wire caused my dealer to change the automatic transmission on my wife's Acura TWICE under warranty! When the fault showed up for a third time within another 15,000 miles, I went back to the dealership pointing out that I cannot believe that 3 transmissions would fail in a row with the same symptoms. What happened is that at certain RPMs and at certain speeds, the car started to shake and the transmission started to shift up and down repeatedly. Changing one of the four ignition wires solved what might have been a problem caused by vibration or wind pressure.
 
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