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Discussion Starter #1
So I was troubleshooting the running rich/rough idle/smoke out the exhaust problem on my bird a week or so ago (typical dead ECU hanging an injector). I was removing spark plug wires to try and find the dead cylinders, but instead of removing parts to pull the wires at the plugs, I was just pulling them off one by one from the coil packs. Well, not thinking, I went to plug one back in while the car was still running. oops. BZZZT. #[email protected]%! A nice jolt of electricity up my fingers. lol

Just a warning to everyone, don't plug/unplug wires from the coil pack while the car is still running. haha :eek: :tongue:


So now a question, how much voltage & amperage did I get up my arm from that (stock) coil pack?
 

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Ha Ha welcome to the club of getting hit by a coil pack. Feels good dont it!!!!!! It WILL wake you up in the morning. Not sure how much but there is a lot of volts, just not a lot of amperage. Ill probably be corrected but I beleve it is around 12,000 volts or so. Once again not sure. I do know it hurts.
 

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Under the right (or wrong, depending on how you wanna interpret it) conditions, the secondary spark voltage can be lethal. :eek:

Should make a point of not poking/messing around with coilpacks, plug wires, boots, etc. while the car is running. At the very least, have properly insulated equipment to use; gloves, tools, etc. Better yet, do your poking around with a dry wooden dowel. Obviously, there's no way to pull wires off the plug with one, but it's best you don't do that anyway when the engine is running.....
 

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Hmmm.....Reminds me of when I grabbed a bad plug wire on my old '87 5th Ave. while it was running. Had a bit of a tingle to it.......
 

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These coilpacks are very high voltage; and will charge a vacuum cap to over 160kV.

(They are perfect for high voltage experiments, since both ends of the coil come out.)

Getting hit by one is far worse than a taser, since avoiding lethality wasn't in the design of the car ignition. :D

Old point style ignition systems tingled a bit, and running your hand up the plug wire with it running was the easiest way to find a bad wire. You really don't want to do that on an MN12.

Ever wonder why our cars eat wires? :)
 

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Ever pop the hood on a running vehicle at night with the lights off and see that bluish glow around the plug wires?


I remember as a kid probably 10-11 years old, I told my younger brother to hold on to the loose end of the spark plug wire of a push mower. The spark plug was taken out, so when I gave the rope The Big Yank the motor spun freely with no compression.......and my brother danced for the whole time.

Kids. :rolleyes:
 

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Ever pop the hood on a running vehicle at night with the lights off and see that bluish glow around the plug wires?
That glow is plasma; it's called 'Coronal Discharge' and it's what eats (burns and carbonizes) the rubber of the plug wire, and makes it break down further. Plasma can eat anything, in time. (I work with HV)

If you can see that, it means the wires are leaking spark, and it will get worse with time.

On my Red Cougar, it meant the Driver's side plugs were worn out; they put the same cheap single platinums in both sides, and they were worn down to nubs.

Cleaning the wires and connections (road salt is a drag), and filling the boots with dielectric grease will cure that, if the plugs are good.
 

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friends dad was screwing around with the MSD box on his hotrod with the car running, got shocked and was tossed back about 10 ft...be careful.
 

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friends dad was screwing around with the MSD box on his hotrod with the car running, got shocked and was tossed back about 10 ft...be careful.
+1

Except with me it was a Mallory Hyfire setup. I had a plug wire laying against the header, so I ran my finger between the header and the plug wire (which of course was melted through... ) while the car was running… OUCH!!!

I've been "launched" across a room while connecting a capacitor (named caskets because that is how big they are) in an off-line LORAN transmitter. Note to self: Capacitors can be charged by stray RF from an active LORAN transmitter 40' away!!! :beek:

Electricity ain’t nothin’ to mess with!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Under the right (or wrong, depending on how you wanna interpret it) conditions, the secondary spark voltage can be lethal. :eek:

Should make a point of not poking/messing around with coilpacks, plug wires, boots, etc. while the car is running. At the very least, have properly insulated equipment to use; gloves, tools, etc. Better yet, do your poking around with a dry wooden dowel. Obviously, there's no way to pull wires off the plug with one, but it's best you don't do that anyway when the engine is running.....
:eek:

up until that point, I was using some mechanics gloves, but unfortunately it didn't occur to me to put them back on just before I did that :eek:

Except with me it was a Mallory Hyfire setup. I had a plug wire laying against the header, so I ran my finger between the header and the plug wire (which of course was melted through... ) while the car was running… OUCH!!!
which hurt more, the jolt or the burn from the header? :eek:
 

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I've been "launched" across a room while connecting a capacitor (named caskets because that is how big they are) in an off-line LORAN transmitter. Note to self: Capacitors can be charged by stray RF from an active LORAN transmitter 40' away!!! :beek:
Those caps should have had a shorting bar across the terminals; You don't get many mistakes at that level of power. And they don't call them Caskets because of the shape... :D If you're lucky, it just blows off a body part. (Electricity=Heat=Steam=POW!)

Some of the experiments I've done were in the realm of '1 screwup only' type scenarios; some surplus caps over a few hundred kilojoules have been known to explode while charging... a big Tesla coil either works, or something blows up.
 

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12 KV from a coil pack? I think it's more like 50-100 KV for modern ignition systems. Voltage isn't what kills you, it's how much current goes though you. 300 mA of current is all that is required to stop your heart and a coil can put out a good bit more than that. If you're lucky it will travel across the surface of your skin, if you're unlucky it travels through your internals.

My buddy has this extendable taser thingie, it's like an extendable baton except the entire length of it is electrified to almost one million volts. We played with it when it had a nearly dead battery and it still hurt and left welts. Couple days later he comes up behind me with it fully charged and whacks me across the back of the legs. I was on the floor before I realized what was happening, lol. :)
 
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