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Personally I wouldn't bother. But hey, I'm running the original wires on my 96 with no problems.
 

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I bought a set of wires that I had to crimp the ends on. It probably took me less than an hour, kind of a pain. I pulled the old wires off and cut the new ones to the exact same length. But I had bought a set of fat wires that wouldn't clip into the old keepers, so the wires just kind of lay around. Gotta be careful. I should have routed them differently and cut them to a custom length so it would look better.
 

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see that's what i like to do, route them differently for aesthetics. so cutting to the exact length of the old ones doesn't really work for me. sometimes the factory just routes them in the stupidest places... like under the alternator for instance. or perilously close to the exhaust manifolds so if you break the clips they flop around and burn.
 

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Autolites fit perfectly...just sayin'.
 

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Motorcrafts fit mine perfectly using all the stock wire retainers and running under the alternator. That's another good thing I can say about them. The only times I have ever crimped wires is when I accidentally break the terminals off the spark plug end, then its strip and recrimp time. Works good when you are stuck with no new parts and all the stores are closed.
 

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I hate custom length plug wires that you crimp yourself. I've never had good luck with them - they don't last as long as factory wires in my experience.

But then, I've never had good luck cleaning plugs in a performance application, either. Works great on the lawn mower, not so great with my cars...
 

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I have that tool as well, the only time I use it is like Rob, if they break during a plug change, I often have customers too cheap to replace wires during a tune up so from time to time I have to repair fawked wires when they stick to the plug.

As far as good fitting wires for the 2v the roush wireset from jegs was the cheapest set I found that was worth a crap when I had my 2v. I went through Bosch, duralast, prostart, many parts store brands all eventually arc'd through the boots (unacceptable). I had no such issues with the Roush wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Autolite is also a cheaper alternative. I've been running the same plug wires for over a year now with no problems at all.
The car was fine with brand new Autolites for about a year then developed a very slight jerking/lugging problem and gradually got worse over time. They didn't even last 2 years..what this car was doing was between the speeds of approximately 35-45 when in 4th gear and the lockup engaged, it would lug or jerk when going up slight grades. If I pressed the pedal down far enough to get out of lockup it would stop the jerking/lugging. Its been about 6 weeks now since I put the Motorcrafts on and it hasn't acted up at all.

This was tough to figure out since I wasn't getting any fault codes and the wires were relatively new..I was looking everywhere else..but I hate taking it to the repair shops since they charge $70 a hour and half the time if there are no codes they want be able to figure it out anyway.

As for how they fit I thought the Autolites and Motorcrafts were about the same..seems they like to make some of the wires to long and yes I did have to go back and swap a few wires to get the lengths semi-correct but it wasn't to bad overall.

Here are a couple o pics of the Autolites before I tossed them:




 

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Discussion Starter #30
my BWD's have lasted me around 4years and counting. i like them, but they weren't exactly cheep either.

yes, your only going to have issues if you buy the storebrand wires, or even worse... the cheapest things they have. a lot of the price difference is because they skip on testing and use cheaper rubbers and contacts. plus they take the wire gauge down to the min the motor needs to still turn over. then you have cheep wire core materials that will make your radio buzz.

plus a lot of new wires are made with a carbon compound for the core that reduces EMF/radio noise, but they break down quite quickly, and require replacement a lot.

anyway, point being

bargain basement will usually net you like 1 year, maybe 2. though i have seen them last a long time, kind of a crap-shoot (note: they usually don't fit right)

store brands i would expect around 2-4 years at the most.

some of the more expensive aftermarkets like BWD/MSD will last a long time and perform quite well. i like them. MSD are great wires.. just expect to pay around $140 for them.

if you can get the OEM stuff from ford, they will last just as long as your old set did, and will work the best, as they were designed for that particular car/engine.

edit: and yes, i too ran my wires up over top of the alternator. i didn't like the idea of them baking back their in the hot valley behind that hot alternator...
Yep your time frame was dead on in this case..I seen the BWD's on RockAuto and seriously thought about getting those but finally went with the Motorcrafts. I'd never heard of BWD's before so I chickened out at the last moment on those.

I also don't like those 4 wires that go under the alternator getting constantly blasted by heat. Getting them routed up over the alternator is on the stuff to do list.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
I second that. I had those when I got my car and only replaced them because two of them broke when I changed the plugs. My Motorcrafts that replaced them were frankly a big headache. Some were way too long, some too short no matter the routing I installed them(I even swapped to different coil and alternator brackets), there were at least two weak ones that eventually died with barely 6k on them and frankly for the price I could get good low mile COPs, which is exactly what I did. Other's experiences may differ but I'll never buy or endorse those wires ever again.
Whats are COP's wires.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Looong term update to this thread..its been (almost) 8 years since I put the Ford Motorcraft WR5935 spark plug wires on the 97 tbird and they are still running fine. No problems with them whatsoever..meant to run them over the alternator but never got to it so they've been under the alternator all this time.

I bought the car in 2009 for $3200 with 95,000 miles. It has 232,000 miles on it now and still starts right up and runs great with the original motor, tranny and rear end..I've kept up with maintenance(Oil changes etc.). I talked to a repair shop about the 4.6l and they told me they've had the trucks come in with well over 300,000 miles on them and the original factory installed 4.6l's still run like new. Definitely a well designed v8 from Ford.
 
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