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Rebuilding an original ignition cable.

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  • Rebuilding an original ignition cable.

    Yeah, that long springy thing from the dizzy to the popout switch. Even if you just use it for looks, without the original popout switch there is quite a bit of heat exposure. Not just any type of replacement wire inside will do. Remember whatever you put inside that popout cable should be capable of surviving repeated heat cycles and withstand 212º+F (100º+C) if you overheat (Never!).

    A sure loser is the thermoplastic trash sold in autoparts stores (melts).

    Cross-linked modern automotive cable is iffy- withstands heat but continues to cross-link during repeated heat cycles resulting in brittle cracking.

    Household THHN or THWN is good for 90ºC max (194ºF) and that's lower than an occasionally hot Model A head.

    There are three types of wire that will work in this app:
    SRML, also known as SFF-2, is rated at 150ºC. It has a fiberglass overlay top weave.

    TGGT (Teflon Glass, Glass Teflon). Rated for 250ºC.

    MGT, up to 450ºC.

    You won't get the 3' of properly rated #16 (plenty big for 6 amps) you need off a spool at Home Depot. Buying even a small 25 foot spool on line is ridiculously spendy. So I recommend getting it FOR FREE.

    Where: Pop the panels off any junked electric stove and score plenty of pieces long enough for a pop-out cable! Snip snip!

    What about silicone lead wire- extremely heat resistant, usually to 500ºF? The problem with this stuff is it has very little cut resistance. OK if it passes your own 300ºF oven test and you do not snag or nick it while fishing it along with the requisite additional zinc plated bare steel ground lead inside the no-longer new and smooth inside of the spring cable.

    If you do not rebuild the cable as original (with the bare ground wire inside) make absolutely sure you have an added tranny to frame ground strap or cable. Without it your ignition is subject to the myriad collection of loose and moving contact points that add up to the original ground system for the starter. Not good for a running engine ignition system.
    Last edited by MikeK; 11-18-2017, 07:41 PM. Reason: Brain over-heated.

  • #2
    That is great information. How about how do you get one of those apart to rebuild, replace faceplate, determine key code , etc.?

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    • #3
      I assume the repop cables you buy from Nurex have some good wire inside? I am a machine control electrician and can save some good high temp wire when I run across it. I don't have any now, but when I get a stash I can pass it on to the forum members.

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      • #4
        What gauge would the bare ground wire be and would it be multi strand for flexibility? I have to rebuild two 1931 original pop out switches and already have 16 ga. multi strand high temp cables. Also does JB Weld conduct electricity as I had to repair the insulating shields at the distributor ends. Thanks for your time and expertise.Grant

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        • #5
          Originally posted by GranTudor View Post
          What gauge would the bare ground wire be and would it be multi strand for flexibility? I have to rebuild two 1931 original pop out switches and already have 16 ga. multi strand high temp cables. Also does JB Weld conduct electricity as I had to repair the insulating shields at the distributor ends. Thanks for your time and expertise.Grant
          The original popout cable is a stranded wire inside a small diameter flex tube, which is inside the large spring like housing. Alongside the small metal flex housing is a solid bare wire, which can help provide a ground and help keep the spring like housing from being pulled and thus pulling the flexible wire from the contacts at each end. I used to have a good picture of all this, but it's buried in one of my old computers.

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          • #6
            HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL!!!! I still need to find out if JB Weld conducts electric current. If it does then I have to rebuild all the ends that screw into the distributor. Thanks again. Grant

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            • #7
              Originally posted by GranTudor View Post
              HAPPY NEW YEAR to ALL!!!! I still need to find out if JB Weld conducts electric current. If it does then I have to rebuild all the ends that screw into the distributor. Thanks again. Grant
              No, it doesn't conduct electricity.

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              • #8
                As I understand, JB Weld is a two part epoxy. I have used it to bond two dis-similar materials. One way to check would be to mix some, spread a thin line on a piece of cardboard or plastic. When it cured, check it with your multimeter. I expect it is non-conductive.

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