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Old 04-01-2005, 10:44 PM
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Spark plug wires?

Is there a difference between marine plug wires and auto wires? Went to my local auto parts store the other day and picked up plug wires for an 86 351W and they are a no go. Seems the distributor connection types are different. Did I just get the wrong plugs or is there a difference?
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Old 04-01-2005, 10:53 PM
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I would like to know the answer to this also. I had the same problem last year. Thought I would change them before a trip to the lake. Ended up using my old wires and they are still on there.
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Old 02-17-2006, 03:37 PM
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You need to know what type connector you have.

Look at the pictorial reference on this pdf file. It's at the bottom

http://www.magnecor.co.uk/pdfs/magne...oapps01-04.pdf

However, there are primarily two types. Standard is the female type connection. The other is the post style.

I suspect the wire connectors, on the plug wires you purchased, were for the "post" style distributor cap.

Prestolite caps seem to be somewhat exclusive to Marine applications.
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Old 02-17-2006, 03:45 PM
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I'm going to slightly threadjack this in a second. But I've been looking around for plug wires to replace my apparently original factory taylor wires. I went to NAPA who looked up everything based on the information I gave them.

It was only about $4 cheaper than DIM. But with DIM, shipping tends to just add up quickly.

Ultimately, I ordered a set from my local non-MC inboard dealer (for anyone unfamiliar, I do not have an in-town MC dealer). They beat DIM's price by about $9. I think the wires are PCM, but I'm not sure who makes the wires for them. I'm hoping for blue or red, but it was explained to me that Yellow was a possibility.

So now for the threadjack. Are distributor caps and rotors marine specific? I'd always thought that marine specific ended with carbs, alternators, and starters. Will I be okay with NAPA if I tell them I have a prestolite ditributor and electronic ignition?
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by east tx skier
Are distributor caps and rotors marine specific? I'd always thought that marine specific ended with carbs, alternators, and starters. Will I be okay with NAPA if I tell them I have a prestolite ditributor and electronic ignition?
Good question. I can't understand why, but there seems to be a marine application for almost every electronic component found on boats.

You can't google "prestolite distributor" without getting result upon result pointing to marine resources.

I did a search on "Magstar wire set" and all the returns were marine.

Why this is, I can't answer. My nearest guess is the the terminals may be of a non-corrosive material in Marine applications (i.e. Stainless terminals).
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:34 PM
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The typical reason behind something being "marine" is it doesn't cause things to explode. So the carbs are designed not to dump fuel everywhere, while the alternators and starters are designed not to let sparks fly (sealed right?). Or at least so I've been made to understand.

Soon, my local dealer will have a business account with skidim, so hopefully, it'll work out to a better deal for me after the markup and taxes versus what I'd pay in shipping. So far, in many instances, impellers excluded, the local guys can get me pretty good deals.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:36 PM
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None of the parts you guys mentioned are marine specific. I've been using Napa parts for all the ignition stuff for a few years with great results.
As mentioned by Tony, you need to get wires with the right boot/connector for your distributer cap & spark plugs.

Things that are marine specific are stuff like the alternator & starter. They are setup so that the sparks inside the windings don't ignite the gas fumes in your engine compartment.
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Old 02-17-2006, 04:53 PM
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So Bill, for my 351HO, do I just tell them prestolite distributor w/ electronic ignition?
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:03 PM
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I think I'd bring your old cap in & tell them it's on a boat with a 351, Prestolite distributer & electronic ignition.
When I found all the parts for the 350, I brought the cap & rotor in. The 350 used the same parts for their ignitions for a number of years so it was an easy find.
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Old 02-17-2006, 05:29 PM
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Well, I just ran down the street to NAPA. We narrowed it down to two, and he told me to just bring the rotor in and he could figure the rest out. I don't want to take all the plugs off my distributor. I'd never get 'em back on right.
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