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Old 03-16-2019, 11:24 PM   #1
Newc
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Default Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Hi; I am pondering the difficulty of threading new leads thru the tubes for my '48 engine. I see that there is a cross over involved at the dist. and the fit seems tight. Our RG 9 is going to do a meeting nite seminar on this job. Any Ideas fellows? Newc
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Old 03-17-2019, 12:06 AM   #2
deuce_roadster
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Yes, on those 46-48 caps, you need to hog out the inside of the outer cap where the wires come in and radius and smooth all the areas that make it hard to thread the wires through at the base of the "Y". A die grinder does the job easily. After you do that, the rest is easy.
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Old 03-20-2019, 11:25 PM   #3
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Thanks all; Newc
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

a little silicone spray will ease your passage
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:01 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Deuce has it right. When I did my '46, the outer cap I got from DC had sharp edges where the wires exit to the "rabbit ears". I radiused the sharp edges with a Dremel tool and as Deuce says, hogged the passages out. In my case, I coated the passages with dielectric grease to ease pulling the wires through. I took a photo of the original routing of the wires going in to the inner cap, and used that as a reference to get the wires laying in so the outer cap could be pressed up tight by hand to the inner cap. It is a tight squeeze. I also noticed that the two holes in the inner cap I got from DC did not have the "flashing" removed, so there was no passage between the inner/outer cap, like there was on the original cap. I don't know if that is important or not, but I took the end of a drill bit and removed the thin layer of "flashing". The people on the assembly line must have been artists at doing this job. One more thing before you start assembly. Make sure you number your wires, have them plugged it to the right places in the inner cap, and routed to the correct outlet in the tubes. After I assembled mine, I checked with a multimeter between the stud inside the inner cap and the end of each lead, and had to go back and move two leads to the correct location. It would have been a lot of grief had I installed everything, only to find out may mistake when I fired the engine up.
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Old 03-21-2019, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Thank you all for this post. I just "relieved" my outer cap in anticipation of the new brown solid copper core wires I'm getting from G&G. Right now I have the crab cap on, but I want to get back to the original rabbit ear set up.
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Old 03-21-2019, 10:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

I initially wanted to keep my '48 "rabbit ear" distributor original too. I spent literally hours trying to fit eight sparkplug wires, plus the distributor wire, through the ears into the cap. I get that Ford was trying to moisture proof the distributor, but I also think the two part system was a questionable design. I don't know why the ears could not have been made wider to better accommodate the wiring. But even then, all the wires still have to bend like 150 degrees back to pop into the cap. I finally gave up and took someone's suggestion to change to the earlier crab style cap. I like that it's flatter against the engine and super easy to work with.
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Old 03-21-2019, 11:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Electricians wire pulling lubricant works wonders too.
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Old 03-22-2019, 12:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Quote:
Originally Posted by ALmotoman View Post
I initially wanted to keep my '48 "rabbit ear" distributor original too. I spent literally hours trying to fit eight sparkplug wires, plus the distributor wire, through the ears into the cap. I get that Ford was trying to moisture proof the distributor, but I also think the two part system was a questionable design. I don't know why the ears could not have been made wider to better accommodate the wiring. But even then, all the wires still have to bend like 150 degrees back to pop into the cap. I finally gave up and took someone's suggestion to change to the earlier crab style cap. I like that it's flatter against the engine and super easy to work with.



Some good info already posted....



I have a 37/38 helmet, and I made up my own wires with spare wire stock. They fit fine. start at the contacts, then the covers. Wire looms next, off the dizzy. Leave the wires long. It's not easy but somehow they were done.



What size wires are you using?
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Old 03-22-2019, 02:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: Spark plug leads; threading thru the tubes '48

Back up a bit to the fit of the rotor: Turn it by hand to observe the relationship of rotor to cap contacts, from each side in turn. Make adjustments accordingly, to prevent breakage of rotor or cap during the first firing of the engine. If gaps are too wide, a little solder on the cap contacts will close those gaps, with excess solder being easily cut by the rotor contact itself.

Fish wires can be run through the conduit holes to attach to the correct plug wires for pulling all wires simultaneously. Distributor ends of the wires should be complete and installed before final adjustment of wires in conduit and plug ends completed.
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