No two racecars are exactly the same. We all have our own little quirks or favorite ways of doing things that make even tube-frame cars from the manufacturer a little bit different. Changes to the front clip, the way accessories are mounted to the engine, your headers, the steering shaft and many other factors can affect the best path for routing your plug wires from the distributor to the spark plugs. Sometimes, a standard set of plug wires just cannot be made to fit correctly. That's why several performance ignition companies sell cut-to-fit plug wire kits.

Typically, a do-it-yourself plug wire kit is boxed with the spark plug terminals and boots already attached to the wires. The wires are already cut to approximate lengths but are left long to allow for different routing options. Also included are loose terminals and boots for the end to be attached to the distributor. Usually, an extra length of wire and boots is included for the coil as well. When ordering your wires, you need to be able to specify whether you need straight or angled spark-plug boots and the type of distributor you are working with. The style of plug boot is usually determined by your cylinder heads and headers. Cylinder heads with straight-cut plug holes (stock-style) will almost always require angled plug boots in order to avoid contact with the headers.

We recently ran into the need to cut a new set of plug wires for Circle Track's dyno mule Chevy 350. During the last dyno thrash a couple wires had been pulled loose from the terminals (It turns out people don't want to reach behind hot exhaust headers to pull plug wires loose from the boots) and another had been left loose and gotten burned against a header tube. So the set was discarded and we started fresh. Here's a few tips we've picked up over the years. If you have any of your own after reading this, please write in and share them with us in our "Readers' Tech Tips" section.

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