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Old 12-25-2009, 03:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question heat shrink tubing..certain wires

Near the ignition, car with distributor, I am wondering if heat wrapping the signal side will do anything. I am sure it wouldn't hurt.

I derived this from wrapping fan wires in my computer, including the power supply...the power supply fan, has no need to go crazy with nuclear things smashing my head anymore. Everything is very calm...and power readings are all up across the board.I thought of the signal side coming from car distributor, and am going to wrap it in heatshrink tube...

anyody ever measure the gain or loss?

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Old 12-26-2009, 11:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Somewhat lost here, but you're saying by wrapping the wires, the air temps don't affect the wire as much, resulting in a cooler wire = requires less amps for same voltage.

Correct thinking? As yes, that would be a good idea. When a metal increases temperatures, the resistance increases. This would decrease efficiency of the system. That's another example of why people install a direct 12V thick gauge wire from their headlights to the battery, less voltage drop.

What kind of thermal wrap are you using? Just a regular wire thermal tape? Kind of makes me wonder if manufactures incorporate a certain level of extra resistance into ECU design for when the motor heats up, resulting in higher wire temps/resistances. Things simple like that could have a reasonable effect on the efficiency...Hmmm. Curious what gains could be had by this, especially on a vehicle like my truck, which melts ice off the hood when fully warmed up, and ignites poor wire choices (speaker wire, oops) under the hood. That was a fun moment.

Short version:
Wrap all the wires in the engine bay. Protect them from heat. Heat = higher resistance = more amps = less voltage (more or less of one or the other). Good idea.
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Old 12-26-2009, 11:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Smashed upside the head by nuclear things... now I understand what happened

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Old 12-27-2009, 08:43 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Nonsense. Signal wires carry tiny currents, so increased resistivity has little impact. Besides, as long as the signal is received, it has done its job.

If you must wrap something to cool down your wires, wrap the exhaust.

And by all means, get rid of that alternator. Have you measured the heat and electromagnetic flux produced by an alternator? It's off the charts. Get rid of it!
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Old 12-27-2009, 09:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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no signal gain from heatshrinking unless a wire conductor has been exposed and is shorting out.
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Old 12-30-2009, 06:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What about RF or capacitive interference? Shrink tubing may move the wires away from other things that were causing some very small interference, and cut down on them that way. Not sure if it would be enough change to notice, though.

I've heard of people having trouble with Megasquirt wire signals interfering with each other sometimes.

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Old 03-05-2010, 10:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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AFAIK the only advantage would be the cables looking cleaner.
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Old 03-06-2010, 12:03 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Heating a wire changes the latency of the signal it provides. That said, it's probably only by a few ms, not quite something that's going to make or break efficiency.

On any engine, the "signal" wire to the distributor is also known as the "coil" wire. It provides the extremely high voltage charge from the coil to the distributor.

While heatshrink tubing will do nothing to keep heat away (it's has nearly nil for insulation properties), wrapping your wires with canvas-backed mylar does help keep heat away from the wires, changing your ignition timing by a few ms, which might mean something if you have a sensitive engine.
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Old 03-06-2010, 09:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Angmaar View Post
AFAIK the only advantage would be the cables looking cleaner.
Might help keep out any stray moisture as well but I agree the gain/loss in performance should be virtually immeasurable.

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Old 10-11-2012, 10:49 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi , A bit late response but i wanted to reply anyway ; most hopefully some one could be seeing it !
Not a good idea by the way ! can some one consider moisture inside Engine compartment where temperature is at those limits that could burn you !
I think the only advantage seems would be the cleaner look ! Unless if some wire seems to be in danger of touching the engine chassis ; then it may save it from shorting and eventually from electric fire's due to it !
If however you want to add heat shrink anyway then putting it over Battery terminals would be a good idea !!

smt assembly

Last edited by lesliebr; 07-26-2013 at 10:45 AM..
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