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When it comes to igniting the fuel in the combustion chamber, spark plug wires are the key factors. They are responsible for the combustion of the fuel, which helps to run the vehicle.
But most people have experienced melted plug wires or burned spark plugs. Even the spark plug boots have also burned. Burned wires can cause several problems to your engine, including ignition problems. It would be best to use heat shields for the spark wires.
Do you know how to install spark plug wire heat shields? If you do not know the answer, follow the article that will help you install spark plug wires.
Most probably, heat shields are the best way to protect the spark plug wires from burning or melting. When the plug wires come in contact with electrical energy, heat is produced. The resistance of those wires has also increased.
If you use a heat shield, it will reduce the heat-induced electrical resistance. The heat production will also be controlled. These heat shields are made from non-conducting materials.
Mainly, they are designed to protect the wires from heat so that you do not have any heating or meting problems with the spark plug wires.
How To Install Spark Plug Wire Heat Shields?
There are some variations of heat shields. They are insul-boots, lava boots, HP boots, and heat shield tapes. Therefore, the installation process should be similar. Well, there are some differences in their installation process. Let us show how:
Installation of Insul-Boots
Insul-boots are the most conventional ones when it comes to using some heat shields. The building materials of these boots reflect the heat. The insul-boots can handle up to 1200-degree Fahrenheit.
When you buy the insul-boots, make sure it has eight shields. It is because most of the engines have eight spark plugs. Let’s come to the main task. When the engine is fully cool down, open the hood and locate the spark wires.
To install the insul-boots, it will be best to remove all the wires from the cylinder head.
Then you have to get the wires through the shields, and it is all set. Too easy, right? You will notice a ring on the head of the heat shields. It is used to keep the boots at their place.
It would help if you remembered to place the boots where the ring goes between the cylinder head and the lower end of the boots. It would be better to keep the ring on the upper side of the wires. When the boots might get detached, you can easily get them to their original position.
When the installation is done, get the spark plug wires to their places.
Installation of Lava Boots
The lava boots are pretty similar to insul-boots but have a dual-wall design. Mainly, they are made of high-temperature basalt materials which are very flexible and heat resistant. The boots can handle up to 1200-degree Fahrenheit.
First, you have to remove the spark plug wires and look for any tears or rips before reinstalling them.
Then take one of the lava boots and slide it to the large end of the spark plugs.
Make sure that you do not give extra pressure while sliding the boots. It is because the large end of the plug should not get out from the lava boots.
The reason behind why the larger end should remain in the boot is that there is no ring on the head of the boot like insul-boots.
Now, it is time to reinstall the plugs. The large end of the boots will always be on the visible side, or you can see it by opening the hood.
You should check all the connections are okay or not. After the installation, you will see the heat shields are keeping the spark plug wires detached from the headers.
Installation of HP Boots
Mainly, they are made of stainless steel and ceramic insulation system. These are used when you do not want some flexible boots. It is because the HP boots are pre-formed like straight, 135-degree, and 90-degree configurations. That is why these boots can handle a constant 1800-degree Fahrenheit. The installation process is a bit different from lava boots and insul-boots.
You have to remove the plugs and check if there are any damages.
Then decide which type of placement you want to install. The placement can be done in 135-degree or 90-degree angles or even straight.
If the headers are too close to the spark plugs, then use the 135-degree HP boots. It is because this angle helps to keep the distance from the headers.
Using a straight one will not be wise. The reason is that the engine is very compacted. When you try to use a straight heat shield, you won’t probably place it.
The best option is to use the 90-degree configured heat shield. It is designed to keep enough distance from the headers and cylinder. Again, there is no need for the rings because the boots will not side up from the spark plugs.
Then you can reinstall the spark plugs. See if there are fixed in the correct position or can get loose with a slight movement.
Therefore, there is less possibility to overheat. As they are not flexible like others, you cannot move them after you are done with the installation. Always recheck the installation before you close the hood. That is because, without flexibility, they might get loose from their original position.
Heat Shield Tapes
Heatshield tapes are famous as a shield of spark plug wires. They are perfect for high-temperature resistance that reflects 90% of the heat. Mainly, they are used to tap the heat shield products. When you are not sure about the shield would work properly or not, you should try the heat shield tapes.
How to use them?
The process is straightforward. Before installing any heat shields, you have to use these tapes on the top layer of those shields. First, make a layer on the outer side of the heat shield boots with the tapes. Make sure there is no visible space left on the outer sides. If you are still not confident, then you can make another layer to ensure the heat reflection at a maximum rate.
Are They Necessary?
Of course, they are necessary for protecting the spark wires from melting. When any spark plug is burned or melted, it cannot provide conductive electrical energy to fuels. In this way, it can cause ignition misfires or even no fire problem.
You can face an engine detonation problem or a backfire situation. Sometimes the situation is so bad that you might have to replace the whole set of plug wires. But it will not happen this way if you use heat shields.
The shields create a thermal barrier that reduces the heat produced from the resistance of the wires. Then the spark energy will fully deliver to the ignition system. When the headers are too hot, the shields also protect the wires from external heat.
The heat shields are critical to saving the wires from being burned or melted down, as you see. There is no question that they are essential to protect the spark plugs and your engine’s combustion process.
Some Final Tips
Using the heat shields to spark plug wires is the best idea to protect them from header and melting. They will also help to keep the engine performance at the optimum level. But you will need to remember some tricks before you ought to install them.
The first thing to remember is not to try to place the shields while the spark plugs are still plugged. If you try to install it in that position, the boots will not be adequately fixed. When you slid the plugs through the boots, make sure you do not press them with too much strength.
If the insul-boots are to use, the side which has the ring should stay on the top. When you are using lava boots, always use the larger end to slide the plugs. It is because the small end will not even slide through the plugs.
Again, if you are using HP boots, you have to ensure the proper formation that you are going to use. A 90-degree formation is better than others to install. Still not getting confidence? Try a heat shield tape or heat shield sleeves for extra protection from the heat.
Installing heat shields to the spark plug wires is a crying need if you do not want to have a spark wire-related problem. It is vital to avoid heating issues. Most of the time, you have to replace the whole set of wires. It is because faulty wires will do more harm than good.
We hope you have learned the ways of how to install spark plug wire heat shields. Do not let the wires burned and save them from melting. Wish you good luck.