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Ignition Sticks


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Do the 4 ignition sticks degenerate over time and get old gracefully, perform gradually less well (due to them handling the high voltage, insulation, weather etc.) or do they stay operating at 100% and then blow like an RT headlight?

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Morning Hugh


They can go either way. They are electrical devices so heat cycles, moisture, and vibration can effect them over time. Obviously as the spark plugs wear & the electrode gap gets larger the coils are pushed harder with more incentive to arc internally.


The usual failure mode is insulation breakdown and internal arcing but they can also go open or shorted.


There was a change in the coils sometime along the line and the later (usually gray) seem to hold up better.


One of the problems seems to be the need for RFI shielding and due to the long thin coil design there isn’t much room for the shielding to be spaced very far way from the coil windings.


I guess I can’t say up front if they degrade slowly or gradually as the failed ones I have worked with were failed when I saw them. I have seen a few that would idle the engine OK but wouldn’t work correctly under higher engine loading.


Just the basic COP design is somewhat limiting as there is a lot of spark potential in a small case running in a high heat & moisture rich area. Lots of automobiles have a history of failing the COP also.


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