Probably a dumb question, but are the brown type cloth covered spark plug wires not supposed to touch the cylinder head or each other when installed?
It's better if they don't but they are cloth covered rubber insulated wires and should not matter. If you are asking about the possibility of shorting out. ?
Don't let them rest on any head bolts or on the head itself. Also, it's a good idea to not have them touch each other.
If you have a set of original wires or look at low mileage originals like the Rip Van Winkle touring, the wires are just long enough to reach the spark plugs and the brass leads coming off the coil box are bent up to nearly 90 degrees which helps lift the wires.
I believe you can get the correct length wires from RV Anderson so you don't have to worry about excess sagging.
See this thread:
Used to be called cross firing when 2 wires touched each other and the insulation is worn. The spark would jump to where it's not wanted. That is into another plug. Used to see a lot of older cars with the ign. wires run through a metal housing or chase to neaten up the wiring. Just set up the perfect conditions for cross firing. Obviously keeping them off the block is a good idea too.
I understand Gail Rodda is making the correct spark plug wires now, color and everything! I've been making my own for years out of NOS late model Ford wiring (30's) that looks real nice, but has tracer in it. I have gotten the lengths for the wires out of teens Ford parts books. What is interesting is how often Ford changed the lengths!
I don't let any of my wires either touch the engine (melting/burning issue) and not each other to prevent cross-firing. Always a possibility.
This arrangement seems to work OK.
Our 16 runs good with these wires original?
Larry as far as I know Gail has stopped making the wires..also Bill there are 2 types of the brown (saddle color with the copper terminals) wire sets the torpedo set which is longer and the standard set.
I wonder which set I got? They were too long according to the dimensions I found on the forum, so I trimmed them to the correct length and now they look like the ones posted by Steve and Paul - no sagging at all. I think it was Larry Smith who gave the correct lengths for the 1914 model year.