Hands-On Review: NAPA Belden Edge Spark Plug Wires 700989

~or~ You Suck, Belden

I got a set of these wires for our Suburban and fortunately I am big on testing new parts.  Specification for spark plug wires for the GM 5.3L V8 in the Monster Truck is 800 ohms plus-or-minus 500 (300 to 1300 ohms according to the book).  Six of these eight wires measured about 150 ohms.  Lower is okay with me, especially because they were all the same.  The other two, one measured over 3 000 ohms and the other was between 8 000 and 12 000 depending on how it was bent.

I went back to NAPA and they broke out another set.  I brought my meter with me.  The first four out of the box measured 150, 8 000, 20 000 ish (not steady) and 150.  I took two home and counted myself relatively fortunate.

That is, of ten wires I measured, four were bad.  40%.  Rounding to the nearest half, exactly HALF these  wires were bad.  Out of the box.  Bad.  This is horrible quality control.  When they fail, I’m going to go with my original intention and get a set of AC Delco wires.  What the heck, I thought, they’re spark plug wires.  How bad can a store brand be?  As it turns out, they can be half bad.  I got name-brand parts from the store and decided to save a trip to a different store (to get my name-brand wires) and got the store-brand wires from the store where I already was making a purchase.  I had to make that extra trip anyway, to get replacement new parts.  Lesson learned.

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4 thoughts on “Hands-On Review: NAPA Belden Edge Spark Plug Wires 700989

  1. This is just not realistic we own a NAPA store and sell 40 plus sets a month of Belden Wires, the defect rate is less than 1 percent on a yearly basis we may have 5 sets “bad” of which half of them are from someone not knowing how to remove them properly and tearing the ends off.

    • I’m glad you own a store. I’m glad you sell lots of wires and other assorted widgets. You’re my go-to chain for AC Delco branded parts. I truly wish you the best of success.

      And I will never buy another set of Belden wires from you, because a 40% failure rate is a severe pain in my ass and I’m not up for it twice. I don’t care how they went bad. They looked and were sold as new. You know whose wires are all, always, in spec right out of the box? The store brand of the place where I buy parts for my Hot Rod.

  2. I have always used belden plug wires on my car and have never had a single problem with them. The fact that you measure the resistance in wires is absurd. Especially considering they are cheap bargain brand wires at that. Of course they aren’t going to be perfect. you didn’t pay for perfect you paid for I’m a tight wad wires. That’s like trying to find an electrical problem with a 20 dollar harbor freight multimeter. Good ones that actually read correctly cost 200 at least. There’s a saying you get what you pay for. Every time I look at products online there’s always someone like you expecting to polish some fools gold into an expensive gold necklace. Cheap products are just that. they are meant to get you by not to win an award.

    • I am glad you have not had problems of the same sort I have had. If measuring resistance on wires is absurd, I suppose then that every single auto manufacturer in the world specifying a resistance tolerance for their wires must be also absurd to you. I paid for “this should not be broken right out of the box” brand-new parts. NAPA agrees or they would never have given me replacement parts at zero additional cost. Cheap does not have to be the same as non-working and it was a surprise to me that a major brand could screw up as simple a thing as a wire, but they managed to do so.

      P.S. I have used $$$$ meters and I have used $$ meters. Usually the cheap ones are good enough for basic measurements, and if they get fried by accident it is no great loss.

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