replacing wires mercruiser are they made of gold???

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by rcmafgny, Sep 21, 2013.

  1. rcmafgny

    rcmafgny Active Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2008 33 Sundancer; Kohler Gen set; Simrad electronics
    Twin 8.1 Horizons w/ V Drives
    Want to replace wires on my 06 8.1l mercruiser motor.
    the Replacement wires from mercruiser are $500
    Sierra aftermarket is ~ $420

    The wires for a Crusader 8.1L is ~ $75.

    are the spec's any different?

    Thanks

    Ron
     
  2. bahamabreisus

    bahamabreisus Well-Known Member

    Oct 25, 2007
    Hampstead NC
    500 dancer, previous 420,390,300 dancers
    detriot 8v92
    Might be worth talking to your local GM dealer. Wires are certainly more expensive these days, a set for my Suburban are $100 plus. But that's better than your prices
     
  3. Jimmy Buoy

    Jimmy Buoy Active Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    340 Amberjack
    twin 8.1S 370 Hp + 4.5 Westerbeke Genset
    From what I've seen, the wires seem to have the same coil locations so the wire lengths should be the same.
     
  4. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Yup - gotta be something awful special. The list price is actually $575! If it wasn't for an 8.1L, they'd be the typical $60-$100. I don't what makes them so special, but there's obviously something to it. Unless you do A LOT of homework, I definitely wouldn't throw an automotive set on there. My only reason for saying this is there's got to be a reason (specs) for the price difference and if it was my own engine, I wouldn't chance it - you may end up having to replace much more expensive components.
     
  5. rcmafgny

    rcmafgny Active Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2008 33 Sundancer; Kohler Gen set; Simrad electronics
    Twin 8.1 Horizons w/ V Drives
    That's what I'm thinking. The blocks are the same. It's the add ons that differ from mercruiser / volvo / crusader [i think].
    Just don't know if they change the electronics and require different specs, why is why I'm asking ya'all
    Thanks
    Ron
     
  6. rcmafgny

    rcmafgny Active Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2008 33 Sundancer; Kohler Gen set; Simrad electronics
    Twin 8.1 Horizons w/ V Drives
    Dennis,

    I would not try automotive wires, although.....
    Where I am lost is that the cost for wires [Marine] for an 8.1L Crusader engine is in the $75 range..

    Ron


     
  7. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I hear 'ya, and I 100% agree with your line of thinking. All I can think of (to "maybe" explain it) is pretty much exactly what you said in post #5. There's got to be something different with the tuning that requires a different plug composition (for lack of a more knowledgeable explanation, anyways). Come to think of it, aren't the plugs pricey, too?
     
  8. Bt Doctur

    Bt Doctur Well-Known Member

    Aug 21, 2010
    New Jersey
    Ex SRV 240 Weekender twin
    in between
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  9. Mike Blake

    Mike Blake Active Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Yankeetown FL West coast
    89 340 Sundance all Raymarine.
    Gas hogs 454X2.
  10. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    I'm just using the word tuning very generically. But I would think (and I am by no means an expert in this field) though, that the better the wire, the better it can deliver the required spark that a tune calls for? The better the tune/spark/whatever, the better the performance and efficiency, right?

    The Merc 454 plug sets are reasonably priced and about what you would expect. I know "marine" things are, in general, pricier than automotive counterparts (sometimes for good reason) but that alone doesn't explain the price difference here. There's GOTTA be a logical explanation. And, quite honestly, unless we can can get an expert (Merc would be great!) to explain this, we're all just guessing. And that doesn't really help answer Ron's question.

    I've bought non-marine things in the past, but I did my homework and didn't just trust someone that said "it worked for me". One example is the timing gear/chain set for my engine. I saved a good amount by not buying the "Merc" brand. In this case, I found out that it was 100% a GM product with no modifications made to it. I suppose the higher price (through Merc) might be explained by saying that Merc has to buy them from GM, probably in low volume (for OTC sales) and then needs to still make a profit on top of that. And then the dealer needs to make a profit, too. Couple that with the likelihood that both Merc and the dealer need to have a higher profit margin than Summit (for example) to stay in business, and I suppose that just about explains the price difference - at least for the timing chain set.
     
  11. Chief Alen

    Chief Alen New Member

    31
    Dec 20, 2011
    Manalapan,NJ
    1994 / 2452
    5.0l / Alpha 1 Gen 2
  12. 2000SEARAY280SS

    2000SEARAY280SS Member

    919
    May 7, 2007
    Potomac River
    ArrowCat 30ES
    Twin Verados 250
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  13. rcmafgny

    rcmafgny Active Member

    Oct 10, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    2008 33 Sundancer; Kohler Gen set; Simrad electronics
    Twin 8.1 Horizons w/ V Drives
    It's crazy....this is worse then the usual BReak out another thousand story.
     
  14. Lazy Daze

    Lazy Daze Well-Known Member TECHNICAL Contributor GOLD Sponsor

    Apr 21, 2009
    PA
    Various
    Various
    Actually, you're pretty much right on track! $500 x 2 sets = $1,000. :smt101

    I don't know the answer to this, so I'm only asking... I thought I had read somewhere that there is no recommended replacement timeframe for the 8.1L plug wires? Replacement is more on an "as needed" basis?
     
  15. Jimmy Buoy

    Jimmy Buoy Active Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    340 Amberjack
    twin 8.1S 370 Hp + 4.5 Westerbeke Genset
  16. Chief Alen

    Chief Alen New Member

    31
    Dec 20, 2011
    Manalapan,NJ
    1994 / 2452
    5.0l / Alpha 1 Gen 2
  17. Molson

    Molson Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    Aug 5, 2011
    Midland, ON
    1997 330 DA
    Twin 7.4 carb V-Drives
    They are probably a thicker insulation and also a larger gauge conductor. If I were in your situation, I'd grab a set of "Race" wire for high performance engines. They need to be cut to length and the ends put on. I would not hesitate to use them.
     
  18. Henry Boyd

    Henry Boyd Well-Known Member PLATINUM Sponsor

    Apr 24, 2007
    Newburyport, on the peaceful and serene Merrimack
    02' 280 DA
    496 w BIII
    Not exactly a safe choice for a gas engine in an enclosed space.

    The question I have is why does the OP feel he needs to replace the plug wires in the first place? We have eleven years on our 496 and they they are functioning perfectly. The useful life of plug wires is quite long these days. Over the past twenty years we have had a Porsche, two Audis and two Chevy Silverados and I can't recall ever having to replace plug wires.

    Henry
     
  19. Jimmy Buoy

    Jimmy Buoy Active Member

    Dec 3, 2008
    Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
    340 Amberjack
    twin 8.1S 370 Hp + 4.5 Westerbeke Genset
    Never have had to replace mine either. 2001 with 550hrs. Apparently they have a solid steel core??
     
  20. Kreole Kid

    Kreole Kid Active Member

    May 25, 2009
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    2004 340 Sundancer,
    2008 Yamaha VX1100 Jet Ski
    8.1 Horizons, V-Drives
    I know one damn thing, the clips holding the wires together in pairs are a living hell to pop open to replace the wires.
     

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