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JeepWire Review: Performance Distributors 4.0 Firepower Ignition

After a recent move from the Washington D.C. Area to Salt Lake City, it's time to get Project Money Pit back on the trail. The first order of business is to make it drivable on the street again. I'm starting with the normal maintenance items that hadn't been replaced in a while. While shopping for a set of plug wires I came across the new 4.0 Firepower Ignition Kit 93-98 Jeep Cherokees and Wranglers from Performance Distributors.

Performance Distributors is well known for their DUI Ignition systems. Recently they have expanded their business into ignition systems for newer computer controlled vehicles. The 4.0 Firepower Ignition Kit includes one of their Screamin' Demon Coils, a set of LiveWires spark plug wires, and a brass terminal cap and rotor set. All of these parts are are direct replacements for the stock components. There are no external ignition boxes that need to be added like other systems. The Screamin' Demon Coil allows the spark plug gap to be opened up to .065". The larger gap exposes more spark in the combustion chamber for a better burn. Supposedly this will provide better performance and gas mileage. The coil also features a brass terminal which will last longer than the traditional aluminum terminals found on most coils. Since the coil is more powerful, it requires high quality spark plug wires. A set of stock wires will be burned out in a short amount of time. Performance Distributors LiveWires are 10mm spark plug wires with a protective glass sleeve which is able to protect the wires up to 1400 degrees. They are also spiral wound to prevent radio interference. One really nice feature is the wires come precut to size and numbered on each boot. Anyone who has purchased an after market set of plug wire, only to find they need to be cut to size, will appreciate this. The last part of the kit is the cap and rotor. The brass terminals will last longer with the hotter spark produced by the coil. Brass is also more conductive than the aluminum found in many caps and rotors.

Installation was a breeze. I removed the original coil and bracket from the side of my 4.0. Once the coil was removed from the stock bracket, the Screamin' Demon coil could be bolted in it's place, and reattached to the engine block. Next the cap and rotor could be be replaced with the new units. The new rotor even had the number 1 cylinder marked to ease installation. While installing the new rotor, I discovered it did not match the style used on my '94 Wrangler. It seems some '93 and '94 Wranglers used a different rotor. A quick call to Performance Distributors and the correct one was on it's way. This was really my fault, since I had had problems replacing the rotor in the past. I should have let Performance Distributors know about the difference when I placed the order. Lastly the LiveWires went on. This was foolproof since the wires were numbered on both ends. The lengths of the wires were also good.

So far I've been happy with the 4.0 Firepower Ignition Kit. My YJ starts quicker and runs smoother. I had some hesitation at times with the stock system, which is now gone with the new set-up. My gas guage is currently dead, so I'm not able to check the mileage. Since a Jeep has the aerodynamics of a brick, I'm really not concerned about it.

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