Introduction: How to Make a Pro Quality Glow Plug Lead Wire for Your Flame Shooter or Rc Car

About: I like to make things

a quick way to make a professional looking lead wire to attach to a glow plug. replaces the butt splice on Kipkay's design, or your rc car's damaged lead wire.

for those making the fireball shooter, keep reading at the end for a little bit of inside glow plug information.

Step 1: First Things First

first of all, thank you very much to MAKE magazine ( and Kipkay ( for the original versions of the flame shooter instructable.

i am not redoing Kipkay's instructable, but merely taking the open-source horse by the reigns and going to town. i've got a quick upgrade and some information that might help with glow plugs. hope you enjoy.

now go get this stuff:
some stiff bus wire (around 22g)
some hookup wire (whatever gauge you want)
a small bolt slightly smaller than your glow plug's lead
heat shrink tubing

Step 2: Wind Your Coil

pull about two inches of the bus wire out without cutting it off. begin winding it tightly around the bolt as shown in the pictures. once it is approximately 1/8" to 3/16" you can remove the bolt. if you've done this correctly, it will be too tight to simply pull it off. grab a screwdriver or whatever is applicable and unscrew it. this is a good thing. if your coil doesn't hold tightly, you need stiffer wire.

if you are making a lead wire for your rc car, continue the coil until you have about a 3/4" coil.

Step 3: Cut the Cord

take a nice sharp pair of snips and cut off the umbilical cord to the mother coil. do it at a nice angle toward the coil so as to leave no sharp corners and cut in a spot that is contiguous with the coil. we don't want anything sticking out.

for an rc car lead wire, just snip the coil at both ends in the same fashion. make sure you remove the screw before you snip the wires. skip step 4

Step 4: Let's Get Physical!

let's bend and clip and bend and clip and bend and. . . sorry. i was lost in an old jazzercise nightmare.

bend the wire back toward the coil to make a small loop. then clip it off right over the center of the coil. see pictures. it's really easy.

Step 5: Fun With Power Tools

okay, so a soldering iron might not count as a power tool, but hey, they take power to run, right?

anyway, power up the old iron and get ready to inhale some crazy fumes!

solder your hook-up wire to the loop you made in the bus wire. 'helping hands' are fantastic!

for rc cars, simply solder your wire to the inside of one end of your coil. sorry i have no pictures as of yet. they are forthcoming.

Step 6: Get Fancy

you can leave it at this and it would work. if you want it to look professional, though, you take it to the next level. and that means heat-shrink tubing!

cut a nice length appropriate to your situation and slip it on the wire end, away from the coil. it is easier to go this way than to try to go the other. you may have to bend the wires a bit to get the tubing over the coil, but once you get it in place you can bend it back.

for rc it's even easier. no need to worry about right angle turns. just slap on a piece of heat shrink and go to town.

Step 7: The Heat Is On

get crazy with your heat gun, soldering iron, hair dryer, lighter, or whatever you use to shrink heat-shrink and you are done. you should now have a pro quality lead wire to snap onto your glow plug.

(rc users may stop reading here. or read on, if you like, it's really cool stuff!)

it is also easily customizable to glow plugs of different sizes.

this can help out a lot if you don't have a magic or theater supply store nearby.

keep reading for some helpful hints.

Step 8: Glow Plug Tips

glow plugs don't last a long time. we'll need replacements from time to time. but not all glow plugs are created equal. and that's okay, it just means we have to adapt to what we can find. magic and theater supply stores are great but few and far between. hobby stores, however, are a bit more prevalent.

a friend of mine has a gas powered rc car that requires a glow plug. the same type we are using, just slightly different shape. see the pictures.

just use a different nut and make a slightly smaller lead wire with a smaller bolt and you're in business with plugs you don't have to order online. i can't help you with the flash paper/cotton, though. alas. . . any thoughts on that would be welcome.

hope this helps!