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Old 08-26-2011, 09:42 PM   #1
Bruce Compton, Canada
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Default Which condenser???

What condenser do you guys recommend for a crab distriibutor in a '46 Ford with an 8BA coil (no resistor)? Do you match the condenser to the coil or the distributor as the crab dist. does not have the same dwell as the the later dist. I've been fighting with a "no start when hot" situation for a few weeks and discovered that I have lots of spark coming from the coil, but very little at the plug wires. Thanks : Bruce
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Old 08-27-2011, 07:09 AM   #2
Terry,OH
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Default Re: Which condenser???

For 42-48 the Ford ignition condenser size is 0.25-0.32 mf. The condenser is matched to the coil and allows it to develop maximum voltage output. Here is the kicker the coil usually does not put out maximum voltage, because it does not have to. It only puts out enough voltage to arc across the open circuits in the secondary. The open circuits are the gaps between the rotor and the cap, and the plug gap and any other high resistance. So keep the gaps small, use a new rotor and cap, nonresistance wires with soldered terminals and gap the plugs around 0.25 to 0.30 and use a plug that fires at low voltage. The coil may be able to fire at lower voltages than the Max. removing the Ford resistor will Lead to over heating the coil over time, and it is not necessary or desirable with a engine that is running properly. I use the NAPA FA66 condenser.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Which condenser???

The 8BA family of engines with the Holley Load-A-Matic distibutor, used a condenser that has .2 to .25 micro farad capacity. The 8BA can type coil had no need for a ballast resistor since the primary winding resistance was already designed to give the correct current draw without a ballast on a 6-volt system. You will need a condenser for an 8BA or one with the same capacity that will fit the necessary location. The ballast resistor will need to be bypassed if the system is still 6-volt. If the system is 12-volt you will need a dropping ballast type resistor as used in the 1956 FoMoCo products.

The point dwell time is all about the time to charge the capacitor between breaker closings to openings. The charge time or "dwell" has to be balanced from one breaker closing to the next one opening for the type of breaker set being utilized in order to keep peak efficiency for charge and discharge of the condenser. Dwell time related to the crab type distributor would remain the same as for all the 42 through 48 type distributors.
Kerby

Last edited by rotorwrench; 08-27-2011 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:56 AM   #4
Bruce Compton, Canada
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Thank guys for the very informative replies. It's exactly what makes Fordbarn such a great site. Bruce
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Old 08-27-2011, 02:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Bruce,
We use the napa FA54 condensor on all our builds and have had great performance from them. I like the mounting as it kicks the condensor out from the distributor body allowing proper cooling.
The FA66 is a little different unit and is designed for the 1949-53 upright distributors.
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Old 08-27-2011, 03:41 PM   #6
Bruce Compton, Canada
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Thanks Bubba. I just ordered a pair of IH 200s ( $28.00 ) . Should I change the order to FA 54s, or are the IH 200s O.K.? Bruce. BTW, six crab distributors are on their way to your place.
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Compton, Canada View Post
Thanks Bubba. I just ordered a pair of IH 200s ( $28.00 ) . Should I change the order to FA 54s, or are the IH 200s O.K.? Bruce. BTW, six crab distributors are on their way to your place.
I dont have a app for the IH200s are they napa?? I would change to FA54s they are echlin hd heavy duty
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Old 08-27-2011, 06:47 PM   #8
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Default Re: Which condenser???

The FA54 is Echlin's equivalent of the 1GA-12300 Ford condenser. Not a generic "fits all" kind of part but an actual correct fit for the distributors that called for the 1GA-12300 condenser. Rated at .27/.33 mcfd.

Ford mounted these right on the crab style distributor. I believe (others can chime in to correct me on this) that if you extend the location of the condenser, you in effect change the mcfd rating at the points. Not by much though.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:38 PM   #9
Bruce Compton, Canada
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Default Re: Which condenser???

I believe the IH 200 is an Echlin number. Bruce
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:46 PM   #10
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Default Re: Which condenser???

I use the 200 exclusivly,have good luck with them. NAPA #. ken ct. OMO
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Which condenser???

MacVP,
You bring up an interesting point. I relocated my condensor up to the coil for easy changing on the road (never happened). Our 46 starts first turn and runs great.

Hmmm?
John

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Old 08-30-2011, 10:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: Which condenser???

I installed the echlin IH200 when I was having trouble with warm starts as part of trouble shooting. At the same time I replaced the distributor with a very clean one off of a low mileage 59A. Don't know which one cured the problem but the starting and the power have been normalized. But the price on the condenser? Wow! Good Luck: Fred A
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Old 08-30-2011, 06:00 PM   #13
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Default Re: Which condenser???

For general info the ECH IH200 was made to fit the International Farmal gasoline powered tractors if your looking for applications and specs. If you use this part number you can find it on the current NAPA web-site. They don't spec them on there so I still don't know what the capacity is.

Oh and for those interested, The ECH FA66 has always been listed as the alternator capacitor. That's typical of the modern computer age. Most countermen don't know what a generator is let alone the folks that put the nomenclature out there. It was attached to the Ford & Merc 8BA family of engines generator to control radio noise on cars & trucks so equipped. I wonder how many folks use them in the distributor instead of the part number ECH FA76 that is intended for the ignition system.

Kerby

Last edited by rotorwrench; 08-30-2011 at 06:30 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011, 07:15 PM   #14
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Found the following capacitance info in my notes from somewhere long ago:
IH200: .15.20 mfd
FA49 (37-41): .30.36 mfd
FA54 (42-48): .28.32 mfd
Condensers for 1949+: .21.25 mfd
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Old 08-31-2011, 03:41 PM   #15
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Had a chance this afternoon to scan the NAPA early Ignition catalog....
should help us all . The Echlin stuff is usually very good quality ....
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:11 PM   #16
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Now that one shows the FA66 for the ignition for the Load-A-Matics from 49 thru 53. The FA76 is listed for the early Y-block types even though they use the same basic components. I wonder what the (a) foot note is next to FA66? NAPA on-line site lists the FA66 and an alternator condenser. Maybe it was used as one later on in the 60s and that's where the nomenclature came from. The FA76 listed as the ignition condenser for a 1951 Mercury car application but the FA66 is also listed there with the alternator nominclature attached.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:19 PM   #17
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Default Re: Which condenser???

Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Now that one shows the FA66 for the ignition for the Load-A-Matics from 49 thru 53. The FA76 is listed for the early Y-block types even though they use the same basic components. I wonder what the (a) foot note is next to FA66? NAPA on-line site lists the FA66 and an alternator condenser. Maybe it was used as one later on in the 60s and that's where the nomenclature came from. The FA76 listed as the ignition condenser for a 1951 Mercury car application but the FA66 is also listed there with the alternator nominclature attached.

I will check the book tomorrow at work.......The alternator condensors ( whick could be the same as ignition units) are on the alternator output side to get ride of radio noise coming from the alternator. later alternators have these condensors inside the case..
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:32 PM   #18
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Default Re: Which condenser???

John,
The change in capacitance is approx. 0.02mf. Asyou know I have used this system for many years like you say, starts and runs great.
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rotorwrench View Post
Now that one shows the FA66 for the ignition for the Load-A-Matics from 49 thru 53. The FA76 is listed for the early Y-block types even though they use the same basic components. I wonder what the (a) foot note is next to FA66? NAPA on-line site lists the FA66 and an alternator condenser. Maybe it was used as one later on in the 60s and that's where the nomenclature came from. The FA76 listed as the ignition condenser for a 1951 Mercury car application but the FA66 is also listed there with the alternator nominclature attached.

The "a" footnote is to tell you its available in a mileage plus box if wanted ....
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Old 09-01-2011, 10:27 AM   #20
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Default Re: Which condenser???

the older Echlin catalogs show FA66 for 49-68 Ford the newer catalogs show FA76 49-72 Ford, you can use either one,here is a online Echlin pdf. check page 351

http://www.napaechlin.com/upload/NAP..._NA141_HQr.pdf
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