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Old 09-19-2019, 05:15 PM   #1
30-9
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Default Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

Ok recently turned 85. Have done many tuneup.

Whenever I do one, I always change points and condenser.

Points I get. But, if condenser is good why bother?
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:22 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

Many think (me too) that the modern off-shore condensers are questionable, at best. If you have a proven condenser, it is probably better than most new ones. Keep it.
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

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Ok recently turned 85. Have done many tuneup.

Whenever I do one, I always change points and condenser.

Points I get. But, if condenser is good why bother?
Great question, 30-9! I've always figured that the condenser was either "good" or "bad", with nothing in between. The points, on the otherhand, go from "new" to "old" over a period of time with no outright failures....more like gradual deterioration. So, I like you, only change the points on an ignition tuneup. and only change the condenser when I have a failure with that component.

Am interested in what better minds will say here on the Barn, thanks to your question.

P.S. You do have me by nine years and I'm hoping to still be working on my Fords when and if, I make it to 85!
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Old 09-19-2019, 05:54 PM   #4
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Great question, 30-9! I've always figured that the condenser was either "good" or "bad", with nothing in between. The points, on the otherhand, go from "new" to "old" over a period of time with no outright failures....more like gradual deterioration. So, I like you, only change the points on an ignition tuneup. and only change the condenser when I have a failure with that component.

Am interested in what better minds will say here on the Barn, thanks to your question.

P.S. You do have me by nine years and I'm hoping to still be working on my Fords when and if, I make it to 85!
Iím sure you will My friend!

Thanks to you both! 40cpe stay well keep wrenching
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:27 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

There was a time when they were inexpensive and reliable to boot. Sadly, those days are gone. When you have a good condenser then put a leever on it and leever alone.

NAPA Echlin seems to still be trying to put out a good product but since they were bought out by Standard Motor parts, it's hard to say if that will last or not.
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Old 09-19-2019, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

The only way to be sure what you have is with a capacitor checker that checks it with voltage applied. First, you need to know what capacity is required for the coil you are using.
If you are using ALL original TYPE numbered catalog parts, matching the numbers up will usually get you by.
If you have an unknown coil, matching a proper capacitor to it is either guess work or requires some lab equipment the average mechanic does not have or can not afford.

Technically, the capacitor has to have the right value to tune the coil primary circuit to resonance. This results in the longest possible point life.
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Old 09-20-2019, 12:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

And then there's the old shop manual procedure of examining the metal transfer on the points themselves. These old manuals showed pictures of metal build up on one side of the points and a crater on the other, with a diagram explaining which was over capacity condenser and which was under capacity (I forget which is which).
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:05 AM   #8
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

Condensers do not all act alike. Some go bad slowly, some suddenly. Engine heat and cold cycles and electrical use take a toll on the materials inside the capacitor. Best to change to a new capacitor, of good electrical quality, appearance can be fooling.
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Old 09-20-2019, 08:14 AM   #9
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Condensers do not all act alike. Some go bad slowly, some suddenly. Engine heat and cold cycles and electrical use take a toll on the materials inside the capacitor. Best to change to a new capacitor, of good electrical quality, appearance can be fooling.
This is my thought. If the points have gotten to the a place of being worn out, then the condenser was subjected to the same heat cycles, etc. but not actual physical wear.

Replacing current condenser with a known good quality condenser gives some peace of mind and avoids a potential on the road failure I guess.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

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This is my thought. If the points have gotten to the a place of being worn out, then the condenser was subjected to the same heat cycles, etc. but not actual physical wear.

Replacing current condenser with a known good quality condenser gives some peace of mind and avoids a potential on the road failure I guess.
And therein lies the problem.
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Old 09-20-2019, 09:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

Points and condensor often come in a set ...
so i use it....but if i have an actual nos henry condensor i use it first!
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:07 AM   #12
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And therein lies the problem.
Exactly.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:23 AM   #13
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

In case anyone is interested, we are in the process of field testing original pre-war Ford script condenser cases (both '32-'36 and '37-'41) with modern severe duty film capacitors inside them. These are reconstructed on lines similar to the brass "Trash Can" condensers that have been out three years without a single reported failure. They can not be told from the originals.

Stay tuned.
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Old 09-20-2019, 10:30 AM   #14
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In case anyone is interested, we are in the process of field testing original pre-war Ford script condenser cases (both '32-'36 and '37-'41) with modern severe duty film capacitors inside them. These are reconstructed on lines similar to the brass "Trash Can" condensers that have been out three years without a single reported failure. They can not be told from the originals.

Stay tuned.
Nice!
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:21 PM   #15
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

While we are on the subject of condensers, are the old, high capacity Mallory, externally mount condensers still available?
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Old 09-20-2019, 02:41 PM   #16
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

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While we are on the subject of condensers, are the old, high capacity Mallory, externally mount condensers still available?

You mean one like this? No. Mallory doesn't make them anymore. Tubman does. Jack E/NJ
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Old 09-20-2019, 05:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Ol man thinkin & seeking to learn

Mylar film is more stable than the old wax paper was for an insulator. The foil used and the way they connect the electrical lead seams to affect the problematic construction that manufacturers use now. On some, if you pull on the lead at all then it will come right out of the can. With all the technology out there, they should be able to build a decent condenser that lasts a long time but they just plain don't give a damn.
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