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Hot Rods flathead condenser removal,

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by str8axle63, Feb 20, 2018.

  1. str8axle63
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 34

    str8axle63

    I know this is a stupid question but.. I have a 1942 ford / Marmon Herrington pickup that is pretty high off the ground. I am not getting spark so I'm replacing the condenser . The problem I have to hang over the fender to get to it. I got the wire disconnected but cannot see what is holding it to the distributor, little bracket to the right. Is it a screw, flat head, Phillips or an Allen key? It looks like an Allen but it is at the exact point where my glasses get blurred and close enough that I can't see it with bare eyes either. Its a flat head 8.
    I wanted to switch the condenser first to see if I get spark before I pull the distributor. I am going to have to take out the radiator to get to it. Maybe I'll get lucky, doubt it but taking a shot at it
    thank you
     
  2. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,145

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    A stock 42 distributor is very easy to remove. Maybe even easier than replacing the condensor on the distributor. You shouldn't need to remove the radiator to get it out, unless there is some special M-H equipment in the way.

    Snap the two spring clips off the cap sides and let the cap hang, undo one small nut holding the lead on that condensor, then two 5/16" bolts holding the housing to the front cam cover. Give it a light tap with a rubber hammer and it should come loose in your hands. Make sure you line up the tang into the cam when you replace it, since it should only go in one way (offset). You cannot mess up any timing just removing and replacing the distributor.
     
    warhorseracing likes this.
  3. str8axle63
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 34

    str8axle63

    The problem is it is extremely tight between the fan and radiator, so much so I cannot even see where the clips on the cap or the bolts are. Adding to the problem is the fenders are about 4 feet high so I'm on steep stool laying over the fender to get at it and I'm 6'3 I also have problems with my neck and have very little movement. I can't see any other way how I will be able to see in there. I want to try to replace the condenser before having to remove the distributor to see if maybe it will give me spark. I can't see how the condenser is attached, flat head, Phillips or Allen. Was hoping someone has the answer.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,145

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The power wire is held to the distributor/condensor stud with a small nut, maybe 5/16"? The condensor is held to the body of the distributor with a small screw. Mine is actually a socket head because the rebuilder (Linder) likes them better. But stock is probably a slot head machine screw. Either way you are going to have to get up on top there to see the thing. I suggest placing an old bedsheet under the truck to catch the small screws and nuts you will likely drop.
     
    Chiss likes this.
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  5. Mac VP
    Joined: May 13, 2014
    Posts: 304

    Mac VP
    Member

    The stock screw has a pan head with a straight slot. Try to use a magnetic tip screwdriver. It may have a washer under the screw head. These are easiest to do off the engine so you may want to reconsider the removal idea......or find a young guy who can see and flex well enough to get at it.
     
  6. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 6,235

    BJR
    Member

    Would it be easier to get at it from underneath, instead of from above?
     
  7. str8axle63
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 34

    str8axle63

    No underneath Ng. But thanks guys getting back at it tomorrow. IMG_0163.jpeg
     
  8. boutlaw
    Joined: Apr 30, 2010
    Posts: 1,215

    boutlaw
    Member

    X2 on what Alchemy said...its just easier to pull distributor...the condenser screw could have any head on it since its obviously been replaced since 1940s. The 35 Ford distributor I pulled last week had a Phillips head screw, but it could be any head on a # 8 screw. Don't know how long since its cranked but if point gaps haven't been set in a while, you should just pull distributor anyway because they cant be set without removing.
     
  9. Petejoe
    Joined: Nov 27, 2002
    Posts: 10,406

    Petejoe
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Zoar, Ohio

    While it’s out might as well tear apart the distributor and rebuild it. :)
     
  10. str8axle63
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 34

    str8axle63

    Your right, who knows what someone put in there. The best I can see its an Allen key.
    I took the radiator today, hopefully pulling the distributor tomorrow. Just hoping that the problem for no spark is the points.
     
  11. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,383

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    You got the wire from the condensor unhooked?? Good now just hook any condensor with two jumper leads one to the distributor ( where you just unhooked ) and the other to ground from condensor case . Try to start engine , engine runs it was a condensor. Engine still wont start then it wasnt the condensor....
     
  12. Not for nuthin but are you trouble shooting this correctly or just replacing stuff you think is bad ? No spark at the plugs, power to the coil. power coming out the coil ? Getting any fire at all ? First time running or has this been running all along ?
     
  13. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,383

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    Is " not for nuthin" a east coast standard ??? rbg :>)
     
  14. str8axle63
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 34

    str8axle63

    Put on a new cap, condenser, rotor sanded he points. When I was putting everything back I got to the last thing to connect, the wire from coil and wire from condenser on to the post on the distributor. When I was tightening the nut the post broke.... can this be replaced? Does anyone know a parts company that may sell the post? I did not take the distributor out again yet. It looks like it maybe able to be replaced. I got so aggravated I just walked away. image1.jpeg
     
  15. flatjack
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 885

    flatjack
    Member

    Yes it can be replaced.
     
  16. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 15,145

    alchemy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    When you have the distributor out again, take a look at that cap for cracks. Is that one I see on the terminal closest to the camera?
     
  17. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,383

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    PM me with your mailing address i will send you a couple.........

    However you might as well pull that distributor, two bolts and its out you have enough room to move it out of the engine. That connector terminal can be a pain to remove from the distributor as well . Put the distributor in a vise and unscrew with a punch etc....

    "not for nuthin" but we build these for a flat $200 ready to run complete with new contacts and condensor, set up on a tester ........????????
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2018
    tierod likes this.
  18. str8axle63
    Joined: Dec 16, 2015
    Posts: 34

    str8axle63

    GMC bubba,
    I found one on line. But I may order one from you. I'm giving this one, one more time
    Thank you
     

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