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Technical Ignition Condenser problems

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by squirrel, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/231906198515

    :)

    lots of info out there. If you can find an old guy who has been around cars for a while, you might be able to learn something from him, too.
     
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  2. henryj1951
    Joined: Sep 23, 2012
    Posts: 2,312

    henryj1951
    Member
    from USA

    Jim i used to know EVERYTHING... forgot most of it...
    is why i depend on you young guys to remind me....:cool:
     
    Gotgas and 46international like this.
  3. Then I do see discredit to nearly everyone who blames point's for lack of achieving any decent RPM range. I still run point's ignition and get crap for it. But when I state that my engine's RPM range does not call for all this new stuff with all it's cost as well. And then to have to drop the available spark voltage because suppression wires are required vs my way of using solid core wires so as not to lose voltage to the plugs.
     
  4. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    suppression wires don't really lose you voltage to the plugs...they just make sure the spark happens all at once, instead of leaking through a partly fouled plug.

    Electricity acts kind of weird when you get into high voltages, like 10,000+ volts on the secondary side of the ignition system.
     
  5. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,384

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    Guys i run point ignition every day often to 6000-7000 rpm right out of the box!! What does everyone think we did before electronic ignition. Just use a quality set of points, right now the Echlin NAPA brand is the absolute best there is. ( Chevy CS786 NAPA) point.jpg Twin spring ( one brass strap and spring) the two piece is a quality with good tensoin on the point arm. Polish the distributor cam to be as smooth as it can be and lube with high temp grease.
    8000 plus can be achieved by placing small section of cut vacuum hose behind spring , curled to act as kind of a shock absorber.
    Keep the plug gap normal or less. Even a Vertex uses a small .012-018 gap. Large gaps are for lean mixtures and most race cars never see lean ...
     
  6. LOL I may have made that cathode ray tube ( screen) on that one. Tecktronix was one of the places I worked in high school before they figured out I was too young. :D
     
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  7. ZAPPER68
    Joined: Jun 13, 2010
    Posts: 203

    ZAPPER68
    Member
    from BC

    Now there is some good advice....thanks GMC Bubba.
     
  8. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    A fellow I know here in town had one of the MP records for part of a day in the late 60s with his Chevelle...427, Delco single point distributor....he says he used to get a kick out of how well the stock parts worked, compared to the aftermarket stuff.
     
  9. This is a pretty well written and illustrated guide to traditional ignition systems. I've read it a couple of times without getting electrocuted. :p

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/threads/hot-rod-technical-library-basic-ignition-systems.983424/

    :rolleyes:
     
  10. Note to self: Print this out and tape it to the inside of tool box lid. ;)
     
  11. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,072

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Can't say I blame 'em, but it looks to me like Pertronix must have had a huge batch of defective condensers and points made up and foisted them on an unsuspecting public, ha ha. What better way to get people to convert?

    After I spent what was (a small fortune) to me having my engine rebuilt I cheaped out and put in a junkbox carburetor and distributor. Might have been original to the engine, or even much older. This turned out to have been a big mistake. Ran like crap for a long time.

    Pertronix is good in that it is immune to wobble in the distributor shaft or nearly so, but it cannot compensate for the rest of it - sticky, worn advance plate, slots, vacuum advance etc.

    If I had to choose, a fresh distributor with points is preferable all day long to a module installed in a clapped out dizzy.

    Still carry points and condenser and primary wire in the glovebox in case the Pertronix ever dies. It and the Flamethrower coil has worked fine for a long time w/ stock generator and 14.x volts at cruise.
     
  12. I by no means understand the electronic world which is not to be confused with automotive wiring. But that right there that you said has been my argument all along Bubba. There are guy's I know that can't even come close to running a back in the day e.t. But boy they sure do have all the top dollar stuff that money can buy.
     
  13. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    I sure get a kick out of my two time slips in the 9s....on points....no electronics....
     
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  14. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,674

    joel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Is your Mallory 8 lobe or 4 lobe? If it's 4 lobe , where do you get points, caps, and rotors? I use a 4 lobe Mallory to trigger an MSD because the points will last longer.
     
  15. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    This is an 8 lobe. I have a 4 lobe that I converted to 8 lobe, but the timing was different on every other cylinder...

    no MSD for this one, trying to keep it as old tech as I can. And if I have to replace a $8 condenser a few times, it's still cheaper than buying an MSD, which there is no place to hide on this car. and besides I don't want to hide anything on this car.
     
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  16. joel
    Joined: Oct 10, 2009
    Posts: 1,674

    joel
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I understand. I always ask about parts when I find someone who is using a Mallory; they're getting scarce.
     
  17. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,384

    GMC BUBBA
    Member


    Jim , This one is for you, got it in today to rebuild. Twin (dual) point stock Corvette with tach drive. # 1110985 1962 350 HP chevy. A quick clean and lube , two sets of CS786 NAPAs and let spin it up... WOW strong spark at 8500 rpm..................................... IMG_1147.JPG
     
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  18. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    neat! there is/was one on ebay, missing the cap and some other parts.
     
  19. GMC BUBBA
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,384

    GMC BUBBA
    Member

    Yes there out there, the breaker plate is fixes to a very stable cast iron base, runs dual points to keep the dwell steady at high rpm. You dont need the dual window cap to afjust the contacts with a dwell meter they can get pretty expensive....The old delco cast irons are pretty damn stable and make great distributors.
    I have a dual point mallory Model YC to do tomorrow and will get a run up on it and compare...
     
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  20. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,072

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    The distributor is one ingenious piece of equipment! First installed on Cadillac, eventually everybody used them, and until quite recently.

    Kettering is the guy who invented them. He must have been quite a guy and tapped for a lot of things. My dad said he met him while he was serving on Diesel boats in the Navy, the national government had captured some German U-Boats and engineers were trying to get the snorkel to work right on US boats and having some issues. Sorry for the diversion, ha.
     
  21. Thanks Jim for the info on condensers, I had one fail a few years ago on my 37 Cadillac and it was a bitch to troubleshoot.
    The idea of replacing stock units with modern type with the leads coming out each end is something I do when restoring antique radios and should work on cars also. most of the time I can install the new cap inside the old one, the new ones ale smaller, so the radio still looks like the way it was built.
    The only thing, in the link you posted it said to use a .22uf unit, doesn't the value have to be different for 8 cyl or 6cyl or 4 cyl? The guy in the link was talking about 4 cyl british cars wasn't he? I guess I could go out and measure the value of the condenser in my y block.
    anyway very good info, thanks
     
  22. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,072

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Look at the size of a modern 0.22 600 volt poly film cap, compared with the typical Delco sized replacement capacitor. Making high quality capacitors in a small package must be tough. Wonder if even those el-cheapo axials would be better.
     
  23. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    I don't understand as much about electronics as I think I should...but I think the condenser has to match the coil. There's this thing called a "tuned L-C circuit", which is how you tun an old radio, by adjusting the Capacitance. The rate at which the coil discharges, kind of determines how much spark you'll get at the points. This rate is controlled by the ratio of the coil primary winding's inductance (the L term), and the condenser's capacitance (the C term). If they are tuned to work together, things will be fine.

    I've been meaning to dig out that old Army TM on automotive theory, but I keep forgetting when I'm out in the shop. They had this stuff figured out pretty well 80 years ago.
     
  24. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,358

    squirrel
    Member

    Fun reading, if you're into science experiments. A lab exercise from a Harvard physics class, all about ignition coils, condensers, and points!
     

    Attached Files:

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  25. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,072

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    There will be a test after lunch. Pay attention people!
     
  26. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,768

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    I only had one condenser ever fail. The car would run down the road and then acted like the fuel pump was bad. Let it sit, get back in and go a couple more miles, same thing. I thought it was fuel system. Sure had me scratching my head for a bit. Checked the spark it was pink. Replaced condenser down the road we go. Lippy
     
  27. dirt t
    Joined: Mar 20, 2007
    Posts: 4,639

    dirt t
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Kingman,AZ
    1. HAMB Old Farts' Club

    A condenser is two conductors separated by a dielectric. (two conductors and a non conductor)
     
  28. ralc
    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 5

    ralc
    Member

     
  29. ralc
    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 5

    ralc
    Member

    Nelson Specialties has the parts you need 800 494-7532
     
  30. ralc
    Joined: Jul 13, 2009
    Posts: 5

    ralc
    Member

    they also have original documentation
     

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