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Old 10-09-2020, 07:32 PM   #1
wwirz
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Default It was the Condenser

About two weeks ago I had to abort a Model A tour because my car was sputtering and just not driveable.
At the same time, I replaced the exhaust manifold and intake manifold gaskets with the copper shrouded gaskets. I also took the time to thoroughly clean the carburetor ( I mean spotless).
Re-assembled. Car had no power. Backfired. Sputtered. I checked for vacuum leaks, float height, float valve, junk in the gas tank, point gap, cleaned and gapped plugs, replaced broken point post....on and on. I decided to dial a friend.....
He said it sounded like the condenser. My reply was that it only had about 300 miles on it. He said try replacing it...if it is good put in the bag for a spare. Meanwhile I also read on this WEBSITE that due to a failing condenser our colleague had the same issue as myself.
Got home tonight. Took about 5 minutes to swap out condensers and whoopee!!! problem solved. an $8.00 part was making my A not road worthy for 2 weeks.
I learned a lot. If this happens again, I will start with the condenser.
Takeaways:
1. ALways have a spare condenser with you. This seems to be a weakness in the ignition system
2. Start with the easy fixes first, even though you may have just replaced the points, rotor, condenser, etc.

Tomorrow I am going with "Molly" on a beautiful Autumn tour with my Model A club. Thanks to this WEBSITE and help from my friend (Jim Morris) to figure this one out. I was stumped.
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:43 PM   #2
jm29henry
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

Congratulations, it is super a great feeling to finally figuring out a problem as well as the leaning!
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Old 10-09-2020, 07:54 PM   #3
Mulletwagon
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

Great report - thanks for sharing.
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Old 10-09-2020, 08:46 PM   #4
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

Get one of the A&L burnout proof ones, I replaced a lot of condensers till I put the A&L one in over 30 years ago, still same one
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:08 PM   #5
Synchro909
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

IMO, there is no point carrying a spare condenser with you unless you know it is good. We know how too many of the condensers available today are no good out of the box so carrying a new one is of little comfort.
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Old 10-09-2020, 09:12 PM   #6
jb-ob
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

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You must have learned the rule by now, 'It's always the part you don't have with you that fails'.

I never leave home without a spare timing gear....a roadside adventure I can do without !
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Old 10-10-2020, 06:13 AM   #7
Bruce of MN
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

That fiber washer shown here: https://www.brattons.com/copper-plat...ng-washer.html

should be "super glued to tab of lower plate for easier installation." Especially at roadside!
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Old 10-10-2020, 07:38 AM   #8
Big hammer
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

Thanks for your report! Many ask for help and then never hear back. Now with all of the work done you should have many happy miles ahead, ENJOY!
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:08 AM   #9
Patrick L.
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

Yep, stick known good one on the coil [ unattached] so its easy to hook up if one fails on the road.

Any condenser today can be junk, doesn't make any difference who makes it today.
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Old 10-10-2020, 10:51 AM   #10
eagle
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Default Re: It was the Condenser

If you lift a spark plug strap and watch the spark you can usually tell in a few seconds if its an ignition problem. Do it when its running good so you get a feel for what its supposed to look like.
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