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Old 10-23-2020, 05:12 PM   #1
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Default Condenser check

Last time out in my A the car started running a little rough on the way home. I couldn't find anything wrong. I suspect something electrical. How can I check the condenser to see if it is starting to fail. Can I use my VOM to check its condition? ( I know, use a new one). Is anyone using a remote mounted condenser? How well does it work?

Thank you for your responses
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Old 10-23-2020, 08:11 PM   #2
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Default Re: Condenser check

Most fail during hot running condition...not measurable when cold.
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Old 10-23-2020, 09:21 PM   #3
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Default Re: Condenser check

Make sure your point gap hasn't closed up. Pull a spark plug strap off of a plug about a 1/4 inch and see if you have a nice hot steady spark. If its weak and or sporadic you may want to try a new condenser. You can test it with any DVOM that has a capacitance tester or else use an OHM meter, but it will likely test fine as you will be testing it cold. Otherwise get a can of Canned Air duster, hold it upside down and spray it on the condenser. That will cool it down. If the idle smooths out, replace the condenser. On the second question, yes you can install the condenser up on the firewall by the coil.
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Old 10-24-2020, 06:01 AM   #4
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Default Re: Condenser check

Just turn the key on and open and close your points with your finger or a stick. The spark when you open the point should be a clean spark, not a big messy one. YOur condenser is probably just fine. Clean the plugs and check that point gap.
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:22 AM   #5
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Default Re: Condenser check

In my experience, when a condenser is going, it's a lack of power, not rough running, that is a symptom. Was it hot out the last time you took her out when it ran rough? It could have been the gas boiling in the carb bowl, causing alternating too rich/too lean conditions.
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Old 10-24-2020, 10:30 AM   #6
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Many times when the condenser fails , after cooling it will restart and run for a short time .

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Old 10-24-2020, 11:30 AM   #7
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Condenser check

I used to collect condensers and test them, got good at changing them,had a lot of short term failures. Then I got the A&L burnout proof one, been 30 years, still good, have replaced the spare one several time replacing other peoples condensers though

I used the condenser checker on a dist machine, the failed ones many times worked again cold and would pass the test--till cooked in oven to 200 degrees
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Old 10-24-2020, 01:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: Condenser check

If you belong to the MAFCA nat'l club, there is a new article about condensers.
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