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Old 11-30-2014, 10:15 PM   #1
jj1928
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Default Wax plug for the condensor

I am building a show distributor and I need to know if there is a vendor that sells the Wax plug for the condenser. I have never seen one so I don't even know what it is made of.
Any help would be Appreciated Joe
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:25 PM   #2
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Hope this helps

RG&JS page 2-11 Revised 2011



Original distributor showing sealant "plug" covering the condenser to bus bar screw.



RG&JS page 2-12 Revised 2011

"The condenser was connected to the lower plate bus bar with a round head, cadmium plated screw through early 1930 and copper plated thereafter. The bus bar screw was hidden from view with the application of a water tight sealant. The sealant or "sealing wax" was applied at the hole in the casting forming a blackish "plug". "
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Last edited by 160B; 11-30-2014 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 11:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Would a rubber plug from a hardware store work? I had a 110 john deere that I restored, anti had a later motor in it. The earlier one had a generator and a light on the dash showing if it was charging. When I put the new motor in I got a rubber plug for the hole, the dash was black so it matched pretty closely, maybe something like that would work
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Old 12-01-2014, 01:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

I also wish I knew what it is made from. I can tell you it isn't sealing wax such as used on envelopes.
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:09 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Quote:
Originally Posted by WardAZ View Post
Same here. I don't know what the original substance was. I used this stuff and it is heat resistant. Simple to make with a washer with the correct hole diameter and a piece of wax paper.
Now that looks like that. Will work!
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Old 12-01-2014, 11:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

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Originally Posted by WardAZ View Post
Same here. I don't know what the original substance was. I used this stuff and it is heat resistant. Simple to make with a washer with the correct hole diameter and a piece of wax paper.
Ward,...I like it!
Did it pass fine point...color?

Thanks, Dudley
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Old 12-01-2014, 12:54 PM   #7
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

I believe the original plug was Chatterton's compound, a mix of gutta percha, stockholm tar, and rosin. The gutta percha content prevented the material from becoming too rigid, crystalline, and cracking out.

The average Chatterton's flow temperature was about 260F. Many lead-acid batteries had the cell posts sealed into the top hard rubber cap with this stuff, not the straight tar used for setting the entire cell assembly in the case.

The thick molten material was likely poured into the condenser holes, backed by the fiber washer therein, with the dizzy body sub-assemblies on their sides and moving along an assembly line. That would account for the dome-like appearance seen on some original dizzys. Other originals appear to have had the material pressed or sealed with a cold iron, leaving a flatter plug appearance with indication of the cold tool having a chamfered edge.

Chatterton's was in common use for electrical work in the 20's. Chatterton's and sheets of gutta percha were used to seal splices in generating plants and underground feed tunnels. An old trick when sealing leads out of an iron frame motor was to work the Chatterton's with a well-tinned hot iron, which the compound would not stick to.

Side note: In french speaking nations common electrical tape is referred to as "chatterton's" LINK despite the fact that it is not the material of old
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:36 PM   #8
Will N
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Aside from fine point judging requirements- does this plug serve any real functional purpose?
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:45 PM   #9
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

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Originally Posted by Will N View Post
Aside from fine point judging requirements- does this plug serve any real functional purpose?
"Seals the distributer" keeps the big chunks out
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Old 12-01-2014, 02:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

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Originally Posted by Will N View Post
Aside from fine point judging requirements- does this plug serve any real functional purpose?
Yes. It seals the electrical connections in the base of the distributor. It keeps water and other stuff out.

Henry did not spend money on anything that was not needed.
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Old 12-01-2014, 04:24 PM   #11
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

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Originally Posted by WardAZ View Post
Yes, Dudley. I had it in place at the MARC meet in San Diego and my car received full points for the distributor category. There were no comments from anyone, so I don't know if it was even noticed. The color of this silicone is gray-black rather than deep black, but again, no one noticed, or nitpicked my homemade plug.

Ward
Ward, I judged your car at San Diego and it was awesome however we need to remember, when we were judging out in San Diego we were under both sets of the J/S book, --both the old and the newest adopted revisions. Therefore we did not need to judge it being there under those guidelines since it was not specified under the older revisions.

I believe the J/S calls for the plug to be wax, ...and rubber, silicone, or urethane really would not be, -nor look authentic. Wax coating a silicone plug might pass as long as it did not flake off. BTW, look closely at the wax's texture in the photo.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Will N View Post
Aside from fine point judging requirements- does this plug serve any real functional purpose?
For what its worth, I was at the Archives a few weeks ago looking for the print on this specifically. Ironically, Ron Ehrenhofer was there looking at prints on the distributor so we discussed this 'little detail' there, then at dinner with some others that evening, and the following day at the Judging Stds. Committee meeting.

I never could find a print for it on the Assembly Drawing nor could Ron. I'm not saying it doesn't exist, ...I'm just saying we couldn't find it. Now with that said, I have tried to replicate this with both casting wax and Beeswax (since I cannot find the M-Specs on it either) and in both instances, all I have been able to do is melt it out after about 20 miles of driving. Therefore it is my opinion this was never meant to be a permanent sealer.

So what was the true purpose? Again, my theory is this was meant to seal the distributor from the time it left the manufacturer until it arrived at the Ford Branch for installation into an engine. Maybe to keep out moisture --or more likely to keep foreign debris out. I do concur with Jim that Henry would not have utilized this unless they had found out it was a necessity (likely due to an prior issue somewhere).
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:18 PM   #12
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

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Originally Posted by BRENT in 10-uh-C View Post
................ BTW, look closely at the wax's texture in the photo. ..........................................
In looking at the photo real close, it looks like the photo is not an assembly line photo, but rather a photo taken after a substantial amount of time after assembly by looking at the finish on the engine head bolts and head.

So if we are judging the vehicle to the condition it was when it came down the assembly line how much can we get from this photo?

IMHO - I can say that the photo substantiates that the wax plug existed and the photo shows the condition of a wax plug after an extended period of use.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:52 PM   #13
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

When I did Fine Point on my Tudor, I rolled black dum dum into a ball slightly larger than the hole in the distributor, found a tube the same inside diameter as the hole, and with luck found a dowel the same size as the inside diameter of the tube. I took the ball of dum dum, stuffed it into the tube, then with the dowel, I plunged it through the tube into the distributor hole. The result was it looked like that archive picture, a black button, of course it took a couple of tries to get it to my liking but passed judging just fine. Since that time I have done on two other Fine Point cars. I use it this way in all of my driving cars because it keeps the water and dirt out of the distributor and is heat resistant. I just roll dum dum into a ball slightly larger than the hole and push it in with my thumb. You have to get creative.
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Old 12-01-2014, 05:56 PM   #14
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Thanks for all the help.
This seems to be mystery compound with no definitive ingredients so I guess I will try the WardAz solution and see how it looks. Joe
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:04 PM   #15
d.j. moordigian
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Brent,

It look PD good to me....
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Old 12-01-2014, 06:27 PM   #16
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Maybe they are for real


There is a listing on Ebay right now for 1932-1936

http://www.ebay.com/itm/like/321595982830?lpid=82

Hope link works

18-12138 is in the 1932 Parts book
No mention of that plug or number in Model A parts book (at least not in the one I have)

Last edited by Joop; 12-01-2014 at 06:40 PM.
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:13 PM   #17
Jim Mason
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Maffi.org shows a12138 as 'distributor base to condenser insulation'
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Old 12-01-2014, 07:18 PM   #18
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

18-12138 as Joop refers to above is rubber and too big for the hole in the A distributor...fwiw
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

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Originally Posted by Steve Wastler View Post
18-12138 as Joop refers to above is rubber and too big for the hole in the A distributor...fwiw
BUT if you look at the image it can be made smaller with some work and it is ORIGINAL......
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Old 12-01-2014, 09:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: Wax plug for the condensor

Mark,
I have lots of those as I do V8 Distributors.... the plug at the larger mushroom end is .630 and the distributor hole diameter is about .520. It could possibly work and does look close... but if they do the touch test would know it's rubber. Might not get detected.... contour looks about right

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