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Old 03-31-2020, 01:12 PM   #1
tubman
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Default Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

For the last three years, my partner and I have been trying to find a .33 micro-farad capacitor to be used in our units under certain circumstances. Recent research has yielded enough information that we have decided that the need for these is almost nil. It consists solely of those running good original Ford coils. It has come to our attention that the converted coils are different enough in electronic characteristics that a .33 micro-farad capacitor is probably a bad choice to run with them.

We are now working on determining what the actual capacitance of a condenser would be that would be optimum for these modified coils. For the present, ourt .22 micro-farad units continue to be a good choice for performance and minimal point wear.

I have been talking about the higher value units for so long that I thought it would not be fair to drop the search without giving notice.
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Old 03-31-2020, 01:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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For the last three years, my partner and I have been trying to find a .33 micro-farad capacitor to be used in our units under certain circumstances. Recent research has yielded enough information that we have decided that the need for these is almost nil. It consists solely of those running good original Ford coils. It has come to our attention that the converted coils are different enough in electronic characteristics that a .33 micro-farad capacitor is probably a bad choice to run with them.

We are now working on determining what the actual capacitance of a condenser would be that would be optimum for these modified coils. For the present, ourt .22 micro-farad units continue to be a good choice for performance and minimal point wear.

I have been talking about the higher value units for so long that I thought it would not be fair to drop the search without giving notice.
It must be hard to determine the cap value with the frequency varying all over the place. Is there a standard rpm (frequency) used for that?
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:13 PM   #3
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

"Terry OH" posted a link to an article concerning this on my previous thread. You are correct in saying that the optimum capacitance varies with RPM. I will be doing some additional research on this, but I now believe that the practical range for optimum performance is so wide that it makes little difference. As of now "Close" counts in condensers, as well as the traditional "horseshoes and hand grenades".

I will be doing continuing monitoring of point wear on my own cars, which is probably the most practical way of going about it. At this point, I don't even know what the relationship between point wear and optimal performance is.
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Old 03-31-2020, 02:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

My solution for the problem might sound 'pointless'
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:11 PM   #5
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

I had hoped that Tubman could put a mid .30's into one of his trashcans but he said it would not work out. Such a neat looking condenser. I am still using the original Ford part in my 34. I have not had any problems for the 5 plus years of running. I have a couple backups that test good so I feel I am "good to go." Probably sell the car this year so the next guy can do his own experimenting if the need arises.
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

"34fordy" - Just curious; have you had your coil rebuilt or is it original?
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Old 03-31-2020, 03:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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My solution for the problem might sound 'pointless'
I'm sure it would!
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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"34fordy" - Just curious; have you had your coil rebuilt or is it original?
To make a short story long---When I bought the car in 2014 (the first flathead since my 40 coupe in 1962) the previous owner had put a remote can coil up on the left head. Wired backwards. Just ruined the look of that side of the engine. I thought I wanted the original setup. I did some searching on the Internet as I had no idea what was available. Ended up buying an old Ford script coil that this seller advertised as "dried out" His ad said moisture was a problem in the early coils. Not knowing poop from putty about early Ford ignitions I took a chance. The system has worked beautifully for 6 years. I took the distributor out last year and the points had no transfer. I drive the Fordor less than 2k miles per year as that is what my insurance specifies. I carry a spare Ford condenser in the glove box. In my humble opinion, I think the Ford system, as built in the 1930's was very suitable for the demands I put on the car. I have installed quite a few Petronix ignitions on Hyster Continental 6 cylinder fork lift trucks years ago and did experience some problems with the rotors failing. Possibly from the heat. (Guess I made the answer long enough?). LOL The coil has never been apart Denny.
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Old 03-31-2020, 05:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

34fordy,
A friend of mine that owns a early ford parts store SWEARS there is a method to dry out the coils and seal them and they never go bad. Maybe this was whom yours came from?
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Old 03-31-2020, 06:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

There was an article about 15 years ago in the EFV8 club magazine that baddressed this exact issue. It looked good to me, but there was a lot of resistance to the process. I don't exactly remember who it was from.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:16 PM   #11
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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Originally Posted by tubman View Post
"Terry OH" posted a link to an article concerning this on my previous thread. You are correct in saying that the optimum capacitance varies with RPM. I will be doing some additional research on this, but I now believe that the practical range for optimum performance is so wide that it makes little difference. As of now "Close" counts in condensers, as well as the traditional "horseshoes and hand grenades".

I will be doing continuing monitoring of point wear on my own cars, which is probably the most practical way of going about it. At this point, I don't even know what the relationship between point wear and optimal performance is.
I suspicion the "Q" of the circuit is so low due to the iron core coil that the resonance peak is VERY broad, thus the wide value range of the cap that works.
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Old 03-31-2020, 08:33 PM   #12
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

Confirms what I have concluded. Thanks, "Pete". It means a lot coming from you.

I was kinda surprised that an old "cam grinder" would be so "up" on advanced mathematics, but once I thought about it, it makes perfect sense.
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:05 PM   #13
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

I met the 'dry out guy' at Hershey 20 + years ago, turned he had written a couple
articles about his process. I bit and sent him 3 coils.....each worked 100% for about
30 miles, then George Mitchell and Skip came on the scene.......end of story.
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Old 03-31-2020, 09:13 PM   #14
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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Confirms what I have concluded. Thanks, "Pete". It means a lot coming from you.

I was kinda surprised that an old "cam grinder" would be so "up" on advanced mathematics, but once I thought about it, it makes perfect sense.
It probably comes from many years in the 2 way radio business a sideline.
Thanks.
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Old 04-01-2020, 05:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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34fordy,
A friend of mine that owns a early ford parts store SWEARS there is a method to dry out the coils and seal them and they never go bad. Maybe this was whom yours came from?
There is many "myths" on cars etc , this is one for sure , if you ever busted a early coil apart theres not much to "dry out" . I have read the articles on drying out the coils . The early coils winding with the tar and all would more than likely work under water ... Skip has the fix .......
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Old 04-01-2020, 06:43 AM   #16
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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There is many "myths" on cars etc , this is one for sure , if you ever busted a early coil apart theres not much to "dry out" . I have read the articles on drying out the coils . The early coils winding with the tar and all would more than likely work under water ... Skip has the fix .......

I’ve never tried a “dried out” one. I only use skips, matter of fact I have six coils sent off to him right now.

I had one apart and there is no way I would attempt to rebuild or sneak a coil in a original case due to the time it takes when skip does them so cheap


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Old 04-01-2020, 09:06 AM   #17
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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I met the 'dry out guy' at Hershey 20 + years ago, turned he had written a couple
articles about his process. I bit and sent him 3 coils.....each worked 100% for about
30 miles, then George Mitchell and Skip came on the scene.......end of story.
Charlie ny
I believe that sometimes people put a lot of time and effort into trying to remedy a problem as I am sure this guy probably did. I probably got lucky and happened to get one that has proven to be good. The test of time usually brings light to the true results. We are lucky that Skip Haney has that product that has passed the test of time. That is why I have I have one of his on the shelf if or when I need it. When I started this journey I was not aware of the FORDBARN so the best information was not available to me. I have appreciated so much all of the help I have received from our members!

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Old 04-01-2020, 01:02 PM   #18
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

The whole front mounted distributor with integral coil was definitely one of those things that Henry Ford wanted to pursue. Emil Zoerlein mentioned a lot about it in his reminiscence at the Henry Ford. A lot of the reason the coils were designed the way they were was at Henry's insistence. Eventually Henry collaborated with Marion Mallory Sr to improve the design over time and for better production methods. A person has to get curious about the design to figure out why they had to use a ballast resistor on a 6-volt system. All this stuff was designed to make Henry's idea work and work it did but it wasn't conventional for the time period.
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Old 04-01-2020, 05:30 PM   #19
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

They do work OK though, as I pondered on our recent trip out to Ayers rock and back in the 33,day after day it hummed along at 53 mph towing the caravan for around 7000 klms,
Lawrie

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Old 04-01-2020, 06:42 PM   #20
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

If you are interested, there is a fairly detailed article on condensers in the 2014 September/October issue of the V-8 Times.It covers the values of Ford condensers from 1928 thru 1953.
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Old 04-01-2020, 08:52 PM   #21
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

About 60 years ago I read an article on ignition systems that said that the entire electrical circuit comes in to play when trying to determine the resonance of the circuit. Long story short is it said if the points are wearing evenly do not change the capacitor.
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Old 04-02-2020, 06:49 AM   #22
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

As an electrical engineer I can assure you the MFD rating on the Cap can be out by a sizable amount. Buy a good (Fluke) meter that has the MFD capability and check them, the differences will surprise you...
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Old 04-02-2020, 10:04 AM   #23
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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As an electrical engineer I can assure you the MFD rating on the Cap can be out by a sizable amount. Buy a good (Fluke) meter that has the MFD capability and check them, the differences will surprise you...
My partner is an experienced electrical engineer and does have such a meter. Surprisingly, the condensers we have checked are usually pretty consistent, unless they are shot. We check each of the capacitors we use when they come in and when they go out, and they are usually within .01-.02 micro-farads. They should be, because we buy the best we can find. The point here (which your statement seems to confirm) is that automotive ignitions seem be able to tolerate a large variance in capacitance and still operate successfully. a secondary point is that it appears that higher capacitances (in the thirties) are not required by any coils other than original Ford integral style coils, which are becoming as rare as hen's teeth.
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Old 04-02-2020, 05:54 PM   #24
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

About 15 yrs. ago, I moved the condenser up to the coil on my 42. I was told that the mfd. would be less at the points due to the increaseng of the coil to dist. wire. Checked with Std. Ignition as to what the microfarads was. They stated they were 0.33. and due to increased length of wire would drop about .02 to-0.03.
Anyway it has worked for me as replacing a cond. on the road is no fun.
If Oldford is looking at this, he can say if he has had problems as he followed
what I did. He drives a lot more than me.
The condenser is Std. Blue streak AL111X and the ones I have were made in USA. I believe they were used on early 80's Mopars.
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:08 PM   #25
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

A Fluke multimeter will give an accurate mfd reading on an automotive type condenser. But to test an automotive ignition condenser correctly then purpose made testers were available in the past but a bit hard to find today. The tests required are the micro farad rating, leakage or leak down with 400 to 600 volts applied and then series resistance. The multimeter tests described in other posts in the past are only very basic tests. Condensers should be warmed up to an equivalent temperature when mounted on the engine and tested . Mr tubman you should have a tester like this if you are really going to test and sell condensers. I have original 1934 Fords and have had trouble with original Ford condensers as well as the reproduction ones to the point you never know when they are going to pack up. I have original Ford coils on my cars. I now use a modern .28 mfd condenser which works very well and I have fitted a few of these to other makes of cars and even a British motorcycle which has coil and distributer ignition. I have not driven my 34 for a lot of miles for a good test, but it starts well and runs perfectly as a good old V8 should. The distributer contacts still look very good. I have been an auto electrician for nearly 60 years so have some experience in this equipment. A .28 mfd condenser would seem to be a good range option for many applications rather than the low .22 to .24 ones that seem to be the normal rating on new condensers today. Regards, Kevin.
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Old 04-02-2020, 08:21 PM   #26
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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A Fluke multimeter will give an accurate mfd reading on an automotive type condenser. But to test an automotive ignition condenser correctly then purpose made testers were available in the past but a bit hard to find today. The tests required are the micro farad rating, leakage or leak down with 400 to 600 volts applied and then series resistance. The multimeter tests described in other posts in the past are only very basic tests. Condensers should be warmed up to an equivalent temperature when mounted on the engine and tested . Mr tubman you should have a tester like this if you are really going to test and sell condensers. I have original 1934 Fords and have had trouble with original Ford condensers as well as the reproduction ones to the point you never know when they are going to pack up. I have original Ford coils on my cars. I now use a modern .28 mfd condenser which works very well and I have fitted a few of these to other makes of cars and even a British motorcycle which has coil and distributer ignition. I have not driven my 34 for a lot of miles for a good test, but it starts well and runs perfectly as a good old V8 should. The distributer contacts still look very good. I have been an auto electrician for nearly 60 years so have some experience in this equipment. A .28 mfd condenser would seem to be a good range option for many applications rather than the low .22 to .24 ones that seem to be the normal rating on new condensers today. Regards, Kevin.
My partner in this venture is an accomplished EE and has this and more. I really don't appreciate your condescending post. I might value your opinion more if you could spell "distributor" correctly.
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Old 04-03-2020, 09:21 AM   #27
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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About 60 years ago I read an article on ignition systems that said that the entire electrical circuit comes in to play when trying to determine the resonance of the circuit. Long story short is it said if the points are wearing evenly do not change the capacitor.
Yep thats the way o was taught in the old gas station tune up days , remove the points if they look good replace them and leave the condensor in place ...
Same with $9.95 alignments test drive the car and put on alignment machine , if all parts are gopod , test drive was good and tires arnt worn , spray with wd40 and ship it !!!!
Same with carb adjustment turn screw in two turns and out two turns charge them a $1.00 and ship it .
Timing listen to starter , snap throttle both sounds ok ship it !!

attached is a photo of the old ESSO station , from town newspaper..... been there for many years , still in business today....pic is from the early 60,s

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Old 04-03-2020, 05:32 PM   #28
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

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If you are interested, there is a fairly detailed article on condensers in the 2014 September/October issue of the V-8 Times.It covers the values of Ford condensers from 1928 thru 1953.
This article by Frank Scheidt is a pretty good one to read. He covers all the bases of testing including the fact that a person needs to know the inductance value of the coil that is in the mix where there is no value available from Ford. Skip Haney may not know the inductance value of his coils after overhaul with new materials either. It's not something a lot of people think about. The conclusion that Frank and a friend with a background in electronics came to was that a good overall condenser value for the original design early V8s would be 0.25 mfd. He admitted though that he was going to continue testing on that value and see how it goes. This was in late 2014. I wonder how his testing has done so far. They tested with very low value to very high value capacitors and it's interesting some of the descriptions about how that went.

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Old 04-03-2020, 11:44 PM   #29
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Default Re: Discontinuing search for .33 micro-farad capacitors.

Not to nitpick or know. Some have served a lot of people well. Appreciate all the information.
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