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Old 09-11-2013, 12:41 PM   #41
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

Lots of things can go wrong with electronic ignition that will leave the model A dead, side of the road or in the road. Most that run electronic carry an original timed distributor for when the electronic setup fails. Most don't really trust electronic but peer pressure often causes them to try and use it. Same with V8 points setup. Its really the modern setup that causes the problem, foreign parts and parts that were not designed for the model A distributor. I really can't understand why so many think that such a make shift set up is SO cool. The only time that I couldn't make it home with the original style points setup was when the rubbing block came off of the old JC Whitney points and that was over 20 years ago. Good original style points and condensers are available from most model A vendors. I've run the same original style points and condenser in my 31 sedan for 13-14 years. Good luck
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:07 PM   #42
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

Had the same problem with the modern points from Snyder's , I got less than a 100 miles on the condenser.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:50 PM   #43
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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Had the same problem with the modern points from Snyder's , I got less than a 100 miles on the condenser.
For some reason the ' A ' vendors tend to stock the 'cheap' points and condenser [modern]. I don't know why. A good local parts supplier should have or can get quality points and condensers, but, they are expensive. These are the same for any Ford V8 from the 50s to the 70s.
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Old 09-11-2013, 04:12 PM   #44
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

Napa has the expensive V8 points. most modern cars haven't used condensers in forty years or better. Theres not much demand for good modern condensers , I wouldn't think. The short proof A&L condensers and good original style points are available from most model A parts vendors for less than half the price. NAPA also handles standard model A points. What is suppose to be better about the hard to work with V8 setup? I had bad results. Its not a good feeling when the A sputters a couple of times and you are coasting hoping to find a place to pull over before it stops. Its not good when you are ready to leave the gas station and the A won't crank. No amount of coaxing cussing, or praying will bring it back to life unless you've got another set of modern points and condenser. I must have been crazy for the years that I struggled with them.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:27 PM   #45
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

there are some inferior condensers sold out there (parts supply houses), had bad new one , went with NAPA's best ,ran great.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:37 PM   #46
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Red face Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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What symptoms point to a bad condenser? My 29, which has a new distributor with modern points, acted up something terrible lat night on a 50 mile run. It started with a random miss at 45 mph, and within 15 miles, we were limping along in first gear, bucking and powerless, with an occasional backfire out the carb. It acted as it had in the past, when the sloppy point block on my old distributor allowed the point gap to reduce to almost none. I pulled over and found the gap to be fine. The cap, rotor, points and condenser have maybe 200 miles on them. The coil is not new.

It was blowing snow and we were dressed in full 20's garb to attend the Rum Runners Ball in Cape May, NJ, with 5 miles to go! We limped to the party and left her there for the night. Any ideas would be appreciated.
I know that you solved your problem, but we experienced something very similar. In our case, the engine just stopped running. After a lot of investigating, including the change-out of condensers, it turned out that we had a totally blocked fuel tank filter. That was the problem, even though the sediment bowl appeared to be full.
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:56 PM   #47
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

Do what Tom does and install a new capacitor inside the old housing.
While there may not be many quality "condensers" out there made for automotive use there are plenty of modern capacitors which are all infinitely better than any cap made even in the 1960s.


I'm willing to bet Tom has had few if any failures with his modified ones.
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Old 09-11-2013, 09:12 PM   #48
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

MrTube, I did this just to try it out and then installed it in my 28 to make sure it was going to work OK with the heat. I was going to remove it after a week, but it's still in there 5 years later. Might as well leave it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:32 AM   #49
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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MrTube, I did this just to try it out and then installed it in my 28 to make sure it was going to work OK with the heat. I was going to remove it after a week, but it's still in there 5 years later. Might as well leave it.

I half asleep so I may be looking at this completely wrong.
But, would it be possible to move the cap into the dash connected between ground and the key? This would give you more room and get it away from heat.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:47 AM   #50
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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I half asleep so I may be looking at this completely wrong.
But, would it be possible to move the cap into the dash connected between ground and the key? This would give you more room and get it away from heat.
The only problem would be if it shorted you'd have power running through the coil, just the same as mounting the capacitor on the coil. I don't have a problem with it in the distributor, as original.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:09 AM   #51
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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The only problem would be if it shorted you'd have power running through the coil, just the same as mounting the capacitor on the coil. I don't have a problem with it in the distributor, as original.
Thought you were concerned about the heat?
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:54 AM   #52
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

It would work. one problem might be that its pretty close under the instrument panel to add anything else. The coil in the model A is live or hot all the time no matter where the condenser is mounted. The only problem that I see is bad cheep china condensers no matter where you choose to mount them.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:04 AM   #53
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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Originally Posted by Purdy Swoft View Post
It would work. one problem might be that its pretty close under the instrument panel to add anything else. The coil in the model A is live or hot all the time no matter where the condenser is mounted. The only problem that I see is bad cheep china condensers no matter where you choose to mount them.
Ah but that's the point in hiding it behind the instrument panel is now, you can buy a quality capacitor and hide it. I can assure you buying a Panasonic, Spraque / Vishay or any other number of quality brand name caps will not be like the cheap junk they sell for the "A" that is stuffed into an original looking housing.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:25 AM   #54
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

I had a problem like yours, after replacing condensers I found the wire loose on the pop out switch. the nut fell out when I removed the insturment panel. I use the same insulated nut as the ampmeter.
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:47 AM   #55
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

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Ah but that's the point in hiding it behind the instrument panel is now, you can buy a quality capacitor and hide it. I can assure you buying a Panasonic, Spraque / Vishay or any other number of quality brand name caps will not be like the cheap junk they sell for the "A" that is stuffed into an original looking housing.
I agree, a quality condenser will work. The condensers that most are having problems with are the modern or V8 style condensers that the model A venders and many others sell. The new original style model A condensers that Snyders, Bratton and other good model A venders sell are the short proof A&L condensers that give no problem.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:21 PM   #56
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

If a quality condenser like the ones that Mr Tube refers to could be mounted under the dash panel, just below the windshield. The condenser would get plenty of cooling air in summer with the windshield let out , if mounted in this manner and it would be hidden. Length would need to be added to the pig tail of the condenser. The wire could be run through the slot at the top of the instrument panel where the dash light enters on the 30-31 instrument panel and connected to the ignition switch where the red wire connects. This would give the same results. The instrument panels used on 28-29 models could have a slot for the wire filed in the panel for the wire to enter.
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Old 09-12-2013, 07:17 PM   #57
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

My guess is that the points are closing because the new rubbing block has worn down. Solution, reset points, lube cam and drive.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:17 PM   #58
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

Group,

The capacitor (condenser) has to be installed close to the points to work properly.

If it's located away from the points, the inductance of the wire between the cap and points will work against the operation of the cap.

Marc
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:41 PM   #59
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

Funny thing that its been working for me for the past six years on this one
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Old 09-12-2013, 10:56 PM   #60
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Default Re: Bad Condenser Symptoms?

HHere is another . Hot dam, the site is acting crazy but i've actually got a couple of my pictures to post offen photo bucket. I can't put the print where I want it but I'm ah putting it any way I won't lead anybody wrong. If I say it works, I've done it and usually have pitchers to prove it. Ain't that rust on the radiator brace rod purty.

Last edited by Purdy Swoft; 09-13-2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: Added to message
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