Go Back   The Ford Barn > General Discussion > Model A (1928-31)

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-11-2017, 08:52 PM   #1
Ten1nis
Member
 
Ten1nis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Fishers, IN
Posts: 44
Default My condensers are making me depressed

My recently purchased condensers are all failing. During the last three months I have been left on the side of the road. I replace it with another and it lasts a hundred miles or so then it fails. Any ideas?
Ten1nis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2017, 09:31 PM   #2
Railcarmover
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 1,262
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

low base voltage,check your popout/key switch and wiring..
Railcarmover is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Old 11-11-2017, 09:31 PM   #3
Larry Jenkins
BANNED
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: East Central Iowa
Posts: 1,275
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ten1nis View Post
My recently purchased condensers are all failing. During the last three months I have been left on the side of the road. I replace it with another and it lasts a hundred miles or so then it fails. Any ideas?
Pertronics
__________________
Good enough.. Isn't.
Larry Jenkins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2017, 09:35 PM   #4
Kevin in NJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South East NJ
Posts: 3,229
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Burn out proof from A&L.
__________________
Cabriolet and Technical Hints
Kevin in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2017, 11:01 PM   #5
1930-Pickup
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: southern California
Posts: 725
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

What is your battery voltage at cruising RPM?
Are you using a 6v battery?
What is your generator charge rate set at?
Are your points burning faster than what you would expect?

I do suggest that you find the source of the problem before you replace too many things. That way you can be sure you actually fixed it.

Could be related to voltage too high. Railcarmover's idea of low voltage could also be the case, although I'm not very familiar with this (would lkie to know more...).
__________________
"That's my wild unsubstantiated guess, and I'm sticking to it regardless of the facts!"
1930-Pickup is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 12:27 AM   #6
SSsssteamer
Senior Member
 
SSsssteamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Sedro-Woolley, WA
Posts: 1,007
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)
Change to another source of condensers. I had the same experience with the condensers repeatedly failing that I had purchased from a re-pop source. I changed suppliers and haven't had a problem since. Usually, with the old stock condensers I can easily get 25+ years out of them. That won't happen is this modern world with off their shore parts.
SSsssteamer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 12:57 AM   #7
Kurt in NJ
Senior Member
 
Kurt in NJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: on the Littlefield
Posts: 5,342
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

I have been using the A&L condenser for 25+ years ---the same one, have tested it with red hot exhaust manifolds more than once, before that I had condenser problems and was quick at changing them.
Kurt in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 01:03 AM   #8
Charlie Stephens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 6,577
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Go with A&L or Bratton's. I think they have two quality levels available. It goes without saying pay the higher price and get the best they have.

Charlie Stephens
Charlie Stephens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 02:30 AM   #9
Tom Wesenberg
Senior Member
 
Tom Wesenberg's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Mpls, MN
Posts: 27,480
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Also make sure the thick insulating washer is under the screw head on the condenser brass post. If it's missing, the screw can bottom out and spin the brass condenser terminal before the screw is tight to the bus bar.
Tom Wesenberg is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 10:54 AM   #10
midgetracer
Senior Member
 
midgetracer's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bismarck ND
Posts: 976
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

I use Snyders burn out proof condensers which I think are from A&L and have had zero problems. I had lots of NORS condensers from swap meets and they are mostly junk. Not worth the chance of being left at the side of the road.
midgetracer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 11:46 AM   #11
Keith True
Senior Member
 
Keith True's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Epping N.H.
Posts: 2,440
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

What am I missing on the voltage thing? I thought there was no such thing as a 6 or 12 volt condenser.I know they are different on microfarad rating,but I thought the condenser didn't care about the voltage.If you are using modern type points and condenser I have seen a lot of troubles with the new condensers.Ask the Mustang boys about the trouble they have been having in the last few years.For me,working on old tractors and such,I'm not changing a condenser unless it is a problem.I have more faith in a 30 year old one than a new one.If you buy new ones right from Ford you are going to get the same one you would get from Tractor supply,Steiners,Napa,or any other vendor.
Keith True is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 12:01 PM   #12
Fordestes
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 818
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Are the Mallory 400 condensers any good? I like most of what Mallory has produced almost all their parts seem to last, I never used their condensers though, as for now I am going to follow Bubbas' advice and purchase the current ones from Napa, I am just wondering if the Mallory 400 condensers are of good quality, Just for future reference.
Thanks Ford Barners for your advice.
Derral Estes
Fordestes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 02:20 PM   #13
Tom Endy
Senior Member
 
Tom Endy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,689
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Photo comparison of good and poor quality condensers. The one with three dots on the grounding strap is the good quality condenser. Most of the better suppliers carry them. I believe that the three dots are stake weld marks that attaché the strap. The other condenser has the strap soldered on.

In 30 years of driving a Model A almost daily I have experienced only one condenser failure and that was years ago when the engine overheated and the solder on the condenser strap melted and the strap sprung away from the base and the condenser lost its ground.

Condenser failure on a Model A is a thing of the past. The good quality condensers last forever. What I believe is being interpreted as condenser failure is actually an intermittent coil failure. There are poor quality reproduction coils around. What happens is the coil gets hot, the fine wires in the secondary winding expand with heat and short out. When the engine cools down the short goes away. However, by then the owner has installed a new condenser and is convinced that the problem was a bad condenser.

A couple years ago I bought a condenser checker on line that reads out the actual value. It was very inexpensive. It is called a Honytek model A6013L. Nominal condenser value is .287 micro farads

Tom Endy
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Condenser comparison-1.jpg (74.6 KB, 92 views)
Tom Endy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 02:34 PM   #14
Tom Endy
Senior Member
 
Tom Endy's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Southern California
Posts: 2,689
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Attached is an article about the Honeytec condenser checker that appeared in the Victoria Bustle newsletter a while back,

Tom Endy
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Change the Condenser.pdf (217.5 KB, 96 views)
Tom Endy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 03:14 PM   #15
Kevin in NJ
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: South East NJ
Posts: 3,229
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

So the meter you are showing tells you the value of capacitance.

Unfortunaltly that is useless.

I have had failed capacitors show correct values with one of those.
The capactors are 2 thin layers of foil separated by thin treated paper. This paper drys out and chemically changes with time and heat. They also do not work so well when they get warm. The better the chemistry of the divider the better the cap works. Often any new caps like the V8 ones people are getting are hit or miss depending on what the factory in China is using that day. For a few pennies more you can put a much better chemistry that can take lots of heat and still be happy.

Now what I use around the house. I like to fix stuff. I do board level repairs on electronics like pinball machines and arcade games. I even have a 1953 Seeburg Juke box, you get to learn about caps in those.

The ESR Meter shows the effective resistance of the capacitor in operation. As the cap drys out the "resistance" goes up. You get strange effects as the caps are starting to go bad. Some of you may have experienced weird memory problems with your older computers. That is likely the caps filtering the power there going bad. I have been fixing some computers from the 2008 time frame with bad caps. They start bludging on the top and you know they are bad, but get flaky before then.

The Sprage capacitor tester is a relic from the Tube days. It accurately shows value and condition of the capacitors. It has proved problem caps a few times for me in the past. They were just out of spec and causing odd operation.

Finally the tool that every club should have. This one is a Snap On coil tester. It is a bit harder to use as it does not have a capacitor test point separate. You have to know how to slip it in circuit. I like the others (my brother has them at his place right now) which let you put a condensor right on some terminals and check them.

In any case, you need to check a condensor at tempurature if you want to be sure it is good. Often they check bad when cold anyway.

Quite frankly I have not done much testing these days. The A condensers I tested regularly so there were known good ones under the seats of the A's we owned. Just put the A&L units on and never worry again.
For electronics I just replace capacitors cause I the ones that are bad or will be bad and do not waste time checking.
__________________
Cabriolet and Technical Hints
Kevin in NJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 08:31 PM   #16
duke36
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Posts: 1,254
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

If coil issues as stated in post 13, oil filled coils are supposedly no longer made in the US due to EPA issues, evidently due to oil manufacturing costs, other mitigations. Most now made overseas , China, Brazil, India, etc. I have a new one that oil sloshes around inside. We've been told that epoxy coils don't dissipate heat very well (varying discussion about this) and the oil filled coils should be installed with terminals up, not down because the oil is not full in the coil and can't cool the secondary coil completely.
duke36 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 08:41 PM   #17
glenn in camino
Senior Member
 
glenn in camino's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Camino, CA.
Posts: 3,086
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Your problem is probably something other than the condenser.
glenn in camino is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 09:00 PM   #18
Crankster
Senior Member
 
Crankster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 284
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin in NJ View Post
So the meter you are showing tells you the value of capacitance ... Unfortunately that is useless.
For electronics I just replace capacitors cause I the ones that are bad or will be bad and do not waste time checking.
Pretty close to useless. Capacitors (condenser is the old name) need to be tested at their rated voltage, in this case probably 600 volts DC. An ohmeter or capacitance value tester won't do this. The older automotive tube radios had a "buffer" capacitor in the power supply, to smooth out the vibrator waveform iirc. It was rated at 1000 volts. I don't think they saw anywhere close to that, but that was the voltage rating they had to use for reliability, because of the materials they had to use. You can be sure if they could have got away with a lesser rated 400 volt part, they would have used it.

The waxed paper & foil capacitors used for coupling and bypass found in vintage electronics too are well known to cause trouble, they are always shorted or "leaky" to ground by now. I don't bother testing them on my Eico capacitor bridge either except for amusement.

What's interesting though is automotive condensers must have been made to a higher standard or used better materials. I have a half dozen or so of 50s and 60s era Echlin, Standard, and OE manufactured condensers and they all test perfect for leakage at 500 volts and spot on for value.
Crankster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2017, 09:42 PM   #19
Jeff/Illinois
Senior Member
 
Jeff/Illinois's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,285
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

A&L condensors and Diode Cutouts, two good quality parts to hit the market.
Jeff/Illinois is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-13-2017, 09:50 AM   #20
JD 1931
Senior Member
 
JD 1931's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: west coast Fla..
Posts: 287
Default Re: My condensers are making me depressed

I have a modern plate in my A and use NAPA' S best condenser . They might have original types too....(ecklin)
JD 1931 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Sponsored Links (Register now to hide all advertisements)


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 07:34 PM.