How to repair a radio condenser

Paul Steinberg

Administrator
Staff member
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While doing a part number search today, I came across this article. If you have a condenser that has a broken wire, I found this web article for repairing a broken wire on them. The procedure should work for any condenser that isn't critical, such as the one in the distributor.
http://www.tpocr.com/DR1911095.html
 

Peter Grave

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
One of my other hobbies and not a business is vintage radios. When you restore a vintage radio you replace all the condensers with fresh new ones not older than five years. This is done due to the fact that condensers change value with age and short out sometimes. Not a good thing to get an old radio working and have it go up in smoke after playing a couple of hours. The same holds true for "restoring" a broken condenser you just fixed a part that was bad before the wire came off due to age. The point there are no .3 mfd caps available is hooey the can be bought from an electronic supply house. Now to an issue I am trying to solve if you all have noticed your ignition point are not lasting as long as they used to this is due to the fact the condensers even new have changed value as they are old (shelf old) and as a result are not protecting the points as designed. We can used modern condensers instead of old ones supplied with vintage points IF WE KNEW THE VALUE of the originals. In my research I have been unable to find the value of the originals if anyone can get me the values used by the makers we can use modern condensers and extend point life. Never attempt to repair a condenser its just a route to a short.
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2020
Super Site Supporter
I have judt gone to the pertronicks in everything. The guess work any more on will they or won't they start this time takes the fun out of having one. That stright 8, 6 volt fires right off every time with the set in them.
 

Paul Steinberg

Administrator
Staff member
Super Site Supporter
The points that you purchase in the auto parts stores today, are made in China, and the rubbing blocks are very soft. You have to regap the points every 1000 miles, or you will be getting stuck on the road. Had it happen to me at the Meet in Albany. The car wouldn't start, and I knew what the problem was immediately. Opened the hood, and with people watching me operate on the distributor, like a surgeon, I had it humming in less than 5 minutes. Didn't even need a feeler gauge, since I have done them so often in the past.
On my Chevrolet and Cadillac, I only use NOS Delco points, and have never had a problem with either the points or the old condensers.
 

Paul Steinberg

Administrator
Staff member
Super Site Supporter
One of my other hobbies and not a business is vintage radios. When you restore a vintage radio you replace all the condensers with fresh new ones not older than five years. This is done due to the fact that condensers change value with age and short out sometimes. Not a good thing to get an old radio working and have it go up in smoke after playing a couple of hours. The same holds true for "restoring" a broken condenser you just fixed a part that was bad before the wire came off due to age. The point there are no .3 mfd caps available is hooey the can be bought from an electronic supply house. Now to an issue I am trying to solve if you all have noticed your ignition point are not lasting as long as they used to this is due to the fact the condensers even new have changed value as they are old (shelf old) and as a result are not protecting the points as designed. We can used modern condensers instead of old ones supplied with vintage points IF WE KNEW THE VALUE of the originals. In my research I have been unable to find the value of the originals if anyone can get me the values used by the makers we can use modern condensers and extend point life. Never attempt to repair a condenser its just a route to a short.

You could also install a new condenser into the old housing, so it looks correct. They also have reproduced many of these, and the price is about $30 with the shipping on ebay.
 

Peter Grave

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
Regarding Pertronix my friend George Hamlin in Md. Installed Pertronix on some of his Packards very dissatisfied. Went back to points told me to stay away from lets hear it who else is Pertronixing?
 
I did and was not very satisfied with the product or their tech assistance. The product lasted about 2k before it went away.

It failed in a pretty spectacular way. It lost "fire" one evening when I was decelerating on an off-ramp than pretty suddenly re-energized creating a backfire that blew out both mufflers. I was about miles from home when this happened.

On the way back that night it lost fire again, same way while decelerating. Finally got it restarted. Got home, parked it. Next day I ordered a Mallory distributor and coil. End of problem.

I wanted the Pertronix as to keep the underhood's original appearance but decided that replacing mufflers and walking home was not worth it.
 

Peter Grave

PCS Member
Super Site Supporter
Strike two ! What does Mallory and old favorite of mine offer? Would be happy to put on a Packard ran their stuff at the drag strip in the 50s early 60s till I grew up.
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2020
Super Site Supporter
It is a solid state device. I did have one fail me on the jeep. Replaced it and its running fine. I keep a set of points and condenser in the glove box of everything I have converted. I made my decision to switch when a new set of points failed me on the the 73 S&S and the resulting back fire blew up the new muffler off it. It just goes back to the old saying what i like about cars is they all brake. But i have found that the solid state devices are less of a hassle then the mechanical ones, you experance may be different.
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2020
Super Site Supporter
this is the way I run the solid stated points. the old set, condenser and the coil wire in a bag in the glove box. that way you can get home if it fails. it's my understanding that if you have parts to fix it it will be something else that put on the side of the road:eek:
 

John ED Renstrom

PCS Member - Elected Director 2017-2020
Super Site Supporter
got interrupted forgot the pictures. remember to dump everthig into the bag all the screws ect a large mouth pill bottle works good also
 

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