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F Head Distributor Options

Discussion in 'Early CJ5 and CJ6 Tech' started by Nebr1957CJ5, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. Nov 13, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    That might actually work. Have you had good luck packaging those small (dimensionally) capacitors into the condensor cans?
     
  2. Nov 13, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Not personally, I had a "new" condenser fail on me last month but I was able to get a good one out of one of my spare dizzys, probably 40 years old if not older. :rolleyes: It is in my book of tricks for future use though :)

    There have been a few guys try this, google & you'll likely find them. The 1000 volt caps I listed may be a bit large to fit in the old cans, a 600V unit would still be fine & may fit.
     
  3. Nov 13, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    Hopefully with the CMV link you posted folks will be able to get the good stuff but if not it's an alternative.
     
  4. Nov 13, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2021 Sponsor

    East Tennessee
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    Interesting idea. I may try that if I live long enough that good condensers become unavailable someday.
     
    Glenn likes this.
  5. Nov 14, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    You can also do like I did. Install a Pertronix unit and throw the old points/condenser in the glovebox with a screwdriver. If the Pertronix dies, it's a few minute job to pop the points back in.
     
  6. Nov 14, 2021
    Nebr1957CJ5

    Nebr1957CJ5 I will do it tomorrow

    Lincoln NE
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    I would but I can't find a lot for my distributor. I have the autolite IAY 4012, and as far as I can find, no kit exists for that.
     
  7. Nov 14, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    A normal tuneup back in the included changing the points and condenser. I wonder how many condensers really needed changing? I wonder if the majority of them would actually have lasted until now?
     
  8. Nov 14, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Indeed. Think of the millions of perfectly fine condensers that have been thrown in the trash in the last 90 years.
     
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  9. Nov 14, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

    Medford Mass USA
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    Mmm. I don't know that it's the wrong approach.

    All electronic components age. You think of a condensor as an inert piece, but it's not. Its electrical duties impart stresses to the materials and construction, which accumulate to some degree. It's probably better to throw away a condensor at regular intervals, rather than try to stretch its lifetime.

    The foil is usually aluminum, and aluminum (like copper) accumulates stress as material fatigue, even at tiny tiny stresses. Steel is unique in this respect, in that it has a stress threshold which, if not exceeded, no fatigue accumulates. You will notice that there is only one lead-in wire, and it's stranded. All automotive wire is stranded, because it reduces the strain on the wires; less bending per unit length. The excellent capacitors that Howard points to are meant for a stationary environment like a circuit board or between two terminal strips. They have solid wire leads, making assembly easier in that environment. Possible the leads will break off at the component in a harsh environment like an engine. Think of how much shaking that component must endure.

    Ignition coils are similar. To the casual observer, no moving parts. Why would they ever fail? They do fail.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2021
    jeepstar, Glenn and Fireball like this.
  10. Nov 14, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    But they mainly age with use, correct? If it was simply time as the factor then buying NOS condensers would be silly.
     
  11. Nov 14, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    My understanding - the argument for NOS parts is quality-related, not re deterioration. However, some parts, like electrolytic capacitors, will deteriorate on the shelf. Depends on the part.

    The condensors I've taken apart have been plastic film-foil, which should be ok on the shelf almost indefinitely. Maybe metallized film today (ie mylar, polypropylene, others) - that's the same process as the caps Howard linked above. Military parts usually have weatherproof packaging, so that's in their favor.
     
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  12. Nov 14, 2021
    Glenn

    Glenn Kinda grumpy old man Staff Member

    Apopka, Fl
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    Definitely. Around '05, 3,000 miles on a current production condenser and it was done. So basically, over the years we threw away a lot of condensers which might or might not have had a lot of life left in them. We'll never know for sure but I'm betting a lot of us wish we had saved them.
     
  13. Nov 14, 2021
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    I'll bet there are many early jeeps running today that have never had a condenser changed out. I've changed a few but don't believe I ever had one fail.

    I have numerous working Model T buzz-coils which have an internal condenser, and they date from the 1920's. One hundred years old and still in service. To timgr's point about fatigue and vibration, these condensors are embedded in hot tar - the original "solid-state." To change one out, you dig out the tar, then heat it up and pour it back in afterward.
     
  14. Nov 14, 2021
    Oldpappy

    Oldpappy A.C. Fults - Curmudgeon at large 2021 Sponsor

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    Maybe off topic, but mention of the Model T coils made me remember that my grandfather once told me he worked in a factory that made the batteries for Model Ts. He made the wooden boxes for them. Were the battery boxes lined with tar or wax?

    I keep old condensers and and have used them again without ever finding a bad one. It is usually the points that wear out, and I guess the reason both got changed is both came in a tune up kit.
     
  15. Nov 14, 2021
    timgr

    timgr We stand on the shoulders of giants. 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    Mentioning - ca 1940, the condensors were probably paper and foil, which will age on the shelf. Possible it's a holdover from that era? Certainly film and foil are superior in every way.

    I suspect the problem with modern parts is in the construction, not the materials. There are two plates (long pieces of foil) with film between them. Film-foil-film-foil and roll it up. They let the foil be a little longer than the film so that each plate sticks out at opposite ends. Pretty sure they just smash the roll into the housing, and let the pressure of the seal make contact.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2021
    PeteL

    PeteL If it wasn't for physics, and law enforcement... 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    The coils are wooden cases with the points mounted on the top. Batteries - I don't think so, but maybe they were shipped in wood boxes?
     
  17. Nov 14, 2021
    Howard Eisenhauer

    Howard Eisenhauer Super Moderator Staff Member

    Tantallon, Nova...
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    The main failure mechanism seems to be where the ground side foil contacts the can. I'd like to say attaches to the can but it seems that would be asking for too much. :rolleyes:

    Anyhow the foil contact strip is simply pushed up against the end of the can & depends on good luck & clean living to maintain contact. This is wishful thinking :(

    Sooner or later the contact goes ohmic or opens entirely with the end result being arcing occurring & that's all she wrote. I suspect whacking to end or a new condenser with the business part of a ball peen hammer may result in a longer lifespan. :sneak:

    Re. the solid leads you are of course correct, if/when I go this route I suspect soldering the pigtail off an old (or unfortunately new) condenser will be part of the process.
     
  18. Nov 14, 2021
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2022 Sponsor 2021 Sponsor 2020 Sponsor

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    This web page has some dissections of crappy modern condensers and replacing them with a generic electronics unit. It does seem the foil failing to contact to the case is the normal failure mode:
     
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