TRExp

TR2 & TR3 Forum

Condensers.

Moss Motors
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South San Frncisco, california, USA   USA
again, i went to swiftuneuk for their points and external mount condensor.
point set and build seem sturdier than the usual stuff we see today, and in fact i found in my collection an unopened,
but weathered lucas set point/condensor, must be from late 1980 at best...
the swiftunes are just built better, and the external condensor makes some sense...
even then car ran better but yet not right... last latest, replaced temp compensatir valveson carbs and their seals...
but shame on me, the front carb was missing the outer seal for its compensatir, here another source of vacuum leak, air ingress.... that is now all correct...
now the machine is a pussycat...and aside from choke, once warmed up, the car runs near perfect...maybe i can now go back over some adjustments and eke a bit better...
it is this, if you have any vacuum leak, and their sources are numerous, rocker clearances,timing settings,mixture settings, none of these are legit, except maybe timing which is strictly mechanial...
in short, i attacked the running issues seriously, car is totally stock... found vacuum leaks galore... one by one...
i referred to original owner handbook, dug out of archives original champion old school plugs n9y,
set the static timing per the handbook...again sorry sport ccoil fans, buoght ne coil from NAPA, it only has to work...
mmm..
no fancy NGK plugs, out out out...
go back to basic if possible, get all that right, then start monkey around, but first get a retrievable baseline...
finally, i bought two temperature compensator valves for the old ZS carbs... and each carries two gasket seals...
in course replacing i found the front carb valve missing the outer seal...which would allow unwanted outside air
carb ...
mmm
now the car is rock steady idle, smooth from stoplight, very even sedate on part throttle level road cruising,
pulls uphill, willing onn freeway.(i have already seen 110 mph and top rpm risking the Garda, but there is no need
for this... just to know it CAN is good .)
and back to earth,
if i mess around a bit more, i bet i can set champagne bubbly glass on rocker cover at idle, and will sit there...
i actually tried this with glass of water, and worked for thirty seconds idling...

experts on this site would have reached this state long bfore i did... this car sat 1993 to 2012 with broken clutch fork pin...
then i undertook to fix...
2014 october, fired it up first time since 1993... and have cintinued three years to sort out as time and interest and focus
permitted...
feel at last success...
in running issues it takes patience, intelligence (there i may lack) and suspecting eveything...
temperature compensators and that one missing O ring made a huge difference...
and what i would say to anyone with a tr6... before tricking out with fancy cams and all that upgrade stuff,
see if it can be made to work well baseline,
then embark on all the modifications, if that is your bent...

for now my machine rocks, all 106 fire breathing horses...
oh, i highly recommend the upgraded rear hubs bearing assembly from Goodparts,
my originals died in disuse 1993 to 2014....
a car, especia
ly i think the vintages 1960,70,80... go to pieces just sitting undriven, even in a clean temperate garage,,,
when i put machine back to service, i rebuilt verything except geabox and differential, new oil for them...
sorry so verbose...
regards
wes

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Fred Winterburn Avatar
Ripley, Ontario, Canada   CAN
You could try swapping the coil for another one (make sure it is at least 3 ohms so you don't burn up the points or overheat the coil). Engine misfiring when warm and then curing itself after cooling off is a classic sign of insulation breakdown in the coil. Fred

In reply to # 1489788 by wbender Thanks for the reply. I think, as I said earlier that my problem is/ was fuel ( I have since cleaned, etched, and sealed the tank).
Since I don't really drive the car as often as I should, I was just trying to understand condenser failure, in case it wasn't fuel problems. But it sounds like the condenser wouldn't "cure itself " between driving sessions ( was thinking about heat build up while driving). Thanks again
Warren

Fred Winterburn Avatar
Ripley, Ontario, Canada   CAN
Running an external condenser is OK, but it should be placed as close to the points as possible with short lead lengths. It makes much more of a difference than one might think. If you want to see the test, go back to the MG experience thread I mentioned and look at the testing I did to prove it. Fred

In reply to # 1489807 by Tonyfixit A good read on bad condensors

http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite/cap_failure/

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South San Frncisco, california, USA   USA
I wondered about the distance issue as I installed it
... but first let's see it work or not.inthe moment it runs so well am hesitant to change.
Did you catch my rant about car. Temp compensators and discovery missing o ring gasket
(My bad).. which she is installed now car runs so much like i remember from 1976-1992?
Wholeness again.but will keep an eye on condenser maybe keep external but shorter
Wires I get it.thanks wes

South San Frncisco, california, USA   USA
No . But thank heaven most condensers work most of the time. And historically have done so ,
Cinsiderung the battles in Egyptian deserts in ww2
I'd go on but no reason
I admire those who understand these things beyond work/no work level. I'll be reading this over again
Thankwes

CJD john durant
Southlake, Texas, USA   USA
Not to mention, if N Korea lobs a big aerial Nuke...the points cars are all that'll be running. Good by transistor ignitions!



John
Southlake, TX

'55 TR2

South San Frncisco, california, USA   USA
Wow just when I have the TR6 running like pcat
You tell me Kim has punched the bug button.
Oh well...
Wes

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wbender Warren Bender
Green Sea, south carolina, USA   USA
Thanks for the coil info Fred. However one time it started sputtering/missing immediately upon start up after a 2hr cool down and then "cleared up" and ran for an hour after that. Not trying to poo poo your helpful suggestion- thanks for the interest

Born Loser Avatar
Born Loser Silver Member Matthew Taylor
Land O Lake, Florida, USA   USA
In reply to # 1489758 by wbender what are the "symptoms" of a bad condenser? does the car sputter/ act up and then die completely or will the sputtering clear up and car run ok again (while in the same driving session)? I'm chasing an intermittent problem as described above, think it's trash in the fuel, but would like to understand more about condenser failure. thanks

My last one - and I mean my LAST one, was fairly new - about 200 miles in (over a couple weeks) driving the kid to school (about 20 miles one way) along a country road. Steady at 45-50 mph. Came up to a hill, and gave it some gas - backfire, stumble, no power, hit the top at about 30 mph. Came down the other side, no problem. Did it a few more times on that trip. Got home, went through everything - really thinking a fuel, like you. Nothing. Test drives, no problem. Ran for about another 200 miles. Then it was missing so bad, barely made it home. Checked everything, again, nothing. Test drives fine. About a month later, had to pull over on the way to school, missing and backfiring so bad, I couldnt keep up with the speed limit. Got a ride for the kid. Went back to the car, it fired right up and drove home. Put in the Pertronix, and haven't had an issues since.



Matthew
1960 Triumph TR3a
1970 Triumph Spitfire MK 3
2012 Mini Cooper SS Convertible

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wbender Warren Bender
Green Sea, south carolina, USA   USA
Thanks for the input Matthew. I get NO backfiring however- just sputtering. I'll keep hoping it was fuel and will report back after my next car shows where I have to drive some distance

TR3driver Randall Y
Confusion, Los Angeles, USA   USA
In reply to # 1489758 by wbender what are the "symptoms" of a bad condenser?
I've only had two failures (in a whole lotta years and miles), but the symptoms were totally different. The first time (some 40 years ago), the engine just died like the key had been turned off. The weird part was, I could see a spark at the plugs, but it just wouldn't fire. When I was finally able to change the condenser (being young and foolish then, I had thrown the old ones away), it fired right up.

More recently, the engine just spit and sputtered and coughed; but still ran. I drove it home rather than trying to troubleshoot on the side of the road. Again, a new condenser fixed it right up; but I could not find anything wrong with the old one! My condenser tester says the capacitance is fine, leakage is fine, no high voltage breakdown at 300 volts, and ESR comparable to a new one. I still haven't run that to ground (got distracted by other things), but my guess is that the contact between the guts of the condenser and the metal housing is intermittent and can't stand up to the actual violence of trying to snub the coil. (My tester of course doesn't drive anywhere near the kind of current seen in operation.)



Randall
56 TR3 TS13571L daily driver
71 Stag LE1473L awaiting engine rebuild
7? Stag awaiting gearbox rebuild

glcaines Avatar
glcaines Silver Member Gary Caines
Hiawassee, Georgia, USA   USA
The Pertronix in my TR6 let me down. Started working erratically. I went back to points / condenser and haven't been disappointed. Most condensers these days are Chinese and not the best quality. I carry a spare condenser from British Vacuum Unit. https://www.britishvacuumunit.com/home-page.html I believe they make their own condensers. I also installed one of their vacuum advance units to get rid of the vacuum retard. Works fantastic.



Current: 1973 TR6 W/Overdrive

Previous:
1963 TR3B W/Overdrive
1962 TR3A
1961 TR3A
1960 TR3A
1960 TR3A

Tonyfixit Avatar
Tonyfixit Tony M
Duncan, British Columbia, Canada   CAN
In reply to # 1490505 by glcaines The Pertronix in my TR6 let me down. Started working erratically. I went back to points / condenser and haven't been disappointed. Most condensers these days are Chinese and not the best quality. I carry a spare condenser from British Vacuum Unit. https://www.britishvacuumunit.com/home-page.html I believe they make their own condensers. I also installed one of their vacuum advance units to get rid of the vacuum retard. Works fantastic.

I fing it very hard to belive that VB make their own condensors. Please proove me wrong.

Interesting read on condensors and their problems here http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite/cap_failure/



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2017-10-06 07:45 PM by Tonyfixit.

Fred Winterburn Avatar
Ripley, Ontario, Canada   CAN
I agree with that statement. It is extremely unlikely given they are all made essentially the same way. If I were going to make a substitute condenser, I would try and get a deal on the ceramic part I mentioned, (Kemet C350C224KDR5TA or equivalent), and find a source for empty shells to solder and pot the new capacitor inside. The cost including labour would be at least $40 to make it worthwhile. Otherwise, what they are selling is probably not much better than anything else. It's along the same lines as some vendors of points saying they have them made specifically to their specifications. Not likely, but more probable than the condensers. Fred

In reply to # 1490511 by Tonyfixit
In reply to # 1490505 by glcaines The Pertronix in my TR6 let me down. Started working erratically. I went back to points / condenser and haven't been disappointed. Most condensers these days are Chinese and not the best quality. I carry a spare condenser from British Vacuum Unit. https://www.britishvacuumunit.com/home-page.html I believe they make their own condensers. I also installed one of their vacuum advance units to get rid of the vacuum retard. Works fantastic.

I fing it very hard to belive that VB make their own condensors. Please proove me wrong.

glcaines Avatar
glcaines Silver Member Gary Caines
Hiawassee, Georgia, USA   USA
In reply to # 1490511 by Tonyfixit
In reply to # 1490505 by glcaines The Pertronix in my TR6 let me down. Started working erratically. I went back to points / condenser and haven't been disappointed. Most condensers these days are Chinese and not the best quality. I carry a spare condenser from British Vacuum Unit. https://www.britishvacuumunit.com/home-page.html I believe they make their own condensers. I also installed one of their vacuum advance units to get rid of the vacuum retard. Works fantastic.

I fing it very hard to belive that VB make their own condensors. Please proove me wrong.

Interesting read on condensors and their problems here http://www.nonlintec.com/sprite/cap_failure/

I can't prove you wrong. All I can say is that they told me that they had repeatedly had problems with condensers made in China and that they were forced to start making their own condensers. They appear to be well made from the outside, and I haven't had one fail yet.



Current: 1973 TR6 W/Overdrive

Previous:
1963 TR3B W/Overdrive
1962 TR3A
1961 TR3A
1960 TR3A
1960 TR3A

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