No announcement yet.

V8 ignition problem

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • V8 ignition problem

    My car has been experiencing a low speed miss and a high speed cut out, like a momentary turning on and off of the key switch. The coil and the resistor wire seem to be getting hotter than they should. It does not seem to matter if the car is hot or cold, although hot is worse. I only seem to have about six volts at the coil. Tested with my electrical tester. Is that enough? What is the proper way to test that circuit? What resistance should be in that circuit? What type of resistor can I use in place of the pink wire, should it test bad? I am currently running a Delco window distributor with points.
    1962 Champ

    51 Commander 4 door

  • #2
    The condensor(s) in my 54 wagon seems to like being replaced. I have no idea why. The resistor is in place and working. I know this by the fact that the points work well and don't have giant pits on the contacts.

    So why does the condensor keep going south...?

    Oh yea...same symptoms you describe.
    It took a while...but finally got so bad, on the way home from a friends "late" one night...I wondered IF I was gonna make it home. Well I made it home, but not to the garage! The next morning I went out, started right up and backed it into the garage.
    I rebuilt the carburetor, put a "new" coil in it. Still junk. I "didn't" replace the points and condensor because the points looked like new. Plug wires, spark plugs...all new.

    So.......I'm down to the points and condensor that I HAVEN'T replaced.
    I replaced the condensor only. I have no idea what it was out of. I just asked for one with "this" long a lead so it would bolt to the points.

    Low and runs...all is well. while a coupla years have past, only a couple thousand miles have past and the same ol "miss" is back...!

    So...all this is to say, stick a new condensor into the distributor. Only a coupla bucks to give it a try. No matter, condensors don't seem to care, 6 volt or 12 volt.

    Good luck.



    • #3
      You can check easily the resistance of the pink wire if you have a good ohmmeter. It should have a resistance of around 1.5 to 1.8 ohms if it's good. As far as the longevity of condensers, I think that it has to do with the country of origin. I have a good capacitor tester on my radio bench and I always test a new condenser before it's installed. I've had a few new ones that have been marginal right out of the box. I'm even starting to have problems with new ignition coils going bad after a short time as they are coming from the same places as the condensers. Try to stick with brands like NAPA Echlin or Standard Motor Parts Blue Streak if you can as I've having better luck with them over the cheaper stuff. Mike is correct, the condensers don't care if the electrical system is 6 or 12 volts. Bud


      • #4
        Condensor fixed it!! Thanks guys.
        1962 Champ

        51 Commander 4 door


        • #5
          Bud is right about bad quality parts. Just this evening a local Studebaker club member stopped by and related a similar story. He too had a problem with his car not running after he had installed new points and condensor. His Dad, an old time mechanic told him to get another condensor, he did and it started on the first turn. Just another example of overseas outsourcing.
          Frank van Doorn
          Omaha, Ne.
          1962 GT Hawk 289 4 speed
          1941 Champion streetrod, R-2 Powered, GM 200-4R trans.
          1952 V-8 232 Commander State "Starliner" hardtop OD


          • #6
            Condensors absorb moisture. The cheaper the worse they are sealed where the wire goes in, hense the problem.
            Cars in climate controlled garages don't suffer as bad. The best and longest lasting I have ever used is the old Mallory.
            If you don't mind it showing on the outside, try one. The type in picture.


            • #7
              I believe the old Mallory condensers are filled with PCB loaded oil which is why they are no longer available as the oil is supposedly a carcinogen. They were constructed like the old mil spec electronics capacitors which were oil filled and you can't buy them anymore for the same reason. If a new condenser is constructed with quality materials, it will give good service for a long time. Bud


              • #8
                When I had my Exxon station in the early 70's if I had a cold start complaint on a car that would otherwise run fine I would often find a little oil under the condensor bracket. Cleaned it off re-tightened and problem was gone. I would replace points and condensor before I gave the car back to the customer. Point being, a poorly grounded condensor or an overly lubricated cam could cause what seem like frequent condensor failures or lead to shortened condensor life. IMHO