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Bad new condensor for ignition on Avanti

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  • Ignition: Bad new condensor for ignition on Avanti


    I revised the ignition of my 63 Avanti R1.
    The spark plugs dated 1978, the breaker points were older and had more than 40 000 km and the capacitor may be more...
    (I bought the car after a long stop...)

    The car worked wonderfully for 1000 km and the new capacitor dropped...

    I replaced it, but the secon new one broke after 600 km ... I put the oldest one and ignition works well here

    I suppose that i am not alone with this kind of problem.

    Is there somebody who knows were I can bought good parts ? (if it is possible...)


  • #2
    I've had simillar problems.
    It can happen to any brand of part, good brand name or bad brand name parts.



    • #3
      Are the bad condensors new production, perhaps made in Asia? You might have better luck buying "old stock" parts made 30 or 40 years ago by a brand-name company (Delco,, Auto-lite, Bosch, etc).
      Skip Lackie


      • #4
        No, you're not alone with the newer condensors. This is an issue even with the older vehicles that are non Studebakers. I know a few guys that would do a tuneup, and replace the original working ignition condensor along with the points as a regular maintenance procedure, take the car out, and the condensor would pop or short, effectively killing the ignition. They'd go and put the old condensor back in, and the vehicle would fire like nothing happened at all. I've come to the conclusion that the condensor under the cap is matched to the points, so if it's still working, to reuse the old condensor. Something in the newer condensors does not hold up as well as the old condensors did. In other words, not to replace the points condensor itself, if I can avoid it.
        1964 Studebaker Commander R2 clone
        1963 Studebaker Daytona Hardtop with no engine or transmission
        1950 Studebaker 2R5 w/170 six cylinder and 3spd OD
        1955 Studebaker Commander Hardtop w/289 and 3spd OD and Megasquirt port fuel injection(among other things)


        • #5
          I got a batch of bad condensers from one of the larger Studebaker parts vendors. I had problems with at least 5 new stock condensers in the past year. Condenser failures at least for me occurred rarely when ignition parts were being produced in the USA. I've been using either Standard Motor Parts Blue Streak or NAPA Echlin ignition parts since the run of bad condensers that I bought toward the middle of last year caused me a bunch of extra work and unhappy customers when their cars quit running a couple of weeks after paying for a tune up. So far I haven't had a comeback on ignition parts since I started using the higher priced parts. I've even had problems with the new stock points and ignition coils that are now being produced off shore. Bud


          • #6
            I recently ran into a similar problem on a 2005 Pt Cruiser. I replaced 4 cam sensors that failed from a block from the parts store, to one that failed after several hundred miles, to one that failed after several months. I finally put in a factory unit that has held up to a thousands miles (at least so far. All the replacement ones were name brand yet they failed. The original one in the car went 90,000 miles plus before it failed.


            • #7
              Around 25 years ago I did a tune up on a 72 Mopar 318. The engine ran fine until driven for a half hour or so, then it'd die. if you let it sit for about an hour, it'd fire right up. It drove me nuts! By the time I'd get it home and start to check things, the spark looked hot, with a nice fat blue arc. I finally changed out the new condenser, and concluded that it was heat sensitive. With the engine under load it took that half hour for the engine heat to heat up the distributer and cause the condenser to go wonkie. Just goes to show that a new part doesn't mean a good part, and that that's been the case for decades!


              • #8
                Condensers do break down under hot conditions.... even in old tube type radios & TVs. I have seldom changed out condensers after having those problems mentioned above back in the late '50' & '60's (Yep, I'm old). That said, I have a box full of never used ones & every once in a while I have had to dig in to use one in some application. Sometimes they work... sometimes not. If a car is running at tuneup time, I replace the points and leave the rest alone.


                • #9
                  I keep the old condensers that I remove from service and since I have a good capacitor tester on my radio bench I can test them for proper capacity and insulation break down. I've found a few bad ones, but most of the used condensers are still fit for service. I also check the new ones I buy because I've had more problems with the new stock condensers than I've ever had with the older ones. That being said, I'll use an old condenser in my own cars, but I put a new one in anything that belongs to someone else because most people only trust new parts. Bud