My car keeps burning out condensers - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
 2Likes
  • 1 Post By Alfisto Steve
  • 1 Post By Somer
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 03:03 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,017
My car keeps burning out condensers

Hi guys-my 2 L single point distributor just ate its second condenser.. The first was a made in Italy one and the second was a generic that cross referenced to the car. Both separated where the wire comes out of the condenser body which may just be a coincidence but certainly seems odd

I have a Bosch blue 3 ohm coil ( which actually measured four ohms, not sure if that matters ) on it and new correct plugs. Plug wires are new.

When the first one went out I think my points gap being too narrow contributed to it, but this one went out with the points gap at .019 and it was only about 120 miles of driving before it failed.

Any ideas on what is going on - or just bad luck?

Thanks!

1966 Giulia Sprint $500 junk yard find. I probably overpaid...
1971 1750 Spider basket case , 1972 GTV 2.0 L
tdskip is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 05:34 PM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
Alfisto Steve's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: VB, VA
Posts: 26,301
Garage
Do you have a resistor in the coil circuit? We used to burn up 12v coils in a points and condensor Fiat dizzy conversion in a Lancia Beta coupe.
f4driver likes this.

Ciao, Alfisto Steve
Virginia Beach, VA
AROC 164 Tech Advisor

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

My Maintenance Sticky:
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 0 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Alfa Semi-Daily driver: USA model - BB2 1991 164S Black Beauty II ALFISTO [U]

[U] BB1 1991 164L w/S engine and A/T now excess to inventory [U]

Daily driver and parts hauler but not car hauler 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland 4.7L H.O. V-8

"A day without an Alfa whine is like a day without sunshine"
Alfisto Steve is offline  
post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 06:15 PM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,308
There have been other posts about the poor quality of condensors. The demand for them is low and there is no money in making them for folks like Bosch and Marelli so they are made by companies with lousy quality control programs.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-12-2019, 09:35 PM
Moderator
Platinum SubscriberModerator
 
Alfajay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Juan Capistrano
Posts: 9,411
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdskip
I have a Bosch blue 3 ohm coil
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alfisto Steve View Post
Do you have a resistor in the coil circuit?
I don't think a Bosch blue coil needs a resistor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by alfaparticle
There have been other posts about the poor quality of condensors...... they are made by companies with lousy quality control programs.
Yea, I think that's what's going on here. You might try finding a used condensor; the OE versions of those things lasted a long time.

Or just go with a Pertronix and ditch the condensor & points.

Jay Mackro
San Juan Capistrano, CA

'63 Guilia spider
'65 Guilia Sprint GT
'67 Duetto
'91 164L

Last edited by Alfajay; 04-12-2019 at 09:38 PM.
Alfajay is offline  
post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 05:47 AM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,308
The Marelli system that has a 1.5 ohm ballast resistor plus a 1.5 ohm coil is superior to the simple Blue coil and no resistor. They both put the same load on the points but the Marelli makes stronger sparks during starting when the resistor is bypassed and also at higher rpm due to the lower coil inductance.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-13-2019, 06:42 AM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,017
Thanks gentlemen - I put a new high “quality” condenser in but I do think an electric ignition is the ticket.

Thanks for the responses!

1966 Giulia Sprint $500 junk yard find. I probably overpaid...
1971 1750 Spider basket case , 1972 GTV 2.0 L
tdskip is offline  
post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 03:03 AM
BMX
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Stroud, UK
Posts: 309
Bin the points and fit an electronic sensor or a 123..

1975 Spider S2
BMX is offline  
post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 07:35 AM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
John533i's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 1,261
This same thread goes on in the '6-pack' forum, for the Triumph TR-6, and an Alfa YouTuber named Jethro Bronner did a video on why he went to the '123' distributor. Seems like a common theme, but by TR6s points/condenser are working great after 2years. I'd make sure that your coil is right version for your model? Try a stock coil if you have one.
Luck, John

86 spider Veloce
74 TR6
John533i is offline  
post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-15-2019, 07:39 AM
Registered User
 
Shakey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Columbia, Missouri, USA
Posts: 528
The same thing is going on in the air-cooled VW community. I went through two Bosch condensers on my wife's fuel-injected Super Beetle. When the condensers got warm, they'd quit working. I installed a generic from AutoZone, and its been running great.

Lots of YouTube videos, etc. on crappy condensers...even with name brands.

-Kevin
1988 Spider Veloce (with lots of 3D printed parts)
Shakey is offline  
post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 04:33 PM
Registered User
 
Somer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 190
All condensers are the same . I think it is something like .22 microfarads? Coils have to be matched to the ignition. An electronic ignition requires a different resistance than a points ignition.

Years ago, I went in an tried to buy a condenser at Pep-Boys. I threw a vehicle out there (351 Ford ). Guy said that's $135 ! I said "boy, they've gone up!". Turned out the only condenser he knew was an AC condenser !!
radamm likes this.
Somer is offline  
post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 04:45 PM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,308
Quote:
An electronic ignition requires a different resistance than a points ignition.
Most electronic ignitions can handle a wider range of coil resistance than points (which has nothing to do with condensors). There is more to a condensor (capacitor) than it's capacitance. Take a look at .22 mfd capacitors and you will see different shapes and sizes and they are not all interchangeable. Different voltage ratings require different materials of construction.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2,017
Thanks guys - good to be aware of it being an industry issue.

I've got a new Bosch blue coil on there, correct OHM for the set up.

I'm heading towards a point-less system soon.

Appreciate the discussion!

1966 Giulia Sprint $500 junk yard find. I probably overpaid...
1971 1750 Spider basket case , 1972 GTV 2.0 L
tdskip is offline  
post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 06:49 PM
Senior Member
Platinum Subscriber
 
alfaparticle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Columbia SC
Posts: 12,308
Bosch blue coils are for old VW bugs. The original setup with a 1.5 ohm coil and a 1.5 ohm ballast resistor is superior. AR knew what they were doing.

Ed Prytherch
79 Spider
85 GTV6 3L
76 Suzuki GT500

A little government and a little luck are necessary in life, but only a fool trusts either of them. - P.J. O'Rourke
alfaparticle is online now  
post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 04-18-2019, 09:04 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Marin County, California
Posts: 82
Send a message via AIM to Calguy 17
Points and condensers are stone age technology today...Go with a Pertronix electronic ignition system and you will never have to mess with it again....
Calguy 17 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alfa Romeo 6C1750 Gran Sport - Fifth Series iicarJohn Limited Production (1910-1949) 115 12-31-2018 03:23 PM
1300 GTJ 1972 Project car. Steve105 AROCASA - Alfa Romeo Owners Club of Australia (South Australian Division) 0 02-05-2018 04:42 AM
Cost breakdown of importing car from Europe Gary73Super Sedan (1962-1977) 33 04-01-2014 02:58 PM
For Sale: An Alfa Trilogy -- '67,'71 &'79 Euro Euro Spider 79 Alfa Romeo Cars For Sale & Wanted 13 08-23-2012 10:29 AM
A traumatic car week - need sympathy jamieandthemagi Alfa Romeo Topics Not Covered Elsewhere 4 05-06-2006 05:42 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome