Lotus Elan

How long will points last without a condensor?

PostPost by: AussieJohn » Mon Jun 18, 2012 4:59 pm

I was out with a mate who had a condensor fail, luckily I found a spare but I considered cutting the wire as a " get you home method", how long would the points last? Any thoughts or experiences guys?
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PostPost by: Jon Eckman » Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:49 pm

Don't think it will run at all without the condensor, so presumably forever -
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PostPost by: Henry VIIII » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:14 pm

I think Jon is right there, though I'm not 100% sure, only about 98%

8)
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PostPost by: AussieJohn » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:21 pm

Hmm, I thought that it was to squelsh arcing as the points opened but am open to other points of view, cheers, John.
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PostPost by: Chancer » Mon Jun 18, 2012 7:34 pm

If you are very lucky and can start it, which with a relatively capricios engine with twin webers I doubt, then it would run very roughly to about a maximum of 1500 rpm with barely any power and not accept anything other than a tiny throttle opening.

Been there done that got the T shirt.

Basically you get a very weak spark if anything at all.

A coil ignition system relies on a fast clean opeinng of the contacts and a way of storing and dissipating the back EMF to ground which would otherwise arc across the points massively reducing the coil output voltage.

In the days when I was regularly servicing cars with points I found that there was more risk of a new condensor being faulty or failing prematurely than in leaving the old one in situ if it was in good health, this could be judged either by the condition of the points or by the CRT trace on a Crypton tester or Sun analyser.
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PostPost by: 69S4 » Tue Jun 19, 2012 6:01 am

Chancer wrote:If you are very lucky and can start it, which with a relatively capricios engine with twin webers I doubt, then it would run very roughly to about a maximum of 1500 rpm with barely any power and not accept anything other than a tiny throttle opening.



That's been my experience as well when I had a spate of them go many years ago. The engine would just about run but wouldn't produce enough power to move the car. Cleaning the points would improve things and might get you a couple of hundred yards but given how hard it is to get to the points on the Elan you'd be quicker pushing.
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PostPost by: AussieJohn » Tue Jun 19, 2012 7:52 am

Thanks for all the info. guys, I guess carrying a spare is the answer, cheers, John.
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PostPost by: Henry VIIII » Sat Jun 23, 2012 3:21 pm

AussieJohn wrote:Thanks for all the info. guys, I guess carrying a spare is the answer, cheers, John.


Aye, I've had to replace a condenser, on the road, before now. They don't actually have to be inside the distributor, so if one fails inside, you can cut/break its wire & then fit a temporary one outside the distie. Then fit a proper one later.
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:54 pm

..and if you do the above,don't forget to earth the condenser case..

John :wink:
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PostPost by: john.p.clegg » Sat Jun 23, 2012 4:54 pm

..and if you do the above,don't forget to earth the condenser case..

John :wink:

Edit

You don't have to earth it twice,probable finger shake...
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PostPost by: Henry VIIII » Fri Jun 29, 2012 1:50 pm

john.p.clegg wrote:..and if you do the above,don't forget to earth the condenser case..

John :wink:

Edit

You don't have to earth it twice,probable finger shake...


:lol:
My 'spare' condensor is already bolted to an engine point, with a flying lead fitted with a passthrough connector for the lead to the coil.
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