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Does anyone still make or sell a quality condenser?

blueskies

Jedi Warrior
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After a multi-year restoration finished this spring, the Longbridge BN4 finally drove out of the garage last week. I have driven it almost every day since, except when we had rain. It ran great, after sorting out a number of fairly minor issues.

Then it started missing and stalling, intermittently. I found a very small air leak on the line between the tank and the fuel pump and fixed that and thought the problem was fixed. Yesterday, it ran great again. Then today, it started missing badly. I was lucky to make it home.

Because of the intermittent nature of the problem, it was hard to diagnose. I didn't think it was fuel related, but thought some dirt may have gone from the fuel tank into the carburetors. So I went through the fuel system and disassembled the float bowls, tried different jet and other settings, as much as I could without removing the carburetors. Also added a fuel filter. Nothing helped. Then I went through the ignition system, swapping coils, caps, wires, etc. from the BT7. Rechecked point gap, got out the timing light, and so on. Nothing helped.

Then I remembered that someone recently complained about the poor quality of new condensers. So I swapped in a new condenser. The car immediately runs great again - after wasting about six hours. The faulty condenser was a new part from the usual supplier, with just a half dozen hours of use.

But how long will the new condenser last? I have no confidence in it, as it looks almost identical to the one that failed. I know, one can't tell much from looking at the outside.

Has anyone found a source for quality condensers. I would like to pick up a few spares.
 

DerekJ

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Denis Welch make a quality condenser which sits outside of the distributor. Or you could install the Powerspark ignition system, which is simple to fit and provides better running of the engine, plus it’s cheap enough to be able to carry several spares.
 

Joe Schlosser

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I have the distributor doctor bits on my BE, so far no issues
 
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Check with Jeff at Advanced Distributors. He does the best dizzy rebuilds and only uses the best. By the way are you using the RED rotter with out the rivet?
 
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blueskies

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The Distributor Doctor condensers sound excellent, and I am interested in buying a few condensers. Maybe their rotors and low tension wires too. I see that DD is located in Great Britain. Can anyone tell me whether anyone in North America - preferably in Canada and if not in the US - sells these and the other DD parts?

I agree that the Pertronix are good. I have one in a big block SS; it has given zero problems in ten years. Not quite ready to go that route with the Healeys though.
 
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Advanced Distributor is in the mid west. See what Richard Chrysler's son has. Richard was outstanding. His son took over his business a while ago after Richard passed. He is in Canada. I cannot remember the name of his company but I'm sure someone on this forum will know.
 

steveg

Yoda
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Advanced Distributors no longer seems to sell parts on their website - I could find services only.

http://advanceddistributors.com/wordpress1/

Jeff used to test the orange-wire condensers before selling, but they were still the inferior ones. AFIK Distributor Doctor is the only one who sells the yellow-wire condensers.

Everybody sells the red rotors these days.

PS - sent an inquiry to Jeff re whether he still sells parts.

Edit: his reply:
screenshot.2203.jpg
 
Last edited:

Guffy60

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External wire ones are good. I have two sat next to the coil, if one starts to fail, then it’s less than a minute to swap the connection from one to the other. Not that they fail often.

common set up on Rally cars such as minis etc still using Lucas dizzys.
 

Drone Dog

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British Vacuum unit rebuilds distributors and makes the vacuum advances up in the northeast, New Hampshire maybe? he sends out his diz's with new components. he would probably sell you one along with anything else you may need in the distributor.
 

vette

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I got my last condenser from Healey Surgeons in Tacoma Park, Maryland. ( near DC). It's been on there a few years now with a lot of miles. I too have worried, is the one I install any better than the one I take off.

years ago one quit on me about a hour from home. I carry extras but never new if the ones in the boot were any better than the one in the dizzy. So I ordered a new one from Surgeons and it has been there for a couple years. I have found they have reliable stuff with all their merchandise. Recently I needed tune-up stuff for an MGB. I called Abingdon Spares in Connecticut. I told them I was paranoid about the rotors and condensers. They assured me their's was good. :joyous: So far So good. The one for the "B" looks exactly like the one for my BJ7 Healey. Both have 25D distributors. So I will probably be mixing them up. We'll see how that goes.
Here'e a little back story about the strength of the condensers. When I bought my Healey many years ago it was an unrestored garage find. I got it running via new brakes and rebuilt carbs and drove it for 7 summers before I restored the car. I never touched the ignition other than to file and regap the points. When I restored the car taking about 5 years, I installed new points, condenser and rotor. I also installed an alternator charging system with upgraded wiring. My alternator puts out about 15 volts all the time. The new condenser lasted one summer. I was wondering if the higher voltage had any effect on the life of the condenser. The new condenser is from Healey Surgeons and it is working well on the 15 volts alternator output.
 

LarryK

Obi Wan
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Even the domestic classic cars with condensor ignition complain about the new supposedly China made. Everyone when in a wrecking yard for parts, grabs the old ones that are still in the distributors.
 

John Turney

Yoda
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A Moss rep talked to us at a Rendezvous about this problem a couple of years ago. Since "modern cars" no longer use condensers, the knowledge of how to manufacture condensers has been lost due to lack of demand.
 

PAUL161

Great Pumpkin
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This might sound a little off but, check out farm tractor suppliers for ignition parts and compare the condensers for fit in your distributor. A lot of condensers they have are left over from years back and a lot of them were made here in the US. Since diesels have taken over in the tractor industry, not many gas engines are left and virtually no new ones, so old original parts are still on the shelves at many dealers. Don't know if they will fit your application, but I don't ever remember replacing an original IBB2042SS condenser in a Case tractor, they seem to last forever. PJ
 
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