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TR4/4A Strange question that may involve the coil-

Jerry

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I was working on a friends car and found that someone has hot wired the car which left the coil hot for days till the battery was dead. Charged up the battery, and the car ran, finally found the hot wire and removed it but it seemed that the hot wire worked on and off, the car even quit once when it was working, but then started back up.
so my question is: With this hot wire to the coil being hot for days, did it damage the coil?

Jerry
 

TR3driver

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Possibly, but seems unlikely to me. More likely a bad connection with the hot wire. How does it run with the key?
 

cjimj

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To expand on Randall's response, the coil is a just a bunch of tightly wound wires and if it was cooked the insulation is what would be damaged, which would rarely, if ever, cause an intermittent problem.
 

sp53

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If I remember correctly, don’t the points need to be closed for the coil to get hot if the key is left on? And if that was right, perhaps the points might be toasted on the end.
 
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Jerry

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Car starts well with the key, and I think you have answered the question. IE: the coil will work or not work. I will check the points.

Jerry
 

TR3driver

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If it ain't broke ...
 

Geo Hahn

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Personally, I wouldn't drive to the corner Circle K without a spare coil in the boot.

You could do worse than have a new coil on hand for testing if a problem is observed and for repair if/when yours fails (never had one fail at home, just on the road).
 
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Jerry

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Well, I am taking his car back on Wed and it is an hour drive, so I will take one of my extra coils.
Jerry
 

TR3driver

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Experiences vary, of course. From my point of view, though, coils very rarely fail and an adequate replacement is available at almost any corner car parts store. In all the decades and hundreds of thousands of miles I've driven, I've only had a car disabled by a coil failure once. And that was "infant mortality" IMO, a latent manufacturing defect. Even when the (apparently original) coil failed on TS13671L in 2009, I was still able to drive the car (though it ran really poorly).

The exception, apparently, are the "Lucas Sports" coils. Ken G. once told me that, out of a case of 24, over half of them were either DOA or tested weak on a coil tester. I should have listened to his warning; I will in the future! (The one coil that died and left me on the side of the road was a Lucas Sports, less than a year old.)
 

Geo Hahn

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...coils very rarely fail...

Oh oh, now you've done it.

...and an adequate replacement is available at almost any corner car parts store...

Of course in the Sonoran Desert, that corner may be 100 miles down the road.

I-10_zps7c625786.jpg


Thinking back, I have probably used my spare coil on others' cars more than on my own.
 

TR3driver

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Of course in the Sonoran Desert, that corner may be 100 miles down the road.
True enough. I'll never forget debating how far we'd driven through western Texas since the "Next services 104 miles" sign, so we would know whether to go forward or back to get parts to fix my buddy's car. (Chihuahuan desert instead of Sonoran, but about equally populated. One of the locals told me that there were only two rattlesnakes and a jack rabbit between there and El Paso. He said there had been a coyote, but he left.)

But there is still a limit to how many spares you can carry, and I think it makes sense to include both the odds of having a failure, and how hard it would be to source a replacement, when deciding what to carry and what not to carry.
 

sp53

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Yeh but Randall would have found an old trash can with a couple of lumps of charcoal, a Bud light can, and a coat hanger. Then wrapped the coat hang around the lumps of charcoal and rubbed some oil off his engine put that in the Bud light can to make a coil and then been on his way until his cardboard generator bushing went out.
 

TR3driver

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Now you're just making fun of me! But I did run for many years with a beer can wrapped around a coil from K-mart, so it would fit the original coil holder.

Charcoal is too soft to be good for anything but burning. But I did once use the carbon rod from the center of an old fashioned (not alkaline) flashlight battery as a replacement center terminal for the distributor cap. After limping home with a paper clip wrapped around the old one, that is :D
 

sp53

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No not making fun. You have helped too much in the past--- just having some fun at your expense. I once bored out a fan hub on a VW on the side of the road with a rock.
 
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