All great stories! I didn’t hear anyone try this test. After making sure the points open and close turn the engine to close the points, turn on the ignition, now manually open and close the points (careful you might get a shock), you should see a spark jump across the points, this will tell you the points are working and that your condenser is good. I was at a local cruise night and was leaving to go home after staying a bit later than usual. I went to start my WW II Jeep and all I got was crank and no start. I know there was plenty of fuel so I popped the distributor cap off and checked the points. They looked fine. I turned the engine to close them and performed the above procedure. It turned out my condenser failed. I had spare points and plenty of tools but no spare condenser. Now I went around the parking lot asking the other guys if they had a spare condenser (didn’t care from what I would have made it work and most had already left for the night). One guy had one still attached to a set of points from a 53 Dodge. It was a different value but it worked and I got home fine. I knew the Jeep was a bit harder to start for the past few days. I should have checked it out before leaving home. Lesson learned! If you had a condenser from a vehicle that wouldn’t fit in your distributor you could attach the condenser wire on the outside of the distributor where it gets fed from the coil neg. wire and somehow ground the body of the condenser and your good to go! Another thing we tend to forget with a points system, we turn the key on without running the engine. Do this enough times and you’re sure to burn out the points (that is if they’re closed) or burn up a an ignition coil. I love my old school points and condenser because I’m an old school guy that learned when old school was in session.
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