I have a distributor on my T and the condenser went bad. I added a new one on the main coil and it quickly went bad. I changed it out and now the third seems to have gone bad the same way. It's a 6 volt and the coil was brand new. What are the thoughts out there of what is happening or what I am missing? And by the way...It came with distributor. Thanks folks.
The distributors currently being sold are copies of the Bosch 009 unit originally installed on Volksbuggens built from about 1955 - 1972. They are being made in a foreign country at the lowest possible price. The VW community has long known that both the coils and the condensers are notoriously unreliable. The easy fix is to replace those parts with commonly available VW Bosch parts either made in USA or Germany. Do not use any of the BOSCH parts made in Mexico, they are also poorly made and will fail soon.
VW went from 6V to 12V in 1968 I think. To be safe just ask for the coil and condenser for a 1962 VW, or buy it on eBay or Amazon.
Another problem is that alternators being sold for use on Model T's are not properly regulated if the car has a faulty connection between the battery and the alternator. A common fault is if the owner has installed a "battery cutoff" switch. When those switches get old, say after a couple months, the copper plated steel contacts inside the switch corrode and then the alternator starts putting out more and more voltage to compensate for the resistance in the connection. This causes low life for things like ignition coils and light bulbs. You can avoid this sort of problem by removing any battery cutoff switches and making sure all the connections to the battery / alternator are clean and of good quality.
I'd like to know who makes the condensers you're using and where you're getting them from. This is a VERY odd situation even with cheapo condensers. I'm assuming the condensers always been mounted on the coil. You said you"added a new one". I hope that doesn't mean there's 2 in the circuit. Are you negative ground and is the coil properly wired? Is there an external ignition resistor in the circuit or does the coil have an internal one? I'm also guessing the car runs for a while then quits. It's almost more believable that the coil is quitting when it gets hot than 3 bad condensers in a row.
1966 was the last year for 6V in VW's
It is common knowledge at this point that currently produced condensers for most applications are being made out of inferior materials. Cut one of your bad condensers open with a tubing cutter and look for arcing inside. There is a wave washer in the end of every condenser which should be made of spring steel. My guess is that your wave washer is made of mild steel in your failing condensers. This is currently a very common problem affecting all antique engines from cars to tractors. Get yourself a genuine bosch condenser and you won't have a problem.
Sounds like I was wise to save that old Falstaff case of NORS condensers. Now if I can just remember where it is....
Do you have the condenser mounted on the points or power side of the coil? Should be on the points side. How did you check the condenser to know it's bad?
I wonder why my T clip on came with a rotor that lost continuity from the middle to the end after ten years of use.
The odd part of it is the connection of the two runs down into the plastic then back up to the end not straight across with solid metal the replace ment part does but has corrected the issue.