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Condensors & Starting Hot -1955 D

rwhitne2

Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
The only problem I ever have starting my 55 D is when its hot and the temp is hot and humid. Happened the other day, no start after 25 miles, 78 agrees F and 80% + humidity. Next morning 1st kick as is normal .I read last year here I think that condensers can be the culprit. So I dutifully swapped out mine for a NIB (from 1972) one, nice & shiny. Well its still 40 years old. I have new Amals, 12 volt Alton electrics, a good NOS Lucas coil etc. Would a modern condenser be the cure? thanks, Mike Whitney
 

SteveW

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Starting Hot

Try getting your magneto rebuilt by a competent shop (Doug Wood). The culprit is usually the capacitor in armature failing when it gets hot.
Clean, well tuned carbs can elminate these hot starting problems, also. Good luck.
 

rwhitne2

Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Steve - Doug has done alot of work for me over the years but the D is a coil and battery with the condenser an easily replaceable item in the distributor, I am going to swap it out for a new one next week Thanks for the reply Mike
 

Len Matthews

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I struggled with a Prince that wouldn't start or only fire occasionally. I tried swapping various ignition components to no avail. I assumed there was nothing wrong with the contact breaker points so ignored them. Next day I thought "Lets try a fresh set of points", and guess what? The dear old D fired first kick! Close examination of discarded points revealed corrosion around the tungsten tip of the moving contact thus creating a poor electrical path even though the ammeter needle deflected when the engine was turned over. Another thing to watch for with D distributors are the two screws that fasten the Bakerlite base plate to the distributor body. One of these provides the passage to earth (ground) therefore must be corrosion free.
 

greg brillus

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
As a point of interest, generally most magneto's giving trouble with hot starting and so on is mostely due to the original windings on the armature breaking down from deteriation of the insulation on the wire. If a condenser fails, it usually means that the points arc excessively causing a black carbon deposit on the contacts and a bad misfiring or total failure to follow. The modern points assemblies available these days to fit both the KVF and K2F type magneto's are rubbish as the earth contact has a bad habit of comming loose causing a mysterious misfire, you are much better off finding a serviceable set of the original brass backing type contacts.....far better....cheers...Greg.
 

sidmadrid

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
It is not unknown, if there is a little moisture in your distributor body, this vaporises and condenses in the distributor cap letting the ht electric to track where ever it wants. The droplets of moisture are quite visible when it happens.
 
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