Condensors, I hate them. Replace with original or Other?
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  1. #1
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Condensors, I hate them. Replace with original or Other?

    Condensors, yes I hate them.

    I seem to go through condensors like there is no tommorrow. Mine died on me today again Luckily I was near home.

    This is the second time this year that it has died on me. I replaced the dead one with an "allmost dead one" a couple of days ago. The car went then died again today.

    I always use the same ones, a bosch GD798. My coil seems to be okay, the points are new, the gap is good?

    Why do my condensors not like me?

    Has anyone tried to use a non standard condensor?

    btw I have a ducellier dizzy

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    thanks

    James
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  2. #2
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    See if you can get the correct Echelin one for the Ducellier dissy, james. They usually aren't too hard to find. Repco or Autbahn had them, last time I needed one.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Echelin?

    I haven't head of them. I was just going to the bosch one. Is this one better/more compatiable?

    Could this be why my condensors last for such a short time?

    thanks

    James
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger! frogs4ever's Avatar
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    The standard 504 ignition system uses a 12 volt coil, WITHOUT a ballast resistor or resistor wire. To my knowledge many if not most non-French cars use a ballast resistor or resistor wire (which lowers the voltage to the coil, except during starting when a bypass circuit kicks in). As result, a lower voltage coil and condensor is required, the pair being optimized for the resulting lower coil primary voltage feed.

    I don't know whether the Bosch GD798 condensor is designed for a resistor or non-resistor setup, but judging by the rate you are burning them out, I wouldn't be surprised if it's the former. You need to ask for a condensor to suit a "12 volt coil without ballast resistor". I'm sure Dave Cavanaugh at French Connection (03) 93388191 could easily and cheaply supply you with a new Ducellier 12 volt condensor. I strongly suggest giving him a ring. He's got just about everything you're ever likely to need for a 504 and his prices are very good.

    <small>[ 07 September 2003, 10:00 AM: Message edited by: frogs4ever ]</small>
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  5. #5
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    It's 'Echlin' I think. I've got a coil from them on my car. I think they're a cheapy Asian brand. The condenser thing sounds sus Shobbz - I reckon frogs4ever might be right. I've never had to replace a condenser... I use Ducellier ones.

    Stuey
    Last edited by Stuey; 15th April 2004 at 07:50 AM.

  6. #6
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    I am not using the original coil(which still works to my knowledge. It was replaced in a former fact finding/electrical problem mission

    I am using a bosch Gd-40. I believe that If it was a resistor one it would be a GD-40R?

    Maybe i should put the old coil back on when I get another condensor?

    So should I ditch the Bosch condensor?. I agree it sound suss. Its also annoying when the car won't start.

    I will have to see on Monday what alternatives to the Bosch condensor there are.

    Thanks

    James
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Stuey:
    It's 'Echlin' I think. I've got a coil from them on my car. I think they're a cheapy Asian brand. ... I use Ducellier ones.

    Stuey
    Echlin are a US company, Stuey. Not sure where their components come from though. I've never had a problem with one of their capacitors. At one stage at least they seemed to be the providers of by far the most readily available electrical parts for French cars.

    "Ducellier" parts, by the way, almost always carry the name "Valeo" these days.

    Cheers

    Rod
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  8. #8
    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    i had a 604 that used to go through condensors like it was going out of fashion
    if it wasn't the condensors going it was the plugs or the points but more often than not the condensors would die
    end result was replace non original coils for genuine ducellier coils
    from that day on that car never destroyed another set of condensors, points or plugs unless it was old age or worn out
    it took me a couple of months to finally come to this conclusion after going through numerous sets of plugs and points and condensors
    change the coil to original spec
    put original spec condensors on it
    pugs can be fussy
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  9. #9
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    [quote]Rod Hagen:
    Echlin are a US company, Stuey. Not sure where their components come from though... "Ducellier" parts, by the way, almost always carry the name "Valeo" these days.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Cheers Rod. I didn't know that - my Echlin coil was made somewhere in Asia and was the cheapest, but has been good for about 7 years. Yeah, by Ducellier, I really meant Valeo. The package has both brand names, and 'Ducellier' in their proper brand font.

    Cheers

    Stuey


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  10. #10
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Might see if I can find the original Coil. Hopefully its has not been thrown out.

    So you cannot get a compatiable non original coil and condensors relationship happening?

    Thanks for the tips, hopefully the car will start once again.

    James
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    1975 504 GL

  11. #11
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Just out of interest, James, why are you so sure that the problem is the condenser?

    Cheers

    Rod
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  12. #12
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    While not trying to divert James from his response to your question, I'll throw in (once again) that he can get the right condensor from Import Advantage at Stafford if nowhere else.

  13. #13
    Fellow Frogger! frogs4ever's Avatar
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    Shobbz:
    Might see if I can find the original Coil. Hopefully its has not been thrown out.

    So you cannot get a compatible non original coil and condensors relationship happening?

    James
    Different brands and models of coils can have subtle but important differences in electrical properties and therefore will work best with a condensor with a capacitance and voltage rating mated to the coil.

    So if you are going to stick with the Bosch coil, then stick with a Bosch condensor, but make sure it is a condensor rated for the 12volt non-resistor coil, which is the coil you have.

    Likewise, if you put a Ducellier coil back in, it would be safest to get a matching Ducellier/Valeo condensor. The Valeo/Ducellier stuff is easy to get, though don't expect to find one at SuperCheap Auto or Repco. Try a French car specialist like French Connection. You will probably find that it costs no more than the Bosch gear.

    But like Rob Hagen touched on, are you sure that it is the condensor that is at fault? There are many things that can lead to difficult starting. A quick and rough test for a condensor is to disconnect it and place an ohm meter accross the the lead and case of the condensor. The reading should show infinite ohms (the meter should max out). If the reading is anything less than this, or open circuit, the condensor is faulty. The problem with this test is that condensors can sometimes have intermittent problems. So even if the condensor passes the test, it may still be faulty, but if the condensor fails the test, then it is definitely faulty.

    <small>[ 08 September 2003, 12:27 PM: Message edited by: frogs4ever ]</small>
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  14. #14
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    I'd go further than that...

    I've never had good results using Bosch parts in conjuction with Ducellier systems.

    And I mentioned Import Advantage as they're one of the closest to James. I'm sure Lewin has Valeo stuff too... he is the closest to James, but I suspect IA may be a little cheaper.

  15. #15
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Essentially ANY French car parts dealer (and probably many auto electricians) should have an appropriate condenser for use with the Ducellier coil. The same coil and condenser (or near as damn it) were fitted to Peugeots , Renaults and Citroens over a long period.

    (But, as I said, the equivalent Echlin ones really do work fine too and you can pick them up at Repco or Autobahn in Melbourne - or at least you could a year or do back)

    Cheers

    Rod
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  16. #16
    Guru davemcbean's Avatar
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    Like others have mentioned it is best to use the ducellier/valeo points and condensor.

    Also when adjusting worn points it is best to set them to a "tight" 0.4mm rather than "loose" 0.4mm if you know what I mean. The same kind of applies for new points if you're not that confident with your feeler gauge "feel", because you're more likely to burn them (from what I've read) if they're a tad "loose" than if they're a tad "tight" (it's just you won't have quite as long before they're out of tune). Obviosuly you want to get them a close to 0.4mm as possible, but for beginners it helps to know which sort of error can be tolorated by the component(in this case "loose or tight" 0.4mm).

    I have had troubles using Bosch coils in the past. I have been using a "Firepower" coil for the past 7 years and 200,000+km without incident.

    A nice new Ducellier/valeo distributor can help a bit also. They're about $160 worth.

    It's also worth noting that the Valeo points which they sell now tend to have quite a soft rubbing block and they wear quite a bit in the first 1000km or so before the plastic rubbing block kind of hardens up. So you need to reset them at around the 1000km mark or so, then they seem to be alright for another 20,000km or so before the car starts to become a little hard to start in the cold weather.

    Dave
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  17. #17
    Gone Fishin' Haakon's Avatar
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    Alternativly ditch the whole points thing and put in a electronic ignition - easy to get for the Bosch dizzies (Had an optical one of some variety in one of my 504s). I havnt had a car with points for ages and I dont miss them.

    I also beleive that condensors are different depending on weather they to be used with a ballast coil or not?

    But in the short term, get proper french bits - they are generally cheaper anyway and ofter avoids hassle. Carrevelle imports in Box Hill is your best bet for price and availability.

    <small>[ 08 September 2003, 03:58 PM: Message edited by: Haakon ]</small>

  18. #18
    1000+ Posts Damien Gardner's Avatar
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    Another, on car test, is to remove or disconnect the condensor. The car should start OK, it's main purpose is to reduce points spark and radio interference. Don't leave it off however the poinst will likely endup welded together, we're talking major amps, at the moment of opening as the magnetic flux starts to decay.
    cheers!

    <small>[ 08 September 2003, 04:05 PM: Message edited by: Damien Gardner ]</small>
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  19. #19
    Fellow Frogger! frogs4ever's Avatar
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    I've fitted a transistor ignition system to my 504. This has allowed me to ditch the condensor altogether. I'm also using a transformer type coil, to give a stronger spark - however I certainly wouldn't recommend using such a coil with a non-transistorised system.

    But in order to keep everything simple, original and reliable, I would recommend, as several others have done, that you go for an all Ducellier/Valeo system.
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  20. #20
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Damien Gardner:
    Another, on car test, is to remove or disconnect the condensor. The car should start OK, it's main purpose is to reduce points spark and radio interference. Don't leave it off however the poinst will likely endup welded together, we're talking major amps, at the moment of opening as the magnetic flux starts to decay.
    cheers!
    Yes, that's been my experience too, Damien. The primary consequence of my one genuinely "failed" condensor in 34 years of driving was simply burning points. It was one of the reasons why I wondered why James was attributing his problem to the condensor, especially as he said in one post that the points were fine!

    Cheers

    Rod
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  21. #21
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    So many answers, many Thanks too all.

    Well I have put in the old deucellieur Coil. The car starts okay. So i guess the coil is okay.

    I tried the condensor from a Datsun 200B for a joke. It worked. Only Tired it cause a mate had a spare one and I thought I would give it a go. No relation to problem at hand.

    Why the condensor. When i rebuild the dizzy a while back the car wouldn't start. New points fixed that, this was about a month or two ago. Then the car wouldn't start a few days ago. I put on an old and to my knowledge stuffed condensor.............. Car starts. This same procedure of whacking in a new condensor has solved many a starting problem. They just seem to burn out, maybe due to the Bosch Coil. Seems that Bosch coil and Bosch Points don't Mix well

    I am going to get some valeo points tomorrow so should be fine. Hopefully the saga will end. If it wasn't so expensive to go electronic I would, but from what I have heard So far so good with points.

    I always set my gap at about .3-.4. Usually a loose .3. Seems to work. Everything is a bit old, my take on it at least.

    I might try to start the car with out the condensor to see what happens. Might even try to test the condensors with the multi meter.

    I hope that my troubles will help others navigate this dark and treacherous world of Peugeot electronic gremlins. hahahah (not quite martyrdom but.........)

    Thanks again

    James
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  22. #22
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Shobbz:
    Why the condensor. When i rebuild the dizzy a while back the car wouldn't start. New points fixed that, this was about a month or two ago. Then the car wouldn't start a few days ago. I put on an old and to my knowledge stuffed condensor.............. Car starts. This same procedure of whacking in a new condensor has solved many a starting problem. They just seem to burn out, maybe due to the Bosch Coil. Seems that Bosch coil and Bosch Points don't Mix well
    When you say they seem to "burn out" is there any sign of damage to them? I'm wondering whether the act of actually changing them over, rather than any problem the condensor itself, is the issue. How do the connectors and insulators where the positive low tension wire and the condensor lead connect look? Could something be shorting or making a poor contact there that gets moved whenever you replace the condenser? Are your points "burning out" fast? Do you mean "Bosch points" or "Bosch Condensor" when you say they don't seem to get on with the "Bosch coil".

    I am going to get some valeo points tomorrow so should be fine. Hopefully the saga will end. If it wasn't so expensive to go electronic I would, but from what I have heard So far so good with points.
    Again, do you mean "Valeo points" or a "valeo condensor"

    I always set my gap at about .3-.4. Usually a loose .3. Seems to work. Everything is a bit old, my take on it at least.
    .3 is much too small in my book. Normally the suggestion with old engines is to actually increase the gap a tad, rather than decrease it. I'd be trying Dave's suggestion of a "loose .4"

    I hope that my troubles will help others navigate this dark and treacherous world of Peugeot electronic gremlins.
    The strange thing about all this that the basic ducellier disy set-up is a very simple one , tried and proven over many years in various cars from various manufacturers. Its most unusual for it to give much trouble. Getting everything back to spec will probably sort it out, but its not a common set of "gremlins".

    Cheers

    Rod
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  23. #23
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    One small follow up.

    One function of the condensor, beyond preventing the coil burning out, is to boost high tension voltage by increasing the speed at which the coil magnetic field collapses, so a condensor failure can lead to problems beyond "burnt points". I wonder if , in your case, there is some other additional cause of "loss" here? What sort of condition is the rest of the system in? High and low tension leads and connectors, plugs, etc?

    Cheers

    Rod
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  24. #24
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    Interesting stuff, Shobbz. I had a problem with burning points, and it turned out that someone had put a a ballast resistor Bosch coil on the car, without the resistor, so the coil probably produced a huge high tension voltage, but wouldn't have lasted. I replaced this with a 'normal' (12V) Echlin and had no more problems - in fact, I now change the points when I think they've been on the car long enough, but they barely pit at all. From my experience the Ducellier ignition is really good. To top this off, the dizzy is over 400,000 km old as far as I know, and the bushes aren't worn (I've had it completely apart). Really good, solid basic engineering design.

    Stuey


    2003 PEUGEOT 206 GTi

  25. #25
    1000+ Posts Shobbz's Avatar
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    Sorry meant valeo condensor.

    I used to have a bosch condensor/points/coil. This caused the condensor to burn out.

    I am not sure what could be moved when I take off the condensor. The isolating washers are in place. The condensor is only attached by the screw to the dizzy.

    What could be being moved?

    Leads are a old, prolly the original ones. Copper core, nice and strong. Cleaned recently. Maybe I should get some bosch replacement ones? hahahahhahah.

    Plugs are about 6 months old I guess. Not checked recently, doubt the prob is there but a regap and check cannot hurt. They are NGK btw.

    Dizzy/rotor are both less than 6 months old. Points are less than a week old.

    I am using a Bosch regulator an RE55. The old Big box one was sadly worn out, not charging, dull headlights. This one seems to do the trick quite nicely. Have seen it being used in other pugs also.

    Battery terminals are Brass, and in good nick. Ground point to battery has been recently cleaned. Apart from a strange grounding issue somewhere, all things electrical seem to be okay. The rear demister stopped working about a month ago, but I doubt that it is related.

    thanks

    James head_ban
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