Author Topic: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's  (Read 691 times)

Online berger

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fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« on: 02.09. 2020 19:18 »
has any body got a good spark i can borrow, or has anyone cured their mag of a weak and intermittent spark by fitting one of those new points end condensers? i don't really want to have to swop the mags over if those new thingy condensers work, i can't remember what they are called

Online chaterlea25

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #1 on: 02.09. 2020 19:27 »
Hi Berger,
The mag has to be stripped to disconnect the old condenser, as far as I know?
Groily will be along to confirm
If you have another mag, I would fit that
20 minute job *smile*

John
1961 Super Rocket
1963 RGS (ongoing)

Online berger

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #2 on: 02.09. 2020 19:37 »
hi john not on mine, swept backs and oil filter and cross over plumbing are in the way of making it a 20 minute job. the price I pay for making it as it is.

Online groily

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #3 on: 02.09. 2020 20:42 »
Hmm. Not going to be a pernicious vendor on here of all places Berger.
 
But - if you have a condenser problem as opposed to summat else, a dodgy coil or whatever, then those pipes and the mag have to come off, so not a 20 minute job I'm afraid

With a K2F/K1F/KVF (or any rotating coil mag with the condenser at the opposite end from the contact breaker) there is the possibility of just cutting a 'link' wire that traverses the bobbin from condenser live side to points. So you don't have to strip the armature itself, which neeeds some tools and/or resourcefulness (I know you have both in truckloads if you can be bothered!) - but in all cases the armature itself has to come out.

Sometimes even with K series mags whose condensers have already been replaced once,  the low tension tail wires off the coil can't be got at easily due to their being buried in resin. Delicate is the word in those cases. 99% of the time it can be done, but with great care. If the parts are original, it's a lot easier to disconnect the condenser - but only worth doing if the HT winding remains good. Which has to be a bit of a Question, owing to the possibility of insulation failure or an internal break in the secondary winding. There are some basic tests you can do on that - continuity cold and hot for start, but to be sure of things you need a coil tester of some sort. The Lucas workshop instructions contain info on that which is as good today as it ever was, and explains how.

As to whether the cb end 'EasyCap' capacitors work, then I'd say they do. About 20,000 out there now in 7 different versions, and although I only have 5 of them on my own magneto bikes, I've never replaced one and I don't bother carrying spare ones on my keyring any more. I've probably fitted a thousand or so by now on mags of all sorts from the very dawn of time to Joe Hunt wasted spark units for track use, but I've never really counted! Famous last words of course, as nothing's for ever, but so far so good. The one on my A10 went on before we ever launched the product, so best part of 10 years, and same for one of my AMC twins. But, they had rewound coils, new sliprings etc etc at the same time, so I knew I was starting on a level playing field. Since then I've stuffed them on another AMC twin and 2 Norton engines of my own, also on loads of flywheel magnetos, battery and coil systems, etc, you name it. Rotating coil magnetos are the most delicate jobs to do because of their inherent design . . . but the idea is that if it ever has to be done again, it's a screwdriver and 2 minutes (no swept backs to remove), no mag to take off, and take apart, replace and re-time. We started by saying the things should be regarded as a 'service item' like the condensers that came with sets of points for old cars, but the reality is I haven't changed my own, and don't try to flog the things to anyone else on a 'just because' basis. I don't know what the service life is, and may not live long enough to find out frankly, but absent cack-handed abuse it way exceeeds the 2 years they're warranted for. Fingers Crossed.

BUT, doesn't offer you a super-quick fix I am very sorry to say.
Bill

Online Rex

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #4 on: 02.09. 2020 21:24 »
I've fitted/had them fitted by previous owners on 7 different bikes now, and I have to say I'm impressed with them. The installations have all been done as recommended, namely after having the internal capacitor leads clipped.
I reckon the recent article in RealClassic where some berk just installed the capacitor should have been questioned though as it gave a misleading impression of how the fitting should have been carried out. *eek*

Online berger

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #5 on: 02.09. 2020 22:52 »
cheers groily my plan of attack is put my other mag on and then have a look at the naughty one and see what can be done, either by me or the experts. most probably the experts, my limit was re building the competition mag with new bearings etc after the armature was wound at FTW sheffield -- RIP

Online groily

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #6 on: 03.09. 2020 05:30 »
Thanks for that Rex. I haven't seen whatever was in Real Classic as I don't see many classic mags out here in the sticks - but if Frank Westworth needs a follow-up ref the fitting, maybe someone will send him one! People do sometimes just stuff 'em on and pray, and I believe in one or two cases there has been an improvement - but it's not the answer and probably won't last with a dodgy condenser still sitting in parallel.

If you're taking the mag off to exchange it Berger, might as well pull the armature out and see the lie of the land  . . . ?  Might be OK in there, you never know, and the lead-clipping 'Snip' might sort it for next to no ££.
As you say, RIP Mick, really nice guy.
Bill

Online mikeb

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #7 on: 03.09. 2020 11:25 »
berger - whatever groily says is the truth! i've fitted 2 and think they are great.
now, i'm also lazy, optimistic and don't always follow advice (when faced with jobs i don't like) and did discover that while most old caps fail by closing the circuit, some (not many) fail by becoming open circuit. think of it as a physical person who has already lost their soul. So if it goes open then adding an easycap (effectively in parallel with the dead one) will help (according to me). So I tried it once. it sort of helped a bit. (but didn't fully solve the problem and yes the mag required the full vasectomy and a rewind after all).
But given you'd be buying a new easycap anyway... could be worth trying before the surgery????
if it doesn't help blame me and have another back and tan.
BTW i'm ticking groily's 'good advice' green button and don't suggest you tick this one  ;)
New Zealand
'61 Super Rocket  - '47 B33 -  '18 Triumph Street Triple RS

Offline worntorn

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #8 on: 03.09. 2020 15:46 »
I had one fitted to the SR mag 2 years ago, works great. I had forgotten how easily a magneto bike can start and how nicely they run when all is well.
I looked at the instructions and decided to take the mag to a clubmate who has been rebuilding Lucas magnetos and dynamos forever.  He fitted it and replaced the bearings for a very reasonable fee. I noticed he had a drawer full of new Easycaps, all ready to go. I guess they are a standard fitment for him now. This was good as I had ordered the incorrect type. He had the correct type on hand, so we did an exchange.
I recall he said something similar to what Mike has posted above.
It was " Let's try the Easycap, there's a good chance it will do it.
If not you will need a new armature"

Ever since then bike has been a 1 or 2 kick starter, mostly 1 kick, hot, cold or tepid.
Prior to fitting the Easycap, warm or hot restarting was impossible, hot idle nonexistent.
You could actually feel and hear the running change when enough heat got into the mag.
The engine would develop a flat sound and you daren't allow it to stall or a 1/2 hr roadside cooldown was in order.

Glen

Online berger

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #9 on: 03.09. 2020 19:11 »
do you know if your mate just fit the easy cap or isolate the old condenser?

Offline worntorn

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #10 on: 03.09. 2020 20:59 »
He removed the old condenser.

Glen

Online berger

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #11 on: 04.09. 2020 19:16 »
ok you maggy peeps this is how it is. when I had the comp maggy on and betsy wet sumped to the max it filled the mag and came out of the points cover but the bike ran ok. some time later I took it off and cleaned it up because the armature had been re wound not many weeks before this happened. the mag that has been playing up had got a coating of oil on the magnets but not on the armature insulation or slip ring but a coating on the earth brush. I cleaned it up and as far as my knowledge of sparks goes it's working well on the bench. by the look of things it has a modern condenser fitted and the same insulation as the re wound comp armature so it looks like it was done fairly recent. if the oil affected it why didn't it effect the full up comp one? would a electrical maggy man be able to prove its worth on a bench , I am confused. com *conf2*

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #12 on: 04.09. 2020 20:25 »
bergs. Probably coincidence, or a possible difference in the specification of a competition maggy  to provide reliable sparks under more arduous and testing conditions than a standard built to a price unit. At the end of the day every part of the problem maggy can be checked and tested and a reliable magneto produced.  It's a bit like the dentist...the worst part is what it costs, not actually getting it done, that's easy.

 Now a consideration of Easycap. Adding this external condenser puts it in parallel with the old condenser. The result of this is to increase the capacitance available across the points. Is this significant? My researches have only provided limited information of how the value for ignition condensers is chosen, and in the old days it was a case of any make or value would work well enough. If a magneto condenser fails when hot, then the Easycap will still still be there in circuit, to run at its normal capacitance. So the extra capacitance is only in use until the magneto warms up and the internal condenser fails. On this basis adding an Easycap without major dismantling has its attraction.

 Tin hat on ready for the full explanation of something I've missed and why I am barking up the wrong tree.

 Maybe bergs can sell me some car insurance.*

 Swarfy

 * UK joke.

Online metalflake11

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #13 on: 04.09. 2020 21:47 »
Other than an 18mm drive bearing which all K2F's had sometime after the early fifties anyway, and smaller bore screw on pick ups and screw on end earthing caps which many also had, there is no difference between the two.

Some say they had thicker winding's and Lucas would not allow any repairs with solder in the winding process should it snap, unlike non competition ones. All those that have been overhauled will be just the same as any bog standard K2F internally.

The quality control may have been better when they left the factory sixty odd years ago who knows? I think they were just made easier to waterproof should you want to drive through a river.

B.S.A. gave Lucas the remit to build at a price not a quality and it's remarkable they were/are so reliable and long-lasting and durable. Old Joe may not have liked light, but he didn't mind sparks it seems.
England N.W
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England

Online trevinoz

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Re: fitting one of those new condenser thingy's
« Reply #14 on: 05.09. 2020 00:54 »
You don't have the new cap in parallel with the original, you must break the connection.
If you leave the old cap in circuit and it fails by short circuit, as I believe happens, the new cap is then rendered useless.