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What Are the Symptoms of a Bad Condensor?

My '73 2.0 has recently started running rough below 2K rpms. Sort of like a miss or not running on all cylinders. I changed the plugs and spark plug wires, but it didn't fix the problem. Could the condensor be starting to fail?

I recall having a problem with another '73 2.0 when I was on the freeway and started hearing backfiring from my exhaust. I pulled over and the engine was idling rough and died. I started it and it ran real rough then died. Turned out to be a missing screw that attaches the condensor to the body of the distributor. In this case the condensor wasn't actually bad. But perhaps a failing or bad condensor could cause a rough idle? If so, would the plugs look rich or lean when examined?

What else could cause a rough idle or low power under 2K rpms. Could one injector with a bad spray spray pattern cause the same symptoms?
Old 02-13-2007, 03:42 PM
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The primary symptom of a bad condensor is pitted points.

If the surfaces of your points are good, the condensor isn't likely to be your problem.
Old 02-13-2007, 04:00 PM
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Best way to find out is to A) Install a new condensor, or B) Install a breakerless module (i.e. Pertronix) and be rid of points/condensor.
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:01 PM
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Thanks. What else related to ignition would cause rough idle or "miss" like symptoms? I've checked the vacuum lines and some of them are fairly easy to slip off, but are attached. I'll put clamps on all of them so they are nice and tight.
Old 02-13-2007, 04:23 PM
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Are you actually getting a spark at all cylinders?
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Old 02-13-2007, 04:39 PM
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Haven't checked each cylinder yet. But while idling I pulled the number 3 plug wire off and it didn't seem to make a difference in the idle. Then number 4 plug wire and still no difference. What's the best method to test for spark at each cylinder?
Old 02-13-2007, 04:44 PM
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Carbs or injection?

C
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Old 02-13-2007, 10:29 PM
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Stock fuel injection. I haven't checked timing or dwell yet, so I'll probably start there first. But I doubt the timing or dwell could change all of a sudden.
Old 02-13-2007, 10:41 PM
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Oh. I forgot to mention that the engine is now difficult to start when warm. Never had this problem before.
Old 02-13-2007, 11:09 PM
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Injector points. since pulling both plug wires on one side made no difference. I would guess that you are not getting fuel to that side.

Checking spark reguires a spare plug grounded to the case. Obviously you are getting some spark but could be weak.
Old 02-14-2007, 01:26 PM
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Check CHT sensor
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Old 02-14-2007, 03:02 PM
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Hmm. Well I just hooked my dwell meter up and the dwell read zero. I switched the meter to 4 cyl RPM and still read zero. This was with the engine running at idle speed. Yes. I verified the meter is functional by hooking it up to another car. What would cause a zero dwell and rpm reading? I hooked it up to where the green coiled wire from the dist connects to the coil.
Old 02-14-2007, 04:15 PM
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