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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 487
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Monday, 09 January, 2017 - 07:05 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Re: 1959 Silver Cloud I...
First Issue: Recently I noticed that when I touched the distributor cap with the engine running, I got an unexpected "Zap" of electricity and I assume that this is not normal and probably indicates that the cap is old and suffering minute cracks that allow the electrical spark to pass thru...or would this happen with any distributor cap?

Second Issue: If the distributor cap is getting old and "porous", this is also dispersing the spark that would otherwise be passing thru the wires to the plugs?

Third Issue: In the recent rainy weather and consequently humid conditions today I experienced a failure to start and upon opening the bonnet saw that moistuire had condensed on the cap and was likely dissipating the spark due to the moisture. In cases such as this, what is a method of drying the ignition? Same thing happens often after washing the engine bay. Normally I just use paper towels to manually dry the inside of the cap, spark plug orifices, wires, and exterior of the cap, and blow the area with compressed air and eventually, often with a bit of encouragement from some starting fluid, the engine fires and once running, roughly at first due to the wet conditions, its own heat eventually drys things out. But I query...is there some sort of topical product that can be sprayed onto these areas and especially the porous distributor cap exterior and interior to expel the moisture and yet allow the spark?
Thanks for any suggestions!

.
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1088
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Monday, 09 January, 2017 - 07:48 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian, the good thing is it sounds as your coil points etc are in good condition.

Regarding the dis cap being sprayed with topical products IMO they are short term fixes with long term problems.
Once the product has been sprayed and with the electrical field pressant which in turn attracts dust etc this will in turn attract moisture and cause more problems.

Once the cap has been cleaned slow temped heat in cooling oven will help.
Check the leads as theese can break down giving a nasty jolt.
If it still plays up then a new cap is needed.

Ps they say that an odd jolt of high volt electric is good for the heart of which I have had many!
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Bob Reynolds
Grand Master
Username: bobreynolds

Post Number: 440
Registered: 8-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 - 01:41 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

"If it still plays up then a new cap is needed."

With these problems, I would say a new cap is needed NOW!

What harm can it do to replace it?
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1551
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 - 02:36 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

What harm can it do to replace it?

Severe damage to your wallet. This is a Cloud 1.

Joking aside, I do agree with you Bob. I'd definitely replace the cap.
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1090
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 - 03:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Ok if you go for a new cap then now is the time to check the dell angle.
Points first set at 0.5mm then check the dwell for any variation with revs.
check static timing should be 2deg btdc.
Now check with a strobe 2deg btdc @ 500rpm.
See what kvs the plugs are using.
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Mark Taxis
Prolific User
Username: mark_taxis

Post Number: 112
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 - 04:28 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I also get a belt from the distributor cap , but it comes from the two metal screws in the top of the cap - to be honest I have not looked to see what these screw do, is this a sign of a faulty cap needing replacement?
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1092
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 - 06:35 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mark from memory the screws hold the cap HT cover on.
If you are getting a belt from them it is IMO one of two problems first is a HT leak from the failing bakelite type cap to the screws.
The other fault could be a HT lead under the cover shorting near the screw.
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michael vass
Prolific User
Username: mikebentleyturbo2

Post Number: 258
Registered: 7-2015
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 02:29 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Mark
WD40 will get you going!
But a new cap will probably be needed has once tracked there will be a carbon track for the electricity to follow ok
Mike
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Mark Taxis
Prolific User
Username: mark_taxis

Post Number: 113
Registered: 4-2007
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 11:37 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank you for the information, car is running well ,but this may change in the damp, I have a spare cap so may try that.
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 488
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 02:30 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Michael..
Clarify how you would use the WD40. Spray on exterior of cap, spray on interior, spray onto rag and brush on, rub onto plug wires, or other?
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Geoff Wootton
Grand Master
Username: dounraey

Post Number: 1554
Registered: 5-2012
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 04:36 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi Christian

This is a trick I remember from when I lived in the UK and on older cars. It's because of the damp climate, particularly in winter. You spray the outside of the cap and the HT leads, while they are in-situ, with a mist of WD40 and it drives out all the damp. It gets the car started.

Geoff
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1093
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 04:51 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Thank goodness that brake cleaner is available in the UK for tracking but not for arking!
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 489
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 07:28 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Geoff...
I will try that. Fortunately that one time seems to have been an anomoly, perhaps due to the unusually windy, misty weather that night. I noticed that everything in the carport had a misting of wet on it. The engine has fired every morning since but I will get some WD40 just in case.

Patrick...
Now I am confused about brake cleaner. Here in US we have it in two forms including one that is titled as electrical cleaner which has a different formulation that will not damage plastics the way the standard brake cleaner will. How do you use it? I thought about using it, but because it is highly volatile and can damage certain plastics, I was worried that the arc spark from the points might ignite and the resultant flame or explosion cause worse damages. Please clarify how you would use it. Thanks.

.
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1095
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Wednesday, 11 January, 2017 - 11:06 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Christian the brake cleaner is sprayed with a hand held pump applicator.
The method with Delco cap is to remove the two screws that hold the cover and check for tracking and remove the plug leads and cap from distributor.
The cap can now be sprayed inside first [watch all the crap come out]
once the fluid is clear blow out with compressed air.
Carry out the same on the to of the cap with the leads in place then blow dry with compressor.




Regarding the tracking, this surface dirt dust etc that can attracted to the inside of the cap with the help of the electrical field present.
in most cases it rears its head when the weather is damp.
In most cases if all else is ok the cap will be.

If you spot arking where the spark has travelled on the cap and made a crack or marking that will not remove the it has to be a replacement new cap.

Do check the inside of the cap from the coil Ht to where the two screws are positioned.

The fluid will not be on there long enough to damage + bakealite will be ok if fitted
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michael vass
Prolific User
Username: mikebentleyturbo2

Post Number: 259
Registered: 7-2015
Posted on Thursday, 12 January, 2017 - 07:54 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Hi All
For your info WD40 stands for water displacement formula 40 ,it's what it was designed for .
Use liberaly inside and outside on all electrics.
I once had a flood from an upstairs appartment , the water was running through the ceiling rose! blew the RCD, dried it off with a rag sprayed with WD40 reset rcd worked fine although it was steaming a bit lol
Mike
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 2192
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Friday, 13 January, 2017 - 03:32 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Michael,

You are indeed correct that the primary purpose that WD40 was developed for was water displacement and that it was the 40th try/formula that worked. It's just "side effects," of which it has many, including lubrication, that has made WD40 the "Swiss Army Knife of Sprays" that it has become.

I know I've posted this before, and I thought on these forums, but the WD40 History Page is quite interesting and includes the details about its naming.

Brian
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Patrick Lockyer.
Grand Master
Username: pat_lockyer

Post Number: 1096
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, 13 January, 2017 - 05:08 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Yes primary use as water displacement with lubrication.
Nothing confirms the product does dist cap or use thereon.
The nearest for use is that it prevents corrosion of spark plug cables and we all know that the corrosion is on the pug connectors and the screws that attach the ht to the cap.
The other mention is the use on the distributor ignition ie bob weights shaft and internal sliders!
That sorts that out for not using it for the DAMP tracking already stated.

Now if I was a check book Charlie I would buy new and get someone to fit it and just drive the car {sad]
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Mark Aldridge
Grand Master
Username: mark_aldridge

Post Number: 388
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Friday, 13 January, 2017 - 05:19 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

I would advise caution with WD40 and HT breakdown. On one occasion the stuff flared up when sprayed on the misfiring electrics on my old V8 Mercedes, nearly lost my eyebrows ! Similar result when sprayed on an Austin 7 dynamo. I would dry the leads and cap in the oven (make sure wife is not about !) I f the problem persists, then new cap leads and rotor arm. ( expensive on an S1 )
Mark
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Brian Vogel
Grand Master
Username: guyslp

Post Number: 2193
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Friday, 13 January, 2017 - 09:56 am:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

Mark,

I concur that one never sprays WD40 on something where there is a reasonable expectation of the presence of spark or flame in the near term (not immediately, but at least for an hour or two) after spraying.

WD40, particularly WD40 fumes or stream of fresh WD40, is wildly flammable. I think it's more a combination of the propellant and the WD40 itself than the straight WD40, since "non-fresh" WD40 does not burn nearly so easily though pools of it certainly will ignite without tons of effort to get it to do so. See any of the videos returned via this DuckDuckGo Search on WD40 flame video.

Brian
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Christian S. Hansen
Grand Master
Username: enquiring_mind

Post Number: 491
Registered: 4-2015
Posted on Friday, 13 January, 2017 - 12:13 pm:   Edit PostDelete PostView Post/Check IP

The spray is volatile, yes. WD40 was the common propellant used in the infamous "spud gun" creation back in the 1980's...before they were deemed to be too hazardous for non-common sense individuals to play with.

.

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