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ThomasBorchers

1912 Cadillac ignition problems

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After a longer time (1 to 2 months) of not running engine I have always the problem that there is no spark with the magneto system of my 1912 Cadillac. So I removed the distributor cap and tried to close and open the points with a wooden stick and I will get a good spark at the coil but not every time when I open the points. After some open and close the points the amount of sparks increase but the interesting thing is that it will not work when the points open and close by the distributor cam. It is not a question if I do this by hand crank or if I do it with the starter. After more open and close by hand with the stick, it will then work with the distributor cam and the engine starts. The points are new and I have no idea what the problem is. <BR>What capacity should the condenser have? Who knows that?<BR>Thanks for your help in advance.<P>Tom<P>------------------<BR>Thomas Borchers<BR>Member of AACA # 004829<BR>HCCA and MAFCA<p>[This message has been edited by ThomasBorchers (edited 02-11-2001).]

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Thomas, I would like to venture an educated guess: the tungsten points develop an invisible, high resistance tarnish during the period of lay up. To check for this- when preparing to start after period of lay up, draw a strip of brown paper between the points. <P>This same phenomenon affects Model T coil vibrator points today. It may have something to do with an ingredient alloyed into the tungsten points today, if not always. I suppose the original points may have been of platinum.<P>Reid

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Further thought- your distinctions that manual operation of the points produces spark, but cam operation does not... This fits my hypothesis too: Your stick displaces and wipes the points somewhat sideways, removing the tarnish. Whereas, cam operation is always the same, always a tap, tap. No sideways rub so the tarnish doesn't rub off when using the hand crank or starter, whether magneto or battery.

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Thanks for your tip.<BR>In the meantime I found another problem. The distributor cap. The pin in the middle of the cap inside is a metal one. Seems that it is a bit worn out so that I need a new cap.<P>Tom

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