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Early Cadillac Distributor Cap Reproduction


Peter R.
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8 hours ago, Peter R. said:

We decided to reproduce early 4 cyl. Cadillac distributor caps.

Anyone out there interested in caps?


When I had my 1914, five years ago, they were easy to find.

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Al,

We will make two different caps with one steel mold.

These two caps will service the following Delco 4 cyl. "Twist'n'Lock" caps:

 

Delco # 11194 & 12281

1914-15 Buick

1913-15 Cole

1913 Hudson

1914-15 Moon

1913-15 Oakland

1914-15 Oldsmobile

1913-15 Paterson

1915 Westcott

 

Delco # 11250

1913 Cadillac

 

Delco # 11643

1911-12 Cadillac

 

Delco # 11644

1914 Cadillac

1916 Ahrens Fox

 

Delco # 12851

1917-18 Dodge

 

Delco # 11745 & 13852

1916-18 Buick

1916 Davis

1916-17 Elcar

1919 Essex

1917 GMC Truck

1918 Nash Truck

1916 Oakland

1916 Oldsmobile

1919 Seagrave

1918-19 Stutz

 

The caps will be quality reproductions made of Bakelite.

Edited by Peter R. (see edit history)
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I found a total of 8 different Delco «Twist’n’Lock» type caps that had been used on cars and trucks from 1911 to 1919:

 

# 11194

# 11250

# 11643

# 11644

# 11745

# 12281

# 12851

# 13852

 

These caps can be divided into 3 basic styles:

  • Early 1911-14 style - Cap # 11194, 11250, 11643 and 11644

  • 1915-16 style - Cap # 11745 and 12281

  • Late 1917-19 style - Cap # 12851 and 13852

 

Pictures tell more than thousand words – see for yourself below.

 

Note the position of the locking notch. On some caps it is located between two terminals and on some it is in line with a terminal.

 

When going through my parts books I noticed that sometimes there are two different caps listed for a particular car application. For example 1916-18 Buick. In earlier books I find cap # 11745 to be correct on a 1916 Buick and in later books it says # 13852. Cap # 11745 is a 1915-16 style cap and # 13852 is a later 1917-19 style cap. So I believe when someone bought a new Buick in 1916, the car was equipped with a # 11745 cap and 1917 cars were equipped with the superseding cap # 13852. If a 1916 Buick owner needed a replacement in 1917 he must have gotten a # 13852 cap once # 11745 stock was exhausted. I may be wrong but it seems obvious to me.

 

However, I think the best solution would be to reproduce a basic 1915-16 style cap and finish it with different locking notch positions. In other words, we reproduce caps # 11745 and # 12281, which can be used on 1911-14 Cadillacs as well (# 12281). Caps used on 1914 Cadillacs might need a slight modification.

 

Hope this sheds some light on the topic.

 

Any comments, concerns or questions appreciated.

 

11250.jpg

11643.jpg

11644.jpg

12281.jpg

12851.jpg

13852.jpg

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From the photos, it looks like the notches are in different spots related to number one. Remember many early cars distributor housings are fixed, and can not be turned to get the timing correct like a modern post war distributor. If done well, and price is reasonable, you should not have much problem selling them. Material is critical, and many people are using epoxy resin to make caps..........much of what I see isn't well done. Also incorrect color is often off putting to many people. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Thanks for the hint. I forgot to mention that we won't number the terminals because of different firing orders or directions of rotation. Some aftermarket ignition parts manufacturer such as Gilfillan etc. leave away terminal numbers too so they can cover two part numbers with one cap in order to save cost. As an example, Auto-Lite caps IGH-1029, IGH-1045, IGH-1063 and IGH-(Cord V8 Supercharged - I forgot the number) are physically the same caps. The only difference seems to be the terminal numbers.

Turning a distributor housing doesn’t change the relative position of a rotor tip to the cap contact when a breaker point separates (a movable breaker plate will). Old distributors usually have movable cams to set timing. Interesting to see on the above cap # 13852 picture is that someone modified the cap by adding a second locking notch to it so it can be used on a Cadillac or 1914-15 Buick etc.

 

I’m aware of them epoxy resin reproductions that are currently flooding the market. We’re not doing phenolic resin repros. Our caps are quality reproductions made of Bakelite. We have all necessary equipment to do professional Bakelite reproductions. So far we have made around 15 different caps, rotors, fuse boxes etc. The caps are being pressed in a heated steel mold. Of course it’s a huge effort and the manufacturing of a steel mold is expensive but it’s worth it. The price of a cap largely depends on how many caps we can sell and how complicated a cap is. This particular cap is not complicated and easy to reproduce. So I expect it to be fairly cheap compared with the price of a NOS cap.  

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The similar 6 cylinder caps would have a big following.......for Pierce Arrows and Packards of the 1920's. Would love to see a YouTube video of a cap that is in production.

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Peter, video is fantastic. And the process is very impressive. I would love to visit the plant and see it for myself. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/9/2020 at 12:56 PM, Peter R. said:

We decided to reproduce early 4 cyl. Cadillac distributor caps.

Anyone out there interested in caps?

I am definitely interested in a cap.  If you can give me a solid price I will place my order immediatly.

 

Henry Sorensen

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  • 6 months later...
  • 11 months later...
  • 2 months later...
  • 2 months later...

Delco 12281

1914-15 Buick

1914-15 Catercar

1913-15 Cole

1913 Hudson

1914-15 Keeton

1914-15 Moon

1913-15 Oakland

1914-15 Oldsmobile

1913-15 Paterson

1916 Sayers-Scovill

1915-16 Westcott

Also to be used to replace the caps on 1911-13 Cadillacs

 

 

134FFFBB-32BE-47B5-A70F-B6BFC4A8AECB.jpeg

88F74152-2015-4886-8321-08756CFA21AA.jpeg

6327C259-9C49-40DB-A134-ECA56020FCCA.jpeg

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On 6/11/2020 at 8:06 PM, edinmass said:

The similar 6 cylinder caps would have a big following.......for Pierce Arrows and Packards of the 1920's.

Ed,

Were you talking about the caps as used on the P/A double distributor and/or the Packard Single Six/Twin Six caps?

 

Peter

 

 

20170321_191054.jpg

20191022_220504.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/24/2022 at 9:48 PM, Peter R. said:

Not yet...just thinking about other caps being worth to be done....

Have you done any for the 8 cylinder Cadillacs of the 1920s+? Seems like a redo for these Delco caps would help a lot of brands and years too.

63A02849-EC03-4862-B880-17E304F566B8.jpeg

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/9/2022 at 3:08 AM, Sunnyjay said:

Have you done any for the 8 cylinder Cadillacs of the 1920s+? Seems like a redo for these Delco caps would help a lot of brands and years too.

I haven't considered doing this cap yet as I still have a bunch of them in stock. But we certainly could if there's a demand.

PS: I just needed one last week for a 24 Cadillac.

20190502_105932.jpg

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Delco 12281

1914-15 Buick

1914-15 Catercar

1913-15 Cole

1913 Hudson

1914-15 Keeton

1914-15 Moon

1913-15 Oakland

1914-15 Oldsmobile

1913-15 Paterson

1916 Sayers-Scovill

1915-16 Westcott

Also to be used to replace the caps on 1911-13 Cadillacs

 

We just tested the cap on a 1913 Cadillac in Germany and it proved to be good in all respects.

 

The caps can be purchased from Tom VanMeeteren. He's the distributor in the US.

 

Tom VanMeeteren

402-359-5762 or tsvanmeet@gmail.com

 

aaa.jpg

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3 hours ago, Peter R. said:

Our Delco # 12281 repro on the right and an original Delco # 11250 on the left. 11250 had been made exclusively for the 1913 Cadillac.

Would the numbers have originally been part of the casting or engraved?

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On 7/2/2022 at 11:28 PM, hidden_hunter said:

Would the numbers have originally been part of the casting or engraved?

On 12281 (1915-16 style cap) the numbers had originally been part of the casting. Our repro does not have numbers but they could still be engraved if required.

 

On earlier 1911-14 style caps you’ll find both; the numbers were either engraved or they were part of the casting.

 

C7CDB32D-00F6-4E39-8B95-6EF3C1214854.jpeg

B8593636-2905-46C4-8518-BD7D345353CA.jpeg

341968E7-98CA-48B6-8709-CCB4B86A584D.jpeg

8362FB8D-E827-4976-B91A-78EE17953F90.jpeg

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