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Pan Condenser

Post Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:03 am

Posts: 25
Location: Upstate NY
I suspect I have a weak ignition condenser on my '50 Pan. The bike has been converted to a 12 volt system. Can I just use a condenser that is made for a stock '50 Pan, or do I need a different one because of the new voltage? The condenser that is installed has no numbers or any other identifying marks. In general, what is the capacitance of these things? My manual doesn't have a specific info.

Post Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:07 pm

Posts: 32
Location: WV
It has been my personal experence that a condensor is a condersor....I have used ones out of old abandoned cars before to get me the way I still run a 6v system......Skip

Post Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:19 pm

Posts: 903
Location: Hill City, Ks. USA

Condensers are not voltage sensitive. Samer condenser will work with 6v as will 12v.

Post Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:42 pm

Posts: 530
Location: Ogden, Utah, USA
Curt has got it. The condenser is a capacitor. The value is detirmined by the fact that material will transfer from one contact point to the other if the value is wrong. I can't remember any more wich way it went.... small to ground and big to positive I think. Any way when the value is close the points quit pitting and the spark is moved to the plug where it is supposed to go. Any way the "working" volts for most "condensors" is fairly high...about 25 to 50 volts. Won't make a bit of difference at 6 or 12. If the condemsor is will get a weak spark at the plug. Usualy from "leakage" all that means is that the voltage is bleeding to ground instaed of stored in tha condensor. I have never measured one it takes a bit of equipment I cannot afford. Could take it to a electronics repair place and have it put on a "capacitance" tester. they will tell you the value. Round it to the next "standard" size and you will know. Any questions about that condensor would have me replace it cause they are cheap and easy to replace. Just my 2cents of course. :)
Steve H

Post Tue Sep 04, 2007 6:10 pm

Posts: 29
Location: Tacoma, Wa, Pierce
I suggest running a resistor when you convert to 12v. I put a 1.3 ohm resistor from a mopar on my pan that was converted to 12v.


Post Wed Sep 05, 2007 9:59 am

Posts: 530
Location: Ogden, Utah, USA
wawilhelmo: Resistor would work well if you want to keep the original coil. Just put in series with the + lead to the coil. This keeps the voltage across the coil at 6volts. Did this when I converted the 50 Chev pickup to 12 volt. Measure the resistance of the coil and put in a matcing resistor. Called it a "ballast" resistor in the day. Discovered that some after market coils still need this last summer. Flatty had an Accel coil when I got it. Fixed the many intake leaks and go it running nice. Came home from a sort mountain run wit the family and stopped at the store for ice, coil melted as soon as we slowed down. Smelled badly to. :oops:
Steve H

Post Thu Sep 06, 2007 11:40 am

Posts: 646
Location: Detroit
Go to the auto parts store and buy new points and a condensor for a 6 cylinder Chevy. They are cheap. I converted my 63 and 51 Pan engines to 12V and have never run a resistor.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!

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