One for the Points and Condenser Crowd

I thought that it would be fun to post this ignition training book from 1950:


Funny: this was the exact treatise Dad gave me to study when I was …10? 12?

Then, we’d hook up his Sun O’scope to some customers car, and he’d show me the patterns!


It just makes me… STILL not miss points and condensors!


Don’t buy a Model T. It has 4 sets.

1 Like

…and four wooden coils!

But wait till your crank or cam sensor start playing up, and you have to get out a multi channel digital oscilloscope to diagnose the problem

I am not against electronic ignition, better and more reliable.

I have an Accuspark system to fit, just havent got around to it, but just found a spare dizzy, I will just keep the complete known working points dizzy in the boot.

One bolt and its swapped


Or, I’ve found that OBDII is pretty fair at diagnosing faults.

Love my OBD tool, but code P1391 in particular sets the CEL light,
drives people nuts as the car will often go fine, but they cant pass the inspection

The problem is aftermarket sensors usually have inferior rare earth magnets that wont generate a precise signal

The OEM sensors will pick up many times the weight that an aftermarket one will, proving the magnet is weaker

1 Like

Michael, thanks for the manual. These old manuals help explain what can often be forgotten.

I find the OBDI is usually wrong, but it is a good place to start.

I got a chuckle out of the ‘points and condenser’ remark. One of my sons was helping me with an older car, and I said it probably needed points and a condenser, and he asked what are those?

True: it got much better with OBDII.

Come to think of it, one of the benefits of a P&C dizzy is that the condenser could be used for anti-theft protection. Just take a minute to pop the cap off, pull the condenser out and the modern day thief would have no idea as to why the car wouldn’t start. And I doubt that any thief would carry a spare condenser in his tool bag.

I would submit that it’s way easier just to pull the rotor… :-):wink:


Oh what fun Michael! In 1963 I earned a “Doctor of Motors” in my high school auto shop class. This service manual was a take-home read back then! Glad to have it again, so … THANKS!

1 Like

Good point, Wiggles. I was thinking of a unique advantage to a P&C dizzy vs. an electronic model.

'way, 'way easier just to pull the center lead on the coil. And that even works with electronical eggnition.

1 Like

Did you also have the GM “Power Primer”? I’ll have to hunt up a copy of that one of these days:

1 Like

No Mike, we had a soft bound workbook - maybe 8.5" X 11" in size? And a lot of mimeograph handouts the teacher made. But I recall that little piston/rod man and the shop teacher had a copy of the Power Primer in his bookshelf - we all got to take it home to read - or to the Study Hall.

Here you go!

Just my opinion, but based on the posture that figure on the cover looks distinctly feminine. :grin: :person_shrugging:

1 Like