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condenser vs capacitor?

Discussion in '1969-1972 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 12B, Mar 17, 2003.

  1. 12B

    12B Registered Member

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    In layman's (sp?) terms, what is the main difference? The clerk at the auto parts store tried to give me a condenser when I asked for a capacitor for the coil. Is their a main difference, or do they both pretty much act as an escape path for the electons once the EM field collapses? And why do some coils have them while others do not? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  2. Triaged

    Triaged 1/2 ton status

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    Same thing.
    They are needed with a points (stock) ign. system.
    I have a HEI in mine and it doesn't have a condenser.
     
  3. Steve_Chin

    Steve_Chin 1/2 ton status

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    As Triaged said, they're the same thing. The word "condenser" was coined back in the stone ages when cars were first invented. The term "capacitor" is actually a newer term, but it is more widely used for the same type of device. Two different terms for the same device.
     
  4. 12B

    12B Registered Member

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    Is it unusual for a rig to have both a condenser on the points AND another on the coil? My '70 has this setup, but I've never seen a coil with a condenser before. Apparently it isn't that critical for the coil.
     
  5. BluThndr71JMMY

    BluThndr71JMMY 1/2 ton status

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    The capacitor on the coil may be there for radio noise supression. It has no automotive performance value.
     
  6. Steve_Chin

    Steve_Chin 1/2 ton status

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    As BluThundr71JIMMY said, it's for radio noise supression. It is placed as close to the source of the noise as possible to reduce conducted and radiated emissions. The condenser in the distributor is more of a charge storage device and is there to prevent the points from getting eaten up too quickly.
     

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