Phelon points

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  • opposedtwin

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 930
    Topics: 254
    #265993

    7EC89B31-1523-4A7B-93D9-6627965560D0
    7AA5D0CF-BF3E-41BB-8C98-161673DAB8A6

    Had trouble with my Mark 25 this weekend. Middle of last week it ran great and had no ignition issues. This weekend…pure misery. On Saturday it seemed to be running on one cylinder. Went to clean the points and found a scratch on my paper so I realized it was time to take a closer look at the points. Found build up/crater on both sets. See photos. The manual says this can be caused by bad condensers. Is that typical? Or are there other culprits as well? Finally, are these salvageable? If so what method do you use to rehabilitate points with similar problems?

    I replaced the points AND the condenser with new ones, adjusted the points to .018 and now I have nothing. No spark on either cyl. I realize it could be the coils but would they really both just crap the bed at the same time even though they both gave a great spark middle of last week? Even with the old pitted points I still had a good blue spark on the top cyl before I took everything apart.

    I have heard pros and cons of files, emery cloth, etc. What works for you guys? And what’s the best solution to clean them? I’ve heard acetone before but am wondering about other opinions.

    Thanks!

    Scott


    steveh


    Replies: 117
    Topics: 24
    #266114

    I am surprise no one has responded, so I will take a stab at it…

    It is my understanding that bad condensers can cause the issue you see on your points.  I clean my points with an emery board and work my way down to a folded-over fine grit sand paper.  I just blow them out with a bit of air and then reset the gap.

    I agree that it is unlikely both coils would go bad, but have you tested them?  My bet on the “no-spark” is either the timing is off or a wire is improperly attached…

    Hope that helps.


    billw

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1863
    Topics: 57
    #266162

    You know, I did respond to this before…But somewhere between where I was typing, the website decided to make me sign in again. When I did, all my typing was gone. I said, “[oh darn it all.]” (That’s not REALLY what said, let me tell you.) Anyway, I didn’t bother retyping.

    You can pretty much assume that OEM Phelon condensers are junk. I have never seen a brass-looking one test good. The points, you can clean. Testing and setting them can be a real pain, because of the poor access to the screw that holds the wires on the points. So, I just take the points right out, clean each side nicely, install new condensers and reassemble. I put the wires on the points BEFORE I mount the points back on the mag plate. Now the trick to test them and set timing, etc, is this: Disconnect the coil GROUND wires. By doing that, you can put an ohm meter or test light on the points and see when they open and close, and how much resistance there is across the points, because when the points open, there is no path to ground through the coil’s primary winding! Much easier than putzing with that hard to get point screw! When you’re done testing and adjusting, just hook the ground wires back up.

    Long live American manufacturing!

    3 users thanked author for this post.

    opposedtwin

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 930
    Topics: 254
    #266191

    Some good news to report. I suspect I had a bad ground somewhere. I took the condensers/points out and re-installed them making sure tge coil wire wasn’t touching anything. Got a nice blue spark x2 and the motor started fine on the bench. Still wondering what caused the buildup on one side of the points and pitting on the other. I suspect it was a condenser that was out of range.

    Tested the new (NOS) condenser and it had an acceptable value of .20 mF. See pics below.

    Thanks for the help!

    ScottC1940A4C-862B-4AA7-8AC4-847A83178E5E
    46483792-592D-499E-9169-21256D30BECB
    6C782D87-5501-47CD-AC05-26DC3A83C1C2

     


    billw

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1863
    Topics: 57
    #266197

    Hey, if you have spark, you have spark. Capacity is one test for a condenser. However, the kiss of death for most of them is the leakage test, preformed on a real magneto analyzer, like a Mercotronic or a Stevens. When I say that most original Phelon condensers fail a test, I am talking about leakage. Leakage is such a good test of a condenser that I never bother to test capacity. But again, if you have spark, you have spark.

    Long live American manufacturing!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    seakaye12

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 846
    Topics: 102
    #266208

    You know, I did respond to this before…But somewhere between where I was typing, the website decided to make me sign in again. When I did, all my typing was gone. I said, “[oh darn it all.]” (That’s not REALLY what said, let me tell you.) Anyway, I didn’t bother retyping.

    You can pretty much assume that OEM Phelon condensers are junk. I have never seen a brass-looking one test good. The points, you can clean. Testing and setting them can be a real pain, because of the poor access to the screw that holds the wires on the points. So, I just take the points right out, clean each side nicely, install new condensers and reassemble. I put the wires on the points BEFORE I mount the points back on the mag plate. Now the trick to test them and set timing, etc, is this: Disconnect the coil GROUND wires. By doing that, you can put an ohm meter or test light on the points and see when they open and close, and how much resistance there is across the points, because when the points open, there is no path to ground through the coil’s primary winding! Much easier than putzing with that hard to get point screw! When you’re done testing and adjusting, just hook the ground wires back up.

    I like the idea of attaching the wires first…..and then install the points.  I think I’ve done that a few times. 

    I also have thought of drilling a hole or grinding a slot in the edge of the mag plate….in order to allow a small screw-driver to be inserted for the final tightening.  In fact;  I wonder why the mag-plate was not designed with that little mod in mind?

    My Stevens tester finds very few “good” older  condensors when tested for leakage.  Very obvious difference on the Stevens.

     

     


    Mumbles

    Canada Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 5554
    Topics: 294
    #266247

    I don’t like using a file on points as it usually scratches them leaving a rough surface, which is what you don’t want on them.  When dressing them, I use progressively finer and finer wet and dry paper until they have a really smooth mirror like finish.  1200 grit is usually good  for the final finish. The paper must be placed on a flat and hard surface and I find a flat steel paint stir stick works good for this. The crater doesn’t have to be completely removed but the high deposit  on the other point does. Light use of a file here to remove it is OK  and a fine diamond stone works to followed by the wet and dry. The points usually have a thin layer of tungsten alloy on them so you can only dress them so many times before you get into the base metal.  A good cleaning with lacquer thinner or contact cleaner will remove any oil or residue from the polishing process.

    Yeah, I know, people have been filing points since the wheel was invented but I’m a Virgo and my OCD really kicks in around electrical things, or just about anything else to do with a motor but they must be clean, really clean to work properly.

    I notice your old cap is reading .33 uF, far above the original value but typical of old outboard caps. The values of them always seem to rise with age while the values of electrolytic caps used in receivers and amplifiers tend to drop in value with age.

    Not sure if it matters or not but your new cap is reading .20 uF, slightly more than the 10% allowable above the maximum .14 – .18 uF shown in Garry’s list for the Mark  25 equipped with a Phelon mag. The motor should run fine but the points may pit a bit quicker than if it was in the .14 – .18 range.  I can’t remember what way it goes  but one point will pit with too high capacitance while the other one will pit with too low capacitance.  The engineers who designed the mag specified a cap with a rating right in the middle, minimal arcing or buildup on either point surface while still delivering a strong spark. If your points pit in a short time, you can always try a Vishay cap with a 0.15 uF rating to see if it improves.

    Caps-Merc

     


    Monte NZ

    International Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 218
    Topics: 63
    #266257

    Please follow Mumbles suggestion to refurbish points and you won’t go wrong. I have used that method successfully for over 60 yrs. I find that a points file used as a backing support for the various grades of wet and dry sandpaper works really well……like he said, finishing with 1200grit will give you a perfect mirror surface.

     

     

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    crosbyman

    Canada Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 2832
    Topics: 276
    #266263

    to test leakage …..see the excellent articles  from mr. Mohat in the Outboarder or also available on the Western Region AOMCI site .

    Building his test box  is easy and has saved me a lot of grief  from using  good  “uf tested”  caps….. but  failed under load  at around 275Vdc

    see downlables  at the bottom  of the hist

    Joining AOMCI has priviledges 🙂

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 2 days ago by crosbyman.

    opposedtwin

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 930
    Topics: 254
    #266327

    Thanks for all the responses guys! Took a little time (🤣) but I got great info here as I always do!
    scott


    jeff-register


    Replies: 1288
    Topics: 49
    #266408

    It doesn’t matter where the condensor  (capacitor) comes from, an old motor or radio they are junk. all a cap is is layers of conductive & insulating material.  The old insulated material gets pin holes & leaks. The newer capicators have thinner & better insulating & thr thinner the materisl the better capacitor function, The pitting &  buildup on the contact area is from over or underrated cap values. As Jim pointed  out Vishay capsare very good for the magneto application, There is another berrer brand too but can’t remember the brand name. I do know a mag cap MUST have a higher voltage rating than most out there.Keep using an ohm meter during  electrical assembly to double check everything & keep everything spotless clean. Had a Johnson 1958 18 didn’t run well, one cylinder & the mag was perpect, It haad a bad crabkshaft seal & blowing fuel vapor on the mag too shorting it out.Also have a Mark25 & running bad. The mag plate was worn causinga bad electricl connection between the  mag & block. ran a small bonding wirefrom mag to block & it ran perfect afterwards. Checked with a ohm meter moving the mag plate advanced on the  block. it had very bad connection until adding a bonding wire.Check EVERY CONNECTION during assembly please. Less work finding problems with a meter. My Merc was missing on both cylinderrs sometimes & the current reveersing turned my points gold they got so hot!!! a s simple jumper fixed all that.

    P.S.Sure feels to be cack as I almost died from Covid & West Nile.

    Jeff

    Jeff


    dave-bernard

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1878
    Topics: 29
    #266409

    Welcome back Jeff  !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    Steve A W

    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 730
    Topics: 47
    #266413

    Jeff

    It’s good to hear your back !!

    Member of the MOB chapter.
    I live in Northwest Indiana


    Monte NZ

    International Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 218
    Topics: 63
    #266444

    Very pleased to see your back on deck……..you’ve certainly been through the mill by the sounds of it!!

    Best wishes from down in here in NZ.


    jeff-register


    Replies: 1288
    Topics: 49
    #266571

    Thank you everyone. Still getting better. Miss running my motors but need to learn how to walk again, but getting stronger.

    Hopr my reply was correct.

    Jeff

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