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Are Caps Checkable?


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This is going to make me sound like an idiot, but is there a reasonably easy way to check the effectiveness of the cap and rotor on a '91 Deville? A new cap is only 25 bucks, so I'm thinking it's just easier to be sure by replacing the old with new, since I have no way of knowing how long the ignition parts I have have been on the car

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1) look for cracks

2) look at the contacts in the cap and check them for looseness, bad wear, white corrosion or oxidation.

3) look for carbon tracking

4) There is a small carbon nub in the center make sure it is not badly worn, don't pull the coil out there is a rubber seal in there that gets compressed the first time its installed that you may create looseness in.

5) check the rotor for a worn contact and worn center spring (that contacts the carbon nub)

6) look for carbon tracking around the rotor

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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Those are excellent visual checks; however, there is no visual check for a cap, meaning that a cap can look to be in exceptional shape, but it can still be bad.

This sping is an excellet example: I have a 30' Proline w/a with twin 350's. When I was getting ready to take it off winter wood, everthing fired up fine. On the day I was going to float it, one engine wouldn't fire. I could tell by listening that it would almost sputter, and it had fire. I dinked and dinked with it because a week or so earlier it fired up instantly.

I inspected the cap closely as Scotty pointed out, and the cap was perfect with zero wear. I thought about yanking the other cap because it's a boat (Break Out Another Thousand) and the cap is $75. No! You cannot use GM cap because the marine dist is totally different.

I hated to play hit of miss with $75, but it's a miserable set-up to work on, and yanking the other cap would have become a major nightmare, twice the nightmare as yanking the one cap.

Because I had exausted every other possibility, I bit the bullet and played hit or miss with the a new cap. I installed the new cap, and when I hit the key, it didn't even crank. Instead, it just went VRROOOMMM!

If it's running fine, it's probally okay. But I don't have problems with preventaive maintaine, replacing things before they take a crap. (If it's running fine, and you see anything that Scotty points out, replace it because it will probally bite you in the *smurf*.) If you have a problem and you have exauseted all your avenues, except the cap, the only way you can verify the defective cap is with a known good one.

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THats good advice, you really can not check how much the contacts and rotor contact have worn creating too much of a gap between them when they are in place. Its really cheap enough that is probably best to start with new pieces and be done with it.

Early on sailors navigated by the stars at night and the North star became the symbol for finding ones way home. Once you know where the Northstar is you can point your ship in the right direction to get home. So the star became a symbol for finding ones way home or more symbolically even finding ones path in life.

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