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Old 06-22-2001, 04:10 PM
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I installed new points in my '75 450SL. Carefully gapped, etc. Only getting weak (faint orange) spark to plugs. Not enough to allow engine to fire. Thought I needed a new condenser (old one is still in the distributor).

After checking for the part (condenser) the person at my local MB parts desk ask the 107 technician why no condenser appears on the parts list or diagram.

Technician said it is no longer needed. If the wire on the points is color coded black and white, then take out the condenser, or just cut the wire.

Is there any merit to this advice by the local technician?

The car sure is not starting the way it is, so I am willing to try it.

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Old 06-22-2001, 05:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Gainesville FL
Posts: 6,844
The condenser never played a part of the ignition on those point triggered transistor ignitions.

The big problem with that ignition was that there was so little current flowing through the points that they easily fouled. They often came fouled (the slightest oil vapor could insulate them). You should make sure the points are closed and grind the two contacts into one another. Possibly draw a clean piece of paper through them and again grind them together.

During the years these cars were in warrantee the blueing that occured on the points was a real problem; MB tried a number of solutions including the instructions to cut the wires to the condenser. It didn't help but the condenser was of no use anyway.
Steve Brotherton
Continental Imports
Gainesville FL
Bosch Master, ASE Master, L1
33 years MB technician
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Old 06-22-2001, 08:09 PM
Posts: n/a
Steve is right. The replacement part (superceded part #) is just a shielded cable with a ground to the distributor housing for the shield. The "condenser" was only a radio suppression device and did cause some problems. When the resistance through the points increased, the "condenser" would hold enough current to cause arcing. If yours is still there and the system hasn't been altered to bypass the transistor box, clip the wire to the condenser. Or you could pay $60 for a wire that doesn't have one.
If you have a meter I have some ignition diagnostic info at my website with values of how much current should be where.
Randy D.
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