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Series Land Rover Contact Points and Condenser


For your Series Land Rover to perform well, both on and off-road, the contact breaker (commonly referred to as 'the contact points') needs to be in good condition and working well.

These 'points' are responsible for switching the ignition coil on and off. This coil-switching, causes pulsed electric current to be delivered to the spark plugs. The coil sends electrical energy to the spark plugs every time the 'points' open. The more instantly the 'points' open (i.e. the faster they move apart) the more energy the coil can send to the spark plugs (it's science OK).

If then, you are predicting that smooth, flat surfaces, as opposed to jagged surfaces, would mean that these 'points' could effectively be separated faster, then you would be right. Check that the 'points' surfaces on your Series Land Rover are flat and smooth. If they are not however, don't try smoothing the surfaces with abrasive paper, except in an emergency situation, as exact igniton timing will not then be possible. You need to replace the 'points' in that situation.

Well, in microscopic terms, the surface of the 'points' is never actually smooth and is infact like a jagged mountain range. When the 'points' start to open, lightening-like flashes of electricity (sparks) jump across from one 'points' surface to the other - further damaging each surface.

If then, you are predicting that some way of removing these sparks would be beneficial, then again you would be right. Enter the condenser; this acts like a sponge; quietly soaking up electrical energy that would otherwise jump across the just opening 'points' gap, and in so doing, preventing a troublesome and damaging spark.

Your Series Land Rover will not perform well if the condenser is faulty, but unlike the 'points', it does not display faults visually. The most reliable condenser test, and quite cost effective, is to substitue it for a new one. However, if a substitute is not available, then disconnect the high tension wire from coil to distributor, at the distributor end, then hold the loose end near the engine block with a well insulated pair of electrical pliers. When the engine is turned over with the ignition on, good sharp clean sparks should be seen if the condenser is working well.

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