dist cap and wires

Mike Arman armanmik@n-jcenter.com
Sun, 06 May 2001 04:42:26

>At 05:11 PM 5/5/2001 -0700, you wrote:
>>--- Mike Arman <armanmik@n-jcenter.com> wrote:
>>> Change the dist cap and plug wires first. Had
>>> exactly the same problem on
>>> an 86 5KS, one plug wire was really green and grotty
>>> where it went into the
>>> dist cap. Worse in wet weather, just like yours.
>>> Problem totally solved.
>>What parts did you use?  I've seen different brands of
>>wires for sale.  Any good deals available?  Blau has a
>>kit with cap/rotor/wires/plugs for like $100, but I
>>think the wires are Beru or something.  What are most
>>people using?
>>Jim Accordino

Here's the message I sent Jim, then I realized it had gone to the digest,
so here it is for the digest, with a comment added.

>Wires from Pep Boys (pep boys box, Bosch wires inside!), about $45, dist
cap from Discount Auto Parts (DAP box, Bosch cap inside), I think about $7.
>Or maybe the cap came from the pick and pull for a dollar - come to think
of it, it did - I figured if that solved the problem, it would cost me a
whole buck to find out, and I could then go buy a new cap (which I did).

Comment added:

1.) As we well know, electrical parts are not returnable (mostly because
the monkey lads behind the counter have no clues about them).

It is very easy to spend lots of money replacing perfectly good parts, just
like the dealers are always happy to do for us - this is called the
"shotgun" approach to troubleshooting - keep changing parts at random until
the problem goes away. It is fine as long as you are not paying the bill,
and have no conscience if you are doing this for someone else.

Electrical problems can be subtle, and frequently changing two or three
marginal components can make a big difference, whereas changing only one
won't fix it.

If you had a big box full of the most frequent suspects, you could swap
parts around freely (shotgun approach) until the problem went away, and you
wouldn't break the bank.

The local pick and pull is a treasure trove of very-likely-good used parts,
and they are cheap. Remember that the majority of type 44 cars in the
junkyards run fine, but need a rack or an automatic transmission (or both),
and thus they get junked as uneconomical to repair (at retail, anyway). Go
spend $50 and fill up a wheelbarrow - coil, ISV, cap and rotor, hall
sender, various switches and senders, etc. then, when you have a problem,
you have parts to try out. This does NOT work 100% of the time (the temp
sender you got from the junkyard is very likely to be as bad as the one in
your car), but makes troubleshooting by the brute force and ignorance
method MUCH easier!

Once you have found the bad part, NOW you can go buy a new one if you want
to, knowing that yes, you really DO need this part.

2.) ALWAYS look inside the box at the parts you are thinking of buying from
Pep Boys, Discount, FLAPS, and even (gasp!) JC Whitless. Very, very often,
these area the *exact* *same* *name brand* parts available for twice or
three times the price at "Ye Olde Furrin Car Parts Emporium and Coffee
Shoppe". Personally, I plan to discard the box anyway, so why should I pay
double for the same identical part just because the box has "Bosch" printed
on to match the part?

Best Regards,

Mike Arman