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This disabled an A/C control board...
#1405783 Mon Apr 12 2021 08:17 PM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,245
Jon G Offline OP
Not directly Stovebolt related, but if you've added any convenience items it very easily could be. Thought you folks might find it interesting. What you see in image 1 below is a common electrolytic capacitor. In image two you can see the top part is aluminum with a Y stamped in to allow for internal expansion. In image three you see the top of this one has started to bow outward just a bit. That's what indicates trouble/failure and while this one was just starting to fail, it had gone far enough to stop the control board from working. About a 40 cent part plus cost of postage. What else might this have affected? Take your, wiper motor control board, cb radio, electric seat control board, power window controller, skylight, etc. These guys (mostly smaller than this fellow nowadays) are everywhere and they don't last all that long.

Attached Files
capacitor 1.JPG (39.51 KB, 100 downloads)
capacitor 2.JPG (26.3 KB, 103 downloads)
capacitor 3.JPG (41.33 KB, 100 downloads)
Last edited by Jon G; Mon Apr 12 2021 08:20 PM.


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end
Re: This disabled an A/C control board...
Jon G #1405907 Tue Apr 13 2021 03:39 PM
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 434
Just adding to what you are saying Jon.

Unfortunately we live in a throw-away society. Manufacturers cut corners by buying cheaper components made with short-life materials, like in capacitors, because they know the device, it is installed in, will go out of favor or become obsolete in a few years. Cell phones change like underwear for example so there is no need for a 40 year capacitor inside. The condenser in a Stovebolt distributor is a subject in our forum topics for good reason. Good old 40's and 50's American manufacturing have made these capacitors that last longer but unfortunately they too breakdown and fail eventually. Today's replacement condensers from our FLAPS may not be up to the quality standard we need.

Re: This disabled an A/C control board...
Jon G #1405938 Tue Apr 13 2021 06:29 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 492
Everything is junk now sadly. Our 70yr old trucks will keep running but a new 60k truck will be mostly obsolete in 20yrs when every accessory on it has ceased to work and then when it comes to a grinding hault you better know how to diagnose it because its coming to a point where your gonna need a close friend with old dealer software or knowledge to bring it back. I own 3 different software configurations just to work on the vehicle’s I own and as I see the new trucks I will admit I like the way they look but everything is so intergrated that its scary. I cant wait to see someone walk into the FLAPS for a new ignition switch for a 2022 gmc that has a FOB type wireless key that programmed on a skim key. Yuck. Ok rant over 😏

Re: This disabled an A/C control board...
Jon G #1405960 Tue Apr 13 2021 09:57 PM
Joined: Mar 2020
Posts: 105
Yup, unfortunately I already have a few parts in my 49 that have capacitors.

I just had to replace several capacitors in the speedometer of my OT daily driver (1994 F150) - and the blasted e4OD wouldn't shift without the speedometer working (the VSS signal goes into the speedo first, then converts the signal and outputs to the transmission). Point being, not even "newer" vehicles are immune to that issue!

To the point, these are pennies a piece (even Canuck pennies which are less than Yen these days) and well worth learning how to diagnose & replace em.

1949 Chevrolet 3/4 Ton - Still Solid.
Re: This disabled an A/C control board...
Jon G #1405976 Wed Apr 14 2021 12:07 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 2,245
Jon G Offline OP
If you suspect a capacitor of failing (or even starting to fail (which means it may operate intermittently), get some "canned air" sold at electronic stores. This is also sold as "chiller spray," but if you buy it labelled that way you'll pay more for essentially the same thing. Spray the top of the capacitor. If the circuit starts working again, you've found a problem. One nice thing is often when these fail they don't set up a domino effect. However they may be part of an IC (integrated circuit or "chip") and inside that silicon square/rectangle there may be resistors, capacitors, transistors, diodes...lots of tiny components that can't be singled out and repaired. About 3 years ago two $1 capacitors failed simultaneously in our dishwasher. It is 25 years old, but aside from the control panel it was working fine...and now it is again.

Everyone who responded to this little post seems to have an understanding of electronics. And that's encouraging to me. I find the stuff really interesting. If you don't know much about it, or if you just want to review things in very understandable language, this is the best book I've seen in the last 30 years:


1952 1/2 ton with 1959 235
T5 with 3.07 rear end

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