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Hot Rods 8 BA Flathead Scorching points

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 31 Chopped Coupe, Oct 20, 2020.

  1. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 95

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Has anyone converted a Bubba's flathead distributor from points to Pertronix electronic? I got less than 500 miles out of the last set of points before it started running rough again, scorched points. This is an 8ba using one of Jim Linder's Chevy distributor conversions, his coil, wires, and ballast resistor. I'm using Echlin CS 786 points and RR175 condenser which is what is recommended according to his website. I think I have replaced the points four times in about 3,000 miles. Anyone else had similar issues?
     
  2. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,223

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    It sounds like there is some other serious problem going on if this is actually what is happening. I'd try to find and correct that problem before I'd introduce another variable (the Pertronix) into the system (not even considering that you may burn up an expensive Pertronix unit). Have you checked voltage and amperage at the points while running? If I understand what you mean by "scorched points", that is usually caused by a condenser that is way out of spec. Condensers these days have a really bad reputation for being bad out of the box. I would suggest trying one or two more; they are not that expensive (except for mine).
     
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  3. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,884

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    You sure the power is off to the ignition when parked? No way you should be going through points like that. Distributor grounded properly? It is not the points...that is the point. This may be pointless. Pertronix is pointless, doesn't mean your trouble will go away.
     
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  4. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,281

    Budget36
    Member

    What’s your point Billy?

    ;)
     
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  5. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 6,884

    Bandit Billy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well something has to be destroying those points, they worked in there for decades right? Point is it is not the points and it points to another point of the problem. :cool: If I was on point on this expedition I'd be looking for the cause rather than the effect. Point taken? :D
     
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  6. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,281

    Budget36
    Member

    I suddenly have this urge to watch That DeNero movie.


    Shoot. Not Bob, Pat on the ocean with Keanua.

    my point needs sharpening
     
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  7. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,281

    Budget36
    Member

    Oh, point well taken
     
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  8. 51504bat
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,160

    51504bat
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought Bubba used coils with internal resistance like the Bosch 012 Blue Coil which don't require the use of a ballast resister.
     
  9. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282

    oldsman41
    Member

    Point is the points are hot even when car isn’t running. Check the wiring to the dizzy.
     
  10. jaracer
    Joined: Oct 4, 2008
    Posts: 514

    jaracer
    Member

    I'm thinking you have some circuit that is bypassing the resistor. Points should last years.
     
  11. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,148

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Bandit Billy brings up a good point. If the points are roasting (overcurrent) then the Pertronix will likely fry, too.
     
  12. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,223

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    And it goes on. There is no reasonable alternative to getting to the root of the problem and solving it.
     
  13. larry k
    Joined: Feb 23, 2009
    Posts: 320

    larry k
    Member

    The only thing that causes points to burn is - heat- prolly to many amps ???
     
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  14. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 95

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    I have taken everybody's ideas and checked but cannot find anything obvious. Resistor is 12 volts in and 8 volts out, 8 volts at the coil, 8 volts to the distributor. The key is turning off the power as it should. I am thinking a bad condenser but it doesn't seem likely since I'm not getting any mileage out of any of these points. The coil and the resistor were both bought from Bubba's along with the distributor. This thing runs really good until I start noticing that it gets a little harder to start and starts running a little rough at part throttle. Pull the cap off and the points will be starting to burn.
     
  15. oldsman41
    Joined: Jun 25, 2010
    Posts: 1,282

    oldsman41
    Member

    Well you checked everything I would so back to the drawing board as they say.
     
  16. tubman
    Joined: May 16, 2007
    Posts: 5,223

    tubman
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    If you haven't tried another condenser (or two), you should. "New" doesn't mean good these days.
     
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  18. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,130

    dwollam
    Member

    Are you cleaning the points with a contact cleaner? They may have oil or preservative on them to prevent rust. Also, have you tried another condensor? Not using an oily feeler gauge are you? Just some thoughts, hope they help.

    Dave
     
    Center of the Galaxie likes this.
  19. I was about to suggest cleaning the points before installation. Point sales are at an all-time low and some manufacturers put an oily substance on them to prevent corrosion from long times sitting on the shelf. I clen new points with a contact cleaner / degreaser and then clean again with alcohol and then blow them dry. I had some troubles before I started doing this. Certainly the condenser may be a problem too, many folks report having trouble with new bad condensers but I've not been bitten by a bad one yet.
     
  20. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 95

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    I'm going to try to find a set of Blue Streak points and condenser today . So far I've only used Echlin parts but in the past I always thought that Standard Ignition products were better quality. We lost our supplier 20 years ago and our only outlet was NAPA. There is now an O'Reilly's in the area and I'm gonna check and see what they carry. I'll try the contact cleaner on everything also. O'Reillys counter guys are just keyboard punchers so its always a big pain in the ass to deal with them. The NAPA store has two good parts men but their hands are tied to the store brand.
     
  21. speedshifter
    Joined: Mar 3, 2008
    Posts: 227

    speedshifter
    Member

    You mentioned you had 8 volts at the coil. Was this test made with the engine running at maybe 2000rpms or with it shut off? If voltage appears too high check for too high a alternator output voltage. Check for a coil with too little internal resistance which causes it to draw too much current.This will really cook the points, causing them to turn blue. Greg
     
  22. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 95

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Test was made with engine running but only at about 1000 rpms. The coil is a non-resistor type because that was what Bubba's said to use and the coil and resistor was purchased from him when I bought the distributor.I'll do the test again at higher rpm and see if it changes anything. I really don't want to bother Jim Linder as I know that he has tried to retire because of health reasons.
     
  23. dwollam
    Joined: Oct 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,130

    dwollam
    Member

    I've always favored Echlin parts but it has been a few years since I've bought very many.

    Many, many years ago I owned a motorcycle shop. I put new points in a small bike that one had to remove the mag flywheel to change points. Fired it up, ran great. Took care of a customer then went back to the bike and tried to start it again. No Go! Worked on everything else cuz I knew the points were new right? Well, turns out I hadn't cleaned those damn points and when I finally pulled them back out they were white from the burning off of the oil on them. Cleaned them properly and it ran great from then on.

    Dave
     
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  24. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,241

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    check the resistance of the coil, should be 1.5 ohms across the primary (unhooked of course) and the ballast resistor should also be 1.5 ohms.... your points should last 10's of thousands of miles. I know you said you got them from Jim, but mistakes do happen
     
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  25. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 712

    Los_Control
    Member
    from TX

  26. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 95

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Thanks, I'll try that tomorrow morning. I remember when I bought them that Jim stated they were 1.5 ohm coil and ballast resistor but I will definitely check.
     
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  27. Truck64
    Joined: Oct 18, 2015
    Posts: 4,148

    Truck64
    Member
    from Ioway

    Very generally speakin', in a contact point ignition system, about 3 amperes total current is the limit for the primary circuit while engine is running.

    Normally the ballast resistor is temporarily bypassed during engine start, for a bit hotter spark. Is it possible the primary ignition wiring is buggered to the starter relay somehow?
     
  28. 31 Chopped Coupe
    Joined: Aug 24, 2014
    Posts: 95

    31 Chopped Coupe
    Member

    Okay, after checking ohms this morning I found the coil to be 1.5 ohms and the ballast resistor tested at 2.4 ohms. Ordered a new resistor and it will be here Saturday morning. Hopefully this will be the cure. Thanks to everyone for the help.
     
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  29. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,241

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    yup, that is your problem. needs to be 1.5
     
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