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I've Got A Point

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269


    You learning this stuff TODAY, is no different than the fellas back in the '30's-40' was so new to them as well.....
    I think being a HACK is VERY traditional......:D
  2. lostn51
    Joined: Jan 24, 2008
    Posts: 1,667


    thats right i forgot about those pads, Ryan go to a swap meet and look through all the old points sets you find and there should be some. in the boxes. also check with N.A.P.A. i dont think they sell them by themselves but if you look at some point sets for an early chevy you might see them in the set.
    i too have the same dilemma you have, being torn between tradition and modern technology. i put an electronic ignition in the hot rod on this last motor i built, and you know i like it! all my life i have had points and really never had any problems out of them but them not working to great at high RPMs (9000+). now my tool box has an empty spot in spare points.

    but there is one thing i will never give into.......wide white radials. Ewwww
  3. And . . . the best thing about points?

    They are servicable in the field.

    Rescued a couple of cute girls way back in the mountains once upon a time.
    After a heavy snowstorm to boot.

    A whole other story....
  4. Maybe a new set is what you need. I got on my trustee computer and the inventory search says we gottem>>>>.

    Attached Files:

  5. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Set your gaps...
    Get a flashlight type continuity light, connect to terminal for coil primary wire and to case.
    Make a pointer, can be a paper clip under condensor mount screw. Affix your distributor machine.
    The pattern to scribe on wheel: Rotation of distrib is CCW.
    Turn till both points open, at which point light will stay off 9 degrees.
    after the 9, RIGHT point closes. Light goes on. stick a piece of paper into other point and the right point alone should open in 22.5 degrees.
    Now paper the right point, let left open and close, it should also be 22.5...they should be real close to right just from gapping.
    Now...both together!
    Cycle should be so: 9 degrees light off, light comes on. Then Left closes...after 9 more degrees, right opens, not affecting light. Left stays closed til it has done its 22.5, then it opens, and this is the firing point.
    I widh I could scan a picture...just follow through the description and mark off the events on a circle to figgeritout, then mark on degree wheel. This setup gives 36 degrees dwell from the two overlapping points.
  6. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269


    One last thing.....about the felt....I'll bet you have SOMETHING laying around the house/garage that has a piece of felt you could "rob" and glue to your points for an oiler.
    This ain't rocket science.....
  7. metalshapes
    Joined: Nov 18, 2002
    Posts: 10,715

    Tech Editor


    Everything I own, and everything I've ever owned has Points in it.

    And I dont spend any extra time tinkering with them.

    ( I just got a Mallory Dualpoint off Ebay that happens to have a Petronix in it. I'm going to try it, but at least I can convert it back if I dont like it... )

    Ryan, did you take a very good look at the Cam to see if there is any damage to the Surface that could Chew up the rubbing surface on the Points?
  8. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Rubbing block wear:
    With a good, polished-by-use cam and good points, there is little wear to blocks for a long time.
    Some decent blocks wear a few thou until they are burnished in, then after reset will last forever.
    Baaaad resto from China blocks wear continuously no matter what, and will just keep closing up as you reset.
    Bad cam, rust pitted or whatever, can kill any blocks. Standard high tech analytical tool is your thumbnail. Draggit all over the surface and it should not snag anywhere. Also scrutinize the whole cam by eye, studying the visible polished areas.
    Standard cam lube is still around...I got mine from Bratton's because I absolutely could not even think of a way to communicate what I wanted to the 18 year old computer jockey at a parts store..."What year Lube is that, sir?? Does it have power steering??"
  9. hot rod pro
    Joined: Jun 1, 2005
    Posts: 2,708

    hot rod pro
    from spring tx.

    we use silicon dielectric grease part# SL-4 from carquest auto parts.dab it on the rocker,and it will keep it from wearing out the rocker.

  10. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Felts...not used in the Ford distributor (which is based on Mallory designs), or on other distribs that use the grease type cam lube. GM used to use an oiled felt (roller??), and Mallory used those pads...they convey oil to the surface, would not be used on a greased cam system.
    Grease is used in lightest possible smear, wipes down to what it needs immediately and leaves a little reservoir clump at each rubbing block.
  11. 1950ChevySuburban
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 6,188

    Member Emeritus
    from Tucson AZ

    One of those battery felts would work fine.
  12. FiddyFour
    Joined: Dec 31, 2004
    Posts: 9,008


    Ryan, dude i feel you brother, i really do. when it comes to "go modern" vs. "keep messin with it till ya either get it right or good at fuckin it up"...

    i chose the former about 10 months ago, broke down and installed a pertronix setup for the buick mill... man, easy to install, easy to set the right gap for the pickup... no sweat


    the pertronix module melted, yea MELTED inside the cap when i was downtown minneapolis in the middle of afternoon rush hour. the reasons it did so, i have NO clue, but dont care.. if i'd been running points and they'd have failed? i'd have been back on the road and on my merry way within 10 minutes with a spare set of points... i got the thing towed home, pulled the pertronix out, put a fresh set of accell performance points in, tossed a spare set in the truck... and aint had to worry about again since...

    stick to your guns bro, sometimes older really IS better
  13. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    Also, decent points should be good for several thousand plus miles with no fuss.
    Very bad grades of imported points are available throughout the aftermarket for both antiques and semi-modern late point ignition vehicles, so get Standard or Echlin. At least until they sell out and start importing junk...
    Points that close up or burn generally mean CHANGE SUPPLIER.
    Some old car places routinely sell cheapest item possible.
    Some offer and label two grades. Anytime a restoration place offers two levels, it is CERTAIN that the lesser is junk. The other...who knows??
    Some are selective and offer the best they can find.
    I personally prefer that ignition and brake partss come where possible from a place that mostly sells to actual mechanics...

    Some people never learn, too. The Model A boards are full of people who learn that their grade Z imported Model A points are unreliable, and conclude the answer is "modern" point plate using 1957 Ford Chinese points that are equally worthless and are harder to adjust as well...when those die at 100 miles, they go to electronic conversions and carry on with the unreliability of the cheapest-possible crap caps they bought...
    If it can make you walk home, hunt til you find a decent source.
  14. Elrod
    Joined: Aug 7, 2002
    Posts: 3,563


    I think it's great to understand the old tech. I knew nothing before getting a Model A 4 banger, and with it's ease of fixing and reliability, it's made learning what makes the internal combustion engine carry you down the road very enjoyable, and has helped me roadside trouble shoot many other engines.

    Here's a tip that the Model A restorer guys use.
    Put a dab of hard epoxy on the rubbing block. Then grease your cam lobe and you should find yourself with a long lasting set of points.

    (I changed to pertronix, but I always keep a stock second distributor ready to go under my seat!! :D )
  15. SinisterCustom
    Joined: Feb 18, 2004
    Posts: 8,269


    I had a '66 VW bug in HS, a real POS, 1500cc single port, no heater, bald front tires, and a trans that wouldn't stay in 4th (had to hold the shifter).....
    Anyway, my lil' brother and I went up to Snoqualmie Pass for night snowboard between the seats and his skis through the hole where a radio normally would be....basically an A/C vent during the winter:eek:...hahaha....we were bundled up good.....

    Well, @ 11pm we decide to leave, and the old VW wouldn't start....wreer, wreer, wreer...nothin'....batt getting low, and the parking lot is damn near empty, no one around to give us a jump.:(
    Finally, a lodge worker stops by and tows us up and down the road @ 25 mph and we get it running. She was kickin', buckin', missin' on all of maybe the 3 cylinders that were firin', but we didn't care...we were COLD. So off we went into the darkness, down the snow packed I-90 freeway in the basic blizzard that had come in.....somehow my brother fell asleep, maybe the SOOTHING sounds of the poppin' and a buckin' did it:)....hahaha!

    The next morning, I pull the cap off the 009 dizzy to see what the deal was.....the points were WELDED shut!:eek: WTF?!?!.......How in the hell did it run at all? Somehow spark was bouncin' around in the cap and gettin' to the plugs, at random, I guess, by how bad it ran....dunno....was it the VW's soul that got me home??? Maybe...
    But once I installed new points, it ran like a champ!:D

    Now I've had points and electronic igns on many of my cars and while points need more maintainence, and will run rough when neglected, points have NEVER left me STRANDED like a burned HEI/Chrysler/MSD module/box:cool:........
  16. Flatdog
    Joined: Jan 31, 2003
    Posts: 1,285

    Member Emeritus

    Fuck points,but I do love to shoot my flintlock.
    Truck64 likes this.
  17. LUX BLUE
    Joined: May 23, 2005
    Posts: 4,407

    Alliance Vendor
    from AUSTIN,TX

    If you manage to make it by tomorrow, drive the coupe. I have all the stuff you're lookin for in house.
  18. Old school ignition requires a old school machine>>>>.

    Attached Files:

  19. Littleman
    Joined: Aug 25, 2004
    Posts: 2,619

    Alliance Member
    from OHIO, USA

    Its a indescribable pleasure to run old parts in their original design.........The tool box thats bolted down in the back of my Model A Pickup houses everything needed to correct 94 carb woes....I can change all jets if need be in a K-Mart parking lot anywhere at any time if need be...Goodluck Ryan, ignition is set up to burn lots of fuel...
  20. Tman
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 34,445


    Hmm, buying some FFF powder at the gunshow tomorrow! The ol flinter needs to be shot:cool:
  21. Dowies
    Joined: May 15, 2007
    Posts: 94


    I'm running a 39 Flathead with a 33-37 6V generator, positive ground. I'm running a mallory distributor with dual points. I was having issues with my points burning out every 250 miles or so. I'm running an epoxy 6 volt coil as well. I was stumped on what was causing this problem.

    A wise old man looked at my set-up and told me to add a resistor to lead coming off my coil. A 40 OHM resistor, Mac Antique auto parts PN 18-12250. Anyhow, he said my points were probabaly running too hot which is what was causing them to burn out after 250 miles. I installed the resistor and I haven't had a problem since about 350 miles ago.

    Always listen to that wise old man.

  22. Greybeard
    Joined: Dec 13, 2005
    Posts: 40


    All my MGs have points ignition, and my 58 Magnette has been running a set of used 50's era points for the last 5,000 miles that were well-used when they were installed. As mentioned earlier, spring tension is critical - unless you are making every shift at redline, a lighter spring will go a long way toward preserving the block.

    Standard/Echlin/Blue Streak and Lucas are all but impossible to find. Chinee junk gave me fits until I began lightly polishing all the minor imperfections off the face of the rubbing block with 600 down to 1200 grit, then coating the scuffed area with a couple thin layers of commercial quality superglue followed by a quick spray of "ZipKick". This creates a very hard and slick surface. I then polish any remaning rough spots and add a last coat of superglue.

    I've used a dab of red hi-temp brake grease for as long as I can remember and have never had any point fouling problems.

    I was stuck in the boonies and had to build up a flattened rubbing block using 15 minute epoxy - drilled many pinholes in the existing plastic rubbing block by heating a paper clip then shaped it with a knife blade and a nail file. After 20 miles the epoxy started wearing down pretty quick - I think it scraped all the grease off , and it stunk to high heaven to boot. Had to stop and adjust the points twice to get to the house. Maybe dental epoxy might work better than superglue.

    One last thing about points and distributor cams is to occassionally check the point gap at every cam lobe. I've got an early Jimmy distributor in a box with a single lobe that opens the points to .005 when the other five open to .020. It caused no end to headscratching over the misfires and rough idle.
  23. Boones
    Joined: Mar 4, 2001
    Posts: 9,691

    from Kent, Wa
    1. Northwest HAMBers

    This is a whole nother side to the hotrod game. For some its building, some it driving, others its the life style and here its the challenge is keeping it right and not giving in to the easy way. that is a tough thing and only you will know the difference which is truly what it is all about. making the inner self smile.
  24. Thorkle Rod
    Joined: May 24, 2006
    Posts: 1,392

    Thorkle Rod

    I think it is the challenge for complete understanding of the mechanism I am dealing with. This is one of the reasons only I can drive my Car. It's understanding the finest details of a given design and finding the simple solution and then implemeting the solution without altering the basic design and concept.

    Sounds like Bruce has definatley spun the dizzy around a few times to watch and analyze it's every movement and it's exact function.

    Just keep plugging away at it and sooner or later you will be explaining how to make that analog protractor degree wheel analyzer doomaflochie thingy. Then later you can share what you learned back in 08. They will walk away scratching there head saying man that Ryan guys knows his stuff.:cool:
    Joined: Jun 15, 2006
    Posts: 3,385



    I have built these units for years and never had the problem you are having.
    I typically use napa points and the only problem is getting the correct value of a condensor to keep the point set alive. I set them up on a distributor machine and run them in for a few minutes and use cam lube designed for distributor cams. After running a few minutes i re-adjust the unit and they seem to run forever.
    Got an extra unit ?sent er to me and i will dial you a unit in.
    I agree with staying with points if you can.
  26. Sracecraft
    Joined: Apr 1, 2006
    Posts: 245


    Try some Bosch grease. Made to lube points blocks. Works well, does'nt melt or run off. Easy to find at a VW parts house. Put a dab on the back side of the block before you install them, and the block will pick up grease as cam rotates past. Should last the life of the points.

  27. BillBallingerSr
    Joined: Dec 20, 2007
    Posts: 651

    from In Hell

    That's the way my uncle taught me to set them, he had a protractor marked like the one you described too. I had to laugh once when I got a stubborn old '35 flattie that hadn't run right in years purring like a kitten by putting stock points back in it and setting it that way. The owner said, well they are the dual spring race points that was the hot setup in the '50's. :D
  28. novadude
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 531


    Similar experience with Pertronix here. My first daily driver was a 1970 Nova that I ran from 1990-1995. Put 100,000 miles on that car and used about 8 sets of points in that time period, and never got stuck once. Stuck a Pertronix in a family members Chevelle, and it worked for about 4 months of daily driving and quit, requiring a tow home. My Chevy II will stay points! :)
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 8,222


    Points work. End of story. Ryan, you got it man, the tinkering and tuning is the juice that some just miss (no pun intended). The only time I'm worry free is when I'm driving cuz I spent the time keeping it all dialed in. Want a fun set to do? Try a Packard V-12 dual point dual coil get-up. ATDC, BTDC, 1-6 L, 6-1 R, timing @ 4deg each, .018 gap. My trick is to take up all the backlash in everything and add 2deg for better than 1934 fuel quality and set the gap a lil tighter. Once done you can stand a nickel on end on the intake manifold...while it's running.
  30. fuel pump
    Joined: Nov 4, 2001
    Posts: 3,620

    fuel pump
    Member Emeritus
    from Caro,MI

    If you guys don't like the poor quality of the points made in China you may want to consider points made in Mexico and marketed there under the KEM brand. I know the owners of the company and have toured their plants. They are not high tech but the quality sure beats that Chinese shit.

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