Charles Johns

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  1. Pfeil, my 200 six has 7 main bearings, is bored .060", has a 2-barrel adapter,(will soon have a 1973 200 head modified for direct 2-bbl mounting), Autolite 2100 carb, hotter ignition, free-flowing exhaust and fabricated cool-air intake. This is Texas, there are no cold-air intakes. With 2.83 rear gears and 26.3" tall rear tires it gets 25 MPG at 75 MPH on the highway with 2 corn-fed old people inside. That 7 main bearing engine came out in 65 when the 170 was swapped for the 200 as the base engine. The body is restored but modified to my taste. The suspension has many poly bushings, a rear sway-bar, gas shocks, front discs, stiffer GT springs and is lowered 1 inch. A real fun car to drive with factory air, nice stereo, extra insulation, new seat foam and covers. The 250 is just a 200 stroked and it is taller, causing hood clearance issues. If I really was wanting to Hot Rod it, a 240 (de-stroked 300) would be my choice. I am the six-cylinder go-to guy on the M6A page on-line (Mustang 6-Cylinder Association) called "Old Geezer" in the news letter. For 50 years I built cars frame-up and had a millionaire car guy build me a 4-bay shop in my backyard so I could build just for him, which I did for several years. Married to the same woman for over 53 years, and she loves riding shotgun reading her books while I drive all over the US in a car I built. I went to Elkins Institute to get my little degree in electronics, I am an ASE Certified mechanic, a federally licensed gunsmith, retired from a city where I was shop superintendent working on all emergency equipment, police department guns, and was the city photographer. Once they learned I took pictures of cars/motorcycles (I had 2-35mm SLR cameras with extra lenses), they made me city pay increase but I got to keep my job. The LH-6 on the hood stands for Long Haul 6-Cylinder and the other shot is at a distillery in Tennessee for an M6A gathering. I build drivers and God has blessed me tremendously!
  2. Pfeil has a good post. Because owners are told HEI and electronics do NOT need maintenance, they do NOT do maintenance. Mechanical things need maintenance, vacuum needs to be checked to make sure it SUCKS, and moving parts usually need lubrication. Vacuum hoses crack and come lose, and wires get brittle. One reason I don't mind checking points is I like looking under the hood now and then...problem or not. One thing a friend did years ago for his Nash was cross-reference his points to a different car. He found a much later one that worked...but he had a distinct advantage...he worked in an Auto parts store. It took days but he found one that would substitute then bought several. Anyone have a reference with pictures of points?
  3. Since I started this discussion I will make it even more interesting. I am building a 1967 Sunbeam Alpine with a 1985 Ford 2.3 with overdrive automatic. One reason for getting serious about ignitions was the 85 distributor. Several times on trips with groups, the electronics guys had ignition troubles due to heat...this is Texas. But points guys spark never stopped...but we did stop to help our modern guys fix their newer system. Obviously they learned to put the module in the interior of the car to keep it from failing. I build my own dizzy and use points because it works, and those who say electronics starts quicker in cold weather must not know how to set points. My 1932 Ford rumble seat coupe with 289 and points, would start before you could get your fingers off the key. The motor was built for daily driving, though it was a feature car in Performance Cars magazine in 1976. For the 1985 2.3 I built a points plate for the newer distributor case just to see how it will work. I love newer electronics TV's, FI modern engines, home security systems, cell phones, etc. but upgrading an old SIMPLE points system with modern parts just seems like a way to move into the 21st century with fewer headaches. BTW, I still have a flip-phone and have not turned it on in days. Digital is cool but analog is simple and gets the job done. OH, don't try to explain to a youngster what a "Dwell Meter" is...he will look at you like your head is full of potato chips.
  4. I am a newbie to this site but a car builder for 50 years. I love old cars antique or hot rodded. Though I retired years ago I still build for me and I write for the Mustang 6-cylinder Association on line. On thing that seems to be over-discussed by people who do not really know is ignitions. Points work great up to about 5000 RPM, and actually can stay with HEI up to 7000 RPM. So why did the auto industry switch to electronically triggered ignitions? When fuel injection went from mechanical to electronics and computers were used to control emissions, it was easy to control spark the same way. Now fuel/air mixture, timing, and emissions could be under one system the engineers could design, and with the interior heat and AC being controlled also, why not throw in the suspension and ride comfort. Computers is why points went the way of the dinosaur. My degree is in electronics, and I spent 20 years chasing electrons in home entertainment equipment while I built cars as a hobby. Understanding better than most both systems, I began to look at them from a simple "which is better" view. Points are old Kettering mechanics from 100 years ago, while electronics is the New Kid On The Block. Electronics can be more accurate at higher RPM and under much higher pressures, but is it BETTER? Points make a LONG spark compared to electronics, which means, as the mixture swirls around the combustion chamber points have a better chance to fire the mixture. That is why MSD was simulate the longer points spark. By using the best available parts (points, condenser, rotor, cap, wires, and plugs), plus installing a hotter coil with a low ohms ignition resistor (slightly more primary volts makes more output), and using almost no resistance copper wires to feed the platinum plugs, we get a hotter spark than OEM. Remember, if the plugs will fire with 15,000 to 20,000 volts, THAT is all the system needs, and your 50,000 volts Super Whammy Double Throw-down Flame Thrower coil is a waste. In my 1965 Mustang 6-cylinder automatic, I use BWD Select parts because they use the best available materials. I have an ACCEL 8140 42,000 volts coil feeding solid copper wires that are not recommended for electronics. Plugs are gaped at .038" and timing is at 12 degrees. This is NOT to bad mouth electronics...I made a good living with it for two decades, but just because it is old does not mean it is bad. In fact, we can improve it with today's better materials. I hope this sheds light on the constant debate about old points and new electronics...though I do run a Pertronix in my dizzy sometimes...though I keep points and condenser in the glove box when I venture far from home.
  5. This is an old thread but here is my 2 cents. I am an ASE certified mechanic (retired) and my degree is in electronics (20 years a TV repairman - degree from Elkins Institute). I spent 50 years building Street Rods frame-up to include building my own motors. Points are OLD...but not bad. The spark from electronics is hotter but much shorter than points. That is why MSD or Multiple Spark Discharge was invented to simulate the spark we get from points. By using todays best parts (points, condenser, rotor, cap, wires and plugs) we can improve our old points system. BWD Select is a little more expensive but uses the best available materials in their components. I use ACCEL copper wires (not recommended with electronics) because they have almost zero resistance to the flow of currant. With a tuned points system Hot Rod found points worked as good as HEI up to about 4,000 RPM, then HEI/Points would swap positions as best up to 7,000 RPM. If not racing, points are fine and easy to service every 10,000 miles.