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Relacing V12 Distributor Points


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Deceided to replace my points and I am just waiting for my new points to arrive. While waiting I am trying to find some info on how to go about changing them.

I cannot find and directions on how I go about dismantling the distributor to replace them.

Any help would be appreciated

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Hello again

It is fairly straightforward, remove the coil assembly, and condensers from the top of the distributor,(3 screws), when you lift them off DO NOT rock them for and aft to break the gasket free, if you do you are sure to break the carbons on the side of the slip rings, (the carbons may need replacing anyway, and the sliprings may need skimming in a lathe on its own shaft if it is pitted) if the coils are stuck by the gasket, only rock them from side to side until you can lift them away.

if the distributor side plates are still in place (where the HT leads plug in, be very careful with them, they become seized in with time, gentle tapping with a piece of wood may free them, mine were siezed solid, and nothing would move them, I had to resort to very quickly heating the ally case with a welding torch, and tapping them out as quickly as possible, before the heat got to them, (whatever you do don't break them).

You can now get into the points remove the 3 screws and a splitpin and they are out, fit your new ones and set up as per the instuctions for the timing jig.

Regards

Peter Smith

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Hi Peter

I read your instuctions and it seems fairly easy to do as I already have the distributor on the bench with the coil and caps removed.

I now just have to wait until the points are delivered.

Once again thanks for replying to my problem.

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Easy is like a 60's gm car with a uniset..and a window in the cap to set dwell..these are not easy.

I am not an expert but....obviously unscrew and reattatch new parts..clean up as nec everthing..make certain the points address each other flat and flush when closing..bend if nec...

put mech back in case and adjust point gap on tip of lobe. both sides..double check fool around and recheck a couple times..the hard part (for me) is reaching in that housing and setting em. Now you have to set synch screw..(the mystery screw beneath the side plate base timing setting screw)

put in box and mail to jake flemming in texas!! he will synch and time the unit....d'oh........or

if u get a motors / chiltons manual from 40s/50s. there is a procedure to measure left vs right vs mounting holes and open close time...this is essential. other wise think of a twin engine boat with 2 engines running at diff speeds..your engine has in essence 2 dist systems in one box..operating independantly of one another..dialed in you can do 50+ in 2nd gear....or have a real dog....I bet Mr. Knapp can chime in with some wisdom..most older "sun" machines could do them..and maybe up there they are still around..not here..jake or skip in fla are only 2 guys I know of....

I used 2 timing lights once and adjusted to get single "flash" like a boat engine synchro..kinda fun to play with..I would rather drive than work on this thing anymore...

I implore you to be certain to replace both condensers...I had no luck with nos..Earle Brown has new ones..Skip in punta gorda rebuilds coils all new guts..jake cleans? them...

this dist is about the best most trouble free part on the car..do it once right, and forget it..

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Hello Jeff.

From your comments, I take it your not volunteering to do any of these for anyone then.

Seriously, I have already passed on the instuctions for the timing jig, of which Cokekid has 2, he shouldn't have any problem with the job, but expect to spend 1 1/2 to 2 hours setting up and rechecking, and rechecking,till it is spot on.

I don't see a problem, Patience is all that's required.

What do you mean by Jake cleans them, I thought he rewound the coils?

Regards

Peter Smith

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jake cleans out old tar only...i have one it works..but i'm not sure the point...skip inserts modern new coils in old shell night and day diff...spark like a modern 12 electronic car.. really u gotta see to believe

my car does mph 80 easy on non od high gear..no strain..

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 year later...

Sorry about the bump, but I've been trying to get my Condi to life, and I've found out that I'm getting no spark from the coil; or at least no spark to all 12 plugs. I know I need to ship the assembly off to have it serviced, but I'd like to at least give it a go first to get the engine at least to make some noise once. Anyway, I'm getting power to the coil leads, 5.99V and 2.63V, but this is constant; no matter how I move the engine with the starter or by hand, these numbers and their positions never change. I'd expect the levels at the terminals to change as the dizzy moves. What could this be?

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  • 1 month later...

Just got the coil and dizzy back from Jake, look like a million bucks right now. I'm getting the proper 6 or 2.5-3v at each of the coil terminals now, as the engine rotates, so that's nice. However, I still am not getting a spark at any plug. I'm having fuel pump issues as well, but that has nothing to do with the spark itself. Any more ideas on why none?

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Check the conections at the resistor under the dash, if they are good replace your condensors, for some reason they go out very quick.

Once you get spark and have it running check your dwell, I have 3 dist. set up on a sun mahine that were perfect but once bolted on the dwell chaged by 22 degrees, it would run but not as good as one set perfect. took me 4 days to get it perfect on all three when bolted on.

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Another little tip on replacing the points: I found that after market replacement points can sometimes be slightly different from the originals making it almost impossible to "synch" them. In the case where the secondary (synch'd) points open too early, no matter where the adjusting screw is you can carefully bevel the leading edge of the rubbing block on the lead points. this will give you some adjustment to synch the points.

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Thanks to you both. I'll check the resistors. What should they read in ohms to tell me if they're good? I'm thinking they may be still good, as I'm getting 6V/3V at the coil for both terminals. I've got brand new condensors, installed by Mr. Fleming, but have a spare pair that also checked out fine. The only thing I can think of is my dizzy caps are too loose now, as they are all clean and actually need the wire bails to hold them on instead of the grime that used to.

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you can take the caps off and hold a screw driver, insulated

handle, to the dist body and where the rotor turns

and should see a spark.

that changing voltage on the coil wire of about 3 and 6

sounds like the points are ok.

are you sure you did not pull wires loose in the caps?

gene

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Great idea about the screwdriver. I've double-checked the wires just to be sure. Unfortunately we've had rain for the last few days so have not been able to get to work. Have verified that the rotor is turning; thought that I just hadn't seated the thing properly.

Will let you know.

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Update: Tried the screwdriver trick and found I could get a rather weak spark from the front rotor but none from the back. Checked the continuity of the cables, and they all check out but still no spark at the plugs -even those using the sparking rotor. Good ground at the distributor as well. I also changed the condensors to other units. I'm really hesitant to think it's my Dizzy or coil, as they've just come back from Jake.

By the end of the day I was getting 2.2V / 5.9V at the coil so I put the battery on a charger overnight. I don't think a voltage drop like this would cause such a weak spark. Am I wrong?

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with the screw driver method i had a spark that would jump

near a 1/2 to 1 inch gap.

Jake is good i know that for a fact, but sometimes things

go wrong. if you had a spare coil you could try another coil.

voltages sound near what to expect.

and you said you had new condensers.

another way to test comes to mind, if you had any

good 6 volt coil and condensor you could remove yours and put the wire

from one side of your coil

to the 6 volt test coil, then run a wire up from one set of points and hook to the test coil, .

then put high tension lead from the coil close to a ground and you should see a spark.

with engine turning.

gene

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Put in freshly charged battery and got good spark at plugs. Starter turns over faster (duh) and every now and then, the spinning engine doubles its speed like it wants to react to the starting fluid and gas; about once or twice every full rotation. None of the plugs seemed very wet when pulled. As a last ditch, I've pulled the carb for a rebuild, but I don't think that will do much.

However, I did do a compression check and I'm painfully low; ~60 lbs on most cylinders. I've added some MMO to each bore. I'm hoping that it's because the engine has sat for 20 years, but I'm not sure. Would the very low compression kill the ability to start?

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zazothex.

Have you renewed the rotor, or are you using the old original one, this stuff deteriorates and breaks down over the years, and your spark could be going straight through to the steel shaft that it mounts on, you can easily test for this, but you need your distibutor on the bench with the coil removed.

rig up a battery, coil, and separate distributor to provide some good sparks, use this to test the rotor to see if it is leaking to earth, with the front slipring connected to the coil of your setup, when you rotate the test distributor you should only have a spark coming from the contact arm for that slipring, and nothing coming from the other arm or slipring, if there is no, or very weak spark from the arm, the rotor is leaking down to earth, test the other slipring in the same way.

If this is the problem, suggest you have the rotor remanufactured with modern material (boos Herrel) rather than buy new old stock, (even if it,s never been used) which may have deteriorated in the same way on the shelf.

Hope this helps.

Peter Smith

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Put that carb back on..jump a 12 vlt battery ""carefully"" quick get in and crank it up..it's gonna start, smoke and run bad but dont worry about that compression until you run it and get those rings lubed back up..I put jumpers right on battery...if you are nervous, run power just to starter...that engine needs cleaned out.....

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when you jump the battery with 12Volt make sure the 12 volt battery is out of what ever car your going to jump it with, just sit the 12 volt on the ground and then connect it. Ive seen them blow up if tried from car to car, not a pretty sight.

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Crap, you just saved my ass. I was gonna do just what you suggested not to. Actually, was just gonna jump it off my car while running, mainly because if I remove it, all the new-fangled electronic gadgets reset and stuff. This is why I prefer actual cars, not the electric shavers around nowadays.

If I can get the damn things running, that is. Still worried that the MMO only raised the compression to ~50 psi in all bores. My valves all pop, so I'm thinking the sitting for 20 years just put my rings to pasture

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Good point. There is definitely an audible difference in the airflow between closed and open throttle.

Tried the 12V battery to speed the starter. Oddly, nothing. Not directly to the starter or through the relay. Just got a spark, but the engine wouldn't budge.

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tow the car about one half city block, in gear, clutch out.this builds up compression, lubes cylinders. introduces gas into combustion chambers. turn on ignition while continuing to tow and the car will start in next ten feet. may die once or twice while digesting exrea oil and fuel, try again and it will run. betcha a cold beer!

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If you can get it to turn over, pull all the plugs and let them lay where they can get grounded with the wires attached, then have someone crank the engine while you watch and see if all the plugs are firing, I know it sounds simple but I have had the wires come loose inside the caps and it would act like it wanted to run but didnt have enough cylinders firing.

While the plugs are out put some WD or Kroil, some light oil in the cylinders to lube the rings so it will have a little less friction when turning.

One of the members of LZOC that rebuilds starters will put 2 extra field coils in there for you if you ask, this will make it spin like 12 volts is hooked up to it. Ive done it to one of my Packards, So far Ive had no problem with my starter except solinoids.

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  • 1 month later...

I must, because I get nothing but a very angry set of cables from the 6V to the block when I attach a 12v to the battery. But the thing spins like a top when using only the 6V battery, so I figure I don't need the extra boost. But turning it over again and again eventually heats up the cables anyway, and it still won't pop even once. Got spark at all 12, gas to carb that sprays with throttle. all valves move, and have suction at each bore, as well as down the carb throat. Getting annoyed.

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I'm thinking out loud her, but it's worth a shot -- are you sure your ignition switch is working correctly? If I don't have mine on and hit the starter button, the starter wil spin but obviously I don't get any spark to the plugs. Maybe if the ignition switch is failing, it could cause a weak / no spark to the plugs? I'm just thinking out loud here, so folks, tell me if I'm way off base...

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Thanks guys. I think my starter button is fine. I had my coil and Dizzy taken care of by Jake. I'm using a remote starter switch on the relay. The only think I think it can be is that I have only about 30# of pressure on the bores, with MMO added. But I think it should be enough to get at least some fire somewhere.

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