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1928 P/A Model 38 Dual Valve single cap distributor


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Can anyone with P/A literature  please  send me a copy of timing instructions. What are the 2 small holes in the sides of the cap for?  Thank you, Mike

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Posted (edited)

Pierce Arrow says for better  performance, run with  the  double  spark  turned  on. With the  duel spark  system, you  as  a driver  have  3  choices. Left, right  or  double. Double is  2  spark  plugs firing at  the  same  time. That  will produce a lot  of  heat inside the  distributor cap. It  seems likely that the  small  holes  are  vents.The  pic is the  dash of  my  1927  Model 36  with  the  duel spark  system. There  are 4 knobs above  the  ignition key  that control  the  spark  plugs . They  are  labeled L, R, Double and Delco.  I  run  my  car with  all  4  turned  on. In  the  pic, I  am  referring to  the  4  knobs  that  start on the  left  of  the  ignition key.  Next  time  I  take  it  out  for  a ride I  will  try  to  make  a video. 

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Edited by Hupp36
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Ed,  do  you  by  any  chance have  an  electrical degree, if  not, you sure  know  a lot  about electricity. See  pic 

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I agree to edinmass. Jump sparks generate ozone, which needs to be released through the vent holes to prevent oxidation. There are no jump sparks on early Delco sliding contact caps. That's why they don't have vent holes.

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On 6/3/2020 at 6:37 PM, Hupp36 said:

Ed,  do  you  by  any  chance have  an  electrical degree, if  not, you sure  know  a lot  about electricity. See  pic 

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No, no electrical degree......just too much time spent in garages and reading old Manuels from the teen's and 20's. 

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Hupp36,  The "Delco" switch on my Series 36 controls the dash lights and has nothing to do with the ignition.  I usually run with both the left and right switches on and the double switch off.  When shutting down, I turn off one switch, then turn it back on, then turn off the other switch, then finally go back and turn off the first switch to kill the engine. It should continue to run on either side of the ignition although not as well. This tells you that both ignition systems are working.  When I first got my '27 Series 36, the prior owner told me it never ran as strong as his other S 36. By checking both ignitions individually, I found out that the left ignition was not working.  It turned out the steel resistor on the coil was open.  He had never checked each ignition individually.  It ran a lot better on both sides.

Edited by S36PA (see edit history)
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Well,  Thank  you S36PA. When  Dale  and  I  went  up  to  Big  Rock  Ill  to  see  this  car he  said take  notes  on the  starting procedure as  you  will  be  the  one that  drives  this  car.When  they  started the  car, they pulled  out all 4  switches. I  thought that  Delco was  refurring  to  the Delco distributor  and the  Delco coils. I  should  have  read  the  Operation  and  Care Manual.  I  have  read the  manual  and  you  were  right  on. Thank  you  again  Chuck  M

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Chuck,

To tell the whole story, I wondered for a long time what the Delco switch did.  I finally figured it out when I turned it on inside the trailer and noticed the dash lights come on. I made a starting video when I bought my S 36 and the prior owner told me about turning the switches off individually to check that both ignitions were working. When I bought my second S 36 with the bad left ignition, I found out it was good advice.

 

I have no idea why it says Delco under that switch other than maybe Delco made the switch panel. If you ever stick your head under the dash, the switch panel is quite interesting in the way it is all setup.  By the way, your sedan is a great looking car.

 

Dave

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"Delco" definitely just means that the switch had been made by Delco. It is Delco Combination Switch # 1186. It was used on all 1921-27 Pierce-Arrow models 32, 33 and 36. On the wiring diagrams it becomes obvious how the switch works. So as Dave correctly said the knob above the igniton key (and Delco name) just switches on the instrument lights and is not labeled.

 

Peter

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Just so one can see and understand it better....

Nice how P/A managed the switching between "L", "R" and "Double". Main power supply is connected to terminal # 3 in the back of the combination switch. Internally terminal # 3 supplies power to all knobs. Once "Double is switched it is domninat, regardles of the position of "L" or "R". Switching "Double" alone will be the same as switching "L" and "R" together without "Double" (seems logical). Knobs "L", "R" and "Double" simply interrupt power supply to the primary windings of the two coils.

 

 

 

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