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TWChamp
07-20-2015, 09:35 AM
Yesterday my neighbor called me to come rescue him when his 1950 Champion quit all of a sudden. Luckily it was only a couple miles from home, so I just pulled him home and checked it out. It had no spark at the plugs, so I removed the distributor cap and watched the points while Joe spun the engine. I saw no sparking at the contacts, but did notice some random sparking near the middle of the short wire that connects the distributor terminal to the points. I slipped in a piece of cardboard from a potato chip box to insulate the wire from the metal distributor body, and he was up and running again.

I was just wondering if anyone else has seen this problem, and does anyone know the part number for a replacement wire? Thanks, Tom

52-fan
07-20-2015, 09:47 AM
I made me a wire like that years ago and got it too short. The vacuum advance eventually made the wire come out of its connector and caused backfiring and lots of problems. I made a new wire with a bit of slack for movement and all was fine.....after replacing the exhaust manifold gaskets and the muffler which got blown open. :O

Mrs K Corbin
07-20-2015, 09:49 AM
Had the same trouble with my 2R5 back about '07 I've since made a new wire and keep it in the glove. That's of course after paying the tow-fee and replacing that 50cent wire...

fpstude
07-20-2015, 10:23 AM
This happened several years ago with our Lark. It was intermittent and very frustrating. There was a AAA tow home and then it worked fine for months (the problem was not found, it just started again). Finally, it would not start when leaving the California Auto Museum one afternoon and a great friend helped me find the problem. It was the wire you described. I found several replacement wires at a local swap meet. I commend TWChamp for finding the problem so quickly.

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p276/fpstude/DSC04871%20copy_zpsquumqklu.jpg (http://s130.photobucket.com/user/fpstude/media/DSC04871%20copy_zpsquumqklu.jpg.html)

Dwain G.
07-20-2015, 01:25 PM
The majority of breakdowns is/was distributor related. Distributor service was part of a tune up, and almost every shop had a distributor machine. In the cabinet, besides tune up parts, was an assortment of lead-in wires, 'pig tails', and they were replaced almost every time.
If you are going to make your own, be sure to use a special flexible wire, like test lead wire. Regular automotive wire will break in a couple thousand miles.

TWChamp
07-20-2015, 01:37 PM
You are so right Dwain. When I was in high school I replaced the bad distributor wire with ordinary wire and soon found my 55 Chevy had a built in 35 MPH governor. The plain wire would flex at that speed and start loosing contact. The was a lesson I never forgot.

RadioRoy
07-20-2015, 02:27 PM
We had that happen to my friend's 55 Champion Conestoga wagon on the tour to/from the International meet in Spokane years ago. I had to make one from a piece of stereo speaker wire given to us by a friendly passer by.

jackb
07-20-2015, 04:17 PM
.....and check any bakelite/equivalent insulator....

TWChamp
07-23-2015, 07:07 AM
The other day I slipped a piece of cardboard from my TV dinner box into the distributor next to the wire, just as a preventative measure, but I'm going to replace that with a piece of plastic cut from a pop bottle. The plastic being so smooth will last longer and be less likely to abrade the insulation on the wire.