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sluggish to dead

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  • sluggish to dead

    Continuting the saga of my 61 Lark 6cyl. It went to sluggish to not starting. Dumb question, how do you set the points? Thanks

    David G. Nittler
    David G. Nittler

  • #2
    quote:Originally posted by drnittler

    Continuting the saga of my 61 Lark 6cyl. It went to sluggish to not starting. Dumb question, how do you set the points? Thanks

    David G. Nittler
    Well, remove the distributor cap. Rotate the engine by hand until the fiber rubbing block of the points comes up on one of the lobes of the distributor cam. Use a feeler gage set to measure the gap between the points. The specified value is .017 - .022" Loosen the screw that retains the point set to the breaker plate, and use a screwdriver to pry the fixed point to and fro to set the gap. you should find a place provided where you can easily insert screwdriver and easily twist it one way or another to shift the fixed point. Please note that used points are likely to be worn or pitted, so that a flat feeler gage won't accurately measure the gap. That's why dwell meters were invented. Use a dwell setting of 37 to 41 degrees. Alternatively, remove the points from the distributor, and carefully use a file or abrasive paper to smooth the surfaces of the contacts so a feeler gage can be used.

    BTW, I would hesitate to blame "going from sluggish to non-starting" on the points, unless this was accompanied by an engine miss that rapidly got worse. Problems with the ignition system are almost always manifested by a miss.

    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

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    • #3
      quote:Originally posted by gordr

      BTW, I would hesitate to blame "going from sluggish to non-starting" on the points,
      Gord's right, as usual. [^]

      Before you start changing anything and making diagnosis more difficult, do some basic tests...Is it getting gas? Is it getting spark at the plugs?





      Dick Steinkamp
      Bellingham, WA

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      • #4
        After you set the points, close them and drag between them a piece of heavy paper such as a business card. Do that until the paper comes out clean. Sometimes just the least amount of oil or crud on the feeler gauge will mess things up. As I said earlier, buy a $1.29 can of starting fluid, have someone crank it over and squirt little short bursts (maybe 1/4-1/2 of a second) into the carb. If it fires, you'll know right quick it's fuel related. If it doesn't, then it's likely electrical.

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