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How do I set the points ??

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  • Electrical: How do I set the points ??

    I put the ignition (289) back together with new points etc. today. (The neighbor kid learned a few new words). With the uniset design... condenser attached to the points, I could barely see the point gap with a mirror let alone get a feeler gauge anywhere near to set them. The best I could do was look at a .016 feeler and eyeball the points.

    It started right up and ran but that doesn't mean it's right.

    I followed this advice on setting the float ( http://www.studebaker-info.org/tech/...wcarbfladj.htm ) when rebuilding the carb and I think it made a difference.

    Maybe it was all the new parts and maybe it was blind luck but it sure started easier than before I shut it down in August.

  • #2
    What year is the car / engine? I assume you have the Prestolite distributor? What about a dwell meter?

    Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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    • #3
      If you have the distributor out can you set the points prior to putting the distributor back into the car?

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      • #4
        I think only the Delco window distributor had the point,condensor combination available. You can open the window, and adjust the points with the engine running on those.
        Hook up a dwell meter, and set it to specs. Barring that, it should be fairly easy to set the gap, just make sure the points are on the high spot of the cam, and adjust the hex key adjustment to approximately .017" on a feeler gauge.
        Bez Auto Alchemy
        573-318-8948
        http://bezautoalchemy.com


        "Don't believe every internet quote" Abe Lincoln

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        • #5
          We're making progress here with your comments. But back to my first question... do you have to remove the distributor to set the points? I can hardly see the point gap let alone get a feeler gauge anywhere near them. Or wait... does the plate that the rotor attaches to come off? I pulled on it but it seemed permanently attached. Is there a secret key to release it somewhere.

          Oh yes... dwell meter. I just found it in the bottom of a box my ex packed for me after I had left her 25 years ago. I'm still mad she got my TD that still sits under a big box in the front of her garage, but that's another story. Now please give me a quick lesson on how to use this thing and where to attach the red aligator clip and the black one!!

          Oh yes, its a 259 in a Champ and my distributor cap has a window on the side... thought that was a cute idea for some other application... it's all kind of starting to make sense now.

          Thanks for your help.

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          • #6
            Attach the red (+) lead of the dwell meter to the distributor side of the coil (small wire that goes from the coil to the distributor). The black (-) lead to ground. Set the switch on the dwell meter to 8 cylinders. Start the car. Raise the little window in the distributor cap and insert the proper allen wrench (hex key) into the socket. Turn the allen wrench one way or the other until the proper dwell shows on the dwell meter (28-32 degrees)
            Dick Steinkamp
            Bellingham, WA

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            • #7
              Thanks Dick... too logical on the dwell. Now help me on setting the point gap. please..

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              • #8
                Try putting it all back together, then start engine and allow it to idle. Then with the engine idling, open window on distributor cap, insert allen wrench into screw and turn screw 'in' until engine almost dies. Then
                back out 1/2 turn, and that should do it. (In is clockwise)

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by mmagic View Post
                  Thanks Dick... too logical on the dwell. Now help me on setting the point gap. please..
                  It's the same thing. A point gap of .016 inches = a dwell of 28-32 degrees. You can set the point gap/dwell either with a feeler gauge or with a dwell meter.

                  With a feeler gauge you are setting the maximum distance the points will open when on the high point of the distributor cam (.016 inches in your case)...which will also set how LONG the points will be closed when not on the high point of the cam.

                  With a dwell meter, you are setting the degrees of distributor cam rotation that the points are closed...which is just another way of saying the above.

                  A dwell meter is a more accurate way of setting point gap. Even with a non window distributor, always check your gap setting with a dwell meter and readjust if necessary in order to obtain the specified dwell angle.
                  Dick Steinkamp
                  Bellingham, WA

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                  • #10
                    Ah !!! I thought I had to do both and it created a mental circle jerk when I couldn't even reach the points with a feeler gauge.

                    First thing in the morning I'll dust off this old meter and set the dwell.

                    Thanks again.

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                    • #11
                      I don't think you are completely reading all of Dick's Post, it is even easier than connecting an old maybe, incorrect Dwell Meter!

                      I would run the engine, turn the Allen Screw in until it misfires, back it out a 1/2 turn, THEN maybe check it with the old Meter.

                      You have the '60 & '61 Lark Delco Window Distributor, the easiest distributor to adjust points ever made!
                      StudeRich
                      Second Generation Stude Driver,
                      Proud '54 Starliner Owner
                      SDC Member Since 1967

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                      • #12
                        AND... be aware that adjusting the dwell also affects engine timing! Be sure to re-check and re-set your timing after you've gotten the proper gap set.

                        Clark in San Diego | '63 Standard (F2) "Barney" | http://studeblogger.blogspot.com

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by showbizkid View Post
                          AND... be aware that adjusting the dwell also affects engine timing! Be sure to re-check and re-set your timing after you've gotten the proper gap set.
                          Excellent point (about the points <grin>)...and always in that sequence. Set the dwell THEN the timing.
                          Dick Steinkamp
                          Bellingham, WA

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                          • #14
                            If on a 4bbl and the dist is hooked to ported vac.......no harm if advance in circuit......otherwise plug it when you set timing.
                            Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp View Post
                            Excellent point (about the points <grin>)...and always in that sequence. Set the dwell THEN the timing.

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                            • #15
                              Distributor......which one??

                              I cannot find a thread on finding out exactly which distributor I have. I have a 6 cyl, 1961 Lark but the cap has no "window" and I dont know where to look to tell me which distributor manufacturer I have. The manual tells you two different settings for the points based on which distributor I have.

                              If I do find out which one I have, can I get a new cap with a window for it? I ordered a new cap from Summit for a 61 lark and got a new one that looks exactly like the one that came with the car.....again, no window. In past years I always loved having the window but dont know what to do with what I have.....

                              thanks for all inputs...
                              Gregor

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