23 August 2011

flathead distributor fun

You know when you put something together,
and it runs and runs,
than then something happens to it,
and you have a little brain fart on how to fix it?

weedwacker rack

No the weedwacker works fine.
Earlier last week the 40 just crapped out.
We didn't get stuck anywhere,
it just didn't want to start in the garage.

The first thought was the wiring.
The kids like to crawl around in it,
Jaxon likes to pretend he's driving it.
Maybe a wire had loosened up or the ignition switch left on?

user not friendly

a quick voltmeter check and there was power to the coil.
Maybe the coil or condenser went out?
Tough to check without replacing it.

mallory crab cap distributor

It is easy to see if there's power going to a point style distributor by moving the contact(s).
With the ignition on there will be a little spark.
These early flatheads have the front mount distributors,
so without a mirror there's not much visibility.

The easiest way to check it is by removing the cap and bolts but leave the wire on,
than flick the contacts to check for spark.


mallory dual point distributor
59a style

No wonder.
The inside of the distributor was clean,
but the points had a crusty film on them.
It looked like one point set barely had a gap!

Even though I had messed with the timing a while back,
the distributor hadn't been removed since at least 2007,
4 years or so.
Guess I can't complain too much!
Well kinda cause there's not been more than a couple thousand miles on it!

long-haired boy

It was a perfect chance to show the kids what a feeler gauge is for,
and how to file and adjust the points.
Yes I filed them clean,
didn't have a replacement set and they were like new when finished.

We didn't know the correct gap for the points,
and there was no matchbook handy.
So we googled it and found many different answers,
and that is a secondary reason for this post.


The correct gap for a newer style mallory dual point distributor is .016 - .018"

(Vintage mallory's usually have a tag with the correct gap stamped on it.
So this measurement is for the newer mail order version.)

This is the "side of the road" gap measurement,
enough to get it running.
The points should be further modified after hooking up a dwell meter.
Most suggest somewhere around 33 for the dwell.


Thankfully the engine started right up!

This is the case of electronic ignition vs breaker point ignition.
I haven't driven this too far away from home base,
but now I'm gonna make sure to have an extra point and condenser set,
just in case.

Many guys like to use the Pertronix or MSD electronic ignitions,
but man if they break down, than what do you do?
Only side of the road fix is to have a stock distributor and coil to swap?

no more bullhorns

Anyway enough of this.
It runs and I am happy.

Good time to remove the old bike rack,
now it doesn't look like a hick wagon.


No comments:

Post a Comment