20 October 2012

do as I say not as I do

My struggles getting our roadster pickup running had stalled for the past couple weeks.
I've been distracted with enough projects
to know that I'll get more distracted with a perfectly tuned hot rod.
I'll want to just drive it around aimlessly in circles like our retired neighbor rides his harley.

perich brothers (and sister): troubleshooting a pumpkin

Last post was about me figuring out the static timing.
It helped out but didn't solve the problem.
(*symptoms - mid/high RPM misfire. idles ok. all plugs rich but dry.)
These past 2 weeks I've had little bursts of thought on how to fix it.
I came to the conclusion to replace the dual SHARP manifold
with the stock single manifold.
Then I could rejet one of the carbs,
 change the linkage and generator mount.
Don't start at square 1.
Go straight to Broadway and don't even roll.

Before I started the dissection,
I figured I'd go through the distributor one more time.
The points were checked and filed a bit.
Timing was put to a static TDC to start.
Inside of cap and rotor were unnecessariliy cleaned up,
or was it?
mallory YB-247EX & mallory YC-275E
ford vs mercury flathead

There are many variations of early Mallory distributors for the ford flatheads.
The castings are similar but different,
point gaps change from 0.15 to 0.20,
but the 2-piece cap seems to be the same across the board.
The dizzy on the RPU is a ZB-247A.
mallory 2-piece distributor cap gasket

For some reason I decided to separate the cap.
Low and behold what had happened here?
Holey Chit!
The spark plug wire contacts were wasted!
There is a rubber gasket that holds the wires snug,
but not dry.
Well it did for most of the past 9 years I guess.
Must have been the 6 years leaving it out in the Ventura rain,
or the rain coming home from the GNRS show.
mallory 2-piece distributor cap base

The light corrosion was chipped off the points in the cap,
and the wires were trimmed to get a clean contact.
I've got to get the most out of this temporary OTC set of wires
that have lasted 9 years now.
Hey I'm a hack I know.
mallory 2-piece distributor cap

Spark plug wires are strange as they shoot a high current to the plug,
but the core inside is only a really thin wire.
Anyway everything was reattached and it was time to hear it run.
mallory flathead distributor

Wouldn't you know it the old flathead roared to life!
Started up much quicker even with the 6 volts.
Way smoother at the higher RPM's.
This may have solved the problem!
Glad I wasn't drinking.
Let's go drive!
vintage flathead mallory  ignition system 

Puta Madre!
We were trapped!
chief the storage unit

In a typical "do what I say not what I do" moment,
the night drive was cut short by not following my one simple rule,
that was actually brought up by a HAMB gearhead friend/reader the other day.
"not let my car become a shelf haha." - Tim in Iowa.
Thanks Tim for calling me out on my own chit!
(congratulations on your wedding today!)
stool time - garage clutter

I really didn't feel like moving junk around.
And now instead of cleaning this saturday morning,
I'm just typing about it.
Get me off this damn computer!



  1. Put a layer of dielectric grease on the gasket and on all spark plug wire ends and other critical places in the distributor that make sense to keep dry.

  2. Yeah I used this silicone grease,
    basically the same stuff.
    Lasted at least 6+ years,
    I'm sure the corrosion has been growing for a couple!
    I swear it ran better when I left it outside in the elements!