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Old 04-18-2020, 10:43 AM   #1
51woodie
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Default Dirty Points?

I installed my "Bubba Built" distributor on my '46 Coupe last fall, and finally got around to looking at the distributor that I removed. I notice there was a light oil film in the area of the points plate and housing. Out of curiosity, I wiped a piece of paper between each set of points, and found there was a light film on one set, and enough of a film on the other set to "wet" the paper. Is this "oil mist" normal for these distributors? What is the affect on the operation of the points. The engine was running very well when I swapped it out for the Bubba unit.
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Old 04-18-2020, 12:19 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

The oil residue will eventually start effecting the performance of the firing of the points to
to where they will ground out and not function as they are supposed to. Need to spray the area with electronic cleaner and follow up with a short blast of WD40. This will put a barrier of non conducting of electricity on the points as a protect ant against grounding out if the oil residue continues .
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Old 04-18-2020, 02:15 PM   #3
51woodie
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Vic. I would still like to know if oil in the distributor is common. I would't think it to be normal. I believe the spiral groove in the dist. shaft is there to act as a "dynamic seal", if that is the term, to keep oil from the cam getting in to the dist.. Is there a drain passage on the front cover to return oil to the pan that could be plugged? The dist. in question only had about 2500 miles in service before I swapped it.
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Old 04-18-2020, 03:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

51woodie The oil should not be getting into the distributor.
I bet the shaft to body clearance is to much allowing the oil to find its way up into the top.
Good luck Vic
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Old 04-18-2020, 06:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Dirty points usually come from the engine not being run for a long
period of time. A lot of times they will self clean and burn the dirt
off. If it is enough dirt to cause the points to arc then they need to
be filed or replaced. G.M.
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Old 04-19-2020, 09:13 AM   #6
51woodie
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Vic. Thanks for the idea on the shaft clearance. I can't find a spec in any of my manuals, but I measured the shaft and bushing, getting a clearance of .0015", which seem reasonable to me.


G.M. As I live out in the country, a short trip for me is at least 1 to 2 hours, so the engine if warmed up and running at about 170 to 180 deg., depending on the ambient temp.


I guess I'll do like some, and carry tools, a spare distributor, fuel pump, carb, condenser and F/A kit in the trunk.


Still like to know how a fine film of oil gets into the distributor/points area.
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Old 04-19-2020, 10:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

I would not use the WD40 as stated above. It's a light oil that will attract more dirt by leaving a film which will also increase resistance. Just shoot it with some electronics contact cleaner. Same with the rotor and other contacts.
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Old 04-20-2020, 08:10 AM   #8
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Mystery solved? I disassembled the unit and found that there was little to no oil coating behind the advance plate. The backside of the points plate was clean. So.... I think the oil on the points must have come from the grease I used on the points rub blocks and the very light wipe of grease that I put on the point cam. I used white grease when I rebuilt the unit, which probably doesn't like the temperature it is exposed to in the distributor that is hung on the front of the engine, behind a rad blasting out heat. When I got my Bubba unit, I noted that he uses what I expect is a high temperature, red colored grease. I will get some high-temp grease, and put the unit back together as a spare. Any comments are appreciated.
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Old 04-20-2020, 09:06 AM   #9
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

I agree about NOT using wd40 for the reason stated by phil.should add you are (were)right about the white grease.

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Old 04-20-2020, 10:49 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 51woodie View Post
Mystery solved? I disassembled the unit and found that there was little to no oil coating behind the advance plate. The backside of the points plate was clean. So.... I think the oil on the points must have come from the grease I used on the points rub blocks and the very light wipe of grease that I put on the point cam. I used white grease when I rebuilt the unit, which probably doesn't like the temperature it is exposed to in the distributor that is hung on the front of the engine, behind a rad blasting out heat. When I got my Bubba unit, I noted that he uses what I expect is a high temperature, red colored grease. I will get some high-temp grease, and put the unit back together as a spare. Any comments are appreciated.
Mobil One synthetic wheel bearing grease ...red

NO White lube !!!!
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Old 04-20-2020, 11:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

I agree with guys about WD-40 but as he explained in the beginning that he was getting oil residue in the distributor. Until he finds the culprit and wants to drive his baby , that is what I would do. Normally I run distributors dry , except where the felt wiper touches the distributor , then I will put a small dab of lubricant.
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Old 04-20-2020, 12:13 PM   #12
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BUBBAS IGNITION View Post
Mobil One synthetic wheel bearing grease ...red

NO White lube !!!!
I use clearish white lube... Meant for distributor cams.. I presume you meant Lubriplate.

Just for the heck of it, one time I sprayed a entire breaker plate with points and all in
superlube spray lubricant to see if it would case the points to lose contact while running on the sun machine.. It actually performed better, although I would not do that in real life on a car.
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Old 04-20-2020, 01:12 PM   #13
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Alternatively you can use some dielectric grease which is made specifically for that purpose and will not effect the resistance of the points.
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Old 04-20-2020, 02:39 PM   #14
51woodie
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Default Re: Dirty Points?

Thank you for the name of the lube you use Jim. Yes, the "white grease" was Lubriplate. It was surprised when I looked at the points after removing the oil, that there was no pitting on either contact, so I guess the oil didn't do any harm, even thought it was unwanted.
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