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Old 07-03-2019, 08:53 AM   #1
all american boy
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Default How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

What all can you check on the ignition?


We have a dwell meter and timing light.


Can we use the late Y block distributor as an example.


We also have Actron vacuum meter and vacuum pump to work the vacuum


advance while the car is in the garage.
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:15 AM   #2
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Better get focused here.


How about dwell first.


It has a value.What does that mean? Is it how long the points stay closed?


Been a while since we've done a tune up.Many moons in fact.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Here is our little Sears Automotive Analyzer.


Will read section on dwell.See what they say.


So how do some of you play the 'dwell game'.


We plan on paying more attention to the details this time.


'Doing things right.' So to speak.
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File Type: jpg Sears Automotive Analyzer.jpg (42.0 KB, 8 views)
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Old 07-03-2019, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Quote:
Originally Posted by all american boy View Post
. . .
How about dwell first.
It has a value.What does that mean? Is it how long the points stay closed?
. . .
So how do some of you play the 'dwell game'.
We plan on paying more attention to the details this time.
. . .
Dwell angle is the number of degrees out of a full rotation of the distributor that the points are closed. Look up the recommended setting for the engine being serviced.
A Ford Y-block is 26 to 28.5 degrees. The dwell on the points can be set with the dist cap & rotor off while cranking the engine over with a remote start switch.
I usually set the dwell at the 'wide' end of the spec. so the points settle in to the middle of the range as the wiper block gets some initial wear. Put a very small dab of dist lube on the cam lobes.

Once set, the dwell should not vary by 4 degrees or more when the engine is running. If it does the shaft bushings are too worn.
Also make sure the centrifugal & vacuum advance mechanisms are clean, very lightly lubed (as needed) and working correctly.

https://www.howacarworks.com/ignitio...he-dwell-angle

After the points are set then the timing can be adjusted. Y-block engines usually like a few extra degrees of initial/static timing.

If you're looking for better performance an electronic conversion kit to replace the points will make the ignition more stable (no 'points float') but won't add performance on its own unless other more expensive changes are made... depending on what parts you're starting with. (upgraded: cam, valve springs, heads, intake and exh manifolds, etc. etc.)
Which might shoot down your stated "On A Budget" premise.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg points cam lube.jpg (32.1 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg 57 dist copy 2.jpg (54.2 KB, 5 views)

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Old 07-03-2019, 07:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

I just lost my response I worked on for a few minutes.


Reply timed out.Great!


Thank you dmsfrr.


Let me gather my forces and try this later.
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Old 07-03-2019, 07:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

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I just lost my response I worked on for a few minutes.
Reply timed out.
...
Click/check mark the "Remember Me" box next to your User Name and Password before you log in.


.

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Old 07-03-2019, 09:36 PM   #7
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

'Click/check mark the "Remember Me"'


Thank you Albuquerque!


Checking our manual here.


Looks like a battery voltage check and a points resistance test BEFORE doing the dwell tests.


It says the dwell variation over 3 degrees can be worn distributor shaft and bushings or worn breaker plate.


Just like you said.More or less.Would get a person looking in the right direction.


Then there are more tests up ahead until you can 'close the hood' and go 'Oh.Now I know the ignition is working right!'


You 'have to enjoy the going' not just the getting there.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Here is something from our own experience.


Get the NAPA Gold tuneup parts instead of the NAPA Silver.


The caps and rotors have brass contacts instead of aluminum.


NAPA Gold cap & rotor are made from that brownish plastic that is better than black plastic in NAPA Silver parts.


Get the next step up from economy plug wires.Should have brass ends for spark plugs and distributor cap.


As far as spark plugs we prefer Champion.I suppose you can get Motorcraft if makes you feel better about it.


There will probably be several 'correct' plugs called for in the listing.
Try different sets.
They will vary in how far the electrode sticks into the combustion chamber and how much the electrode sticks out of the spark plug.


That last thing is 'heat range'.'Hot' or 'cold' plugs.
We lean towards 'hot' plugs.Sounds like it provides more complete combustion.


Have fun!
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Old 07-09-2019, 06:02 PM   #9
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Quote:
Originally Posted by all american boy View Post
Here is something from our own experience.



That last thing is 'heat range'.'Hot' or 'cold' plugs.
We lean towards 'hot' plugs.Sounds like it provides more complete combustion.
But that "hot" heat range plug may start to glow red during full throttle application. Then what? Pre-ignition, that's what! There go the tops of the pistons!! You only need hot plugs as a crutch to keep a slobbering rich engine running at light throttle (or to keep an oil burner running a little while longer).
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:49 PM   #10
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

'But that "hot" heat range plug may start to glow red'


Okay.


Only experiment with colder or hotter range plugs if you want to see what they are like.


Go slow and take lots of plug readings.


Otherwise 'stay in the boat' and use the recommended heat range plug.
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Old 07-10-2019, 08:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Anybody know how long you have to run engine to get a new 'burn pattern'


on the spark plugs?


So you can take them out and read them.


Do know there are three running conditions or circuits in the carburetor.


Idle, cruising and acceleration.


Trying to figure out how to get the plugs to change to new patterns after changes in the engine.


Sure know what the spark plug chart from Champion looks like.


Use to see them on the counter at NAPA stores.


Always looked at them but never did enough spark plug checks.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:37 AM   #12
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Quote:
Originally Posted by all american boy View Post
Anybody know how long you have to run engine to get a new 'burn pattern'


on the spark plugs?


So you can take them out and read them.


Do know there are three running conditions or circuits in the carburetor.


Idle, cruising and acceleration.


Trying to figure out how to get the plugs to change to new patterns after changes in the engine.


Sure know what the spark plug chart from Champion looks like.


Use to see them on the counter at NAPA stores.


Always looked at them but never did enough spark plug checks.

It doesn't take long. For a full throttle reading standard procedure is to immediately cut the ignition at the end of a run, shift to neutral, stop and read the plugs or get towed back to the pits and read the plugs. If you let the engine idle after the run, your plug reading will be worthless!
For example, you may be lean at full throttle (plugs will be white) but too rich at idle (plugs black/dark) so if you idle back to the pits and read the plugs, you may think it's running rich and jet down some more. Next run burned pistons and you don't know why!!
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:11 AM   #13
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

'It doesn't take long.'


Ah ha! All these years was never quite clear on that.


Okay.That will make the job easier.


'cut the ignition at the end of a run, shift to neutral, stop and read the plugs'


That takes care of 'acceleration'.Idle reading should be simple.


'Cruising'(will find out correct name of carburetor circuit) looks like a bit of a problem.


Any ideas?
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Quote:
Originally Posted by all american boy View Post
'It doesn't take long.'


Ah ha! All these years was never quite clear on that.


Okay.That will make the job easier.


'cut the ignition at the end of a run, shift to neutral, stop and read the plugs'


That takes care of 'acceleration'.Idle reading should be simple.


'Cruising'(will find out correct name of carburetor circuit) looks like a bit of a problem.


Any ideas?
Simply cruise at a steady 60 MPH or so on a level road for 5 miles or so, kill the ignition, shift into neutral, come to a stop and read the plugs. You do realize, of course, that to get the most accurate readings, you must install new plugs for each test!
A better idea: Use an air/fuel ratio meter with a wideband oxygen sensor. This way you can read the exact fuel mixture instantly under all conditions as you drive!

By the way, the carb circuits are: idle, main, power and acceleration. You can add choke (or cold start enrichment) if you want to.
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Old 07-11-2019, 12:50 AM   #15
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Thank you 40Deluxe


All sounds good!


Going to look in our Analyzer manual for more tests.


Pretty sure there is a coil test.Tests 'inside the coil' and 'the spark'.I think.


That will be interesting to see how well it works and test a 'high performance' one.


See what the difference is.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:17 PM   #16
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Quote:
Originally Posted by all american boy View Post
Here is our little Sears Automotive Analyzer.


Will read section on dwell.See what they say.


So how do some of you play the 'dwell game'.


We plan on paying more attention to the details this time.


'Doing things right.' So to speak.
This is not about the points or plugs but takes off from your Sears Analyzer. In the day, the hot Carburetor and Ignition shops had Oscilloscopes or just "scopes."(get a yellow pages from the day to see whoo was ascending.) Now when was it in the late 50's they went to the carbon filled fiber spark plug wires? Anyway, they often failed as the years went by. Later some silicon filled resistance wires were used to replace the earlies which were to avoid static in the radio. My father used resistance sparkplugs, Usually Autolite until Ford had to divest that in 1963 or 64 and Motorcraft was born.
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:27 PM   #17
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

'had Oscilloscopes or just "scopes."'


Yep.That would be better than Analyzer. Analyzer is home version of a scope so to speak.As close as a home mechanic is going to get or should get.


'Anyway, they often failed as the years went by.'


Good point! That is a good idea to check those.You could really end up chasing your tail not catching not up to snuff plug wires.


Our car will be a trailer car so we can use non resistor or 'race' plug wires.
Same for plugs.Use to get the non resistor for our 'big engine/little car' anyhow.There was no radio in car.


No back seat.No carpet.The only way to fly!
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Old 07-17-2019, 02:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Budget tip:Non ignition.


Speed tuning chapter engine book.


Larger jets in the primaries.


That means getting a box of jets.To us that means putting a Holley double pump on.


Never did get a box of jets we were going at it before.Had just about everything else Holley sold to go with our 850 racing double pump.



Don't have time to relearn a new carb.Holley parts are reasonable and easy to get.Save you a whole bunch of time later.


Should be ignition tips coming up in 'Tuning for Speed'!


For the 'Always hungry for information hot rodder '!
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Old 07-17-2019, 03:32 PM   #19
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

More to tuning a carb than swapping jets. At full throttle high RPM, air flow may be so great that enough more fuel is 'pulled' through the jets that the mixture may get too rich even though it is correct at lower RPM and throttle openings.
The fix is to enlarge the air bleeds so more air comes into the mixture and gives the needed high speed lean out. With a long duration cam you may need to drill holes in the primary throttle plates so you don't have to set the idle up so much that the transfer ports are uncovered. How big are the holes? Ah, that is part of the carb tuning procedure! Experiment until you get it right. Next, what is the best accelerator pump setting; #1 or #2 position? Which color cam? What size squirter nozzles? What's the best float setting-factory, or a little higher? Or a little lower? Have fun!

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Old 07-17-2019, 08:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: How To Hop Up On A Budget No. 1 Ignition

Thank you 40Deluxe. All good tips.


All coming back to me now.


Here is a budget ignition tip.


If it will fit use the Duraspark cap,cap adapter and rotor.


That is a real cheapskate move!


Then find a set of 'High Performance' points.


Should be made from better materials. They will have a stronger spring to



reduce points bounce.


Happy Budget Hopping Up!
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