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Old 02-06-2020, 04:55 PM   #1
shew01
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Default “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

Page 346 in the Service Bulletins says “If the points are burnt or pitted they should be dressed down with an oil stone. Do not use a file.”

I’ve seen similar references elsewhere for Model As. Why would Ford not want to use a point file?


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Old 02-06-2020, 05:06 PM   #2
J Franklin
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

Maybe the file in the farmers garage was a bit corse compared to a points file or oil stone.
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:40 PM   #3
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

It can chip the contacts--- i use a diamond knife sharpener
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Old 02-06-2020, 05:53 PM   #4
David R.
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

I would assume the smoother the surface, the less likely for pitting to begin, hence the reasoning for oilstone instead of file.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:22 PM   #5
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

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Originally Posted by J Franklin View Post
Maybe the file in the farmers garage was a bit corse compared to a points file or oil stone.


Hmmm... Actually, that sounds plausible. :-)


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Old 02-06-2020, 07:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

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It can chip the contacts--- i use a diamond knife sharpener

The ones I found on Amazon looked too big to use on a car. Can you post a link to what you use?


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Old 02-06-2020, 07:27 PM   #7
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Default “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

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Originally Posted by David R. View Post
I would assume the smoother the surface, the less likely for pitting to begin, hence the reasoning for oilstone instead of file.

Is an oil stone the same thing that some folks call a hone?


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Old 02-06-2020, 08:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

emery paper was the go to in my day
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

Yea they meant a standard file. the "modern" points file is more of a burnishing tool.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:54 AM   #10
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

Besides you have a better chance of keeping the contacts parallel using a points file.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:35 AM   #11
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

I use a narrow strip of adhesive type sandpaper that I can fold over , stick together so it sands on both sides , like a file that is flexible . This works best for me .
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:48 AM   #12
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

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Is an oil stone the same thing that some folks call a hone?
Yes. Oiled stone or honing stone.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:49 AM   #13
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

I have and still use the same point file I've used for at least the last 50 years, no problems yet.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:57 PM   #14
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

I was told years ago not to use any kind of abrasive (sand paper etc) because it will leave crap embedded in the contact surfaces. FWIW
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

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emery paper was the go to in my day

Not sure I would use emery paper anywhere electrons are flowing. (points, armatures, etc) Emery is conductive and may short out to ground if grit accumulates. Sand paper would be a better choice if a good fine file can't be found...


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Old 02-07-2020, 04:25 PM   #16
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

If you're stuck out on the road use what eve you have. If you're in town don't be so darn cheap. Go buy a new set.
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Old 02-08-2020, 12:07 AM   #17
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

My 2 cents I have worked on 40's 50's mopars (Dodge Plymouths) for many years and have got a . Lot of vehicle's running by cleaning the points with a point file. Ok not a Model A but a similar animal.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:13 PM   #18
J Franklin
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

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If you're stuck out on the road use what eve you have. If you're in town don't be so darn cheap. Go buy a new set.
Sometimes the "new" stuff isn't as good as repaired "old" stuff.
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Old 02-08-2020, 01:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

Filing the points can reach a point of no return! LOL The points on my 48 had been filed so many times in the past that they were down to the base. I finally had to bite the bullet and get new ones. Most of the time you are just removing the deposits from one side anyway, then giving a quick wipe out with a match book cover to get oil off.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:09 AM   #20
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Default Re: “Do not use a file” to dress down breaker points

I use a diamond, Nail file. I got it in the Dollar store for, you guessed it, 1buck. It's slimmer than a metal file. Emery paper would be fine except Emery is a conductor. I don't want a conductive dust floating around inside the distributor.
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