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Old 12-28-2019, 10:46 AM   #1
philipswanson
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Default Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

I notice the video on U Tube has the coil still attached to the helmet while setting up the distributor. I have a 504 Sun machine and have run my 1940 helmet on it without the coil. Is there an advantage to running the coil with it on the Sun machine?

Last edited by philipswanson; 12-28-2019 at 09:08 PM. Reason: wrong one
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Old 12-28-2019, 10:56 AM   #2
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

...

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Old 12-28-2019, 11:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

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Originally Posted by philipswanson View Post
I notice the video on U Tube has the coil still attached to the crab while setting up the distributor. I have a 504 Sun machine and have run my 1940 crab on it without the coil. Is there an advantage to running the coil with it on the Sun machine?

When you eventually bolt the coil on, the spring tension can actually cause the points setting to move. Best with coil installed in final form. DD
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

Not sure if you have a “crab” (1942) distributor, or a 1940 distributor as you say both in the same sentence.
On all 32-41 distributors it’s imperative to have the coil or a coil adapter plate installed. The breaker plate is not a press fit into the cast iron housing, and typically has .005-.010” of side to side play. When talking about points, those are big numbers. With the coil attached it presses down on the breaker plate to the position it would normally be in.

For the same exact reasons it’s important to be sure the timing adjuster it tight when setting dwell.


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Old 12-28-2019, 11:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

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Not sure if you have a “crab” (1942) distributor, or a 1940 distributor as you say both in the same sentence.

Michael....I focused on the "1940" in his post and subconsciously assumed that he misused the term "crab" to mean distributor. I guess most of us realize that you don't mount a coil to a crab distributor. DD
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:43 AM   #6
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

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Originally Posted by V8COOPMAN View Post
Michael....I focused on the "1940" in his post and subconsciously assumed that he misused the term "crab" to mean distributor. I guess most of us realize that you don't mount a coil to a crab distributor. DD
Yes I assumed the same. ..... crab, crap, carb, cap, car. All those words staring blending together sometimes.
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Old 12-28-2019, 11:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

If you have the manual for your machine it explains how to test early Ford distributors both the crab and the helmet types. If coil mounts to Dist. It is what's called a helmet.
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

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When you eventually bolt the coil on, the spring tension can actually cause the points setting to move. Best with coil installed in final form. DD
Thanks, didn't know that one. Will do both of them again.
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: Testing Crap On Sun Machine

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Originally Posted by 35fordtn View Post
Not sure if you have a “crab” (1942) distributor, or a 1940 distributor as you say both in the same sentence.
On all 32-41 distributors it’s imperative to have the coil or a coil adapter plate installed. The breaker plate is not a press fit into the cast iron housing, and typically has .005-.010” of side to side play. When talking about points, those are big numbers. With the coil attached it presses down on the breaker plate to the position it would normally be in.

For the same exact reasons it’s important to be sure the timing adjuster it tight when setting dwell.


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Thanks for all the help on my HELMET.
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:19 PM   #10
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

Just for the heck of it try it each way on your machine, and you’ll notice the dwell reading will be lower with the coil attached...

Excellent question by the way!
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Old 12-28-2019, 09:32 PM   #11
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

I strobe all the distributors with the coil attached as a unit . Without the coil the numbers will change.
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Old 12-29-2019, 10:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

For some reason, when I hit the right dwell on the machine, gaps come out tighter than the spec.
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Old 12-29-2019, 11:15 AM   #13
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

That’s normal. Don’t pay attention to gap. It’s just a number. Dwell is all that matters. If the gap is less than .010, then maybe you could have a concern. I run distributors nearly daily on my sun machine and I couldn’t tell you the gap on any of them.


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Old 01-05-2020, 11:15 AM   #14
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

Tried dwell with and without coil installed. Made no difference. I think its an old wife's tale.
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Old 01-05-2020, 12:36 PM   #15
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

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Originally Posted by DISBELIEVER View Post
Tried dwell with and without coil installed. Made no difference. I think its an old wife's tale.

Michael (35fordtn)….It's almost amazing, isn't it? You do this every day for a living with the proper equipment, right? The proverbial "horse" asks you for a drink of water. You politely lead him directly to the glistening brook. Besides a slap in the face, all you get is..."Nah, I was only BS-ing about being thirsty!" DD
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:32 PM   #16
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

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Originally Posted by philipswanson View Post
Tried dwell with and without coil installed. Made no difference. I think its an old wife's tale.
To further test your theory, test with a few different coils to be certain the one you're using doesn't have a weak or worn spring. I have not tried testing without coil but next time I work on a distributor I will.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:38 PM   #17
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

I too believed it wouldn’t make a difference until once you read the instructions printed by Ford for testing on their heyer machine they make it clear that coil should be mounted. I don’t mount a coil but rather a adapter plate. I can promise and bet everything I own it makes a difference maybe minimal on some distributors and more on others, but it does. I noticed it just Friday night that tightening and loosening the timing adjuster moved the dwell. Again what causes this is the play between the breaker plate and housing.

Cool man, you crack me up!
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:46 PM   #18
philipswanson
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

The thing about it is that on my helmet distributors the breaker point plates are a tight fit in the housings and a couple of ounces of spring pressure have absolutely no effect on the points. Maybe they shouldn't be that way but this is what I have.
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Old 01-05-2020, 01:58 PM   #19
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

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Originally Posted by philipswanson View Post
Tried dwell with and without coil installed. Made no difference. I think its an old wife's tale.
I’ve set up many V8 & V12 distributors over the last 33 or so years on my Sun Machine and have always done the with the coil attached, the Sun manual advises it so I never strobe without it . I have done it long ago just for comparison, It can cause change without it so I just don’t do it. The biggest change I usually see is loosening and tightening the screw for the timing adjustment .
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Old 01-05-2020, 04:26 PM   #20
philipswanson
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Default Re: Testing Helmet On Sun Machine

If you were to remove the coil when mounted on the Sun machine and reach in to the mounting pad (brass button) can you move it? On my helmets, it won't move. So mounting the coil has no affect. Should it move easily? My two don't.

Sorry if I stepped on some toes but that's the way mine are, no affect, coil or no coil.
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