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Old 08-12-2019, 04:41 PM   #1
JOHN CT
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Default Distributor help

Iím working on a friends 30 A. Having spark problems. The A ran fine last week. Now when Itís started sounds like itís running on 2 or 3 cylinders back firing spitting. So I opened up the distributor just to take a look,and of course the modern points were in poor shape. I timed the car removed the cam and the upper plate. To install a new set of modern points. I found the lower plate is the wireless type. (I never had any luck with those) and also the 2 small screws the hold the lower plate on were missing and the plate was dancing around I guess the last person thought spring would hold it down. This is gotta be the reason why itís running like crap right? So I installed one of the screws but of course other one of the holes is stripped any how now I know now I have to remove the distributor. Just for now let me just try to install the upper plate to see if the A will start, of course not!! I do have 6 volts at the beaker arm when the points are open, but no spark at the rotor to the plugs. I didnít check the ign switch yet he told me itís not a pop out itís a plain on and off switch. What did I do wrong??? Please help I gotta go back tomorrow afternoon with penetrating oil to try to remove the distributor Thatís step one!!
Step 2 the distributor is frozen to the head.
Thanks for your help.
The things we do to help our model A friends.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Distributor help

Do you get a spark when you open and close the points? You might be missing the ground or condenser shorted.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:42 PM   #3
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Default Re: Distributor help

When removing the distributer be cautious when prying up on the dist. Mine was so rusted to the head that the bottom half broke off in the head. Had to remove the head to remove the broken piece. Not a fun time. Good luck and use lots of penetrating fluid.
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Old 08-12-2019, 06:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Distributor help

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Do you get a spark when you open and close the points? You might be missing the ground or condenser shorted.
No I didnít get a spark when I opened and closed the points. I do have 6 volt at the point arm when I open the points
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Distributor help

Take the distributor off of your car and put it on his once you get his off. Set the timing and see if it runs. Will let you know if the problem is in the distributor or in the switch.
Talk him into going back to the stock set up on his distributor.

If the distributor is stuck don't pry on it. Call Bert's and order a puller. It will be there by the end of the day Friday if you order it Wednesday morning.
They work like a champ. Just be sure to oil the threads on the puller before you use it.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Distributor help

You are on the right track. If you have 6v at the points and no spark when you crack open the points with the switch on, then you likely need new points. That has been my experience. I've tried filing, sanding, wiping with a dollar bill on old dark points, and no spark. Install new points and and all is well. . You can hold the coil wire that plugs into the distributor cap near a head nut and you should get a nice blue spark.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:15 PM   #7
JOHN CT
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Default Re: Distributor help

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You are on the right track. If you have 6v at the points and no spark when you crack open the points with the switch on, then you likely need new points. That has been my experience. I've tried filing, sanding, wiping with a dollar bill on old dark points, and no spark. Install new points and and all is well. . You can hold the coil wire that plugs into the distributor cap near a head nut and you should get a nice blue spark.
I did install new points
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:19 PM   #8
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Default Re: Distributor help

Clean the contacts. New that can have oil on them from the assembly process.

Life can be hard...

RE;wiping with a dollar bill on old dark points"

The other day I wanted to clean mine and all I had was $100 bill in my wallet (it had been there several weeks), guess what I used?
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Old 08-12-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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Default Re: Distributor help

Remove the lock nut and screw on the side of the head, so you can spray penetrating oil onto the shaft through that hole. Distributor puller is a must. I have pried with two screw drives and had success if the distributor isn't too tight from rust, but prying is very risky, and the distributor is easily broken.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:40 AM   #10
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Default Re: Distributor help

Can someone tell me the tap size that I need for the 2 small screws that holes down the lower plate to the distributor housing? I’m going to try to retap the threads.
The distributor is stuck in the head, and it’s not my car. I don’t want to break it off in the head.
Thanks
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: Distributor help

I found it 8-32 1/4 ? I’m I right?
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Distributor help

They are 8-32 but if they were stripped out I don't think retapping the same size will do much. It looks like there is enough meat to drill out and tap the holes 10-32 if you want to go that route.
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Old 08-13-2019, 08:56 AM   #13
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Default Re: Distributor help

REPLACE DISTRIBUTOR with a STOCK WORKING original distributor. Be VERY careful prying up on distributor. Remove distributor locking screw and squirt penetrating oil in the screw opening. Wait a day or so wiggling dist each time. Don’t rush.
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Old 08-13-2019, 12:31 PM   #14
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Default Re: Distributor help

Maybe I got lucky many years ago. I used a 3' crowbar to get it out. Didn't break it.
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Old 08-13-2019, 01:17 PM   #15
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Default Re: Distributor help

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Maybe I got lucky many years ago. I used a 3' crowbar to get it out. Didn't break it.
Paul in CT
I would consider that very lucky in any circumstance...
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:14 PM   #16
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Default Re: Distributor help

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Originally Posted by ArtimusGordon View Post
REPLACE DISTRIBUTOR with a STOCK WORKING original distributor. Be VERY careful prying up on distributor. Remove distributor locking screw and squirt penetrating oil in the screw opening. Wait a day or so wiggling dist each time. Don’t rush.
I agree. Replace the distributor. Sounds like you need a different one. You can buy good ones on Ebay or Bert's have very good rebuilt ones.
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Old 08-13-2019, 03:37 PM   #17
JOHN CT
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Default Re: Distributor help

I got it running!! It was a bad coil. Thanks to everyone that tried to help me
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:37 PM   #18
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Default Re: Distributor help

Glad you got it running but were you able to get that lower plate secured?
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:52 PM   #19
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Glad you got it running but were you able to get that lower plate secured?
Yes I ran a 8-32 tap through the holes and cleaned out all of the rust and gunk laying in there. Then the screw went right in. Come winter time Iíll give my friend a hand to remove the distributor. Once I get a distributor puller Iíll try it if it breaks weíll then we have to remove the head. Itís just part of the hobby drive it fix it drive it fix it again
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