Distributor needs rebuild – rotor has scratch marks, interior contacts in cap scratched up. Likely the upper bushing is worn, causing wobble. So won’t replace cap yet till I get a rebuild. Will give it a minor tune up and keep a couple extra rotors in the boot in case on the advice of a friend.
Change Points/Condensor/Rotor, Setting Dwell: 35 degrees + or – 3 degrees:
Had to buy a dwell meter. Couldn’t find one in the local stores, thought I would have to go online. Finally stopped in Autozone, and they had an Acton Troubleshooter CP7677 with a Dwell setting, RPM, and normal multi-meter stuff. Boy do I feel old. The guy in the store had no idea what a Dwell Meter was, and initially said they didn’t have one. I got the Acton when I asked if he had an Engine Analyzer. Tried to explain Dwell to him, but he had never set or seen points before! Got him all excited to learn something new – he said he was going to look it up online tonight.
Anyway, checked existing Dwell – 48 degrees. The Acton worked great, large display for old eyes, and a little built in stand so it is easy to read. Supposed to be 35 degrees plus or minus 3.
Changed rotor, points and condenser. The cap shows signs the rotor is hitting the contacts, so I’ll need to get the distributor rebuilt asap. My .015 feeler gauge is all rusted up. Need to buy a new one. The closest I could get set the points by eye got me 32 degrees dwell. The engine is pinging now.
Set the Timing: 10 degrees BTDC static, 4 degrees ATDC with timing light
Started to set the timing statically first 10 degrees BTDC. But after messing with it to get #1 to TDC, and realizing I would need to pull the valve cover to see when #1 is on compression stroke. I bought an Actron CP 7527 timing light (didn’t need all the digital stuff, more to break) at Autozone and tried to set it to 4 degrees ATDC. I had already loosened the distributor when starting to set it statically, so don’t know where it was set. Tried to start it, and it just tried and tried, wouldn’t start no matter where I set the timing. Turned out I had not put the distributor cap on not quite right… Silly me. Got the cap on right, started right up. But couldn’t set the timing right! Previous owner had zip tied the fuel line to the distributor in a way that wouldn’t let me turn the distributor to the right place. Wow, running 48 degrees dwell and some weird timing. Clipped the zip tie, set the timing to 4 degrees ATDC. Now it idles at 500 RPM. First time it would ever idle that low. Will fix the idle and reset the carbs all up later.
Lubricated Distributor – 2 drops engine oil on screw under rotor, 2 drops down the space between the shaft and the plate, one drop on pivot arm of points, and a smidge of Vaseline on the cam lobes of the shaft.