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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got the shop manual for my 1963 Bel air, and under the replacing points section (8 cylinder), I see this:

The contact point set is replaced as one complete assembly and only dwell angle requires adjustment after replacement. Breaker level spring tension and point alignment are factory set.
Does this mean I don't need to set the point gap?
 

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That certainly seems to be what its saying, but I would check the gap anyway, better safe than sorry.
 

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Points

There are 2 ways to set points. You can install them, and set the distributor with the lobe on the highest point of the opening of the points and then set it with a feeler gauge. The second way is the best and recommended way. And that is to install the points and set them using a dwell meter. A feeler gauge point set will never be as accurate as a dwell meter set. Both will get you by though. I have set points on the side of the road with a match book cover. That doesn't make it right, it just means I can keep my cars moving.

Jeff
 

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I agree on the above statements about setting points. But I will never set another. Changed all 3 of our 60's Impala's over to HEI. They run so much better and makes them more reliable.
Something you might consider.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
So I got the points of just fine, but I can't fit my feeler gauge in because of this platform that the rotor sits on:



I couldn't find any screws on the underside or above the cam lobes. How in the heck do you get this thing off and out of the way?
 

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Back in Black
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Should not come off, you should be able to adjust the points with the rotor still on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can adjust them with the rotor and the advancer on, but I can't fit my feeler gauge in there.
 

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Back in Black
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have to bump points until it is on a lobe then adjust the points I used thin style gauges they are about half as wide as regular gauges
 

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By the looks of that, I would pull it and clean it out, make sure things arnt frozen-up, then set the points on the bench before you drop it back in....man I don't miss those things AT ALL !...lol. But they were cheap to fix on the side of the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I got the points replaced, so big victory there. Now I'm trying to get the timing checked and potentially adjusted.

When I'm checking the timing, am I interpreting the shop manual correctly in that I need to set the parking break, chock the wheels, put the car in drive, and look to get in that 450-500 rpm idle range? It seems like the strobe on my timing light goes so slow that I can't really see the marks (i've chalked them) consistently.

Should I be setting the timing while idling so low? I've noticed that higher RPM seems to make the timing mark advance up the scale. Is that normal?
 

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If I remember right arnt you suposed to disconect the and plug the vacume line going to the distributor. And put the car in park so you dont run over your self.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If I remember right arnt you suposed to disconect the and plug the vacume line going to the distributor. And put the car in park so you dont run over your self.
I've got the vacuum line plugged, no problem there.

Do you check timing in park or in drive with the parking brake on? I think I recall seeing that you're supposed to check fuel/air mixture in drive, wasn't sure about timing.
 

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check in park
 
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timing

There are 3 aspects of timing that car. Initial, centrifigul, and vacume advance. When you set your initial timing the car should be warmed up, in park, and the vacume line to the distributor pulled and capped from where ever on your carb it comes from. If the source is ported, it wont matter, if it's full time vacume it will. Once you set the initial timing we now have to look at centrifigul, and vacume advance. Centrifigul is controlled by the weights and springs under your rotor cap. Vacume advance is controlled by the vacume from the carb or manifold. If your distributor doesn't have adjustable vacume advance ( and I am sure it doesn't unless someone put it on like I did mine ) then you can only adjust that by soldering or using epoxy to limit the advance. Centrifigul can be done by changing the springs to lighter or stiffer depending what you want it to do. As for the RPM and the whole drive vs park thing, I have seen it both ways. The timing has nothing to do with park or drive. It is spoken about because timing and tuning are always hand in hand. You dont need to put it in drive and chock the wheels. The bottom line for this is, you want to achieve the lowest rpms on your car so that when you put it in drive and let off the brake it should not creep forward. Now depending on the condition of your engine and trans, you may have to except a little creep, but not much.

Jeff
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks, jeffs, that's very helpful! I can only get it to idle in park around 700 rpm before it starts to stall. I think I'm running too rich, but I've got the air filter off and the air mixture screws way open. That's another problem entirely, though.
 

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mixture screws

Difine way out. Reset both mixture screws to 2.5 turns out. seat them gently as all you will do is screw up the inside of the carb. Set the idle so it will idle, for now, it doesn't matter if it's 800 or more. Do this with the car engine warmed up. Starting with one screw, slowly turn it out ( keep track of your where your turns are, it really doesn't matter, I just like to know where I am at, you are not trying to make them both equal ) Your looking for an RPM increase. Stop when it goes up to the highest point. If it doesn't do anything, start again at 2.5 and slowly go in looking for the same results, the highest Rpm. When you get that, leave it there. If the RPMs are high, lets say above about 800 or so, slightly lower it back with the idle set screw. Then do the same on the other screw. You may need to do this once or twice to dial it in. Once you do it though, you don't go back and start at 2.5 turns out, you work from where you are. Some people like to start at 1.75, or 2.0 turns out. None of it's wrong. You do need to do your timing first though.

Jeff
 

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Very good Jeff...:eek:k3: It's a lost art for most.
 

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thank you

Thanks I guess. I find it weird though. I am able to work on EFI and Carbs, trans etc. I am not a mechanic. I was a master tech for Harley at one point though. I work these days in IT. I guess I find it weird as I am self taught, and I guess because I am turning 50 in June, time goes by and I never thought people would be asking these types of questions. All I can say is wow, and of course, Party on Garth!

Jeff:dizzy:
 

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Well Jeff, You have the tech ability..some do, some don't. I turned wrench's for years, all self taught, but have been in the IT field for the past ...25+ yrs...lol. I sure didn't make you for 50..:lol:, got you beat by 8...:beer:
 
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