Old Man with a Hat
FCBO Gold Member
- Mar 10, 2011
- Reaction score
- Sebring, Florida
Amen brother!!! Anyone that’s had a pertronixs “jiffy pop”, you’ll get what I mean when it happens, will agree that points actually don’t suck. I’ve never been stranded by bad points but pertronix ( never again ) and electronic have both let me down.There is no reason to think that points can not work well. I was ready to "upgrade" to Pertronix etc. But then I thought if points suck so bad how come many used them [had to] with with good results for many years? I did reasearch and refreshed my knowlege of the points /vac ,mechanical advance,base timing and found the car was not set up correctly. Long story short with a healthy engine ,carb ,and the correct points and advance setup the car ran so well I felt I didn't need or want an electronic ignition. I will say I don't mind installing a new set of points once a year and resetting them after some miles. If you dont want to deal with that then electronic ignition would be the cure. My 440 runs like a top.
I am possibly seeing a few things the obvious the accelerator pump, if it is working properly check the mechanical advance in the distributor, easy check just take the cap off and see if the rotor turns a bit by hand and returns, might not have ever ben oiled during cap/rotor changes then a possible bad condenser, the new ones have a pretty good fail rate. Just a few things to check.I just bought this recently and I'm trying to do a full tune up. I did spark plugs already and want to get fresh wires. It could start a little easier but it does. It doesn't stall on me in general except if I try to mash it from a stop it stutters a little or stalls completely which sucks. Would an electronic distributor be the way to go? Was trying to avoid the cut and crimp wires but that may be best option right now for my comfort. Also, just behind the belts there is a fuel line with a clear filter, looks like the metal fuel line going to that is ever so slight crimped and I may look into replacing that as well to ensure smooth fuel flow. But in general I need a tune up so I can mash it and not stall out. it is the 4 barrel 383 with dual exhaust.
Note: OP had already decided to do a tune up. Weak spark from corroded or improperly set ignition components would cause issues under full load such as when the throttle is mashed. Agree that tossing parts at a vehicle is a poor diagnostic tool. If it were mine, I would have run a resistance test on the points as well as a dwell check first but as these components have likely already been replaced we are past that now.
Actually an ignition flaw isn't going to recover itself until the load is lessened. A "hesitation" (to my ear) sounds as if it eventually performs normally under a load. That can be a momentary lean or rich condition which recovers because airflow through the venturis increases, drawing more fuel (or air) into the combustion chamber. A bad ignition system stays bad until the load gets beneath the threshold of spark breakdown.
I'm not going to say there has never been an instance when the ignition system fails just off-idle, but until we know the most likely failure point, suggesting all of these other possibilities only confuses a novice.
I've had to switch to electronic in my '66's because of not having a points distributor available, I'm about ready to ditch my crappy ignition box and install the MSD 6AL I picked up.Maybe. But I've been stranded by a screwed up condenser and couldn't figure it out to save my life or money. You can keep the points, I won't!
To each his own brother. Variety is the spice of life right. Would it run on half the cylinders or did it just die ? Just wondering if you had any warnings. I carry an extra dist all set up in the trunk so if mine ever does die ( knock on wood ) it’s one bolt and 5 min tops.Maybe. But I've been stranded by a screwed up condenser and couldn't figure it out to save my life or money. You can keep the points, I won't!
I heard about leaving the key on and welding up the points but it never happened to us. We had a ‘64 falcon that me and my 2 brothers all drove thru high school. We abused that poor car and the only point trouble we had was splashing thru puddles and that was cured with wd40. The only time it ever got new points was in auto shop because coach Rodgers wanted to show us how. Key on key off didn’t matter, you could start it with a popsicle stick. Good ol car.Back when MSD was still MSD, in the '80s, I liked the idea of multi-strike ignitions. Plus they had a basic box that plugged into the Chrysler factory electronic ignition wiring harness. What could be better???
I heard of Pertronix in another forum and everybody in there loved them, recommended them, etc. But that was the basic unit as the "II" and "III" were still years off, from then. It seems like there's something about using their coil or not using their coil?
I ended up getting the Mopar Perf kit and putting that in my '67. I just liked the idea of a factory-based system rather than somebody else's. Hid the MSD box on a stud behind the lh headlight, extended the harness, hid the extra wire in the harness across the back of the engine and down the rh valve cover, beside the wire for the electric choke for when I had the 09801 TQuad on it. I got the MP voltage regulator, but put the original one back in and it's works fine, seeming against all odd.
THE reason I ended up doing this had to do with distributor point cam wear. I'd gotten a 440 6-pack dual point unit, used the MP adapter and bolt, and then tried to get it set correctly. The dwell didn't really increase that much, as it turned out. I got my dial indicator out to try to set it better. THAT's when the cam lobe wear issue became brighter than a High Noon sun in Arizona in July!
When new, the lobes are all uniform and reasonably "sharp". Although back when the cars were new, we never thought about checking that! A dial indicator was something exotic back then, too.
Point gap affects dwell and ignition timing, so each cylinder needs to be the same for best results. When the individual lobes have variances in their height, that directly affects point gap. Did you get the lobe with the highest elevation, one with the lowest elevation, or one in-between? We never knew, we just picked the one that was most convenient and went with it.
Back then, too, EVERY point set box had a little vial of "point grease" in it, to put on the point's rubbing block for lubrication. Somewhere in the later '70s or so, that little vial was deleted from most point sets, by observation. People new to the hobby complained of points burning out in 5000 miles or so, waayyy to quick, from what they used to. THAT pushed many to electronic ignition sets, as a result.
Some of the earlier electronic ignitions still used the points as a switch, so there wasn't any real current flow through the points, which made them last a lot longer without pitting. Others had "boxes" that replaced the points. Mallory had their UniLite system, for example, with a shutter wheel and an LED, which was quite hi-tech at the time.
All of these systems had a more evenly spaced spark trigger, between the cylinders, for a more optimum ignition timing situation. Plus the lack of maintenance needed to keep them running. With no point spring load against the distributor shaft, the shaft bushings lasted much longer too!
The ACCEL system seemed to mmik the Chrysler OEM system. The earlier electronic ignition literature, aftermarket systems, mentioned a "timing delay" of 1 degree/1000rpm of engine speed, in comparison to a point system. Not all systems mentioned that, but it didn't seem to make that much difference, anyway. Be that as it may.
Now . . . back in the same general time when Packard 440 wire and Rajah terminals were "the thing", there were also some mention of using a matchbook cover to gap points, in the situation where listening to the radio with the ignition switch "on" and the engine not running, would burn them up . . . and new ones had to be installed "in the field", so to speak, possibly by the light of a dim flashlight.
Everybody's got their own preferences, memories, and such. We all proceed on our past experiences, which is fine, as long as they were good ones and worked!