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Thread: Distributor questions

  1. #11
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    I feel stupid posting this simple problem I found, but #2 wire read open. Not just a lot higher resistance than the rest, open. I made an old wire fit and it seems to be about 99.9% good. The a/f meter stayed more steady than it was. In 5 minutes it did miss a couple times, but nothing like with the open wire. I dissected the open wire ends to check the crimps and they are fine. Where ever the break is it must be close enough for the spark to jump it most of the time. I may have to dissect it all the way out of curiosity. The a/f meter is a nice tool for something like this, I think some time I will weld a bung on the left header reducer and swap the oxygen sensor to see if that side stays as steady, or more steady? I always thought the movement of the oxygen sensor was due to the carb not being perfect, but it's very steady now. Who needs EFI with a Quadrajet up top?
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

  2. #12
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    I would at least be replacing 8 plug wires without a doubt.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 Rescue Dog View Post
    I would at least be replacing 8 plug wires without a doubt.
    Of course. I ordered them not long after I found the bad one. Just put the used one on to test it.
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

  4. #14
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    A old Sun oscilloscope would make a great tuning tool on older engines, and I'm sure there are still plenty of them out there collecting dust in someone's shop. I wish I hadn't sold mine several times now. Paid $3000 for it used in 1980, and sold it 3-4 years ago for $125. It worked great for ignition issues by being able to see each cylinder firing, and the best part was the cylinder power balance function. You could quickly find exactly what cylinder wasn't firing. There was a button for each cylinder, and you could kill them one at a time, right down the firing order looking for one that didn't have a rpm drop. Some of the scope consoles were huge, and took up a lot of space, but they make great "garage art"
    http://www.curbsideclassic.com/blog/...under-the-sun/

    http://bambam.gmu.edu/sun/
    Last edited by 55 Rescue Dog; 08-14-2018 at 06:54 AM.

  5. #15
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    I have always found changing plugs worthless most of the time, new wires priceless.

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 Tony View Post
    Hey Rick, look what I found. I'm going to buy one and see if it fits on both chevy and msd distributors.
    https://www.jegs.com/i/Pertronix/751/D650711/10002/-1
    I run that cap on an old MSD tach drive dist. on my 1974 Z28 drag car.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by markm View Post
    I have always found changing plugs worthless most of the time, new wires priceless.
    I don't have nearly as much experience, but I believe this is the first time I ever had a bad wire. I've replaced them on various drivers over the years but never noticed an improvement.

    The only time I ever found a new plug to make it run better was when I first had the 55 on the road years ago when #8 plug was very crusty from oil. Not only did it need new valve guides, but the guy that rebuilt it forgot to put an umbrella seal on #8 intake.

    If I hadn't found the bad wire I was going to change 2 or 4 plugs at a time to see if it fixed it in case one of the plugs had a crack from my fat fumble fingers dropping a plug now and then.

  8. #18
    Registered Member 55 Rescue Dog's Avatar
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    There are creative ways to safely ground each cylinder one at a time either at the cap or sparkplug, to check power balance, and which cylinder is dead, either by spark, or compression. I even did that on a 1930 Model A just using an old plug wire to ground/kill each cylinder looking for an even rpm drop on each one. Old school tech. Using your ears, you don't even need a tach. Just remembered on the Model A, I just used a screw driver to ground each cylinder, since the plug wires used back then were just brass straps straight out of the cap, and to the plugs. Simply genius.
    Last edited by 55 Rescue Dog; 08-14-2018 at 04:51 PM.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 Rescue Dog View Post
    There are creative ways to safely ground each cylinder one at a time either at the cap or sparkplug, to check power balance, and which cylinder is dead, either by spark, or compression. I even did that on a 1930 Model A just using an old plug wire to ground/kill each cylinder looking for an even rpm drop on each one. Old school tech. Using your ears, you don't even need a tach.
    I've used that method, but this time the miss was non existent or not noticeable at idle, and very intermittent. I've pulled wires from the spark plugs with a boot puller while it's running. I put a little jumper wire from the tool to ground so the spark doesn't find me.
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 55 Rescue Dog View Post
    A old Sun oscilloscope would make a great tuning tool on older engines, and I'm sure there are still plenty of them out there collecting dust in someone's shop. I wish I hadn't sold mine several times now. Paid $3000 for it used in 1980, and sold it 3-4 years ago for $125.
    Oh that would be so cool to have! $125! Makes me drool.
    Tony

    1955 Bel Air Sport Coupe

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