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Old 07-06-2012, 12:29 PM
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Dwell setting question

Afternoon all.
I bought a points distributor for a 1996 Chevy 350 v8. It's in a 1963 Chevy c10 PU. I am used to setting the dwell at 30 degrees but it won't run at that setting. It does run at 18 degrees. What would be the proper dwell setting for it? Any ideas??

..............
It seems to run best at 18 degrees. Timing light/mark does jump every so often, but not like it did at 30 degrees. Distributor seems tight, no play in it.


...............
Nope, when it warms up, 18 don't cut it. It'll load up and stall out. I took it for a run and it runs fine but won't idle.
I'm kinda lost on this one.

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Old 07-06-2012, 01:33 PM
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30 degrees is correct. Be sure the cylinder selector is set on 8, not 6 or 4. The gap should be around 0.017" (a little wider if new points), so the gap should be very close to this when the dwell is correct.

Changing the points dwell/gap also changes the timing a small amount. Be sure to recheck the timing after setting your points. It's always a good idea to use a soft cloth w/lacquer thinner or acetone to remove the preservative from the points faces before using. It's NOT a good idea to file points, regardless of what you may have read.

Always replace the points and condenser as a set.
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Old 07-06-2012, 05:31 PM
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Sounds like the points cam is worn.
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Old 07-06-2012, 06:08 PM
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Thanks for the reply and the help. The rebuilt distributor I got had a bad set of points in it. After 2 days of working on it, the sun was just at the right spot and I seen the set screw wobble. At 30 degrees the screw was loose and the points jumped all over the place. At 18 degrees the screw was a little tighter and kinda held the points a tad better. New points and the world is a nice place again.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:26 PM
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I'm a couple years older than you and remember the old points dist....but I'm just curious......Why??? The stock and after market HEI's are sooooo much better than any points dist.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:51 AM
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Mornin 327NUT,
I had the hei setup in it but it was hitting the fire wall and it keep moving on me. The smaller hei distributor is $400. I went back to old school points and dist. for $140. Besides, I now have use for my old dwell meter. But now that I have it runnin again, I found this. Oh well, it's just money.
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:55 AM
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Put the little electronic conversion kit in it.




.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbles View Post
Mornin 327NUT,
I had the hei setup in it but it was hitting the fire wall and it keep moving on me. The smaller hei distributor is $400. I went back to old school points and dist. for $140. Besides, I now have use for my old dwell meter. But now that I have it runnin again, I found this. Oh well, it's just money.
Small cap HEI, ready to run ~$60.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:39 AM
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One thing I just found out, I had it settin at an idle for 1/2 hour and with my 185 thermostat in it and the temp gage only went up 1/2 way with the points, not the 3/4 it did with the hei in it. No biggie, just a fact.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hobbles View Post
One thing I just found out, I had it settin at an idle for 1/2 hour and with my 185 thermostat in it and the temp gage only went up 1/2 way with the points, not the 3/4 it did with the hei in it. No biggie, just a fact.
That almost has to be due to a difference in the timing.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:48 AM
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Good Grief cobalt327, where the heck were you 3 weeks ago?????
That is a GREAT site you posted. I bookmarked it. I will now need ANOTHER set of spark plug wires. Oh well, again,, it's only money..
Thank you!!
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:51 AM
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No cobalt327, The timing was set at 10 degrees, same as now.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
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No cobalt327, The timing was set at 10 degrees, same as now.
The initial timing may be the same, but the vacuum advance could be where the difference came from.
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Old 07-07-2012, 05:59 AM
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AHHHH,, good point.
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Old 07-07-2012, 10:01 AM
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Good mornin' back...... if you ever build an odd ball and want a small cap HEI here's the one I had built by "Dave's Small Cap HEI's". Just send him your old points type dist. and he'll convert it for around $275....being different costs more, the MSD cap is $40 more but it looks "Hot Rod" and it's worth it. This started life as a '70 Cadillac El Dorado dist. and now it's all modernized and a helluva lot smaller than that giant, ugly. stock HEI. This is the 4th one I've had done from Dave's and they work great.
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