Did You Get the Points? (Part 2)

I can’t believe it has been several months since I wrote the article about installing points! I got buried in college classes for my work and lost the time. I read over this, I just hope I covered all the bases correctly. I am sure I will hear from someone that I missed a step. 🙂

In my last short story on how to install points I need to write another story on how to set your ignition timing. This is critical to get your maximum performance from your engine and ignition system. Timing is everything. We are not going to deal with advance curves or anything complicated as all we need to do is set the timing so it starts easy, idles great and accelerates like a Cheetah (no not the animal,  the car silly! Never heard of a Cheetah? Click the word link).

For this you will need a small paint brush, some silver/white model paint, a good test lamp for testing electrical circuits and a quality ignition strobe light.

The crank shaft pulley has marks on it to show you Top Dead Center (TDC) when the piston is at its highest position, a idle timing mark usually 8-10 deg. before TDC and an advanced mark somewhere out around 40 deg. before TDC. You will be setting your timing to these marks for best performance. Use the white/silver paint and a small brush to fill in the line that is on the pulley. It doesn’t have to be a lot, just enough to show while using the strobe light. You can access the pulley from under the car and rolling the car in 5th gear until you can see the marks. Clean the marks with a flat tip screw driver and paint back in.

Install the distributor as outlined in the other half of this story previously published. 

Before you start the car you will need that “test” lamp I mentioned at the beginning. . Turn the key on, but do not start the car.You hook the alligator clip to the negative side of the coil. The test lamp I put into one of the spark plug wells so it is grounding out. Bring your crankshaft up to the first advance mark past the TDC mark This is usually about 8-10 deg before TDC. Rotate the distributor until the light comes on as you advance the distributor. When the light comes on is when the points open. This is when the coil will fire and create the spark in the cylinder. Lock the distributor down to where you can check the idle timing and advance timing.

Start the car and set your timing to the idle mark by turning the distributor slowly either clockwise or counterclockwise just a little bit to bring it to the advance mark. Caution! You can get shocked from the distributor reaching down to turn it! You will get zapped with 30,000+ volts of electricity as it jumps from the cap to your anatomy. Please be careful when reaching down to turn the unit.  Then bring rpm up to around 5,000 rpm to check advance at the advance mark. Adjust until you get your advance set, then tighten down the distributor pinch lock and enjoy. When you have done your job well, the car should start fairly easy for a very long time.


About alfadoc

I have been involved in Alfa Romeo cars since 1970 when I bought my 1600 Veloce spider. It was in 1972 that I started the Veloce Register for 1600 cars. It was in 1998 that I added the Sprint Veloce, 750 Spider Veloce and Sprint Speciale registers. Currently I own 2 Alfas: a 1994 164 Quadrifoglio.and a 1991 Spider "Automatic"
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