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Thread: settings points on an F-head

  1. #1
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    Default settings points on an F-head

    Hey everyone,

    I've never set points on an F-head before and my '57 could definitely use them. Is there any place that has a good write up on how to do it?

    I also have to do it on my flatty's L-head. They should be the same process right?

    Thanks,
    Evan
    Complete Engine Rebuilding, Restoration, specializing in Jeeps:
    http://www.mdautomachine.com

    '48 CJ2A, '49 VJ, '57 CJ5, '62 CJ5, '62 Pickup, '79 CJ7, '81 CJ7

  2. #2
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Same process on both set them at .020...keep the cam on the high side..do yourself a favor and change the condensor too..............................!!http://www.earlycj5.com/tech/tuneup/index.php
    Last edited by sparky; 07-02-2008 at 05:39 PM.
    1946 CJ-2A L-Head 134 POW-MIA 1947 CJ-2A
    1943 GPW ALL F-SCRIPT
    1952 M-100 TRAILER
    1951 M38 D.O.D. 2-51 #1 --51 m38 d.o.d 5-51
    1950 M38 D.O.D 12-50

  3. #3
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Very easy to set points. Spin the motor by hand until the points are at the farthest open point. One screw is to hold them tight, the other is a cam. Set it to spec and tighten down.
    '56 CJ-5 F-134, locked up, really wish it had power steering. '74 CJ-6 318 Mopar, 4 spd, ft t-case, 44 front 60 rear, locked, 38" swampers, really glad it has power steering. "Real Jeeps are Built not Bought"

  4. #4
    madizell Guest

    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Old school method when far from home was to use a match book cover for a feeler as the cover is just about the right thickness. I set points on a '53 that way once and drove it all summer thereafter without having any other tools than a screwdriver, so I never did set the timing. I just assumed that if I got the points back to about the right spot, the timing would work out as well, and it did. Cleaned them with some wet/dry paper, set them with a match book cover, and drove it for 3 months.

  5. #5
    blevisay's Avatar
    blevisay is offline President, Brillco Adult Products Division
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Quote Originally Posted by madizell View Post
    Old school method when far from home was to use a match book cover for a feeler as the cover is just about the right thickness. I set points on a '53 that way once and drove it all summer thereafter without having any other tools than a screwdriver, so I never did set the timing. I just assumed that if I got the points back to about the right spot, the timing would work out as well, and it did. Cleaned them with some wet/dry paper, set them with a match book cover, and drove it for 3 months.
    LOL

    The F head is very forgiving..............

    You can also set with a dwell meter
    Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    I have a soft spot for the ,I just don't want Billy to know......

    I ain't waiting for Panzer to do nuttin. If I plan around that I'll never get my Jeep dirty again.

    -Brad Cole-

  6. #6
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Better yet, replace them with a Pertronix and never worry about them again.
    Ira
    1961 CJ-5, F134 Hurricane
    11" Brake upgrade. dual reservoir master cylinder.
    31x9.5 x 15 Super Swampers
    1998 Mustang Cobra convertible.

  7. #7
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    Wink Re: settings points on an F-head

    Also check the direction of travel of the rotor.
    The F-Head and the timing gear equiped L-head turn the same direction, and the timing chain equiped L-head turns opposite.
    1960 Willys CJ-5, lifted,Now lowered 5 inches, to 1+1/2 inches higher than stock. 215x75x15's, mounted on Samurai white spoke rims. All original running gear except rear springs and maybe shackles. F-head/t90/d18/5.38's
    And now a rollcage.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    [QUOTE=madizell;444467]Dwell meter? What's that?

    /QUOTE]

    Dwell Angle: The dwell angle is the number of degrees of rotation of the cam/distributor during which the points are closed. During each rotation of the cam/distributor, the points must open and close once for each cylinder. The points must stay closed long enough to allow the coil primary current to reach an acceptable value, and open long enough to discharge and produce a spark.

    Many mechanics like to check the dwell measurement with a dwell meter after setting the points. I know I do. There are some who say you don't have to. But it is a good way to check the point gap and make sure it is right.

    I know many mechanics, myself included, that set the points by dwell alone. It is a perfectly acceptable and accurate way of adjusting the points. In fact, most all GM distributor caps have a little door that allows access to the points so the dwell can be adjusted while the engine is running. On engines that don't have that access you need to be a little more creative. What I do is remove all the spark plugs from the engine, set up the points, turn the key on and crank the engine while adjusting the point dwell. Once it's set, I lock them down and finish the tune-up.

    When I set the dwell, the spec is given as a range. I always set the dwell to the low end of the range. This way as the points wear, the dwell stays in range.

    Well, that's it. It's not that difficult to do. And if your car has dual points, don't be scared. Just treat them as individual points when setting them up and you'll be fine. To properly set angle you need this:
    1956 Willys CJ-5

    Never take life too seriously. Nobody gets out of it alive anyway

  9. #9
    blevisay's Avatar
    blevisay is offline President, Brillco Adult Products Division
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Quote Originally Posted by madizell View Post
    Geez, I was just kidding about the meter. I have gotten by for more than 40 years without buying one. I know it is the only way to verify that you have, say, 33 degrees of dwell instead of 30 or 35, but anything in that ballpark will work, with the only difference being capacitor saturation. Unless the coil is failing, the coil will load with dwell anywhere in the right range, and I have seen engines fire up and run with the points just about closed off. Performance obviously suffers from irregular points settings, but as long as there is a gap, they work. Too much gap is generally worse than not enough. I have set points by eyeball meter and had it work.


    I'll halfway agree. The dwell angle is a better way to adjust points period.
    Originally Posted by Patrick View Post
    I have a soft spot for the ,I just don't want Billy to know......

    I ain't waiting for Panzer to do nuttin. If I plan around that I'll never get my Jeep dirty again.

    -Brad Cole-

  10. #10
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    Default Re: settings points on an F-head

    Don't forget to put some lubricant on the cam that opens/closes the points! It's a special grease, available at any FLAPS. Only takes a tiny bit, but it really needs to be there. Helps to keep the cam follower from wearing down. Dab some on with a Q-tip.
    1956 CJ5 "Ol' Red", Dad's old hunting Jeep, stored indoors for 30 years, restoration in progress.

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