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setting points on a 1963 buick LeSabre

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bigbuick profile image

Jul 8, 2007, 11:40 AM

Post #1 of 2 (4464 views)
post icon setting points on a 1963 buick LeSabre Sign In

I have a 1963 buick lesabre with 53k org. miles with all orginal parts #s matching. The car has a 410 wildcat motor aka the 401 nailhead.
The car starts fine... and while driving out of the middle of nowhere it starts spitting an sputtering an then stalling. I have been told the points need to be re set or in fact whole new distribtor. My question is if that sounds correct and if that is the case how would u go about setting the points?

(This post was edited by bigbuick on Jul 8, 2007, 11:41 AM)
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Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

Jul 8, 2007, 6:30 PM

Post #2 of 2 (4456 views)
Re: setting points on a 1963 buick LeSabre Sign In

If you have one - put a dwell meter on it. It should be 30 I think but could look it up if you think not. If dwell meter has the test for condition of the points it should read in the green or "ok" -- if not they should be replaced. Before you remove the points if you do put them so that they are on the high spot on the cam. Check new points by looking at them touching (closed) and they should line up and not be off much at all. They do make a points alignment tool so they touch just right. Most folks never bothered. Set by eye or feeler gauge close and with dwell meter on and cap off crank engine with points snug but not tight and while cranking set to exact dwell.

Start engine and read dwell now with it running. It will probably read lower than when it was just cranking and you can set that but if close watch dwell and rev the engine. Dwell will drop (who knows it might rise) but never more than like 4 degrees and at 5 the shaft bearings in the distributor are too worn and it would need new ones or a new/rebuilt distributor. You could check the dwell variation before you replace the points so I'm out of order here as most rebuilt distributors will come with new points properly set but who knows what you will get now.

It old points have transfer like stalagmite- stalagtite peaks the condensor is not well matched and it should be replaced. I don't know of a known life expectancy for condensors so a good one should be left in -- in my opinion not just replaced like most folks do. I have one right now that's about 60 years old and still working fine!!

Good points and condensor can last a long time and if you put a small smear of point grease or silicone grease on leading edge of block where points rub the cam that will make them last near forever without adjusting unless some other problem wrecks them.

If you need specs I can get them as I have the book on this back to 1961.

Fun cars - enjoy!


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