Problems with Points - Side Distributor Engine (update)

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Posted by K.LaRue-VA on July 30, 2019 at 18:59:44 [URL] [DELETE] :

The last update was almost 2 months ago, but I wanted to wait long enough to be fairly sure of the root cause. Basically the points were frequently becoming non-conductive. No sparks at all. Pull dist cap, file and polish points and it would fire right up. It quit cold a couple of times while running. Same symptoms, no spark until points were cleaned up. I tried different sets of points but that made no difference. I replaced the wire from the coil to the points thinking maybe it was frayed or insulation damaged. Wiggling that wire while working on points could cause an intermittent problem to go away for a while. This distributor does not have the bolt and insulator contraption. I tossed that in the trash long ago. I found nothing wrong with the old distributor wire after peeling several pieces of heat shrink that was acting as a grommet where the wire went thru the distributor. I thought maybe the coil was going bad but the failures were completely random and the coil didn't seem to be getting hotter than usual. The coil is one of the more expensive parts to replace, so it usually makes sense to spend elbow grease rather than cash. Coil failures are rare, especially since this tractor is still 6 volts. Finally it quit and the usual fix didn't work. Voltmeter showed voltage where it should be and I could see points open and close electrically, but it would not make sparks. Replaced the coil. It fired right up. I've cranked it up and used it many times for several weeks now without a single failure. It seems the coil had been going bad for some time. I'm wondering if the coil was doing something that created the deposits on the points. They never looked burned, just showed substantial resistance when closed until whatever was on there was polished off.

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