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LesH

Breaker Points......Cleaning Question

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LesH
I have a B10 with the original breaker points. I took them out to clean them and the point areas look round, not chipped or broken. I then lightly put a fine grade of emery cloth in between the points, sanded and got both sides nice and flat. Question-- are there any other guidelines or tips anyone has on cleaning points???? These just looked too nice to throw away......

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HubbardRA
They should be shiny and clean. If you use a file or have to sand a lot with sandpaper or emery cloth, then you should work down the edges somewhat. The contacts should not be absolutely flat. They should have a very slight mound in the middle. You want them to contact and spark in the middle, not at an edge. They absorb the heat generated by the spark better in the center. If you have an edge contact, the spark will remove metal faster and either erode the metal away or cause a carbon buildup that will affect the spark. Also make sure the two contacts sit flush with each other when closed. I have bent many sets to make this happen. As I said above, you do not want an edge contact. I've had new ones that did not sit flat when closed and had to be bent. By-the-way, I usually only replace points when there isn't enough of the contacts left to clean up. I've got engines with points older than my kids.

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KenK
I have found that a bristle disc on the end of my die grinder does an excellent job on my points.I just cleaned up a set yesterday.These discs are made to remove gasket material without removing anything else,or that's what they claim.

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by Agricola
Wow! $35 for a set of points, I know what business I need to get into.
quote:
Originally posted by 10HorseMan
Me too.
It probably costs many times more to make a set of points than to make an electronic ignition module that does a better job and can be sold for far less money. Then you can warehouse the points until you find a buyer in a rapidly declining market. But hey, ain't America great? Anyone can get into any business they want. You and Justin could even re-start the Pony Express to deliver your points. ;)

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HubbardRA
I think $35, every 30 or so years, is not a bad maintenance cost. Hey, but I am the oddball who likes points-coil-battery ignitions much better than the under-the-flywheel, take-your-engine-off-the-tractor-to-work-on, electronic ignitions. Sorry, I was bitten by Tecumseh. Had a tractor, mowing my lawn, ignition died. Tried to buy replacement part only to find that Tecumseh had stopped making and selling the ignition parts two years earlier, and there were no cross referenced parts that would work. That is when I decided that if I have points, I can build an ignition on any engine. And that's the truth!

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
I think $35, every 30 or so years, is not a bad maintenance cost.
I agree with you. But there are others who seem to believe that every part or repair is a gross rip-off.
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
... if I have points, I can build an ignition on any engine. And that's the truth!
That is true. But even without old fashioned points the same can be done the modern way electronically. And that's the truth too.

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HubbardRA
Yes Dutch, you are correct. I looked into building an ignition for the Tecumseh 12 Hp engine by using a hall effect sensor and a Chevy or Chrysler ignition box. Bottom line - too expensive. I wish I could have fixed it for $35. I do currently have an operational magneto on one of my three tractors. The fourth will also have an electronic ignition. On the 1982 16 Hp B/S engine there are no points or even a place for them. This one forces me into electronics. Guess I am just an oldtimer. With a battery, points, condenser and coil ignition system, it never takes over about a half hour to diagnose the problem and fix it. All my B/S engines use the same points and condenser. All my Kohler engines use the same points and condenser. I use the same Kohler coils on all the Battery ignition systems. Spare set of B/S points and condenser, same for Kohler, and an extra Kohler coil, and any of them can have a complete new ignition in about a half hour. Just can't do that with electronic units. Oh well, we have argued this point many times. It all depends on what you like and how much money you want to pay for it. If we all agreed on everything, it would be a boring world, now wouldn't it. I'm not going to change my opinion, and I know Dutch won't either. You others can just evaluate our comments and make your own decisions.

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Dutch
Rod, I'm not saying points are no good. In fact, I have several tractors with them that operate fine. My post addressed the cost of replacement points. Before I would spend $35 on old fashioned technology, I'd spend 1/2 hour and $10-$15 to convert to an electronic trigger and eliminate the points and condenser and their inherent problems forever.

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10HorseMan
Price's are probabally going up because all new tractors have the electronic ignition. And there are less and less use's for the old points. I like the points too. Learning from one of my tractors, Hard to start, with the electronic igniton, but the one with the points fires up if you look at it wrong.

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HubbardRA
Dutch, I agree with you, and have thought of doing that conversion on my magneto units. My whole point is that before I will tear my tractor apart to replace a magneto on one of the older ones and then have the flywheel re-polarized, I will just hook up a Kohler coil to the existing points and condenser and be back in business in less than an hour. If I didn't have to pull the engine to fix the ignition, mine would all be electronic. I just like for mine to be easily repairable, because they always go out on the weekend when the Simplicity/AC dealer is closed, or when I have to get the grass mowed before going on a business trip, or in the middle of a snowstorm, etc. For a person who doesn't work on his own equipment, electronic ignition is the "only" way to go. Soon I will have four operational tractors, maybe my attitude will change when I can have at least one backup tractor for every job/attachment. Quite different that relying on one single workhorse machine for the past few years, that I had to keep running.

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Agricola
I have not bought a set of points for over 20 years for anything except my larger farm tractors. I file, polish and use the old ones. When I strip an engine, I keep parts such as the points in case I need them else where. I have not converted any engines to points nor from points. I work with what they came with. Of course I don't have all that many tractors. Let's see, I have only 8 running tractors at this time. Due to the low current in the single cylinder machines' ignition, there is so little wear on points. Mostly it is the rubbing block or condenser that have the problems. Was it true the Pony Express lasted only 18 months?

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Dutch
quote:
Originally posted by HubbardRA
Dutch, I agree with you, and have thought of doing that conversion on my magneto units. My whole point is that before I will tear my tractor apart to replace a magneto on one of the older ones and then have the flywheel re-polarized, I will just hook up a Kohler coil to the existing points and condenser and be back in business in less than an hour. If I didn't have to pull the engine to fix the ignition, mine would all be electronic. I just like for mine to be easily repairable, because they always go out on the weekend when the Simplicity/AC dealer is closed, or when I have to get the grass mowed before going on a business trip, or in the middle of a snowstorm, etc. For a person who doesn't work on his own equipment, electronic ignition is the "only" way to go. Soon I will have four operational tractors, maybe my attitude will change when I can have at least one backup tractor for every job/attachment. Quite different that relying on one single workhorse machine for the past few years, that I had to keep running.
Rod, I'm not talking about the relatively expensive Magnetron that requires the engine to be removed and the flywheel repolarized. I'm talking about a simple electronic trigger that can be mounted anywhere on the tractor with one screw. I like to mount them inside the points box where they can't be seen. $15.... 15 minutes.... va-va-voom with no filing or gapping ever again. [img]/club2/attach/dutch/module.jpg[/img] [img]/club2/attach/dutch/cover.jpg[/img]

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HubbardRA
Dutch, That clears up your point. My point is that, if I have points, I can replace a dead magneto with a Kohler coil without removing the engine. I have a 10 Hp B/S that I did this on twenty years ago. Starts the best of any engine I have ever had, and has the original points that I put in new when I replaced the magneto. Unfortunately, the unit that you show in the picture will only work with a magneto. Wish it would work with battery ignition, but there is no trigger without the magnet passing the magneto coil. What you show is a cheap and easy replacement for points. What I have been doing is a cheap and easy replacement for a dead magneto. Unfortunately, I need to have the points to hook up my ignitions. Guess I am just getting old and lazy. I still like to make improvements to my tractors, but I hate fixing broken parts and doing maintenance. Been playing with these toys so long that adjusting points, tweaking carbs, getting rid of vapor locks, changing dead sparkplugs, and charging dead batteries are all considered to be part of the normal startup procedure. I just do it and never think about it. A pocket knife for cleaning and burr removal, and a paper matchbook to set the gap, and you are up and running with points. They get the filing and feeler gauges when I have time to do it right. I think I will try one of those points eliminators on my AC 712S with 13 Hp B/S. That will give me an extra set of points and condenser for the one that doesn't have a magneto.

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