Distributor Points question

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Dale Finch
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Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:34 am
Zip Code: 27517
Tractors Owned: '51 Cub #140966 "Bruno" with Woods 59 mower
'55 Cub #187541 "Betty" with Fast Hitch
'55 Cub #190482 "Ben" with Woods 42 mower
'55 Cub #191739 "Bertha" with Woods 42 mower
'56 Cub #194370 "Boris" with Mott Flail mower
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: NC, Chapel Hill

Distributor Points question

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Jan 11, 2019 2:55 pm

Having just swapped out the points in my '55 Cub, Ben, because they had been misaligned and were worn off-centered, I was wondering just how much you can file the points and still have them work well. I mean, how thin can the 2 pads get?
20181228_201018 (Small).jpg

20181228_201554 (Small).jpg

20181228_200009 (Small).jpg

The truth is, those points weren't that old, and they WERE properly gapped. The misalignment had been due to the tab on the insulator being broken off. This tab keeps the "spring" steel connector straight, and I hadn't noticed last time I worked on it that it was missing.
20190106_154347 (Small).jpg

So back to my question...it's not that I cannot afford new points for my tractors. I just have several points sets in a little drawer from when I restored my tractors, and think it's silly not to file them and reuse them. So how much can you file them down, and still have them work well?
Dale Finch
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Dale Finch
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 6002
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:34 am
Zip Code: 27517
Tractors Owned: '51 Cub #140966 "Bruno" with Woods 59 mower
'55 Cub #187541 "Betty" with Fast Hitch
'55 Cub #190482 "Ben" with Woods 42 mower
'55 Cub #191739 "Bertha" with Woods 42 mower
'56 Cub #194370 "Boris" with Mott Flail mower
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: NC, Chapel Hill

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:01 pm

Another question...in the 3rd photo above, I noticed the points APPEAR to be made of 2 different layers of metal. A sort of greenish one (copper?) where they contact, and a shinier layer outside that. Is this the case? And if so, can that "contact" layer be filed too thin?
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Jim Becker
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Zip Code: 55319
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Location: MN

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby Jim Becker » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:37 pm

The answer to question 1 covers question 2. Back in the old days, the entire contact point was made of one material. As long as you could file it flat, it would still work OK. Many newer cheap replacement points have contacts that are plated over cheaper material. Once you have burned or filed through the plating, the points are about done.

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Dale Finch
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 6002
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:34 am
Zip Code: 27517
Tractors Owned: '51 Cub #140966 "Bruno" with Woods 59 mower
'55 Cub #187541 "Betty" with Fast Hitch
'55 Cub #190482 "Ben" with Woods 42 mower
'55 Cub #191739 "Bertha" with Woods 42 mower
'56 Cub #194370 "Boris" with Mott Flail mower
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: NC, Chapel Hill

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby Dale Finch » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:09 pm

Hmm...so if these points in the photos DO have just a "layer", can I tell if I have filed through that layer? Again, this line of questioning is not because I won't pay for new points, especially since they are probably the CHEAPEST part I will have ever bought for my tractors! It's more out of curiosity and the fact that we are more and more a world of "replacement" technology. I think the reason I really enjoy tbese tractors is that THEY CAN be repaired, and have been for 70+ years. Just wondering if the new parts we put in them can be repaired as well! Thanks!
Dale Finch
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Jim Becker
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Posts: 16368
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2003 2:59 pm
Zip Code: 55319
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Location: MN

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby Jim Becker » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:34 am

I never really looked but suppose there would be some color change when you file through the plating, like silverish going to copperish.

jsfarmall
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Joined: Sat Oct 22, 2016 1:04 pm
Zip Code: 72454
Tractors Owned: 1948 Cub "Trusty"
1948 Cub "Rusty"
1948 Cub "Bob"
1948 Cub "Sallie" (wife's tractor)
1965 IH Cub "Annie"
1943 Farmall H
1953 Farmall Super M (granddad's tractor)

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby jsfarmall » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:47 am

And it never hurts to have a decent set sitting around to finish a job, the day, or get back to the shop.
1948 Cub "Trusty"
1948 Cub "Rusty" mower tractor, trimmed ear dash
1948 Cub "Bob"
1948 Cub "Sallie"
1965 IH Cub "Annie" mower tractor,
1943 Farmall H,
1953 Farmall Super M

User avatar
Dale Finch
10+ Years
10+ Years
Posts: 6002
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 11:34 am
Zip Code: 27517
Tractors Owned: '51 Cub #140966 "Bruno" with Woods 59 mower
'55 Cub #187541 "Betty" with Fast Hitch
'55 Cub #190482 "Ben" with Woods 42 mower
'55 Cub #191739 "Bertha" with Woods 42 mower
'56 Cub #194370 "Boris" with Mott Flail mower
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: NC, Chapel Hill

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby Dale Finch » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:16 am

Guess I'll grab a couple used sets I have around, file them smooth, and take a good look. Will let you know what I find out...with some photos, of course! :D
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Gary S.
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Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 9:05 pm
Zip Code: 60102
Tractors Owned: '49 Farmall Cub purchased 1960
'59 International Lo-Boy purchased 1987
'48 Ford 8N family owned since new

L59 woods mower
Mott Flail mower 4'
Mott Flail mower 6'
Prewitt post hole digger with mounts for Cub and Ford
Grading and leveling blade with snow ext and hydraulic angle
Location: Algonquin Illinois

Re: Distributor Points question

Postby Gary S. » Sat Jan 12, 2019 10:37 am

Don't think there has been solid points sets for years. Some have even gone over to using plastic rubbing blocks as well. For some reason there is just not a call for points anymore :lol:


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