More Thoughts on Substitute Igniter Points

Content Tools

9264th Street, S.E., Minot, North Dakota 58701

I read, with interest, the short article on page 5 of the NovemberDecember 1978 G.E.M. entitled 'Substitute Igniter Points'. I have just a few notes to add.

Years ago, back in the 1920's, my Dad and I used copper rivets. Reduce the size of the head as desired and run a drill lightly into the igniter holes either so that there will be a good clean surface or to suit your needs. We used solid copper harness rivets and burrs. Copper is a good conductor.

This may be of some help to one who is not too familiar with timing the old stationary engines. It is a general rule.

The exhaust valve should open 5 degrees before outcenter for every 100 RPM of the engine, and close at incenter or a bit after.

The intakes were usually operated automatically by piston vacuum; therefore, they require a valve spring with no more tension than is necessary to close in properly.

The igniter is to be set approximately the same amount before dead center as the opening of the exhaust valve is set before outcenter (that is 5 degrees for every RPM) and then adjusted to your liking. This is an operating or running setting and may vary as you should desire the best performance and power and avoid kicking when the engine is cranked.

ANOTHER THOUGHT: The old hit and miss engines usually would run indefinitely without heating and without water in the cooling hopper (no load or light loads), as they cooled by the breathing of the exhaust in between explosions. Reasonable caution should be taken if this is done, of course. There engines were real economical on fuel also.