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
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.