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The secondaries won't open if you are doing it with the engine in
neutral or park. The engine needs to be under load for that to
happen. If you are trying to get the secondaries to open while
driving the car then the linkage needs to be cleaned and checked for
binding, the diaphragm is dry rotted/cracked/has a hole in it, or the
spring might be too heavy for the vacuum to overcome.
Replace the distributor with a HEI model to start off with. If that
is not possible then buy a distributor rebuild kit and or replace the
vacuum advance module.
This sounds good to me. My 79's distributor had the typical HEI rusted
weight problem and I used a honing stone to smooth them out and get the
rust off, and used some gun lube on them every six months to keep them
free, but the rusting was always a problem on some cars. The rusted
weight problem was solved permanently by running an external coil. Coil
life in Las Vegas went from about a year (When it got a big blue spot on
it)to pretty much forever. I put the cooked coils in my emergency box of
parts in the trunk. A cap, rotor, pickup, some vacuum hoses, high end
duct tape, loctite, and fuses for everything were there, but I never
used any of them, that car was pretty much 100% reliable.
I was so stupid to sell it.
thank you both
I will try cleaning it lubing it 1st. I had though about a HEI, will keep
an eye out on ebay.
Are they easy to get out and put back ? Chilton sasys they are, but they
usually do !
Yes, pretty simple to change the distributor. Just remove the cap and
wires, mark somewhere on the engine or firewall where the rotor points
to, loosen the hold down clamp, remove the distributor (keep an eye on
where the rotor ends up as you pull it out), drop the new distributor
and gasket back in (making sure to get the rotor pointing at the spot
you marked), rewire what needs to be rewired (usually just a keyed
power source), start the car, and set the timing.
Chiltons or the like has step by step instructions to go by.
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