Muscle Cars

Knowing Your Points From Your Condensers On A Muscle Car

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By Mark Weisseg

I hope all you gear heads really know what is ticking quietly under your hood and how to fix it.

This is my 383 that is in my Road Runner less one carburetor. I am replacing the current one with a Holley 750. Of course when you tell friends they say to use a Edlebrock. If I had said an Edelbrock they would have said buy a Holley. Both of these parts you can find on our muscle car parts page.
We tell people we are putting on a certain product and they always have a different product for you. I finally came to the conclusion by offering my own answer to all the opinions I get. Buy your own and do with it as you please. It gets very quiet after that.

But, back to the point about the engine. Just look at all the things that make this engine a classic. Yes, it is a matching numbers engine so don’t go there but I like to point out to the rice burners the following.
Distributor cap, points, condenser, coil, vacuum advance, timing marks, plug wires, fuel pump, fuel filter, water pump, fan blade, valve cover gaskets, fuel lines, and more.

It’s just a reminder to the young crowd that they don’t have a clue what makes our classics tick or at least the breed is dying out.
Heck, most young technicians don’t know how to set points or set timing. They may have read about it but never once had to file the points down a bit to make the engine perform better. But, not just the rice burners here.
I have run across a fair amount of guys and gals that are driving our classics that don’t know how they tick. I am not suggesting one must be able to tear an engine down and rebuild it to understand what is going on under the hood but at least an idea of the basics will make you appreciate the car even more.

People ask me to lift the hood a lot at shows and I am able to answer the questions to ensure they walk away educated. These engines were not complicated but you did need to know some important facts about your engine.

Remember, if you have fuel, and spark it should at least start. But, be ready to answer questions like; why did they use a coil? Why is timing advanced or retarded? Will the engine still start if moisture gets into the distributor cap? What is a rotor and what does it do? Can I use any kind of spark plugs in my high performance engine? Why did we switch to fuel injection instead of sticking with tried and true carburetors? And the list goes on.

If you don’t know the points above,I am suggesting you brush up on your knowledge. Read the car manual, understand the basics. Brush up on your skills and be ready for good questions from the crowds at a car show. Be engaged with the spectators and play a little show and tell. You may make a new friend or simply answer a question that has been bugging someone. So, why do we have four barrel carburetors and two barrels? Hmmmm?

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