Technical aspects of automobiles

Archive for November, 2009

Dual-point distributor adjustment

I recently bought a 1968 Plymouth Barracuda with a 340 ci engine, and
today I discovered that it has a dual-point distributor.  With my
trusty dwell meter I measured the dwell angle at 46 degrees, which is
a little bit higher than the recommended range of 37-42 degrees.  On
an ordinary single-point distributor I would increase the point gap
slightly to correct this, but how do I adjust two sets of points?  An
explanation of how the two sets of points work together would probably
help.  Thanks.

                            :: Jeff Makey

Department of Tautological Pleonasms and Superfluous Redundancies Department
    Posting from my temporary home at …
    Domain: j…    UUCP: nosc!crash!jeff

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can you help the clueless again??

first, thanx to all who replied to my previous posts…i really
appreciate the advice.

now, the problems:

there’s been a tread on what to do with a car that’s been sitting for a
good amount of time.  my questiion is, if you have to let your car sit
for a long amount of time, is there anything you should do??  my car(s)
have been parked for over two months…and they will be there for some
time longer.  i start them every two weeks or so….run them for about
five minutes.  i can’t move them from their parking spots (licensing
reasons) but i try to rock them back and forth in the spaces to keep the
brakes from rusting up.  

first, is this necessary, and second, can this hurt (or preferably help
:) anything?

and also, when i started my ’78 280Z today,  after it warmed up a
little, i revved the engine.  i found when i held it at 3,000 rpm, that
about every second, the rpm would drop to exactly 2500 and then climb
back to 3,000.  i’ve never noticed this before.  could this be due to
the sittage or something else? (the car is fuel injected if that helps
(and no, i wasn’t moving the gas pedal  :)  )

thanx to all in advance



"The best way to keep one’s word, is not to give it."
                – Napoleon

"Freedom is the right to be wrong, not the right to do wrong."
                – John Diefenbaker

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Small Boat Towing

I would like the pros and cons of towing a 18′ Catamaran(Prindle, Hobie type)
with a ’88′ Nissan 200SX 2.0L FI. 5 spd.  The trailer and boat have a combined
tongue weight of 50lbs.  The boat weighs approx 375 lbs with gear.  The Nissan
manual states the 200SX can tow with a Class I hitch as long as the tounge
weight is  < 100 lbs. Unfortunately, I am relunctant to totaly believe most
Auto makers recommendations for passenger type car trailer towing. Will towing
put an excessive amount of wear and tear on the Nissan ?  Is there a passenger
car better capable of Towing than mine ? Or should I buy a second vehicle
just to toe the boat.  Any suggestions or actual recommendations would be

                               Thanks in advance !


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Re: info wanted on '68 Firebird

I have a ’67 convertible sitting in the garage.
It’s time for a complete tear down.

The current engine is of dubious origin to it’s time to replace it.

It’s a wonderful car, but handling might be improved.

Any good ideas on either engine or handling?

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Compass for use in a car

can anybody here in netland recommend a compass that is suitable for
use inside a car ?

I tried several kinds, but the only place the compass works is if it
placed at the back seat of the car, which is no good, unless I have
a passenger in the back seat .

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Shock Absorber Advice


I am replacing the springs and shocks in my car. I am
removing "Suspension Techniques" springs ( they sagged
out over the years ) and replacing them with Eibach
springs. The shocks that are coming out are Koni’s
with about 50,000 miles on them and I feel that I
should replace them while I am at it.

The question is, what kind of shock to install. To
make it easier, I only have a choice of:

a.) BOGE
b.) Bilstein
c.) Koni

I have been happy with the Konis but they cost twice as
much as the BOGEs.

The car is an Audi Turbo Quattro Coupe and I don’t drive it as
hard as I used to ( down to virogous ). Are the Konis
worth the extra money? Other Comments?

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Re: Fact or Fiction

The way my daddy explained it to me, there were two problems related
to putting water (any temperature) into a hot engine, running or not.
They both were based on the theory that the coolant level was ‘way low
and some part of the engine was *hot*, hot enough to turn some of the
water into steam real quick:

1.  The explosively expanding steam could crack some weak spot in the
    block, perhaps aided by expansion differentials.

2.  The explosively expanding steam could send a nasty scalding spray
    back into the operator’s face.

My daddy said he knew of both of these things happening, back in the
pre-(CH2OH)2 days.

Jon Beck, Systems GRA
West Virginia University, Stat & CS

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Liquid Lustre

   All I want to know is if the Liquid Lustre works as well as appears
   on T.V. I have a funny feeling about this stuff and I want to be sure
   that the stuff works before putting it on my car. I want to hear from
   you people in the U.S. since this where I heard about it first. Be
   honest please…

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Toyota Previa: good towing or gutless wonder?

I am considering buying a minivan.  I want lots of room for people and I want
to be able to use it for some heavy work and trailer pulling.  I also want 4WD
because my wife gets nervous driving on snow and ice.

One of the vans I am seriously considering is the Toyota Previa.  I like the
way it looks and rides.  I also like the fact that you can fit a 4X8 sheet of
plywood on the floor.

Anyway, the car magazines say it is able to pull 3500 lbs.  However, I heard
from a car dealler that it would have to be going down hill with a strong tail
wind to be able to pull that much weight!

Has anyone had any good and or bad experiences with the Previa and pulling


I also like the Ford Aerostar.  I know there has been a lot of bad press for
it, but I currently have and 89 Aerostar and it has been great for me.  Any
opinions on Aerostars?

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Tires for 90 Integra

I have a 90 Acura Integra, and the stock tires (Yokohama somethings)
slip and slide too much on slippery (especially icy) roads.

So the question is, what replacement tire should I get?  I’d like something
that works well on slippery pavement (like during a snow), but still
performs well on dry roads.

Clyde Rogers

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