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Discussion Starter #1
A friend has a '67 Dart with the 225 slant 6 and we are having trouble getting the dwell set. Kind of a tough spot to get at to get the point gap set. The manual states the dwell angle should be 40-45. Our first attempt gave a dwell angle reading of 25 and on our next attempt we got it to 32. Since then we have went back to 25 and 23 and constantly have problems getting the point gap set. It is always either too wide or when we remove the gauge the points snap closed. What are we doing wrong and is there an easier way to do this? I am a chevy man and used to being able to set the dwell with an allen wrench via the little window on the distributor cap, this is my first attempt at working on a the slant 6 and I figure there has to be a better way of performing this procedure. Thanks in advance.
 

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Your best bet might be to remove the distributor and set the point gap with the distributor on the workbench. You'll be much better able to set it accurately that way and thus the dwell will be within the proper range when the distributor is reinstalled. Two words of caution:

1. Make sure you don't drop anything inside the distributor.

2. The distributor can only be installed two ways. The correct way or 180 deg. off. Be sure you get it right or you may not even be able to start the engine. If it does start it'll run like crap or possibly even backfire. GM used a gear for the distributor drive and was much more easily misinstalled.

Also, be certain you install the rotor before putting the distributor cap back on or you'll be wondering why the engine won't start. I know this from making this stupid mistake myself!

Be prepared to set the timing after all of the above.
 

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That's not quite right, Ron. The distributor can be set off at any angle, not just 180 degrees. The slant six had helical gears on the shaft, so you can be off by any number of teeth.

That said, the best way is to set the gap with the distributor removed. Take the cap off, mark where the rotor points, and remove it. It will rotate a little as you remove it. Then loosen the point set screw and rotate the shaft until the points are fully open on one lobe. Set the gap, which is .017 to .023 inches (.020 ideal). Tighten the screw. Rotate to each lobe and recheck the gap on all 6 lobes until you have gotten it within range. Now rotate the distributor back to where it pointed when you removed it, and it will rotate as you push it into the block. If it doesn't point to your reference mark, remove and rotate until it does. Then put the cap back on, tighten the hold down bolt, start the car, and when warm set the ignition timing and then the idle.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for the insight. It will be next weekend before we are able to get back to it but with the tips given it should be a much easier task.
 

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Bob's correct, sorry for my error. I was thinking of the 318 in my 1966 Plymouth Fury even though bigbassmann clearly stated it was a slant 6. Follow Bob's advice and you'll be ok. I've had a hard day........... :(
 

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The first time I replaced ignition points, I thought it would be too intimidating to remove the distributor and lose the reference. But it isn't, there's about a 30 degree rotation of the rotor as it slips out. Easy to get it pointing right when it's reinstalled.

So I was putting the new points in and the set screw went...Plunk...somewhere.

We had a gravel and pine needle driveway. I couldn't find it anywhere, or on the frame of the car. So I found a new screw that fit, reassembled it all with the point gap set, turned the key...tarrrrrrr.GRIND..tar..GRIND. Uh oh.

I called a friend, who consulted with a friend who was with him. I told him what happened and I heard conversation in the background. Then my friend came back on the phone and said, "Bob says, whatever you do, don't turn the engine over." "Too late," I replied. I then heard hysterical laughter in the background.

Turns out, the screw fell in the distributor, wedged between the advance weights and the wall of the distributor, so it wedged the distributor shaft from turning, as the engine tried to turn it. The weakest point broke - the plastic gear on the distributor shaft shattered into pieces, which I then had to pick out of the opening in the block. Luckily the camshaft and its gear did not break. I called a local gas station, and they rushed a new distributor over to me.

After that, I always removed the distributor to service it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ron, no worries, we all have days where we just don't think clearly and as I get even older it seems I have more and more of those days.

Bob, thanks for sharing that horror story. :scared: We will be sure to watch out for the set screw should it fall out. Certainly don't need to mess up anything. Thanks for the help guys.
 
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