Most distributor housings and gear drives last the whole life of the car. Its parts don't last that long, like the rotor, cap, and points. Owners of classic cars should take into account that they will need to change these parts every fifteen thousand miles on average.
If in regularly use, carburetors can get dirty and clogged over time, harming performance and greatly increasing fuel consumption.<
Regularly cleaning and setting the carburetor are vitally important for keeping a classic car healthy and ensuring its longevity.
A dirty or damaged distributor cap can cause a variety of problems, ranging from stalling to rough idling to, in the worst-case situation, the engine not starting at all.
Here are some tips for maintaining a classic car distributor:
Check the points. The points in the distributor are what control the timing of the ignition spark. Over time, the points can wear out, which can cause the timing to be off.
When starting the engine if there is no visible spark, checks should be made to see if the points or the wires are shorting to ground at either the points themselves or at the primary terminal screw that is screwed through the housing. Also the insulator may have melted. To investigate the area where the contact spring attaches to the main frame of the points should be inspected.
Check the condenser. The condenser works with the points to help prevent arcing and prolong the life of the points. Check the condenser for any signs of damage or wear, and replace it if necessary.
If the points are badly eroded, and a general ignition check has eliminated other causes, the chances are that the condenser has become faulty and should be replaced.
Check the rotor. The rotor is what sends the spark to the individual spark plugs. Check the rotor for wear or damage and replace it if needed.
Check the distributor cap. The cap is what covers the rotor and the terminals on the distributor. Check the cap for any cracks or signs of wear and replace it if needed.
Check the timing. The timing of the ignition is critical for the engine to run smoothly. With the engine running, check the timing to see if it is within the manufacturer's specifications. If not, adjustments may need to be made to the distributor.
Check for vacuum advance. some classic cars have the vacuum advance, which uses the engine's vacuum to adjust the timing for better fuel efficiency and power. Check for any vacuum leaks and make sure the vacuum advance is functioning correctly.
Regularly checking and maintaining the distributor will go a long way to ensuring that a classic car will run smoothly and reliably.