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Engine - Contact breaker points
Omicron Lancia Spares and Restorations
pre-Beta Lancia spares
and restorations
CASA FULVIA
Repair, service, restoration
Fulvia Flavia Flaminia

 

Bosch make a set of contact breaker points 1 237 013 835-825 which is identical to the Marelli points originally fitted to Fulvias. I have not tried them yet as my points usually last in excess of ten years but they should work well and be more easily available than Italian ones.

- Andrea -

Note that there are bad contact breakers around. Some weeks ago I helped a Lancista friend finding a problem with her engine. The engine would not start most of the time. Smoke came out of the airfilter box occasionally. When the engine ran, it ran badly.
The electric current from the wire, which is connected to the screw with the wire from the capacitor, flows to the point on the hammer (the moving part of the contact breaker set) via the spring. The spring and the fiber are attached to the hammer with two rivets. Although the contact breakers looked new, the two rivets were actually bad. The flow of the current was interrupted where the spring was attached to the hammer rather than at the points. Timing (both the dwell angle and the moment of opening) fluctuated badly, sometimes even igniting the mixture when the intake valves were still open which allowed the flames to go into the carburettors.
Make sure you have good quality contact breakers and set them exactly, both the opening as well as the advance ignition. Neglecting this may not only cause your engine to run badly or not at all, it may also cause a fire.

Dwell angle is the angle of rotation of the distributor shaft during which the points are closed. Electric current passes through the points and builds up energy in the ignition coil during this time. When the points open, the energy of the coil is transfomed to a very high voltage and passed on to the appropriate spark plug. The resulting sparks ignite the air / fuel mixture. On one hand the dwell angle should be as long as possible to build up enough energy in the coil. On the other hand the opening time of the points should be long enough to allow the voltage at the sprak plugs to build up and generate a series of sparks. The optimum compromise is when the dwell angle us beteen 55 and 60°. This is achieved when feeler 0,40 moves freely through the opening and 0,45 just does not move freely when the opening is at maximum (the fiber right at the top of the lobe).
The value of the inductance of the ignition coil and the value of the capacitor are optimised for this narrow range of dwell angles. Sticking to the recommended value does not only ensure your engine starts and runs bets, it also results in longest life of the contact breakers and associated ignition components.

Huib

Omicron Lancia Spares and Restorations
pre-Beta Lancia spares
and restorations
CASA FULVIA
Repair, service, restoration
Fulvia Flavia Flaminia