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1951 Pontiac Chieftain - Cherry Bomb

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36 minutes ago, Zelandeth said:

What are those warning lights from?  They seem strangely familiar but I can't put my finger on where from.

Nortel DMS-100 telephony switch warning panel.

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2 hours ago, PhilA said:

Nortel DMS-100 telephony switch warning panel.

Given the plethora of kit from that era I've played with over the years, wouldn't surprise me in the slightest if I've seen one.

Used to get a lot of good interesting teardown candidates and parts donors from the eBay "department of interesting, broken, local and collection only stuff" back around 2000 or so!

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Borrowed a letter punches set to see if I could impress into the plastic lens the meaning of the light.


Put a bit of black paint on it then wiped it off.


Um. Well. They're harder to line up than I thought.


Lit up (had to dial the exposure way back else it just bleached out the image) it's legible but still looks a little bit too "homebrew", so I think I'll just go with colors and no legend.



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How thick is the plastic lens? I've had some luck bodging legends for illuminated push buttons on control panels where either wear and tear or enthusiastic but dunderheaded use of inappropriate solvents for cleaning has erased the original; use Paint/Draw/whatever to knock up the necessary legend, print out and either a) iron on the outside(printing mirrored natch, must be a laser printer obvs) b) cut out and slip inside betwixt lens and lamp(printing on transparency film may help with brightness). lacquer or varnish might help make the iron-on option more durable.

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Dunno, but that looks pretty in keeping with the sort of thing that you'd have seen in terms of the finish on retrofitted kit back in period to me.


Probably look a lot better on the dash in the car than under careful scrutiny on the workbench.

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Off, they're moderately inconspicuous.



On, they're bright enough to be noticed. (Camera doesn't like the contrast).

I need to finish running the oil pressure light wire, it's just pulled through the firewall and lain down with the bare end twisted around the switch terminal.


Works though



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Got beeped far too many times for the thing that Phil has specially on his dash........to avoid said beeping

Only thing seen if interest apart from a fire truck giving it beans thru traffic today a early mid 60s ford or Chevy four door had four eye front like the fairlane @PhilA was looking at but driving so no pic

I kept forgetting

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The steering wheel logo had annoyed me since I got the car, the plastic is all crazed and the color was all gone from the sun.



I figured out how the horn button came apart, you can see how faded the red behind the chief there is.



I bent the 4 tabs holding him on, naturally being brass they all fractured. Cleaned the lacquer off, discovering a thin place in the chrome (go figure)



Cleaned up and masked off the pieces not to be painted with fine line tape.



Threw the dregs of the red lacquer can at it. Managed 3 coats before it ran out.



Turns out that was just enough.



Drilled the post holding the chief out up the middle, tapped a thread, cut a screw down and used that to hold him in place with a shakeproof washer.



Nice result. Quite happy with that, looks like the factory effort.



Rubbed down and polished the plastic up as best as I could get it to go. It's still really badly crazed but it's a bit clearer than it was.



Looks much better in the car though. Matches the rest of the badges now.



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I had a go at seeing what the ignition system was doing. I wound about 30 turns of wire around plug wire 1 and terminated the end with an LED, and put my neon spark tester in line. 

Bright orange flash when the plug is fired but also a lot of energy being sent down the wire from other spark positions.

I think new wires and new plugs should help, I think the insulation on them is going a bit soft.


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What is happening here?

Does one contact breaker open the circuit and then the other close the circuit?

If so, is that to allow independent adjustment of gap and dwell?

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58 minutes ago, Asimo said:

Does one contact breaker open the circuit and then the other close the circuit?

If so, is that to allow independent adjustment of gap and dwell?

Yes. There is a slight angle difference around the cam between the two sets of points. They are both wired together (green busbar).

The dwell is variable by setting the gap differently on one versus the other but they do close-close.....open-open so the leading one closes the circuit and begins to charge the coil, the second one closes a little later, which would be the normal start-charge time for the coil because it is still riding the trailing edge of the cam and is still pushed open. The period in which the points need to be open for the coil to generate a spark is miniscule compared to how long they remain pushed open for across a symmetrical lobe of the cam.

The first one opens (about 20 degrees early) but the second one is still closed, then the second one opens at the point the plug needs to fire.

The overall result is that the circuit is broken for a much smaller amount of time, just at the point a spark is required, and it is closed for much longer than it would otherwise be with a single set of points, allowing the coil to charge up longer- it does take a finite time to reach saturation.


So, if you look at it the circuit would normally be operated like this, where +++++ is circuit closed and _______ is circuit open and *** where spark occurs.

+++++++++++++_**____________++++++++++_**____________++++++++++ for single points

+++++++++++++_**___+++++++++++++++++_**___+++++++++++++++++ for dual points

So, for high RPM situations it means the coil has a longer period to charge and saturate; at low RPM that isn't really an issue but one set of points takes inrush current and one set takes discharge so it spreads the wear out significantly.



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