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A quick weekend trip

>From: A bear in his natural habitat <burden@rhett.enet.dec.com>

>We had 2 adults, 2 kids and a 'way back' full of stuff.  About half way out the
>engine started bogging down so Diane pulled over (she drove the entire trip!)
>under a bridge on I-20 and I unloaded the back and checked the points.  They
>had closed up again so I quickly adjusted them, with 18 wheelers buzzing by at
>about 75mph...

Points close up due to the rubbing block wearing against the dist cam.  
There are two things you need to do about this.  First you should know that 
this needs to be lubricated; Bosch has a special grease for this, but any 
fairly thick tacky grease will do.  The second thing you need to do is 
rebuild your distributor (I charge $50 + parts).  The old grease needs to be 
cleaned off periodically or it accumulates grit which wears into the cam and 
the cam gets rough.  I use a mechanic's stone (like a whetstone) to smooth 
the cam back into shape.  No, it's not perfect, but your points last a lot 
longer, and I've never had an engine complain.

>The pinging was still there, but then it all came together.  When you open the
>points, it tends to advance the timing, plus the hard starting is a sign of too
>much advance.  So, we pull over under another bridge, unload the back for a 3rd
>time, and I retard the dist a bit.  It starts much easier and no more 

If you readjusted back to the same dwell, then your timing should have been 
restored also; you probably overcompensated on the first adjustment.  Easy 
to do under the conditions;-)

>Since our odometer doesn't work I wasn't able to get exact mileage readings,
>but we returned roughly 22-23 mpg for the whole trip.  Given the speeds we
>maintained, that's not too bad.

Your mileage is about the same as mine, which I wish were a bit better, but 
I doubt if I'll ever see it.  I have found that the load in the car makes no 
difference in the mileage for long trips, since the lion's share of the drag 
is air friction at highway speeds.

BTW, I can fix your odometer for less than your distributor.

       Melissa Kepner                                    Jim Adney
       jadney@vwtype3.org               jradney@njackn.com
                             Laura Kepner-Adney
                             Madison, Wisconsin

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