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How to Adjust Points on a Ford F-100 Truck

by William Machin

Ford 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines in F-100 pickup trucks have mechanical breaker points mounted on the distributor plate. Lobes on the distributor cam open and close the points, generating ignition spark. The distance between the firing tips of the breaker points at the open position is known as the gap. Adjusting the gap to the specified clearance ensures the engine starts and runs efficiently. You can adjust the points on a Ford F-100 truck with a remote starter switch or the help of an assistant.

1

Park the truck and set the parking brake. Raise the engine hood. Loosen the wing nut on top of the carburetor by turning it counterclockwise. Lift the air cleaner off and set it aside to access the distributor at the top of the engine.

2

Release the spring clips on each side of the distributor cap with a screwdriver. Lift the cap off the distributor and lay it aside. Lift the rotor straight up and off the top of the distributor cam in the center of the distributor plate. Notice the upper portion of the cam has a flat side that matches up to a flat spot inside the bottom of the rotor.

3

Spread the firing tips of the breaker points by hand and look for pits or burned spots. The points must be replaced if pitted or burned. Replacement is done by removing the adjuster screw, mounting screw and condenser wire and installing new points in the reverse order.

4

Attach the wire clips from a remote starter switch to the solenoid at the side of the engine compartment. If a remote switch is not available, ask an assistant to sit in the driver’s seat.

5

Press the button on the remote switch or ask the assistant to start the engine for 2 seconds. Notice the lobes on the distributor cam open and close the firing tips of the points. Rotate the cam using the remote switch or ignition key in short taps. Stop when the points are fully open. This may take several attempts.

6

Loosen the mounting screw at the base of the points 1/4 turn counterclockwise with the screwdriver. Loosen the smaller adjuster screw the same.

7

Insert the tip of the screwdriver into the pry-slot next to the adjuster screw. Insert a 0.17-inch feeler gauge in the gap between the firing tips of the points.

8

Twist the handle of the screwdriver clockwise or counterclockwise as necessary until the feeler gauge slides in and out of the point gap with slight resistance. Tighten the adjuster screw and the mounting screw.

9

Disconnect the remote starter switch if necessary. Align the flat side on the distributor cam and flat spot on the rotor. Push the rotor onto the top of the cam. Put the distributor cap on the distributor.

10

Flip the spring clips up against the sides of the cap. Press the center of each clip until it snaps firmly into place on the sides of the cap. Reattach the air cleaner at the carburetor by tightening the wing nut clockwise by hand.

Items you will need

About the Author

William Machin began work in construction at the age of 15, while still in high school. In 35 years, he's gained expertise in all phases of residential construction, retrofit and remodeling. His hobbies include horses, motorcycles, road racing and sport fishing. He studied architecture at Taft Junior College.

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