Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How Does An Auto Engine Distributor Work?

Flathead V8 Engine Distributor School - Lesson 1

A non credit course for owners, mechanics and anyone with 32-53 Ford V8s, who want them to perform up to factory specifications or beyond.

How does an auto engine distributor work?

The engine distributor has 3 major functions:

  1. To interrupt the current flow through the ignition coil to cause an ignition spark to occur.
  2. To direct the spark produced to the proper spark plug and cylinder to achieve ignition.
  3. To use centrifugal, vacuum, or other mechanisms to adjust spark advance to optimum values for all conditions of speed and load as well as accommodating engine starting.
If ignition timing is delayed from optimum value, the main result is that the flame continues on when it should have burned itself out. The effect is that the flame continues into the exhaust port and to more exposed cylinder walls. This is a major contributor to the engine overheating.

In the next lesson we'll talk about specifics for the 1932 to 1940 Ford V8 engines.

John Shelor

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