NOTE: Many CT'ers recommend that you start with a valve inspection and possible adjustment, if your CT is not operating properly, even if it seems your problem is not related to the valves! If you just purchased a CT, start with the valve adjustment if the engine doesn't want to start or is not operating correctly, then return here to work on the points, before starting work on the timing. You could start with a points inspection and possible adjustment, then go do the valve inspection and possible adjustment, however, it just seems 'natural' to do the valves, points and then timing (sort of a 'simple to more complex' process).
This process is for CT's with points. Later models of CT's have a Capacitor Discharge Ignition (CDI), that does not use points, thus no points inspection or adjustment. If you have a CT with CDI you can skip down this page to the Timing section (this section for CDI timing issues is not yet complete).
Contact Breaker Point Inspection
When working on timing issues, always start with the contact breaker points, not the actual timing.
The contact breaker point inspection should be completed about every 2,400 miles or if you notice the engine not operating correctly.
Remove the contact breaker point cover.
Remove the generator cover.
NOTE: The key should be in the OFF position.
Rotate the generator counterclockwise (anti-clockwise) with a socket and ratchet on the center nut of the generator to find the position where the contact breaker point gap is at its maximum opening size. This process rotates the engine in the correct direction (so, no damage occurs).
Clean the contact breaker points surface with an electrical contact cleaner to remove any oil film or dirt. Electrical contact cleaner can be found at your local auto parts store, an electrical supply store (RadioShack) or sometimes in a hardware store.
Take a close look at the points. If the contact surfaces are level but grayish in color or are slightly pitted, file them lightly with a points file. A points file is a thin, flat file used specifically for this purpose. You can usually find them at your local auto parts store and they shouldn't cost very much.
If the contact breaker points are showing any of the following;
A fair amount of wear,
Are worn at an angle (out of alignment),
Show fouling or pitting,
Have a noticeable transfer of metal from one surface to the other,
Have evidence of heavy arcing,
The points should be replaced.
Here's a different drawing showing similar concepts as above. This second drawing is more correct for what you might see when your points are OK (a slight rounding of the edges). Notice that for light pitting or fouling, you can probably use your points file to flatten out the surfaces and keep using the points.
With the contact breaker point gap is at its maximum opening size, check the gap with a wire gauge or feeler gauge. NOTE: The key should be in the OFF position.
The point gap clearance should be between;
0.3 mm - 0.4 mm
0.012 inches - 0.016 inches
If your point gap clearance is within tolerance, you are good to go!
Contact Breaker Point Gap Adjustment
If you need to adjust the contact breaker point gap, loosen the contact breaker points locking screws and move the contact breaker points to achieve the correct gap. A straight blade screwdriver does this job. NOTE: The key should be in the OFF position.
When contact breaker point gap is adjusted properly, retighten the contact breaker point locking screws. NOTE: Do not allow the contact breaker points to move when tightening the contact breaker points locking screws. It is sometimes easier to use a flat blade screwdriver to hold the contact breaker points in position while using a cross point (or Phillips) screwdriver to tighten the contact breaker points locking screws.
Rotate the generator counterclockwise (anti-clockwise) several times, returning to the position where the point gap is at its maximum opening size, and do a final check of the contact breaker point gap clearance.
If the point gap is not right, restart the process.
You now have properly adjusted points.
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