Distributor points are a set of electrical contacts, that switch the coil on and off at the appropriate time. These points are used on early model distributors that use the point-type distributor, in order to operate, instead of the electric type that is common in modern vehicles. The points are opened and closed by the mechanical action of the distributor shaft lobes pushing on them. The constant opening and closing of these points at eight amps of current many times per second,means wear and tear. As the points open and close, a signal is sent to the coil which produces the electrical voltage used to fire the spark plugs. Yearly maintenance to the distributor points is recommended as well as any adjustments,in order to prevent pitting.
There are different points available,depending on the type of engine the vehicle has. For example, standard points have a 32 ounce spring, while performance points have a 48 ounce spring that is capable of engine speeds up to 6,500 RPM instead of the 5,000 RPM allowed by the standard points. The performance points have extra thick contact arms,in order to prevent flexing at high speeds.
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