1963 Cushman Breaker Point Adjustment


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Old 08-08-20, 02:27 PM
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1963 Cushman Breaker Point Adjustment

I have a 1963 Cushman golfster with a 18 hp OMC opposed air cooled twin cylinder engine (original). I rebuilt it and tuned it up 20 years ago and it has been running perfectly until last week. It started to cough an misfire so I brought it in and started looking for smoking guns. The distributor on these is called a timer, and the points looked to be burned although still intact and plastic arm that rides on the shaft that comes up from the engine had quite a bit of wear on it so I ordered all new points condenser and plugs. I put them all in but I cannot get the new points to adjust out to the .20 specified in the service manual. The instructions are adamant about loosening the small Screw that allows the points arm to be slid forward or back, and adjust with the "adjusting screw" The adjusting screw is a small screw with an off set thread arrangement that allows the point plate to move a bit. Moving either of these while the points are "fully open" as the book says does not allow me to open them as far as .20 and I am lucky to get half that. I know this old engine is a reach, but I need to get it back running. Manual is also adamant about not bending anything to allow for more adjustment, but that is all I can see to do right now.
 
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Old 08-12-20, 06:13 PM
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Cushman Breaker Points

I didnt get any replies so I went ahead and loosend the breaker point plate at each end. I then moved the offset smaller screw so it moved the wiper arm for the points so it just touched the cam that is attached to, or part of the rod that goes down into the engine. I just put enough torque to hold that end of the plate in place. I then loosend the bigger screw at the other end. I then took a screwdriver and pushed the breaker plate so the points would open up as far as I could without bending anything, and tightened the bigger screw, holding about .018 of a gap. (I said in the original post that it was supposed to be .20 but meant to say.020) At any rate, it is running fine, but the next go round will see a pertronex electronic module go in instead of the original designed ones.
 
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Old 08-22-20, 07:06 PM
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Apparently (from a source who really likes Cushmans) it is common for Cushman timers to wear out the cam lobes that are supposed to give an owner some play when fully open to adjust to .020. That is what I have I guess. Gotten around it for now, I know that electronic ignition will bypass this issue, but too much of a blockhead to not make it original if I can lol
 
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Old 01-07-21, 06:01 PM
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You can buy a replacement cam lobe assembly for these engines for about 160 dollars. I managed to find a used "timer" with a good cam assembly still attached, which I have installed. I then reset the points to the proper spec of .020 and it is running perfectly.
 
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Old 01-07-21, 06:20 PM
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Lobe wear is a problem. I've seen it on old cars. Glad you found a replacement.

On my one car...... '74 Chevelle SS...... had worn distributor points cam lobes.
I converted to electronic. Accel
 
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Old 01-07-21, 07:00 PM
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Hi Pete, I know that the electronic ignition for this would have been an easy fix (Pertronix) but I like to keep things original if I can. Now there is a guy who is making the original specd canopies for these old Cushmans in Florida somewhere. (I found this out after building mine from scratch lol)

Have a great new year! mine is finally looking up!
 
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Old 01-07-21, 07:03 PM
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You've spent a lot of time and sweat on that Cushman.
 
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Old 01-10-21, 05:59 PM
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If you go back a year, I was looking for a way to automate the transmission. (It originally came with a centrifugal clutch in front of a two speed 1 forward speed, 1 reverse speed manual transmission.) I put a Cushman truckster 3 speed in mine for more pulling power on the farm I was managing and got rid of the spindly centrifugal clutch as it was disintegrating on me anyway. I always missed the feature though. I found out that Cushman redesigned the Clutch in 1964 for the Turf Truckster line and managed to find one for sale in Indiana. So that went in with a timer rebuild to be able to set the points and condenser to original specs. I installed an alternator system to keep the battery charged much better than the original magneto charged system years ago. It might not be the king of golf carts, but it suits my needs now!
 
 

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