Edward G 1968 Mercury Cougar XR-7G 2dr Hardtop Coupe

Improvised Repair

My first Cougar XR7 was "burning" the points such that a set would last 1 - 2,000 miles at most. I had to keep replacing them to the point - pun intended - that I could do a set with my eyes closed and without needing to measure or set the gap. I carried several extra sets in the trunk. One Sunday in 1970, I can't get the car started, have no extra "new" points and the stores are closed. I was 17 years old, had a big date and was frantic.

My father was a jeweler but had been an auto mechanic before going off to WWII. He hears me cursing like a sailor and comes outside where listens to me crank the engine. He says, "shut up and watch". He removes the points and takes them to his jeweler's work bench where he "applies/solders" some platinum (yes, platinum) to the pitted, burned out area on the points. He files the surfaces smooth, goes back outside, installs the points and says "set the gap and get lost". It worked. He commenced "re-surfacing" the points every 2 or 3,000 miles with platinum.

He never let me forget that incident when the issue of "who knew best" came up.

0 Reader Comments

Join the Discussion