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Questions pertaining to F245 engine in my Clark forklift

jeff76

Cast Iron
Joined
Jan 21, 2009
Location
Ohio USA
I have a 1972 Clark CHY60 forklift with the F245 Continental engine. Although it always starts and does what I need I have always felt that it was kind of sluggish and not performing as it should. I am thinking of checking out a few things this winter to possibly try to improve upon its performance. The question I have right now pertains to the distributor. From reading online, it sounds as if there were issues with these wearing out and causing issues. Pertronix makes a replacement distributor that also eliminates the points that I was considering and wondered if anyone had any experience with these. The original distributor has a flat top cap while the pertronix unit has a cap with connection points exiting vertically which will require extra room vertically. There isnt a lot of extra room above the engine and Im not sure that it will fit. I was wondering if possibly the original flat top cap would work with the pertronix unit? Does anyone have any experience with this scenario?

Thanks,
Jeff
 
One of the issues I found with these old units is carbon tracking of the cap ,and I dont think the old cap would be suitable for higher voltage...........you can get right angle ignition lead ends ,they may be suitable.
 
One of the issues I found with these old units is carbon tracking of the cap ,and I dont think the old cap would be suitable for higher voltage...........you can get right angle ignition lead ends ,they may be suitable.
I am still not sure itd fit with the right angle leads. Would be close. The manufacturer states 7.64 length but Im not sure if that is overall length or height above head length. If its overall length then it possibly would work with the right angle leads but if thats an above the top of the head length then probably not. It actually has right angle leads now on the flat top cap but they are in the horizontal position.

Jeff
 
Instead of swapping the entire distributor, does Pertronix make a kit for your existing dizzy? Then you keep the same cap, rotor, and wire style. Might have to change the wires depending what type of Pertronix kit you use.
 
I looked into the Pertronix system for my Clark forklift earlier this year, it was tempting. I ended up just replacing points/condensor/cap/rotor, it runs better now than it ever has. Note, I had not replaced them since purchasing the lift some years ago, and your mileage may vary.

Edit: Somewhere here someone posted about converting a 4cyl automotive HEI distributor to a forklift, but if pressed for space it might not work for you.

Edit again: Clark sent me the wrong set of points in first order, they then sent me the correct points and said to pitch the first set. I'll check workbench today and see if they are still here, maybe you can use them.
 
Last edited:
Found the points, Clark P#998922, if you can use these PM me an address and I'll shove into an envelope and mail free of charge. If you are going to pass, please say so and they are up for grabs to anyone that can use them. Note, these are a mirror image of the points my machine uses, so verify they are correct before asking for them.
 

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Instead of swapping the entire distributor, does Pertronix make a kit for your existing dizzy? Then you keep the same cap, rotor, and wire style. Might have to change the wires depending what type of Pertronix kit you use.
I think that they do make a kit for it. I was mainly considering the whole distributor because it sounds like my distributor is known to be prone to needing bearings or bushings and it would be simpler if it would fit but if it won't I was considering going that route.

Jeff
 
Found the points, Clark P#998922, if you can use these PM me an address and I'll shove into an envelope and mail free of charge. If you are going to pass, please say so and they are up for grabs to anyone that can use them. Note, these are a mirror image of the points my machine uses, so verify they are correct before asking for them.
I have not actually even looked at my points yet and have not decided which route im going yet. If I do decide to replace my points and yours are the proper ones I will contact u. Appreciate the offer.

Jeff
 
A little secret that seemingly no one knows........distributors have a little felt pad in the centre of the shaft ,under the rotor button.........the clever part is this felt pad is supposed to be lubricated with a drop of oil off the dipstick once a month....if this onerous task is performed ,the multitude of bearings and pivots last forever ..........if lubrication is neglected ,the whole mechanism wears out and the engine wont run properly.
 
I think that they do make a kit for it. I was mainly considering the whole distributor because it sounds like my distributor is known to be prone to needing bearings or bushings and it would be simpler if it would fit but if it won't I was considering going that route.

Jeff
Unless the bushings are horribly wore out, a Pertronix kit will work fine. I have one in a Case 148G engine that has 14,000 hours on the original distributor. Yes the bushings are a little loose, too loose to try to get points set right, but it doesn’t seem to bother the Pertronix system.
 
We went both ways, we have pulled the dist and pressed in new bushings, finish ream, new tune up and away ya go, the other was a electronic conversion kit that works good even with shaft play. At one time we had a bunch of Continental engines in Lincoln welders, fork lifts and some hydraulic units. Great engines.
 
"most" distributors have a centrifugal advance mechanism consisting of cams and flyweights. Often it's hidden under the points plate. If it's seized or otherwise inoperable, a pertronix conversion won't help you. I'd definitely inspect it no matter which way you go.
 
In the later Delco Remy distributors ,the makers took some pains to make them un repairable ......there are no bushes,the shaft runs direct in the ally......the shaft is all one diameter /centreless ground........the drive gear /flange will be loose if the shaft is reground ........the ally housing has a clever coring design so that it cant be bored for a bushing.......a common wear area is the fit of the cam onto the mainshaft.....again cant be fixed without hardchrome plating..........It may be simpler to make a new oversize shaft ,but it needs to be 60RC surface hardness,nitriding would be OK..
 
I will say on my 1959 Clark that had fresh coils, plugs, and distributor that the torque it put out was directly proportional to the battery voltage. Not 100% sure why, and it behaved the same before I replaced those things.

It did have a mechanical regulator on the generator that wasn't reliable and would let the battery voltage drop.
 
I ended up purchasing the pertronix distributor after calling them to get the dimensions. It will just fit using the right angle wire ends. Just got to get new wires now because the previous ones were solid core and the instructions said that was a no-no.

Jeff
 








 
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