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Distributor Insulating Strip

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Old Man:
It's called 'fish paper'. Have no idea why. It was, and still is, very common in the starter motor/generator rebuild business. It's the same stuff used to insulate field windings in motors and generators from the casing. If you can find a rebuild shop in your area they should be able to sell you some if not give you a small piece. 
 (I phoned around after posting and found out it's now a 'mylar impregnated paper' and is still used in the rebuilding of motors and generators. And it's still the original blue/gray. The guys didn't recognize the name 'fish paper'. That's what you get for being 70 years old. They will sell it over the counter. They also have some fibreglas cloth for wrapping the windings in and dipping them in epoxy. All stuff that's much more modern than me.)

frankp:
If the "fish paper" isn't available.  How about using a piece of plastic that seems to encapsulate everything?

Anyway, you have to be getting very close, if all the components and wiring are ok. 

racertb:
Thanks Old Man and Frank (and Ian too!)...

I believe I'm close and the distributor is not in the right location.  As mentioned above, I went through the static timing steps (even watched a couple videos on You Tube) and got everything lined up the way I'm understanding it.  I was quite sure the car would fire off yesterday, but it made that grinding kind of noise every couple of revolutions.  From the other post, a couple folks thought that meant the timing was way too advanced.  I played with the distributor somewhat in different positions and she almost fired off.  Too bad the battery was about dead at that point.

Does it matter that I pulled the distributor out when I made sure the rotor was pointing at the #1 plug wire/terminal on the cap?  I don't think it would as long as the rest of the firing order was correct and the rotor was lined up correctly.

Please let me know if this could be part of the problem, thanks.

frankp:
Removing distributor to correctly align is the way to do it.  If you removed the plug wires from the cap, it wouldn't hurt to double check they are in the correct order.

racertb:
I'll double check the wires/order although they were not removed...you never know.  :)

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