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Technical Have you ever used a Dwell Meter?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Rex_A_Lott, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. Blues4U
    Joined: Oct 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,739

    from So Cal

    This may be OT, but it's kind of related. At least one university, may be Georgia Tech, I'm not sure, but they do have a class on vacuum tube electronics technology. The professor that teaches the course posts ocassionally in a facebook tube amplifier group I'm in. Fully understanding vacuum tube electronics is probably at least as difficult, or more, than understanding modern digital electronics. Pick up an RCA Radio handbook and find out what I mean.
  2. Casual 6
    Joined: May 25, 2008
    Posts: 264

    Casual 6
    from Great NW

    upload_2022-9-22_9-32-26.png upload_2022-9-22_9-32-26.png

    Attached Files:

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  3. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 911


    It's too bad that you don't at least touch on it, they will, at some point in their career most likely be exposed to dealing with it.
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  4. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,577


    Thinking that it has been 48 years since the last V8 Chevrolet rolled out of the factory with points I can see why a lot of the younger guys have never used a dwell meter. I still have the one I bought in high school plus a bit of a collection of ones I picked up at yard sales and one on my Marquette Scope. the scope is an 80's unit that will handle the 70's and 80's electrnic ign.
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  5. kls50
    Joined: Sep 9, 2013
    Posts: 87


    I bought one back in the late 80's for my 1973 F-100. I got rid of the truck in1993(wrecked it). It hung on the wall in my garage for about ten years collecting dust. One day I thought to myself while cleaning things out, I would NEVER have a use for it again and threw it into the garbage. Then I bought my 1950 Ford coupe. I wished I had it back!
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  6. arkiehotrods
    Joined: Mar 9, 2006
    Posts: 6,777


    My '56 Nomad and my OT '74 C20 with a 454 both still run points distributors. I used the dwell meter on the C20 last week.
  7. Slopok
    Joined: Jan 30, 2012
    Posts: 2,745


    Or use a rotary phone! o_O
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  8. 48stude
    Joined: Jul 31, 2004
    Posts: 1,241


    I bought this one from a magazine ad back in the late 60's
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  9. I have a dwell meter AND a dwell function on my dvom. I use the meter A LOT for dwell, just not'd be surprised at what uses dwell other then points (o/t stuff). It's also kind of shocking how easy it is to alter parameters when you have a good scan tool.
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  10. I bought this one ( this is an on line image, but mine is damn close( I couldn't afford the amp option) - honest) about 1980 from our local mac man, just used the volt feature the other day on my ohh-tee mc
    Rex_A_Lott and lothiandon1940 like this.
  11. Wanderlust
    Joined: Oct 27, 2019
    Posts: 580


    This was my thoughts as well, while taking my auto body in the early 80s, our instructor did a demonstration of lead work, which I found really interesting. Never have used that knowledge, but I’m still glad to have learned it.
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  12. Another one I've had for years. 20220922_154923.jpg
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  13. BJR
    Joined: Mar 11, 2005
    Posts: 7,746


    Or tell time on an analog clock.
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  14. I gotta tell this story again. Not a dwell meter but a "denso meter".

    Wife and I are at an auto flea market and she picks up something called a "denso meter" and asked me what it does. I have no idea so I tell her it measures stupidity and look, the meter is jumping around!!!! She calls me an idiot, puts it back down on the table, turns around and .... walks right into a tent pole :D:D:D:D
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  15. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,211

    from WA-OR, USA

    Somebody say dwell meter?
    dwell on these.jpg meter.jpg
    I've been known to use one a time or two:rolleyes:
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  16. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,449


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  17. Tow Truck Tom
    Joined: Jul 3, 2018
    Posts: 724

    Tow Truck Tom
    from Clayton DE

    Hows about keeping it away from rain and the fuel line.

    At the age of 17, I came upon a DodgeHemi D500 edition with a Mallory dual point ( factory equipment ). My mentor got me through the tune up.
    Today I have 3 points cars, and found a dwell meter at an estate sale.
    However the cars will need fresh gas tanks before a tune up.
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  18. Haven’t used mine in years. If memory serves me, 28-32 degrees on a small block Chevy.
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  19. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,211

    from WA-OR, USA me there! I tossed it sometime back in the seventies.
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  20. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,449


    I don’t think mine has the racing flags on it, I bought mine in the ‘80s.
    But I had to “toss a bit” at ya;)
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  21. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 4,421


    learned how to tune cars by ear and performance...
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  22. jimmy six
    Joined: Mar 21, 2006
    Posts: 11,786

    jimmy six

    On every single engine that had points even after I set the point gap with a match book. Just wanted to know. Always checked and set the GM’s with a door. Rarely ever needed adjustment.
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  23. That's why so many young people entering the field can't turn wrenches and only want to do computer work or can't read write or do arithmetic for that matter!

    No different than welding teachers who don't want to teach Oxy-Fuel, it the base for everything else it gets you watching the puddle teaches you how to control the puddle etc...

    How can you understand where you are if you don't know where you came from?
  24. Atwater Mike
    Joined: May 31, 2002
    Posts: 11,004

    Atwater Mike

    Basic rule of thumb here, 8 cyl. cars set to 30* cam dwell angle ('dwell') 6 cyl. set to 45*. 4 cyl. use 60*, (some variance in all, but preferred numbers set them up accurately. (as long as the distributor bushing isn't too 'egg-shaped'...)

    O.T. lesson I learned when working on BMW Tii's: (mechanical fuel injected) Because the injector pump is timed from the distributor, (MECHANICAL) dwell MUST be at 60*. I researched this thoroughly, and BTW: Injector pump shaft MUST be to the letter when adjusting to zero @ TDC. Or a missfire will occur.
    I did most of them, well, all of them...after a low time tech called it done... Very precise.
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  25. Ebbsspeed
    Joined: Nov 11, 2005
    Posts: 5,871


    Yes, and yes.
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  26. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 9,449


    Man, I worked at a full serve station, the mechanic was ex army mechanic. The station had the big scope. He’d hook up 10 different clips, I’d watch him and he’d say “ this is for the plug, this is for the wire, etc” looking at the waveform. He could tell wether it was an electrical or mechanical issue by what he saw.
    Anyone run into the “old timers” like that?
  27. SS327
    Joined: Sep 11, 2017
    Posts: 1,345


    Yea, I used to do that 38 years ago at the Buick dealership. Oh my Craftsman tach, dwell, ohm meter an analyzer I kept it in the original box and styrofoam.
  28. X-cpe
    Joined: Mar 9, 2018
    Posts: 1,512


    Back in the late seventies that was a mystery to some of my high school students.

    At the college, the first time we would take a break, I would say something like, "Be back at a quarter of." There would be at least one student who would ask, "When is that?"
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2022
  29. Doublepumper
    Joined: Jun 26, 2016
    Posts: 1,211

    from WA-OR, USA

    Concerning dwell meters...If you use one of these a lot, over time you'll find they can also be useful for spotting problems with a points assembly or distributor. Problems that aren't readily noticeable without the meter. Any erratic readings usually means there's an issue that needs to be tracked down and fixed. Things like worn out points assemblies, weak condensers and bad distributor bushings. Worn lobes on the points cam can usually be detected when you dial in the proper dwell reading, but the points gap is way off.
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