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Hot Rods Timing Light Rant

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by jaw22w, Aug 14, 2020.

  1. hotrodjack33
    Joined: Aug 19, 2019
    Posts: 1,116

    hotrodjack33
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I learned this method from my old auto shop teacher. He taught us that unless you have a new engine, or a race engine with all new parts, vacuum timing is the best method to compensates for any/all the worn parts in an engine (timing gears/chain, cam & distributor gears, distributor endplay/advance plate etc). It always made sense to me.
     
  2. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 19,137

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    There is a dial advance timing light on my mid 70’s GM diagnostic tune up center


    25CF8A84-359A-4A83-905D-853B9D5EDCD6.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2020
    Tickety Boo likes this.
  3. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Along these lines ,I have a 1948 Philco refrigerator in my basement that has run, without device since new , that's 72 years !
     
  4. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Remember how great it was when you used your first inductive pickup ?
     
    Black_Sheep and Moriarity like this.
  5. chargin03
    Joined: Jan 8, 2013
    Posts: 448

    chargin03
    Member

    My snap-on dial back died so I bought a Harbor Freight works good.
     
  6. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,585

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My old dial Snap On one died (wires inside, I still have to fix it) and I bought a new Innova digital with tach. Works great, plenty bright and I like the tach feature. But most of the time I buy old tools.
     
  7. Flamed48
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 671

    Flamed48
    Member

  8. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 4,192

    Budget36
    Member

    Anyone ever figure our a bulb for the 80's Sun lights?
     
  9. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 1,221

    Black_Sheep
    Member

    The Snap On volt-ohm-dwell-tach meter is about the same vintage as the timing light, it’s hard to believe they’re almost 40 years old.

    image.jpg
     
    Moriarity likes this.
  10. lippy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2006
    Posts: 4,955

    lippy
    Member
    from Ks

    I usually pull it up about 3500 and tighten her down where it sounds good.
     
    loudbang and hotrodjack33 like this.
  11. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 976

    spanners
    Member

    That's the same way I tune my avatar. Haven't used a timing light for years. I tuned on the dyno once but when racing it didn't sound 'crisp' enough. Tuned it by ear in the pits and picked up a second in the 1/4.
     
    jaw22w likes this.
  12. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,060

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    After picking up a 1/4 second, wouldn't it be nice to put a timing light on it to see where the timing is, so you can get right back there?
     
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  13. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 976

    spanners
    Member

    I could've but I'm a big believer in what an old racer told me. "The secret to consistency is 'keep your hands in your pockets'."
    In other words, if it's running good, don't touch it.
     
  14. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    S M H ....
     
  15. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,060

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    That's great if you are consistently faster than every body else. Otherwise you better get your hands out of your pockets!:) (Sorry. I come from a trade where if they caught you with your hands in your pockets, you were looking for another job.)
     
    2OLD2FAST likes this.
  16. thintin
    Joined: Mar 24, 2006
    Posts: 223

    thintin
    Member

    early sears...still working good. Amazing to consider back in that time that sears stuff( for the most part) really had a handle on a lot of every day automotive stuff, and stood by it all. Oh yeah, by early I mean several decades ago.
     
  17. KenC
    Joined: Sep 14, 2006
    Posts: 472

    KenC
    Member

    My first timing light, acquired in the very early 60s, and used when I got it, was still working fine when I gave it away a few years ago. Just got tired of having to have a 6v lantern battery in the shop to use it. Yep, it was vehicle battery powered but only on a 6v vehicle! Now that is reliability1
     
  18. jaw22w
    Joined: Mar 2, 2013
    Posts: 1,060

    jaw22w
    Member
    from Indiana

    S M H...?
     
  19. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,721

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Sears contracted with many suppliers to build to their price point , really had to do more with profit margin than function !
    shake my head ..
     
  20. Flamed48
    Joined: Apr 19, 2011
    Posts: 671

    Flamed48
    Member

    Driver50x likes this.
  21. Harv
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 74

    Harv
    Member
    from Sydney

    Does Hambster racing run heads-up, instead of dial-your-own? I should know the answer to this, but every time I watch Hambsters I'm more fascinated by the cars than the end results. If it is heads-up, then Spanners doesn't need to be split-second consistent like the dial-your-own racers... just needs to go as hard as he can for every race.

    If I had paid a dyno, and then managed to pick up a whole second on the quarter by tune-by-ear, I'd be none too impressed with the dyno shop. Sounds all too much like one of the local dyno guys here.

    Cheers,
    Harv
     
  22. spanners
    Joined: Feb 24, 2009
    Posts: 976

    spanners
    Member

    Most of the HAMBster races are dial your own which some racers don't like but when you aren't on a big race budget it evens out the pack. I've done heads-up racing at Casino drags and won each time because my car is quick off the mark while the others are sitting spinning their wheels and making smoke.
    If I run 8.75 eighth mile off the trailer then that is what I try to maintain all day. The year before last I did 6 race meetings in a ten week period and didn't open the toolbox once except to lend tools to other racers and that makes it a good day's racing.
    The dyno runs were more to check that it would maintain steady oil pressure after an oil pump rebuild. We didn't do vacuum hook ups or anything like that, just ran it up to flat-chat and got maximum horsepower readings
     
    lippy likes this.
  23. Brand Apart
    Joined: Jan 22, 2011
    Posts: 678

    Brand Apart
    Member
    from Roswell GA

    Snap-on for the win!
     
    Moriarity likes this.
  24. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 4,410

    BamaMav
    Member
    from Berry, AL

    Had a old Acton I used since the 80's finally die. Bought a replacement, not even sure what brand or where I got it, lasted a couple of years, only used it 3 or 4 times. Today's junk is made to sell, not last...
     
  25. southcross2631
    Joined: Jan 20, 2013
    Posts: 3,993

    southcross2631
    Member

    I have been using my HF dial timing light for about 8 years now.
     
    Truckdoctor Andy likes this.
  26. badvolvo
    Joined: Jul 25, 2011
    Posts: 469

    badvolvo
    Member

    Yep, that's it. They cleaned it up real nice for about 2 bills.
     
    Moriarity likes this.
  27. I was timing race car with a magneto , timing light shorted and I was getting shocked so bad I couldn't let go of timing light , finally dropped my arm down and light came out of my hand .
     
  28. 210superair
    Joined: Jun 23, 2020
    Posts: 180

    210superair
    Member

    I've got the same timing light my dad gave me when I was a kid tuning up the sbf in our Mastercraft ski boat. All my cars are electronic now so I only need it for the old Chris Craft, but it still works great and I'm 44yo...
     
  29. 6sally6
    Joined: Feb 16, 2014
    Posts: 1,261

    6sally6
    Member

    The Wife bought me a timing light on our first Christmas together. (Only time she ever bought me a tool) Big old chrome plated Craftsman job. It musta weighed 25 LBS!!!
    After 40 years .....it finally shit-the-bed. They just don't make stuff to last any more.:confused:
    I replaced it with a cheap-assed plastic one from Poop Boyz (cause I worked there part time after I retired)
    BASIC.....light just flashes when its suppose to......no set back bologna to 'wonder if'... with. I've dropped it several times on the concrete and its so lightweight it just bounces!!
    I love it.......simple
    6sally6
     
  30. wulf powis
    Joined: Jun 19, 2017
    Posts: 44

    wulf powis
    Member

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