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Vintage Sun Tune Up, Testers, Scopes, Analyzer, Distributor Thread

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flathead Johnny, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. A friend came over last weekend so we could sync/tune his old Spaulding. C1BFFB2A-B9F6-4EDF-B307-25AE54DEA702.jpeg
     
  2. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 670

    choppedtudor
    Member

    sun.jpg this one was purchased new for a local high school auto shop, retired in the 90's and stored in a private garage until I acquired it. It's in remarkable shape for being 40-something years old. All lights still work, gauges all work, the pump for emission still runs...all leads are in good condition...the oscilloscope is clear and bright....simply a well made product.
     
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  3. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 46,862

    squirrel
    Member

    looks a lot like mine! I got mine in 1989, the scope quit working a while ago....haven't used anything on it for a while. One day I'll find someone who needs it more than I do.

    sun tester.jpg
     
  4. choppedtudor
    Joined: Nov 28, 2009
    Posts: 670

    choppedtudor
    Member

    I've been told that certain older video arcade games used the same CRT...
     
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  5. Aaron65
    Joined: Dec 29, 2005
    Posts: 283

    Aaron65
    Member
    from Michigan

    I bought this slightly damaged 1115 from my local Ford dealer for $50. It's been dropped but the scope and major gauges work, and it came with a bunch of adapters so I can even test the HEI on my OT Firebird. It takes up a lot of space for something I only pull out every once in a while, but it looks cool and I use the "not original to this huge machine" cabinet to store all my shop manuals and other test equipment.
    002b.JPG 003a.JPG
     
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  6. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,309

    RodStRace
    Member

    Wow, of course the HAMB is the source!
    Just picked up a Sun 920 Engine Tester locally. Will read through the posts some more but at least I know not to just replace the cord and give it a try now.
    Can some of the more proficient troubleshooters provide a basic "Checking Capacitors For Dummies" crash course before I go off the deep end and try to find vintage TV repair forums?
    It has a manual and the wiring is not complete crumbs. Will give it a good wipe down and look over tomorrow, I can share pics if it helps anyone or if I can get some guidance on what to check in an attempt to get it back running.



    [​IMG]
     
  7. I envy you for having a schematic, particularly of the scope. I have the same scope as you have, but don't have the schematic for it.
    A good ohm meter will be sufficient to do a simple test of the capacitors. Making sure the polarity is correct for the electrolytics, with one wire disconnected from the circuit, just place the probes across the two contacts of the capacitor you are testing. The needle will indicate 0 resistance initially, then gradually as the device builds up a charge, the needle should increase to near infinity. (With electrolytic caps, there is some leakage, so the needle will indicate a high resistance, but short of infinity.) A high reading, will indicate a good capacitor.)
    I don't know your level of expertise in electronics, but compared to today's electronic equipment, these machines are quite simple. There are two schools of thought on replacing all the capacitors. Some guys replace every capacitor, and others, like myself, just replace the electrolytics, then power up the device at a lower voltage (around 30 volts, to allow the capacitors to reform), and then replace the smaller ones if the device does not function.
    Rather than test the electrolytic filter capacitors, I would personally just replace them. The reason for this, is that older tube type equipment operates at significantly higher voltages, and the construction of electrolytic capacitors, makes them susceptible to drying out internally. This can cause all manner of other failures, if you power the device up at full line voltage.
    It is not difficult to find replacements on epay, or a similar site. It is important to make certain that you purchase the replacements with the same or even slightly higher voltage rating. The exact value of the capacitance is not critical on the filter capacitors. If you can't get the exact value of capacitance for the replacement, a slightly higher value will work fine.
    It is also important to pay attention to getting the polarity correct. Electrolytic caps can make quite a mess if they are not installed with the right polarity.
    The way I fire up an old unit that has not been used in a long time, is to plug it into a variac, and power the unit at a lower voltage, such as about 30 volts for 30 or so minutes, to allow the capacitors to reform. Then I would gradually increase the voltage in approximately 20 volt increments until you are up to the full line voltage.
    I have used this technique with excellent results on equipment that was built in the 40s and has sat idle for a very long time.
    Nice looking unit. Good luck on getting it operational.
    Bob
     
  8. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,309

    RodStRace
    Member

    Thanks Bob!
    It is just the user manual, no machine schematics or troubleshooting unfortunately.
    Will post up some pics in a bit, after it's out of the truck.
    I worked on cars for years, but didn't mess with this kind of equipment or house voltage much at all. I wasn't one of those guys that hung out at Radio Shack or soldered a circuit board.

    I don't have a Variac either, so I'll check around for an old school electrical guy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  9. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,309

    RodStRace
    Member

    I've uploaded a bunch of pictures of it to an album here. It has NOT been wiped down and cleaned yet!
    https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/media/albums/sun920.47567/

    There doesn't appear to be any major stuff behind the back covers, I'll assume that the main electronics are inside the 'scope area. I'll look thru the posts again, but I didn't see all the electronics behind the easily removed covers that I saw in other posts. The power cord feeds to behind the left rear side (right front).

    Considering that it has an exhaust analyzer and an HEI adapter, it's probably a bit newer than HAMB friendly, but I'd still like any help available to get back up and going.

    Can I go ahead and replace the power cord and plug it in? Guess I'll wipe things down first and wait to hear back on digging into the 'scope area and check for the dreaded capacitors in there. I had to look up pics to see which ones you were describing.

    The cables are a bit worse for wear than I had hoped. Is there a good way to redo these at a reasonable cost? Is there a source for the cables pre-built or am I better off sourcing the components and building my own?

    I looked at the http://paramountd.com/index.html link, but he only lists complete dist. machines, no parts. It does say to contact him, but I would rather not bother him if this ('scope leads and timing light cable) is not something he deals with.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2020
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  10. I will admit to not knowing any better and just replacing the power cord on my machines and plugging them in (after a quick inspection of anything glaringly wrong or course :eek:.)
     
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  11. RodStRace
    Joined: Dec 7, 2007
    Posts: 2,309

    RodStRace
    Member

    Well, got the main case wiped down pretty well and half the instruments, along with the accessories.
    The 'scope portion seems to be removable (single cable out the back and rubber feet on the box), but it doesn't want to lift/slide out. It comes out a quarter inch, then stops. I don't want to force it in case something along the front panel needs to be disconnected. Any ideas?
     
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  12. I am not saying that you couldn't make the restoration yourself, but even old capacitors can give you a nasty surprise, so it would definitely be wise to get some instruction from someone experienced with tube type equipment.
    The best person to find, is an old school ham hobbiest. Anyone locally involved in the hobby, will probably know some old fart, like myself, that still has all the equipment and still plays with tubes. Another thing I would suggest, would be to do a youtube search, and watch some videos by people such as, Mr Carlson's Lab, Uncle Doug, or W2AEW. They will provide you with a lot of interesting information. Anyone that is skilled with their hands, can easily do the physical part of making the repairs.
    One other thing, do not use acid core solder. It is necessary to use resin core solder, or you will ruin all the good work.
    Bob
     
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  13. I had mine out of the cabinet years ago, so I know that it should be easily removed. I can't remember exactly how, and my machine is not accessible to me. (It is raining right now, and I have to move some heavy stuff outside to gain access).
     
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  14. Just bought this sun model 160 distributor tester. I can’t find any info for this model. Anyone have some? I already know I need a new 1/4hp electric motor for it
     

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  15. egads
    Joined: Aug 23, 2011
    Posts: 758

    egads
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    ^^^^^^^^^ Have you tried Paramountd.com ??
     
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  16. Damn that's cool!
     
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  17. I did, he said he doesn’t really deal with the early models like mine, and he just strips them for parts and shit cans them. Wasn’t overly helpful, but did answer a couple questions.

    really what I need right now is some pictures of how the 1/4hp electric motor is setup underneath on these and what sizes drive pulley I need. Then I can start figuring out the rest. I’m going to get this one working I only paid $100 for it so I’m not into it deep. And I’ve always wanted one of these things usually they are crazy expensive around here which they never seem to come up for sale.
     

  18. Thanks! Want to help me recap this thing? I don’t know shit about vintage electronics but this thing looks just like one you have already done.
     

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  19. If it was me - all those brown and tan tootsie roll things are probably caps and will have a number on the side. Its been a while since I bought loose caps but Digikey is a good place. That big silver thing might be a cap also. Any cap that has a + sign is electrolytic and the ones without a + are just basic caps. Don't mix them up or put the electrolytics in backwards BOOM hahaha.
     
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  20. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,634

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    Another thanks Bob !
     
  21. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,634

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    You are priceless to us.
     
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  22. Kan Kustom
    Joined: Jul 20, 2009
    Posts: 2,634

    Kan Kustom
    Member

    I have had mine for quite some time now and hope to be able to use it soon. I also have an early Sun speedometer tester,not in the picture and the owners manual that Moriarity was gracious enough to send me. When I get it situated with the rest of the equipment I will post more pictures. This thread and the helpful guys on it are spectacular. 20200924_142850.jpg
     
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  23. HotRod-1
    Joined: Jan 17, 2011
    Posts: 20

    HotRod-1
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Regarding cabinet paint color, I used Ford DG,M6560A MDTEWHA Aquamarine Frost on my Sun 504.
    It was a reasonably good match. I used comet cleanser and a Brillo pad to get rid of the oil and dirt and to rough up the surface prior to painting. This paint covered over the original hammer type paint quite nicely. Ugly color for a car.
     
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  24. h.d.fire
    Joined: Sep 20, 2006
    Posts: 42

    h.d.fire
    Member

    I just purchased this Sun 1020 and was wondering if from the serial number it's possible to determine the year of manufacture? Thanks for all the info I've already learned, and in advance of any more you guys can offer. Sun 1020 1.jpg Sun 1020 2.jpg
     

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  25. borderboy1971
    Joined: Oct 20, 2008
    Posts: 705

    borderboy1971
    Member
    from Canada

    Not sure if brands other than sun are allowed in this thread, so kick mine to the curb if not allowed.
     

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  26. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,375

    bobbytnm
    Member

    I just picked this up. It a little rough but it appears as if everything works.
    All of the tubing for the sniffer is dry rotted and broken and will need replacing. And its missing one of the filter cups for the sniffer system.
    I'm also missing the timing light and the main amp lead. Does anyone have a manual for this machine, or any ideas on where to get leads, parts, etc.
    IMG_8373.jpeg
     
  27. Your shot of the I.D. tag shows Sun's address as "Chicago 31 Il.". 31 is a Postal Zone code, part of the Postal Service's system of mail sorting. The Postal Zone system was replaced in July 1963 by the 5 digit Zip Code so your Sun tester probably at least pre-dates that.
     
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  28. I got a reprinted manual for my similar machine on eBay.
     
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  29. bobbytnm
    Joined: Dec 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,375

    bobbytnm
    Member

    Thanks. Yea, after posting this last night I saw that there was a guy on Ebay offering the manual in .pdf format.

    Another question;
    has anyone ever converted a stand alone timing light to one used with the engine analyzer? I'm thinking that if you could find the right connecter to connect it at the swing arm on top of the analyzer and get the wiring right it should work. Any thoughts?

    Thanks all
     
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  30. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,590

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Someone gave me this one that was outside for a long time, now it's yard art but at least it mostly out of the weather.
    yard art-1.jpg
     

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