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  1. #1
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    Timing light gun

    Hi i have one of those gunsons superstrobe timing light guns and have used it before on conventional distributors, can you safely use them on an Electronic ignition,?
    ie i have MSD streetfire box and and electronic dizzy, the gun looks like a silver gun with a manual dial on the back, its not a digital display one.
    thanks

  2. #2
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    Can't see why not. The timing light is 'passive' as it just connects to the battery to power the lamp and a clamp over the #1 HT lead to detect the ignition spark.

    Russ.
    Joint Area Rep - East Midlands Region
    1984 DAX Cobra
    Rover 3.5 V8 with Holley carburetor.

  3. #3
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    Do you not need one with a dial back facility? What should the setting be?
    Dek

  4. #4
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    I would suspect some timing lights might not work accurately with multiple spark discharge. I doubt it would hurt it, though I've been wrong before. If it were me, I'd try it. If the strobe looks more jittery than normal or if the results seem wacky, I wouldn't trust it.
    John

    my world... my universe... my garage.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dek View Post
    Do you not need one with a dial back facility? What should the setting be?
    Dek
    Its easier to dial in the advance on the gun and read off zero on the pulley. However you don't need one, but you do then need an accurately marked crank pulley.
    Lloyd B
    Current: Crendon #54 in build - 427 Side Oiler/Cobrajet Heads/Dual 600cfm Holleys/4 speed toploader/Vintage cast knock on wheels
    Dedion Dax/Clarkson 383 Chevy with roller 4/7 swap cam, AFR195 heads - SOLD

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lloyd Barnes View Post
    Its easier to dial in the advance on the gun and read off zero on the pulley. However you don't need one, but you do then need an accurately marked crank pulley.
    Most crank pulleys aren’t marked at 34 degrees or whatever it is I thought.
    Dek

  7. #7
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    The balancer often is, or you can add timing tape.
    Lloyd B
    Current: Crendon #54 in build - 427 Side Oiler/Cobrajet Heads/Dual 600cfm Holleys/4 speed toploader/Vintage cast knock on wheels
    Dedion Dax/Clarkson 383 Chevy with roller 4/7 swap cam, AFR195 heads - SOLD

  8. #8
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    Ok thx, was just goingvto get the basic static tickover done and pay the professionals on the rest

  9. #9
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    I usually set mine statically first, then use the timing light later. You need to know the maximum centrifugal advance; mine is 38 deg BTDC. I make a mark on the balancer at 38 degrees. Easy to do. Measure the diameter, calculate the circumference, and then multiply that by 38 and divide my 360. Make this mark this distance from the balancer ZERO mark. Rotate the engine so the 38 deg mark lines up with the timing pointer.

    Remove the coil wire from the distributor. Fasten it to a sparkplug, and ground the plug to the engine. Remove the dist cap (no need to remove the remaining wires). Rotate the rotor until it hits max. advance. With the ignition ON, the sparkplug should just spark when the rotor hits max. spark advance. If it doesn't, rotate the distributor until it does.

    By the way, I tried doing a Google Search on this as I remember reading about it. Couldn't find the exact information I remember reading, but the consensus is that an old fashioned analog timing light will work with multiple discharge sparks, but a digital one, ( having a digital display, especially those with a dial-back function) are more sensitive and may not work properly.
    John

    my world... my universe... my garage.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggbert View Post
    I usually set mine statically first, then use the timing light later. You need to know the maximum centrifugal advance; mine is 38 deg BTDC. I make a mark on the balancer at 38 degrees. Easy to do. Measure the diameter, calculate the circumference, and then multiply that by 38 and divide my 360. Make this mark this distance from the balancer ZERO mark. Rotate the engine so the 38 deg mark lines up with the timing pointer.

    Remove the coil wire from the distributor. Fasten it to a sparkplug, and ground the plug to the engine. Remove the dist cap (no need to remove the remaining wires). Rotate the rotor until it hits max. advance. With the ignition ON, the sparkplug should just spark when the rotor hits max. spark advance. If it doesn't, rotate the distributor until it does.

    By the way, I tried doing a Google Search on this as I remember reading about it. Couldn't find the exact information I remember reading, but the consensus is that an old fashioned analog timing light will work with multiple discharge sparks, but a digital one, ( having a digital display, especially those with a dial-back function) are more sensitive and may not work properly.
    John, I like your good old fashioned back to basics technique!
    Dek

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