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Old 04-29-2011, 01:58 PM
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Old guys,What was it ?

At one time years ago, even before the Sun machines, a device was used for setting up timing curves on distributors.I just can't for the life of me remember what it was called or who made it.I would like to get my hands on one just to do some experimenting.
Anyone remember this thing?

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Old 04-29-2011, 02:03 PM
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I thought they were just called distributor machines....Stewart Warner, Sun, etc

Heres one on Ebay

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Sun-D...motiveQ5fTools
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:18 PM
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Thats a later type but I'm looking for the earlier one.Thats more $$ than I want to sink in one just to play with.
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Old 04-29-2011, 02:32 PM
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My brother has one that looks like this and re-curves distirbutors as one of this services. He does it by mail if you want to contact him PM me.



He has had a few over the years and they usually don't cost a whole lot because people don't know what they are used for!

Brian
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:41 PM
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Allen made a machine that was a no frills machine like the Sun and they called it a Syncrograph I believe. Is that what you were referring to?
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Old 04-29-2011, 03:48 PM
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All the ones I have used were Sun. If one comes up for sale, they are usually dirt cheap.
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Old 04-29-2011, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MARTINSR
My brother has one that looks like this and re-curves distirbutors as one of this services. He does it by mail if you want to contact him PM me.



He has had a few over the years and they usually don't cost a whole lot because people don't know what they are used for!

Brian
Do what I do. Go down to the local tech college automotive shop and make friends with one of the students or talk to the instructor. They should have one you might be able to use. I've done it before. Those machines are great in the fact that you can set up and make changes without having to blow out a bunch of gas at the track and much more accurate than a dial back timing light. if I could find one cheap, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 04-29-2011, 09:46 PM
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They were called dwell meters. They were quite common and few still are in service.
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Old 04-29-2011, 11:37 PM
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Dwell meters?

I don't think dwell meters ever were useful for setting up timing curves. They provided a much more accurate "dwell" (how long the points stayed closed) than setting by feeler gauge, but no real impact on timing curves.

As to dwell meters - EVERYBODY made 'em - usually in a dwell/tach handheld unit from Sears, Sun, Aquus, S-W, etc, etc. Prices used to range from about $19.00 to around a hundred or so.

The advent of breakerless ignitions consigned dwell tachs to the curiousity bin.

(one reason Chev -and GM in general - engines were more popular than FoMoCo, MoPar etc was because you could tune them easier by using a dwell tach on it while running) Ford & Mopar required you to shut it off, open the dizzy, reset the gap, start it up again and take another dwell reading. The GMs had that little window on the side of the cap that you stuck an Allen key into and adjusted to get the exact dwell while running.

However, the original poster was asking about "setting up timing curves", and a dwell tach won't do that.

Maybe an Oscilloscope?
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Old 05-01-2011, 09:52 AM
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My first experience with ignitions goes back to the mid 50's and I don't remember anything other than the Sun machine shown above. There were newer versions in the early 60's that I used in the hotrod shop. We even had one that could run magnetos...it was converted from a standard machine. The later ones could run up to about 8000 engine rpm.

We did use an oscilloscope in the 60's which was quite advanced for the time. A real PIA to use for everyday tune up however. It was great for finding that nasty ignition problem that defied reason however.

There were other fancy and exspensive tune up machines that really were a lot of hocus pocus things.

As noted above the dwel/tach was cheap and everyone had them.

Last summer on one of our cruises we saw a vintage Sun Machine sitting in a corner. The guy didn't know how to run it or anything about it but wouldn't part with it....it would be worth something some day was his comment.....another guy with 'hoarder disease'.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwings
The guy didn't know how to run it or anything about it but wouldn't part with it....it would be worth something some day was his comment.....another guy with 'hoarder disease'.
Well put. better that than a yard full of rusty classics.
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Old 05-01-2011, 05:23 PM
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Allen Machine ???
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