Timing lights !

Old 05-07-2013, 12:38 PM
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TheYellaBrick
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Default Timing lights !

This is a continuation from a different post where variations in timing light accuracy was a major issue. This is something not ever thought about as we ASS-U-ME that ALL timing lights are solidly accurate.
Well, I did a little researching and have found that there IS a WIDE variation in accuracies between makes, models, types of lights.
Personally I've been using my trusty old Snap-on dialed adjustable for eons and am now questioning it's accuracy. I'm looking to buy the most RELIABLY STABLE and ACCURATE Timing Light out there.
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Old 05-07-2013, 03:56 PM
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Scooterz
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DD: I guess I never really considered that could vary that much. I bought the same one you probably have... snap-on with dial. It works fine I think.... but it is all I know??
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Old 05-08-2013, 09:01 AM
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roadkill2
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"How Accurate is Your Diagnostic Tool?"

Gauges vary. It doesn't matter whether you're checking your timing or your blood pressure, you need to have confidence that your measuring tool is accurate to within a point or two.

It's an assumption one makes every time he hooks up a timing light, a compression or leak down gauge, a high buck tire gauge or, again, a blood pressure gauge.

The Timing Light might be the most important, so in the case of the timing Light, especially if it resides in the top of the tool box, it should be sent off and calibrated at least once a year . .

The rest of the gauges are probably relative and should be treated that way. One day at the races, I had five of my competitors check one of the race car's tire with their tire gauges, all but one of them the Standard Moroso that most of us use. They varied by up to a pound and a half in both directions. While it isn't anything to get excited about, simply because all of us were setting the pressure to what worked for us and the actual number was irrelevant, it did show all of us that when one asked another, "What Tire pressure are you running?" the answer wouldn't reveal much because neither of you would know how close one another's gauge might be . .
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:02 AM
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fast75vega
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we use the newer snap on digital gun... it works great :wink:
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Old 05-09-2013, 06:31 AM
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roadkill2
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Originally Posted by fast75vega
we use the newer snap on digital gun... it works great :wink:
Heh, heh, are you sure?

Just being the "Devil's Advocate" here, but How does one know, for a fact, that any of them are perfectly accurate?

We use the same one, but periodically, we check it against the MSD "Smart Box" we use and once in a while, with another guy's similar Snap On digital . . . so far, so good . .

I still think you're better off, especially with Snap On, Matco and some of the other professional Timing Lights, to take them back to your dealer in the off season and have them recalibrated. It's cheap insurance . .

Another thing to remember, the power supply you use must be a fully charged 12V battery, and have very good connections. Even the digital ones will work on a short power supply, but not necessarily accurately.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:30 AM
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The old sears lights work great. Ive had zero luck with any type of adjustable light . Not a big fan of the battery powered ones either.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:42 AM
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/\ /\ /\
I've also got the old Sears timing light! I'm not completely sure how accurate it is, but it is repeatable and reliable! :mrgreen:
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:01 AM
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roadkill2
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I can't think of another Automotive Diagnostic Tool or gauge that requires total accuracy than does the Timing Light.

All the other tools and gauges we use are "relative" to itself. Even the venerable "Feeler Gauge" is subject to "Feel" of the individual. Of course you're probably talking about only a couple of hundred thousanths, plus or minus, but nothing requires the precision of the timing light. And you have to assume it's right everytime you use it . .

Like I said earlier, it doesn't hurt to compare it to somebody else's every so often and to send it back to the manufacturer for claibration once in a while . .
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Old 05-12-2013, 05:51 AM
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coloradoracerguy
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I've got an older digital Ferret Instruments timing light...So far it's the best one I've ever used, and MSD ignitions don't affect it at all. On my dragster, if I set static timing at a number, then go to check it with the light, it's always dead on...
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Old 05-12-2013, 06:00 AM
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fla1976
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Originally Posted by roadkill2
I can't think of another Automotive Diagnostic Tool or gauge that requires total accuracy than does the Timing Light.

All the other tools and gauges we use are "relative" to itself. Even the venerable "Feeler Gauge" is subject to "Feel" of the individual. Of course you're probably talking about only a couple of hundred thousanths, plus or minus, but nothing requires the precision of the timing light. And you have to assume it's right everytime you use it . .

Like I said earlier, it doesn't hurt to compare it to somebody else's every so often and to send it back to the manufacturer for claibration once in a while . .
Timing lights and torque wrenches.
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