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Old 01-13-2020, 12:33 PM   #1
mcgarrett
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Default Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

I'll admit upfront that I'm electrically challenged...so does anyone have or know of a simple diagram or instructions on how to build a bench-mounted distributor/ignition test unit for dummies like me? (The simpler, the better!)
I'd like the experience of building it and it would also be helpful in diagnosing bad coils, points, or condensers on the bench where they're easy to reach.
Appreciate the feedback!!
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:40 PM   #2
Russ/40
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

There are a lot of us out here that would love that info. Hard to come by though.
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:24 PM   #3
Tom Endy
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

One of the common problems with a newly restored distributor is the connection of the internal wire to the point stud. If not installed correctly it can short out to the housing, especially when rotated by the spark advance.

The attached document may be of help, it shows how to test for that.

Tom Endy
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File Type: pdf Distributor Techniques.pdf (37.9 KB, 124 views)
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Old 01-13-2020, 07:44 PM   #4
1930 coupe
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

here is a tester that I made, it will test distributors and coils.
you can turn it with a hand crank or a drill. it has a led light to show you when the points open and close. you can put a degree wheel on it to see if all 4 lobes open the points at the correct time.
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File Type: jpg 1.jpg (203.5 KB, 171 views)
File Type: jpg 3.jpg (182.5 KB, 162 views)
File Type: jpg 6.jpg (182.5 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg tester 03 (2).jpg (191.8 KB, 148 views)
File Type: jpg tester 04.jpg (219.0 KB, 143 views)
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:55 AM   #5
mcgarrett
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Hey 30Coupe, I love it...that's EXACTLY what I had in mind! Can you provide further details on the components I need and a description of how to assemble? Thank you for your response!
MG
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:12 AM   #6
1930 coupe
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

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I just used stuff laying around the house to make it. The spark gap can be adjusted, wire it the same way it is wired in the car. put your LED light in parallel with the distributor and it will go on and off with the points. Saw the end off a old used shaft and turn it down to fit in your drill.
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Old 01-14-2020, 10:17 AM   #7
Jacksonlll
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

That is a very nice set-up. Great job!!!
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Old 01-14-2020, 04:55 PM   #8
mcgarrett
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

1930 Coupe...
You've given me inspiration - I'm gonna build one!
Thanks.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:29 PM   #9
California Travieso
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

1930 Coupe,

What is the power source you are using in photo #2? Can you just hook it up to a battery?

David Serrano
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:10 PM   #10
1930 coupe
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Quote:
Originally Posted by California Travieso View Post
1930 Coupe,

What is the power source you are using in photo #2? Can you just hook it up to a battery?

David Serrano


These variable voltage power supplies were common in the 60's and 70's on work benches where they repaired car radios, 8-track players and other accessories. A car battery will also work but most people did not want a big heavy dirty car battery dripping acid on their work bench. A large 6 volt battery will work, a small battery will not put out enough current to make a good spark.
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Old 01-15-2020, 10:44 AM   #11
aford193031
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

1930Coupe, I like that test stand. I am going to see if I can build one.
Thanks
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