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Old 01-13-2020, 12:34 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, 12:40 PM   #2
JSeery
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Don't think there is an easy way to do this. Maybe some smarter folks will weigh in.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:33 PM   #3
tubman
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

I've toyed around with doing this using a 12-speed kitchen blender as a starting point. I have been looking for an acceptable subject at various garage sales, but haven't found one yet (I'm not planning on spending any appreciable amount of cash on this "project" for obvious reasons).
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:55 PM   #4
Flathead Youngin'
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Search some of Bruce Lancaster's old threads, he alluded to it a few times and described it with a lot of words- no pics- in typical Lancaster fashion! hahaha
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Old 01-13-2020, 03:58 PM   #5
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Funnily enough i've been looking into this very thing recently! There's virtually no chance of getting a proper Sun or King tester over here in the UK. I reckon that you could start with something like a pillar drill and a suitable arrangements of clamps and drive dogs. Then you could easily set the points with a cheap dwell meter. Single channel oscilloscopes are Ģ15 so you might get somewhere adding that. It wouldn't do everything but it would be a start.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Checking a condensor for leakage involves high voltage in the range where if current isnīt kept low you get a shock that is a serious healt risk...
If you try and build one a current source in 1mA range is needed...>30mA is considered a risk to health !!

Checking a coil...old distributor with a known good condensor and a cordless drill for feeding the coil...an adjustable sparkgap to check output (clamp to hold the sparkwire and a grounded pointed bolt you can back off untill spark canīt jump).

And a hot air gun...for heating coils and condensors to working temp.

For checking points a low ohm meter...google for a schematic...or buy a cheap ESR/low ohm meter...
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:57 PM   #7
Lawrie
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

I have made one ,I,m flat out redecking my verandah at the moment, and will be for a couple of weeks,
But it was an easy job, main thing was to make an electric motor to drive the dist, I used an old cooling fan motor from a 2000 or 2010 triumph motor bike , then made a variable controller for it. drove the shaft that drives the dist via a toothed belt, set up the guts of a timing light, I have 6 v via the resistor ,6v and 12v avail to test different coils. I have a tach set up so its an easy job to map out the advance curves.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:25 PM   #8
Ziggster
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

Here's a pretty good article. I'm curious as well, although I don't ever intend to build one.

http://www.ourdigitalmags.com/public...23305126%22%7D
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:41 PM   #9
Kurt in NJ
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

The article talks about building a tester for under a 100$, at Hershey I was looking for a vacuum gauge for a friend, stopped to look at Allen syncrograph, has a really nice vacuum gauge, was asked to make offer on it, said that I was looking for a vacuum gauge and had a price limit of 15$---- ended up with the whole distributor machine for 40, at another booth I got a sun flathead adapter for 2$, ----- they are out there

A radio vibrator can be used to make a coil tester,
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Old 01-14-2020, 01:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

The easiest way to make a "vibrator" coil tester is just any good quality dpdt (double pole double throw) relay.
One pole you use to ground the relay through the closed contact the other pole you use as your breaker points.
You need to ad a good quality capacitor over the contacts used as points !
The downside to this setup compared to using a distributor is you canīt adjust dwell to simulate the actual running conditions.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Simple DIY distributor/ignition bench tester

I'm into old C**** distributors like Bubba does up. I was working on one and wanted to set the dwell. So I turned the distributor with a 1/2" drill, hooked it up to a battery and coil and then used a dwell meter to set the points.
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