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timing light discussion

I'm looking to get a timing light, but don't know anything about shopping for one...

I know how to use one ;) but when it comes to price....why does the price vary between $13--$130?

Nevermind that I bought the $13, and then returned it (too "cheap"/low quality, and it didn't work :crazy: )...if anyone could give me ideas so I can figure out a cost/benefit ratio that works for me, thx!
 



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MONMIX

I fix dents
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I have a SUN that I got back in high school which is pretty much the last time I ever used it.

Works great otherwise
 






CDW6212R

Hauls the mail.
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Lots of choices, but can I make a suggestion. Purchase one that has a metal inductive pickup, most all are now plastic. My light is a Craftsman adjustable light from before 1980.

A friend had a new light, the pickup was melted the 3rd time it was used, it was too near a header. The new Sears parts are all plastic. I bought a used(eBay) Craftsman light similar to mine for $25, and gave it to my friend, just for the cables. Good luck,
 






james t

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I have a Sears timing light that i think was made right after electricity was discovered. :p: It has Sears & Roebuck stamped on it. It still works great. It was my great-grandfathers... my dad got it from him when he died back in 1982-83 and it was really old back then.
 






not turbo

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I have a Sears timing light that i think was made right after electricity was discovered. :p: It has Sears & Roebuck stamped on it. It still works great. It was my great-grandfathers... my dad got it from him when he died back in 1982-83 and it was really old back then.

I like most of the "old-timey" stuff...it's usually built like a tank and often didn't have a warranty (because it wasn't needed, the designers/builders knew it'd last almost forever)

Good idea about the metal pick-up body...the instructions on the one I got warned about letting it contact hot engine parts. Fortunately for me, the #1 wire in my B2 is sufficiently far to not really worry about that.
 






Anime

EF YEAH!!
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I went and bought the least expensive Sears/Actron one which was all black plastic for ~$25 or something since I just needed a basic timing light without all the features of the more expensive ones. Works great. I had a metal Craftsman one, but the bulb went out, and it turned out it wasn't replaceable! :( If you don't really need the features of a more expensive timing light, the black plastic Actron one gets my vote.
 






not turbo

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I went and bought the least expensive Sears/Actron one which was all black plastic for ~$25 or something since I just needed a basic timing light without all the features of the more expensive ones. Works great. I had a metal Craftsman one, but the bulb went out, and it turned out it wasn't replaceable! :( If you don't really need the features of a more expensive timing light, the black plastic Actron one gets my vote.

But I don't know what "all the features" are...As far as I can tell, they're all about the same: two wires that connect to the battery, one that goes to the spark plug wire, a trigger and a strobe light of some kind.

I've seen some expensive ones with a dial on them, but don't know what it's for (perhaps electronically advancing the timing somehow?) but didn't think it was worth the extra $50+...I'd rather buy a basic TL, and a code reader for the same money.

However, given that I qualify (barely) as a "shade-tree mekanick" I thought that maybe there's something that I don't know about timing lights...hence the thread.
 






Anime

EF YEAH!!
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The timing lights with the dial are "advance" timing lights. They're used for engines with one mark on the balancer and one mark on the block, and the dial is turned until the marks match up and the degree of advance is read from the dial. The more expensive lights usually have features necessary for certain ignition systems. As I said, I didn't need anything other than a basic timing light to check initital timing and vacuum advance/retard, so that's why I went with the least expensive but still quality brand and model I could find. I also figure if I need a full-featured light later on, it'll still be nice to have a basic, inexpensive one too.
 






Glacier991

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Today timing lights with Xenon strobe (bright) and advance adjustments are under $50. While the advance on the back of the gun is a "nice to have" and not essential feature, I have founf it useful on pre computer controlled vehicles. On a computer copntrolled EEC-V vehicle, you can get an advance readout (commanded) on the readout.
 






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