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Old 05-19-2008, 07:25 AM   #71
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Going back to revisit a couple things here...

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Originally Posted by monroe74 View Post
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I bought the $33 DMM with dwell from HF, and I'm very impressed. [...]
All of the above is also true for me.
Have you used the tachometer function? I can't seem to make sense of my readings. It seems to be reporting 370 rpm (or 3700 if the documentation that says to multiply by 10 is wrong) when it sounds like about 2500, and 250 (or 2500) when it sounds like about 1000. I will have to spend some more time on it and try it on vehicles that have tachometers to see if I'm reading it right.

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The trick I like is to use a very long screwdriver, and press the top of the handle against the bone in front of my ear. Works fine. In a pinch I've also used a jack handle.
In fact, the $3 stethoscope works similarly. It is like a doctor's stethoscope except for the probe, which is just a solid steel rod. It's very interesting listening to the different parts. The alternator and power steering pump both sound like dragging metal on concrete, for example...

Anyway, I wasn't able to pinpoint the exhaust leak sound with it or with a tube held to my ear, but I could swear my mechanic told me it was a warped exhaust manifold and just putting my head in the engine compartment it certainly sounds like the passenger side exhaust manifold.

The nice torch that I bought for $5 had a broken ignitor button, which I realized only after I filled it with butane.
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Old 05-19-2008, 12:27 PM   #72
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Have you used the tachometer function?
Yes. It works fine. You're just running into a wrinkle that has to do with the fact that it wants be hooked up to the coil wire, not a plug wire. On my car, you can't get at the coil wire, because the coil is hiding under the distributor cap.

So I imagine you have it hooked up to a plug wire, either because you can't get at the coil, or because you don't know that the coil is what it's looking for. Either way, it's not a problem. You just have to use the right multiplier. Assuming you have a 4-cylinder car, set the scale to 4-cylinder, and multiply the reading by 40 (instead of the 10 that the manual calls for).

By the way, I bought that thing for the tach feature. I wanted to check my idle. It was only after I owned it for a while that I realized I could use the dwell feature to monitor my injectors. It was a complete bonus.

Too bad about the broken torch. I guess now you get to evaluate how good their customer service is.
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Old 05-19-2008, 01:01 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by monroe74 View Post
Yes. It works fine. You're just running into a wrinkle that has to do with the fact that it wants be hooked up to the coil wire, not a plug wire. On my car, you can't get at the coil wire, because the coil is hiding under the distributor cap.
D'oh! I guess that's what happens when you don't pay attention to the manual. I read it but I must have been so excited that I assumed it said plug wire when it said coil.

We've just exited my knowledge zone, so if you don't mind....how do I find the coil wire?

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So I imagine you have it hooked up to a plug wire, either because you can't get at the coil, or because you don't know that the coil is what it's looking for.


Quote:
You just have to use the right multiplier. Assuming you have a 4-cylinder car, set the scale to 4-cylinder, and multiply the reading by 40 (instead of the 10 that the manual calls for).
For 6 cylinders, then, I set it to 6 and multiple by 60? I just did the math and it yielded exactly the results I expected based on the sound and feel of the engine.

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Too bad about the broken torch. I guess now you get to evaluate how good their customer service is.
You know, I just realized I would be driving by the store again today, and probably not again for weeks after. I'll have to stop at home and pick up the broken torch. Thank you for reminding me.
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Old 05-19-2008, 03:20 PM   #74
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how do I find the coil wire?
I don't know which of your cars you're working on. But even if I did, I probably wouldn't know the answer. I think lots of modern cars are built like mine. There is essentially no coil wire. At least not one you can hook onto easily.

It would be easier to just multiply by the number of cylinders. You could even print yourself a little translation table.

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For 6 cylinders, then, I set it to 6 and multiple by 60? I just did the math and it yielded exactly the results I expected based on the sound and feel of the engine.
Bingo.
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Old 05-19-2008, 06:43 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by monroe74 View Post
I don't know which of your cars you're working on. But even if I did, I probably wouldn't know the answer. I think lots of modern cars are built like mine. There is essentially no coil wire. At least not one you can hook onto easily.
My modern vehicles have tachometers. How about a 1980 Buick? It's got a nice old-fashion distributor and even a carburetor (or, as we say in RI, a cobbahrayta).

http://picasaweb.google.com/ronanian...breLimited41V6



Anyway, I guess my ears are more finely tuned for engines than guitars, because they are essentially tin ears when I try to make music, but I can name that RPM accurately.
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Old 05-19-2008, 07:11 PM   #76
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On your 80 Buick I think the coil is in the cap.

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Old 05-20-2008, 03:30 AM   #77
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My modern vehicles have tachometers.
Even if you have a tach on the dash, like I do, it's still nice to have a digital meter you can read from under the hood.

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How about a 1980 Buick?
In my book, 1980 is modern. Well-after Y2K I was still driving an '83 Cressida with almost 300k. And that car was a lot like a Buick, now that I think of it. Although it did have a tach. And no carb.

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It's got a nice old-fashion distributor and even a carburetor (or, as we say in RI, a cobbahrayta).
OK, when you mention the carb you're starting to convince me that car might almost qualify for antique plates, after all. But here's the real test: does it have points? Any self-respecting old-fashioned distributor has a nice set of points. Are you old enough to know what points are?

Anyway, is that a picture of your coil? I can't tell, because I'm used to coils that look like coils (like the kind I had on my '63 Studebaker, to pick a semi-random example). If that's your coil, then obviously you can clamp on there, and just multiply by 10 instead of 60. Which would be easier, frankly.

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Anyway, I guess my ears are more finely tuned for engines than guitars, because they are essentially tin ears when I try to make music, but I can name that RPM accurately.
You're tempting me to make a list of rock songs that use engine noise as a sound effect, but I'm not going to take the bait.
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Old 05-20-2008, 04:56 AM   #78
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I owned an original 37 Ford 5 window coupe, original 6 volt system dual water pumps, cable operated brakes.

It idled at 350 rpm, to set the idle you adjusted the idle speed until it went 7 mph in top gear.

Dual point distributor that ran directly off the camshaft. Each point set did have the work, unlike most dual point setups where each point did half the cylinders.

Idle speed was 350, max rpm was 3800, got 20 mpg.

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Old 05-20-2008, 04:58 AM   #79
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I used aa digital thermometer to adjust the brakes, tighten the cold one loosen the hot one. When I was finished I could easily stop the car with my thumb.

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Old 05-20-2008, 05:08 AM   #80
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to set the idle you adjusted the idle speed until it went 7 mph in top gear
The hard part was getting a friend to drive you around and yell out speedo readings while you're squatting on top of the air cleaner with a screwdriver in your hand.

I wonder if the 7 mph spec took into account the wind resistance of the hood being up during the test.
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