How To Hook Up Inductive Timing Light

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The Red banner will read: Please note this topic has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new topic. Thank you all in advance for doing your part in helping iboats run a smooth ship. This information, by the way, applies to mostly older vehicles, which use a distributor to send electrical energy to the spark plugs. Newer cars with distributorless ignition systems use a computer to control the ignition process. One cool thing about timing lights is that unlike a flashlight, you never have to worry about running out of juice to power the light.

That is, as long as your car runs and is connected to a working volt battery. Getting your timing light ready for action is breathtakingly simple. With the engine off, you merely clamp the timing light's red wire to the battery's positive terminal, then the black wire to the battery's negative terminal. Lastly, you take the signal wire and clamp it directly to the Number 1 spark plug wire.

If you're not sure which is the "Number 1" spark plug wire, stop! And get thee to a service manual or online owners' forum for your vehicle. With a few of the timing lights out there, you might have to attach the unit's spark signal pick-up wire directly to the spark plug tip. Most light units on the market today, however, clip right to the spark plug wire itself. These inductive timing lights are able to detect the jolt of electricity each time the spark plug fires, similar to a doctor using a stethoscope to determine your body's pulse.

When you pull the trigger of the timing light with the engine running , each time the Number 1 plug fires, the timing light flashes a beam of light. Through a phenomenon known as the stroboscopic effect, a properly aimed timing light will indicate where the Number 1 piston is in its up-and-down travel when the spark fires. Representatively speaking, that is. Obviously, you don't see the actual piston's location. Instead, the timing of the spark is measured in terms of degrees.

The degrees refer to how far the crankshaft has rotated relative to the Number 1 cylinder's piston at top dead center TDC of the compression stroke. On some vehicles, the crankshaft pulley has a bunch of degree marks and numbers on it. The engine has a mark right next to the pulley that represents TDC. The strobing timing light "freezes" the motion of the pulley and allows you to see how many degrees before or after TDC the spark is firing. By manipulating the distributor cap turning it slightly clockwise or counterclockwise , you can adjust that timing of the spark delivery.

To make things more confusing:


How to Hook Up a Timing Light


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