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UKNerfWar

Ignition Timing Lights - Advice Please

I know a lot of you are car buffs so if anyone can help me out it'd be much appreciated.

My father-in-law has a kit car (Lotus 7?) and has asked for a timing light for Christmas. The wife, aware of my raw, unbridled manliness, assumed that I would know all about them so has tasked me with buying one.

I have Googled the life out of it and I am a little confused. I have found them for anything between 20 and 250 and so I am left wondering, what is the difference? Surely they all do the same thing?

A brief explanation of this void, along with any recommendations would be useful.

Thanks guys.
OldNoob

What you need is a tach/dwell/advance meter. This will allow him to perfectly set the ignition curve and point setting. I borrow a snap on one from a proper mechanic so can't recommend a brand. Conventional wisdom is something near the middle from a reputable tool company. I have had good performance from Sealey and some Clarke tools without breaking the bank.
Someone who owns one of these? I want one as well, so will follow with interest.
UKNerfWar

OldNoob wrote:
What you need is a tach/dwell/advance meter...


Lost me already.
SSGT

How old is the kit car? I'm fairly sure you only use timing lights with engines that have a distributor rather than ECU controlled ignition. Most cars with engines newer than about 2000 have the latter and need scan tools to modify ignition timing (there's no distributor to adjust). If he's only building the kit car now, it probably won't have a distributor, especially if its from a kit supplier who supply the engines too (e.g. Caterham or Westfield).
UKNerfWar

SSGT wrote:
How old is the kit car? I'm fairly sure you only use timing lights with engines that have a distributor rather than ECU controlled ignition...


As I understand it, the beauty of building a kit car is that you can put whatever you want inside it. My father-in-law old bless him. He's from a time when performance tuning was turning a screw 1/4 turn at a time (I have no idea, but you get what I mean). I don't know much about cars, but I do know that the most complicated piece of electronics in the car is the fusebox.

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