tach for tuning recommendations?

Electrical & Ignition

  1. swisherred

    swisherred Senior Member

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    Im looking for a tach that I can use for tuning and making adjustments...not really needing it to stay in the car. Can anyone recommend something? Should I just look at a dwell meter? I have a dwell meter, but it only goes to 2Krpm

    I just want something I can use to see where its shifting and when secondaries are opening and such.
     
  2. stubs300

    stubs300 Senior Member

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    You contradict yourself here, do you want to see what's happening while tuning or driving? It's kinda hard to tweak a carb or twist a dist. and look at the dash at the same time!
    A dwell meter is for showing the down time of when the points are closed before opening again, that's not needed if you have electric ignig. I had a old Sun Tach that I installed alligator clips on the ends for working under the hood, it doesn't need to be fancy, just accurate. Good Luck
     
  3. swisherred

    swisherred Senior Member

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    For tuning and seeing shift points...so I need one I can use inside and outside of the car. My dwell meter also is a tach...but only hits 2k.
     
  4. Turboomni

    Turboomni Old Man with a Hat

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    Something like this? I didn't want some enormous thing with switches and shift light. Maybe you can find something that compliments your dash you can live with.

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    Last edited: Dec 12, 2019
  5. HWYCRZR

    HWYCRZR Senior Member FCBO Gold Member

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    Harbor freight under $40

    tach, dwell, voltage, resistance, plus temperature.

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  6. CBODY67

    CBODY67 Senior Member

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    Getting the carb mixture and such "right" is one thing that your existing dwell/tach is designed for. For the driving items, it might be best to just use the speedometer for those notations, AFTER figuring the mph/1000rpm in each gear.

    As a better tuning aid, there are some cell phone aps for download (usually low cost) that will serve as a chassis dyno of sorts. Have to have one of the "phablets" that have accelerometers in them, I suspect (which usually takes "flip phones" out of the mix). Probably would need a firm phone mount for this to work best?

    What I got in the early '70s was a Radio Shack Micronta (brand) dwell/tach unit. Sits on the fender. 0-6000rpm range, with a 0-2000 range, distributor dwell, point resistance, voltage, with a swith for 4-6-8cyl. Not something to use "mobile", though. Not an accurate dwell readin gon electronic ignitions, though, or rpm, but can still be used in those areas. One thing I like about it is the cleanness and detail of the scales and needle.

    Sunn used to have some really neat "roll-around" meters for basic tune-up stuff and also an air/fuel meter

    Already have a "dial-back" timing light?

    Once you figure out the mph/1000 in each gear, no real need to add an "inside" tach that's not already there.

    ONE thing to remember is "mechanical error". The good accessory tachs of the '60s-'70s were 2% of FULL SCALE. So 2% of 6000 is less variation than 2% of 8000. So, if you are going to be a stickler for accuracy, the lower rpm scales are best. But for a general reference situation, rather than "exact", anything will do.

    Just some thoughts,
    CBODY67
     
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  7. Gerald Morris

    Gerald Morris Well-Known Member

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    I got a nice little 1970s Actron dwell meter/tach on eBay. Here's the model I got:

    Vintage Actron Dwell / Tachometer Model 612 Dual Function Meter For 4,6,8 Cy | eBay

    It serves me quite admirably.

    Then found a Sears multi meter from the same period, that does voltage and current too. These two 40+ yr old meters agree pretty nicely on stuff, and Tilly purrs along after I use the Actron with a breaker point replacement.

    The old stuff made concurrently with our cars works best with them in my experience, and can be had for reasonable prices too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2019
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