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Old 02-25-2020, 04:35 PM   #11
Jeff Niceswanger
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

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Originally Posted by Billy Nees View Post
I've used a Snap-on advance timing light for all of the years that I've been racing with almost every type of MSD ignition system. I haven't had any problems.
I recently used my old trusty 40 year old chrome steel case, non advance, Craftsman, against one of MSD's new battery powered units. Many times racers have came and borrowed my timing light because of its old relic status. I was surprised the MSD was brighter, and actually steadier, than mine. The new 8mm wires and the old lights don't like each other, as its hard to get the clamp to close tight. I have used wire ties sometimes to get them snug and functioning right.


MSD Ignition Self-Powered Timing Light
Part Number: 121-8991
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:40 PM   #12
buzzinhalfdozen
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

From my personal experience, the digital type advance timing lights are the ones I've seen problems with. I have a decades old MAC, dial type advance light I've used with no issues on MSD ignition systems. Still have an old non advance light that I'll occasionally throw on just to verify. Friend of mine had a Snap-on digital advance timing light he used and was having some issues with his engine not running correctly, he asked me one day to borrow my timing light, his timing was off over 20 degrees. He set his timing and took that light out of his trailer.
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Old 02-25-2020, 04:42 PM   #13
Bob Mulry
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

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Ya know, I know a guy who used to run comp cars and gassers WAAAAY back in the day (he's well into his 80s) and he set his timing by lining up his timing mark on the balance at the timing that he wanted, turning the ignition on and moving the distributor until the points (remember them?) sparked. After that, he would move the distributor back-and-forth until the ET slip was happy.
I've been static timing engines like that for 60 years, except I use the timing light with the trigger held down and turned the distributor until it flashed. Works with all types of battery powered ignition systems. It was usually dead nuts on..........
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Old 02-25-2020, 08:26 PM   #14
Tom Broome
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

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Originally Posted by CMcAllister View Post
Adjustable advance timing lights are not recommended for use on MSD ignitions. Plenty of information/confirmation out there with a little Goggleing.

MSD sells their own light, both 12v and self powered - or - you can try to find an old Ferret/MSD non-adjustable light - or - you can pick up a mint or NOS Sears/Penske 2138 light, this was sold relabeled by MSD years ago under part #8990. This is what I've used for decades. They are out there.

I've seen people say they've had good results with some of the self-powered lights (Flaming River, etc) available as well, but have no personal experience with them.
Ferret Instruments has gone out of business, who is MSD's supplier for timing lights now? Anyone know? The lights still look like the Ferret models 81 and 84. It would be nice not to pay Holley/MSD's pretty significant price mark-up.
I tried a Flaming River light, I much preferred my old Craftsman.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:17 PM   #15
CMcAllister
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

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Originally Posted by Tom Broome View Post
Ferret Instruments has gone out of business, who is MSD's supplier for timing lights now? Anyone know? The lights still look like the Ferret models 81 and 84. It would be nice not to pay Holley/MSD's pretty significant price mark-up.
I tried a Flaming River light, I much preferred my old Craftsman.
Don't know. Also don't know if they are still made in this hemisphere. They look like the old Ferrets. I still see an old Ferret on ebay occasionally. They usually bring a good price.
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Old 02-25-2020, 09:23 PM   #16
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

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Originally Posted by Billy Nees View Post
Ya know, I know a guy who used to run comp cars and gassers WAAAAY back in the day (he's well into his 80s) and he set his timing by lining up his timing mark on the balance at the timing that he wanted, turning the ignition on and moving the distributor until the points (remember them?) sparked. After that, he would move the distributor back-and-forth until the ET slip was happy.
I remember years ago watching either fuel or blown alcohol guys doing that, but they would use a buzz box or audible continuity tester across the points and rotate the mag until it beeped. Didn't require the ignition to be powered up.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

the older sears, model light is161.2134. works excellent. had a racer years ago, used a dial back on his MSD, motor always tried to kick back when starting, used my sears light, his light showed 35 deg, mine showed 50 deg, reset timing with mine, car picked up 2 tenths and 2 MPH. also started easier.
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Old 02-26-2020, 02:11 PM   #18
Greg West
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

Electronic Specialties Model 130 battery powered timing light works well.
esitest.com
800-227-1603
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Old 02-26-2020, 03:39 PM   #19
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

Try eBay for an old Craftsman 28-2134, just an old-fashioned straight up timing light. Works great with MSD 6 and 7 series boxes. Dial-back lights not recommended for use with MSDs. I tried one, would not work at all with a 7AL-3.
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Old 02-26-2020, 06:23 PM   #20
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Default Re: timing light w/ advance recomendations

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Electronic Specialties Model 130 battery powered timing light works well.
esitest.com
800-227-1603
i just purchased yesterday from amazon,,it came in today,, i will keep you posted on how it works ,,thanks for the replies
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