Lotus Elan

Dial Gauge advice

PostPost by: terryp » Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:03 pm

Hello
I want to buy a cheap dial gauge for use with timing the cams.
Can anyone recommend a cheap one Amazon or EBay as well as the clamping arrangement.

Thanks
Terry
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Tue Feb 23, 2016 8:01 pm

Terry,

I don't expect you want to hear this, but, don't buy cheap tools.

An older man once said to me, "a bad workman blames his tools ( we have all heard that) but good tools turn a chore into a pleasure". I had just broken my drill trying to make a hole in some masonry, he lent me a much better drill that completed the job with no more difficulty.

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PostPost by: jono » Wed Feb 24, 2016 8:47 am

I would go to Machine Mart and get a Draper one with magnetic base - they do the job fine.

Jon
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PostPost by: rgh0 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 9:31 am

I always buy Mitutoyo measuring instruments for their accuracy and durability and quality feel when I use them. Buying them new is certainly expensive.

However I can usually find what I want available cheap second hand and unused or barely used on Ebay and at a price less than new cheap equivalents.

cheers
Rohan
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PostPost by: terryp » Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:58 am

Thanks Chaps, I am on the case!

Cheers
Terry
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PostPost by: Elan45 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 2:41 pm

I somewhat agree w/ Rohan, except that I buy used Starrett or Brown & Sharpe. If you think about it, the people who bought these tools new took very good care of them and they were very well made tools.

I use clamp on holders to firmly grip the cam studs, partly because the head is non-magnetic.

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PostPost by: elj221c » Wed Feb 24, 2016 3:40 pm

While I agree with the quality tool argument, for a one off job which isn't going to need that much precision, then a basic tool should do.

I used a dial gauge and magnetic base bought from Chronus in Dunstable. I fixed a steel plate to the thermostat housing for the base. As it was a standard reach gauge I fitted an extension to bear on the cam follower. You can by long reach gauges.

http://www.chronos.ltd.uk/acatalog/Engi ... s_228.html

Or try here:- http://www.rdgtools.co.uk/acatalog/CLOC ... ANUAL.html

Usual disclaimer!

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PostPost by: CBUEB1771 » Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:36 pm

One consideration is the choice between digital and mechanical dial gauges. For cam timing I have a strong preference for old style mechanical instruments. Some of the digital instruments have a lot of damping written into their firmware which makes them slow to respond and therefore frustrating to use when trying to find TDC or maximum valve lift.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:49 pm

I am with Russ on a mechanical dial gauge. I also like to use the largest diameter degree wheel I could find. The marks being further apart, and the numbers larger, make it easier on my tired old eyes. I also have made adapters, with a cut keyway, that replace the crankshaft pulley, to which, the degree wheel is bolted. Nothing moves, easy to install, and takes another minor frustration factor out of the equation. Just slip it on and bolt it down. Now I just have to make one for the Zetec crank.
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PostPost by: prezoom » Wed Feb 24, 2016 5:50 pm

Fat fingers.....
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1964 Elva Mk4T Coupe (awaiting restoration)
1965 Ford Falcon Ranchero, 302,AOD,9",rack and pinion,disc,etc,etc,etc
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