Got me an old Sun Distributor Tester

MeZapU

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I have wanted one of these for years. I finally had some extra money to do something with so I decided to hunt around and find one. I must say it is pretty ingenious how it works. It is pretty much 99% made of metal and very well built at that. For being 65 years old and well worn, everything mechanical still works very well.

Since getting it home and playing with it I discovered that it needs some electronics modernization and the one rubberized drive wheel needs to be replaced as it's hard as a rock. Later on I'll give it a paint job and make it look original. It will certainly make a great addition to my garage tool arsenal. I have never found anyone in my area that has one.

[video=youtube]

 

Mikes73

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That looks like fun, good score!

 

midlife

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That is neat! Can I ask how much you paid for it?

 

MeZapU

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That is neat! Can I ask how much you paid for it?
I paid $450. It also came with a $160 pulse amplifier that is used when testing electronic distributors like Durasparks, MSDs, etc. I have not tried it yet but all in due time. Wondering what I might need to do i use with my Pertronix distributors. Should be pretty easy to figure out.

 

DK73

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Wow that is so awesome video off that tester! Have fun with it 😎 Regards Lars

So I'm a proud owner of one Mach 1 73! Regards Lars DK73 😎

 

raptor

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Great find and reasonable price too.

 

Don C

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That's a great price.

I believe the only thing you'll need for a Pertronix is an external power source (12 volts DC). The output mimics points opening and closing, and doesn't generate just a pulse like Duraspark.

 

Boss1Ray

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Nice find. After seeing others' restore this type of equipment, I'd suggest you concentrate on making it all work correctly, then just clean and preserve the natural 'patina' and not strip/repaint.

Just my usual 2 cents!

Enjoy.

Ray

 

MeZapU

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Today I got in the mail the parts to repair the tester. I removed the original vacuum tube and replaced with two tiny diodes(technology). Replaced old large paper and wax capacitors with new electrolytic ones, and carbon resistors with ceramic ones. The one capacitor was obviously leaking its contents and was likely the main cause of the issues I was having.

I also installed a new idler wheel kit as mine being rubber and 65 years old was hard as a rock. It was not too loud during operation but I didn't realize how loud it actually was until after installing the new wheel. Now I can actually hear the points buzzing even at max rpm's.

Now the machine operates as it should up to past the 3000 distributor rpm's it is capable of. Ready to do some work again after so long.

I'm a bit indifferent on the cosmetic restoration. I'm alright with a little patina but this one is really far gone. The only thing really preventing me from starting is the fact that the original text and screen printing would be lost. It's not in very good shape as it is but is legible. I'd be happy just painting the case back to its original hammered light blue color and leave the red bits alone.

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jbojo

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That is really a cool tool. I was wondering what they looked liked and how they worked.

 

71mach1lady

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The guy we bought our mach from had one sitting in the sun (ironic) and we convinced him to throw it in. The tach is physically broken but otherwise it is in decent shape. They bring good money at the Barrett Jackson auctions

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MeZapU

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Other than the glass being cracked on the vacuum gauge, mine are mint. Almost the best looking items on the unit. Not sure if they are replacements or not but they are surely original Sun parts. I did repaint the spinning ring with the pointer. It was corroded and the pointer could barely be seen when operating. Surprised to see it was made of brass.

 

Mikes73

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I woulds start re-curving distributors for a little extra cash;)

 

MeZapU

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I wish I could find a source for the springs that were reasonable. You can find the HEI style ones all day long but Ford springs are different and evidently elusive and/or expensive.

 

Mikes73

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The springs aren't that expensive are they? I think I paid around 5 bucks for a set from mr gasket. I just use the light springs and bend the tabs if needed to delay the curve a bit.

 
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