My old dwell meter and tach fell apart years ago and with modern electronic controls on today’s cars I had no need to replace it. A few years ago I replaced the Holley 4 bbl carb on my ski boat. I just couldn’t get it set up right using feel, sound, and the dash tach. So I went to several auto parts stores to buy a new tachometer that could show me accurate numbers as low idle speed rpm’s. The young guys behind the counter all seemed to point me to the tachs that are dash mounted. After visiting several stores (including two NAPA ones) it seemed no one had what I needed in stock. Finally at Advance Auto, on my own (looking it up in a “tools” catalog I found a multimeter with dwell and tachometer functions. I was finally all set for $60 including tax. I’m getting the carb dialed in much better now and it was worth the money. If you need very accurate rpm readings you can find them on a higher end multimeter.
Good advice. I am not surprised that a parts specialist would not know what you needed. Automotive geared multimeters have had this option for a while, although it’s not a well advertised feature.
I still have a sears diagnostic unit with analog needle, probes, and clips that I keep around for older vehicles. I pull it out when tuning my 60s GMC c1500; despite having much newer diagnostic equipment. You know, just to be stubborn.
I’ve got my dwell meter in a garage cabinet gathering dust. Think I bought it about 1970 at Target for $15 for the dwell, timing light, vac guage, and compression tester together. Maybe I’ll find an old car sometime and can use it again.
Both the Farm and Fleet stores within 50 miles of me carry Actron brand dwell/tach/volt meters for $30-40. They are displayed with their other automotive equipment like compression testers and OBD2 code readers. I have one and it works well.