Timing lights... Old school, or new?

Poll on timing lights…

Would you buy a vintage one, or a new one?

I’ve got an old Craftsman, but it doesn’t have the advance dial on it. Debating finding a used one, or buying a new one. I have experienced the “They don’t make them like they used to” too often with tools and other new products.

I’m leaning towards getting one like my old Craftsman, except the higher model that has the advance dial.
It’s going to be used on my Oldsmobile 455…

Get a Sun, with the advance meter.

I have never needed an dial-in advance meter for my light. My Craftsman is accurate and the last car I needed a timing light for had a degreed balancer so just no need. You, too can degree your balancer if you feel the need to check your mechanical and vacuum advance. You can make your own sticker with a label maker and stick it on. You only need go to 40 degrees advanced.

I agree with the above. I’ve timed hundreds of cars and never had the need for a timing light with an advance.

It’s easy enough to add a few timing marks to the balancer, either with chalk, nail polish, tape, or similar.

I would usually eyeball the advance mark. For example, if the advance spec called for 10 degrees at idle and 30 degrees at 2000 rpm, I would look at the distance between TDC and the 10 degree mark, and use that to help gauge where the 30 degree mark should be.

It’s been a while, but I recall it was pretty easy to spot when the advance wasn’t working or if it would stick.

White out was my go to. Lasts a long time. Never used a timing light with advance,

I bought a $20 set at Target about 50 years ago. Burned the timing light out but still have the rest. It’s all I need and have no desire to get a new light.

Can you still find white out?

Yeah they still have it. Mine dried out though. I don’t know if you can still get the colored stuff. I remember watching the secretary making multiple carbon copies in the typewriter with different color paper for the copies. Then made a mistake and pulled out her set of multiple colors of white out to make the correction. Easy peasy now, just back spate space.


Sure I watch forged in fire and they use it for some reason making canisters


I still have a timing light. But haven’t owned a vehicle in over 20 years I can use it on.

1 Like

I have two vintage-60’s era Sears (Craftsman) timing lights, both continue to work well. I have occasionally wished I had the advance feature. Like if it clear the timing is advanced but you want to know how much and can’t read the engine dial b/c it is gunked up. So I think your idea to buy a vintage version but with advance is a reasonable idea. No idea regarding the durability and reliability of newer versions.

Whiteout contains Titanium Dioxide, and it can help to keep the canister from welding to the billet. The problem most contestants have with it, is that they don’t let it dry completely before filling the canister.

The only thing I’ve used my timing light on in the past several decades was an old outboard motor.

Then why do it ? I can almost guarantee you will be flagged as Spam .

Like teeth, everybody is given only so many flags (not) so we must be judicious in their use. Show me the man with no teeth and I will show you the man that doth flagged too much.

1 Like

Try and hit me! Not sure what you are trying to say!

Post 13. Art posted something and the comment was made why post what could be spam and what surely will be flagged.

I believe flags should be reserved for people pushing fraudulent schemes, bad language, and other serious issues, not innocent matters. But I didn’t open the link so don’t know how bad it is. but hey green flags are kinda pretty.

Edit: Well how about that. It’s gone already so some anonymous person flagged it.

My humorous reference was flagged/removed? OK. I am chastised.

Posts here are usually only removed if they seem to be advertising something, or they contain expletives that would be beyond what would be allowed on the Car Talk radio show. Humorous posts are not only allowed, but encouraged. It’s Car Talk after all.

Like I said, flags are pretty green. (edit out) Usually if I do it, the person knows who and why. Like when someone was overloading the system with jibberish, just to shut it down. It took 7 flags to shut it down without intervention.

edit: Car Talk encourages flags though as a means of self-policing. I personally think they should be reserved for serious matters but it’s their/there/they’re show.