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Matchbox dizzy testing


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#1 edekalil

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 04:47 AM

Is there a way to test the matchbox distributor for issues and can you fix it if it does not fire.

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#2 banzai510(hainz)

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 05:15 AM

If one has a manual there is a test to ohm out and turn the rotor and when its on a magnet . but this is just from memorey

 

I would just put it in and see if it fires off. Dont really matter if you match the coil as your just cking it out


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#3 BrandonS

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Posted 21 May 2018 - 12:48 PM

What's the problem you're having?



#4 distributorguy

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 04:30 AM

They are particularly fussy about grounding, so make sure the distributor has a good ground to the engine, and the engine has a good ground to the chassis/battery.   Replace wiring/cables as needed.  You can crank the engine to test the distributor.  Look for 12+V at the coil + terminal, and a cycling 12/0/12/0/12/0V at the "-" coil terminal when cranking.   Its easier to see with an analog multi-meter.  You have to get the distributor up to about 200 rpm (cranking speed) to get a consistent test signal.  

 

If it doesn't function, the module is either not grounding OR the pickup isn't working.  I can diagnose the pickup by simply running it through a pulse amplifier on my Sun tester.  Or you can build one using an HEI module from a Chevy distributor.  There are plans online.  Basically the pickup wires to the small terminals, the larger terminals get power and coil - signal.  Ground goes to one of the screw holes on the end of the module that has the small terminals.  



#5 Tom1200

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 08:26 PM

The only issue I've ever had / am having with matchbox distributors is slopply shaft causing high rpm flutter. The one in my car has started doing it, it's got the telltale wavy/bouncing tach needle. Granted my motor sees 8000 rpm + on a regular basis so that probably doesn't help.

Distributor guy what's the availability of parts to repair these? The one in my car was the last good one I had.

#6 datzenmike

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 04:50 AM

Tom the L series is different than the A in that the distributor just slides down on top of the spindle. There's got to be some slop doing it this way also. I remember someone saying they put an aluminum beer can pull tab on top and pushed the distributor down on it to remove the slop. The Z24i and the KA engines used a CAS distributor and the top of the spindle and the matching part on the distributor were splined. This stabilized the spark timing which was needed on these EFI engines for better management.  
 
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#7 Tom1200

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 06:06 PM

Mike I knew that but as I'm an A-series guy I think the world works as mine does...........I'm looking into converting to crank triggered ignition as I have some of the parts.........but there is no reason why a distributor can't work properly, mine have when they weren't worn out.

#8 edekalil

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 06:34 AM

What's the problem you're having?


I have one off an L series motor that seems not to fire, the coil is good.

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#9 datzenmike

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Posted 26 May 2018 - 07:46 AM

Ex79Rqt.jpg

 

Needs to be wired this way and distributor and/or module well grounded. 


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#10 edekalil

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Posted 27 May 2018 - 04:57 AM

Ex79Rqt.jpg

Needs to be wired this way and distributor and/or module well grounded.

Thank you Mike.

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#11 distributorguy

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 04:13 AM


Distributor guy what's the availability of parts to repair these? The one in my car was the last good one I had.

 

The few parts that are available commercially are Chinese knock-off junk.  I make shaft bushings and typically reuse advance springs as they are extraordinarily well made and the posts are adjustable.  The electronics don't exist, so adapting to an HEI module is a legitimate option.  We run the points distributor in our race truck.  The signal is cleaner above 7500 rpm.