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Does anyone have some experience to share about the modern digital multimeters that have the dwell reading capability on them too? Are they more accurate than the old analog dwell meters? If so, is there a brand/model you would recommend? My car is all original so I want to keep the points distributor in it, but I want to insure my dwell setting is accurate. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Opinions? Sure. Seems to me that I remember 28-32, so that must be degrees. That doesn't seem like a real rigid spec, so I doubt that hair-splitting accuracy is important. In fact, I'd mistrust a digital indicator that read to two decimal places. Friends, classmates. etc...we seemed to get by just fine with a feeler gauge on our 30's, 40's, 50's Chevys and Dodges, Plymouths, Fords, Mercs, etc.
 

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Does anyone have some experience to share about the modern digital multimeters that have the dwell reading capability on them too? Are they more accurate than the old analog dwell meters? If so, is there a brand/model you would recommend? My car is all original so I want to keep the points distributor in it, but I want to insure my dwell setting is accurate. Any advice or opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Why do you need a digital meter ?

The old dwell meters worked great and were cheap.

If you want to stick with points, which seems like a dumb idea to me, get an old analog gauge or just set the points at .019" gap.
 

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I have an old Fluke 78 digital multi meter that reads true dwell and not % duty cycle like most digital meters but this was a $300 meter back in the day.
You would be better off getting an analog dwell meter for much less for setting points, which work great.
I also have the Innova 5568 digital timing light that reads dwell, rpm and timing advance, works pretty good for points and HEI distributors $109 on Amazon.
I found this on Amazon for $24.99, might just work for you also.Almencla Automotive Multimeter Engine Voltage Current Dwell Angle Analyzer Test

Best of luck.
 
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Also found this at Harbor Freight which looks pretty good.
Cen-Tech®
LCD Automotive Multimeter with Tachometer Kit
 
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There is nothing wrong with points, 6000 rpm or under, unless you believe advertisements.. One of the best street ignitions for GM engines is the iron single points distributor controlling a CD box like the MSD6AL or even the old Mark 10.. The condenser needs to be disconnected (I don't know why though).

I use vintage American made Accel points #8104. I shim the adjustment spring up with a washer or two, it seems to hold the adjustment longer. I can get it perfect when the dwell is at 30 and the adjustment screw is tight.

You can use copper core wires with points, they last forever, I solder the ends. However if you use a CD box, you have to switch wires to Carbon core and go back to changing them every three to five years.. Those copper core wires last for ever!
 

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Because the points become a simple grounding switch, and do not carry any significant current that needs to be buffered by a condenser.

And, the "Uni-Points" that have the condenser mounted to the point set, don't run that junk, they are problem prone when run as a points and condenser setup, and will cause trouble triggering anything, MSD box, HEI module (Yes, points will trigger an HEI module when set up correctly).
 

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The way to find out how accurate the new meters are is with...an old trusted meter. If you know somebody that has one, ask them to borrow it and compare the digital meter to it as the trusted baseline. I can understand you wanting to get a digital meter because it's like getting a multi-tool that has more than just dwell on it. That said, it's nice to have RPM, dwell, and volts on it, so unless you really need the other stuff on the digital meter, it's kind of a wash over the analog meter. I have points, and I use an old Sears dwell meter from the '90s. It works pretty nice.

I'd be leery of a used one unless you can try it. I have a spare, and that thing is totally inaccurate compared to the Sears meter, which I believe is an Actron. In addition, if the dwell measurement is way off on a new to you meter, you'll know it because your timing will change and it won't seem to run right.

Never heard of shimming the Accel points adjustment screw. I run those too, and the only real drawback is the dwell does seem to drift a little.
 

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Dwell is an indicator of point gap and nothing more. On a GM points distributor the window let's one adjust point gap while measuring dwell. Adjust the gap right and dwell is meaningless.
My point is to try to get more basic and close to the mechanics and away from the abstractions. If we start from an understanding of what's actually happening, maybe we can work towards dwell and dwell meters.
Then again, get an HEI, and forget about it...
 

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I have a OTC brand DVOM that has a dwell reading with 4 -5-6-8 cylinder readings.It also has high and low tach readings.
If you find one on ebay or craigs list just make sure it still works before you plunk down your cash.
Don't know why the pictures are sideways I didn't take them that way
 

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I have a DVOM but instead of the digital meter I think you would be better off with a regular used tach&dwell meter.Like a Craftsman or a Mactools meter.
Find someone selling a bunch of tools for sale on ebay or craigs list a retired mechanic who may have a couple of them for sale on one of those sites.
 

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Dwell is an indicator of point gap and nothing more. On a GM points distributor the window let's one adjust point gap while measuring dwell. Adjust the gap right and dwell is meaningless.
My point is to try to get more basic and close to the mechanics and away from the abstractions. If we start from an understanding of what's actually happening, maybe we can work towards dwell and dwell meters.
Then again, get an HEI, and forget about it...
Actually, the way I understand it, is the other way around. Setting the gap is how you get the proper dwell. but assuming no lobe wear, one will get the other.
And yes, HEI, never touch it again. No timing creep as points wear (something people forget a lot), no point wear at all...
 

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Never heard of shimming the Accel points adjustment screw. I run those too, and the only real drawback is the dwell does seem to drift a little.
Take the screw out and add enough washers so when the screw is tight the reading will be at 28. You can usually get 1 degree of play from the tightening the screw.. Its a little bit of a pain getting it right but once you do, your set for a good 10,000 miles or so... My car also "seems" to run smoother in the top end with the points shimmed, but it might just be the wishful thinking of the butt dyno lol..
 
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