View Full Version : Engine Ignition Testors

Alan Peck
10-16-2005, 10:32 PM
My old Chilton's outboard engine repair manual states that there are three pieces of test equipment that you need to check out a CD Magneto Ignition System.

1. Spark Tester
2. Ohmmeter
3. C.D Voltmeter Tester or a special type of neon test light

I know what items 1 and 2 are but:

I don't know what a C.D. Voltmeter Tester is and I am not sure what they mean by a neon test light.
I don't think it is the simple neon test light with two leads.

Does anyone know what they are talking about? Where would you buy it and is the cost reasonable for the occasional home mechanic?

10-16-2005, 11:04 PM
I dont know about the neon but with capacitive discharge ignition systems (cdi) that unit would fail without warning,no spark to the spark plug all of a sudden like. It was always suspect and upon changing it,everything would be fine forever again.
The symptom was,always starts right up ad then just doesn't, no fire to the plugs

[ 10-17-2005, 12:07 AM: Message edited by: pipefitter ]

10-20-2005, 02:57 AM
Neon test light- perhaps they mean a timing light? (Uses a strobe to flash with #1 spark plug, used to set ignition timing)

These can be had for anywhere from around $20 to $350 for a trick, digital one from Snap-On.

Alan Peck
10-20-2005, 05:40 AM
From the description it is clearly not a timing light. I am still trying to figure this one out.

Don Z.
10-20-2005, 07:15 AM
Could it be one of those in line lights that are used to check for spark? Plugs in series between the lead and the plug, lights as the current goes through...

Sp ark Tester (http://buy1.snapon.com/catalog/item.asp?P65=&tool=all&item_ID=65921&group_ID=1352&store=snapon-store&dir=catalog)

Description:Quickly diagnose ignition systems. Works on all ignition systems including distributorless ignitions. With engine off, simply remove plug wire from spark plug, connect female end of tester to spark plug, connect male end of tester to the spark plug wire, start engine and check tester light (it will flash if power is being transmitted to plug). Status of indicator light shows if problem exists in the ignition system or fuel system.

Alan Peck
10-20-2005, 07:34 PM
Okay, I have been looking diligently trying to find out what a CD voltmeter tester is.

I have found one by Stevens Instrument co. It says it is a Peak Volt / DVA Meter and that is the best instrument for troubleshooting CD ignition systems. It gives"direct, accurate readings of charge coil output, sensor output and pack output." It cost somewhere around $225.

I guess it is basically and instrument that will "capture" a very short time period peak voltage reading. I wonder if a modern good grade multimeter like some of the FLUKE models wouldn't be able to do the same thing. I have seen one that captures and displays maximum and minimum voltages?

Any electronics gurus out there?