View Full Version : Borescope????

04-25-2017, 10:41 AM
My (plodding along) engine test stand project has inspired this thread. I am continuing to creep along toward spinning the engine (289 truck V8), with the goal of eventually cranking, running, & evaluating it's condition. When I got the engine, it had a rather grungy looking Delco distributor (non window type) installed. I hadn't given it much thought while attending to more pressing details. Now that I have reached the point of wanting to spin the oil pump for pre-lubricating the engine, I gave it a closer look. From what I could tell, the distributor was out of position. Searching through pictures, I concluded that the orientation of where the vacuum advance was installed, it would interfere with the throttle bellcrank/linkage. So, I rotated it about 180 degrees, but I think I missed a gear tooth. So, I gotta go back & reset it again.

Looking at the manual pics, it looks like the distributor engagement slot in the oil pump is slightly offset. So I need to position the oil pump to accept the distributor tang as well as engage the proper gear mesh between the cam & distributor drive gears. I have done this successfully many times, but so long ago, I think I need to "retrain" myself. My plan is to use a drill & a straight shaft to spin the oil pump before reinstalling the distributor. That's when I got this goofy notion to use a borescope to aid in positioning the oil pump. Perhaps it is just another silly excuse to buy another tool toy to play with.:rolleyes:

Anyway, so I finally got on eBay and typed in borescope. Good Grief!:ohmy: What a surprise! Thousands of items popped up. Even when I narrowed the search to U.S. only, new,and "buy it now" offerings, the available items are still in the thousands. I had always thought such an item would be expensive, so I was not surprised with the ones with prices in the hundreds of dollars. However, there are some, supposedly little cameras on the end of USB cables, selling for near pocket change.

That has caused me to come here and ask for forum opinions. I don't want to overpay for a toy that will be rarely used. Nor do I want to jump in and buy something totally "useless" for my purposes. Some of these are advertised as "Borescope/Endoscopy" uses. I didn't read far enough to see if anyone is selling them as used "colonoscopy" units.:eek: (Ugh!) Some of the more expensive ones seem to be stand alone units. Others look like I could use them in conjunction with my iPhone or laptop. For those of you who have one, how, when, where, why, etc. Is it a worthwhile tool?

04-25-2017, 11:09 AM
I got one from Harbor Freight comes in handy when looking under dash and other places if you have it you will find many uses. Used it to read data plates and such on garden tractor looking under sinks to check for leaks and drips even behind stove and refrigerators Is a real neck saver if your neck is old like mine saves eye strain if you have bifocals. Way better than the old mirror on stick.

04-25-2017, 11:12 AM
Wow, can you go wrong trying the cheaper one? I mean if some day you drop it down a drain, behind something heavy etc would you not get your money's worth? I noticed they had one that reflected off a 45 degree mirror. That might be nice to see cylinder walls. I'd say consideration for putting it in backwards to see the combustion chamber would be an advantage. Thus the camera width AND the cable width together would need to be a consideration in respect to the spark plug hole size. I doubt the resolution and the lighting aspects are spectacular (though it did seem to have light dimming capabilities) but to see the general condition would be an asset - especially for under $10. Tell the misses that it is for in case she ever drops jewelry down the drain. She will love you for it!

I thank you for bringing these to my attention as I did not know they existed. My son use to buy camera devices about the size of a thumb drive that received a micro SD card. He would attach them to a R/C car or plane to shoot videos. I thought they would be a great idea to chase down drains etc attached to a snake. But these make even more sense.

04-25-2017, 11:44 AM
Just make sure it will fit through the spark plug opening.

04-25-2017, 11:44 AM
I bought a cheap one on eBay, but there were NO instructions whatsoever and I could not get an image from it.

04-25-2017, 11:45 AM
I bought a couple of those cheap usb bore scopes, they work decent enough and have a grainy image. I bought two expecting to break at least one... the ones I bought were supposed to be 7mm diameter, they are actually closer to 9mm so no use for sticking down the barrel of a 7.62mm rifle.

04-25-2017, 12:38 PM
I bought a store return RIGID brand bore scope, but the head is too large to go through the spark plug hole, and the cable is to stiff to make sharp bends. It also only has things in focus from about 2 to 3 inches. I wish it at least had a variable focal range.

04-25-2017, 12:46 PM
I've seen them for sale at Costco. At least if you buy one from them and aren't happy with it returning it would be no problem. They are far less expensive than they used to be and probably better quality as well. But...you do generally get what you pay for.

04-25-2017, 02:38 PM
HF has one for $169 - 20% with memory card slot and video output so you could hook it up to a 70" HDTV (might be a bit pixelated) with an 8.5mm camera. As above, easy return policy also.



04-25-2017, 07:37 PM
Mine was on sale at AutoZone for 90 bucks. Very happy with it

04-25-2017, 07:53 PM
Just make sure it will fit through the spark plug opening.

And make sure it doesn't have anything on the tip that could fall off into the cylinder, especially made of plastic or aluminum that a magnet cant pick up. (Don't ask why I know this :mad:)

Ron Dame
04-26-2017, 08:12 AM
I bought one of the $9 USB ones. Like Radio Roy said, it's grainy and pretty useless for any real detail. Oh well, I can always save on my next colonoscopy using it.

Skip Lackie
04-26-2017, 08:59 AM
I bought a Craftsman #82027 a few years ago when it was on sale. Don't remember what I paid for it, but it was medium quality. Picture is nice and clear and bright, with a wide focal range. Light brightness can be varied. But won't fit through a modern spark plug hole. Has been very handy for household chores and looking for dropped bolts in car doors, etc.

04-26-2017, 09:03 AM
This thread is kind of 'boring' isn't it?? :woot:

04-26-2017, 10:02 AM
This thread is kind of 'boring' isn't it?? :woot:

Only if you don't own a borescope, so you can see the light.
BTW, mine also has the variable light, and the picture is very clear, but only in it's limited range of about 2 to 3 inches.

04-26-2017, 02:08 PM
Only if you don't own a borescope, so you can see the light!

Very good!! :D

04-27-2017, 09:24 AM
I have a cheap one and it is ok, these are essential for setting up a new "doughnut" style hydraulic clutch.

04-27-2017, 09:44 AM
there is one made for ac-delco that most tools supply houses sell. it has a very small camera so it can fit inside a engine. and a amazingly sharp image. usually under $200.

04-27-2017, 12:27 PM
Hi John, I have seen some Strings go off topic but never this far, somehow because you mentioned it, the topic went to those marginally useful camera probes. :ohmy:

The REAL issue is how to properly time a V8 that no one has mentioned here but explained by many, quite a few times on the Forum.

The SIMPLE, foolproof, method is the one where you do not sweat the Oil pump alignment at all!

Just spin the engine until it falls right in there, forget the "Borescope", there is NO need to "align the Oil pump slot". :rolleyes:

Once the Rotor is pointed to #1 and the engine is set to fire #1 by engaging the Cam Gear, all you do is gently press down to keep the Cam Gear engaged while pressing your remote starter switch button until it drops in, easy, preasy! :)

04-27-2017, 03:52 PM
Actually the string didn't go off topic. The closing question was: "For those of you who have one (meaning a Borescope), how, when, where, why, etc. Is it a worthwhile tool?" That doesn't mean your answer isn't helpful..., though I'd be concern about spinning gear that aren't completely in mesh. Besides, the next time his wife thinks her ring went down the drain... . :)

04-28-2017, 10:46 AM
Actually the string didn't go off topic. The closing question was: "For those of you who have one (meaning a Borescope), how, when, where, why, etc. Is it a worthwhile tool?" That doesn't mean your answer isn't helpful..., though I'd be concern about spinning gear that aren't completely in mesh. Besides, the next time his wife thinks her ring went down the drain... . :)

I got busy at the Nursing home yesterday and lost track of this thread. For StudeRich, I try not to bring too much attention for one of my threads going off target because I'm probably as guilty as any for doing it. Also, the fact that I have lost confidence in my ability to remove & reinstall a distributor correctly is embarrassing. In the past, I have done it successfully many times. Back then, I didn't have a forum to refer to, or complain, or brag.;)

In the past, all the distributors I have removed were already installed correctly. I always made a reference mark on the block & distributor base to make sure I oriented it correctly. Then I would make two marks inside the distributor. One pointing to where the rotor was for the firing of the number one cylinder. I made another for the rotor position after pulling it up from the cam gear. Due to the spiral gear, the rotor moves as it comes up. With this particular engine, the distributor body was out of position, and I'm not sure the ignition timing was correct either. Therefore I'm starting from scratch. Nothing I can't overcome, but positioningrthe entire assembly so that everything drops in place is what I'm hoping to do.

I'm assuming you are saying that the distributor/cam gear can correctly mesh without the oil pump tang being seated. (must be related to the thickness of the gear related to the length of the tang.) That makes sense, and is reassuring.

For wittsend...Yeah...I like the tool toys and appreciate the feedback on them as well. However, I've never failed to find lost jewelry down a drain. As an experienced plumber, I would never think of sending my nice clean borescope down a goopy nasty drain. Especially one used by females. (& we men, shaving creme, washing greasy hands, etc., are just as guilty.) The combination of long hair, skin lotion, make-up, and who knows what:confused:...well, I'm not sure even an X-ray could penetrate that. My advice has always been, when something falls into the drain,:oops: stop any running water immediately, & get help. That's why they call that thing underneath a "TRAP." Remove it, rescue the jewelry, and spend the next half hour disinfecting and washing up with the best safe cleaner you have.:)

Mrs K Corbin
05-01-2017, 07:51 AM
Studebaker Colonoscopy! LOL

05-01-2017, 08:09 AM
This thread is kind of 'boring' isn't it?? :woot:

Well, you can 'play Doctor' with it, as your car belonged to one!!