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  • Borescope????

    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.

    Anyway, so I finally got on eBay and typed in borescope. Good Grief! 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. (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?
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

  • #2
    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.

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    • #3
      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.
      '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-98 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

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      • #4
        Just make sure it will fit through the spark plug opening.

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        • #5
          I bought a cheap one on eBay, but there were NO instructions whatsoever and I could not get an image from it.
          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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.
                Poet...Mystic...Soldier of Fortune. As always...self-absorbed, adversarial, cocky and in general a malcontent.

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                • #9
                  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.

                  http://www.harborfreight.com/automot...der-60695.html

                  Bob
                  , ,

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                  • #10
                    Mine was on sale at AutoZone for 90 bucks. Very happy with it

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by doug View Post
                      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 )

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                      • #12
                        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.
                        Ron Dame
                        '63 Champ

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                        • #13
                          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.
                          Skip Lackie

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                          • #14
                            This thread is kind of 'boring' isn't it??

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by SN-60 View Post
                              This thread is kind of 'boring' isn't it??
                              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.

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