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Electric Tachometers

By Norman Nock

Originally published in the Austin-Healey Magazine, June 1996


If your tach stops working, check that electricity is available at the green wire behind the tach and that the ground wire (black) is connected to the back of the tach holding bracket.


The BJ8 and Sprites receive impulses from the open/closed periods of the distributor points.

If all connections are secure, replace the points and check the gap (0.14” to 0.16”) then check if the tach is working.


If the tach is still inoperative, check the U-shaped clamp over the plastic piece that holds the white wire loop in place on the back of the tach as shown in Figure 1. If that clamp is missing the tach will not work.


If your tach never worked, you could have your battery in backwards. The BJ8 came as a positive ground car. If a previous owner had changed the car over to negative ground, the tach, being polarity conscious, will not work if the battery ground is reversed. When the tach is changed to negative ground to suit the ground of the car, the white wire loop behind the tach will have to be reversed so that electricity goes through the loop the other way. This can be done by cutting the wire and reversing the loop. We recommend, however, that changing the tach to negative ground should be done by a mechanic who has with experience in this type of work.


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