Setting points and timing

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1955fle
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Setting points and timing

Post #1 by 1955fle » Fri May 21, 2004 2:43 pm

I need to replace the points and time my '55 Fl. I have a manual but I am a little confused with the process. I know how to replace the points but want more info on setting the proper gap. Also do I use a static timing method or time the engine the same way you would time a car. BTW I have a manual advance circuit braker. Is there a step by step description of how to do this anywhere? Any help would be welcome. -Carl



VintageTwin
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Bikes: '46 Knuck. '57 Panhead, '59 Panhead
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Re: Setting points and timing

Post #2 by VintageTwin » Fri May 21, 2004 4:26 pm

Set the points on Knuckle to '60 Pan @ 0.022". You can buy our book (cheapest) on amazon.com "Used Books", or Kick-Start (616) 245-8991, even cheaper.

1955fle
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #3 by 1955fle » Fri May 21, 2004 6:40 pm

Plumber, what is the name of your book? I will check it out. Thanks Carl

VintageTwin
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Bikes: '46 Knuck. '57 Panhead, '59 Panhead
Location: Repop Hell

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #4 by VintageTwin » Sat May 22, 2004 2:37 am

Mechanic & Owners Guide 1941-59 H-D OHV Big Twins/ Kirk Perry & Mark Stettler. Thanks, you can go to" books" on this site and order it or go to amazon and read some junk about it. Hit "editorials".
The other setting for later twin coil, etc., Big Twin dual points is 0.020". That's what the H-D '59-69 service manual is talking about. Points fiber splitting the timing mark, You can hook one lead of the bulb to the positive pole of the batt. and one lead to a D-ring bolt and turn the ignition ON. Lamp will go OUT, timer full advanced. Lamp should go ON immediatedly after you twist the timer to retard. If it doesn't....look for those two bushings on the timer shaft to be worn or too much end play between the shaft washer and (helical) gear at the bottom of the timer.

Rainjester
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Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 7:23 pm

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #5 by Rainjester » Sat May 22, 2004 5:55 am

They way I understand it is that if it's still 6v, set the gap at .022, if it's 12v, set it at .018
As for the timing, if you search through the thread topics in the Panhead section, you'll find several that talk about timing your bike.

jester-

kell
Posts: 363
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:58 am

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #6 by kell » Sat May 22, 2004 7:37 am

When I static time it I disconnect the coil and connect a bulb in its place instead. During dwell the bulb is on... when it goes off is the moment of spark, so you want the slash mark in the hole when the light turns off.
The other way to connect the bulb is across the points. The bulb lights the other way around -- it turns on when the mark is in the hole. You can time it just as well either way. Don't forget the timing mark on the crank is for full advance. You want to secure the adjuster so that the breaker sits butted full counterclockwise.
The only argument against static timing is lash error, not a biggie in my opinion.
You can use a strobe but you will have oil blowing in your face unless you use one of those clear timing plugs.

weezeo
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Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:47 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #7 by weezeo » Sun May 23, 2004 9:16 am

I don't know if your question has been answered but I am reading it this way on what you need to know.......Turn the motor over slowly till you get the cam in the distributor on high spot (either lobe small or big) in fact do them both. and get the points to the widest gap possible, this is where you want to set the points to .020 or .018 I don't know about the 6v 12 v diff But I set mine to .020 I set to the narrow lobe and check it on both lobes after spinning it around and rechecking it. the small lobe is the front cylinder the fat lobe is the rear. Good Luck my Pan is 1956 But I also set my Shovel to the same gap and its electric start 1966 all 12 volt

VintageTwin
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Re: Setting points and timing

Post #8 by VintageTwin » Sun May 23, 2004 1:49 pm

IMOHO, if you own a '49-59 Pan, you need our book (there are currently no used M&O books for sale) and, you need the '58-68 Spare Parts Book, plus the Clymer Pan manual, and the '59-69 H-D Service Manual. Amazon doesn't carry the H-D Parts and Service manuals. Call Chuck (616) 245-8991.

Cotten
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Location: Central Illinois

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #9 by Cotten » Sun May 23, 2004 3:37 pm

Back to topic: Just static time to fire it up, advance the spark and put a strobe on it to get it exact.

weezeo
Posts: 91
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2004 8:47 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #10 by weezeo » Mon May 24, 2004 2:26 am

Clymer manual is a second rate book at best you need the real deal to do the job, right IMHO....

Billy
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Joined: Tue Mar 23, 2004 6:57 am

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #11 by Billy » Mon May 24, 2004 3:29 am

Weez, I couldn't agree with you more. That's why I rely on my "Official" HD Panhead Service Manuals 1948-57 & 58-69 Made by HD for HD. Plus, it's got "Shop Dope"
Bulletins in them as well. It doesn't get any better..
Some of the antique Manuals can still be bought thru your local HD dealership..
Most will have to be bought thru http://www.nosparts.com ,
or http://www.jwboon.com & bookstores etc... ;D also at http://www.jpcycles.com

Cotten
Posts: 6784
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #12 by Cotten » Mon May 24, 2004 12:44 pm

Three to 3.5 turns out is perfectly correct for the Linkert low-speed needle initial setting (not high!), and is duplicated in vintage Indian literature.
Needing five turns out is a sign of a boat-anchor brass float, which L&L never supplied. Or a sign of a manifold leak.

1955fle
Posts: 159
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #13 by 1955fle » Mon May 24, 2004 1:46 pm

Thanks for all of the helpful info. I had a basic idea of how to do this and now I have everything else. All I need now is a little time to get it done. Thanks again. -Carl

Jack_Hester
Posts: 411
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Location: Roxboro, NC, U.S.A.
Contact:

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #14 by Jack_Hester » Mon May 24, 2004 6:29 pm

I have both of the Palmer books that I know about (don't know of any more than two). I know there are some errors, but don't fault him for it, as I it takes a lot to cover what he has. I try to mark up what I find, or what others point out. But really haven't looked that close. I just enjoy good technical literature. Makes me wish that I was a writer. Just not enough time.

Jack

VintageTwin
Posts: 445
Joined: Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:18 pm
Bikes: '46 Knuck. '57 Panhead, '59 Panhead
Location: Repop Hell

Re: Setting points and timing

Post #15 by VintageTwin » Mon May 24, 2004 11:16 pm

Whitehorse Press (four people, three dogs) in NH, has the cheapest price, even cheaper than Chuck. http://www.whitehorsepress.com/ Type in keyword search "Owners Guide". They have it for 50 bucks. The type in the word "Panhead" and buy all four of them, from off the top shelf. You need ever one. Good price. Then search "Knucklehead". Get the '41-47 service manual and Chuck's catalog. Now you'll be in the (telephone reach-able-with Chuck) loop.


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