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Timing question

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1955fle
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Timing question

#1

Post by 1955fle » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:34 pm

I have been trying to time my "55FL and have a question. The Service Manual says to watch the front push rod the see when the front intake valve closes. Is the push rod going down when this happens?



Red55FL
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Jan 14, 2005 3:35 am
Bikes: 1955 FL on a 54 frame
2012 Heritage Softail Classic
Location: Inola, Oklahoma

Re: Timing question

#2

Post by Red55FL » Tue Jun 27, 2006 6:57 pm

Yes, the push rod will be moving downward & the intake valve will be closing as the front cylinder comes up on the compression stroke.
The way I do it is to pull the spark plugs which makes the engine easy to spin. Then I hold a finger over the front spark plug hole as I turn the engine, when the front cylinder is coming up on compression, the compression will blow my finger off of the spark plug hole.
By doing it that way, I don't have to mess with the push rod tube.

Red

King
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:05 pm

Re: Timing question

#3

Post by King » Tue Jun 27, 2006 9:04 pm

Red's method is the best as it keeps you on the same side of the bike as the timing hole. When it puffs you should be very close to seeing the slash mark in the window.
If you have the primary cover off it is best to crank her using the sprocket nut turning the motor counter clockwise (the way it runs) to get the slash mark where you want it in the window. If the cover is on I put it in gear and bump the rear wheel with the bike up on the rear stand..
Then you can use a test light or a buzzer to get the points opening at the right time. Heading home to do just that.
Good luck.

King

1955fle
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Re: Timing question

#4

Post by 1955fle » Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:41 pm

Thanks for the feedback. My wife has been helping rotate the engine with the kick peddle but your way sounds much easer. It has been a pain to keep going side to side to see what is going on.

King
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:05 pm

Re: Timing question

#5

Post by King » Thu Jun 29, 2006 1:47 pm

I think I left out a bit on my earlier post. Here is exactly how I do it. I get bike up on rear stand, take out plugs, jigger it into 2nd gear and rotate the motor with the kicker till the front jug puffs. Then I hop off the bike, take out the timer hole plug, and get down flat on my left side. Now comes the weird part, using a pen light to peep into the hole I bump the rear wheel with my high traction cross trainer shoes on the side wall until I get the slash mark where I want it..
I hope nobody ever sees me doing that but it’s quite effective.
I just installed a new coil, plug wires, and one of the 45 Parts Depot electronic ignition units. Timed the set-up last night (a breeze with the built-in LED light) and will get her out this weekend to see how much improvement I got. Will post the results.

Good Rides

King

Cotten
Posts: 6911
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Timing question

#6

Post by Cotten » Thu Jun 29, 2006 3:39 pm

The reason for watching the pushrod is that feeling for pressure at the sparkplug can be confused between the compression and exhaust strokes, depending upon valve timing, and the intuition of the observer.
In other words, watching the pushrod is foolproof.
And the pushrod cools down quicker (time=$$), and putting your thumb on a hot cylinder hurts, especially if its oily.
And the pushrod is on the same side of the bike as the circuit breaker and kicker. A handlebar mirror makes finding the line easy on your back and knees, from the same side of the bike. (You can even 'bump" a kicker-less bike through by straddling it while in high gear, by watching for the line with a mirror.)
And sumped oil spits on the mirror and not in the eye.

Just my lazy approach.

...Cotten

1955fle
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Re: Timing question

#7

Post by 1955fle » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:35 pm

It is very interesting the different approaches that folks have to time a Pan. This has given me a good way to deal with this. Hope I can get to it tonight. I will let you know the results.
King, I would be very interested in hearing about the 45 Parts Depot electronic ignition unit. I have an electronic ignition on my '73 Shov and it works great. Always wondered what needs to change on the Pan to do the same thing.

King
Posts: 387
Joined: Fri Apr 02, 2004 5:05 pm

Re: Timing question

#8

Post by King » Thu Jun 29, 2006 9:20 pm

1955fle

Ya it interesting how many ways to time the Pan. Cotten is quite correct, especially if you are doing the job for a customer. Next time I will employ the mirror!!

You can get info on the electronic ignition at http://www.45partsdepot.com.

It is a well designed unit compatible with both 6 and 12 volts (mine is 6) and a wide range of coils. It comes with detailed instructions and is easy to install. Easy, I say, except for one thing, getting the wire retainer back into the timer base on its back side. That was a bear as access is very tight. But I think if you had hands a bit smaller than my ungainly paws it would not be too bad.
I don't have but a few minutes on the unit but it started cold with about 4 kicks and restarted three times with only one kick. Then I pulled the timer cover and discovered it was quite a bit out of time. Thus I was amazed it started as well as it did. I timed it last night but wont' be able to run it till this weekend. So I'll let you know how it goes. BTW I replaced the coil and plug wires also.

King

1955fle
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Re: Timing question

#9

Post by 1955fle » Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:56 pm

Speaking of electronic ignitions for old bikes. Has anyone heard of a Quickstart 2000?
Here is what the website says about it; QuickStart is available for single point systems only, for Harley Davidson models 1936-69, 1930-36 VL & VC, and 1970 and up Big V Twins and Sportsters. Ed has made electronic ignitions for Harley Davidson 1914 and on up.
The owner of the company is Ed Fralick, and this is the website http://www.ebeyond2000.net/index.html
Just wondering how this compares to the one from http://www.45partsdepot.com.
It is more expensive.

Fixman
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:38 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA

Re: Timing question

#10

Post by Fixman » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:20 pm

I put the Quickstart 2000 on my 57 Pan, and it works beautifully. My bike has been modified with an auto advance distributor, and I made sure that Ed at Quickstart knew that when I ordered the unit. Ed has a unit that works on the manual advance models as well.
A few months ago the Quickstart 2000 was written up in American Iron magazine when the Editor had one installed on his 65 Pan. The magazine also did a very positive article in the last issue and promised to do an in-depth review in a coming issue.
The unit is very easy to install, and it's really nice not to worry about cleaning and adjusting points any longer. This unit along with the electronic relay on the bike (neither is detectable without removing the covers) keeps the original looks, but makes the maintenance a little easier, and improves the reliability.

Panacea
Posts: 1864
Joined: Fri May 24, 2002 1:00 am
Bikes: 64FL 99FLHR 01FXSTD
Location: Mpls. MN.

Re: Timing question

#11

Post by Panacea » Tue Jul 04, 2006 4:33 pm

Fixman, what is this electronic relay you speak of? just curious..Mike

Fixman
Posts: 142
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:38 pm
Location: Charlottesville, VA

Re: Timing question

#12

Post by Fixman » Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:58 pm

Mike, V-Twin, 45 Parts Depot, and others have restoration ready (can't tell from the outside) solid state relays to replace the old points type in either 12 volt or 6 volt three brush applications. Around $30 bucks from 45 Parts Depot.

hplhd
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Bikes: 1998 heritage springer
Location: indiana, usa

Re: Timing question

#13

Post by hplhd » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:25 am

i put the setup kurt sells from 45partsdepot on my 59 pile of parts. i only have about 500 miles but no probs so far. if i ever get off my dead ass i am going to put on in my 64. by the way if you buy it thru kurt it's 106 bucks. i just saw it in the vtwin catalog for 186 bucks. hell of a mark up.

chucklbones
Posts: 32
Joined: Thu Apr 07, 2005 2:03 pm

Re: Timing question

#14

Post by chucklbones » Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:09 pm

hey now
been useing ed quick start fer 2 years now no problems works great
chucklbones

1955fle
Posts: 173
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:50 pm
Bikes: 1955 FL
1973 FLH
Location: Mass

Re: Timing question

#15

Post by 1955fle » Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:21 pm

Hey guys thanks for the replies. I sounds like electronic is the way to go. I too am concerned with the look as my bike is completely stock. Glad to see it will still look stock. All I need to do now is find the cash to make the change.

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