panhead timing

All ignition related articles
Post Reply
dbanana
Posts: 52
Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2010 8:40 pm
Bikes: HD
Location: Nova Scotia

panhead timing

#1

Post by dbanana » Fri Aug 09, 2013 2:54 pm

I have read a lot of information on timing... but I still have questions. I have a panhead that was switched to 12 volt ( with points and coil... not electronic )

1. where should the advance mark be in the hole ? The manual says line showing to the right of the hole with 6 volt... some say dead center of the hole with a 12 volt system.

2. manual says point gap .022... but some say .018 with a 12 volt... some say .020

I would like to know what will work best.

thanks, Danny



58flh
Posts: 3338
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:54 pm
Bikes: 1958flh 1969sporty,had a knuckle but sold back to original owner
Location: NEW JERSEY

Re: panhead timing

#2

Post by 58flh » Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:40 pm

Point gap at .022--Check on both lobes!. Sometime when you tighten the plate down ,the plate will flex & distort some,changing the gap--Do it a few times to compensate for this. The front piston on comp.-stroke line in the middle.ADV. the points cam & use a test lightlight hooked-up to the points!ADV. the cam on small lobe-(front cyl.)-AS soon as the points break it should light at full adv.This is right where she will be happy.If you overshoot the line--DO NOT BACK-UP!-use your kicker & bring it to front piston comp.-stroke!.----Respectfully--Richie

beets
Posts: 113
Joined: Fri Jul 13, 2007 1:03 pm
Bikes: 56 FL, 07 Goldwing ,91 BMW K75

Re: panhead timing

#3

Post by beets » Fri Aug 09, 2013 9:20 pm

I time my 56 to the right of the hole as shown in my Harley Panhead reprinted manual.
If I time to the center, the power is down and the exhaust doesn't have a crisp sound.

Cotten
Posts: 6791
Joined: Mon Aug 26, 2002 9:09 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: panhead timing

#4

Post by Cotten » Fri Aug 09, 2013 11:46 pm

Danny!

The early manuals assume a static method for timing, so the right, or advanced side of the hole was suggested, as the static method normally produces a slightly retarded result.

Dynamic timing with a strobe will do best with it in the middle of the hole.

High-compression machines, or any that must endure poor-octane fuels, will benefit in the long run to to move it forward a few degrees.

...Cotten

amiabledave
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:06 pm
Bikes: 1957 Panhead, First HD was a 1969 Sporster w/factory mag,
Location: Florida

Re: panhead timing

#5

Post by amiabledave » Sat Aug 10, 2013 2:15 am

Yeah! What Cotten said. It doesn't mean that you can't play with it and retard a little or advance little. The bike will tell you where to send it.
PS..My points are at .018, running 12V...And if you don't have a timing light, it's good to have one.

58flh
Posts: 3338
Joined: Sat Jun 26, 2010 1:54 pm
Bikes: 1958flh 1969sporty,had a knuckle but sold back to original owner
Location: NEW JERSEY

Re: panhead timing

#6

Post by 58flh » Sat Aug 10, 2013 12:14 pm

If going to the middle of the hole--YES the static-time will be slightly retarded!--After I get her all locked-up & .018 on both lobes,--I have a mark That I scribed on the plate!---I then ADV. to my mark!--Sorry I should have mentioned that!-My BAD I just figured -that once a Man gets it starting in 1-hot-kick,& then ride it --IT would be noticible on the powerloss!--(instantly )-even before you shift to second!,--So assuming that--I just took it for granted that you would naturally bump-it a few degrees as COTTON said!.---If you have a strobe use it if you need to!,By all means!--I haven't used a strobe on a pre-69-HD Never!---I was shown a diff. way!---ITS to much to type here-But If you have one -use it!---Get a buddy to lean the bike to the right & shoot & set!.--I found this best specialy when timing to total advance!.Those plastic-timing plugs -see-thru are a waste of time!--They just fill with sprayed oil!.--I found Leaning to right is best!---Respecfully---RICHIE!---PS---The snap-on guns with the adv. control on the back ARE GREAT FOR TOTAL ADV. Timing---Good luck---RICHIE 8)

amiabledave
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:06 pm
Bikes: 1957 Panhead, First HD was a 1969 Sporster w/factory mag,
Location: Florida

Re: panhead timing

#7

Post by amiabledave » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:00 pm

I have always used the plastic-timing plug with great results. If you have a good (not cheap) light the timing mark is clearly visible. Without the plug you'll get atomized oil all over your light.

PanPal
Posts: 1083
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 8:57 pm
Bikes: 50 EL custom
58 FL
76 FLH All Original
Location: Maryland

Re: panhead timing

#8

Post by PanPal » Wed Aug 14, 2013 4:40 pm

a while back someone on here mentioned using a short piece of tubing instead of the plug. Push the tube in until it wipes the flywheel and look through the center.

Can I use my old timing light for cars on a cone motor Shovel with a dynateck ignition system? It's a 1980 FLH police special. Is the mark set to the middle or to one side in the hole when setting?

amiabledave
Posts: 129
Joined: Tue Sep 28, 2010 2:06 pm
Bikes: 1957 Panhead, First HD was a 1969 Sporster w/factory mag,
Location: Florida

Re: panhead timing

#9

Post by amiabledave » Wed Aug 14, 2013 7:06 pm

If your timing light has a lead for the pickup and two leads for your battery then yes you can use your timing light. No nothing about a tube. I've always used what works for me

Post Reply

Return to “Ignition”