Post by leroy on Oct 10, 2002, 2:59am
Pan head was running poorly, loss of power and hard starting.
Points very pitted, so I filed them clean and reset gap (.020).
Still hard to start, many more kicks than I care for and still seemed to idle rough. So I thought I'd look at the timimg. I haven't had to mess with timimg for about 3 years so I thought it was worth checking.
My old HD manual "Electra Glide 1959-1969" says that my test light, that I connected between coil and + battery, should come ON with points CLOSED and go OFF with points OPEN. Now I've done this test and set the timing several times the last 15 years and I don't remember the manual being wrong but I just did this and the damn test light is ON with the points open and OFF with the points closed, this is just the oposite of what the manual and I remember.
Anybody know what might be causing this??? besides old age, I'm 20 years older that the Panhead.
Post by kell on Oct 13, 2002, 3:12am
I think you connected the light in the wrong place. I was just reading the Clymer book and it says you're supposed to connect the light to a ground and to one of screws in the distributor -- can't tell you right off the top of my head which one.
But why is your light coming on at all? For this to happen there must be a complete circuit from the batt + through the light and to ground, somewhere. That is, there is some kind of path to ground other than through the points, since they are open when the light is on. Could be a short. Maybe you have damaged wiring or something wrong with the coil. Or maybe I'm wrong about the short and you just need a new condenser.
Post by dirtpandan58 on Oct 13, 2002, 4:50am
Doesn't matter if the light comes on or goes off. The only thing a light tells you is the exact time of the points opening and closing.
I've hooked it up both ways.One way the light comes on when they open. The other way it goes off when they open.
I used to use a rolling paper years ago. I would put the paper between the closed points and pull with very little preasure. Then advance the timer 'till the papar pulled out. That's when the points just began to open. If the paper tore, it ment I was pulling to hard,and the points weren't opening yet. Some people argued that you should use the cellophane from a cigarette pack,but that's to strong'and you can pull it out with points completly closed.
Now I just use a timing light.
Post by VintageTwin on Oct 13, 2002, 4:07pm
Yo! What year? The points are set to 0.022", up to 1960. 20's too skinny. I've had the same problem. Make the timing light come on or off just as you retard the spark from full advance after you position the flywheel mark in the correct place. Beware of reading the OE '59-'65 H-D manual. Their push rod adj. is for hydraulics, their timing can be for Electra Glides. Clymers tells you how. I love my '59 and '46...(choke)..just bawls me up inside to talk about it. But they both run manual timers and points set at 0.022". The OE 1940-1947 manual is the only one to give soild lifter push rod adj. and single lamp timing procedures.
My 74", '59 was running tip-top and snappy before our 120 round trip ride out to Campo. We ran them pretty good. When we were riding on that three-lane; if I decided I wanted to pull away from any traffic; I would just twist the throttle (therapy) and know what they meant when they called it the "King of the Highway". Way out in front. Power to spare. Then coming back on the last 60 mile leg my Pan started running "off", like timing. I think it's because the "cam" part of the eccentric screw that is in my timer, that holds the points setting in place, once you have tightened the points set screw; yep well, that eccentric screw head is the original one and that makes it 43 yrs old. It's all burred up. Cam action of the screw is rough and sloppy. I think that when I run the motor and run it harder than usual, that the eccentric screw loosens up and the points close a little. However, the last time it happened, 500 miles ago, I wrote a post called "Erratic Timing" here or on http://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/ with the same problem and that time the points had opened up or I didn't set them right in the first place; but a 0.22" blade would rack around the opened points. That weren't right! This time I'm first going to adjust my solid lifter pushrod lash (if needed); then use the single bulb timing method. Note:Hard starting, or one fire and no starting is many times a condenser. Note: If you can't get the timing bulb to light, as soon as you retard the timer from full advance; then your flywheel mark is in the wrong position. Look at a manual, for this flywheel mark position. Then, go and look at the timer shaft mark. If it is DIRECTLY under the points fiber, you're good to go. If the timers slash/mark is ahead or behind the points fiber, then loosen the timer head's timer adjusting stud nut (note: the timer stud gets scored and grooved, then stiff to move. Replace. It's a V-Twin part # 37-9235) and adjust the timer head so the points fiber is directly under the points fiber. Then tighten the adjusting stud lock nut. To make lamp go "on" when testing: Connect a (dual lead) test bulb to the low tension (rear) terminal of the coil and the other bulb lead to the positive pole of the battery. Make up a 12" lead wire w/clips. Clip one end on a Pan "D" ring, clip the other end to the negative pole of the battery. Lamp will light. TURN THE IGNITION "ON". Lamp will go "out". Have the flywheel mark in "correct" position. Have timing slash mark (on timer shaft) centerlining' the fiber rider on the points. Just as you retard the timer the lamp should light. If it doesn't, TURN THE IGNITION "OFF", re-check the position of the flywheel timing mark. Don't remove the timing plug until the flywheel mark is ready to appear (front intake tappet has just about bottomed out), or you'll get a blast of sump oil on your shirt.