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Timing question 1957 Panhead

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Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 8:19 pm

Timing question 1957 Panhead


Post by tlgrooms » Thu Sep 18, 2003 8:55 pm

Hello all,

New here and trying to figure out how to set the timing on my '57 Panhead.

My question is:

When the mark is lined up on the flywheel, should the spark be fully advanced or retarded? ???

Thanks for any info.

Panhead Bob

Re: Timing question 1957 Panhead


Post by Panhead Bob » Thu Sep 18, 2003 10:46 pm

Whats up with your timing it all depends on if you have a manual advance or auto advance. I have auto advance and you put the time mark in right side of the timing hole and you just use a test light on your points and make sure that the timing mark is on at your points and then losen the adjusting stud lock nut and move it until the light just goes out. And it will start. and make sure that the timing adjusting plate is lined up with the timing mark on the side to. And if you have a manual circuit breaker the manual says that it should be fully advanced and flywheel marks should be the same has I discribed on the right side looking at it.contact points should just begin to open the test light off. The instant direction is reversed ( spark retarted ) from from full advance stop position , point should begin to close, light on. I hope this helps you, its right out of the manual that as helped me for 21 years. Happy Riding!!!

Posts: 402
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2004 2:58 am

Re: Timing question 1957 Panhead


Post by kell » Fri Sep 19, 2003 2:49 am

Maybe you know this, but the dot (on stock flywheels) marks top dead center, the slash marks the point at which the spark is supposed to fire (when timing is advanced). Which is why, with an auto advance breaker, you need to rev the engine and use a timing light. If you have automatic advance and you want to static time it then you have to twist the breaker to its advance position and find a way to keep it there while you time it. There are little doohickies on the aftermarket or you can work something out on your own.
A manual advance breaker is simpler, you can just static time it. The advance position, where the breaker will be while the bike is running, is where you want to time it.

Retard is for starting; it works because the engine is going around so slow that firing at full advance would just be too soon, the combustion would finish before the piston even got top dead center. If you have a bike with manual advance and try to kick it over with the breaker at full advance you'll notice it is more inclined to kick back at you than if you had retarded it.

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