Timing a 1953 Pan

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Rainjester
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Timing a 1953 Pan

#1

Post by Rainjester » Thu May 13, 2004 12:16 am

My bike's got a single point manual advanced distributor on it. I was going through the Clymer's manual on timing the bike and I'm wondering if I'm even doing it right. I think the timing is correct. Here's what I did:

1. Take out plug on left side of motor to see timing mark when the front piston is TDC.

2. When I see the line perfectly center in the hole, my cam timing mark is pointed directly at the mark on the distributor.

3. Points are gapped at .018 since it's a 12 volt (.022 is for 6 volts). At least, this is what I've read elsewhere.

Is that all I need for making sure it's timed and gapped right? I rigged up a test light and the light comes on just as the cam mark shows up to point at the mark on the side of the distributor.
Clymer's was referring more to the double point distributor than the single point for the test light. Do I need to use the test light to time it or is that just to check to see if the gap for the points is opening at the right time?

Thanks in advance for your help.

jester-



Cotten
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Re: Timing a 1953 Pan

#2

Post by Cotten » Thu May 13, 2004 12:49 am

Uncle Floyd is probably turning over in his grave,...again.

They are crappy excuses for a manual.

You must be on the compression stroke for the front cylinder when the line appears in the hole.

Drop the front intake pushrod tube, and observe the lifter. When it starts coming down, then look for the line.

If you can just get it to start and idle, just advance it and use a strobe light to adjust the line to the middle (or slightly forward) in the hole. That's the simplest and most accurate method.

Rainjester
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Re: Timing a 1953 Pan

#3

Post by Rainjester » Thu May 13, 2004 1:38 am

What's the recommended manual? A panhead manual straight from HD?

I'll give the strobe a shot to see where it's at. Can I use the same strobe that I use on my car which I hook up to the battery and clip it on the spark plug wire?

(I'd imagine it'd be a big mess, but hey, if it works better...)

jester-

Cotten
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Re: Timing a 1953 Pan

#4

Post by Cotten » Thu May 13, 2004 1:50 am

Yes,,, and Yes!

King
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Re: Timing a 1953 Pan

#5

Post by King » Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:49 am

My manual (48-57 Rigid) shows the timing line at just entering the right side of the inspection hole when the points begin to open. Might be nit picking here, but is center to slightly forward better?

King

Cotten
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Re: Timing a 1953 Pan

#6

Post by Cotten » Wed Aug 04, 2004 12:45 am

The accepted theory is that static timing is slightly retarded, due to gear lash and such.
So the manuals, written before a strobe was a common "field" tool, fudged the line slightly advanced in the hole.
Centered in the hole is still 'dead nuts'.

With today's P4gas, it is prudent to slightly retard the spark anyway.

When using a strobe on a street machine, I often set it with the line to the left in the hole, just to guard against pre-detonation.

We are only talking a couple of degrees either way.
Only a degreewheel can tell you if your line is correct,...although I have yet to find one that isn't.

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