Timing 1956 panhead

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Timing 1956 panhead


Post by guest » Mon Jul 21, 2008 7:05 pm

Hi guys,
I need some help timing my 1956 panhead. I have static timed it but now I want to time it with a light. I have the clear timing hole plug. I need to know if the bike needs to be at full running temp and at what idle speed and where the timing mark should be in the hole. Also, proper way to hook up timing light. I have an S&S E carb and a small cam. Any and all help will be appreciated. Thanks.

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Post by fourthgear » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:20 am

Motor fully warmed up. ( use a fan to blow air across motor any time it is stationary while preforming maintenance )

RPM's while timing motor is dependent on which, timer ,circuit breaker ,or distributor ( what ever name you want to call it )you are using . I don't bother with the plug , I just get a little misting and clean it up after wards.

With an auto advance distributor , I time @ 1500-2000 RPMs.,timing mark (front cyl. ) dead in the middle of the hole.
With a manual advance , I only use static timing method.

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Post by FlatHeadSix » Tue Jul 22, 2008 2:44 pm


Excellent advice! I don't use a clear plug either but I thought a word of caution is in order for anyone who has never done it this way.

If your oil pump check valves have any tendancy to leak, even slightly, and cause sumping, you should always start the engine and run it long enough to pump all the oil out of the bottom of the crank cases BEFORE you remove the timing plug.

If you have any oil in the sump when you start an engine with the timing plug out it will blow the oil all over your shop. This is one of those lessons you learn the hard way, I now know better!


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