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Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985) For all those that wanna talk about Ironhead Sportster Motorcycles

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  #1  
Old 8th April 2007
joestuff's Avatar
joestuff joestuff is offline
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Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH, restored
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Other Motorcycle Model: FXDXT (T-sport)
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Question Stupid points and timing questions.

I guess being a young guy who has only worked on electronic ignitions in the past, my points theory may be off a bit…I have read most of the posts about timing, but I have a few questions to help me understand what is going on a little better.

My bike is a 62 XLCH with a static timing magneto. It has a mark on the magneto and one on the case. The flywheel has two marks, one line and one circle.

The circle is TDC for the front, is the line TDC for the rear, or is the line the advance mark for the front?

It fires when the points are closed or open?

My points should be open of closed when the line is in the center of the timing hole?

45 advanced is the static setting?

15 advanced is the amount of retard provided by the magneto control arm on later bikes?

Rotating the magneto counter clock wise retards the timing, right?

Also, I read on this group about when the cylinders fire and to find the compression stroke before giving a good kick. Confirm for me that this is when you feel compression at the top of the kicker swing, and that it comes around 1 out of every four kicks?

Thanks for you help
Joe
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  #2  
Old 8th April 2007
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thefrenchowl thefrenchowl is offline
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Hi joestuff,

Gawd, you're not asking much, do you?

""The circle is TDC for the front, is the line TDC for the rear""

Yes, and because the Sportster is a 45 deg Vtwin, the vertical line is BOTH TDC for the rear pot AND 45 deg advance mark for the front pot...

The mag fires when the points just open. However, because it's a mag, it needs a bit of motion previous to the points opening to create the reversal of the magnetic field. Hence, when you kick a no retard mag, from rest, it'll stop on compression, but sometimes too far for the mag to create a spark on your 1st kick.

So... Kick it so it will stop on compression, then bring the kicker down about 1/2 way, go up again and then only kick it to death, you should now get a proper spark everytime. I.E, don't kick hard on the compression, you're wasting your time... and you'll certainly get Sportster Knee Syndrome...

To time the mag: bike on blocks to lift rear wheel, in 4th gear, spark plugs out so it's easy to turn the rear wheel... Set your points first for maximum 15 thou. Small cam is front cyl, wide cam is back cyl.

Full advance, rotate the rear wheel forward to bring the vertical line in the center of the window on the front cyl. comp. stroke which is the one when both your front cyl. push rods are free to rotate, unscrew slightly the 2 mag holding bolts, insert ciggie paper in between the points, rotate clockwise until the paper just gets free with the slightest upward pull. Tighten the mag down again. The factory guys weren't daft: when set up proper, the mag should be facing backwards and in line with the bike if you have the original alloy mag adaptor plate, that's why you should also have a kinked rear rocker box oiler pipe to clear the kill switch wire...

To check: refit paper, rotate wheel to the next front comp. stroke, stop dead when paper's free, go on the other side and see where the line is. Readjust slightly if needed.

Now start the bugger and enjoy it!!!

Patrick
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Last edited by thefrenchowl; 8th April 2007 at 22:10..
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Old 9th April 2007
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joestuff joestuff is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thefrenchowl View Post
Hi joestuff,

Gawd, you're not asking much, do you?

Patrick
Thanks Patrick, that is a perfect answer. You saved me knee, so I owe you one.
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  #4  
Old 9th April 2007
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ironhead red ironhead red is offline
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I've always wanted to touch on the proper way to kick an Ironhead, but didn't want get into it (opinions will vary). Frenchowl, it sounds like you have kicked a few high compression Irons in your day as well. I let people try to kick my stroker for fun... It's always a riot, I just sit back , grab a beer and watch the show !

Red
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  #5  
Old 4 Weeks Ago
achris03 achris03 is offline
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Default Super Duper Thread Resurrection

Quote:
Originally Posted by thefrenchowl View Post
Hi joestuff,

The mag fires when the points just open. However, because it's a mag, it needs a bit of motion previous to the points opening to create the reversal of the magnetic field. Hence, when you kick a no retard mag, from rest, it'll stop on compression, but sometimes too far for the mag to create a spark on your 1st kick.

So... Kick it so it will stop on compression, then bring the kicker down about 1/2 way, go up again and then only kick it to death, you should now get a proper spark everytime. I.E, don't kick hard on the compression, you're wasting your time... and you'll certainly get Sportster Knee Syndrome...


Patrick
I know this thread is super old but I just happened across it just poking around. Being that I have never owned a kicker before the Sportster I have now especially a mag ignition, this little gem was an awesome find! Really helped my bike start much easier!
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Old 4 Weeks Ago
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i noticed an error in the first post turning the magneto clockwise retards the spark,not counter clockwise.
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