The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM®
 

Go Back   The Sportster and Buell Motorcycle Forum - The XLFORUM® > SPORTSTER MOTORCYCLE FORUM > Sportster Motorcycle Era Specific and Model Specific > Ironhead Sportster Motorcycle Talk (1957-1985)
XLF Blogs XLF Arcade XLF Disclaimer/Privacy Statement/Terms Of Use

Notices

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

Active Threads
0 Keep & Kill
Last Post: Crusty
Posted On: 6 Minutes Ago
Replies: 27,033
Views: 1,565,352
4 Sportster ignition/vacuum/carb/fuel/electrical issues?
Last Post: Iron Mike
Posted On: 37 Minutes Ago
Replies: 4
Views: 36
0 carb needle replacement procedure
Last Post: Jeffmazz
Posted On: 55 Minutes Ago
Replies: 0
Views: 18
0 Seeking info on IH drag bike
Last Post: needspeed
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 22
Views: 1,491
0 What did you do for your sporty Today?
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 7,889
Views: 1,372,078
0 Your Riding Thoughts & Attitudes
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 26
Views: 1,744
0 Official XL Forum Random Image Thread (NO NUDITY!)
Last Post: Graywolf
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 53,092
Views: 8,995,869
0 Getting old is a bitch!
Last Post: rejeanprimeau
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 38
Views: 8,189
0 Allegheny National Park III
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 1 Hour Ago
Replies: 105
Views: 7,553
0 Sportster S on the dyno
Last Post: Fivecats
Posted On: 2 Hours Ago
Replies: 8
Views: 1,447
5 Removing primary engine sprocket nut with heat gun, special caution needed?
Last Post: Ferrous Head
Posted On: 2 Hours Ago
Replies: 37
Views: 1,432
0 Roads I'd like to ride.
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 2 Hours Ago
Replies: 3,747
Views: 444,174
0 Hottie of the day, no nudity.
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 2 Hours Ago
Replies: 34,142
Views: 4,122,531
0 1967 on FaceBook. Florida.
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 3 Hours Ago
Replies: 4
Views: 136
0 04 Sportster refurb and build.
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 3 Hours Ago
Replies: 124
Views: 9,622
0 Tank flush
Last Post: RandallM
Posted On: 4 Hours Ago
Replies: 0
Views: 37
0 Upside Down Monoshock IH - A Longterm Project
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 7 Hours Ago
Replies: 345
Views: 76,547
0 VOES issues? Adjustments needed?
Last Post: Tomcatt
Posted On: 7 Hours Ago
Replies: 18
Views: 629
0 Hot Chicks on Hot Bikes
Last Post: sportsterpaul
Posted On: 7 Hours Ago
Replies: 12,750
Views: 3,084,983
0 High beam not working
Last Post: joe s
Posted On: 8 Hours Ago
Replies: 14
Views: 488
5 Best way to ship large parts?
Last Post: John Harper
Posted On: 8 Hours Ago
Replies: 6
Views: 189
0 who has NOT had problems with the XL
Last Post: 84rzv500r
Posted On: 8 Hours Ago
Replies: 778
Views: 228,007
0 My new deer rifle
Last Post: Whitewalls
Posted On: 9 Hours Ago
Replies: 11
Views: 204
0 1995 Manual
Last Post: bustert
Posted On: 10 Hours Ago
Replies: 10
Views: 314
0 Hot Rods, Rat Rods, and Customs.
Last Post: Stairman
Posted On: 10 Hours Ago
Replies: 4,959
Views: 1,021,342
0 Iree's late night cafe
Last Post: rokytnji
Posted On: 11 Hours Ago
Replies: 2,230
Views: 402,252
0 re rocker arm cover spewing out oil
Last Post: jeffro57
Posted On: 11 Hours Ago
Replies: 13
Views: 877
0 Massachusetts 2022
Last Post: Maxeffort
Posted On: 12 Hours Ago
Replies: 49
Views: 1,919
0 video & pics
Last Post: cal43
Posted On: 12 Hours Ago
Replies: 812
Views: 85,412
0 This is gonna hurt.
Last Post: cal43
Posted On: 12 Hours Ago
Replies: 9,278
Views: 2,191,277
More...
Members Birthdays
77xlch, buell_fxr (76), Danny (65), Wino (53), mucas859a (48), no_chrome (47), USMC_Davii (45), dijitaldna (40), 08nightmare
Reply
 
Share Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 23rd October 2009
IronMick's Avatar
IronMick IronMick is online now
Rider Of The Iron Steed
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N6C 1N3
Posts: 32,756
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1978
Reputation: 1438693
IronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond reputeIronMick has a reputation beyond repute
Default Setting Timing, 1964 & Earlier Mag

Question ...
I have a 1960 XLCH Kick Start only Ironhead. The damn thing nearly broke my leg trying to start it. I am under the understanding that this could be caused by the timing being advanced. How do you set the timing on an 1960 XLCH ironhead?

Answer by PinionGear ...

On 1964 and earlier (yours) models the magneto is mounted in a fixed position to produce advanced spark timing only. Later than 1964 the spark timing could be retarded for starting.

So live with the advanced timing as there is nothing you can do about it. Simpler system with less parts is the way to view it.

To set the ignition timing follow these steps:
Set the spark plug gap at .020 on each plug.
Remove the 4 screws and remove the Bakelite cap from the magneto.
Set the points gap at .015.

A note is in order here:
The ignition cam in the magneto has 2 lobes. The sharp lobe is for the front cylinder.
The wider rounded lobe is for the rear cylinder.
I always prefer to set the .015 gap with the sharp lobe (front cylinder) raising the points foot to open the points.

After doing that, rotate the engine forward and measure the gap at the other lobe (more rounded lobe-rear cylinder). This gap needs to be a maximum of .004 from that which you just set at .015.
Under .004 is better and more than .004 difference means you have a problem, which I will not get into here to keep this as simple as possible.

Next step.....Here we go......

There are 2 bolts on the base of the magneto that hold it in place. Loosen both bolts so the mag can be rotated clockwise and counterclockwise.

Next, remove the plug for the timing hole on the left side of the engine, located just below the cylinder bases.

Next, collapse the pushrod cover of the front intake valve. Raise the cover up so you can see the lifter. (Hold the cover in place with a rubber band and a couple of bent paper clips.)

Next, Remove both spark plugs and raise the bike's rear wheel off the ground. Put the gearbox into 4th gear. We will be using the rear wheel to turn over the engine as it gives the best control. If you want to do this instead using the kick start lever, that will work too. Just not as much control. Either case though..... remove both spark plugs.

Next, rotate the engine forward slowly. Watch the front intake lifter. It will rise and then come down. When it has just hit bottom, the piston will now be coming up on the compression stroke.
Continue turning the engine very slowly (less that a half revolution) and watch the timing hole. You are looking for the slash mark to appear.

*Next, get that (slash) timing mark dead center in the hole. (See notation below)
Look at the base of the magneto and make sure the factory timing marks on the mag base and the case are lined up.
What you should see at this point is the narrow cam lobe (front cylinder) should be CCW from the point's foot, and the points should be 'just opening.' If they are clearly open more than 'just' or they are not open at all, then you need to rotate the magneto either CCW or CW. It is best to use a continuity light to see if the points are open. Then adjust the mag by rotating it so the light goes on/goes out.
In the old days before lights we used to use cellophane paper from a cigarette pack to determine when the points were starting to open. But the cellophane is about .002 inches thick so it was not accurate but it was all we had at the time.

If you want to use the light and need to know how to hook it up just ask and I can give you the instructions.

Now, if this procedure results in you not being able to rotate the mag far enough to obtain the 'just beginning to open' points, let me know. Or, if the mag's correct position leaves interference with the carb.
This can happen if the mag has been removed or slipped teeth etc. If your machine has been running then that will not be the case.

*Notation: Always rotate the engine in the forward direction. Do not go past the mark and then back up the engine to line up the mark.
You will need to rotate it fully forward and catch the next time the intake valve closes and the mark comes up to the center of the hole.

Hope this has been clear enough to understand. This is the way the timing is adjusted on a magneto equipped 1960 XLCH.
One final note on the mag:
Do not disturb the 3/8 inch safety air gap that is between the copper tabs on the mag and the Bakelite cover when it is in place. What I am trying to say here is do not bend these two tabs.
If the gap gets messed up, it will take a sacrifical cap to reset the 3/8 air inch gap correctly and I am betting you do not own a spare magneto cap..

Put the magneto cover back on, pushrod cover back in place, install both spark plugs, install the timing hole plug, and you should be set to go.

pg
Rolling down the highway on two wheels since 1957...
Owner Red/White 1971 XLCH & 2003 FXDL-Silver over Black
__________________
Mick
IronHead Forever!

Visit Mick's WebSite
[And Check Out My Autobiog]

Last edited by IronMick; 15th February 2011 at 14:49..
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 23rd October 2009
lucky23's Avatar
lucky23 lucky23 is offline
Senior Chief Know It All 2nd Class
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 1,482
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1975
Reputation: 37382
lucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to behold
Default

Just what I was looking for. Thanks for posting!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 23rd October 2009
GA_Ironhead GA_Ironhead is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 5,560
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1962
Reputation: 353179
GA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond repute
Default

I'll add that when you use a continuity tester or an ohm-meter to determine the point opening, the wire from the points to the primary coil windings must be disconnected. Otherwise, you'll always have continuity through the coil.

Also, the wheels should only be turned in the direction of normal rotation when finding the timing mark. This pre-loads the gears and accounts for gear lash that could affect timing.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 23rd October 2009
joestuff's Avatar
joestuff joestuff is offline
Senior Chief Know It All 1st Class
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,156
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH, restored
Sportster/Buell Year: 1962
Sportster/Buell Model #2: XLH, period hotrod basket
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 1961
Other Motorcycle Model: FXDXT (T-sport)
Other Motorcycle Year: 2002
Reputation: 2223
joestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the roughjoestuff is a jewel in the rough
Default

Mick, look at this thread, the response by thefrenchowl. Pretty much the same on timing, but good info on kicking mag bikes.

http://xlforum.net/forums/s...magneto+timing

Kicking back is yes, to advanced, or if it is getting flooded it can do it also. I have used the paper trick to get it running, then a timing light to set it, but next time I'm going with the continuity tester...
__________________
Gone are the days we stopped to decide, where to go, we just ride...
-Ironhorse of the Hell's Beerguts MC.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 27th October 2009
lucky23's Avatar
lucky23 lucky23 is offline
Senior Chief Know It All 2nd Class
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 1,482
Sportster/Buell Model: XLH 1000
Sportster/Buell Year: 1975
Reputation: 37382
lucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to beholdlucky23 is a splendid one to behold
Default

dumb question, but if you remove the mag and reinstall it, do you have to have the timing mark showing in the window and have the mag shaft in a certain position before you reinsert it into the engine?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 27th October 2009
GA_Ironhead GA_Ironhead is offline
Senior Master Custom Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Athens, GA
Posts: 5,560
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 1962
Reputation: 353179
GA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond reputeGA_Ironhead has a reputation beyond repute
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by lucky23 View Post
... if you remove the mag and reinstall it, do you have to have the timing mark showing in the window and have the mag shaft in a certain position before you reinsert it into the engine?
Yes. The reason being is that you are setting the point opening at 45° BTDC. That means you need the line centered in the window and the points snapping open exactly at that point.

And no. Theoretically, if you have the timing set correctly you can mark the position of the mag, exactly, remove the mag and reinstall to the marks you made before removal.

Me, I'd do it the way I describe in the first scenario. I'd rather know it's right, rather than hope it went back to the correct spot. A mag Sportster has it's own set of issues getting started. Poor timing doesn't need to be one of them.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 4th January 2010
aablacknight's Avatar
aablacknight aablacknight is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Fort Worth, TX
Posts: 55
Sportster/Buell Model: XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year: 60
Reputation: 395
aablacknight is on a distinguished roadaablacknight is on a distinguished roadaablacknight is on a distinguished roadaablacknight is on a distinguished road
Default

thanks
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12th September 2011
dutch385 dutch385 is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 24
Sportster/Buell Model: xlch
Sportster/Buell Year: 1959
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1951 Pan
Other Motorcycle Model: 1963 triumph bonni
Other Motorcycle Year: 2005
Reputation: 10
dutch385 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default

Ok.. front lobe is at .015,, but the rear lobe is way more than .004 which is a problem you say - now what??? I believe the rear lobe is at like a .013 or .014 as well..
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12th September 2011
dutch385 dutch385 is offline
Biker
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 24
Sportster/Buell Model: xlch
Sportster/Buell Year: 1959
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 1951 Pan
Other Motorcycle Model: 1963 triumph bonni
Other Motorcycle Year: 2005
Reputation: 10
dutch385 is an unknown quantity at this point
Default rear point lobe more than .004 (59' iron/mag)

setting the points.. front lobe is .015 but rear lobe like a .014 - NOW WHAT??
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12th September 2011
66xlch 66xlch is offline
Master Bike Builder
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: SOCAL
Posts: 2,072
Sportster/Buell Model: xlch
Sportster/Buell Year: 66
Sportster/Buell Model #2: 67 XLH, 63 XLCH
Sportster/Buell Year #2: 67
Other Motorcycle Model: FXRT
Other Motorcycle Year: 91
Reputation: 1931
66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about66xlch has a spectacular aura about
Default

It's not adjustable (like it is on '70-up points). Split the difference.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT +1. The time now is 02:14.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
XL Forum® - Linson Media LLC