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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 1 Week Ago
Len PA Len PA is offline
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Default points cam

I am having trouble keeping the same points gap on both lobes of the points cam on my 71 sportster. The best I can do is 22 on the big lobe(rear cylinder) and 18 on the small lobe (front cylinder). The bike runs fine and I am reluctant to mess with it. Just wondering if any one else has come across this. I am using the later style points cam pt. 32542-70A replacing pt. 32542-70.
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The Doctor71 The Doctor71 is offline
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You've had this bike since 1971.... so has it always been this way ? Probably not, but I had to ask.

Anyway, certainly sounds like something is running non-concentric. But what ?

I have not had that problem on either my '71 or '74. If I did, where would I start ?
  • first, I'd ask myself a few questions:
    • so when did this problem first raise its head ?
    • what changed ?
  • then I'd have a look at:
    • the long #10-32 mounting bolt / screw. Is it straight ? is the head square to the shank of the bolt ?
    • BOTH roll pins on the mechanical advance unit. Are they straight ? Does the backside roll pin hang up (aka fail to seat properly) on the notch in cam # 2 ?
    • is the long neck on the mechanical advance unit square to its base ?
  • is the narrow lobe on your points cam just wore out on that side ? (do you have access to a dial indicator?)
Or is there something else going on ?

Sorry Len, just questions, no answers.
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Len there is no way the bike runs "fine" with a worn out or improperly installed ignition advance unit. You can remove it inspect and re-install or install a new replacement in the comfort of your garage or on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. Procrastinating will only lead to inconvenience.
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Check the dowel pin.....really easy to press it in and have cam off kilter....
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Swamp Biker Swamp Biker is offline
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The 70-78 repair manual (section 5, last paragraph before coil section) says to loosen the bolt, push the assembly towards the widest gap then re-tighten the bolt. I've done this before and it took a few tries to get the gaps within limits.
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Cam bushing is probably worn. Seen this happen before where settings move around after being dialed in.


Might pull the weights and use a ice pick to see if it wiggles.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swamp Biker View Post
The 70-78 repair manual (section 5, last paragraph before coil section) says to loosen the bolt, push the assembly towards the widest gap then re-tighten the bolt. I've done this before and it took a few tries to get the gaps within limits.
Exactly!

Ive run into this issue with my '71. Do just like the above paragraph says until you get .018 gap on both lobes.
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A quick inspection of the ignition contact point itself is worth the minute. I had one where the contact just was not pressed properly into the contact arm. So there was visible play where there should have been none. And rough running because it was impossible to gap. Shoddy manufacturing.
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that is assuming that the install was not correct.if everything is as it should be then the adv will be shoulder to shoulder with the cam as they are both machined surfaces. can it be cocked, why sure but you can only go shoulder to shoulder so if it is so and you are off, something else is amiss. the actual lobe can be worn if high mileage.
make sure the unit is shoulder to shoulder and then remove lobe assy and check for run out. if she is straight, look to the lobe assy as was mentioned.
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