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  #1  
Old 29th September 2022
retired retired is offline
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Default distributor

first time in along time on the forum; I had my 69 xlh on the lift table the other because its been running bad. I noticed with bike running that there was a spark at the bottom of the distributor where the bolts and clamp that hold it to the cam cover. It wasn;t sparking all the time but it was arking. I loosened the bolts slightly and it would spark from the bolts to the clamp. Can distributors short out?? Would that affect how the bike idles??
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  #2  
Old 29th September 2022
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sounds like a definite short to ground to me inside the ''timer''.H-D's term for your xlh ignition.open up the cover and look for insulated parts that are no longer insulating.
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  #3  
Old 30th September 2022
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does that unit use the safety gap in the cap?
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Old 30th September 2022
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The body of the timer is the return path from coil DC plus to earth/battery negative via ignition points...

If timer is ever so slightly loose, the DC plus will spark across to get to earth...

Patrick
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Old 30th September 2022
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bustert View Post
does that unit use the safety gap in the cap?
the magneto uses the 3/8''safety gap.
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Old 1st October 2022
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Does the xl use the same timer as a pan?

There is a spring in the bottom that was bad on the one I last fiddled with. It is like a big wavy washer and holds the two halfs of the adjustable timer together.
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  #7  
Old 6th October 2022
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The wire to the coil may be shorting against the body of the distributor were it exits. If not,, the unit is easy to disassemble and inspect.
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  #8  
Old 6th October 2022
Doc308 Doc308 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryder rick View Post
Does the xl use the same timer as a pan?

There is a spring in the bottom that was bad on the one I last fiddled with. It is like a big wavy washer and holds the two halfs of the adjustable timer together.
If his distributor is of the older manual advanced type, it would be the same. However, if this bike, a '69, has the model-appropriate automatic
advance type, that spring gadget is not there.
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