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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 10th July 2013
totaldismay totaldismay is offline
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Default how do i time my 1971 sportster

i have a 71 sportster that im trying to time. there is a single dot and a line on the flywheel. i keep trying to time it off the line but it is either totally advanced or totally retarded when i do this. the only this that has changed is my points were gapped wrong so i re gapped them to .018 and this is what i have been coming up with this for timing
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Old 10th July 2013
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The same way you time most any Harley.

http://xlforum.net/vbportal/forums/s...d.php?t=231711
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  #3  
Old 11th July 2013
totaldismay totaldismay is offline
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that is the video i used for the results that i came up with
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Old 11th July 2013
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Ya can't assume that ya have the original flywheels in the cases. You need to determine TDC with a plastic straw through the sparkplug hole. Don't use a screwdriver or pencil or the like, trust me!. Then match up yer flywheel marks.

Are you timing with a light or static?

About the changed flywheels - my '76 Shovel has flywheels from a '38 ULH. Ya hafta verify if ya haven't owned the bike from new...
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Old 11th July 2013
totaldismay totaldismay is offline
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static timing. which cylinder do i want the piston to be at the top of
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  #6  
Old 11th July 2013
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front cyl.....compression stroke...( front intake will be closed, and you will feel* pressure blowing out of the spark plug hole )
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Old 11th July 2013
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You need to be running the engine at about 1800 to 2000 rpm when you use a timing light.
The reason being...... that rpm is needed to make the advance weights 'fly out' to the fully advanced position.
At that point the slash mark will appear in the timing hole using the light.

Also, your points gap should be set at .018 before you begin the timing exercise. A different gap will change the timing.
You can get the mark dead center if you want, but as long as the mark is seen anywhere inside the timing hole, the timing is close enough.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totaldismay View Post
i have a 71 sportster that im trying to time. there is a single dot and a line on the flywheel. i keep trying to time it off the line but it is either totally advanced or totally retarded when i do this. the only this that has changed is my points were gapped wrong so i re gapped them to .018 and this is what i have been coming up with this for timing
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  #8  
Old 11th July 2013
The Doctor71 The Doctor71 is offline
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+1 on what the others have said.......

The rest of this might be on the edge of too much info:

For a '71 with stock flywheels:
  • vertical bar → | ← = 45░ BTDC on front cyl
  • vertical bar → | ← also = TDC on rear cyl
  • single dot → • ← = TDC on front cyl
  • double vertical dot → : ← = 45░ BTDC on rear cyl
but only you can determine if you have a stock '71 flywheel.

With a typical dual fire coil & if you've done a great job setting the point gap & the timing, your timing light will show BOTH the vertical bar | and the double vertical dots : overlayed in the timing hole window...... aka they'll both appear to be in the window at the same time.
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Old 11th July 2013
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You probably know this, but you have to advance the points cam to full advance, to get it static timed correctly.
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Old 11th July 2013
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I use a small 12mm wrench to hold the points cam in the advanced position when checking timing.
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