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Thread: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    Central New York State
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    39

    Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    My panhead was not running right - it started fine, but when I ride it and run through the gears, if I let off the gas, the engine "stumbles". It was also fouling plugs repeatedly. I suspected an ignition / timing issue, so I replaced the coil, removed, cleaned, and re-installed the points and replaced the condenser.

    I gapped the points to .022, and re-set the timing per the manual, but that is when I started to second guess myself.

    As a 1961, the bike should have the 2 sets of points, but at some point, my bike had a circuit breaker with single points installed. When I re-set the timing, I set it according to the single points instructions, but going back and re-reading the manual, setting the timing on a dual points set up, the flywheel timing mark is centered in the window, not to the side of the window, as the manual shows for a single points set up.

    So my question is - should I be setting the timing with the timing mark at the side of the window (like for a single points set up), or in the middle of the window (like for a dual points set up).

    My paranoid brain is telling me that because the bike was originally set up for dual points, I should be using the timing mark location that is used for dual points set up.

  2. #2

    Re: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    Read the instructions for a single point machine as that is what you now have.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central New York State
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    39

    Re: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    Quote Originally Posted by indianut View Post
    Read the instructions for a single point machine as that is what you now have.
    That's what I thought Indianut, thanks. I tend to overthink things and second guess myself too much.

  4. #4

    Re: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    My '61 had a similar situation. A single point timer and a flywheel with only a front cylinder full advance mark. I verified what mark I had with a degree wheel then noted the position for future reference.

    If there's any doubt, a simpler means of checking would be to accurately measure 7/16" BTC on the front cylinder. Look in the timing hole and that's exactly 35°. This will be your full advance timing mark irrespective of what timer you have.

  5. #5
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    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central New York State
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    Re: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    Quote Originally Posted by Excalibur View Post
    My '61 had a similar situation. A single point timer and a flywheel with only a front cylinder full advance mark. I verified what mark I had with a degree wheel then noted the position for future reference.

    If there's any doubt, a simpler means of checking would be to accurately measure 7/16" BTC on the front cylinder. Look in the timing hole and that's exactly 35°. This will be your full advance timing mark irrespective of what timer you have.
    Thanks Excalibur. What is BTC - before top cylinder ?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Bethesda, Ohio
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    367

    Re: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    Quote Originally Posted by North country View Post
    Thanks Excalibur. What is BTC - before top cylinder ?
    BTC= Before Top Center. BTDC= Before Top Dead Center, same thing...
    98 FLSTC TRIKE
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Central New York State
    Posts
    39

    Re: Timing for 1961 FL panhead

    Quote Originally Posted by 29Abone View Post
    BTC= Before Top Center. BTDC= Before Top Dead Center, same thing...
    Got it, Thanks

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