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timing a shovelhead

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Old Oct 15th, 2008, 10:07 PM     #1
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timing a shovelhead

have a 78 shovel that turns over but will not start, thinking the timing is off. have power to the coil and to the pulgs. how do you set it to were it will start or am i looking in the wrong direction.
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Old Oct 15th, 2008, 11:30 PM     #2
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Re: timing a shovelhead

Battery in good shape??? getting the right amps/ohms every where??
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Old Oct 16th, 2008, 06:35 AM     #3
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Re: timing a shovelhead

Was it runing before? The timing plug is on the primary side of the case.
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Old Oct 16th, 2008, 09:40 PM     #4
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Re: timing a shovelhead

One of the problems with older bikes is how much of it is no longer stock. Does you bike have a points ignition or electronic? Do you have a shop manual? If not get one and read it closely. You say it turns over and has spark at the plugs. Do you have gas in the tank? Does the accelarator pump work? Are the points if you have them pitted? Read the manual and write back. You will get help here. Fossil
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 02:11 PM     #5
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Re: timing a shovelhead

not sure my other one will post so trying it again. the bike started after sitting for a year and started puking oil out the engine vent. removed oil pump cleaned and replaced keys reinstalled and primed. check the screen on the engine and cleaned and reinstalled. installed a new battery and it pulled it down will sitting for a week. ruined the battery so replaced it. has been changed to elerontic so no points. have a old cylmer book, but not much help. turns over and choking it by hand so i know its getting fuel. pulled plugs and they are wet with gas. firing thru the plugs. also firing from coil to plugs. engine went dead before i removed the oil pump and wouldn't restart. now it still won't start. not sure if the timing is off for it not to start or if the short has anything to do with it. any ideals??
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 07:04 PM     #6
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Re: timing a shovelhead

Quote: Originally Posted by winkles117 View Post
not sure my other one will post so trying it again. the bike started after sitting for a year and started puking oil out the engine vent. removed oil pump cleaned and replaced keys reinstalled and primed. check the screen on the engine and cleaned and reinstalled. installed a new battery and it pulled it down will sitting for a week. ruined the battery so replaced it. has been changed to elerontic so no points. have a old cylmer book, but not much help. turns over and choking it by hand so i know its getting fuel. pulled plugs and they are wet with gas. firing thru the plugs. also firing from coil to plugs. engine went dead before i removed the oil pump and wouldn't restart. now it still won't start. not sure if the timing is off for it not to start or if the short has anything to do with it. any ideals??
Did you have the cam cover off? Did you do any work near the cam cover at all? Check the wiring coming from the ignition plate. Some electronic ignitions have static timing lights. Do you know who the manufacture is the ignition is? The 78's were all points (some one correct me if I'm wrong). So the ignition is aftermarket. find the manufactures name and model name go to their website. They probably have a manual online.

You say your getting spark at the plugs, correct? If your plugs are wet, it sounds like it flooded. Also, since it sat for a year, did you drain the gas and replace it with fresh?

If you didn't do any work inside the cam cover, you should not have to time the bike. If it will not run, you will not to try and static time it. If it was points, I could help ya. But with electronics, I can't.
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Old Mar 15th, 2009, 02:00 AM     #7
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Re: timing a shovelhead

You have spark and fuel, but do you have compression? Re-adjust PRs and static time your bike. What electronic ignition are you running? Make sure all wires are clean and tight. Have fresh gas.

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Old Mar 23rd, 2009, 03:36 PM     #8
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Re: timing a shovelhead

when you have a BOTTOM BREATHER MOTOR AND THEY SIT THEY WILL SUMP THE OIL OUT OF THE CASES YOU REALLEY DIDN,T NEED TO PULL THE PUMP DOWN KNOW TEAR DOWN THE CARB AND CLEAN ALL THE JETS MAKE SURE YOU CAN SEE THROUGH THEM THE PRIMARY JET IS MOST LIKLEY BLOCKED,JEL
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Old Apr 2nd, 2009, 12:32 AM     #9
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Re: timing a shovelhead

If your puking oil out the vent, it could be the check ball in the oil pump is stuck open(a common problem with shovels that have set a long time). The starting problems could be anyone of the things that have been mentioned on this thread.
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Old May 30th, 2009, 11:05 PM     #10
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Re: timing a shovelhead

It could be an ignition coil that is weak. It will still give spark but the bike wont start.
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