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Timing advance

Engine, Fuel and Exhaust

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Old Aug 14th, 2009, 07:38 AM     #1
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Timing advance

Hello eveyone, I have a 1998 Heritage softail.
Does anyone know which way to rotate the timing plate to advane the timing just a little? Looking at the plate, would it be clockwise or counter clockwise?

Thanks, Don
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 09:29 PM     #2
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Re: Timing advance

If you're going to adjust the timing do you and you're bike a favor,buy a manual and a timing light!!! Being an air cooled engine if you don't get it wright you can easily sieze it up!
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Old Aug 17th, 2009, 10:27 PM     #3
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Re: Timing advance

Look on the timing plate it will tell you.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 07:47 AM     #4
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Re: Timing advance

I do have the manual, timing light, and timing light plug and I have adjusted the timing accordingly.

I'm actually having a problem with dry fouling spark plugs. Let me start by saying the bike had a few mods done by the previous owner. S&S super E carb, python III pipes, mild cam, pingle pet cock, and single fire ignition to name a few. I've used both Harley plugs and NGK with the same results, after running through about one and a half tanks of good grade fuel, the plugs get black and sooty. I'm pretty sure I don't have a manifold leak, I did that test using WD40. I've adjusted the carb following S&S's instuctions, but the biggest improvment so far, has been going one size down on the intermediate jet.

This past weekend I readjusted the carb float level a little lower, so far so good.
I just thought advancing the timing a little might help. I didn't see the ADV behind the wires on the timing plate, thanks!

Anyway if anyone has any other thoughts on this problem, I'd love to hear.

Thanks, Don
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 08:12 AM     #5
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Re: Timing advance

Most plugs in these bikes will get a sooty deposit around the ring at the bottom of the threads on the shell. If you are getting soot on the tip and the insulator then that is a jetting problem and advancing the timing could cause other problems. You can get away with 1-2* above stock settings but any more could damage the engine.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 08:50 AM     #6
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Re: Timing advance

Glider,
I actually did go down two jet sizes on the intermediate, but that seem to be a little to lean. My next thought was going with the next hotter spark plug.
What are your thoughts on that?
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 08:52 AM     #7
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Re: Timing advance

Being an air cooled motor, I would stay away from the hotter plug and deal with the issue that is causing the problem. Have you worked on the accelerator pump and shorten the stroke? It's possible that the shot is too much for your jetting.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 11:02 AM     #8
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Re: Timing advance

Glider,
I have been playing with the accelerator pump as well, as per S&S instuctions. Right now it's set 1 3/4 turn out from seated.

The last thing I changed was the float level. S&S indicated that a too high float level could cause this type of problem. So, hopefully that will fix it. I didn't think the float level looked too high, but I lowered a little anyway. I then took it out for an open throttle ride to make sure it didn't starve for fuel. It seems to be ok.

As I said, this usually takes a tank or two of fuel before It happens again after I install a fresh set of plugs, I'll have to wait and see. I'll let you know if there is any improvment.

If you have any other thoughts, please let me know.

Thanks, Don
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 11:07 AM     #9
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Re: Timing advance

Best bet is ti do only one thing at a time and try it for a while otherwise you end up with a mis adjusted motor and will never know what the real problem was. Hope you are using a good grade of fuel and octane. The S&S carbs are good carbs but take a bit of work to set up properly.
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Old Aug 18th, 2009, 04:04 PM     #10
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Re: Timing advance

Make sure that the accellorator pump is clear if dirt(internal). If it doesnt seat right it may be causing the problem you are having.
Also make sure there is nothing binding where the lever connects to the accellerator pump.

There is also a small ball check and spring. Make sure its clean.
While your at it verify that the rubber diaphram has no tears.
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