Question about 1979 Harley Davidson XLS 1000

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Were points are located and how to change points on 1974 harley s

New coil and still no fire to plugs

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1979 Sportsters were electronic no points unless they were changed during the life of the bike.
If it is points they are located on the right side of the motor under the little round plate.Points set @ .018 with the piston a TDC.Either use a screw driver in the plug hole or take the timing plug out and set the flywheel mark ( the line or the dot)inthe center of the hole.Set points.If you cant find the marks or the hole take it to a shop

Posted on Dec 27, 2008

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Hi! Not knowing what year your H.D. is? and also not knowing whether electronic ignition or Points? Have you taken a look behind the aluminium round plate With Harley Davidson or H.D. on it usually located on the right side of the engine (as you sit on the bike) By the base if the front Cylinder.
If points check/adjust gap, if Electronic? ignition module may need replacing.
Failing all this try new plugs and leads?
Good Luck! I hope this sorts your problem? if so press FixYa blue button.
Merry Christmas!
Paul 'W'

Posted on Dec 18, 2008


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I have a 1974 harley I can't get it to fire. One port on the coil (bottom) has real slight fire. The top nothing? fxt lowrider

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Wiring harness 1974 sportster???

I am assuming your bike is stock, or close to it. In 1974, all h-d's used a battery coil ignition with wasted spark. Battery positive flows from the ignition switch to the coil, through the coil primary winding to the points, then open or shorted to negative (through the chassis) depending on the points being open or closed. When the engine is turning over, this is what happens: The small cam that operates the points has the points in the closed position, so battery current is flowing through the coil primary, through the closed points to negative. This causes the primary winding inside the coil to set up a magnetic field. When the cam starts to open the points, the current tries to bridge the gap. If we let this happen, the big arc between the point surfaces would burn up in a hurry, and the plugs would not fire for the following reason: The ignition coil is a transformer. It has a primary and secondary winding.The secondary winding has many more turns of wire than the primary. When the secondary winding "cuts" magnetic lines of force a larger voltage is induced in the secondary. In the case on your sporty, we are boosting 12 volts to over 10,000 volts. This depends on 2 things: The number of lines of force and the speed they are cut. So, when the points just start to open, the condenser absorbes the current until the points are open enough to prevent arcing. Then the current flow through the primary winding stops. The magnetic field quickly collapses, cutting through the secondary windings that are connected to the spark plugs. The resulting high voltage (pressure) Jumps the gap on both plugs and lights the fire. One of the cylinders is on the exhaust stroke so that spark is wasted. So: ignition on : 12v at coil positive. With points closed, 0 volts at coil negative. If you read voltage here, the points are dirty or open or the wire from the coil to the points is open. Points open: 12 volts at coil negative. To check for spark, you don't have to crank the engine. Just manually opening the points should fire the plugs. After you get the plugs firing, post again and I will tell you how to razor tune this thing. It should start instantly with a perfect idle. Hope this is clear.

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