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How do i set my points on a 1971 harley davidson 1200 flh?

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Hi Scott, your going to need the bike in 4th gear and the rear wheel off the ground a little so you can manually turn the engine over with the spark plugs out if you don't have a kick starter. On the left side of the engine cases at top center you will find a plug that will give you access to the timing marks on the flywheel. Find the straight up and down line, this is the full advance timing mark. Spray some Brake Kleen on the mark to remove oil film and with some bright touch up paint cover the mark and surounding area in the hole, it makes it easier to find it with a timing light. Remove the mechanical advance mechanism behind the points held in place by the center bolt and inspect the roll pins for severe wear, inspect the advance weights, roll pins and springs for excessive wear and slop, weights should move freely in and out and not wobble. If advance mechanism apears worn out replace it, as it will severely affect your timing. Reinstall advance mechanism making sure locating pin on the back fits into the notch on the cam shaft. Tighten the center bolt to 80-100 inch lbs. Install timing plate with new points and condenser and stake it lightly in 3 places with an ice pick or sharp center punch. Install timing plate lock down screws untill they are one turn away from tight. Rotate engine untill rubbing block on points is on the big lobe of breaker cam. Adjust points to .018" with a flat blade feeler guage, or the thickness of a match book cover if you ever break down on the side of the road. Rotate engine to small lobe and check gap should be close to .018" plus or minus .002" if not take a flat punch and light hammer and tap the center bolt gently in the direction you want the points to move. Rotate the engine back to the large lobe and check gap, adjust accordingly. You may have to do this several times. You want both point gaps as even as possible. All this attention to detail will guarantee easy starting and smooth idle. With timing mark dead center in timing hole move timing plate with flat blade screw driver in timing plate adjuster slots untill the rubbing block on points just starts to open points on the large lobe of breaker cam. You can do this when your smallest feeler gauge starts to slide out of points or use a test light with the ignition switch on. Install your new Harley Davidson 3-4 spark plugs gapped at .030" with a little Anti-Sieze on the threads and tighten to 20 ft lbs. Attach new spark plug wires, replace timing plug half way, put bike back into nuetral and lower rear tire back to ground. Cover the lens of timing light with clear cellophane and a rubber band and connect to battery and front cylinder spark plug wire. This next part is best done with two people, start engine and check timing light for function. Before you remove timing plug position your head away from timing hole, be prepared for mild to heavy oil and air to come blowing out of timing hole, this is normal. You can purchase a clear plastic timing plug that screws into timing hole at your local dealer if you like. Run engine at 2,000 RPM and remove timing plug. Timing light should pick up your painted timing mark. If you don't see painted section have your assistant move the timing plate a little either clockwise or counter clockwise until paint mark comes into view. You want the straight line timing mark dead center in hole. If you see a small dot at bottom of hole that is the rear cylinder advance timing mark. They may or may not overlap, if they do your timing is dead nuts perfect. If they do not don't worry about it. Tighten timing plate screws and your good to go. Thus ends my novel on war and Harleys, there is a video below that may assist you in your fun with timing an old shovel. Good luck
Ironhead Sportster points and timing

Posted on May 02, 2015

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Hi check the timing marks on the crank/flywheel when the (F) mark appears for front cyl the points should be just opening. It's the same for the rear cyl you can fine tune with a timing light if you can get one otherwise this method will be enough to get it to run. Regards Jim...

Posted on May 02, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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