Question about Harley Davidson Motorcycles

2 Answers

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

Posted by on


2 Answers

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points

    Top Expert:

    An expert who has finished #1 on the weekly Top 10 Fixya Experts Leaderboard.


    An expert that got 20 achievements.


    An expert that got 10 achievements.

  • Harley Davidson Master
  • 41,712 Answers

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

  • Level 3:

    An expert who has achieved level 3 by getting 1000 points


    An expert that got 10 achievements.


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert who has achieved Level 3.

  • Master
  • 503 Answers

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


1 Suggested Answer

  • 2 Answers

SOURCE: I have freestanding Series 8 dishwasher. Lately during the filling cycle water hammer is occurring. How can this be resolved

a 6ya expert can help you resolve that issue over the phone in a minute or two.
best thing about this new service is that you are never placed on hold and get to talk to real repairmen in the US.
the service is completely free and covers almost anything you can think of (from cars to computers, handyman, and even drones).
click here to download the app (for users in the US for now) and get all the help you need.

Posted on Jan 02, 2017

Add Your Answer

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add



Related Questions:

1 Answer

1971 FLH w/80 in. shovelhead. Why is it running lean on the rear cylinder and is very hard to start as a result?

Hi, Adam based on your info my first guess would be your main jet is too small but the lean rear cylinder would not cause a hard start situation you may have a weak battery or a faulty starter I am sorry you can't find the first and best tool you ever bought for your Harley Davidson but despair not for a mere $10 you can download another one. For more information about your issue, please visit the websites below, and for specific information or questions, please feel free to contact me at Good luck and have a nice day.How to diagnose and recognise starter motor problems Carb Jetting and Tuning Super Carburetor
Harley Davidson Manuals Mark Workshop

Dec 22, 2015 | Harley Davidson Motorcycles

1 Answer

Looking for wiring diagram for aa 1976 harley superglide 1200 shovelhead

I had a 1977 FLH, I still have the workshop manual, probably covers that model. What's the model? FL, FLH, FXE?

Oct 04, 2014 | Harley Davidson Motorcycles

1 Answer


Hi Anonymous, this question has already been asked and answered. Thank you

Dec 14, 2013 | 2005 Harley Davidson XL 1200 R Sporster...

1 Answer

Installing time gears on FLH 1200 harley davidson

Hi Anonymous, for more information on your question please visit the websites below and good luck:
picture of shovel head cam timing marks Google Search

Sep 03, 2012 | 2003 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Adjustment of pushrods 1983 flh 1340 harley-davidson

Hi Tombriggs23, for more information about your question please visit the websites below. Good luck and have nice day.
Part 9 How to install Adjustable Pushrods Harley Davidson EVO Jims Revtech

Jul 21, 2012 | Harley Davidson FLHT Electra Glide...

1 Answer

I installed a new shift arm/kickstand plate and now my kickstand flops around with the bike on the jack and the spring installed? thus is a 1970 flh electra glide. what did i miss? it came apart so easy i...

The plate that the spring goes on is on the front two bolts of the kickstand, not the rear. If you didn't change any of the kickstand parts, it should be exactly like it was before. I'd advise looking at a picture or another bike and making sure you have the kickstand assembled correctly.

Good Luck

Apr 05, 2011 | 2005 Harley Davidson FLSTF - FLSTFI Fat...

1 Answer

Need manual and scamatics for 1971 harley flh

Your best bet for free info is google images, type in what your looking for (be very detailed) and search through until you see what you need, it could take a bit!! Another helpful resource is they have a wide variety on their site! Good luck!

Feb 26, 2010 | 2000 Harley Davidson XL 1200 C Sportster...

1 Answer

Speedometer cable removale on 1981 FLH

I believe it has to be remove from the front wheel hub end. Front wheel has to be pulled to access the drive.

Jun 16, 2009 | 2005 Harley Davidson XL 1200 R Sporster...

2 Answers

I need a parts list for a 1966 Harley Davidson Electra Glide.

try this site...

goodluck, edbiggs

Feb 28, 2009 | Harley Davidson FLHTC - FLHTCI Electra...

Not finding what you are looking for?
Motorcycles Logo

Related Topics:

76 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Harley Davidson Experts

Arnie Burke
Arnie Burke

Level 3 Expert

4521 Answers


Level 3 Expert

4339 Answers


Level 3 Expert

76109 Answers

Are you a Harley Davidson Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides