Question about Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard Motorcycles

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87 fxst with screamin eagle ign module. When idleing timing retards and slows idle down to very slow chugging (galaping horse) sound. Turn up idle screw it will speed up to a faster chugging (galaping horse sound) then give a crank on the throttle and return to a too fast idle, wait a minute and magicly drops back down to the to slow galaping horse chug again. When it idles fast timing dot is in the hole and when it chugs the timing mark disappears and a line shows up in the hole(advanced rear cylinder mark). Voes is new and closes at 3 inof vacuum. tried pumping up voes to hold it in closed position and idle still does the same thing. I think some thing is the module is retarding the timing a low rpms.

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Well, to begin with, I don't think your Evo flywheel is marked with an "advanced rear cyl." mark. It has a Top Dead Center mark, another mark at 20°, and an "adv. front cyl". mark. The 20° mark is used by the dealership to set the timing. I don't know how they do this but I always use the Front Cylinder Advanced mark to time the engines. For a description of your timing marks, go to Crane Cams' site and look at their installation instructions for an HI-4 Ignition unit. Go to the last page (pg.8) of the instructions and it will show you what the timing marks look like. Here's the page:
http://www.cranecams.com/uploads/instructions/90003100a.pdf

Now, there is no telling what can happen with anything electronic but what I'd do is disconnect the VOES electrically. I wouldn't just pull the vacuum hose, I'd either disconnect the plug where it plugs into the ignition system or disconnect the ground to see if that makes a difference. This is just to rule out the VOES switch which I don't think is the problem.

I ran into this problem once before on a 1989 FLHTCU with the stock ignition unit on it. It would revert to "initial timing setting" when the engine was idling. It would roll the timing back to just before TDC (about 5° BTDC) whenever the engine would idle. I suspect the it was the engine speed sensing circuitry inside the unit that was bad. It didn't know the engine was running, just that the ignition switch was on. Since there is no real way to test the unit, we simply replaced the ignition system and the problem went away. Sorry I couldn't help you more.

Ride Safe
Steve

Posted on Apr 10, 2011

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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