Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Pans Timer Shaft Revolutions

Timer Shaft Revolutions

Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:23 am

Posts: 309
Location: Ohio
Can someone with a kickstart only panhead remove their timer cover and watch the timer shaft as they give the bike a good solid kick as though attempting to start it. I am courious if your timer shaft makes a complete turn or half turn or what? I'm attempting to chase down why I'm suddenly having to give it more than one kick lately to get it started. I know it could be many other things but I suspect its a lack of spark thing.

Mine is barely making a half a revolution and I suspect my clutch may be slipping a tad even though it does not feel as though it is slipping at the kick pedal. Just trying to eliminate a few things first before I get out the wrenches. Thanks -Steve

Post Thu Sep 27, 2007 2:09 pm

Posts: 202
Location: Middle England UK
Put chalk marks on clutch drum and inner.
Kick it a few times.If marks still line up it's not that,if they don't you have slip.

Post Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:17 am

Posts: 309
Location: Ohio
Thanks Dave.. Sometimes the simple way of doing things eludes me. I'll try your method this weekend.
Since my timer shaft is turning only 1/4 to 1/2 revolutions per kick, wouldn't that mean I'm only getting 1 chance of either the front or rear cylinder firing.? Maybe I'm not remembering correctly but I always thought that 1 kick should spin the crank 1-1/2 revs giving me 2 chances for the engine to fire up.? -Steve

Post Fri Sep 28, 2007 12:01 pm

Posts: 646
Location: Detroit
It's a little early in the day for me to think this one through but remember that with a single point both plugs fire at the same time. One will go on a compression stroke (and hopefully spark) and the other will go harmlessly on an exhaust stroke.

If you think you don't have spark at the points try this: Put your bike in the shade and take off the cover. Turn the engine over by hand until the points close. Turn on the ignition. Take your finger and separate/open the points. Your should see a spark at the points and also hear a slight "tink" sound as the plugs fire. It helps to make sure your bike is in neutral when you try this.

Alternatively, pull one or both plugs and hook the spark plug cables back up. Turn the ignition on. Hold one plug's curved electrode against the head away from the spark plug hole and have someone kick the bike over. If everything works you will see the plug(s) fire and hear an audible snap. Repeat this with the other plug on the other cylinder.

Again, using a sleepy brain, I suspect you have have a condensor starting to go south. Normally a bad condensor will allow one or both cylinders to fire once or twice and then die. The bike tries its best to start but just can't seem to make it happen. Very old gasoline in a bike that has not been run in a long time will cause the same problem.

However, -----------if the problem is your "one kick" bike is now a "two kick bike," count your blessings. Maybe the choke is slightly more open or closed, or you are holding the throttle more open or closed, etc., without realizing it. A "one kick" bike "becoming a "two kick" bike isn't much of a problem.
New Knuckleheads? Thank, you, Jesus!!

Post Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:14 am

Posts: 309
Location: Ohio
Thanks for all replys guys.
It turned out to be a low battery. First time I've ever had that happen. I'm a happy guy again.

Post Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:47 am

Posts: 377
Location: madison wisconsin usa
glad to hear you got it figured out steve!

i guess that is one of the advantages i find in having the dash lights operational, when you turn on the ignition you can tell right away if there is enough current present to attempt starting the bike.


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