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Setting timing problems

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by XS650D, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. XS650D

    XS650D XS650 Junkie

    I tried a 12 volt light tester that i did a quik test on battery and know works,as per manual i set points to spec then proceded to adjust timing that was way off.I attached neg to a good ground and other lead to right side point were small bolt is.I turn on the key and turn crank counter clockwise slowly to when points start to open and cheak alignment marks ,problem is the light will not light up regardless weather points open or closed,if i use a tester and set to ohms it will register a reading once points start to open.why will the light tester not work this way,am i doing something wrong,i also have the weights proped closed on the manual advance while doing this.Please advise thx
  2. XS650D

    XS650D XS650 Junkie

    Sor,ry meant to say set tester to DCV 20.and got a reading soon as points opened,but 12 volt light will not work ,strange.I found that with a magnifying gla i can get it just as close with no light or tester,probably not correct but it got me pretty dam close.
  3. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    It really doesn't matter how carefully you set the points, with the engine not running. Its just a rough setting so the engine will start and idle. The only accurate way to set the points timing, is to use a timing light.
  4. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    A good mystery.

    If the bulb in the light tester is a hi-wattage bulb, it may not be getting enough current to illuminate. For example, a 27 watt bulb in a 12v circuit will draw 2.3 amps, and appear to have a 5.3 ohm resistance. If that current has to first go through a 5-6 ohm ignition coil (in series), then the voltage to the bulb is reduced by about a half. Many 12v bulbs don't illuminate very well at 6v.
  5. pamcopete

    pamcopete Ride.Enjoy.Life is Simple


    That is probably what is happening, so he can just connect the wire lead from the test light to battery instead of ground and the light will go out when the points open.
  6. XS650D

    XS650D XS650 Junkie

    Pamcopete,not sure what u mean,i did have the new for test light attached to battery ground when doiny this,am i missing something? What if i disconnected the coil wires will it work then or will i not be connecting the circuit.I guess i could buy a proper timing light and learn how to use it,does not mention this in manual just says to use a buzz box or a current tester for setting timing.Guess i could install a smaller watt bulb in my light about 12 watts have to cheak and see what size is in there.
  7. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I think what Pete is saying is to connect your test light between the screw on the points and the battery positive. The opening and closing of the points will act as the ground. I use a small instrument panel bulb and socket. I think they're like 3.4 watts or something. It's always worked well clipped to the points screw and grounded to a cylinder fin.
  8. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    There's two ways to connect a test light, without disturbing the wiring or disconnecting things.

    Connect one end to the point terminal, other to ground. Current to the bulb must come through the coil. This confirms that the coil is receiving power, but requires a low wattage bulb.

    Connect one end to the point terminal, other to battery positive. The tester bulb receives full 12v power, the point just serves as the switch. Ignition does not have to be turned on for this method.
  9. XS650D

    XS650D XS650 Junkie

    Thx guys,thats the info i was looking for,this site is great and so is the bike,glad i sold the harley and got a xs650,just about got er dialed in now,some front fork work to stiffen things up and its picture time for everyone.:
  10. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The easiest way to do the rough setting of the timing, is to use an analog VOM on the lowest ohm setting. No power from the battery and no decision on bulb wattage. Just connect the meter leads across the points..............very simple.

    As I mentioned before, you will have to buy (or borrow) a timing light. A static timing is not accurate. Timing is only accurate with the engine running, using a timing (strobe) light. You must check that you're not going past the full advance mark at high rpms.
  11. XS650D

    XS650D XS650 Junkie

    Got a smaller watt bulb 4.5 watts and it not works,set points,adjusted timing on both sides,right side first then cheaked advance as per manual and its dead on now,yes im sure a proper timing light will get me closer but Clymer manual dosent state anything about it,strange.The timing was waaaaay off ,like an inch at least past the mark,not sure what that means,running hotter or colder BUT the bike runs so much better,it dosent feel like the same bike,my top end is back which was terrible before,very flat,now the bottom is up to 4 grand is a bit flat but still good,need to rejet AGAIN after setting everything up with bad timing,pods and after market pipes.Think im a little rich on the bottom end but not much,will do a plug chop,may have to shim the needle a half size leaner,my pilots r up one size from stock as well as my mains,on top end over 5 grand did a plug chop and smoke ring at bottom of procelin,goin out not to ride ride around at under 4 grand for a few miles and cheak lower side of mix.
  12. XS650D

    XS650D XS650 Junkie

    Sorry meant to say smaller bulb works

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