How To Set Timing On A 1979 Harley Davidson
Learning how to set timing on a 1979 Harley Davidson is essential information to help the serious biker quickly recognize a minor problem, and correct it before it turns into a major repair job.
Signs that a timing adjustment is needed are engine knocking, lack of power, and pinging or pinking sound. The 1979 Harley Davidson is equipped with an electronic ignition, two-stroke, V2 engine. When the timing has gone awry on this model year, more than likely the origin is related to the combustion of the air and fuel mixture. To set timing on a 1979 Harley Davidson set aside two hours, gather tools, and get to work.
To set time, you will need:
- Your Harley’s service manual
- Inductive timing lighting
- Hex socket tool to fit timing mark view plug
- Timing mark view plug
- Locate the hex socket on the crankcase and remove timing plug, and set aside.
- Thread timing mark view plug into timing inspection hole. Do not touch the flywheel.
- Find the Top Dead Center mark (TDC) on the flywheel. The TDC pinpoints the piston at its apex during the compression stroke.
- Connect the three leads of inductive timing light as follows: (1) to front spark plug cable, (2) to battery positive terminal, (3) and ground the remaining lead.
- Before proceeding to the next step make certain vacuum hose is correctly installed and securely connected at carburetor and at vacuum–operated electric switch (V.O.E.S.).
- Start engine. Let engine warm up to normal operating temperature with the enrichener knob pulled out, and as the engine warms up the idle speed will increase. Note: remember to push the enrichener knob all the way in once engine is at normal operating temperature.
- Once the engine warms up to normal temperature, set engine by turning idle adjustment screw clockwise to increase speed or counterclockwise to decrease speed. Idle speed for California models 1150-1250 RPM, and 950-1050 RPM for all other models
- Aim timing light into timing inspection hole. Timing light will flash each time ignition sparks. Confirm that when light flashes, the flywheel as turned and that the advance timing mark is aligned with the timing light.
- Set engine slow idle speed with engine running at normal operating temperature, and the enrichener control knob pushed in fully. Now adjust the idle adjustment screw—turn it clockwise to increase speed, and counterclockwise to decrease speed.
- Reinstall hex socket timing plug.
And there you have it, complete instructions on how to set timing on a 1979 Harley Davidson. Now, hop on, turn on the ignition, and head for the open road.