View Full Version : Newbie Timing(?) Help

09-16-2009, 10:19 PM
So I just picked up my first bike recently, a 1979 bonneville 750, which happened to break down 70 miles into my first ride...anyway it looked like the stock lucas ignition crapped out on me, so I ordered and installed a new Boyer MKIV electronic ignition today, and was wondering if anyone here had a good method for setting the stationary timing so I can get this thing kicking. She let out a small 2-3 second roar like she was about to fire up, but then just didn't, so I'm assuming it's the timing??

Here's how I'm checking:

I pull out the sparkplug on the right side to approximate for TDC on the pistons, feeling around with a screwdriver. Then I went to the dial inside the left side crank case right next to the clutch lever, and I saw two markings on the dial as i moved the engine:

A little indented dot,

and a plate with a line going through it

I feel like the dot is TDC, and the line is the 38 degree mark before TDC, the one i have to align that little marker with. Just want to verify if I'm correct in this. From what I've been reading I think i might be, but I'm never too sure with these things, hah.

Also anyone who's had experience with the MKIV kit, do I set the magnetic rotor behind the strator plate to clockwise or counter clockwise for the bonnie? I alraedy watched the youtube clip of the dude who fit his mk3 into his 73 bonnie, but i was wondering if it was any different for the mkIV and the 1979 one.

Thanks guys

09-16-2009, 11:07 PM
Ok, first off. You should be setting the timing to 38 degrees BEFORE TDC....NOT at Top Dead Center.

Here's how I do this:

Step one:

Lift the rear wheel off the ground. Why? Because it'll make it easier for you to rotate the motor.

I use a timing tool (Tyler at http://www.lowbrowcustoms.com sells them) and the hole in the case behind the barrel. Don't have a Timing tool? Ok, you can use a long thin screwdriver (or thin paintbrush but you'll need to be super careful)

Step 2:

There are two slots in the flywheel. One is at TDC and the other is the timing mark (38 BDTC).

First, you need to rotate the motor until your tool, (or brush/screwdriver/whatever) drops down into the first slot. I SAID CAREFULLY! If you jam a wooden dowel or whatever in there and it breaks you're boned! (This is why I use the timing tool) This is TDC. NOW you can look over at your timing marks on the stator and see which one lines up with that marker on the primary cover.

Step 3:

Put the bike in gear and rotate the rear wheel backwards to find the 38 Before TDC slot. Again, note the relationship with the marks on your rotor with the primary.

Now you can do your Boyer installation

09-17-2009, 8:27 AM
While you're at Lowbrow getting the TDC tool, pick up the English 101 DVD too.
There's a whole chapter on this that gives you visuals along with the method Mike just shared and a few other ways to get close if you don't want to make that $20 investment to use as the factory intended.

09-19-2009, 6:09 PM
I spent an hour kicking my bike last night. I have this bike down... its my everyday workhorse. I kicked and kicked, flooded it, cussed it, pulled and cleaned the plugs, kicked some more.... begged, cried, prayed,kicked untill I thought I was going to pass out and finally got her to fire. I was ready to sell the piece of shit at that point. I filed my points, changed the plugs, and reset my timing this morning, and my 5 year old fired it up for me. One kick.
I watched the English 101 video, and used the timing tool from Lowbrow. Amazing how that shit works