Checking ignition timing with timing light?

Brettm57

Member
Is there a way to check the ignition timing on an Animal with a timing light? I spent a lot of time indexing the flywheel on one of my project engines yesterday only to realize afterwards that doesn't work. The only way I can think of to do it is index the clutch hub and build a pointer. Is there something I'm missing here (...and that's a definite possibility!)? Thanks!
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
Yes. , statically .. Its problematic though if you move the flywheel any Mark's you made will need to be reindexed because it's in a differnt place . Relative to the crankshaft.
Circumference divide by 360 equals degrees per inch , or parts on an inch .
A degree wheel or indexing on the clutch hub is simplest .
The timing light on the flywheel will show the firing point .
Find tdc mark flywheel .
Compute your degrees per inch , mark that btdc.

When or if you move the flywheel you have too do it all over again .
If you use the clutch side any Mark's made on the clutch hub stay in the same position relative too the crank .
 

Brettm57

Member
I did everything you said as far laying out the degrees on the flywheel. What I finally figured out (or actually, my neighbor/racing buddy did...), is that the distance from the magnets to my marks on the flywheel is always the same, so moving the flywheel on the crankshaft to advance or retard timing has no effect on where the light flashes. Ignition is triggered by the magnets on the flywheel, so the light will always flash at the same spot on the flywheel.

So I guess my only option if I want to check timing at the track is to build a pointer and index the clutch hub.
 

flattop1

Dawg 89
Is there a way to check the ignition timing on an Animal with a timing light? I spent a lot of time indexing the flywheel on one of my project engines yesterday only to realize afterwards that doesn't work. The only way I can think of to do it is index the clutch hub and build a pointer. Is there something I'm missing here (...and that's a definite possibility!)? Thanks!
I wonder if one of the dial advance timing lights would work for this .
That relationship is hard to picture .
 

Jimbo

If you talk the talk you should walk the walk
If you set the timing statically at 30* then mark the flywheel from that point you can simply count the marks to know what the timing is.
Using a straight timing key will put the timing at 30* + or - a couple of degrees.
Or if you find TDC exactly (use a piston stop and a degree wheel) once you have the flywheel on the engine you can mark the flywheel accordingly.
As Flat top said, if you move the flywheel after that your zero mark or any other marks will no longer be accurate.
 

sundog

Active member
the distance from the magnets to my marks on the flywheel is always the same, so moving the flywheel on the crankshaft to advance or retard timing has no effect on where the light flashes. Ignition is triggered by the magnets on the flywheel, so the light will always flash at the same spot on the flywheel.
Yes, but where TDC is on the flywheel will change which means your pointer needs to be in a different place. Every time you move the flywheel you have to find TDC again and adjust your pointer or adjust the scale on the flywheel to be zero on the pointer at TDC. That way your timing light will show the advance.
 

Jimbo

If you talk the talk you should walk the walk
I recently had a green slide 206 that was about 1 HP off from where it should be.
The ignition system has 2 timing modes. 10 degrees for starting and approximately 30 degrees for running.
The timing on this particular engine stayed at 10* with the turning at any rpm.
To see this turn the engine over at a very low rpm. Use the recoil starter and check the timing and then check it again with it running. You should be able to see it fire at 2 different places. One for starting and one for running.
This is not a common problem. I have only seen it happen once
 

CarlsonMotorsports

Premium User
I'm surprised it was only off by 1 HP, Jimbo. @10* that thing should have been way off. Maybe we're all over thinking this timing thing? LOL

OP,
Set your timing where you think you want it, Mark TDC on the flywheel and the timing mark that you set (30* or whatever).
Hold the timing light in front of the front coil leg and be consistent in how you measure it. Changing timing on the dyno can be a real pain with a stock flywheel - it is soooo much simpler with an adjustable center flywheel. As soon as it starts, you'll be above the digital timing delay that makes it easier to start. I always thought that delay was up to 2000 rpm, but I am thinking now that it is probably even lower than that.


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Brian Carlson
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