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Rookie Questions about Timing

1577 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  66Sprint
I've got a '71 CB350 K3 that won't start. I suspect it's the timing so I'm trying to get that set correctly. This is my first time to adjust the timing, and I have some rookie questions.

1. What is the purpose of the felt underneath the main cam? Should it be making contact with the cam? Mine's not. Is that a big problem?

2. My Clymer manual says that I should apply a light coat of breaker cam lubricant to the entire points area when I'm done. However, I can't find that stuff anywhere. (Apparently most of the folks shopping at AutoZone these days don't drive vehicles with breaker points. :D ) Should I use some other lubricant? WD-40 perhaps?

3. And this is the big question... Instead of using a test light, I'm trying to use my fancy-pants multimeter to know exactly when the points open. This has been an interesting experience and has already provided me with a much greater insight into how the ignition circuit works. (Most importantly: it works exactly opposite of how I assumed it worked)

The Ohm meter function of the multimeter has a buzzer function... as long as the circuit is complete, it will make a beeping sound. I adjusted the points plate so that the beeping stopped (i.e. the breaker points opened) right when the "LF" mark passed the index mark.

To double-check my handy work, I turned on the ignition and switched the multimeter over to read the voltage. This, however, yielded slightly different results. The voltage level starts rising a little bit before the "LF" mark arrives at the index mark.

Is that normal? Should I use the Ohm meter results or the voltage meter results?

As always, I appreciate any insight you guys can provide to a rookie!
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You should use a neon timing light to set the timing, and you should set it at maximum advance. If it doesn't return to the fixed advance setting at idle, you have an advance mechanism problem. Distributor cam lube is available - you can Google it. I've been using the same tube since about 1973 and there's enough left to last 'til at least the year 3000. In your case, the cotton wool wick is better off with liquid oil, and you should refresh it every so often - with only a drop. It doesn't have to contact the cam all the way 'round, just the high part - it will wipe off onto the cam and get wiped off onto the point set rubbing blocks, which is the intent of the system.
The Zenon tube in your strobe is a gas discharge tube. A neon (both are classified as "noble gasses") strobe does the same thing - it kicks a lot of electrons loose in a gas making it momentarily conductive and producing a flash of light. you've got the right tool, just a different gas in the tube. And both are fired by the ignition pulse, probably in the vicinity of 20K volts.
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