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Has anyone used one of those LED gadgets for measuring the moment at which the mag points open? Having spent an hour fiddling with the Rizlas yesterday I could be tempted to enter the 21st century. Also, as they measure the exact point of opening, rather than when 1 thou or thereabouts open, should the setting still be the specified 7/16 BTDC?
I have one and use it on occasion but it is no more accurate than the old way of using a piece of very thin paper. But I have been setting mags with paper for more than 40 years so can do it very quickly. On a low performance bike like an M20 getting the timing exact wont really make it run any better.
I have one and it is a great help as it has an audible and visual indicator when the points open and you don't have to hold it, so have both hands free.
I thought the timing was more critical to get the optimun performance and particularly to avoid having the ignition retarded and risk oveheating.
I bought one after John Parker recommended them in this forum a few years ago. It makes life a lot easier. Couldn't find one in Australia, got one from an aircraft supplier in the US. They call them magneto synchronizes with tweeter.
These obviously were not about when BSA were in business and did not have them in mind when telling you how to time up your bike. That is why they give you a distance of your points being open, so you can measure it, and not when they have just opened. So if you use one of these new gadgets you will never have your timing correct but as it has been said it's not that critical.
Has everyone read Ian's article on ignition timing in the technical section? I would recommend it.
I have one of the timing lights, it works alright when it doesn't fall off. I get better results using a one and half thou feeler gauge better then a ciggy paper it doesn't tear.
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I have one but never managed to use it successfully....the clips either fall off or short when you rotate the points.
Thank you all for sharing your experiences. As this is a job I only have to do once in a while, I will stick with the Rizlas.
I use one all the time without any issues...A very useful tool in my opinion...I also remove the head to set (and check) the piston position accurately using a depth micrometer...Personally I believe accurate timing is important, particularly regarding the possibility of a retarded setting mentioned by Pete C..That is a possibility that should be avoided...
Judging the efficiency, or changes of efficiency, of an engine accurately by feel is basically impossible...Only dyno time will reveal the actual picture...There is a good argument that with modern fuels there may be some benefits in a change to the ignition setting but until anyone proves that with recorded and verifiable results I'll stick accurately to the BSA figures...Ian
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