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use the rear wheel to turn it or pull the primary cover & use a wrench or socket to turn it, an old buddy, RT rip buddy), had a steering wheel with a socket off of it & a degree wheel to turn motors for the timing, I personally run a belt & have a degree wheel on the front pully so I dont even need to remove the timing plug or look at the crank mark, glass pushrod tubes as well so no removing to see if your on front cylinder compression stroke.... no oil leaks either as nothing come off to set it
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if you set the timing on the front cylinder compression stroke while AT FULL ADVANCE & then lock it so it will not advance too much all you do is twist the timer clockwise to retard it, the advance /retard unit adds or retracts the timing 35*(degrees) i beleive it is,
but retard is not as critical as full advance,
if you dont lock the advance stop & ride over full advance, ya likely to do damage in the long term,
plus loss of power & bad MPG,
retard it by hand till you get the idle beat you like, it doesnt really matter as the motor isn't under load,
but IF you follow the FACTORY MANUAL it's so easy, DONT over think it, just set as the book says,
1)front cylinder on compression stroke,
2) get the timing mark on the flywheel in the timing hole.
3)narrow lobe on points cam JUST ABOUT TO OPEN points at FULL ADVANCE,
3) tighten it down & ride
it aint rocket science, it's 100+ year old technology
 

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when ya get to the timing mark, set a drinking straw into the front plug hole, then gently rock the crank foreward & backwards until you get ACTUAL TDC & check if the timing mark is in the correct place, it may not have stock flywheels in it, ya never know, mixing flywheels was a comon thing years ago
when at front TDC by either the straw method or by using a Dial guage with a long reach extension for real accuracy you can tell if you are setting Full advance in the correct position.
 

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I well know that TDCis not the timing mark, but it can be worked out from TDC then reverse the crank untill it's 35 degrees btdc & that should give you the timing point regardless if hes running a timer, with manual advance & retard, or a stock nose cone type or with a magneto,.. there is a piston height btdc that does the same but cant remember it off hand, someone here will know,
 

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he said he wasnt sure if his crank timing marks are accurate, surely checking the piston height in the bore, to the flywheel position would show him one way or another, & that would help by at the least to show that his is correct or not,....
 
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