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Norton Electra Timing


I'm trying to set the ignition timing on a Norton Electra with a Rooster ignition system that retains the breaker points.

The first challenge I've encountered is where to hang a degree wheel.  The drive side crankshaft is behind the rubegoldbergish starter assembly and therefore unavailable.

I'm contemplating using the end of the shaft that turns the points cam (based on the assumption that it turns 1/2 the speed of the crankshaft) and setting it at 15 degrees (The Electra manual calls for 30 degrees BTDC).  Will that work?

On top of that difficulty, when I move the relevant piston to TDC and then back it down a bit, I can move the points backing plate to the limits of movement and get no reaction out of the indicator light.

Also it seems to me that 30 degrees of crankshaft rotation must equal a piston distance of travel.  Does anyone know what that might be?

Any and all suggestions will be appreciated.





If you have the manual it tells you how to mount the timing disc on the crankshaft and how to find TDC properly with a stop screwed into the plug hole. Timing is critical we are told because the Electra is a high speed engine (for an old English engine),so it is probably best to follow the manual.

Good luck,



The correct ignition timing on an Electra is 30deg Before Top Dead Centre (BTDC), fully advanced.

You will need to take the starter gubbins off, from around the alternator, and mount a timing disc on the end of the crank.

It is vitally important to determine where TDC is - there are no clues.

The book of words (Norton Twins Manual) is your Bible - follow it. You will need a piston stopper, which you can make from an old, detachable spark plug.

Time up everything statically as in your ignition instructions - you have those, of course?

Then the important part - you must check it with a strobe, to ensure that the advance curve is working - & more importantly - that it does not exceed 30deg when fully advanced.



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