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Thread: 58 XL Sportster points gap? (Magneto)

  1. #1
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    Default 58 XL Sportster points gap? (Magneto)

    LACK of information on the web for 57-58 Sportsters, need the recommended points gap.

    I have a 59-75 Clymer service manual, says 0.015" for magnetos, 0.018 for battery ignitions- are settings for 1958 models different?

    Are there any OTHER differences on the 58 I need to be aware of?

    Thanks much for any help!
    Rich

  2. #2
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    There is no spec given because no magneto was ever originally fitted to a '57 or '58. Use the later mag spec as all mag settings are the same for all years. Clymer manuals make good bird cage liners and fire starters.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  3. #3
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    Thanks Robbie, this old buzzard has been bastardized over the years I'm afraid, will go with 0.018
    Rich

  4. #4

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    .015 for mag

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    There is no spec given because no magneto was ever originally fitted to a '57 or '58. Use the later mag spec as all mag settings are the same for all years. Clymer manuals make good bird cage liners and fire starters.
    The 1958 XLC and XLCH models had a magneto ignition.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/237TLnk]

  6. #6
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    True, but those were both limited edition competition models in '58 (no lights stock but with a light "kit" for the CH for enduros), and the '59 XLCH was the first regular production road model with a magneto, however no XL ever did come with one...
    Last edited by Rubone; 01-03-2018 at 12:46 AM.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    True, but those were both limited edition competition models in '58 (no lights stock but with a light "kit" for the CH for enduros), and the '59 XLCH was the first regular production road model with a magneto, however no XL ever did come with one...
    They were in the brochure and standard parts catalog, not "competition models." A buddy of mine had a friend that walked right into the local dealership and bought one off the floor. Fitted lights to it and rode it all over the place. They were only limited production in that not many people bought them due to the lack of lights. However, to reinforce my response: Harley did produce two regular production Sportster models fitted with magnetos in 1958 (XLC and XLCH).

  8. #8
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    Sportster Jerry is correct regarding the 58CH. Factory records indicate that 239 were produced. The story (according to Margie Siegal) goes that several California dealers committed to a short run of off road XL's and Walter Davidson agreed as long as they took them all. I am guessing that about 200 came to the Golden state and the rest were send to the remaining 48 states. I heard that 4 went to Illinois. I know that one was purchased by a HD employee. I am attaching a photo from the HD archives. I have personally seen in photos about 25 or so and touched 5.HD archives 58CH 1.jpg. I have photos of VIN's of several. Beware there are a lot of fakes out there.
    Years ago Gene Bowmar (of Bowmar magneto fame ) told me to set the points at .014" and plug gap at .020". I have been doing that for 40+ years and its the right combination.
    Hope this helps.

  9. #9

    Default Does the XLC actually exist????

    Quote Originally Posted by dlxl66elxl View Post
    Sportster Jerry is correct regarding the 58CH. Factory records indicate that 239 were produced. The story (according to Margie Siegal) goes that several California dealers committed to a short run of off road XL's and Walter Davidson agreed as long as they took them all. I am guessing that about 200 came to the Golden state and the rest were send to the remaining 48 states. I heard that 4 went to Illinois. I know that one was purchased by a HD employee. I am attaching a photo from the HD archives. I have personally seen in photos about 25 or so and touched 5.HD archives 58CH 1.jpg. I have photos of VIN's of several. Beware there are a lot of fakes out there.
    Years ago Gene Bowmar (of Bowmar magneto fame ) told me to set the points at .014" and plug gap at .020". I have been doing that for 40+ years and its the right combination.
    Hope this helps.
    I've asked this question to different individuals over the years about the existence of any XLC's!! When I became interested in working mainly on Sporty's in the early ' 90's and decided to specialize in ironheads I decided to learn and be knowledgeable about everything ironhead!! Seen about 1/2 dozen ' 58 XLCH's of the 239 units over the last 40 years and there are a few who say the XLC's do exist but I have never seen or heard of anyone who actually owns an XLC!! (a low compression desert race bike???). I'd like some proof that this Harley unicorn is out there; a left case pic that at least one was actually made by Harley! Thanks for hearing me out on my lifelong quest so I can tell others "Yes Virginia, there really is an XLC !!!"
    Last edited by Mostly Ironheads; 01-31-2018 at 12:41 AM.

  10. #10
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    The XLC has always been interesting to me, as in who would buy a low compression racing bike?
    VPH-D

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