We receive many questions similar to yours. We have found that in most cases folks start by saying that they have fuel, spark and compression
, but in reality, they do not.
Just because you can smell gasoline or the plugs are wet, does not mean there is fuel getting to the carb. Try a little spray of carb clean in the carburetor with the throttle open, then crank it. Any response? This will guarantee fuel delivery. If you receive more of an engine response by spraying it, you may not be getting as much fuel as previously thought.
Are you testing for spark with the spark plug from the engine in the wire resting on the head? Using a second plug will test the electrical system, but will not tell you if the plug in the engine is bad.
On older motorcycles the spark timing is set by the points. Your point gap should be .012 to .016 thousandths of an inch. The plate that the points are mounted on can be timed, just as the engine can. There should be a notch and two lines on the plate for adjusting it with a screwdriver.
Most people test for compression with a thumb over the plug hole. Although that is instinctively correct, it is difficult to determine what is 90 lbs and less, which will not run be enough for the bike to run, and 175lbs, which is the optimum operating compression with your thumb.
It is best to test with a compression gauge. Check this page for more information on testing for compression
If your timing chain were broken
, you would not have compression or cam movement.
If it had jumped time
you would also not have compression. But you will have valve, piston and cam movement which may give your thumb a sense of having compression.
When lined up this way, both the intake and exhaust valves should have a small amount of clearance. If they do not, rotate the engine to TDC again and check the valves for clearance.
If you can not align the flywheel and the cam gear marks at the same time you may have jumped timing. This can result in bent valves.