This all started with my thread from back on July 11th (New Engine rattle - 1998 Springer Softail - Harley Davidson Community) regarding a strange rattle that I thought was a lifter problem. After several suggestions from the fine and knowledgeable people on this site I decided to check the timing rather than get into the lifters. That opened a whole new can of worms as is covered in the thread started on August 16th after I had opened the cone and removed the Sensor Plate and broke one of the Sensor Plate Studs. (see Broken Timing Sensor Plate Screw - Harley Davidson Community) After having a new Sensor Plate Stud machined at a local machine shop I was in the process of putting everything back together and finally decided to remove the forward exhaust pipe (#1 Jug) to make access easier in an earnest attempt to get everything done right. At that point and as I was removing the exhaust, I found that one of the two exhaust pipe studs at the head was gone. The flange was loose and that was the rattle I had heard for such a long time. Oh my... after looking everywhere for the rattle I ended up doing so many unnecessary things. Anyway.... installed a new exhaust stud and buttoned everything back up. Followed the manual for setting the timing. First they say do the static thing with the vertical mark on the fly wheel in the site hole and adjust the Sensor Plate until the voltmeter registers the change from 5 VDC (+/- 0.5 volts) to 0-1.0 VDC. I never could get comfortable with that because I had to attempt a make shift test cable since I don't have the called for Deutsch Socket Housings as shown in the manual to make the proper test harness. I finally decided to resort to the Dynamic timing. Got out my timing light. Used some of my wife's bright nail polish to make the vertical notch, single dot notch and double dots (on the flywheel) very visible, installed the clear plastic view plug and cranked her up. Two things here.... First of all, in researching as much as possible on this site I remembered reading (Glider I think it was) someone saying that one could really do some nasty stuff to the engine if the timing was too far advanced. Secondly, on the Sensor Plate it's self I could see the impression of where the Sensor Plate Studs had been before I started all of this so I initially set the plate at that point because actually the bike was running pretty good and I didn't need to do any of this if I had known the exhaust bracket was the guilty culprit with the rattle at certain RPMs. So... engine is warmed up to operating temp... site glass is fine... idle set at about 1000 RPM... bike is starting hard and not running good at all... Adjust the plate all the way each direction.. slowly... back and forth checking for the timing marks on the flywheel.... never saw them... not once... Decided maybe the site glass was causing too much blur so tried to see the marks without it... saw nothing but a lot of oil on my glasses.... goodness! All of this left me nothing but an attempt at how I used to time my old "first car"... 1949 Chevy... BY EAR.... The only way to get a sweet and smooth sounding machine again is to advance the timing as far as it will go and back to what I referred to earlier, I sure didn't want to leave it that way based on Glider's caution about the timing being too far advanced. I ended up setting the Sensor Plate back where it was in the beginning based on the marks where the studs were originally, buttoned it up and went for a ride. I can barely pull up a hill. Almost no power at low RPMs. If I crank it open it seems to kick in at higher speeds.. almost like the speed curve on an old 2 cycle rice burner... but still nothing like it was. So once again gentlemen... and ladies... I'm lost...! Hate to say this again (seems like so many times already) but I need help... sadly I can't just trailer the bike and take it down to the local dealer. Hope to hear from you! Cheers!