Cam / valve train recommendation

Gear Case (cams, idlers, cam cover)
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Cam / valve train recommendation


Post by Smac »

Description: Will the A grind work with Hydraulics?

Pulled my '63 apart last week after bending a push-rod (my bad) and have decided to go thru the top end. I have STD heads, Andrews A grind Cam, Jim's "Big Axle" tappets with hydro-to-solid converters. Bike runs well between breakdowns but super hot @ around 290. Jugs and pistons are relatively fresh but at their limit being .070 over.
Does this look like a good setup to you panhead experts? I'd like to convert it back to hydraulic if it will make it more reliable. Will the A grind work with Hydraulics?
Basically, what would you do with this setup.

btw, this is a hardtail chopper so I'm WAY past keeping it authentic.


Post by Jack Hester on May 25, 2005, 11:42am

Smac -

I have been running an 'A' grind with VelvaTouch hydraulics, in my 76 Shovel (which is now totaled). My buddy has an 'A' grind in his 74 Shovel, with stock hydraulics. Both machines performed well with these combinations.

As to the 0.070" overbore, you are not at your limit. Do a search, and see some of the past discussions about this. Cotten has commented often that he has put reliable overbores, much larger than this, on the street. However, these are on OEM cylinders. I wouldn't trust the Chinese replacements with these overbores. My 59 FLH has 0.060" OS in it now, and needs to be sized up. I used to build by the manual, using the 0.070" OEM as the max, as that was all H-D provided. So, when I tear into it this year, I will not sleeve, but clean them up to whatever it takes. And, using torque-plates in conjunction with the boring. My Pan is, and will be, a road machine. It is in the lineup to make a loop around the U.S., in another year or so.

I have heard of problems with the Jim's 'big axle' tappets, from a number of the local shops. A few have called me, to discuss the problems. But, as I have never used them, I can't speak from experience about the cause. Seems that they cause a major drop in oil pressure, from the OEM. Most shops will find ways to bump the pressure up. I figure that they need to take the time to find out why it drops, and correct that. Just my thinking. I like stock, reliable, oil pumps.
Maybe I haven't covered your questions. Just thinking out loud, with my reply.


Post by Smac on May 25, 2005, 10:31pm

I'm glad to hear that on the cylinders. I can focus on the hydraulic coversion. Regarding the Jim's - If thats the case it looks like I need pushrods, hydraulic units AND tappets to convert. Maybe I should bite the bullet and get the VelvaTouch setup? Still open to suggestions...

Post by Jack Hester on May 25, 2005, 11:30pm

Though I've been pleased with the VelvaTouch, I would recommend the Crane hydraulic tappets, as they will work in your OEM blocks. VelvaTouch will be pricey, as they are tappets and blocks, and cannot be interchanged with OEM. I bought mine, when the original manufacturer was selling them direct, back in the 80's. Vern M. Ott, I believe is his name. You buy them from Rivera, now, at a premium. Stock, steel, pushrods are the best, as they are slender and do not rub the pushrod covers like most fat, aluminum aftermarket ones do.


Post by DuoDave on May 27, 2005, 9:25pm

Jack - Any thoughts on why the Jims big Axle tappets would cause a drop in oil pressure?

Post by Jack Hester on May 28, 2005, 1:58am

Dave -

I don't have a clue. As I've never had one in my hands, to examine, I can't guess as to what the problem would be. But, I've heard it mentioned a number of times, over the past several years. I've never heard what people are doing as a fix, other than using whatever means available to raise the oil pressure. To me, that's not a fix. Just a work-around. I build stock engines, and don't run into these situations often.


Post by rigidpanman on Jun 29, 2005, 6:23pm

jack,being that your bike is a "road machine",would you tell me what kind of gearing you are running on all your sprockets.thanks

Post by Jack Hester on Jun 29, 2005, 9:18pm


24T - Engine
37T - Clutch
23T - Transmission
49T - Rear Wheel

Let me qualify this by saying, it was this configuration until 01Sep05. Then, it became a wrecked road machine. Until then, though, this gave me a smooth ride at 55, 65-70mph with some vibration between 55 and 65mph. Not bad. But, annoying after a days ride in that speed range. The first 30 or so thousand miles was with a 51T wheel sprocket. From that point up to the 78 thousand that it has on it now, the 49T wheel sprocket. And, a stock 74 cu in engine. It would have had more miles, but I would park it after a trip, and ride the 59 FLH, or whatever was in the shop at the time.


Post by rigidpanman on Jul 11, 2005, 1:59pm

thanks jack

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Re: Cam / valve train recommendation


Post by 58flh »

In response to the JIM-BIG-AXLE LIFTERS!.---First-off I have never seen a problem with oil-volume dropping unless there HYD.--Running big AXLE JIM tappets as solid tappets ,I have encountered no problems & with stock OIL-pumps!.---Now these units running HYD. is where I have read the issues guys have been having!.--First--The fitment in the GUIDES must be GOOD!!!!.--what I have seen is the OIL-HOLES dont LINE-UP as they SHOULD!--(better put, they line-up but the holes are not 100% perfect!).-A hand tap wrench & good reamer is all thats required to have the holes fit PERFECTLY!.-on some they must be drilled!.--Now I know the Andrews A grinf is a PITA without these big-axle lifters!. I have seen stock FL-cam work!,& a J-cam also!---I think its the bleed-down rates themselves!. Spring-pressure in the HYD.-units need to be played with!---Also I noticed the further one --front EX. always seemed to tick!.-On another note JIMS-WHEELS & Axles-(stock-size replacements)--WORK FLAWLESS in HYD.-unit set-ups!---I have the stock size JIMS-WHEELS & Axles in my stock lifters!-also Im a Flat-tappet runner. And these wheels have served me fine!--also work good in HYD.-units!-(the stock-size Jim-wheels).---CHECK your oil-holes & make-sure there spot-on!.---Hope this helps---respectfully----RICHIE 8)

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