New transmission and Cylinder head question

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Jarppi
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New transmission and Cylinder head question

#1

Post by Jarppi » Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:36 pm

I´m trying to get some ideas and recommendations which new 4-speed transmission would be best for 1952 panhead.
In durability and best value.
No need to have original look.

And another question is that how do can identify is my 1954 pan cylinder heads STD or original with external oil lines.
My pan´s exhaust ports are clamp type, not bolt ones. And those exhaust ports looks like they are welded afterwards.



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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#2

Post by mbskeam » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:06 pm

std heads have no cast in numbers on the under side of the head, pushrod side.

is your tranny as it apears in the photo?
rebuild it if the case is in good shape
replace what is worn out.....

mbskeam

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#3

Post by caschnd1 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:23 am

As mbskeam pointed out, the early H-D castings had a casting mark between the pushrod holes on the underside of the rocker cover lip. But in 1956 that casing mark was moved onto the upper side of the rocker cover lip. You would need to remove the rocker cover to see the '56 and later casting mark.

Here is an example of a 1955 casting mark that is visible between the pushrod tubes under the rocker cover lip:
DCP_3217.jpg
Here is an example of a 1956 casing mark. This was the first year when they moved the casting mark to the upper side of the rocker cover lip.
DCP_3326.jpg
You can see that the exhaust spigots on these heads have been replaced. This is not an uncommon repair required on panheads. When the exhaust gets loose it will start to vibrate and slowly eat away at the OEM exhuast spigots. Eventually they can get thin enough to break off.
DCP_3236.jpg
Looking at the shape of the fins on your heads, they look like later model H-D heads. The early H-D castings did not have as much fin material especially near the rear exhaust port.

As far as the transmission question goes... Back in 2004 I needed a bargain transmission for my panhead. I selected a RevTech 4-speed (early case style with no primary ears). At the time I expected to replace the tranmission with a rebuilt OEM unit in fairly short order. I now have >45K miles on that RevTech 4-speed and it just keeps going. No issues at all other then one main seal leak. I've collected all the pieces to put my OEM transmission back together now, but I'm gonna let the RevTech continue to do it's duty for the time being. For just a little over $1000 it's done a great job.

-Craig
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VT

Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#4

Post by VT » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:38 am

I now have >45K miles on that RevTech 4-speed and it just keeps going. No issues at all other then one main seal leak.
Always good to hear. Using a repop 4-speed right out of the box and having it shift right and get you down the road. Good idea to ride that while you collected parts for the OEM case one.
Can you post a pic of the RecTec 4-spd ? I didn't know they made one without ears. I thought only V-Twin had the no-ears case. Thanks :!:

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#5

Post by caschnd1 » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:13 pm

VT,

I picked up this RevTech in late 2003. I don't know if they still make it because I only find the later models listed in the catalogs now days (the cases with primary ears). I had the bike apart last summer and other then 35K+ miles worth of road grim the transmission was crusing right along. OH... I did forget to mention, I've also had to replace the wafer type clutch throw-out bearing once.

-Craig
DCP_3010.jpg
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VT

Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#6

Post by VT » Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:30 pm

Wow. Guess I live a sheltered life. Didn't know the earless RevTec case existed. What's the finish peel from? Nylac coating that's de-laminating? What's that rounded-square corner plate behind the mainshaft nut, sandwiched by the sprocket? Never seen one of those before, but I don't get out much either.

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#7

Post by caschnd1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:02 am

There is no peel on the finish. It's just a lot of miles of road grime ... here is picture taken when it had 0 miles on it. After clean up it looked as good as new again.
MyPictures0205.jpg
The square plate with rounded corners is not sandwiched between the sprocket nut and the sprocket. It's actually a sprocket nut locking device. Notice the two screws that hold it to the sprocket and keep it (and the sprocket nut) from turning. You have to use thread locker on these screws so they don't back out.

-Craig
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VT

Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#8

Post by VT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:20 am

Looks good. The more companies that made 4-speed boxes, the better for the Panhead world at large.

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#9

Post by Jarppi » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:34 pm

Thanks for the great answers fellows !

I will check those cylinder heads if I can find mentioned casting marks, that will help a lot for identification. Or if this still remains mystery, I will post some close-up photos.

And what comes to new 4-speed transmission, it is not for me in this case.
My friend blow up he´s 1952 pan´s transmission and find out that case bearings was built previously by someone who has not the best practice and knowledge to rebuilt transmissions. And this make´s it impossible to reuse the old case.
But he´s thinking now to get one of those RevTech transmissions, because of lot of positive feedback and good durability.

VT

Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#10

Post by VT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:39 pm

Yes, it seems RevTec is the only company that can actually build a 4-speed transmission that will actually work right-out-of-the-box. I wouldn't like cases with '65 and later ears on them, but a non-eared 4-speed tranny that actually works is unheard of. I'm still skeptical. The early OHV builders (us) have been burned to many times by these thieves that only want our money.
The V-Twin 4-speed transmission I bought in 2004 would not shift and leaked from incorrect studs. When I sent the transmission back for repair, they let it set on the shop floor for a couple of weeks in NY, and did nothing to it, then sent it back to me "the same as it ever was". So, this "talking head" is quacking about it. God help the manufacturers of this crap if we ever start building these in front of a camera. And that time is coming too. You can't sell $100.00 Harley-Davidson service manuals and not get recognized. Pretty soon you get people coming around wondering why anyone is shelling out that much cash for paper.
I'm wondering now, if we can't convince a "tech" from RevTec over here to this site and give us some overview on why we should buy RevTec transmissions. It would be nice to hear from one of these manufacturers for a change of view, especially from a company that actually puts their name on what they make (which I would grind off, but at least with the embossed name [thank you], it's possible).

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#11

Post by caschnd1 » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:05 pm

VT,

I've seen write-ups that say you can take a transmission case with the primary ears and "lop them off". Then use a grinder/dremel to clean up the case and it will look virtually exactly like a early transmission case. IN FACT... if you look close at the photo I posted of my early RevTech transmission, it looks like that's exactly what the folks at RevTech did (see the area circled in red... looks like he there may have been ears here that were removed). Probably cheaper ot have one transmission case made and then modify it by lopping off the ears to make it look like an early case. This transmission came right out of the RevTech box looking like this so if it was modified by having the ears cut off, it was done by RevTech.
MyPictures02051.jpg
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VT

Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#12

Post by VT » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:33 pm

Yep, now I see the ear marks. Cool. Hats off to RevTec. They made a 4-speed transmission that actually works :!: It's like V-Twin wants to make the replica items, but there is no way they actually want you to be able to ride on anything they make. Like they have old iron envy and can't pass on good products, just because they don't want to, or creatively can't, build a Panhead themselves. Weirdness that only Dr. Phil could unravel and tell you why they do that. :lol:
One of the first series will involve following the manufacture of all the parts that go into a Panhead. We'll travel to China to see crankcases and trans. cases cast, then pistons, rods and shafts and gears and timers and all the stuff that goes into making the drive train. Some parts will be USA, some less critical parts will be from China. We'll focus in on the the various manufacturers methods and quality control, their mistakes and successes. And, in general pull their covers and get up close and eyeball to eyeball with the industry.
So somebody at SpeedVison give me a call and lets get started. I've already roughed-out three series. I'll write 12 total. We'll visit Paughco, Lifeline, JIMS, V-Twin, S&S, Eastern, James, RevTec, CCI, Dennis Corso, Colony, and anybody else that makes a dime from our neglected Panhead industry.
*********************************
V-Twins and easy target. My transmission was made shiftable by Stett. For the price I would still buy a V-Twin transmission just for the original casting effort and now we're starting to hear some good things about their cases. My only problem with my V-Twin 4-speed, is my 34555-52 dust shield cover (C.56) rocks back and forth (that ain't right!).
Stett's going to look at it (figure out exactly what's wrong) and then I'll post the results here.
It needs to be wear tested on a 1937 to 1964, 74 cu. in. motor. Belt drive preferably. If any of our better positioned members are interested, whose machine meets the 74" requirements and would like to install the transmission and put a 1,000 miles on it. I'll sell it to you for $5K and pay UPS shipping within the 48 states.
I'll buy it back from you for $1K a thousand miles later (you pay UPS freight) after it passes our wear inspection. We'll post those results. All transactions through PayPal would make it easier. You would need to have a camera and a tripod and a running Big Twin that's missing only the transmission. Send a pic.

Yea, riding it's what's important. Having it ready to ride when conditions are perfect. You know when you own the morning and you can twist the throttle up a canyon with no cross-traffic. Nothing like the feel of a Big Twin. Not from any car for sure.
Last edited by VT on Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:57 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#13

Post by Cotten » Tue Aug 12, 2008 8:42 pm

It has been a few years, but the absolute worst collection of tranny internals that have ever crossed my benches (three decades in business) were brand new in-a-box "Rev-Wreck".
(CCI has since been bought by DAE-IL, so we can only hope quality has improved.)

It is not uncommon for pre-assembled units from many sources to incorporate the 'seconds' and 'blems' that would be (or were) returned if sold individually.

No matter where you intend to source from, you would do best to build it from inspectable parts, rather than to buy a pig-in-a-poke.

Ironically, my experience with the notorious V-TWIN's imported case was a surprising delight.
No ugly logo cast onto it either!

....Cotten

Guest

Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#14

Post by Guest » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:07 pm

Well, I can only speak from my own experience with RevTech. This transmission has performed flawlessly (or as flawless as I could have expected). One mainshaft seal and a throw-out bearing in >45K miles of riding is pretty good in my book.

I've got a '46 H-D case with a matching '46 kicker cover and kicker arm and a set of Andrews internals all put back together waiting to go back in the bike. But like I mentioned earlier it's just not worth pulling the bike down to make the swap. I appreciate the original pieces. But I care a lot more about riding then whether there is a logo on the transmission case.

-Craig

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Re: New transmission and Cylinder head question

#15

Post by awander » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:54 pm

I don;t mean to offend you VT, but what would make it worthwhile for me to spend $4000, plus UPS shipping, plus the work of installing and removing a transmission, just for the privelige of being a 1000-mile guinea pig? I could maybe seeit if I got to keep the tranny....

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