Need advice on strokers

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Need advice on strokers


Post by Panzer » Wed Feb 01, 2006 10:10 pm

Description: All information about strokers and bigbore will be appreciated.

Post by Panzer on Jun 7, 2004, 1:32pm


As usual, when I have ridden the bike for a while, I feel the need for a little bit more power.
The engine is an original 1959 FLH, except for the carb and pipes.
All information about strokers and bigbore will be appreciated.
PS! I'm running on a low budget :-/ , and there will be years until I'm able to build a new motor from the ground and up. i guess I'm looking for the poor mans tuning here! Wink. It would be fun to learn the tricks that were used on pans during the 50's and 60' ;D

Post by panomania on Jun 7, 2004, 2:39pm

my 48 has a s&s 80 inch kit which uses the stock bore with 80 inch flywheels. the wrist pin locations are different to allow the longer throw. i love the extra power. im using a andrews a grind with std heads and it comes on like a 2 stroke dirt bike. the down side is it pings when lugged. it like a little higher rpms than stock. i havent had this bike on a dyno yet but ive absolutly smoked 1200 sportys and 1500 vulcans. they catch me while im shifting (jockey) but when i grab the handlebars again i'll pull away again. fun, fun...

Post by panomania on Jun 7, 2004, 2:39pm

my 48 has a s&s 80 inch kit which uses the stock bore with 80 inch flywheels. the rist pin locations are different to allow the longer throw. i love the extra power. im using a andrews a grind with std heads and it comes on like a 2 stroke dirt bike. the down side is it pings when lugged. it like a little higher rpms than stock. i havent had this bike on a dyno yet but ive absolutly smoked 1200 sportys and 1500 vulcans. they catch me while im shifting (jockey) but when i grab the handlebars again i'll pull away again. fun, fun...

Post by Panzer on Jun 8, 2004, 7:41pm


What Cotten says makes a lot of sense! As mentioned above, I dont have a lot of cash to spend on the engine right now (just enough to fix things as they break....).
It's not an alternative to do anything to the engine, that is not reversable!.
I have browsed through the different online catalogs, but I'm not able to find stroker flywheels to pans anywhere!
Any ideas on which company that sells them (online)? What else is needed besides the flywheel? New pistons?
If this ends up at being affordable, I'll set my goal on building a stroker during the winter ;D

Post by Billy on Jun 9, 2004, 7:08am

Panzer, I see your problem. & understand the need to Email for your parts. Your location...Try a Google search for your needs. Plus here's a link to T&O
I'd stick a "Sensible" Cam in there for now. Big improvement!!
& work on getting the goodies for a stroker. I stroked my ol 63 Pan to 4 5/8" Stroke. w/.070 pistons.
Used S&S wheels But T&O has the "Torque Monster wheels. Very good advantage there.
You will need Wheels, Pistons,rings & have your rods thoroughly checked for straight-ness & checked for stress. If so "new rods, crank-pin, bearings & hope your shafts & races are good, new bearings there too. Breather machine work done to accomodate the "extra Swept Volume" & the machine work to 'clearence' your cases & notch the spigots on the barrels for needed clearence, too. Valve job to do it right.. There's some little stuff I'm sure I missed
But when it IS done, You will have a different type of Animal to ride.................No Doubt....

Post by Panzer on Jun 9, 2004, 8:24am

Hi Billy,

Ok, I get the point. Building a stroker aint all that easy Smile. Since I dont have the "know how" or possebility to do the machine work, I would have to leave this work to a skilled mechanic (atleast I'm able to see my own limitations here ;D ).
But that is no reason to not to start collecting parts ;D.
I will however change the cam. Any suggestions on which type to use? I would like to be able to still run the hydraulic tappets (that should rule out all the rad cams on Cottens "not to do" list Smile )!

Post by Billy on Jun 9, 2004, 7:05pm

Panzer, don't get me wrong! I'm a big on Strokers! ;D
But you asked for what is involved. I tried to give you that. It is Essentially a complete rebuild to make everything up to the duties of the Newly added power.
Plus the extra machining involved..........

The more that you can do, the more you save$$.

Cam choice, Cotten likes the Sifton 440. Good choice.
In my old 63 stroker I used a Andrews BH for Hydraulics.
Common mistake in cam choice is TOO much cam.
Example, my almost stock old RoadKing could & did out run a Friend's 93" evo using a cam that only started making power after 3,000 rpm's. By the time he got in his 'power band' I was way ahead of him, As I had the torque from Idle to 5250...
That's what you want in a cam. Something that Pulls from idle thru the top.. Torque wins races. Horsepower sells motors........Just something to chew on!!
Look at the profiles & their characteristics. Like where they make the torque from.
Doesn't that make sense ??

Post by Panzer on Jun 9, 2004, 10:02pm

Hi Billy,

He he, I was not offended by your answer. But in retrospective I can see that my reply could be interpreted that way. Thats what might happen when english is not your native language ( you know the words, but construct the sentences in a norwegian way). What is intended as self irony, might not appear as such.
Wrenching on the bike is pure hobby for me. Started with building a stroked VW beetle engine in the mid-ightes (did leave the machine work to a guy who used to build race engines) continued with Harleys in the 90's. Everything I know is what I have picked up from more experienced riders, and manuals like haynes and the HD service manual (and now learning even more buy attending this board).
I guess I would be able to do everything but split the cases, machine work and truing the flywheels. The rest is more or less like building a puzzle, when you have the instructions ;D.
I guess i'll go for a stroker in the future, but I'll settle for a new cam in the short run Wink. If Sifton 440 is what you guys recomend, then I'm pretty sure that I'm going install one of those. (all I want is more torque and a reliable engine).

"Speed is how fast you hit the wall, torque is how far you take the wall with you!"

Post by Billy on Jun 10, 2004, 2:28am

Panzer, Everything is cool here!! I have to say English IS my language & I often mangle it to where I don't understand what I've said. Ha! Ha!
You can look up the profile for the Sifton 440, Just
to have an idea what it's like. & if it's compatable with hydraulics. I don't remember...I have used Andrews more. But Cotten has good insight. No doubt!!
Usually cam makers will have the Stock specs listed first to compare with the
other cams..
Your analogy of horsepower & torque is Perfect!!! ;D
I never heard it put that way before. But I like it & will remember it.

Post by Cotten on Jun 10, 2004, 3:27am

Beware that Sifton is out of business, and the name was acquired by V-TWIN.
There is no guarantee that you will receive anything like the original Sifton design. It has been my experience that everything that V-TWIN sent as "Sifton" was quickly returned as un-useable. The gears would not mesh, even with a matched pair (cam/pinion) ordered as such..
If you can find a genuine Sifton 440, you will enjoy it.
There are other fine cam brands as well, but even favored brands like Crane will claim a cam to be "bolt-in", but then find your valves crashing into each other, or the idler gear needing clearance, etc.
I won't touch an andrews product unless it is the last resort.

Post by Mbskeam on Jun 10, 2004, 5:25am

hello, cotten why dont you like andrews? I used to run a sifton 412. got some wear that looked funky on the bearing end so I replaced with a andrews A grind and have had no problems with it after 16,000 miles.

Post by Billy on Jun 10, 2004, 5:45am

I have run Andrews cams in many HD's & had "No Problems". So I stick to what works for me.
Put a Andrews BH in my 63 stroker & it hauled ass for many years...... ;D
Put a J-grind in a stock 57 & it ran good. J is too mild.
Put many Andrews EV27's in evo's & they run Super!!!

Cotten, you must'a had a bad experience w/Andrews
I know the owner is too ego inflated to talk to anymore. Used to be able to.
Un-Like Jim Leineweber, easy to talk to & does beautiful work. I spoke with him 'personally' lunch time today.
At least he didn't get an over inflated Andrews.

Post by Panzer on Jun 10, 2004, 12:22pm

Hi guys,

I dont think finding an original Sifton 440 in Norway is an easy task...
How about Crane 300H Fireball, anyone had any experience with this cam?

Post by Cotten on Jun 10, 2004, 1:56pm

Beware that andrews A often fails to fill hydraulics properly on Pans and early Chubbles.
I have replaced far more andrews cams than all other brands combined, including originals. Perhaps modern production is better, but they were always downright fragile in the past.
I have little use for their tranny parts as well: things like one end of a mainshaft not concentric with the other.

Post by Panzer on Jun 10, 2004, 10:01pm


Obviously you have had quite a few bad experiences with stuff from Andrews.... You did recomend an original Sifton cam, unfortunately (for me) which is hard to come by. Any other manufacturer that you would like to recomend?
Do you have any experience with products from Crane?
Billy, the same question goes to you as well (as I have the impression that you wrench on HD on a daily basis Wink , both new and old ).
I guess this topic is still somewhat "stroker related", or should we make a thread discussing the pros and cons of different cams/manufacturer?

Post by Cotten on Jun 11, 2004, 3:32am

I am not well versed on cams and theory, as I tend to be very conservative. This has made for happier customers and fewer headaches.

(Again I must point out that I am not accepting any new motorwork accounts, so this ain't no sales pitch.)

Street performance leans towards torque. Competition (like beating the clock or blowing up on a dyno) requires horsepower. With cams it is always a trade-off.
Pan' s intake ports are torque-oriented. Bodacious cams, radical porting, and huge valves are a waste.
Crane's indexable gears offer an advantage toward this end,... but I have had valves crash with their mild "bolt-in computer designed" units as well. (I had to sink some fresh valveseats beyond blueprint to accommodate, after clatter upon fire-up produced a broken guide.)

Perhaps valve timing could have avoided it, but it only proves how over-engineered without a safety margin a performance product can be.
It has been my experience that many strokers and even bigbore motors will pull like hell even with a stock cam.
Particularly heavy dressers and hacks.
At this time I know of no one making even stock grinds, except andrews (or horribly-faked Siftons): a necessary evil we should be thankfull for, I guess.

Post by 57stroker on Jun 11, 2004, 7:37am

Some other things to consider: Be prepared to put in tall gearing - stroker motors can pull it and they hate to be wound out all the time. Can your frame handle the additional stresses? My frame was the abortion from hell but I think the stroker upgrade finished it off. While it may be true that the cases will be altered from clearancing, why wouldn't the stock flywheels fit back in them? As far as the breather valve mods go, I might have done this to my stock motor had I known about it. Would the extra scavaging hurt anything? Cotton is absolutely right about cams. Stay on the mild side. Your valve train will last longer. What little gain you get isn't worth what it will do to our top end. I'm still happy with the T & O flywheels, but I don't think I would do it unless I had to rebuild the bottom end anyway.

Post by Billy on Jun 11, 2004, 8:47am

TRUE, that would be the most appropriate time. When it needs it. You're right about the additional stress on the frame, I cracked my 63 frame. But repaired & 'gusseted' it & went on.
There are many cams that are very nice upgrades & will
pull strong from idle thru top. & improve over stock.
1 thing to check after a cam install is hand rolling the motor over w/out the Spark plugs to check/hear if all sounds well. I had 1 shovel click valves w/Andrews A
but it was the machine shop that put in 'oversize valves'
& upon hand rolling the motor with clay on the Piston top. The heads were sent back for the correct valves &
all was fine after that..

PS: Your stock wheels will fit back in. No Problem.

It's the Big bore that is a 1 way ticket.. As you need to machine out the spigot holes in the cases. to fit the Big

Post by Billy on Jun 11, 2004, 9:32am

Crane, last I knew was making the cams for the new HD's. Not sure about the "Water Buffalo"[v-rod] don't care either...
I have a friend at the local dealership that copies all the training literature & somehow I get it. ;D
Anyway I wouldn't shy away from the Crane 300H
as it is conservative in duration & lift. & it's characteristics show that it pulls from idle- up.
Torque cam. Still just because it says "Bolt In".
Sound building principals should STILL be used here. Take nothing for Granted & double-check it ALL!!
I still have more experience using Andrews. & will continue to do so.
Any lift noted for a Shovel in listed cam specs, will be about .020 more on a pan due to the different rocker arm ratios.

Post by Cotten on Jun 11, 2004, 1:38pm


The motor where the valves 'crashed' showed no interference on the bench at all. I didn't even occur until the motor was broken in enough to reach highway speeds.
After remedied, the owner still had an annoying rattle in his muffler for a few thousand miles. Then he shook a piece of valve guide out of it!!
Since then I have religiously followed the Sifton instructions of passing a .062" through the sparkplug hole and feeling between valves at "overlap" for clearance.
On the subject of oversized valves, I have replaced all four with 1/8" OS in a Pan with a stock cam, and it ran great. But my experience with chubble intake valves was only a gas-guzzler. (Sifton 468S)
I think BlackWidow Cams has the original 440 profiles available.

Post by Billy on Jun 11, 2004, 6:53pm

Cotten, Wow!! that's interesting. What do you think??
Weak valve springs ?? Sounds possible..
Black Widow just does regrinds, don't they ??
I have some pics of their work...
That rattle probably drove the owner half/nuts trying to figure that one out...........

Post by Cotten on Jun 12, 2004, 3:11am

The springs were well within spec, requireing no shimming, and all equal, of course.
It just proves you must have a safety margin everywhere.
Perhaps Crane's "bolt-in" specs assumed that replacement cams would always be installed in heads that had the seats cut. A pubic hair deeper than absolute zero would probably have flown safely. Even Factory variance was probably more than that.

Post by Panzer on Jun 12, 2004, 12:43pm

Ok guys,

It's always nice to learn about other peoples experiences with different products.
I guess there is no such thing as a "bolt in" cam. I mean, whatever cam a person chooses to buy and install, it all comes down to measure/check the cam before installation. AND of course check that everything turns smoothly afterwards!
Well, I'll chose a cam with the characteristics of the Crane 300H, a torque cam. I dont think I will have the time to put in a new cam during this summer, but that kind of work is perfect during winter... ;D
And when the time comes to rebuild the lower end, then I'll go for some stroked flywheels! Wink

Post by Billy on Jun 13, 2004, 2:37am

Sounds like a good plan to me.... ;D

Post by panomania on Jun 27, 2004, 3:42pm

does anybody still use 2 right hand flywheels to lighten up the assembly? my 48 had been run that way before i picked up a s&s kit. i was told that was a trick back in the day. also im with you billy on the j-grind. i put one in mine, rode it down the road and back, tore it down and put the a-grind back in.

Post by Billy on Jun 27, 2004, 6:53pm

Pano, the "J" was a big disappointment. If you were building stock this would be OK. But it's not at all like it's description.
Now The "A" grind is a sweet cam!!! ;D As you know.
As far as lighter wheels, I don't do it. I like the T&O "Torque Monster wheels. Heavier=more torque.
The lighter wheels is an old trick to get the motor to rev-up more quickly. But in Hi-gear it lacked "BALLS"

Post by Cotten on Jun 28, 2004, 12:42am

As Billy points out, there is a give and take to everything. Lighter wheels get you up on a rad cam quicker, beat the clock better, but really suck if you intend to push a windshield and carry a healthy ol' lady.
S&S followed the lighter advantage for their wheels, but they are predominately stroked as well, to return some torque to the equation.
So T&O did the long overdue obvious, and provides stroker wheels of weight similar to stock. Perhaps heavier?
Face it. If you spend most of your riding time below WFO, then your real satisfaction comes from locomotive torque, rather than blinding horsepower.
This is the nature of a panhead.

Post by Sidecar on Jun 28, 2004, 10:39pm

How's about an Andrews F grind ??
Literature says it's basically an A grind with delayed timing to stop pinging.

Post by Billy on Jun 29, 2004, 6:49am

My only experience with a "F" grind was in shovels, in a Pan it would have about .020 more lift, etc..
& It wasn't very impressive in the Shovels. Yes 'delayed timing' = about the same as 'retarding it'.
Might be better in Pan's, but I never used 1 in a Pan.
So I can't say for sure..

Post by Sidecar on Jun 29, 2004, 2:01pm

I kinda figured as much. If the "F" was as good as the "A", everyone would be talking about it instead of the "A".
I'm shopping myself. I've got an un-impressive "J" in now. It sure seems flat from mid to high rpm range.

Post by popspan on Aug 6, 2004, 3:45pm

What are the specs on a true sifton 440, and is anyone running a v-twin sifton 440? I'm not sure what one to go with. Was looking at the A-grind until somebody recommended the sifton 440. Does Leineweber Cams have a similar cam? Lots of questions, any ideas ???

Post by Cotten on Aug 7, 2004, 1:52am

There were two genuine Sifton 440's: one was the "Cobra", and the other nickname excapes my memory right now (Avenger?), but it was for milder engines. The #112 was my preference.
I believe the difference was mostly valve timing.
V-TWIN now sticks any of their purchased brand names on anything they wish, and what comes out of the package this week might not be the same next week.
Sifton and Gary Bang are now defiled brand names.

Post by 57JOHND on Aug 7, 2004, 5:07am


I believe you mentioned that Black Widow had the cam portion of Sifton and for some reason I have heard the same thing. Cant say fer sure but I am almost positive they even had on their site at one time that they had got the not only the cam patterns but the grinders on the Sifton sellout. V twin may have gave them some guff about it (since they got the name) and made them take it off. I bet a call would clear it up. I checked Black Widows site just before posting this and couldnt find anything about it now. Hell, it may just be my Oldtimers Disease kicking in but I could swear youre right.
What about Redline? have heard various comments but the folk I know running strokers all seem to have positive comments. How bout you anyone else?


Post by 57JOHND on Aug 7, 2004, 5:19am

Put "Redline" meant "Redshift"
Kinda got the Earl and Bumpstick confused there huh?



Post by Cotten on Aug 7, 2004, 5:28am

Blackwidow can reproduce the same profiles. I believe they (he) obtained the masters, or whatever they are called.
V-Twin probably never will.
I am not familiar with "Redshift". I live a sheltered existance, and must ignore the modern 'performance' industry in favor of restoration advances.

Post by kr8 on Aug 13, 2004, 11:41pm

There is a Sifton 440 listed for sale on ebay. Might be pre V-Twin.

Post by PBR on Aug 14, 2004, 12:28am

Redshift cams are a product of Zippers? where you send in your cams and they regrind your cams to their specs. This is a service directed to the EVO drag race crowd, and as a side I 'm not a big believer in reground cams. PBR

Post by popspan on Aug 31, 2004, 3:06am

Ok, I plan on running the sifton 440. What do you recommend for lifters? I purchased this set ( ... gory=35572 ) Just curious, should I go with these or switch to solids?

Post by Mbskeam on Aug 31, 2004, 6:43am

hello, Popspan what happend to the andrews A grind you won . My stop watch failed me as I was biding on this , or going to bid on it . I hate when it says auction ended :-X. oh well at least I saw that it was won by somebody on this site.

Post by popspan on Sept 1, 2004, 2:32am

I still have it but I decided not to use it, i'll either put it back on e-bay or just hang on to it for my next project. BTW if you use your refresh button on the last minute of the auction it will show the seconds left until it ends.

Post by Billy on Sept 1, 2004, 6:50am

Yes, the "Refresh button" is our Ebay friend... ;D

Post by 1957 Stroked Pan on Sept 6, 2004, 3:13am

Hey member here..haven't had the time to read this entire thread but here is my status. I have a 1957 FLH stroked with the
S&S 84 inch hot kit, .060 S&S pistons, ANdrews "B" grind cam, 3" open BDL belt drive, True suicide shift with the original jockey lid on the tranny. The bike was built with my students as a metal shop class project last year and will be featured in THE HORSE in the next issue. This winter the original 57 straight leg uncut frame will be revived into an old skool bobber roller and then the motor will be pulled from the current santee frame and put back in the original frame..springer front end, big apes etc.

Post by panomania on Sept 7, 2004, 2:46pm

cant wait to see it!

Post by 1957 Stroked Pan on Sept 8, 2004, 3:43am

It will be students are all pumped up waiting to see the article!

Post by suicideshovel65 on Sept 10, 2004, 7:54am

Saw some pics on the msn Harley tech talk site if that's the same one - looked nice!



Post by krazy loop on Oct 23, 2004, 8:34pm

You do not have to machine real flathead 80 flywheels to work in a knuckle or early pan. Just use a stepped crankpin and it will be fine.

Post by Cotten on Oct 24, 2004, 1:19am

You would not have to re-machine the flywheels to stick 80" wheels in a pre-'55 Pan, but you better build up the scraper in the case.
To the best of my experience, all Pans had the same diameter wheels as later Knucks, 74" or 61", and even Chubbles.
Kinda lost our context on this thread, didn't we?

Post by krazyloop on Oct 28, 2004, 7:04am

I have read numerous times that case flywheel scrapers need to be built up in early pan cases when running UL flywheels. Supposedly EL cases did not have to be built up. I had UL flywheels in EL and and pre-timken FL pan cases without building up anything and never had an over oiling problem in either jug. The type of top end used was irrelevant. Someone else may have had a different experience.

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Re: Need advice on strokers


Post by junkman » Fri Mar 02, 2012 4:30 pm

is it really needed to build up the case scrapers when using ul wheels in a knucklecases ? reason being people have been doing this for many years thanks dick

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Re: Need advice on strokers


Post by RUBONE » Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:41 pm

Short answer is yes, if using later knuck cases ('41 up) that originally had the larger diameter flywheels. It isn't necessary in early cases as they are internally smaller and the flywheels were the same diameter as UL.
And I have built Knuckle and Pan strokers with UL flywheels over the last 40 years and have ALWAYS built up scrapers to proper specs. It is the only way to properly scavenge the lower end.

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