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Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

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cane

Posts: 74

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:01 am

Location: Laguna Beach

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 1:11 pm

Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Does anyone know who makes quality knuckle head tappets? I didn't see any in the S&S catalog and when called to inquire as to their availability they said that they used panhead tappets in their knucklehead motors.
Chris
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Chris Haynes

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:23 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

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cane

Posts: 74

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:01 am

Location: Laguna Beach

Post Mon Jun 14, 2010 2:54 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Thanks Chris, Do you know if they are still being manufactured with vacuum defeating holes in the top?
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Chris Haynes

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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:54 am

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

cane wrote:Thanks Chris, Do you know if they are still being manufactured with vacuum defeating holes in the top?


That I don't know. Call and ask'em.
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cane

Posts: 74

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:01 am

Location: Laguna Beach

Post Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:23 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

I emailed Jeff May at Eastern Motorcycle parts. He said that all they have now are the tappets with the holes and that the hole would be deleted for the next run.
Chris
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Chris Haynes

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Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:54 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

It would seem that a drop of JB Weld would eliminate the hole.
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john k. endrizzi

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Location: nekoosa,wisconsin,usa

Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:03 am

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

If it was the ONLY option that I had, my choice would be to tap and fill the hole with a machine screw. I sure wouldn't rely on schmooie on an internal motor part.
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Cotten

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Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Thu Jun 17, 2010 6:19 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Why do so many manufacturers toss their reputations to the wind by selling off their crap before they produce an improved product?

....Cotten
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T.Shoe

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Location: Custer Wa.

Post Sun Jun 20, 2010 10:27 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

I have Jims lifters in my motor. Don't know if they still make them.Worth a call.

ride to live tshoe
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cane

Posts: 74

Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2004 1:01 am

Location: Laguna Beach

Post Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:48 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

I'm in luck. They still make them. Thanks for the heads up.
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Lee W

Posts: 139

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:58 pm

Location: Carver, MN

Post Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:59 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Someone badly misinformed you about the S&S lifters. They build Knuckle tappets in both std and +.005. The part numbers are:
std set 106-1819
+.005 set 106-1820
std intake (each) 106-1815
std exhaust 106-1817
+.005 intake 106-1816
+.005 exhaust 106-1818
I have used these quality pieces from S&S and as long as they are available I will never use another of those junk Eastern Knuckle tappets again. The extra hole is only one of the problems with the Eastern version.
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framebuilder

Posts: 53

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:21 am

Location: Australia

Post Mon Jul 30, 2012 5:04 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

cane wrote:Thanks Chris, Do you know if they are still being manufactured with vacuum defeating holes in the top?



I have Eastern lifters with the holes drilled through the top of the body.
I also have a chronic oil leak on all tins, but especially the exhaust tins (probably because they are the lowest points)

I have changed the tin gaskets three times and the pushrods corks twice, trying to chase down the leak.
But after the first refit of gaskets I am convinced that my gaskets have been vacuum tight each time.
The engine is a 1937 EL but the heads were retrofitted with genuine 38-39 tins back in the day.
The rockers are not touching the tin covers.

The gaskets hold tight and dry for about 20 minutes into a ride, then it looks like the tins overfilled with oil and the oil pushes out past the sealed gasket. The gasket surfaces on the tins have been thoroughly cleaned with Accertone and I have used 3 bond and Airoquip aviation gasket sealer on separate occasions, and each time I let it cure over night before starting.
The engine is new and fully rebuilt and now has 1300 miles on it. The engine is beautifully built, smooth, quiet and starts first kick even after sitting for a couple of months but I am lost with this issue
We installed Eastern because they are the only manufacturer who offers the larger oversize lifters.
Has anyone had this problem with these ventilated Eastern lifters and then welded/closed the holes and seen the problem solved?
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Cotten

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Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:33 am

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Framebuilder!

It is a shame the search function on this forum is worthless, as this has been discussed before.

Recently a Chicago associate of mine faced these same agonies;
Matt Olsen clued him in to plugging the tappet blunder.

.....Cotten
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Lee W

Posts: 139

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:58 pm

Location: Carver, MN

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:53 am

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Fixing the part known to be wrong seems like the logical place to start. If that alleviates the symptoms, great; if not, it would indicate there are other issues lurking.
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framebuilder

Posts: 53

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:21 am

Location: Australia

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:03 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Lee W wrote:Fixing the part known to be wrong seems like the logical place to start. If that alleviates the symptoms, great; if not, it would indicate there are other issues lurking.



Hi and thanks for the replies.
This thread and the one scant reply that I first attached, are the only information I have been able to find on the Internet that directly relates to Eastern lifters and the holes being the problem with the lack of vacuum.

It will only be logical if someone relates that they have filled the holes in the top of the Eastern lifter and it directly made a difference in vacuuming the oil from the top end.
If you know of another thread on this forum or another forum, that directly relates to someone describing the same symptoms as me and filling the holes in the lifters and curing the problem then I would appreciate the direction to that thread.
At this stage, I only have the one vague post of someone indicating that it is the problem....attached below...
(Thanks Chris, Do you know if they are still being manufactured with vacuum defeating holes in the top?)

Regards Steve
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john k. endrizzi

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Location: nekoosa,wisconsin,usa

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 12:47 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Maybe I'm missing something here ? Lee posted the p/n's for the S&S-FHP Knucklehead lifters. Not to tell you what to do, but if it were me, I'd donate the Eastern lifters to the Gods of Speed !
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framebuilder

Posts: 53

Joined: Fri Oct 14, 2005 2:21 am

Location: Australia

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 1:07 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

My 1937 lifter blocks needed oversizing to clean up the bores . S&S don't go up to the size that eastern offer.
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2634

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:35 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

framebuilder wrote:My 1937 lifter blocks needed oversizing to clean up the bores . S&S don't go up to the size that eastern offer.



Have a plater cover the outside of the blocks with wax and hard chrome the blocks. This will build up to worn area inside the blocks. It may take more than one bath in the chrome to acheive the desired thickness. You will than have to hone the ID to standard.
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Lee W

Posts: 139

Joined: Sat Sep 23, 2006 8:58 pm

Location: Carver, MN

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 3:32 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

Hi Steve. Sorry, but I can't give any before/after closing off the holes testimony because I have only plugged them as part of an installation of new oversize lifters during a rebuild. If your question is "will the top end return oil properly without plugging the holes?" the answer is no. The passages in the lifter block route to a timed port in the breather gear. The hole in the top provides a passage through the hollow tappet into the gearcase which defeats the purpose of the timed vacuum.

Since you already have the Eastern lifters, in +.010 I assume, I can understand why you would want to use them. The other things to be aware of on the Eastern lifters is that the top portion (the part contains the threads) appears to be "friction welded" to the body. I have seen a good number of them that are crooked. It is quite easy to spot when they are crooked, since the seam which normally would be nearly invisible will have a gap on one side. I have no solution for that except replacement.

I have also always been suspicious of how well the pin is installed in the tappet rollers. It has to be tight enough to "capture" the inner roller race because if that starts to turn it will wear through the pin in short order. A little extra peening on each end of the pin has always let me sleep better.

The last issue I have seen with them is that the edges of the machined surfaces are usually sharp enough to shave with. Maybe not a big deal, but I always pictured those sharp edges shearing the lubrication off the wall of the lifter block, so I have always rounded off those corners slightly.

Good luck!
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h.d.ryder

Posts: 287

Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:01 am

Location: Cranbrook B.C. Canada

Post Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:58 pm

Re: Who makes quality knucklehead tappets?

I don`t suppose someone could post a picture of the eastern tappet with the hole in it ?
Thanks.
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