Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Morthodites-"Non Factory" WL with K top-end

WL with K top-end

Built something weird, one-off or want to? Ask or tell us about it here.

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:40 pm

Posts: 2399
Location: atascadero cal usa
heres the same set up on my 49 wr
it ran like a bat outta hell
but i'm restoring the bike so i took it off
each cyl has 1 base mounting hole slotted out to fit it on the w series cases
besides that it seems pretty much a bolt on deal

Post Tue Jun 14, 2005 11:36 pm

Posts: 745
Location: Pa. , USA
check out the sellers other items, lotsa flathead salvage !
hey scoot is that a KR or K top end ?

Post Wed Jun 15, 2005 12:17 pm

Posts: 303
Location: wooster oh usa
not a hard conversion. use a K base gasket to locate the new hole...take out the 45 studd and screw in an aluminum bolt cut off flush with the case.. use the K gasket to locate the repositioned stud. a stock K model cyl is similar to a WR cylinder.. porting,relieving,etc. but a set of lifter blocks for roller tappets from flathead power and some KHK cams and you've got a really hot but reliable engine.


Post Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:56 pm

Posts: 125
Location: Southeast AZ
I have most, if not all, of Panics booklets concerning 45's. EXCELLENT material for folks like me. Highly recommended and appreciated. That is where I first got the thought of putting a K top on a 45 bottom. Sounded like a good way to get a performance increase and something a bit different looking at the same time.
I have a 65GE that I had wanted to put the top on. After getting the parts I found that there was a major alignment problem with valve covers (exhaust I think) that was way beyond my experience/skills to deal with. Then later on in another thread on this conversion topic there was much discussion about lifter block angles, types, special cam angle grinds, etc., that seemed to be necessary to do the conversion properly. Quite frankly I got totally lost, shelved the parts and gave up on the idea. However every time someone asks a question about it the interest is rekindled and won't go away.

Bottom line is---
Can this be done on the GE bottom end? If so, is there someone willing to explain step by exact part/modification necessary to acccomplish this? And do it in a manner that assumes I know nothing? While I am not clueless, totally inexperienced or stupid, I just don't have the skills or experience most of you guys do. Or are there differences between the GE and WR/WL cases that make it feasible for one but not the other?

Nor is there anything like that around here to look at or refer to. Boonies living sometimes has its drawbacks. There is a local half-assed machinist and an excellent welder 30 mi away. Between them and my 4lb sledge, hacksaw and half round bastard I'm trying to build something special for the wife. This engine will eventually go into a custom trike. I wanted the engine to have enough torque/horsepower to pull 55-65 mph easily and without being wound out. By using the K top I thought I could save machine work and money by not having the performance mods done to the 45 top. But this opens up another can of worms it seems.

Oh- and while I'm living on fantasy island here, if this were also stroked using the T&O flywheels are there pistons available that would work without the use of stroker plates?

This forum is great. Many thanks to those that make it possible and to all contributors.

AN ASIDE TO PA- Sorry I have not wriiten back for so long. The wifes trike got sidelined for about the past three months but is now about to start SLOWLY trudging forward again. You may remember the pics I sent you a while back. I'm still interested in the electric start setup we discussed. I have a new email addy and will contact you soon.

THANKS to all.


Post Wed Jun 15, 2005 3:40 pm

Posts: 2399
Location: atascadero cal usa
barry explained it perfectly
the slotted base holes was to avoid modifying the wr case which i think was a smart move
i'm sure you guys realise how hard they are to find

Post Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:07 pm

Posts: 766
Location: CA USA
This is an old time upgrade for the W/G 45. Used on little midget[?] race car motors. If you want to stroke it use the KH jugs they are taller and will give you 55".
I had a WR done that way, but the holes were moved. Took alot of welding and machining to reclaim them to WR spec. 'dog

Post Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:07 am

Posts: 783
Location: Victoria, Australia
Greybeard unless you really want to do this for the looks why bother. Since your building a trike and want to pull yourself and your missus along the road at comfortable speeds why not purchase a new set of T&O wheels. Their new stroker wheels come in a 4 1/2" stroke and they now supply the pistons to suit. Since you have most of Panic's texts (45HD stroker wheels?)this conversion seems the most straight forward and logical given your resources and skills. There are several guys on this board who have done this or are currently planning on doing it. Billy for example has put a lot of work and research into his servi-car. His motor has been optimized for torque...exactly what you need. IMHO take the path of least resistence unless you really want to go through some character building.

~ Vince

Post Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:25 am

Posts: 975
Location: Markt Einersheim, Germany

Piet Jan, did you get my e-mail?

I am currently working on a bobber/chopper project, similar engine..stroked 45,,brit 4 speed..45's or anyone else like to exchange ideas and photos fire them away and I'll reply..

45' ole lady would have a freaking heart attack if I put anything but food in the oven...she liked to have had a fit when I mentioned putting the tanks in towels and chunking them w/cleaning agent into the drier to clean out the inside of the tanks...

Moral? DON"T MENTION S*&T about it around what's needed when she surely ain't gonna be around for a bit....

George in Germany

Post Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:44 am

Posts: 1538
yea, Graybeard & I aren't exactly strangers.
We both belong one of the servi-sites.
And have discussed a couple things before.

Post Fri Jun 17, 2005 3:46 pm

Posts: 125
Location: Southeast AZ
Yeah Billy, we have! And your help has been much appreciated. Thanks to you and to all who take time to respond to my questions- even if sometimes they're not too intelligent or perhaps often repeated. It's just me, though. I'm the type that will aim real high on ANY project of any nature. Get advice, think things through and then pare it down to what I really need or can afford or can actually accomplish. This process could take two days or two years but once my mind is made up and I'm ready to move on it-Look out! Right or wrong it's time for action. I love doing everything hands on that I can but I can't do it all. Nor can I afford to send everything out and pay someone else. Just trying to hit a balance between the two. Limited funds, limited parts and my logistics force me to be very careful and have everything planned out. Cannot afford major mistakes.

That's what's happening here. A couple of you pointed out what I guess I already knew - I'm really over my head with the K top. Too limited by logistics and skills. Time to let that go. Stroking would appear to be the way to go. Creates diff problems for me but at least these are workable.

Thanks to dalaymond for asking what was going to be my next question! Now I can just follow that thread.

Now a stroker question. There would appear to be 3 diff strokes available-7/16, 1/2 and 5/8. Using the T&O stroker pistons where does that put the piston dome at the top of the stroke in relation to the cylinder? I am ASSuming below, even and above respectively. Does the 5/8 then give one a stroker w/popups? Is this the ideal combo? I will be using #6 alum heads and machine work is available. Exactly what is gained with pop ups?
Or since this is for a trike and not a racing solo should I just drop that idea also and go to one of the two shorter strokes? Thoughts?

Thanks again to all-
Rob in AZ
--Oh, and please stay tuned ya'll for my next D.A. question cocerning crankcase bearings. It's sure to be a winner! LOL!

Post Fri Jun 17, 2005 7:34 pm

Posts: 125
Location: Southeast AZ
Thanks 45-
It was on the KNS site where I saw the 5/8 wheels, in addition to the 7/16 and 1/2. Check the link he posted in this thread. I have not talked to T&O yet but their website info implies that they offer one piston only for both strokes. Perhaps it is just my perception. I do plan to remove the baffles and add a skirt oiler even though it is supposedly not necessary for clearance with the T&O stroker pistons. I don't necessarily want pop ups, was just wondering if they worked that way with the longer stroke. Jest checkin' options.

Wow, no kidding on the no free lunch. In more ways than one(hundred). Keeps it interesting though.

Ride safe,

Post Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:00 am

Posts: 117
Am i just a cheap bastard, or is that opening bid really steep?

Post Sat Jun 18, 2005 1:21 am

Posts: 783
Location: Victoria, Australia
I have in hand currently the T&O stroker pistons for the 4 1/2" stroker wheels to suit my 45 WL engine. Visually they look really good. Thin rings, sturdy construction, shorter skirts, flat top of ample thickness. If anyone here recalls the BSA M20 racer article I posted some time back through meets the same criteria.

I removed my baffles 3 years ago. I tend to think with current oil technology and proper running in, the baffles are just redundent 30's technology. Add a front oiler if need be. The baffles in my view just absorb energy.

~ Vince

Post Tue Nov 07, 2006 4:32 pm

Posts: 575
Location: devon,england
on / off subject but i also have a wl bottom end completely rebuilt and a pair of k model barrels and matching heads i want to fit what combination of cams ,tappets, tappet guides and covers will WORK, please from someone thats done it..thanx jib

Post Wed Nov 08, 2006 12:46 pm

Posts: 1644
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

Hi, I've done it, here's some pics:

This is the shade tree version of the conversion. I used WR exhaust tappet blocks, KHK cams, used the KH upper valve spring covers and made my own lower covers with "O" rings and clamps to hold in place. Alignment of valves and tappets is pretty good, valve stem not centered on tappet, but doesn't go off the edge either. Supposedly the angles aren't perfect for cam/tappet alignment, but my cams don't show any unusual wear. It's only a plaything, only have about 15K mi on it.
Flywheels 4 13/16", bore .070, 45 pistons. And yes it's worth it!!

Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 7:52 am

Posts: 575
Location: devon,england
thanks for replying Dr Dick, i have khk cams but they are pretty rougth with pitting, was thinking of 45 parts depot wr cams, followers and guides changing the cam spindles for the wl type, any thoughts. jib

Post Sat Nov 11, 2006 3:26 pm

Posts: 1644
Location: Interlaken, NY USA

I don't know much about the WR cams and followers, never owned any. The K top end does want a lot hotter cam than the wl for sure. Whatever you do, has to go faster than a stock wl :-)
Dr. Dick

Post Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:00 pm

Posts: 128
Location: BRANFORD, CT

Hi Guys,

I Thought I'd reserrect this old thread.
I just got an email from a perspective customer asking what had to be done to put a K top end on a WL bottom.

At the risk of potentially exposing myself to the mercy of the many knowledgeable members of this forum, I will ask for any comments, suggestions, or whatever, by posting my response here.

"What you need to complete your project are my angled WR tappet guides , these are designed to be used with standard WL roller tappets.
My WR angled cam lobes (available in various grinds) which need to be timed and welded to your existing WL gear clusters (the ones with the push out shafts).
WR valve covers which I do not have in production yet. The standard covers will not work because of the large threads.
I don't think the sportster cams will work, they have even less lift than the WL cams because they make it up in the rocker ratio, also they are designed for OHV motors not flatheads..
If you use my hotter cam profiles you should replace the valve springs, Steve Hartley has these available.

All of my parts are direct bolt in except for fitting the cam lobes.
On the KR cylinders the bolt hole near the exhaust lifter is NOT in the same position as on the WL or WR. You must either move the stud or the hole (may be easier).
You will also need a K or WR intake manifold and I think K pipes will work but I'm not sure how they will clear the bottom of the timming cover. "

What is this forum's opinion as to the correctness of this response, any additions, deletions, or clarifactions.

Please be gentle!
Bruce Argetsinger
AHRMA Dirt Track # 67J

Post Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:02 am

Posts: 693
Location: somerset, oh usa
I think you've pretty much got it excepting that the std intake tappet guides align much better than WR to K cylinders. Should be able to modify them to accept the WR slip on covers. Still haven't done this personally as although I had planned it, I now want a KH instead...again...still.
Seeing Hilo's from Johnny's Vintage Cycle at Wauseon and mid OH sealed the deal.
KR hard tail and baby cerianis...sweet! Great job!
I may have a wl/k "kit" for sale sometime in the future.
Should have kept every bike that I've ever had but there's just not enough room and time to keep them all up.

Post Sun Aug 17, 2008 12:52 pm

Posts: 48
Initialliy I fitted WR exhaust tappet guides and WL intake tappet guides (changed to make a WR valve cover fit). The alignment was perfect for the exhaust tappets, and just good enough for the intakes to make it work, but not good enough to fit the WR valve covers. See this picture (posted on Iron Motors Tech). The valves are tilted towards the bore, but also... in the length direction. Now I have fitted WR tappet guides on both exhaust and intake (the version for roller tappets), and the WR valve covers do fit. Alignment is perfect! Have fitted KH cams. All else is standard K, head, intake etc.

WR-exhaust and WL intake tappet guide (note misalignment K-valve and WL-tappet-guide) => (LOWER) INTAKE VALVE COVER DOES NOT FIT

WR tappet guides all around => VALVE COVERS DO FIT!

KH cam profile compared to WL cam:


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