Board index Flathead Power-Technical Questions, Answers, and Suggestions Sporties XLCH cam question...

XLCH cam question...

Moderators: Curt!, Pa

Post Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:09 pm

Posts: 188
Location: sweden
A buddy of mine have a -65 XLCH, the bike was pretty unmolested but is currently undergoing a "back to stock" overhaul. When he pulled the cam cover the he found that the cams was marked: P1, XL2, P3 & P4. First we thought that the rear intake cam had been swapped sometime since obviously has a lot less duration than the front cam. A check in the books however gave us this, the rear intake cam has a -57 number while the others have -59 numbers. All the cams also has the same brown color markings.

Is this the way they came? And if so, what would the purpose for this be? Easier starting?
Thanks Stefan.

Post Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:21 pm

Posts: 2684
Location: Los Angeles, CA
epinut wrote:
A buddy of mine have a -65 XLCH, the bike was pretty unmolested but is currently undergoing a "back to stock" overhaul. When he pulled the cam cover the he found that the cams was marked: P1, XL2, P3 & P4. First we thought that the rear intake cam had been swapped sometime since obviously has a lot less duration than the front cam. A check in the books however gave us this, the rear intake cam has a -57 number while the others have -59 numbers. All the cams also has the same brown color markings.

Is this the way they came? And if so, what would the purpose for this be? Easier starting?
Thanks Stefan.



The "P" cams were a step up from the XL cams. Somehow you are missing one "P" cam.

Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:21 am

Posts: 217
Location: Palo Alto, CA
No, early bikes had the XL cam as stock for easy starting I believe. This went to a full P set later - there are past threads on this.

Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:58 am

Posts: 188
Location: sweden
suicideshovel65 wrote:
No, early bikes had the XL cam as stock for easy starting I believe. This went to a full P set later - there are past threads on this.

Tried searching but came up with nothing...

Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:52 pm

Posts: 43
The P cams had a -59 number, and were used on XLH and CH, not the XL model. At one time this motor must have lost a cam, and someone substituted the wrong part.
VPH-D

Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 4:10 pm

Posts: 2684
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Anyway you want to look at it it should have all four cams the same. Not a mixture of XL and P.

Post Tue Jun 03, 2008 10:22 pm

Posts: 387
That is the way early CH Sportsters came. The first ones using "P" cams were configured that way. It helped starting with the mag and did not seem to affect running! Makes you wonder why "P" cams in the first place? The cams all became "P" after with the advent of the manual advance on the magneto in '65 and starting wasn't such an issue.
Robbie

Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 5:36 am
panic

"That is the way early CH Sportsters came. The first ones using "P" cams were configured that way."

Source of this amazing data?

Post Wed Jun 04, 2008 9:59 am

Posts: 20
Opened up an early sixties XLCH several years ago to find similar combo of cams. Heard the easier starting story at the time but never really verified it. Since it has remained one of those little mysteries to me , I am glad to see it getting aired out !

Jack

Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 10:59 am

Posts: 188
Location: sweden
Ok, thanks for all the input guys! Since several people here had the same experience with the #2 cam being XL on early CH's I guess it's not a coincidence... Some factory documentation would've been nice though.

Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:14 pm

Posts: 43
Both my 59 and 63 parts books show only P cams in use after 1959. If the XL cam helped starting, why use one rather than two?
VPH-D

Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 1:22 pm

Posts: 1634
presumably because once one cylinder fired, the other would follow and/or be driven along by the first ignition stroke?
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

Post Thu Jun 05, 2008 7:13 pm
panic

This is one of those awkward moments when the only possible answer will offend several people who have offered their opinions as fact.

Post Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:39 am

Posts: 188
Location: sweden
According to the parts manual the numbers for -59 & up XLCH are these:
Front intake 25501-59
Rear intake 25502-57a
Front exhaust 25503-59
Rear exhaust 25504-59
If they where supposed to have a full P-set, why the -57 number on the rear intake cam?

Post Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:28 am

Posts: 607
Location: Menomonie, Wisconsin, USA
On one hand this might explain something I noticed years ago. I have a pail each of 1,3,4 P cams and a pail of 2 XL cams -- but in defense of panic somehow it just doesn't seem right. I buy every 2P cam I can find because I know I can always make a set. Jerry

Post Tue Jun 10, 2008 12:29 pm

Posts: 111
I find the same to be true as Jerry (lots of 2xl but not many 2p).

Post Sun Jun 15, 2008 3:02 am

Posts: 587
Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Hi All,

Thought I'll jump in as well!!!

Have had two 59 CH earlier in me life here in G.B., both had 3 off P's and #2 was an XL... I've asked the question on my site and had replies that it indeed was right up to 66 when they got the full P set monty with great H-D fanfare of "new" P cams...

http://www.harleykrxlrtt.com/1958_xlc_xlch.htm

Patrick


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