'53 tappet blocks

Production K Models

'53 tappet blocks

Postby RHK » Mon Jan 17, 2022 8:15 am

Hi Guys,
Probably a stupid question, but please bare with me.
Are there any tappet blocks from other HD models that could be used on a '53 K? My engine came only as a set of cases, heads and barrels, no internals. I've trawled the interweb and can find no blocks mentioned for the K, just ones for the W, WL's etc. I'm aware some other blocks have compound angles machined on, but some are straight and look like they might work. Possibly modified? Failing an alternative part, I will make some but will need dimensions, if some one can help? I may even produce a pattern and have a batch cast for an original look rather than machine from solid.

Regards,

RHK.
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby Rubone » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:05 pm

No, WL or early UL/VL are all basically the same as each other but they are all different than K type, later UL are different again as they are unthreaded. All are machined differently than K and have a different thread on top.
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby panic » Mon Jan 17, 2022 1:30 pm

I keep making the same mistake
Last edited by panic on Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[url="http://victorylibrary.com/L-BK.htm"]The Linkert Book[/url]
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby EKHKHK56 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:28 pm

Interestingly just the small amount of Valve Tipping increased the flow quite a bit, helping the Flat Head breathe around the corner. Especially for racing, high rpm KR etc.
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby EKHKHK56 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 2:29 pm

KR ones are same with a bushing to use larger diameter Springs and Covers.
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby wz507 » Mon Jan 17, 2022 4:20 pm

RHK,

If you are dedicated to the point of considering making K Model tappet blocks from scratch, you may find the 2 options below much more attractive. As others have noted, the main difference between the WL and K tappet block is the top thread to fit the valve cover, i.e., WL=large, K=small.

WL lifter block.png
WL lifter block.png (153.24 KiB) Viewed 1131 times
KHK Lifter and Block -LR.jpg
KHK Lifter and Block -LR.jpg (29.54 KiB) Viewed 1131 times

So, you have a couple options.

1. Mount a WL block in a lathe, machine the thread off to a suitable diameter. The remaining stub may be suitable to allow directly cutting the correct K Model valve cover thread on the machined stub. In the alternative, make a threaded ring that fits the K model cover and press it over the stub. A light press fit is probably fine, or a dab of silver solder on the joint to assure there is no subsequent oil leakage.
WL Tappet block with turned stub.jpg
WL Tappet block with turned stub.jpg (41.14 KiB) Viewed 1118 times


2. If you had the large diameter KR valve covers that seal on the bottom via o-ring, you could simply machine the WL thread to an appropriate size stub, cut an o-ring groove in the stub and you’d be all set to receive a KR valve cover.

Let us know how you make out.
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby RHK » Wed Jan 19, 2022 6:30 am

Hi All,
Thanks for all the great responses. So basically a WL block will fit, the difference being the thread diameter?
As I may have mention elsewhere, Model K stuff is very thin on the ground here in the UK. Can anybody confirm that the K block thread is 1.020" dia and 20TPI please? Seems an odd size. I thought thread diameters were made to a nominal size i.e. 1.000" or 1.0625", but what do I know! If it's good enough for HD, it's fine with me.
If anyone has an old block and top/bottom cover I could buy to copy (or borrow?), that would be excellent. Or an engineering drawing with enough information on to produce a set of parts.

Regards,
RHK
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby Arvid Solli » Wed Jan 19, 2022 7:53 am

Hello-
I have a full set of valve spring covers for you, if you are interested. I converted to KR springs/covers, and will not need these.
Near as I understand, you have empty cases? I also have a crankshaft in decent condition and other parts as well. Do you have the rest of the bike, or just an engine? Let me know, I have quite a lot of surplus K model parts taking up space here. Parts are located in Sweden.
Yours: Arvid Solli.
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby wz507 » Wed Jan 19, 2022 9:20 am

RHK wrote:So basically a WL block will fit, the difference being the thread diameter?

YES
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Re: '53 tappet blocks

Postby starcain » Wed Jan 19, 2022 10:44 am

RHK, I have 5 extra used tappet blocks I would sell if interested. 3 are fronts, 2 rears. They look pretty good to me, but I can see some discoloration in two of the bores. They feel pretty smooth, just discolored. I'm assuming you are also going to need tappets so, if need be, the tappet blocks in question could be opened up and an over-sized tappet installed. $150 for the blocks plus whatever shipping would be. PM me if interested.
Stan
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