K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

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K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby JerrryR » Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:28 pm

Hi All,
I'm in need of some third opinions on the Inlet Pipe, Manifold, finish. I have two very reliable sources disagreeing about it. One says painted black like the carb, the other says parkerized. While were at it I'm also curious about the manifold nuts, were they Cad 52-56?

Linkert Inlet Pipe, Manifold.jpg
Linkert Inlet Pipe, Manifold.jpg (51.9 KiB) Viewed 2059 times
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Re: K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby wz507 » Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:41 pm

To the best of my knowledge the subject parts are all cad.
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Re: K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby hayleyl » Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:15 am

I'm confident that both parts were originally CAD. Cheers Hayley
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Re: K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby starcain » Tue Dec 14, 2021 12:46 pm

Jerry, I lucked out last night and actually found a used intake manifold that I thought I used on the '53. This one is painted black like I suspected. I'm not sure I have ever noticed a parkerized one. It may be pretty hard to distinguish between black paint and parkerizing especially if the manifold was on a bike. Cadmium would be much more easily noticeable but can't say I have ever noticed one. Two pictures are of the black painted manifold that I found last night. The third picture is of the factory photo '52 K motor. The question at the time was if the manifold in the picture is painted black or parkerized. To get a better idea I cropped out a portion of the kick lever which we know for sure is painted black and a section of the rear motor mount that is parkerized, also showing in the kick lever crop is a beautiful parkerized brake light switch, I put both crops up by the manifold to compare finishes. In my opinion the manifold looks closer to the painted kick lever then it does to the parkerized pieces and therefor in my opinion, the manifold is painted black in this picture. My original paint 1956 also has a painted black manifold. So, we have a '52 motor with black paint on manifold and a '56 original bike that has a black painted manifold and also a loose manifold that is painted black. Might make you think that all K Models then had black painted manifolds. However, we have a friend that says he has had three parkerized ones. The manifold has a 27020-40 P/N. What were these manifolds used on before they started using them on the Ks? Maybe the earlier ones were parkerized? What we need is additional pictures of parkerized and cad plated manifolds on an original bike or at least motor. Just saying so isn't quite enough. We need proof for the pudding. Also, there is no question that the manifold nuts are supposed to be cadmium plated.
Jerry, it will be interesting to hear what Jim Garrett comes back with.

Stan
Attachments
Intake Manifold Painted (1).JPG
Intake Manifold Painted (1).JPG (135.75 KiB) Viewed 1982 times
Intake Manifold Painted (2).JPG
Intake Manifold Painted (2).JPG (96.52 KiB) Viewed 1982 times
K Motor (Right) (Copy)_edited-1.jpg
K Motor (Right) (Copy)_edited-1.jpg (470.61 KiB) Viewed 1982 times
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Re: K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby wz507 » Tue Dec 14, 2021 5:54 pm

starcain wrote:The manifold has a 27020-40 P/N. What were these manifolds used on before they started using them on the Ks? Maybe the earlier ones were parkerized? What we need is additional pictures of parkerized and cad plated manifolds on an original bike or at least motor. Just saying so isn't quite enough. We need proof for the pudding. Also, there is no question that the manifold nuts are supposed to be cadmium plated.
Jerry, it will be interesting to hear what Jim Garrett comes back with.

The subject manifold was used on a variety of 45” and 55” flatheads (WR, K, KR, KH) that employed 4 bolt 1.5” Linkerts. Although Bruce Palmer doesn’t cover these specific models in his restoration guide, we might still glean some insight on the subject of finishes on said manifolds from his teachings. His book covers the following models.

Palmer Models.jpg
Palmer Models.jpg (61.7 KiB) Viewed 1939 times

Per Palmer the inlet pipe and nut finishes were as follows.

’36 - 38, bright nickel
’39 - 43, cad plated unpolished pipes and nuts
’44 – 47, parkerized pipes and nuts
’48 - mid 49, polished cad pipes and nuts
’49 - 57, unpolished cad pipes and nuts

IF, the above information relates to ALL manifold varieties manufactured over the stated time period, it would muddy the subject of manifold finishes sufficiently that one could easily envision either a black or white manifold on a K Model. Note that no reference to a painted manifold exists. If we take Palmer’s teachings literally, it suggests that all manifolds after 1947 were white, thus we would conclude that all K Model manifolds were white (but we know better). However, who is to say the MoCo didn’t have a crate of black (parkerized) manifolds laying around, circa 1947, that they decided to use when the K Model was introduced and it took them X years and Y months to consume these before they made a new lot of cad plated manifolds and used them thereafter? I suspect some Ks were fit with black manifolds and some were fit with white manifolds. I also find it interesting that black manifolds were used with white nuts. The more I read about the finishes on manifolds and nuts the more I'm leaning toward a hodge podge of finishes that were used as available. In other words they weren't about to shut down the production line because they ran out of black or white manifolds.

Look forward to hear others thoughts, opinions and new information on the subject.
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Re: K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby starcain » Tue Dec 14, 2021 6:52 pm

Just a little while ago Jim Garrett confirmed that his original paint 1954 KH has a black painted intake manifold. With the evidence that we have gathered in the last couple of days, Jim's confirmation on black paint and many years of real-life observations it would be reasonable to assume that black painted manifolds would be correct for a restoration. I guess anything could be possible and an errant cad plated one could be out there on a K somewhere but it's not likely to be the norm.
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Re: K Model Inlet Pipe, Manifold, Finish

Postby wz507 » Wed Dec 15, 2021 10:38 am

I had an interesting conversation this morning with a friend who has built many WR, KR, K and KH engines over the decades, so has seen more than his fair share of the subject intake manifolds. When I inquired about manifold finishes he has seen over the decades, he said that they were all black, and added that he had seen a couple brass manifolds that are very rare. He clarified that the majority of them were parkerized but that some were also painted black. I inquired as to whether he had an opinion regarding whether the black paint was an original finish or something someone spray-bombed on after the fact. He was emphatic that the finish was factory enamel due to the fact that 1) the paint had runs in it, 2) was very difficult to remove with a glass bead blaster, as are all vintage heat-baked Harley enamels (especially runs and thick sections), and 3) that when bead blasted, the factory enamel has a unique smell to him, and all black-painted manifolds always have that smell. In contrast, if the manifolds were spray-bombed black, a glass bead blaster would remove the finish instantly with minimal effort.

Not much more to offer on this front aside from noting that the above observations harmonize perfectly with those gathered by Starcain and his network of contacts suggesting that K Model manifolds were all black. As far as Palmer’s comments on manifold finishes, they were not directed to the specific class of machines under discussion here, and are clearly incongruent with the emerging image of K Model manifold finishes reported here.
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