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Old 07-01-2009, 11:38 PM   #1
oldschoolsoldier
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Default Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Okay this might be a dumb question but I would like to know......

I was at a local bike salvage place where they had a "shovel"head in the work bay. When I inquried about what year the shovel was the guy told me that it wasnt a shovel. When I pointed out to him that it had shovel rocker boxes on it he said that it was a pan bottom shovel top and that was why it wasnt considered a shovelhead.

Now I was under the impression that the older shovels were all made with pan lowers and shovel tops. So my question is since it has shovel tops wouldnt that make it a shovelhead?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Get ready
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Old 07-01-2009, 11:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Pan/Shovel, Generator Shovel, Slabside Shovel, Flatside Shovel, pick one. Its still a shovelhead regardless of what that guy says.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:00 AM   #4
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Who cares... Why would someone put shovel heads on a pan anyway? Pans Rule!
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:03 AM   #5
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Harley did from 1966 to 1969. It was a panhead lower end and shovelhead top end
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:07 AM   #6
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

I't could have been a 48-65 pan w/shovel heads. The genny motors get their names from the heads, hence Shovel "head". maybe that's what he meant panhead year bottom.years 65 lower pan shovel, 66 up shovelhead.So what year was it?. Fred
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:15 AM   #7
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

It started way back in 1936 with the KNUCKLEHEAD!!! then H-D PUT Panheads ON THE KNUCKLE lowerend!!!!!! So there!!!!!

66-69 are Generater shovels, 48-65 OHV with pan heads, 36-47 OHV with overhead valves "called knuckleheads" The factory didnt call the OHV anything intill 66 when they started calling them "shovelheads"..........Roach.
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Old 07-02-2009, 12:28 AM   #8
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

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Originally Posted by allcoamex View Post
So what year was it?. Fred
All he said was "Its a 70 something...........I think and its for sale do you want to buy it? ." I asked how much and he wanted $15,500 for it!

I think the guy was just trying not to look like a douche in front of his dad who actually owns the yard but who knows.

Thanks for the info guys!
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:13 AM   #9
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

1936-1954 are generator cases although they are "roller bearing" bottom ends. 1955-1969 have generator cases although have the timken style bearings in the cases. you may put shovel heads on any of the generator cases, also referred to the "pan/shovel"

The best thing to do would be to check the numbers on the cases to figure out what year it is.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:14 AM   #10
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

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Originally Posted by chopperkid13 View Post
Who cares... Why would someone put shovel heads on a pan anyway?
Better breathing = more horsepower and torque.
Before Pans were quaint and "vintage", they were just old, and this was a very common performance mod.
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Old 07-02-2009, 01:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

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Better breathing = more horsepower and torque.
Before Pans were quaint and "vintage", they were just old, and this was a very common performance mod.

And because the shovelheads had shaft mounted rockers, they lasted longer then the panheads clamshell rockers......Roach.
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Old 07-02-2009, 02:03 AM   #12
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

hey roach do you know the actual horsepower gains through the years from FL knuckles pans and shovels ...were they significant...I'm not sure they were huge...
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Old 07-02-2009, 04:32 AM   #13
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

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Who cares... Why would someone put shovel heads on a pan anyway? Pans Rule!
I love pans but the generator shovel is the best looking motor in my opinion.
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Old 07-02-2009, 06:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

I heard the put shovel heads on back in the day for performance and better top end oiling.i bought a 55 pan engine with shovel heads from a old timer and that is what he said how tru it is I dont know but I do know the oiling part is true.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Shovel top end on panhead=latest hot set up of the 60s/70s.
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Old 07-02-2009, 08:56 AM   #16
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Hells yeah....

66 shovel with 58 lower end... Gorgeous motor fo sho!!
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:00 AM   #17
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

What ever year it says on the case then that what it is. If its older than a 65 then its a panhead no matter what someone replaced the top end with. +1 on your post chopperkid.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:24 AM   #18
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

If it's a 48-65, then it WAS a panhead and now has shovel heads on it...call it what you like. If it's a 66-69, then it's a shovelhead (I hate the term pan/shovel). If it's 70+, then it's in alternator cases and the dude is a dumbass, as Panheads (from Harley) were never offered in anything other than genny cases.

Generally when I'm talking to someone about a shovelhead, I'll ask whether it's a generator shovel or a cone shovel.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:37 AM   #19
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

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+1 on your post chopperkid.
+2, I wouldn't ditch a Pan top end either.
Just saying that a few years ago, when a stripped-down, hotrodded Harley was one of the fastest things on the road, that extra ten percent performance seemed important.
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:54 AM   #20
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Default Re: Shovelhead/panhead motor question

Yeah but now its all about "preserving"
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