Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other? - The Jockey Journal Board

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Old 07-13-2017, 08:55 AM   #1
Nenad
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Default Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Looking for a new carb for the bike, something short and inconspicuous, not requiring me to ride with the right leg at an awkward angle.

Alas, my trusty Stromberg 175CD, taken from a scrapped Saab 99 turbo in 1979, has given up after nearly 40 years in service. Not because of a shortage of parts these can still be sourced (in Sweden, at least), but it's developed a crack in the inlet port and is puking petrol all over the front exhaust pipe. Which is not a good thing.

It's probably a miracle that it lasted this long, as I modified it years ago by drilling out and tapping the inlet port for a screw-in connection I hate rubber hoses and clamps. Which left less than 2mm wall thickness, so it's finally cracked, probably because of the fairly stiff silicone hose I'm using.

I know, if I was in Europe I'd get a sympathetic TIG welder to build up the area, then drill and tap. But I'm in Malaysia nowadays, meaning forget 'sympathetic'; I'll end up with a big blob of welded-on aluminium and probably with warped surfaces all over. And anyway, it's time for a change.

So I'm looking for, ideally, a neat, short carb replacement to bolt on directly to the inlet manifold. Either that, or a carb in the same position as the Stromberg (see pic). In either case, something that will keep up with a 1400cc stroker with Andrews B cam and 11.5:1 pistons.

Remembering the 70s flat slide carbs and loving them (although I couldn't afford one at the time, thus the Stromberg) I love the looks of the Lectron carb. Anyone with any experience of these? And yes, I expect a lot of 'S&S' suggestions but, in that case, which one to go for? Shortest and with enough oomph? Or anything else? And having - or allowing customising to accept - a screw-in connection?
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:04 AM   #2
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Personally I don't & never have liked S&S carbs,... out of date design and can be a pain to tune,.. SU's are a good carb.....later CV carbs work good on Shovels as so do Mikuni's,.. but as you ask I would say LECTRON,...
a buddy had one on his Ironhead a few years ago & I liked it a lot,...
real real easy to tune, no jets or Needles Just a tick over screw & a metering rod, set up in minuets,...
amazing power gain over 90% of carbs out there and a better MPG return than most,.........
I have recently fitted one on my Shovelhead and will be firing it up on Saturday morning as my build is now complete,...
it fits well, looks great and is American made......
the people at Lectron are very helpful and they have a series of informative Video's on YouTube on tuning, so so simple....
I fitted an enlarged float bowl to mine but you can stick with the clear one if you want,... only down side is air filters,..
you need to get a K&N as the inlet throat is very large (2-3/4'') or you can run the Lectron backing plate (Plenty on ebay) and an oval Harley filter,
I machined a Goodson filter to fit and it looks good on the bike.... (click on thumbnails below)....(The Last Picture isn't mine,... but looks so fuckin good !!!)
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Last edited by magnum45pete; 03-25-2020 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 07-13-2017, 12:46 PM   #3
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Mikuni HSR! i've got one on my 88" shovel, b cam, 10:1 comp. It is a GREAT carb.
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Old 07-13-2017, 01:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Stock, or close to stock motor? Keihin CV or Mikuni VM38 or 40. Both are cheap, easy to tune, and parts available anywhere. There are more exotic carbs out there, but if you want simple functionality, there you are.

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Old 07-13-2017, 07:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

I've got CV's on my shovel and my knuckle and have NO complaints.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:38 PM   #6
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

The CV carb is way under rated. Find one and a manifold adaptor and have at it. You'll be very surprised at the performance and the rideability.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

I tried to get my gen shovel running on a VM38 but had a lot of issues, although I've had luck running them on Ironheads. Always wanted to run amals on an HD
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

cv is a good choice, as mentioned an adapter makes it bolt up like any shovel carb, 2 bolt. these adapters are a press fit onto the cv flange. killer cycle has them, and i agree the S&S carbs are exspensive and way overated for a near stock engine. the cv carb parts are cheap and readily available.
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Old 07-14-2017, 09:04 PM   #9
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

i run a cv carb on my 1939 80 flathead, i have 6 mikuni vm38 carbs that i could never get dialed in to suit me, throttle cable was always a pain with fatbob tanks, floats dont like ethanol, would stick open and dump fuel. carbs are for sale as a lot or single 25 bucks and shipping. my stroker shovel is going to be cv soon and the S&S e carb will go on the shelf with the B carb i ran for 20 years. 39.95 for adapter on ebay.
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

i run a cv carb on my 1939 80 flathead, i have 6 mikuni vm38 carbs that i could never get dialed in to suit me, throttle cable was always a pain with fatbob tanks, floats dont like ethanol, would stick open and dump fuel. carbs are for sale as a lot or single 25 bucks and shipping. my stroker shovel is going to be cv soon and the S&S e carb will go on the shelf with the B carb i ran for 20 years. 39.95 for adapter on ebay.
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Old 07-15-2017, 12:28 AM   #11
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

CV on my ULH too
Doesn't get you in "Cool School" but runs sweet.
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Old 07-15-2017, 02:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

If you would prefer not to change carbs have you considered a "JB Weld" repair ? For small places like you have to fix on any alloy part it is hard to beat !!
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:39 AM   #13
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by magnum45pete View Post
I have recently fitted one on my Shovelhead and will be firing it up on Saturday morning as my build is now complete,...
Pete, how did the Lectron perform? Well, I hope, as it's still my no.1 choice! Definitely the carb with the smallest footprint, supposedly easy to tune, and with the least number of parts - I firmly believe in simplicity!

A few follow-up questions:
  • Which size are you using? Having called around shops in Sweden, none have any clue about it - the Harley shops "know nothing", and the Lectron shops only cater to Jap bikes.
  • Where did you get the intake adapter from? I assume that you've a regular Shovelhead intake manifold? From what I've discovered (for Mikunis and other carbs, but no mention anywhere of Lectrons), there's a choice of either a rubber adapter with muff as one unit, or a billet adapter with a separate muff - the first is neater, i.e. shorter, but I'm not convinced it'll stay leak free... I suppose the neatest is to take the stock manifold and weld a sleeve on it?
  • Does the carb require a support bracket or can it hang off the manifold? The Stromberg did, initially, bolted on to the manifold with a home made adapter, and it's quite heavy.
  • The throttle control, I assume, can be modified if necessary to accept any cable?
  • I'd truly appreciate some close-ups of the inlet and air sides.

I'll be in Europe throughout August and hope to find a knowledgeable shop anywhere that can sort this out and deliver the carb and parts to wherever I happen to be, so any tips are appreciated

Cheers!
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:08 AM   #14
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead1951 View Post
If you would prefer not to change carbs have you considered a "JB Weld" repair ? For small places like you have to fix on any alloy part it is hard to beat !!
Yes, it would've been (and I've used JB before), if the crack had remained a single crack... But having taken the carb off, I discovered two cracks, 180 degrees apart, and as I was checking them out, one half of the inlet just broke off. So it's either a full TIG weld (done by a professional, which thus excludes Malaysia), drilling and tapping, or retiring the carb. After all, 40+ years' service is more than anyone could expect...
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:53 AM   #15
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

And so, based on the responses as well as trawling the net, I've narrowed it down to two choices: 1) Lectron (see my previous post), and 2) Mikuni HSR42.

My apologies to the CV crowd, it was initially a contender but statistically there were more positive reviews of the Mikuni than the Keihin. In addition, not being able to verify the size of the latter, the Mikuni does seem slightly less bulky. But please do correct me if I'm wrong! I really, really, want the shortest carb available - as long as it performs well!

So, assuming that getting a correct Lectron, and all the auxiliary bits and bobs, in Europe proves to be a nightmare, I'll be looking for a Mikuni HSR42. Not that it's going to be a cakewalk. All the available kits are for Evos and later, and the only shop selling Shovelhead kits is Mikuni Australia (mikunioz.com). Very good price, but once it gets to Malaysia it'll be twice as much... I was hoping to find a shop - any shop - in Europe selling these, but it does seem that Shovelhead owners are being discriminated against.

I know I'm a dinosaur, as Shovelheads are no longer even considered classic, they're "vintage". But for me, the cone Shovelhead is the last and the greatest of the Harley engines, the pinnacle of the 60s and 70s chopper era. And I like living in the past...
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:14 AM   #16
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

NENAD,
I was lucky & found an original Lectron Kit for a Shovelhead New in Box from 1975.
it had everything needed from Aluminium manifold & Rubber, manifold rubber throttle & Cable, Carburettor, air filter backing plate.
it's a 38mm carb.
Lectron are very helpful people and prepare carbs to order, here is their web site link.... https://www.lectronfuelsystems.com/

although Lectron no longer make the manifolds or filter backing plate, they are available on ebay USA... https://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/i.html?_f...ifold&_sacat=0
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Old 07-18-2017, 12:28 AM   #17
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

I swapped out the super E for an SU on my Pan.... never looked back.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:59 AM   #18
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Quote:
I'll be looking for a Mikuni HSR42. Not that it's going to be a cakewalk. All the available kits are for Evos and later, and the only shop selling Shovelhead kits is Mikuni Australia (mikunioz.com). Very good price, but once it gets to Malaysia it'll be twice as much... I was hoping to find a shop - any shop - in Europe selling these, but it does seem that Shovelhead owners are being discriminated against.
i wouldn't hesitate to buy one that is technically for an EVO. May just need a slight jetting change. Also check out vulcan's carb adapters as the HRS is a spigot mount, these adapters are AWESOME! I bought my HSR at a swap, used. Just cleaned it up and tweaked the jets a bit and good to go. It is a nice slim carb, i used to have some good pics before photobucket ruined the internet.

http://vulcanworks.net/store/Mikuni-...r-B-and-E.html
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Old 07-26-2017, 06:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

I've got a CV on the 'Feeder, runs sweet, doesn't stick out far at all.



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Old 10-11-2017, 05:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: Shovelhead carb replacement tips? Lectron? S&S? Other?

Reviving the thread briefly, just to get closure and maybe provide useful ideas to anyone considering a Mikuni or looking for "less than bulky" air filters.

So, after a lot of detective work I decided on a Mikuni HSR42 (would've loved a Lectron but too complicated to get one here in Malaysia).

Of course, it wasn't a straight bolt-on job out of the box. The rubber manifold adapter was perfect but the throttle linkage bracket sucked and the air filter adapter I got was both bulky as well as requiring an unsightly support bracket. Thus:

Manufactured a new throttle bracket accepting a single cable and most importantly I didn't have to reroute the oil pipe between valve covers, something that Mikuni insisted was "a must".

Designed an air filter light enough, < 300g, not to require a bracket and still provide enough airflow. And only 37mm wide. This took me a few weeks and several design options: I wanted something light, not in the way while riding yet with enough airflow, and not least following the lines and angles of the bike.

Initially I had a sponge filter element but that one didn't last more than the first hour. Trying different parameters for cold and warm starting, e.g. choke on/off (no need at all for choke in these temperatures, as I've found out), none/one/two/three squirts from the pump, throttle closed/partially open/fully open, the occasional but inevitable carb flames burned the sponge to a crisp. So in the end I went with very fine stainless steel mesh, <200 microns holes, which still gives me more than enough air flow.

If anyone out there likes the design, or just the concept, of the air filter I'd be happy to share how it's put together.

Regarding the Mikuni, I couldn't praise it enough! Crisp response at all RPMs and a steady idle (though a smidgen higher than the classic "potato-potato") for the first time in 30 years. The standard jetting and settings are perfect for the bike (84" stroked Shovelhead with Andrews B cam, solid lifters, 11:1 compression). It's slightly on the rich side but probably because I've only ran it around the jungle roads here in Kuala Lumpur. Once it gets on the motorway and the throttle is wide open I'm sure it will be perfect.

Now if I could only find a suitable Harley logo in metal to attach to the filter front and break up that empty space...
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