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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone and I hope all is well with you all!!

I have an 83' FLHT shovelhead that's hopped up and would like to do something different here.

I have an idea I've been kicking around and I know that there are easier options for obtaining the same performance, but I want the different cool factor as well as the experience trying them out.

So the question I have at hand is: How is the current situation / market for the side draft carb options for our older harleys? I have found a few companies just doing a quick google search shows there are a few companies still making everything you need for these old carbs so thats good but does anyone have any experience here with them?

I see that there are currently people selling dellorto's and webers on ebay that are setup for harleys. So out of the two which would be the better option for ease of tunability?? (It will depend a lot on who is still around & available that knows these carbs and how to tune them for a harley motor that would also be willing to share their knowledge)

I've read that the dellorto has a better progression circuit as well as smaller increment jets to allow finer tuning, as well as finer thread adjustment screws correct? Also does the Weber require a fuel pump while the dellorto does not? Or can either one be setup for running without a fuel pump? What all is required to do so? as that would also sway my decision on this. However I found this company still making the jets and kits for the Weber carb more tailered for using on a harley:
https://www.legendmcs.com/custom-chr...weber-new.html
But I think that's all been discontinued now.

I also found that there is a tuning guide for the Dellorto on a Harley by Jack Wagner but I can't find any way to get a copy whatsoever.

From my understanding the Weber DCOE came first, then the Dellorto DHLA was their improved version of that side draft. Finally Weber improved their first design with the DCOM. I believe the Dellorto DHLA is a better carb with the DHLA-E being even better with more progression circuits and allows balancing of each throat in the one carb but also being harder to find, DHLA with other letters than E mean its an emission model I believe?

I don't know anything about the Weber DCOE models or revisions. Is there a certain Weber I should be looking for this specific application?

I didn't want to buy any old Dellorto or Weber as one coming from a car is going to be setup entirely different that what I will be needing with the shovelhead correct? As you would need to change jets, chokes, sceondary venturi possibly, etc.? I feel like I would be wasting money instead of just starting with one that's already been ran on a harley and is much closer to what I will be needing already.

I'd love to find someone who would be willing to let me pick their brain about the subject and it's pros and cons.

Anyhow thank you all for taking the time to read all this and my many questions. I hope to hear something soon!!
Thank you and kind regards!

Lincoln
 

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You get easy or you get cool factor. If you get both, it's gonna be expensive.

If it was easy anyone would do it.

Those carbs add bends to intake airflow, technically that is a fail.
Practically there are those who proudly carry that flag.

Don't forget the Solex carbs
May be some Asian knockoffs too.
 

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Hello everyone and I hope all is well with you all!!

I have an 83' FLHT shovelhead that's hopped up and would like to do something different here.

I have an idea I've been kicking around and I know that there are easier options for obtaining the same performance, but I want the different cool factor as well as the experience trying them out.

So the question I have at hand is: How is the current situation / market for the side draft carb options for our older harleys? I have found a few companies just doing a quick google search shows there are a few companies still making everything you need for these old carbs so thats good but does anyone have any experience here with them?

I see that there are currently people selling dellorto's and webers on ebay that are setup for harleys. So out of the two which would be the better option for ease of tunability?? (It will depend a lot on who is still around & available that knows these carbs and how to tune them for a harley motor that would also be willing to share their knowledge)

I've read that the dellorto has a better progression circuit as well as smaller increment jets to allow finer tuning, as well as finer thread adjustment screws correct? Also does the Weber require a fuel pump while the dellorto does not? Or can either one be setup for running without a fuel pump? What all is required to do so? as that would also sway my decision on this. However I found this company still making the jets and kits for the Weber carb more tailered for using on a harley:
https://www.legendmcs.com/custom-chr...weber-new.html
But I think that's all been discontinued now.

I also found that there is a tuning guide for the Dellorto on a Harley by Jack Wagner but I can't find any way to get a copy whatsoever.

From my understanding the Weber DCOE came first, then the Dellorto DHLA was their improved version of that side draft. Finally Weber improved their first design with the DCOM. I believe the Dellorto DHLA is a better carb with the DHLA-E being even better with more progression circuits and allows balancing of each throat in the one carb but also being harder to find, DHLA with other letters than E mean its an emission model I believe?

I don't know anything about the Weber DCOE models or revisions. Is there a certain Weber I should be looking for this specific application?

I didn't want to buy any old Dellorto or Weber as one coming from a car is going to be setup entirely different that what I will be needing with the shovelhead correct? As you would need to change jets, chokes, sceondary venturi possibly, etc.? I feel like I would be wasting money instead of just starting with one that's already been ran on a harley and is much closer to what I will be needing already.

I'd love to find someone who would be willing to let me pick their brain about the subject and it's pros and cons.

Anyhow thank you all for taking the time to read all this and my many questions. I hope to hear something soon!!
Thank you and kind regards!

Lincoln
Howdy Lincoln
I have done Webers on EVOs. I really like them. If you run a one barrel per cylinder manifold they make a lot of power. The siamesed (sic?) intake tract of a Harley is one of it's many Achilles Heels. There are some tuning challenges, I think Webers are worth the effort. A phone call would work, I can't type.
Tom Rose
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well Thanks for the responses guys! Been busy with life at the moment but hoping to hop back on the shovelhead this coming Monday!

Yeah I have heard that they can be a bitch to tune but I also see those few guys that absolutely think they run wonderful for them. I'd like to give it a try I think anyways. If anything it will be worth the knowledge. I have some different options on intake sizes too so I may get one to work out pretty good who knows.

NobattFXR I'd be interested to see what you could tell me about them. I think it would be awesome to find a separated intake tract but I haven't seen many for the shovelheads. Mostly just evos. So you find the webers better than the dellortos or are they just what your familiar with?

Thanks!!!
 

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You can't get good port flow with individual runners due to the stock intake ports facing each other.
You will need little flag men in the intake to tell the air which way to go, this means lots of brake lights.
An IR manifold for a stock HD head looks like snakes screwing, and is like yelling with your hand in front of your mouth.
ANY bends in the intake, or variation in the cross-section are going to put the brakes on airflow.

If you fix the intake port so the IR is a straight shot at the valve, then you have something.
At this point the two throat carb becomes an issue, your going to have to saw it in half to get straight runners.
In my eyes any intake mods that dont straighten out airflow are a waste of time, not even half fast...
 

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Well Thanks for the responses guys! Been busy with life at the moment but hoping to hop back on the shovelhead this coming Monday!

Yeah I have heard that they can be a bitch to tune but I also see those few guys that absolutely think they run wonderful for them. I'd like to give it a try I think anyways. If anything it will be worth the knowledge. I have some different options on intake sizes too so I may get one to work out pretty good who knows.

NobattFXR I'd be interested to see what you could tell me about them. I think it would be awesome to find a separated intake tract but I haven't seen many for the shovelheads. Mostly just evos. So you find the webers better than the dellortos or are they just what your familiar with?

Thanks!!!
What I consider a bitch to tune is a carb that I can not change basic circuit controls such as air bleeds easily or cannot get very many sizes of jets. Webers are not in that class, even the venturis on some models can be changed. DCOEs are very pleasant to work on.

I have not used Dellortos in 40 years or so. Then I found the fuel atomization of Webers superior. The availability of tuning parts and options at that time for Webers was also much better. I have also used Mikunis, I think Webers are better. I have used all three on 4 wheeled vehicles, never used Dellortos on motorcycles.

Rick_Bee's points are all valid. There are a lot of engine designs that have optimized port flow, push rod angles, rocker arme geometry, ignition rise time, piston speed and crankshaft deflection. Harley Engines not so much, as my friend Geriatrics King Of Cone used to say "Harleys are better suited for pumping water in the desert. That said improvements can always be made. If you carry a knife it should be as sharp as you can get it no matter the quality of the steel.

Lincoln I am going to try to DM you my phone number right now.
Tom Rose
 
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