Harley-Davidson Shovelheads

Despite the fact that this design is nearly half a century old and that it was plagued by quality control issues during it's production life ('66-'83), upgrading these with modern materials, accurate machining, and competent engine building techniques, will give a reliable and good performing engine. There is no need to accept oil leaks, high oil consumption, hard starting, or dismal performance.

Shovelhead Engine Rebuild

1972 Shovelhead engine rebuilt as a 86" stroker. Crankcases and heads are original and have been vapour blasted to restore them to a 'like new' finish. Done the right way, these stock bore strokers have a lot more 'grunt' than a standard engine, and are very reliable.

It's now unusual to come across an untouched engine, and unfortunately many of them have been very badly rebuilt and badly maintained. There were also a lot of running changes during the Shovelhead era, everything from the threads in the crankcases to the bore and stroke. Not everything interchanges without proper modification and we've seen a lot of problems caused by incorrect mixing and matching of parts. Sadly, it is also the case that many of the aftermarket engine parts available are complete junk.

Shovelhead Engine Rebuild Pic2

We have also used this opportunity to upgrade the oiling system. Pinion shaft has been changed to end oiler, and case has been modified to take the '81 up style S&S pump. Cylinders and base studs have been changed to the later thick flange style, and the heads have been twin plugged.

We have considerable experience with these engines, including strokers and big bores, and offer a total engine rebuild service, including the crankshafts. Because we don't know what's inside these motors until they're stripped and inspected, the best way forward is to let us do this, and then, based upon what is serviceable, what can be reclaimed by machining, and what needs replacing, suggest an appropriate build plan. These rebuilds, which we will only do to the highest quality level, can often be very labour and parts intensive, and therefore expensive. There is a lot more work involved in rebuilding a Shovel than there is in an Evo or Twin Cam.

The Shovelhead engine responds very well to crank balancing, stroking, twin plugging the heads (which we have built a machining fixture for) and the use of a modern electronic ignition system. We will also supply a cam appropriate to the compression ratio, type of bike, and method of starting.

For the benefit of those customers who wish to do the assembly work themselves, we can tailor the agreed package to suit, typically by us rebuilding the crank and cases, boring the cylinders to the pistons we supply (the crank will be balanced to these piston weights), and rebuilding the heads.

We also rebuild the S&S versions of this engine and on a limited basis, can build, totally from new parts (finish machined here), custom Shovelhead engines up to 106 cubic inch.

1975 Harley-Davidson Shovelhead FLH

This 1975 1200cc Harley-Davidson Shovelhead Electraglide was purchased by the current owner in 1978. We have rebuilt the bottom end, and bored and honed the cylinders. Cylinder heads and carb are S&S. Camshaft is Andrews J grind. Very smooth and responsive, this Shovel is still used as daily transport.


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