Panhead Vs Shovelhead Motorcycle Engines

A Panhead and a Shovelhead are two popular Harley Davidson motorcycles. The panhead looks like a cake pan on the right side, while a shovelhead has a squarer shape. The differences between the two engines can be largely attributed to the shape of the bolts on the right side. While the knucklehead’s bolts protrude on the right side, those on a Shovelhead are smaller and flush. The Shovelhead was manufactured by Harley Davidson from 1966 until 1985.

Differences between Panhead and Shovelhead engines

The Shovelhead engine is the successor of the legendary Harley Panhead. It had the same 74-cubic-inch, 1200cc engine, but featured aluminum cylinder heads. The Shovelhead’s new top end provided an additional 10% more power than the Panhead. Rocker boxes replaced valve covers and resembled coal shovels. Its eight-to-one compression ratio and separate primary and final drives enabled it to out-perform its predecessor.

Both engines are famous for their distinct looks. Panheads are known for their cake-pan-like design, while Shovelheads are more rectangular. The Panhead engine had two cylinders, one in each cylinder, and two poppet valves to open and close the intake and exhaust ports. The Shovelhead was manufactured from 1966 to 1984, and succeeded the Panhead in the 1970s. Both types of engines were made for different purposes. However, Shovelhead engines are generally older than Panheads, and proper maintenance and care will ensure longevity and high performance.

Evolution engine replaces Shovelhead

The Shovelhead is a V-twin engine that was developed by Harley-Davidson. It was based on the same basic physics as the Panhead, but featured a single overhead camshaft. It also featured aluminum alloy barrels and an electric start. The engine’s biggest change was a change in oil feeding from the crankcase to the outer parts of the engine. In 1981, Harley-Davidson acquired AMF’s shares in the company and began producing this engine. This new engine added a number of features, including an oil pump, improved valve guides, and lower compression. The Shovelhead was replaced by the Panhead Evolution engine in 1984.

The Harley-Davidson Shovelhead engine was originally created in 1964. It was inspired by the Panhead, and was improved by Harley-Davidson engineers for seven years. While it wasn’t as efficient as the Panhead, the Shovelhead engine was an improvement over the Panhead in many aspects, including power to weight ratios. Harley-Davidson’s engineers had already been designing new engines for two decades. This time, the company had a new engine design in mind: the Panhead Evolution.

Aluminum alloy cylinders

If you’ve ever wanted to see the difference between a Panhead and a shovelhead, this article will explain the main differences between the two motorcycle engines. While Panheads have larger displacements, the Shovelhead has smaller displacements and is lighter in weight. Both engines feature aluminum alloy cylinders and heads, which play an important role in cooling the engine. Read on to learn about the pros and cons of both engines.

The first major difference between the two is the combustion slot. Shovelhead cylinders had a lower combustion slot than Panheads. The Shovelhead also had bigger valve drops. While Panheads were designed for heavy-duty applications, Shovelheads were built for cruising. Regardless of the difference in cylinder construction and shape, the Shovelhead is much more reliable and durable.

Crankshaft-mounted alternator

There has been much debate over the placement of an alternator. While a crankshaft-mounted alternator is more obvious to casual observers, a shovelhead-style unit is not as obvious and is less noticeable. Many people choose to paint their alternator case the same color as their engine block. This way, the case is not visible to casual observers. Moreover, these smaller units have high output, and are easier to hide from the eye.

The motor in a Shovelhead changed over the years. In its first three years, it ran on a generator, while the Panhead lacked the “flat-side” bottom end. The new bottom end incorporated the crankshaft-mounted alternator, giving the bike a wider and sportier look. This also allowed Harley-Davidson to relocate the external ignition points assembly from the engine’s exhaust system to the timing case, which needed a cone-shaped cover.

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