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Thread: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

  1. #1

    Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    I went to crank a fresh build and all of the valve covers were left undone and we flopping up and down. I have managed to get 3 of them screwed back down so I understand, for the most part, how they are done. They are very finicky but I got 3 nice and tight. My problem is w/the front one. I have spent more time than I care to admit and had no luck. The top portion appears to be cocked a tad. I have screwed the top to the bottom piece and the bottom to the lifter base so I know the threads are both good, it just won't start and I am almost dead positive that the top tube and nut sleeve is not straight. Any help would be much appreciated. I have never installed a set of valve covers and this has me very worried. Seadub

  2. #2

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    Elongate or enlarge the guide hole in the upper cover, which will allow it to slide over and re-align a bit.

  3. #3

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    Not a great loss as it appears you need to start over anyway as the ones you have secured are all pulled down from the guides and not sealing as a result.
    Valve seated pressure should be up.though but it is not a plus considering the circumstance!

  4. #4

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    Now you know why they were left loose.
    Guessing your issue is that you have the incorrect upper covers.

  5. #5

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    You have the wrong covers. Those 1930-36 VL cover tops (170-30A) are different, over a quarter-inch shorter than the redesigned UL tops (173-37), due to the taller UL cylinders, and were changed for only 1937-38. The stretched upper covers are the only things now holding down the tops of your valve springs, sprung to the maximum and not reaching the guide surface. That's not the way it was designed.
    It will run, after a fashion (& leak oil), until the cover tops part with the cover sleeve all the way around from fatigue as the spring seeks constantly to reach the guide surface. The correct parts (dash-37) are visibly taller and will fill in the gap atop each valve spring, allow the springs to seat on the gaskets on the guides. They're a 2-year-only part, only difference is the height. Owner of a '37; been there, done that.
    Last edited by Sarge; 09-20-2019 at 07:08 PM.
    Sarge, Gerry Lyons, Fla.
    AGENT ORRNGE Survivor. So far.
    The Friendly Fire that Keeps on Burnin'.
    F.O.G. member:
    "It's a 1937, and the downside is, it's out of warranty"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    new britain pa

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    Do you mean ? start over pull the motor pop the cylinders up? That would set me back six months.

  7. #7

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    Quote Originally Posted by rob View Post
    Do you mean ? start over pull the motor pop the cylinders up? That would set me back six months.
    That is the way I am reading this. I hope there is another way but this is just a taste of what I have been through on the last 2 engine builds. GD, MF'n, CSn, BS. I think that almost covers it. And yes Rob, it sets me back about 6 months as well because I do not work on engines nor do I have anyone closeby that does. It is buttoned up and in the frame. Seadub

  8. #8

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    My favorite rider. Been almost 2 years getting it ready to ride again....Seadub

  9. #9

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    Looks like whoever built your UL didn't know the cylinders are taller than a VL until it was too late or stuck you with VL covers accidentally/on purpose because that's all he had on-hand. Didn't do you any favors. Gorgeous bike, BTW.
    You need an old-fashioned sidevalve valve spring compressor, a little fancy duck-bill pliers I still see on bargain tool counters at auto stores, to compress the springs, one-at-a-time and you suck out the valve-keepers with a magnet.
    The cylinders can stay in place; it's all done on the side of the engine. It's all detailed step-by-step, BTW, in your bike's bible, the "1940 Service Manual," complete with illustrations. You will have to pull the heads to pull the valves up, springs off, to R & R the valve covers, so that means you have to take the tanks off. You'll get used to that, it's all part of this intricate obsession we all share. You're almost there.Good Luck! --Sarge ...=o%'o
    Last edited by Sarge; 09-20-2019 at 10:56 PM.

  10. #10

    Re: Early Style BTSV Valve Covers

    I put this motor together using many parts supplied by seadub. every time I would tell him something wouldn't work he would insist that it would. wore me down to the point that I did everything he insisted he wanted. this a 90 something inch motor that I spent many wasted hours on. shipping junk parts back and forth to seadub and paul frebus. I charged seadub a whopping 1 thousand dollars for all the machine work and time I had invested in this tragedy. these covers are just one of the MANY MANY PARTS I SAID AIN'T GONNA WORK. so seadub since you put this out for the world to see i'll be more than happy to refund your money.

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