Gettin’ It Covered

With Led Sled’s Pan Style Rocker Boxes for XL’s

Article And Photos By: Matt Reel

Originally Published In The September 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

While many of us have known this little motorcycle secret for a while more and more people seem to be figuring it out lately, “the Harley Davidson Sportster platform is a great place to start just about any style build”. Whether it’s a long chopper, or a long suspension travel trail bike its been done with a Sportster. Just take a look at the stuff going together for the Sportster Challenge at the 2016 Big Mountain Run (, those guys got it going on. With the resurgence of the popularity of the Sportster several companies are adding to their line of custom parts “Sportster Only” fitments. One company who isn’t new to the custom XL scene by any means is Led Sled Customs. Led Sled saw years ago the need to help the average guy build the bike of his dreams by making parts for the cheaper priced Sportster models. With everything from complete frames to hard tails and springers just to name a few products Led Sled has created quite a parts catalog for the Quad Cam crowd. Last summer I was able to get my hands on a set of Led Sleds first run of Pan Head style rocker boxes for the Sportster engine. When I got them the first thing I noticed was the amount of thought that went into the design of these boxes. The fit was perfect and made for a very strong design. I have very high lift cams in my personal ride and haven’t had any issues. Dare I say “better than OEM”? In case you haven’t noticed I am very impressed with these things. Recently Led Sled ramped up production again so I wanted to share my installation process with everyone. Pictured above is what comes with the Led Sled kit. You will need to reuse your original mounting bolts, rocker arms and shafts. You also get all the needed gaskets and seals needed for the swap (some not pictured).

The first thing you will need to do is remove you original rocker boxes by the recommended steps in your manual.

You will now need to slide the shafts out of the OEM boxes and install them and the rocker arms into the new rocker arm mounts. Be sure to keep all rocker arms, shafts, push rods, etc. mated together the same way they were when you took them off the engine.

You can now place the rocker arm mounts onto the new bases and place them on the heads. Now here’s a trick that will make life a little easier on you, the allen head bolts originally in hole “A” will be too long, replace them with two of the bolts that held the original top cover on. Then hex head bolts in hole “B” won’t clear the new covers. Replace them with the allen head bolts you took out of hole “A”. Torque everything down following the procedure in your manual.

The set I’m installing here are a first run set and I had to drill and tap them for breathers. The new bases do not allow for the use of the head breathers, this is why the need to be installed. The ones being produced and sold now will have the breather holes already drilled and tapped for you.

Now you can install the supplied cover gaskets and bolt the covers down with the supplied allen screws. Then plumb the 2 fittings you installed to the back of the air cleaner or breather.

Now step back and bask in the greatness of your custom Quad Cam engine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *