Article By: Xavier Muriel
Originally Published In The February 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
They say if you love to ride old stuff, your gonna have to love to work on old stuff. I happen to be one of those old stuff guys. Most of you know that I’ve had Grace, my 53 Pan/Shovel, from one end of this beautiful country to the other. I’ve ridden her through the
not so forgiving streets of downtown Los Angeles to the Wildlife Loop in Daytona. Needless to say, she’s going to need some attention in a few areas.
I had a small Pan cover seep that was driving me Fu*#*ing crazy, so I decided that while I was putting the finishing touches on my latest build, I’d take a break and address that issue. Well, true to form I was like “she’s already on the lift let’s take a look under the hood.” Wouldn’t ya know it, I was just on the verge of getting a head gasket leak as well. So, I decided that now was the perfect time to put to use the “Tite Seal Intake Kit’’ that Eric Allard over at FNA Custom Cycles was so kind to give me a year ago. It’s designed specifically for Panhead, Shovelhead and Ironhead intakes using a unique custom clamp design. It’s a great product so I thought I’d walk you through the process.
First, I removed my manifold completely. Because I was doing a head gasket change as well, my procedure was a little different than if you were just doing a conversion from a 2-piece clamp set up or 1-piece wide band style.
Depending on what motor you are working on there are two different installation processes. One for a Panhead or Shovelhead and the other for an Ironhead. Both are laid out below.
Shovelhead and Ironhead.
Start by loosening the supplied clamps as much as possible without uncoupling. Insert one seal onto one cylinder head inlet and the other onto the intake manifold. Fit the right side of the seal
almost all the way onto to the head inlet. Once the seals and intake manifold are in place, slide the clamps to the edges of the seals and tighten by hand with a screwdriver until tight, with the clamps all the way to the edge of seal.
The seals must be slid onto the intake manifold with it off the motor. Then slide the intake in place, slide the seals back onto the intake manifold and head. Install the clamps around the smooth round part of the intake spigots and tighten in place. You MUST use carb support. Make sure the intake spigot is not sharp, if it is sand it smooth.
My intake is an O-ring Shovelhead style. The O-ring must seat in the valley, mating the intake manifold and the head. The FNA kit simply slides over the O-ring, mating the head to the intake. Once the bands are securely fastened a leak proof system is in place.
Since I did a head gasket change there’s a whole other procedure for test fitting the intake to the heads before tightening, but that’s another article. As a general rule I like to use a flashlight to look inside the intake to make sure it is sealed. I also like to run my finger along the ridge that mates the intake to head to see how close or far I am from contact of the two surfaces. If everything looks good, I proceed with the tightening of the clamps, making sure to tighten one then the other to ensure even coverage. Make sure the clamps are at
the edge of the seals. Once it’s all nice and tight, replace the carb. When you fire the bike for the first time after this be sure to listen for any variation in idle. If none, then get on the road. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to help you. Make sure to check out Eric Allard and