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Trends in parts becoming availsble

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Post Thu Jul 23, 2015 1:41 am

Posts: 1786
Just some thoughts on parts becoming available

I've just lately bought a 2-bolt transmission and related narrow clutch and rear brake drum, from various sources.

I notice that there are several such items changing hands lately; there are two such clutches on US eBay right now and at least one WR has come to the UK in recent years. I suspect this is because there have been certain changes in availability of repop transmissions (both 3 and 4 speed) with sleeve gears also being available to fit early, narrow clutches to 3 bolt transmissions. This means that if you are building a racer - which appears to be the main market for such items - you don't have to wreck irreplaceable OEM parts to do it, or trawl around for hard-to-find 2-bolt internals.

This isn't new, every once in a while some given item makes an appearance. There's an English proverb about buses, that you wait for ages then three come along at once (I doubt that this is true in the U.S.) and old parts are like that.

I missed one bus four or five years ago, when I was looking for top end parts. For various reasons to do with pressure of work and travel to places where Internet security was definitely an issue, I wasn't able to complete the deal and didn't ultimately end up with anything - but my point here is that four or five years ago, several sets of ported WL cylinders and K type top ends were changing hands, and right now those parts aren't available. It seems one supplier has identified this as a market and is moving towards producing repro WLDR units. I'm still interested in a set of ported cylinders, or k cylinders but I'm probably best off waiting for the repro units to appear.

So, this isn't new. It happened with JAP racing engines in the 80s and 90s, with the result that for a number of years there were a lot of hybrid JAP engines all fitted with the same, late-model internals from the same supplier, who had the tooling (it didn't pay to enquire too deeply about the actual capacity of these units, which varied considerably depending on the stroke...). Now JAPs with Jawa internals have taken over from them.

I'm going to predict that in not so many years time, there will be a generic hot-rod WL unit with WLDR cams, WLDR barrels and heads, flush-deck (no pop-up) and a Mikuni 38mm carb, with or without high-flow oiling and skirt oilers; reproduction or OEM 3-bolt transmission, stock or narrowed WL type clutch; repop or original WLC type springers and wheels, and likely those narrow WR tanks (because DA-YUM, they look GOOD) ; repop or OEM 3-bolt frame. That's what people will be building because those parts will be available, and will be the best compromise between reliability and performance for street motors.
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...

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