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S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

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Old May 24th, 2010, 04:20 PM     #1
Warming The Wheels
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S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Hi gang,

I had the 103 kit with 255 cams done last year.
I opted not to purchase the 103 heads as I was thinking to get my stock heads worked instead.
The cost of head work and labor seemed to equal that of buying the 103 heads and I was led to believe that I would get a better bang for my buck by having my heads worked on instead of the 103 heads. That being said.

I now have an opportunity to purchase a set of "new" S.E 110 heads with the automatic compression release for much less than getting my stock heads worked on. I was told that the ecm needs to have the compression releases activated, but other than that it should work.

I didn't like the "it should work" part.

Not knowing I thought I'd ask all of you for your input.
Will it work or is it a bad idea?

If I get my stock heads worked on I am looking at about $1000.00+ with labor and 2-3 weeks or more down time. Heads done by Baisley (very reputable).

I can purchase the S.E 110 heads (brand new) for $500.00 and about $180.00 labor to install at local indy. with only 1 day of down time.

I like saving money and minimal down time I just am unsure of the results of putting 110 heads on my 103ci/255 cam setup.

Please help with any pro's and con's you can come up with in helping me to make a wise decision.

Thanks for your help and time...
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Old May 24th, 2010, 05:57 PM     #2
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Thank you Hobbit. I was hoping to get a response from you. Is the wiring something you purchase seperately or is it part of the Heads along with the release that has to be wired to the ecm? I'm not sure how the auto comp. release works? other than it's ecm driven.

How about performance wise. Is this a good option for me?

Is this too much head for my setup? That just sounds (wrong!)... but I don't know how else to say it. I wouldn't have thought of buying the 110 heads if it weren't for the good price on them. I do understand a good price doesn't always mean a good idea. Sometimes bigger isn't always better...(That just sounds wrong too!!!) Let me ask you this.

What happens to performance when I put 110 heads on my 103. Is there going to be any reliablilty issues to deal with?
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Old May 24th, 2010, 07:33 PM     #3
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Thank you Hobbit for the detailed parts list.

would having only 550 lift cams and 103 ci make the setup a bad choice over just getting my heads worked on?

Why don't they just put 110 heads on the 103's. I guess I'm confused because I thought you had to use 103 heads and they were not interchangeable with the 110's

b.t.w I do have the S.E super tuner. (the new one with pretty red button on it)
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Old May 24th, 2010, 08:19 PM     #4
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Thank you as always for your elloquent way of explaining things.
I am not looking for a street monster. I also don't want to worry about having crank shaft issues or cam plate problems etc with outrageous HP/TQ. Not to mention starter or compensator issues from hard starts.
My current setup only gave me low 70's HP and 98TQ. I rarely ride 3500+ RPM range. I just want to have the power when climbing steep mountain passes. I hate to have to downshift to gain power. I chose the 550 lift cam because of the rpm range I ride in (2800-3200 RPM) and the fact it's a heavy bagger not rocket ship.
What cam would you recommend for these heads? If I go bigger cams at what point do I start to sacrafice reliability/durability? The cost of these heads are a great value but now I am adding cams to the picture. What else? I do like the Screaming Eagle script on the heads but I'm not really ready to get into an indepth serious build. I would be happy I think with 95+Hp and 100+TQ. Thats all I want...
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Old May 25th, 2010, 03:55 PM     #5
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Just my opinion but.... if you rarely ride above 3500 rpm then I think you are wasting your money on those heads. Most head work only benefits you in the higher rpm ranges which is where you get the "extra " horsepower. However its not the horsepower thats pushing you up those mountain passes its torque. I did my homework ( i think) and put the Andrews tw21 cams in my bike and have been astounded how well it runs, walks up steep highways and walks away from friends bikes. I was planning on maybe doing some headwork next winter but not sure if I will bother now. She has tons of power and its all right where I want it. Do some research on heads / head work. Its nice to think about that "power" but in reality most of use seldom hit those RPMs to make use of it. Something to think about.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:08 PM     #6
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Thank you Hobbit and CalgaryBikeBum for your input and opinions. I love this site due to the respectful answers and opinions given. I am always learning as I search for answers to my questions and I thank you for the knowledge and the time you have afforded me. I have accumulated only enough knowledge to be dangerous. Case in point...I thought I would be happy slapping a 103 kit in my bike. I guess it was a starting point for me as I knew right after the kit was installed that I wanted more power. This all started as me and a friend both have 08 ultras. Both have 103 kit with the same 255 cams. He had the heads done and I didn't. He got a dyno sheet showing if I remember correctly about mid 95 Hp and 106TQ. I got low 70 and 98TQ. He is quite larger than me pulls right past me going up some of the hills we ride. It's embarrasing when he wave's as he goes on by. I think he enjoys taunting me.
I was told the heads are whats holding the HP back on the bike, and that mid 70 Hp was about all I would get out of the stock heads. I do have Hooker headers and the super tuner. I like the way the bike pulls on open highway and for the most part the power I do have, is fine. It's when climbing a long 6-8% grade on the highway where I want to have that pulling power without having to drop down to 3rd gear or sometimes even 2nd gear in order to keep up with the guys.
shouldn't I be able to be close to the 95+HP/100+TQ with my cams and mild head work. Like I said I am not after a high reving street monster. It seems like the 110 heads would be a good choice if I were to use a more agressive cam which I am not sure is right for me. There seems to be a lot of variables that honestly baffle me and make it hard to know what to do. Part of me feels like Tim Allen of tool time saying go for the bigger more aggressive setup. I just don't want things falling apart on me like it happens to him. Hence my dilema. what to do?

I just don't want to see Shamu wave as he passes by anymore.

CalgaryBikeBum- you said it was TQ not Hp that pushes you up them hills. I thought my TQ of 98ftlbs was a decent #. Thats what made me think I needed more HP along with the TQ. HP seemed to be the biggest difference between our bikes.

Hobbit- What cam would you use with the 110 se heads? Would I be creating a monster in need of more upgrades to other components in order for everything to work properly?

I would like to be at least able to keep up.

B.T.W my buddy swears he's climbing the same hills in 4th no problem.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 11:58 PM     #7
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Well obviously more horsepower is just that. Usually (as Hobbitt) stated it will spin up faster. When you go to a stroker crank (which the 103 is) you are adding torque naturally as the crank has the pin moved outward which gives the crank more mechanical advantage. I used andrews 21 cams because I decided where i needed power and when and that cam (with some advice from TQ too) was just what I needed. Believe me I live at the foot of the Rockies and in 1/2 an hour we are fully in the mountains. I know the feeling of having my throttle fully twisted and everyone was pulling away. I also weigh 310 lbs which doesnt' help. The andrews 21 lets me roll it on and walk away from everyone. Uphill or in a straight line. They are shifting down to get their revs up to make power. (Horsepower) . By the time they find a gear to match the pull i'm a mile ahead and they aren't gonna catch me. Hope that helps. Everyone has to decide for themselves what kind of riding they want to do. I wanted power on hills and passing power without shifting down all the time. Oh and lastly I have found that I don't have to go past 4200 rpm to really haul butt.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:47 PM     #8
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Re: S.E 110 Heads with automatic compression release

Thank you CalgaryBikeBum. I guess I have been focusing too much on head work being what I needed and now I have a different understanding of the mechanics involved in acheiving my goals. You definetly knew what I was after regarding the pulling power going up hill. I will investigate cams again. Why the Andrews21?
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Old May 26th, 2010, 01:47 PM     #9
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If you do some reading (boring I know but very very useful) you will see that either you make fast revving power , slower revving torque or a combination of both. I studied what are I did most of my riding in and realized that with my SE 203 cams (and my 95 build) that I was forever shifting down and revving the heck out of my bike to keep up or climb a hill etc. That isn't what I wanted. I do most of my riding at freeway speeds and alot of hill climbing with living in the Canadian Rockies. It seemed also like my bike was forever lugging when I got below 2500 (Which surprising ly with a six speed its easy to do) and that most of the time I was sitting at 2800 to 3000 rpm. I then transferred those needs to which cam to pick. TQ ( a moderator here) also had suggested it to me and apparently Herko also recommended it and Chopper (a very experienced Harley Tech who helped alot with my engine build suggest SE 211's but said I would also like the 21) Lastly it was also mentioned in segment of a book (How to Build a Torque Monster) (sorry can't recall author). Changing cams is relatively easy so If I wasn't happy I could always tear them out (Like my 203's ). Well the 21's are everything that I had hoped for and more. If you want a bit more snap you can always go to 26's which are similar but more top rpm power (about 5000 rpm if i remember right. Sorry for long winded story but "YOU ASKED !!!" hahahah

PS. Once i had my build done I noticed somethign very interesting. I can ride at 2000 rpm if I want and roll it on and theres no lugging. No hesitation. Just hard pulling power all the way up to 4200 rpm. 4200 is the highest I have revved it so far but I know it will probably still pull hard all the way to 4800 or beyond. Just working on letting engine get settled and broke in before revving it too high. I also do the 30-60-30 ring seating method this time as opposed to gentle slow /lots of shifting but no revving method. I noticed right away that the oil seemed cleaner then usual after last change? Time will tell. Thanks

Last edited by Speed; May 26th, 2010 at 03:52 PM. Reason: merged
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Old May 26th, 2010, 01:56 PM     #10
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Thanks Hobbit. I was able to get these heads from a performance machine shop that is going to go out of business (Retireing). They are brand new and part of a complete set. He is willing to sell me just the heads for $500.00. I saw the retail price on these heads which is why I became interested. I'll have to see if he still has the cams or what cams he might still have. I was only thinking I needed the heads at the time.

I will have to try and absorb all the info you and CalgaryBikeBum have given me. Thanks!!!




Thanks CalgaryBikeBum,
You and I do the same kind of riding. You know exactly what I am after. This could turn out to be an interesting summer deciding what to do.

Regarding the long winded part, I was worried about the same thing but then I remembered Glider's post (I think?) on the various uses of wd-40. I think we're O.K

Last edited by Dr. Dolittle; May 26th, 2010 at 04:11 PM. Reason: posts merged
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