S&S Teardrop

Category: Install

Chris Maida

Assemble and install a S&S manifold, Super E or G carb, and its iconic Teardrop air cleaner

The S&S Teardrop is one of the most recognizable air cleaners in the industry, having been in production for decades. I installed Teardrop air cleaners on many Harleys when I had my custom shop back in the early 1980s. In fact, that teardrop shape is a registered trademark of S&S Cycle. A genuine S&S Teardrop air cleaner has a uniquely designed backplate with an air horn-style radiused entryway into the carb and a dimpled cover with an air directional cone on the inside. These two design features help maximize airflow by giving incoming air an efficient, easy path into the bore of the carburetor.

As for the S&S Shorty carburetors, which come in the 1-7/8″ bore Super E and 2-1/16″ bore Super G versions, it’s one of the easiest carbs to install and tune. I can attest to that since I’ve had Super E setups on many of my personal bikes over the decades and still do. The Super E can be used on any displacement Big Twin or Sportster engine. However, the Super G should only be used on 100″ or larger modified engines. Both the E and G carbs use the standard H-D dual throttle cable setup for safe operation and easy installation since the S&S complete kits are a direct replacement for the stock intake system. Both Super versions have a fixed changeable air bleed jet, two fixed changeable fuel jets (main and intermediate), an O-ring-sealed adjustable idle mixture jet for better performance, and an adjustable accelerator pump for excellent throttle response and easy starting. A variable position enrichment device is also provided for easy starting.

Even though both the Super E and G carbs have multiple adjustments available for professional tuners, almost all installations require that you only dial in the idle mixture setting and the idle speed. These two tasks require a small flat-bladed screwdriver and an engine at operating temperature. That’s because when you order your carb the crew at S&S will want to know what bike the carb is for, the size of the engine, and what modifications the engine has. When your Super arrives, it will come already properly jetted and adjusted. It’ll also come with a main jet one size larger and one size smaller than what is in the carb just in case you need to change it, which is rare. No worries there, either, since it’s easy to change the main jet through a plug in the bottom of the carb, which can be accomplished with everything still mounted to the engine.

You can buy a Teardrop air cleaner or Super E or G carburetor separately or in a complete kit that comes with an intake manifold for stock length cylinders (manifolds for taller cylinders are also available) and everything you need to go from no intake system on the engine to ready to ride including detailed, well-written instructions.

We’re going to show you how easy it is to install a complete Super E setup (#11-0419/$609.95) that fits 1993-99 Evo Big Twins and 1991- 2003 Evo Sportsters. (When used on Sportsters, this kit must be used with a 3/8″-thick #16-0497 or #16-0498 insulator block.) The same procedure is followed on any Twin Cam or Milwaukee-Eight Big Twin or later model Sportster. On earlier-style Evos, Ironhead Sportsters, Shovelheads, Panheads, or Knuckleheads, the process is basically the same except you’re not using breathers that go into the heads, which actually makes the installation easier. That said, check out the accompanying photos and captions to see how easy it is to literally bolt on a complete S&S intake system.



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