Friday, December 31, 2010

neat brochures

I spent an hour looking at our old literature box. This is from the 1930 Harley brochure. I love this picture. We have a neat box with all sorts of letters, brochures, parts books for ace, henderson excelsior, indian, harley and a bunch of british bikes. I like to check them out and relax and think about all of the people that looked at them from time to time. I will try to post neat pics of the stuff from time to time. I love old are work.

check out the muffs

Useful winter riding accessories from indian

HEre is a letter from indian that was in the box of literature.

WOW! this is eighty year old proof that Indian knew that their product did not compare to harley davidson. I am amazed, this letter proves it all.


My new years resolution is to not crash any more 95 year old motorcycles. I hope everyone reading this has a happy and prosperous 2011. Thanks to all of my friends and customers for making 2010 so special.

misc blizzard pics

Here is a pic of outside the shop. I have been snowed in for a few days. it will probably be another couple days before I can go home. the temperature has been dancing around zero degrees for quite a while. the wind chill is easily -10. It is a lot better to be snowed in at the shop, than to be snowed in at home.

Here is a neat pic I took of a 37 oil tank that is in the shop for repairs. Check out the inside of the filler cap-- there is teak red paint on it. HD did not mask anything off, this is a question that I get asked from time to time. hopefully it helps some one out.

I did a bunch of neat welding and fab work today

Ray is just about done with the 55 transmission. this thing is so nice. I am really excited about the bike it is going to be blue with hard black bags.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

order of operations

Here is a neat pic from last night. I installed #4, #3 and #2 cylinders and realized that I hadn't taken a pic of the motor, so I shot this pic. I guess I was just having too much fun.

Here they are all installed. On four cylinder motors, you want to leave the cylinders loose, and bolt on and tighten the intake manifold before you tighten the cylinder base nuts. This aligns all four cylinders to each other, then you have to tighten the unit to the case.

These cylinder base nuts are very difficult to get to. Lots of wrench flipping went on to get them all tight!

Ta DA!!!! This is so beautiful. I have to adjust the tappets, set the valves and install the magneto still, but it is coming along. I am going to finish machining the choke mechanisms first.

misc. updates

My daddy bought 15 wheels this summer that were all rebuilt. Well the price was right, and every bike needs at leat two wheels, so my dad bought them. Anyways. I am building up the first set of them. The paint has to be redone, as well as all of the bearing fitment. It isn't that big of a deal. All of the parts are really nice so far. I took this picture to show the paint on the race, which is not a good thing at all. I guess everybody has different levels of skill and some people sweat more details than others.

The other issue that needed to be addressed was the black paint on the surface of the hub that the backing plate mounts to. This hub will be completely stripped, masked off properly and repainted.
My dad finished up the bottom end for Jim's 38. This is killer. I am so excited for this bike. Still not sure what color it is going to be. I guess I will find out soon. Check out the mid-late 38 oil pump.

Ray finished up the 65 transmission. It is really nice. I need to get a nos or repro filler plug for it, do you guys have any recommendation for where I could find one.

Next up in the trans department is Vern's 46 transmission. This transmission had no wear or damage to it, but was stored dry for 40 years, and all of the gears were rusted and un usable. Always make sure that there is oil in your trans!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

neat cylinder endgap tool

I spent the day fitting rings on two sets of henderson cylinders. Four cylinders a piece, four rings to check and fit the gap on per cylinder--32 rings in all. IT is important to check the gap past the relief for the cylinder skirt, make sure that the feeler gauge that you are using is square and perpendicular to the bore and gap!

Check out this awesome tool. The little wheel is a diamond wheel that cuts the inside of the rings so that you can dial in your gap to exactly what you want. The tolerance for these small little pistons is .008 to .016, I set all of mine up at .014 and .015.

HEre are the kj cylinders. the deluxes are on another bench. I am going out to put the cylinders on the motor!!!! wooohoo!

Paul's 37 ULH motor

We tore down the 37 motor yesterday, Paul did all of the grunt work since my left arm is still messed up. Paul is the third owner of the bike and it has been pretty much untouched since the mid sixties. Unfortunately there are a lot of busted up and serious repairs that need to be done to the trans, motor and frame. We will work through them though ,and he will end up with a bike that will last another sixty years. I just kind of guided him through it and inspected parts. This motor has matched cases, ul cylinders and later heads.

Check out the ohv pistons that were fit to it. somebody ground the domes flat and relieved the heads.

The cam bushings are worn out from having to tight of endplay and fiber shims.

Here is the motor spread out on the bench after dissassembly

Check out the early crank pin. we will put the later stepped pin in with the later cages, this enables you to use more bearings. Everything on the motor is in fixable shape, lots of stuff needs to be replaced and fixed up. Should be a fun project.

37 and 38 stuff

My dad put together a 38 bottom end yesterday. I took this pic of the flywheels before he set the bearings up. This bike is going to be sweet!

Here is a picture of our guard dog and cat. They are menacing

Here is a 37 frame that I have to work over. Our friend Paul brought this frame over from michigan to fix up. He rode it 3000 miles last summer. the motor and transmission were stressed members of the frame, kind of like a sport bike.

Surprisingly the motor/trans mount is still usable, which is great because the repro ones are terrible! early frames do not have the reinforcement tube in the seat post, and break a lot! It is pretty common for them to break in this area, I guess if you leave it alone, your frame breaks into pieces. HE also brought his motor to go through. All of the motor mounts are mint on it. I am amazed at how tough all of these old parts are.

Monday, December 27, 2010

plating and poor workmanship

This is a pic of the main drive gear on a 58 transmission that we got in to rebuild. It is from a fellow in Las Vegas, his uncle bought the bike in the early sixties. He had his motor and trans rebuilt by somebody that did a substandard job, he sent it to us to go through. We have encountered some interesting repairs that will need to be redone. Anyways It is always kind of challenging to figure out what happened and how it was dealt with. something went through this transmission and did some damage to the gears. whoever rebuilt itjust dressed the maindrive gear up with a flapper wheel or some other type of sanding/grinding apparatus.

Check out how the keepers were hammered over. You do not need to get these that tight, you want to bend them over and not creat a sharp edge when you do it. Ray went to take the keeper off of the countershaft and the metal ear just fell off with barely any pressure applied. You can see it on the piece of tape, this little shard would have shaken loose and went through all of the gears and caused big trouble!

Jesse spent the day prepping some parts for plating and parkerizing. these are the valve covers for a 39 ulh, they are nickle plated, all of the other parts are cad plated. I thought this was very interestesting.

Here is the pick up tube for the deluxe motor that I am working on. Check out the built in oil filter! I would hate to solder brass mesh all day long. That was somebodys job at the henderson factory 80 years ago! I spent the day working on the tappets and tappet adjusters and sorting out the other parts to finish bolting this motor together.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

WELDING and 1928 henderson deluxe!

I spent a couple hours welding today. This kicker cover is for a 37 we are doing. Check out how the boss that the clutch sleeve sits in does not have a relief for the 39 and later style throw out bearing.

This thing was cracked out pretty badly. I was plunging into it with an endmill and a huge piece just fell out of it. YOu can see the discoloration in this pic. I wonder how long it was cracked?

HEre it is all welded up and ready for machining. There are a few spots that I need to add more filler at, but I ran out of rod, so it will have to wait till monday.

I decided to switch gears for a little bit, and pulled out a 28 henderson motor that I have to finish up. This thing is going to be choice. Carl Vandre showed me how to do the machine work on the bottom and top end. I had special pistons made for it, but they were the wrong ones, so I had to have them re made! I love my job

I think about Carl every day, he was such a great friend and positive influence in my life. I am a better person because of him. I am going to finish this thing up this week, then I can move onto a 29 kj motor that has all of the hard work done. Please leave comments and let me know if you want to read henderson posts, or if you would like this site to remain hd. Thanks and have a nice night.


The skies are clear and the air is cold in south dakota today. I took this pic by my parents place. It is 6 degrees outside right now.

Here is an interesting pic of a 53 motor that we are going through in this batch. This is a great example of how not to repair a stripped out timing hole plug. somebody pressed a threaded aluminum insert into the case and welded the back side of it. The press must have been too tight or something, because the crase cracked all the way to the back motor mount! we will weld it up and make it as good as new.

here is a cool pic of a bunch of transmissions that are in process. I uncovered them to take this pic. have a nice day!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas John

Ray finished up John's 48 transmission last night. Here is a pic of it just before I put oil in it.

And finished up! This one shifts like butter.

We put the motor and transmission in on christmas morning.!

I still have to bolt them in. I love 48 panheads. This one is going to be red!

Friday, December 24, 2010

bearing cages and 46 pics

I forgot to post a pic of these earlier. These are our prototype bearing cages that Delmar made up for us. They are soooooooooooooooooooooo cool. We had our first prototypes last week, and came up with a few things to tweak. The changes were made, and these are the new cat's meow. This was the single toughest part to find when piecing motors together. the taiwanese ones are terrible copies and come apart and destroy parts. My dad and I will sleep a lot better now knowing that something this nice is available. shoot me an email if you need some for your 54 and earlier ohv.

Well I switched out the top springs with some og ones. They fit perfectly! I also noticed another difference with the v twin top springs, they are made out of a lighter gauge wire than the oems. The bottom springs are spot on, I put a set on my 36 after I collapsed the original ones doing wheelies, and have 9,000 miles on them. anyways, everything is good now.

I couldn't resist putting the fork on and making this bike look like-well- a bike. The wheel is a spare one that we had out back. I still have to mount the tires on the wheels for this bike, but the tires are a little bit too cold to mount right now. haha.