Monday, January 31, 2011

Progress is progress

My dad finished up Vern's 46 motor. This thing is perfect. This bike was pretty original and low mileage, so we were able to use a lot of the hardware over again. It has .010 over fl cylinders which is soooooo cool. It is pretty risky to sleeve original fl cylinders and we usually try to avoid it. Anyways this bike is going to be blue with cream emblems. I am excited about it. I should be putting the motor and trans in the frame pretty soon.

Ray tore down the shocks for the 65 this morning. I have never taken these things apart before, so I was pretty excited to see how it works.

HEre are all the pieces laid out.

I spent the morning sorting out plating for 16 carburetors. Lots of sorting and organizational skills haha.

HEre is the list, I am almost done. Then I will get all the parts for the remaining transmissions done.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Vern's bottom end

My dad is making good progress on vern's 46. this was a pretty complete nice original machine. It is 46fl20xx and had silver lifter blocks and oil pump. so I guess hd made the switch pretty early in 46.


Here is a neat pic of him torqueing the lifter block screws down. Each one is set at 75 to 100 inch pounds. This motor should be done this weekend. This bike is going to be so nice!!!!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

parts, bottom ends and hiked up pants

I shipped this small order out to my friend in South carolina yesterday. The springs are 1936 to 1938 inner fork springs. I think that this might be the first set that I have sold. I had them made up six years ago and dumped a ton of money into the minimum order of 200 springs. I will probably have them until I am ninety.

I have spent most of the day photographing parts for our parts list and web page. This is something that I have been avoiding for a long time. I love figuring out how to make parts and making them or having them made, but despise working on lists and taking pictures. anyways we have over 130 parts and the complete list will be available soon.

Here is a neat pic of the seam on our 41 to 49 mufflers. Let me know if you need one for your bike, they are pretty much identical to oem ones.

My dad is putt ting Vern's 46 motor together. My dad told me that the flywheels were a real challenge to true up, but he got them with in .0015 on each side. This is how we check endplay on the bottom end. This bike is going to be so nice.

My dad found a magazine rack to use as a walker and wanted to do a staged photo of him acting like an old man. I always threaten to throw him in a retirement home and change the name on the sign to Matt's Dad Cycle Supply lol. Honestly though, he is still pretty sharp and always seems to pull some neat old trick out of his sleeve when I least expect it.

More sad news

Earlier this week my friend and fellow AMCA board member Raymond Dhue passed away, and now I just got an email informing me that my friend Frank De Genaro got hit by a car while he was walking around town. He cracked his hip, broke some ribs and has other injuries. Put him in your thoughts and prayers. Here is an address to send flowers and cards to. He is a great guy.

Banner Boswell Rehabilitation
10601 W Santa Fe Dr, Sun City, AZ 85351
att: Frank DeGenero rm103 bed 2

Thursday, January 27, 2011

trim, lights and busted up parts

It is Ray's birthday today, so we got him a cake.

I mounted up the tail light on andy's 47. I love these blacked out bikes.

The inside is painted white to help reflect light better.

Check out the trim on the front fender ooooohhhhh aahhhhh. This makes such a difference.

I got this neat wr case in to weld up for my friend in North Carolina. This bike raced daytona in 50 and 51. I am not sure when the motor mount got busted off, but it did. I have a 42 wr bike to restore for a friend of mine. I am so excited about it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

shiny stuff and fender trim

I went up to my parents attack to get some sheet metal for Randy's 52 today and couldn't help but take a pic. I love seeing all of this shiny bright stuff.

My dad spent most of the day putting the trim on Andy's 47 fenders. Most people think that they should just clip right on and slap the strips on fresh out of the package. They do not fit very well and require a lot of tweaking twisting and fitting.

Here is how they should fit, notice that they are not bulging out anywhere on the sides and fit tight against the fender. Check out the strips on the next bike you see at an event or a meet.

oil tank fix.

I got four oil tanks back from being boiled out a few days ago. I saw this nasty repair on Paul's oil tank. I have seen some really nasty pieces welded onto the oil tank brackets over the years. The stock brackets are made out of a pretty light gauge metal and break easily.

The brazing on the bracket pretty much ruined the metal that it was brazed to and crushed all hope of getting a nice weld on it so I cut this square patch out of it. This is kind of a neat pic, you can see how the bottom folds up at a right angle and is inside the tank. This is the way that all 36 to mid 38 tanks are assembled.
I cut a piece out of an old donor oil tank and welded it in.

Here it is all ground up and ready to have th bottom put in.

48 panhead pics

I have been really wrapped up in nerdy detail stuff lately and haven't posted any complete bike shots. So i figured I would put up some neat 48 picturs. HEre is a 48 panhead that we built a couple years ago. Our friend George in Colorado bought it. It is featured in his book "The Evolution of the Harley Davidson." Check it out, you can buy it on his site at This bike was a blast to build and fun to ride. It Is an EL, which is the best motor that harley ever made.

Nice Left side profile. I think this bike scored 97 or 98 points. IT was perfect.

Ahhh what a sleak looking beast. As soon as we finish up the 42, 47 and 52, we will move onto John's red 48.

And here is a neat picture of an early kicker gear next to a later one. Pretty rare stuff.

wheels, welding, etc....

I spent most of the morning masking off different bits and pieces at the painters. I picked up half a dozen cylinders from getting sandblasted. Check out all the fins missing on Paul's from cylinder.

I started fixing them, but ran out of rod, so I will have to pick some up later on. Lots of work to go, but it is nice to get started. This is a ton of work but now is the time to do it.

Ray is working on wheels. He is rebuilding seven of them. what a bunch of work.

Here are the wheels for Jason's 65. The rims were at the chrome plater for over a year. They turned out really nice though and it was worth the wait.

Notice how the center of the rim is not polished. These are the correct 62 and later rims with the heavy outside lip. Notice how the center strip where the spoke dimples are isn't polished. This is the way Kelsey Hayes and Harley made them. It is a neat detail.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things to avoid doing when you are building motors

My dad tore down a 51 panhead motor today and it was filled with poor workman ship. It must have been put together by some hack in his garage. Anyways, I took some pics of the blatantly obvious substandard repairs so I could show you guys what not to do in your motors. The tapers for the crankpin in the flywheel were worn out, so the flywheels were too close together and consequently the rods did not have enough endplay. It looks like some bozo ground the sides of the rods with a makita grinder. If you click on this picture and zoom in, you can see the few spots where it was still touching the flywheel thrust washers! what a hack job. These rods are s and s rods and are too heavy anyways, so we will end up replacing them with something that is closer to the same weight as oem rods.

NEVER use silicone on anything. IT is the worst sealant of all time. It was invented by the devil to clog up your oil pumps. This is very hard to clean, but can be fixed. You guys will save yourself a lot of heartache if you throw away any existing silicone tubes that you have and use good sealer.

I think that the theory behind putting this fitting in, was to cross thread it so that it wouldn't vibrate loose. what a joke.

42 wiring detail pics

I spent a little time working on wiring up the 42 today. All of the wires are new old stock. Everything is turning out well on this bike. it is going to be a real stunner.

It sure helps to have an original paint 41 knucklehead for refference when doing stuff like this.

HEre is the other side. Panheads have the wires rounted under neath the relay.

more nerdy details

Here are the two wires for the headlight on the 42

Here they are made into little nooses. Early pre war nooses look like this. sometime during the war, hd cut back on the generous amount of wire used and had a different looking set up. page down to see what a post war one looks like. This is what the terminals on our original paint 37 and 41 knuckleheads look like.

Here is a pic of the noose being soldered. this works really well and allows you to put the bare minimum of solder onto the terminal. Once you have the terminal soldered up, you can flick it to flin the excess solder out.

HEre are the terminals for the 47 that I am working on. They are a bit different than the pre war ones. I am not sure when they switched. Our untouched 46 and 47 knuckleheads are like this.


Here is the overhead oil line on Andy's 47

The y fitting on the left is the reproduction one that I just took out. The one on the right is a casting that I had made up a lonng time ago. There is quite a difference between the two.
I made up a hundred of these little guys a long time ago and am about half way through them.

Here is a pic of the assembly installed. Now I just have to get it re cad plated. These y castings were one of the first parts that I had made up. It is a pretty minor detail, but all of those minor details add up into a big difference.

Monday, January 24, 2011

neck cups and pressure testing

Here is a neat pic of my dad pressure testing a vl cylinder.

This is a super rare early vl cylinder that had had the intake insert brazed into previousely. There must have been a huge chunk missing out of it and they used the brass as filler. there really is no way to fix this. we pressure tested it, found the leaks and silver soldered them up. there is still a little bubbly spot in this picture. We got it alll sealed up, now we just have to drill it and put the rivets in. I guess these things are impossible to find. I know that this set was a huge undertaking and I am glad they are almost done.

Well I spent the day switching out the neck cups on Andy's 47. It had repro ones in it when we first got the bike, and I didn't have any originals when I was putting it together. well as you can see the repro ones are sooooo ugly. These were the first thing that I looked at whenever I saw the bike. I got some originals back from the cad plater and decided to switch them out. We are in the process of having our own made up, and I cant wait to be free from having to use the best quality reproduction.

HEre is a neat pic of the steering dampener all ligned up.

Check out the nice original cups. Now I won't have a painful eyesore pulling my attention towards it when I look at this primo 47.