Phew, there is a lot of ground to cover since the last update. Lets start with the 65 FLH. We are so close to being done with this bike. It is a monumental amount of work. I have a new found respect for people that work on new bikes and restore bikes from the sixties and up.
With all the work that went into getting the spotlight, horn, turnsignals, headlight, flashers etc... working, it made sense to not work above the front fender. We got the nacelle on and all of the doodads and whistles are in order! Getting the nacelle on was a great feeling. There are more lights and terminals under there than an entire knucklehead!!!
Here are some new old stock badges that we got from our friend. They are really nice. I was not really about what the best method to restore the originals was, so I was very grateful to find these ones They come flat and you have to fit them to the tank. They are pretty easy to bend and I got them lined up and mounted.
This was an interesting lesson that the 65 taught me. The bike had a wonky speedo on it when we got it. I ordered a restored tombstone speedo from John Bordos for the bike. The tombstone speedos have a different drive than the earlier speedometers. The one in the picture is the early style and wont fit in the tombstone speedo, so I had to change it for the correct one. I had to pull the tanks, exhaust system, and clutch and shift rod to get to it. I am sure a lot of you old timers know about this, but it was news to me, and hopefully it will help someone out that is reading this.
We prevailed and got the speedo cable switched out and the speedo on and mounted. The seat on the bike is an original white one that my dad has had for years, we figured it made sense to use this one for set up and testing before we put the primo saddleshop seat on it before delivery. I ordered the last few pieces that we needed for this bike yesterday and am really looking forward to riding the bike and enjoying it.
Britt is doing really well, and our son is growing every day. We officially made it to the third trimester, and it is pretty neat. It is hard to believe that so much time has flown buy and britt has gotten so big. Here are a couple pics of her from last summer for scale.
This is a cool picture of Brittney with Stanley Miller's Deer slaying 36. I think this photo was taken at Wauseon but I am not sure.
This is a pic of Brittney at the Salt Flats, this is really a dreamy photo.
And here is Brittney and our son. these last few months have been really exciting and we have learned a lot about babies, parent hood and 65 FLHs.
My dad is jamming out on bottom ends, here is an early 36 that he is working on. it is one of the first 300 made and really nice stuff. Original matched cases, original cam cover, oil pump lifter blocks etc...
This bottom end came with flywheels, cases, timer, oil pump and lifter blocks and didnt appear to have ever been apart. It has what i consider a mid 36 oil pump but its on an early bike, it also had the large timing hole plug which came out right around this serial number., my 36-- which is a mid bike had an early oil pump and early left case with the small timing plug. There are a lot of experts out there that think everything was absolute on these first year knuckleheads, but that isnt always the case. It is pretty interesting how you always discover some new strange part change or exception to what you thought was a rule.
Here is some really cool early 36 only stuff. The circuit breaker is the early style with the counter bore cam on top, the base that points bolt to is also different. notice how it doesn't flare down in the center like on mid 36 and later timers. The breather is the one that came out of the motor, I am not sure how long they were used. The clip is also an early job, notice how the gap is narrower where the two ends come together. Mid 37 has a wider gap and is made out of a different dimensional material. The difference in the gap had to do with making room for the circuit breaker to coil wire coming out the bottom of the circuit breaker, which didnt happen until mid 37.
We made some progress on this 39 EL on Wednesday, it is sherwood green and silver, which are colors from 1936. It is going to look really nice.
I have to fit the inner primary cover and the chainguard tab, and get them over to Mike for some black paint
We have been jamming out on Jason's 65, this bike needs more lights
We got all of the turn signals working, and also switched out the one nos super soft muffler to a regular muffler, so now they both have the same amount of baffling and are both brand new.
This is another really exciting project we are happy to announce. This is a 1936 to 1945 Headlight bracket, that we just had made. The originals are very difficult to find and are always mangled, cracked and beat up. There have been a few other companies that have tried to replicate this bracket, but its very difficult to get the aesthetic bends right. We pretty much ran out of good originals, so we took the one off of our 37 and had it copied. They are made in America and primo. Email the shop if you would like one, before theyre all sold out
Blurry iphone photo
And This 46 got shipped out this week. I am looking forward to seeing it on the east coast, but it was a sad day to see it leave.
We are sorting out all of the oil pump and lifter blocks that need to get painted for this batch of motors. It is pretty tedious and repetitive work. Lots of solvent, water, compressed air, electric contact cleaner over and over. Anyways, I wanted to take a picture of this 38- 40 oil pump that is for a 40 el motor that we are doing. The customer supplied it, and bought it on ebay. It is a new old stock oilpump and has never been ran. this is pretty wild, It is painted white, so that means that it was probably made during the 42 to early 46 war years. I have never seen one, and am pumped that I get to inspect it and use it.
Oil pumps in 1940 were painted with silver paint, so we are repainting it the correct color. While i was blasting and prepping the pump for different paint i noticed that the welch plug was put in with red sealer, and then painted. I dont know why i took a picture, I just thought it was neat.
Here are some of the bearing cages that we are using for our motors. We have these made for us, since originals are almost impossible to find and the other repro ones that are made in china are terrible.
My friend Harpoon made a website for his vard front end project. These things are really nice and all made in the USA, They are a very limited production part, go check out his website at www.vardmfg.com to figure out how to get one for your bike.
I have been putting parts on Jason's 65 every week for a long time, and I am finally getting close to firing it up. I can not believe how much stuff goes onto a 65 flh. I really love this bike, but dont know if I will do another one in the future.
Here is a cool shot of the knuckleheads for this batch of motors. I have been sorting out parts for a while but almost have it licked. four of these sets of heads are for funky bikes, and the rest are going to be shiny and perfect.
Lots of work to go, but luckily we have done a few before.
We got a batch of cool stuff today. It was kind of like christmas, we got a bunch of stuff that we have been looking forward to getting all year in the mail. Check out the nice silver face on this 38 speedo
Here is one of the 47 speedos for the els we are doing this batch. Do any of you guys know what the difference in the corbin faces is?
And here are the front fenders for the 36 and 38 that we are doing. I have to drill the holes for the fender lights and the mudflaps.
What a beautiful crown. I cant wait to see these painted.
My friend Paul came by the shop this week and brought his knucklehead along to do some light maintenance on it and to fix what he thought was a stuck rocker arm. He was riding the bike a few years ago and heard a loud bang and the bike quite running. This bike is very special and was built and tweaked by Harry Mollenaar in the fifties. The bike is 85 inches and has a ton of special parts and hand made features. I have known about this bike for years and seen lots of pictures of it, but this week was the first time that I actually got to touch it and see what it was like.
In this picture you can see the special cast aluminum cylinders that Harry worked with Eddie long on casting. Eddie Long was a genius from ohio that most people recognize from an awesome old photo of a jdh drag bike with a knucklehead top end. These cylinders are an inch taller than stock cylinders and the frame had to be jacked up to shoe horn the engine in the frame.
The gas tanks on Harry's bike are widened mid 36 to 39 tanks and really pretty cool. The bike has a 36 shift arm and a 3 speed and reverse gate. Also note the adjustable rake hydra glide fork.
The left side of the bike is really cool too, the fenders are stock hydra glide trim, and the bike looks like a nice combination of different harley parts from various years.
Check out this cool aluminum pressure plate.
Here is the problem that caused the valves to come out of adjustment. The cylinder had been previously welded back when Harry had it. The cylinders are cast aluminum with a pressed in cast iron sleeve. the cross section of the cylinder is very thin and weak. In some spots there was only .030 of aluminum. Performance "upgrades" didn't have very much longevity in this case.
The rear cylinder was easy to remove, the front one was a bit more effort. The heads had studs sticking out of them so that they could have nuts used to retain them.
upon closer inspection the flywheels were made out of billet steel and had a four and a half inch stroke.
The rods are sa rods, which are out of a vl. The cam was stock
and here was the other mystery that unfolded. the belly numbers of the case have an f stamped in them. I have seen plenty of 40e- cases, but never an f. I have heard that Harley had planned on introducing the 74" fl model in 40 but didnt have a chance to iron out the bugs in time. maybe this was a pair of prototype cases, who knows though. Have any of you guys ever seen an f in a belly number on a 40 case?
The heads were in pretty good shape and made out of stuff that Harry had in inventory, they are large port heads, with 38/early 39 rocker shafts, and 37 rocker boxes. we are going to build a 68 inch motor to put back in the bike so that Paul can have trouble free and careless riding for the rest of his life. I respect the amount of work that went into making this motor a possibility, but it didn't work and the formula is not sound.
Here is a 48 that sold at the Las Vegas Auction last week. There were some real amazing bikes at the auction, Unfortunately I didnt have time to go. I was really curious about what this 48 would go for. It is a bike that my dad and I restored 10 or 12 years ago. It sold for 60k, which is unbelievable for a restored 48 panhead. It makes me feel good about the job that we did and it also makes me happy to see it in such good shape after all of these years. I would like to find out who bought it and send them a muffler for the bike. we were not making them when we restored this bike and it has a substandard reproduction tedds one on it.
There is an article on the 39 we did for Jim in the new issue of American Iron, go check it out, the story is nice and the pictures are good too.
Here is one of the tires that came with the brown and chrome 53 that my dad bought off of craigslist. I love seeing these vintage shipping stamps on old tires.
This is the first harley that I built with my dad. It is a 1948 harley s or what some people call a hummer. I started on it when I was ten and finished it when I was 11. I rode it around for a few years and its kind of been rotting away in the corner for 15 years. We are loaning it to our friends daughter in ohio, and giving her a budget to use for upgrades. she is going to race it at vintage flat track races in the hummer class. I am really excited to see it get put to use again.
Most of this week has been spent prepping and painting cases and installing studs. It is really time consuming.
We finally found a frame for Bills 51. This frame is really primo, the only thing wrong with it, is that there was a vtwin tool box strap on it that is too wide. We have been looking for a frame of this caliber for a long ttime and glad we finally found one. Thanks greg
oerfect unbroken top motor mount
fFunky factory welds on the seat post and motor mount
Check out how nice the bottom tubes are
This is the first batch of pistons that we are baking. They are ceramic coated on top and Teflon on the skirts
Lori from California wrote up a nice story about Brittney and posted it today. Here is a link to it http://motordolls.com/2014/01/featured-motor-doll-brittney-olsen/
We got Justin's 47 el chassis all restored and its going back together. The frame was pretty nice, there were a few gobs of welding we had to grind off and metal finish, plus we had to straighten it, but overall it was nice.
My beautiful and talented wife shot and edited a video for the Search for a Champion contest that Champion puts on every year. The winner of the contest is decided upon by voting, people from all over the world can go to the always a champion site and vote for their favorite videos and racers once a day, every day until March 23rd.
Go to the site and check out her video and all of the other ones and vote for your favorite one. Brittney is planning on racing her 23 this summer, plus we are loaning my 1948 Harley Hummer to a 14 year old girl in ohio to race in the light weight class this summer. Once she outgrows the bike we will continue loaning it to other young riders so they can try dirt track racing. By the time our son is big enough to race it, the bike will hopefully be pretty fast :)
Winning one of the sponsorships offered in the contest would help Brittney take her racing goals to the next level as well as sponsor more young riders who are interested in racing old bikes. So go and vote for her video once a day until March 23rd. Thanks for your help and support and have a great week