My dad and I built a 1948 panhead for our friend Glenn in Pennsylvania about eight years ago. The bike was a real mess when we started and it turned out really nice. It is the donked out azure blue 48 on our website. Anyways, Glenn has been riding and enjoying the bike for quite a while, a couple years ago he asked us to build him the coolest knucklehead bobber that we could. Fast forward through a bunch of time fabricating and this is what you end up with.
I re cut every fin on the motor to make a nice gradual curve from the cylinder to the base, Then I polished the bases of the cylinders and different parts of the heads and electroless nickle plated the top end. The oil pump and lifter blocks are nickle plated too. The displacement is sixty one inches or 1000ccs for you ferners
This is one of my favorite parts of the bike. the speedo is an indian 741 unit. The gauges are from a 1928 dodge car, They were actually in a cluster, and i had to cut them apart, then machine up cups for mounting them to the bike. I still have to reprint the faces, make bezels and glass before the show. The dash is made out of nine pieces of aluminum and welded together. My friend Lock baker flew in to help with the dash and primary cover. The bars are sectioned early hydra glide bars welded to tapered risers that I made on the lathe.
the transmission is raised 1.125 of an inch, you can kind of see the supports in this picture. they are very cool and kind of look like gumbys legs. Notice that the tubing for the axle stays is tapered from 1.125 to 1.00. The tubes from beneath the engine cradle that go up to the neck are also tapered. This is a pretty common feature on pre teen bikes and looks really classy. it is very subtle, but worth the effort. Miss Brittney and I spent a week with Chad pearson back in January and built the frame. It was a lot of fun. the cross member under the transmission is stock and so is the front engine mount, everything else is made from raw materials
Here is the straight on right side shot. The steering angle is the same as 36 to 40 knuckleheads. we had to stretch the frame in order to get 4 inches of trail. The rear wheel is an 18 inch rim with a 450 ANS tire, and the front wheel is a 19 inch rim with a 400 ANS tire. The centers of the rims are nickel plated and the edges arepainted sherwood green, which is a 36 only color.
Here is a good shot of the left side of the bike. The french curve in the down tubes is pretty noticable here, Check out the inlaid oil tank sight gauge, I still have to french it in, but you get the idea. The primary coverstarted out as flat sheet aluminum and is made out of seventeen different pieces that are welded togeether, I have a lot of sanding to do to make it look as nice as the dash, but it is doable. The chain guard is made out of aluminum too. It is tough to make a chain guard look good, this one looks about as good asthey can look. The seat pan is a cut up standard 40 and later pan. I shortened the nose 1.875 inches and narrowed it to an 11 inch width. It is kind of a mix between a WR and WRTT seat pan. I ordered a reproduction vl seat t and pivot from Mike Breeding. I only ended up being able to use about five inches out of the seat t, but it has such a nice look.
The pipes in this pic are just rough mock ups. I had something totally different in mind, but it would have ended up covering up the bottom curve of the frame, so I had to go with something a little different. I think that this set up is a nice compromise which does more for the overall package. I love how the fender skirts have a reverse taper. They are wider at the top than the bottom.. I am going to cut another couple inches out of the bars before getting them plated.
three and a half days later after snapping my sprocket shaft my dad and I got my motor back together and my oil tank finished with the help of some friends. What an insane couple of days! I am going to sleep for a few hours, then go put the motor in my frame and go for a ride. wish me luck and have a nice day
My oil tank is almost done, and my bottom end stuff is all weighed up. I am going to go make adapters to balance my flywheels and keep moving ahead. I still feel good about how things are going and should be running tomorrow night or monday
OH SHIT! I fired up the sears around three oclock today and it ran so great. I blipped the throttle and my oil pump drive belt flun off. I retarded the spark and killed it as quickly as I could andshut it down. Ray noticed that my primary chain didn't line up with my clutch. I put the bike on the lift pulled the chain and pulled my sprocket out like this! Man oh man this is unfortunate. Apparantly we picked the wrong metal for the sprocket shaft and pulled the threads. Luckily my cases are not damaged and I have a couple spare motors. I am going to convert it back to a stock set up and run it with total loss oiling for the run. between designing prototyping and brain storming our team probably have 12oo hours invested into converting the spacke motor to pressurized oiling. I am not giving up on a recirculating oil system but rather just putting it on hold till this winter
here is the keyway for the sprocket shaft. I think that I am going to try having some one piece flywheels made up this winter to avoid any problems like this. it is very unfortunate and the timing couldnt be much worse, I am just thankful that I have the spare parts to get it running again. This motor sounded unbelievably good before it let loose. I wish I would have recorded it so you could hear it too! I cant wait to have the stroker motor set up again.
here is the bottom end coming apart
pinion flywheel off, check out the sprocket hole lol.
there is the nut and some metal shavings in the bottom end. eak. It would be pretty easy to get discouraged or upset by this, but there are a lot of positives, 1. This happened at the shop 2, I have a week to put it back together and ride it 3. It didn't happen on national television 4. My cases are not damaged. 5. it happened on a thursday and I was able to find pistons and rings in time to get them overnighted to our shop and not have to wait until monday for motor parts. Etc etc
I am sure there are more, but they escape me right now. It will all work out and I will have my cannonballer bike. Wish me luck I need it more than ever.
After some closer inspection I found out that my intake valve cages were leaking and causing a vacuum leak in the rear cylinder, which was probably the culprit in my heat difference. you can seethe gasket discoloration in this pic. I had one of my friends in North Dakota laser out some different
This is the intake valve pocket, the black area is where gasses were blowing out. I did not have a good enough seal between this piece and the cylinder. I spent about an hour per head lapping them into the counter bore that they sit in on the cylinder. They fit well now, and will seal up with the new gaskets that my friend Neil Lasered out for me!
Here is a pic of the lapped in intake pocket. I think that the "90 percent done, 80 percent left to go" phrase applies to this situation
I also faced the hold down nuts on the surface plate. I punched the cylinder clearance out to .008, I think that this in conjunction with the improvements on my intake seals will help me out with a smoother and cooler running engine. I am still learning a ton of good info about spacke motors every day! I should have everything back together tomorrow afternoon, I will post some videos of the bike with the timing reset and hopefully being ridden.