Starting a pan after 14 years

The bike I bought has been kept in a garage but hasn't been started for 14 years

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Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Pan62 » Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:03 pm

Hi Guys!
This weekend I'll get my first Panhead! At the moment I'm riding a 1974 Sportster but I allways wanted a Pan.
The bike I bought has been kept in a garage but hasn't been started for 14 years!
Any ideas what to do? (besides a new battery?) Should I take the jugs off?
Can't wait to get her started!

Holland (europe)

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Cotten » Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:33 pm

You will want to disassemble and inspect the carb and manifold. You may find that the gastank is varnished up as well.
And it will be very prudent to un-stick the rear brake ('62 is hydraulic, and will need flushed),
and the clutch pack as well.

Flush the oiltank with solvent (a turkeybaster works well.) Start off with very light non-detergent oil and change it after just a few miles. Tranny too.
A spritz of Marvel Mystery oil on top of the pistons is a good thing.
Not necessary, but another good idea, is to remove the exhaust and cook through it with a heat gun until the smoke stops.
The rest is common sense safety inspection.
Good luck, and hope that the flat spots on the tires don't shake you too bad!

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Jonderson » Tue Mar 09, 2004 3:43 pm

One more word of advice. (When I got my 63 it hadn't been ridden in 8 years, so I have a little experience to speak from.) This is in addition to what has already been said above, btw.
You will want to be thorough in your inspection of things like brakes and tires. The brakes in particular might be good for a dozen stops or so before the pads break off the shoes. This is a bad thing if you are doing 60 and approaching an intersection. Also, check the hydraulic brake lines, paying particular attention to the ends which are inside the connections. After 14 years condensation may have corroded these ends, making them weak.
Weather checking on the tires is also something you do not want to stress test.
Automatically plan on replacing the intake manifold gaskets. Don't overlook the cables either.
If it doesn't have front brakes, rig some up at least temporarily as a backup. (Are you sensing that I had a bad experience with brakes?)
Initial rides should be fairly sedate and short until you have shaken all the stuff loose that you can not see/haven't foreseen after initial inspections and general obvious repairs have been made.

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Roadside1 » Tue Mar 09, 2004 4:59 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of pans! I'm also a newbie to pans... I think all these 'older' fellas ;D covered it all, except for the most important, the puking of engine oil! Scared the bejeebers outta me! 'til these fine folks on the site informed me this is normal, and it will stop. hehehe
Ride like there's no tomorrow, have fun!

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by DuoDave » Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:08 pm

Assuming the motor turns over easily and it feels like you have some decent compression, once you have followed the rest of the advice here, you are ready to start her up. It should only take about an hour, two beers and your entire vocabulary of profanity. About 15 minutes of the hour will be spent nursing your injured ankle when you decide to see if it is any better when you don't retard the ignition. This is when you will have one of the beers. Finally the f***ing thing will fire up. Once you have finished doing handsprings around the garage, look in the oil tank and make sure you have a good flow from the return. Shut her down and collapse one of the pushrod covers, pull it up from the lifter block and see if you have oil oozing out. This will tell you if oil is getting upstairs. Now go and dump your sweat soaked clothing in the laundry basket and have a long hot bath to sooth the aching muscles in your right leg. While you are lying there, close your eyes and think of all the fun you are going to have.

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Wide » Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:54 am

All of the above info is dead on, I would just add, pull the plugs, get one of those little pencil type flex lights & take a look in the cylinder to see whats going on, a little mechenics mirror may help also. If theres a heavy buildup of rust you may not want to start it.

Good luck.

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Bikes: 2010 road king at the moment. Won't last long

Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by dirtydistrict » Wed Mar 10, 2004 9:44 am

Ok, the next one is for me...if it's hand shift and you never had one of this exotic stuff before; read a good fly manual, repeat in your room all the movements you will have to do, don't get nervous; choose a wide open space and enjoy the fly with our company ;D

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Pan62 » Wed Mar 10, 2004 10:52 am

Thanks for all the advice,
It's great to know there are people out there who know what they're talking about.
Next week I'll let you guys know what happend.
I'm familiar with the strained ankle (the Sporty I have can kick harder than a horse! )

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by Pan62 » Mon Mar 15, 2004 11:25 am

This weekend I picked up the 1962 Pan.
Put in a new battery, some oil and gas.
Checked the sparkplugs. Kicked it over a few times with some oil in the jugs. Squirted some gas in the carb, kicked twice with ignition off, turned on ignition and after 3 kicks it came to life!!!!!
I guess this is what they call beginners luck!
I even drove it for a few minutes.
Will be hanging around here to get some good info, almost read all the posts on the board allready. Amazon has shipped the Clymer manual. I know what I'll be doing this summer.

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Re: Starting a pan after 14 years


Post by haggis » Tue Mar 16, 2004 1:28 am

Alright Pan62!
got rid of the boner yet? ;D
I envy you...there is nothing like the thrill of starting a new project...have fun. Haggis

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