New here - question BEFORE purchasing a pan

All other topics
Forum rules
Please do not start new topics here, but here: New Panhead and Flathead topics
Post Reply
magnor
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2008 2:39 pm

New here - question BEFORE purchasing a pan

#1

Post by magnor » Fri Mar 14, 2008 1:23 pm

I have just registered, so a big "HI" to everyone.

Coming to my first of many question to come:
I am currently considering buying a 1956 panhead Hydra Glide in fairly good conditions at a reasonable price.

Any suggestions on a list of issues I should check BEFORE purchasing this ride? What are the most common weak spots? How can I make sure to get the value for money I am expecting to get?

The Hydra Glide is not 100% in original conditions but some features have been altered. My aim is to bring it back to the original status while maintaining full "usability".
I've been riding bikes all my life, have been doing some customizing but would not consider myself to be a good mechanic.

Thanks for your ideas and thoughts!

Matthias
-Germany-



VT

#2

Post by VT » Fri Mar 14, 2008 3:33 pm

Buy the machine. Don't worry about re-sale value. All is in the eye of the beholder and title holder.
Don't touch the motor except for oil maintenance and valve lash adjustment (if solid lifter) If hydraulic tappets, don't adjust the pushrods at all. 1956 is a Timken bearing motor. It has an end-oiling pinion shaft, not the slightly wider bearing surface -58 pinion shaft, but a solid motor.
Post some pics when you get it, and remember, just because you own it, does not give you the right to monkey with the internals. There's plenty of other ambient basic maintenance to make you feel like it's yours.
And please don't bore the motor out. Ruin a Shovel for that.
Most people are influenced by other people when it comes to Harley-Davidson. If your friends are big-bore people, you're doomed. They will lead you around by the nose. Peer pressure will force you into boring your motor out to be faster than theirs. We see it all the time out here. There is nothing you can do about it, except cut big-bore people out of your life. They are infected with speed-sick and misery likes company. You want to create problems? Bore the motor out to 88 cubes, and wear yourself out with the start and stop surge when you ride it.
Put two 1956 Big Twins on the for sale block. One is bored out to 88 cubes, the other is stock 74 cubes. Which one will sell first? Which one will you have to jump up and down on the kick-pedal to start? Which one is runined? Which one isn't? Those are the real questions, not whether a 1956 Harley is worth the money, imo.

PanPal
Posts: 1177
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2004 8:57 pm
Bikes: 50 EL custom
58 FL
76 FLH All Original
Location: Maryland
Has thanked: 52 times
Been thanked: 19 times

#3

Post by PanPal » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:59 pm

Make sure you are buying engine cases with good numbers. They are also worth more when the belly numbers on the cases match.

fourthgear
Posts: 1391
Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2005 1:12 pm
Location: north florida
Been thanked: 4 times

#4

Post by fourthgear » Fri Mar 14, 2008 8:46 pm

Its all in the numbers and them being right as said above

VT
"There's no replacement for displacement " , remember "sleeper " . Since I now own another stroker, we will see how it goes . this is the first Pan stroker I have owned , the other was a 75 Shovel (chubbie ) and it was a strong motor when double up , no problems at all , that may be why HD went to 96 now ,among other reasons ,I'm sure .

VT

#5

Post by VT » Fri Mar 14, 2008 9:26 pm

Sure. I kinda went off on a tear there. Anything you ride is fine as long as it doesn't give you problems.
.

steve_wood
Posts: 947
Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:32 am
Bikes: 56 FLH, 2007 FLHRCI
Location: Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Has thanked: 48 times
Been thanked: 27 times

#6

Post by steve_wood » Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:11 pm

The one thing I would add, similar to the above-mentioned, is to take a really good look at the engine and transmission cases and check for cracks or poor crack repairs.

Also, if you can, check to make sure the frame is correct. You probably won't be able to see the date stamp since it's hidden by the gas tank, but you should be able to see most of the tabs and other frame features. If you check the Palmer book (How to Restore your Harley Davidson) you should be able to get a pretty good idea of the correct features for the 56 frame. By the way, the particulars of that frame were only used in 56 and 57 so they are a bit uncommon.

steve

Pantony
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:23 pm
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Been thanked: 1 time

#7

Post by Pantony » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:02 am

You know I don't get where this "big bore motor SURGE" is coming from, seems to me somebodys got a mixture problem then.

Guest

#8

Post by Guest » Wed Mar 26, 2008 5:13 am

Pantony wrote:You know I don't get where this "big bore motor SURGE" is coming from, seems to me somebodys got a mixture problem then.

You know, I got this same response months ago, if I'm not mistaken...by VT also...not picking on you VT, honestly...but in that case it was in response to a VTwin "original configuration" Pan model motor compared to the STD Pan "heads" ...didn't make sense then and still doesn't. Unless we can get a definative explanantion as to what this "surge" is and how it is developed...can we please let this go as pure nonsense, here and now!!! :roll:

Jim "1950 Bobber"

VT

#9

Post by VT » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:01 pm

The surge is from bigber pistons and a short stroke.
With a motor bigger than 80 cu. in. you are going to get a lot more back and forth movement. The motorcycle is going to surge forward with a lot of throttle. Nothing wrong so far, it might move you back on the saddle more than a 74 cu., but, you know, good, that's why you bored it out in the first place, so it would take off real fast.
But, then when you slow down, the motor will decelerate rapidly, which will pull you forward more than a 74 cu.in. motor would. The back and forth is physically wearing. The rivets and dowel pins and possibly the rear spokes get worked over by a bigger motor. Some of the drive train was engineered by Harley for 74 cu. in., not for 88 cu. in.
The best way for you to experience it, is to bore you Panhead head motor out to 88 or 90 cubes and try it. For every action (to increase motor output) there is a re-action.
Some people like it, but the outcome is usually a loud motor that does not provide a smooth transition between going fast and slowing down.
It's your motor, if you want to ruin it by boring it out, knock yourself out.
Whether a 74 inch machine is more valuabe than a bore-out hairy by-god is a question that gets answered when you try to sell it.

1950Bobber

Surge?

#10

Post by 1950Bobber » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:25 pm

VT's Quote: "The surge is from bigber pistons and a short stroke.
With a motor bigger than 80 cu. in. you are going to get a lot more back and forth movement. The motorcycle is going to surge forward with a lot of throttle. Nothing wrong so far, it might move you back on the saddle more than a 74 cu., but, you know, good, that's why you bored it out in the first place, so it would take off real fast.
But, then when you slow down, the motor will decelerate rapidly, which will pull you forward more than a 74 cu.in. motor would. The back and forth is physically wearing. The rivets and dowel pins and possibly the rear spokes get worked over by a bigger motor. Some of the drive train was engineered by Harley for 74 cu. in., not for 88 cu. in."

OK...So, this is what you refer to as surge?

In that case, ANY motor, of larger displacement, will create a "surge" over a motor of smaller displacement...at least by YOUR definition!

I'll take the position that this is called "Increased Power"!

And...you consider "Increased Power" or a larger displacement motor, A PROBLEM? Guess I should stick to mopeds...but wait, will a moped with a larger displacement motor over another moped create a "surge"? Oh God, how about bicycles...maybe I should stick to bicycles!!!!!!

Just a weak attempt at humor, that all.....
Jim "1950 Bobber" :roll:

1950Bobber

Surge

#11

Post by 1950Bobber » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:29 pm

"Louder"..."Surge" ...are also a products of exhaust type and transmission gearing respectively, including other factors!

Sorry, fogot to mention these in my last post 8)

Jim "1950 Bobber"

1950Bobber

Surge

#12

Post by 1950Bobber » Wed Mar 26, 2008 3:42 pm

VT's quote (NOT MINE!): "Some of the drive train was engineered by Harley for 74 cu. in., not for 88 cu. in."

Yup, and if you go 1 silly cubic inch more on the motor, then what...is the drive train MORE at risk to break? What is the cut off motor displacement size HD built into these drive trains?? Can't say I ever heard of it...was it even a thought by the factory 'cause it's never been stated that I ever heard of.

So with all this "surge" and prone to self-distruct drive train logic, it begs the question: Are all the modern highways in America built to handle just 55 MPH, NO MORE...but wait, some have speed limits of 65 MPH, or 75 MPH...they must use different materials to build THOSE higher speed highways???

I knew it wasn't my Panhead when I got on those higher speed limit roads...it was the HIGHWAY ITSELF that was "surging"!!!!!!
Ok, OK I'll quit...it all just sounded too ridiculous to leave alone :wink:

I'm sorry VT, I'm not poking fun at you...just the concept.

Jim "1950 Bobber"

VT

#13

Post by VT » Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:27 pm

imo, Ride someone's big inch Pan before you punch your's out. These things we talk about are better felt, first hand, than discussed.

Pantony
Posts: 149
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 3:23 pm
Location: Milwaukee Wisconsin
Been thanked: 1 time

#14

Post by Pantony » Thu Mar 27, 2008 3:57 am

Excuse me; I had to pick myself off the floor. I don't get it; forget the panheads, what happened when the 80 inch shovel came out, I didn't recall everyone wanting thier money back because thier bikes were "surging" too much. I suppose the Explorer I drive in the winter surges more than it would had it had a 289 instead of a 302. VT, where the hell are you coming up with this stuff. I'm an old original bike kinda guy but life doesn't stop at 74 cu inches. I drove many bikes, some with big motors, you build in extra strengh into things when you design them. Was a 56 pan designed for bigger inches, probably was to get some life out of it. No secret when you increase "POWER" (not surge) you cut some reliabilty out but it still comes down to how well it was done and driving habits. I work with a guy that has an 80cu inch 64 pan, runs great and at 30,000 miles still does, why is it not miraculously blowing up. He knows it has more power but he uses it when he needs it

VT

#15

Post by VT » Thu Mar 27, 2008 5:35 am

80 cubes are not too bad. Whatever blows yer hair back. I like 74" w/ a maximum of 0.70" overbore. Everybody likes something different, is what makes the whole thing go around.

Post Reply

Return to “General/Miscellaneous topics”