Buying major parts

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LittleAl
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Buying major parts

#1

Post by LittleAl » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:41 am

When buying certain major (read that as expensive!) where should I be looking for the best VALUE? Money is an issue but I learned long ago that sometimes inexpensive is just cheap junk and sometimes expensive is still crap. The parts I'll soon be buying that I'm concerned about for getting at the right price AND quality and authentic as far as fit and look and correctness for my '54 FL are:

1) gas tank with hand shift and badge brackets, but using a (non-original style) regular petcock
2) complete front fork assembly including trees for mechanical brakes
3) original style star hub wheels

I've done some research and comparisons of prices on some of these parts and it just confused me more! I've looked at V-Twin, J&P, NOSParts. There must be other reliable suppliers of Pan stuff but those are the only one's I really know of except for a few small specialized ones (like Hummer Emporium for wiring harnesses) so any suggestions for suppliers and what parts I might wanna buy from them are also appreciated

I need almost everything since all I basically have is a complete motor, trans & frame...

Thanks!



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Re: Buying major parts

#2

Post by john HD » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:51 am

al

why a non original petcock?

john

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Re: Buying major parts

#3

Post by LittleAl » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:56 am

John, convince me otherwise. It seems from what i read those through the tank original style are a major PITA. I'm open to suggestions though

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Re: Buying major parts

#4

Post by awander » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:06 am

I love the thru the tank gas shutoff on my '52. No problems, and it is a great conversation piece when I stop and talk to other bikers

LittleAl
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Re: Buying major parts

#5

Post by LittleAl » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:13 am

Could be just my lack of any experience with them. I've seen them but never rode a bike with one nor had to install or maintain one.

keep convincing, you might make a convert of me.

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Re: Buying major parts

#6

Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Jan 14, 2009 6:22 am

Al,
The re-pop replacement fuel shut-offs are more than a PITA!, OEM equipment is very restorable, reliable and totally functional.

A couple of comments:
1. J&P is mostly a reseller for V-Twin for their retro stuff, their junk is the same as Tedd's junk but with a marked up price.
2. Most of the links from this forum to vendors and suppliers are reliable and proven to be trustworthy folks or the links wouldn't be here.
3. Tanks....... I'm sure that VT will fill you in on the availability (and quality) of replica tanks, or lack thereof. Your best bet is to start hitting the swap meets, cruising ebay, keep your fingers crossed, and hope for a good deal on a set of original tanks.
4. Sheet metal: the repop stuff is actually getting much better, its available from almost all of the resellers at very reasonable prices and fits, functions, and looks as good as OEM.
5. Star Hubs; they're everywhere but you have to look closely to be sure you don't get one that has been boogered or is completely clapped out. Its easy enough to lace one to a replica rim if you aren't too concerned about a genuine Kelsey-Hayes logo stamped on the inside of the rim.

just a few thoughts...

mike

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Re: Buying major parts

#7

Post by john HD » Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:48 pm

LittleAl wrote:John, convince me otherwise. It seems from what i read those through the tank original style are a major PITA. I'm open to suggestions though
hey al,

yes they can be a bit troublesome. however with a bit of work they can be made to work very nicely.

after the tank holes are aligned (and you might get lucky like i did and get a nice set of tanks that are straight) the major problem is getting the shut off to work and not drip gas.

absolutely do NOT try aftermarket parts as they do not even come close to the right size! i'll pst some pics to prove it!

the stock shut off valve can be partially disassembled and re lapped to the seat to make a nice fuel valve that doesn't leak. and have stock appearance.

the other major thing is that you can use the original steel fuel lines and substantially ruduce the risk of a fire!

don't get me wrong, rubber fuel lines are fine and i ran mine that way for years, but, the steel lines look better and to me seem safer!

did you get a linkert carb with your bike?

john

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Re: Buying major parts

#8

Post by Moose » Wed Jan 14, 2009 1:24 pm

hey al

I'm at the new jersey shore around exit 80 on the parkway. I have an original parts 1950 if you ever want to look at what some of the parts are e mail me and if your in the area you are welcome to stop down

gmills85 at comcast dot net or call me 732 600 SOLD (7653)

Moose aka Glenn

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Re: Buying major parts

#9

Post by Kuda » Wed Jan 14, 2009 4:34 pm

FlatHeadSix wrote:Al,
The re-pop replacement fuel shut-offs are more than a PITA!, mike
Well, maybe I just got lucky. After deciding not to toss $700+ for OEM tanks that would still need major $ to run, I ended up getting new V-twin repop tanks with the shifter gate holes and the repop shut off valve. Used it with the repop steel fuel lines and strainer, fit well and was actually pretty simple, only a minor tweek or two (didn't have the fuel alignment rod) and it all works pretty damn good 20K or so later. Might be because I'm using all repop, instead of mix of repop and original. Getting the tanks installed was a PITA, the flat side of the tanks don't have the correct contour, but after a little work with a BFH they were just fine. Now if I could just get those m'f'in' repop gas caps to stop leakin' all over the place whenever it's more than 3/4 full...

-Kuda
'49 panchop

VT

Re: Buying major parts

#10

Post by VT » Wed Jan 14, 2009 5:34 pm

Imo, if you need gas tanks, star hubs and rims, and non-adjustable Glide forks is to buy them from V-Twin. Better, if you live near a local dealer, tell him (her) that you're building an almost complete motorcycle from repop parts and see if (she) he will give you a discount, on $295.00 orders.
It sounds like you have a proven (fit) frame, so that's eliminates some of the "fitment" issues you might have hanging parts from it.
I would completely mock-assemble the frame, fork, wheels and fenders and install the new 3.5 gallon tanks when V-Twin releases them. I would use the OE style pop-up reserve. You can make them leak-proof at the banjo connection by using either the OE style brass washers or the Linkert float bowl brass crush-washers.
I would order the non-adjustable fork parts separately from the V-Twin catalog. DO NOT ORDER the "Complete" Glide fork kit, as it has '60-up Glide fork parts that you cannot use with a 1949-59 fork assembly.
Get the '49-57 H-D Spare Parts Catalog and the '58-68 Spare Parts Catalog (since some parts from the '49-57 group have been updated to '58-68 assemblies.)
The V-Twin star hubs are excellent. I've tried to find things wrong with them and I can't. It's one of the things I do best and they are phasing out my job as critic. Pretty soon I will have nothing to complain about.
Don't buy any questionable part or assembly until you check with us first. I personally try to stick with OEM style assemblies. If I tell you not to do something with these kits.....DON'T DO IT, because it means I or someone else has already spent time and money figuring it out.
These new 3.5 gallon tanks are going to be awesome replicas (based on the work they did on the convex oil line nipple of the Knucklehead lower spring covers, including the braze-weld artistry of line and cup nipple).
The 1954-59 handlebars are the only one-piece early bars V-Twin is out of stock of, at present. What does that tell you? That 1954-1959 are the most popular years to build (actually it's 1954-57, but '59 still has the big headlight and -58 sprocket shaft motor, so it's definitely in there as an "antique" work of mechanical art). Looking from the front wheel back, at tank level, the swing and rigid machines look and sit almost identical. Find the pic of that green '59 swing in the Gallery. I thought it was a rigid from the front wheel angle of the pic.
I would put the 360 degree contours of an OEM 1936-1965 Harley-Davidson® fuel tank right up there alongside anything that Enzo Ferrari ever designed in Italy. Name one part of a Ferrari® that has such deep, radical contours in such a small area and I'm wrong.) Easily, the H-D fuel tanks are the most contoured piece of metal of any motor vehicle ever consistently used in the USA. Nothing "Detroit" ever produced is as complex.
The repop OHV parts are bad-ass. Check out the repop battery support plate or repop outer tin primary cover. Match one of those to any OEM part and see for yourself.

Synopsis:
1. Don't buy the "Complete Glide Fork Kit". Order 1949-1959 fork parts separately (i.e; sliders, trees, '49-49 damper assembly, s/s cowbells, s/s fork covers, '49-59 headlight mount, etc). Check your '58-68 Parts book for the current list of fork parts included in today's world of inventory.
2. Buy the s/s spokes, black or parkered hub, parkered star cover and Perma-Chrome rims as a single V-Twin part number. You'll like the wheels. Riveting beauties they are.
mockpan0135wh1.jpg
Repop (except for the motor and transmission and seat).
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Last edited by VT on Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Buying major parts

#11

Post by steve_wood » Wed Jan 14, 2009 7:29 pm

Little Al:

For what it's worth, I bought the re-pop petcock assembly and put it in my original 56 FLH tank. Didn't need any tweaking at all, doesn't leak a bit and looks just like the original.

Maybe I just got lucky.....

LittleAl
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Re: Buying major parts

#12

Post by LittleAl » Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:02 pm

Mike, I didn't realize J&P was mostly reselling V-twin, why go to a reseller instead of the source, looks like V-twin will work for me. My local HD dealer is of course a V-twin dealer and give me excellent discounts normally. I'll try to batch parts to make a few single larger orders to enable him to give me a better then normal discount. Also I'll start to check out the links here on H-G so I get an idea of what's available from them. Nothing is as good as a recommendation.

John, I did in fact get another carb in one of the milk crates (Super E was on the bike) but couldn't tell you at the moment what it is. I'll take a look tonight when I get home from work. I do know though, that in the milk crates is an original backplate and air cleaner cover.

as far as the petcock/tank combo I guess I'll make my decision when I'm ready to buy a tank, which will be a while and VT I'll be watching to see where you get with the repo tanks. I believe I read most or all of your threads you wrote on them.

Glenn, I'm actually on Staten Island so I can almost see you 1950 from here! lol. I will definetly call on you if needed, or just to come see your bike and grab a few beers together. Same goes next time you pass through SI. Everyone in NJ eventually passes through SI. I can't show you a bike, but I can show you my frame, motor & tranny in my kitchen, lol

VT, good advice I'll be taking. In the next day or two I'll cross reference from my parts manual (I have parts and service manuals for all my bikes) for the front end which will be my next bigger purchase.

I have star hub rims that were on the '71 frame but don't know if their the right ones (are all the star hub wheels the same?)

As I've mentioned in my posts I have a few crates worth of stuff the previous owner gave me although I really haven't tried to figure out what's there, servicable or original. I'll be doing an inventory of all those crates over the next week or so and report back what i have.

Thanks again all

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Re: Buying major parts

#13

Post by john HD » Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:46 am

al,

do your self a favor and get a couple of those clear divided containers when you go through your extra parts.

don't throw anything away! when i got my bike all of the spares came in a disintergrating styrofoam cooler, i found all sorts of treasures including cp 1038 bolts, nuts and a nos kicker shaft in the original box!

you can sort the extras out and put them away for future use. it saved my butt a couple of times.

very interested to see what your other carb turns out to be...

john

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Re: Buying major parts

#14

Post by Moose » Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:56 am

i'm thinking the crates of extra parts would not be any good for your bike I would be happy to go thru them for you and let you know what you should keep and what you should give to me

:mrgreen:

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