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51Hog
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 7:29 pm
Bikes: 1951 Fl
Location: Wasilla, Alaska

1951 FL questions

#1

Post by 51Hog » Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:25 pm

Author: 51Hog

Image

Hi all,
I have been lurking for a while and have enjoyed a lot of great info on this board. Thought I would introduce myself and share my story.

30 + years ago, I was building a trike out of a schwin bicycle. I needed to have a piece cut and welded. Fortunately Dad did not have a torch and a welder. He took me to a small welding shop acrossed town. While the guy was performing the service, dad and I were walking around the shop looking at all the cool stuff that was hanging on the walls. We ran into some old Harley fenders and tank that were covered with years of dust. Dad asked the guy if he still had the rest of the bike and the guy said yes----That he had disassembled it years ago to do a complete restore and paint job. He was going to rebuild EVERYTHING so he totally disasembled everything--every nut bolt on the bike--Yes, the tranny, engine, carb. The only thing that was still assambled were the spokes in the wheels.

The guy told Dad he could have it for 500.00--That he guaranteed that all parts were there--Including new rebuild kit for engine and all gaskets. He said that if there was anything missing that he would furnish it free of charge.
It even had a title in this mans name.
Needless to say, We put the wheels on the bike, and loaded all the parts in the trunk and back seat of the old Buick and pulled the bike (with me on it) 10 miles acrossed town to our home.
Dad and I worked on the bike after he got home from work for a week and the following Monday afternoon, we rode it back over to the shop where it was bought. It was like a brand new bike---The paint was even like new.
The guy offered to buy it back (I can't remember for how much, but dad said that it was a tempting offer.)
Dad rode the bike on Sundays for years and when I got my license, he let me use it---Really cool Dad!!!
I moved to Alaska and several years later, Mom and Dad also moved up here. Dad died of cancer a year after they moved up here and left the bike to my sister. That was 16 years ago. My sister doesn't ride bikes and neither does her husband so they kept the bike in a storage building for the 16 years.
We were talking about the bike and she decided that she should give it to me since I had so many good memories with it.
I am going to pick it up this week!!
The bike has not been running since the last time that I rode it just after dad died. I haven't even seen it for all of those years.
I plan on doing a frame up restore when I get it home and plan on staying 100% stock.
Anyone have good stocker pics, and or info on the 1951 FL 1200cc Panheads?
Thanks to all
Dale

Post by Red55FL

51Hog
That is a neat story. It is great that you & your Dad bought the bike and rebuilt it together and now it is yours. I am looking forward to seeing pictures of it when you are finished with it.
This is a great place to learn from folks that know about these old bikes and are willing to share their knowlage. I have learned quite a bit just reading through the old posts.
Thanks for sharing this story.
Red

Post by King

51 Hog

Welcome and thanks for the great story. It is good you have a bike with such a strong family connection. My Pan is a 51 FL also and we have been together for 31 years of miles and smiles.
To help with your restoration I would recommend getting three books: Bruce Palmer’s Restoring Your Harley Davidson, the 1948-1957 Repair Manual, and the 1941-1957 Spare Parts Manual (especially helpful with the blow-up assembly drawings). These are essential, and will give you about 90% of what you need to know, the rest you can get here.
One bit of restoration start-up advice. If at all possible keep her in original paint. That adds a lot to the bike’s value and is just cool as hell anyway. I’m a fan of the “rustoration” concept, keeping the bike as original as possible, and thus preserving its historical value.
Keep us posted on your progress.
Good luck and I hope you are in the wind soon.

King

Post by 51Hog

Hi,
Thanks for the response. I also am a fan of keeping all of the parts and paint in as original condition as possible and fully intend to do so. If I have to re-chorme, I intend to replace the parts and keep the old ones in a box. Although, I don't know if that makes any sense. (I still am not sure what kind of shape the bike is in. I still have to go get it. Hopefully this weekend.)
It has been in a storage unit for 16 years, so I am hopeing that it will not be too bad.
When I buy service manuals, I scan them and put them on CD's so that they are on my laptop and go everywhere that I do. Also so that when I am working on something, I can print out the sections that I need, take them to the shop and not worry about damageing them. Works really great but is a lot of work initially.
I already hace the Clymer '48 - '65 done.
Could you post some good pics of your 51 stocker?

Post by Panhead

Go to the Panhead & Flathead Gallery (click on the picture below) and type 51 in the search field.

Post by 51Hog

Thanks--
I see on some of the 51s that appear to be stock, that there is different fender trim. Was there an option for that, or is the trim from different years?
I know that I will be looking for all fender trim.
Also, What lighting did the 51 come with?
My blinkers can't be stock??
Were there spotlight options?
Thanks

Post by billy

Welcome 51 Hog-
Great story & Great looking bike.
Your blinkers are off a pick up truck or small dump truck.

Post by 51Hog

Thanx for the welcome--Glad I found this site!!
Yea, I kind of figured that. Now I need to find a pic of the original lights that should be on it.

Post by King

Hi 51 Hog

Great idea scanning the manuals. Mine are so greasy I can hardly read them!!
For details on the fender tips and lights, I would defer to Bruce Palmer (full title of his book is "How to Restore Your Harley Davidson 1936-1965" available on Amazon).
But I believe my lights were stock when I got the bike and it had a 7" sealed beam 6V headlight, two 4 inch "spot lights", and the Tombstone taillight. The headlight was stamped "motorcycle" and specifically designed for the HD 6V system. These are hard to come by and I have been using ordinary auto 6V sealed beams, which work, but are not the best. The spot lights used a bulb set in a reflector and mine had clear lenses (unfortunately mine were damaged by the previous owner crashing into a cornfield at top speed), the taillight is a dual filament running light/brake light bulb.
From you picture, I would say the headlight is stock and it looks like you have the stock brackets for the spotlights with the turn signal lights mounted on them.
By the way, from a safety standpoint, the 6v taillight is woefully inadequate and if you are going to do much night riding you probably should convert to 12v and hang a few "bullet" lights off the saddle to improve rear visability. The 6V headlight also is a bit dim.
Regarding fender tips, again Bruce’s book goes into detail and so does the "Spare Parts" book. My front fender has a chrome plated, die cast, zinc alloy tip and two stainless steel side strips. Also the scrip "Hydra Glide" emblem was a factory accessory for 51 and was mounted above the side strips. There were the so-called “cheese cutter” fender guards also as a factory accessory.
I’ll get a hold of an “electric” camera and take a few shots of my 51 and also the 51 the local Harley dealer has which is a pretty good stock exemplar.
From your photo the bike looks great. Good luck this weekend.

King

Post by 51Hog

King,
Thanks for the info,
I will get the book. It must be a good one as it has been suggested a couple of times. I can't remember if Dad went 12 volt or stayed 6. Guess I will find out today. Today is supposed to be nasty with snow, wind, and rain all mixed up. My trip is about 600 miles.
I will post a couple more pics of the current condition of the bike when I get it home.
Thanks again for the info.
Dale

Post by DuoDave

In addition to the books already mentioned, you will find Greg Field's books "Harley Davidson Panheads" and "Original Harley Davidson Panhead" really useful. Excellent colour photography and all the detail changes are listed for every year. If you go to this sites home page and click on the books and manuals section you will find information on all these books.

Post by 51Hog

Got it!
Float in carb is toast. Just waiting for a rebuild kit.
Made her run by squirting gas in carb with an old thumb pump oil can. Didn't sound bad.

Post by 51Hog
''Hi 51 Hog
From your photo the bike looks great. Good luck this weekend.
King''
Just finished rebuilding the Carb. 2 Choke kicks--Switch on, AND ONE KICK TO START!!!!!!
How cool is that? What luck--- Thanks Dad----

Post by Red55FL

51Hog
Looks like it is all there in one piece!
And it kicked right off after setting that long, that is great.
Damn I am happy for you.
Can't wait to see it when you are finished.

Red

Post by King

51Hog

Congratulations!! Getting it started was a big hurdle crossed. It looks like it's all there allright just a litle more "weathered" than in the earlier picture. A bit of metal polish should clean that up though, and if it doesn’t, I would just powder coat the primary covers, oil bag, and other bits black for a more "original" look.

Enjoy

King

Post by Rainjester

Wow, great story and awesome looking bike. Nice of your sister to give it to you.

jester-

Post by 51Hog

Well, got the ol' gal stripped down to the frame. Going to sand blast it and paint.
Any recommendations on type and brand of paint?
I can't powdercoat---only one shop here and they are very expensive.
I have the equipment and location for painting.
I used to use Ditzler products on Airplane frames--but that was years ago and I am sure there are probably better products out there by now.
I am trying to decide if iI am going to paint the oil tank and outer primary cover black or have them re- chromed. What do you think?
I tore the tranny apart and found everything rusted and pitted beyond easy repair and have decided to replace everything except for the fork shaft and fork carriers--forks are bad. Anyone have any good stock pieces they want to get rid of? Should I consider close ratio gears? Why or why not?
I also tore apart the front forks and found out that I should replace them. The tubes are worn badly (I can feel the edge with my finger)where they go through the lower triple clamp. There are grooves and pitting right at the upper slider seal, and what appears to be a crack on one of them. I also need to replace the bushings in the sliders. Since I am replacing the tubes, I will make my own bushing driver out of one of the old tubes. Should be able to ream the bushings with a brake hone. Any good used 21.5" tubes out there?
My exhaust is shot--The only parts that are still good are the two down pipes and the muffler. I like the way that the dual exhaust looks on the 1950 that is in the auction that was posted here recently but I still may go with a single. Any suggestions? Pros and cons?
I am also going to be looking for a good chrome shop. There are none here in Alaska.
If anyone has any of the parts I need, and wants to get rid of them, please let me know.
I normally just dive into these type of projects, but you guys have an incredible amount of experience and If I can draw on that, Maybe it will cut down on wasted time and money.
Thanks to all for all the help given thus far----Maybe one day I will be able to pass it forward.

Post by dj

Nice scoot!
I would suggest Antique Cycle Supply for paint, but I don't think they are able to ship to Alaska. But they are still a valuable resource and may be able to help you nonetheless.... http://www.antiquecyclesupply.com/paint.htm
For removing rust try 1 part plain white vinegar and 1 part lemon juice with steel wool or Scotchbrite. Works wonders and cheep! Not for polishing so use it for all the rough work. Good for smaller parts you won't be sandblasting.
Personally, I would do the oil tank and primary cover black but I have chrome also and it's wishful thinking on my part. I just think a stock bike looks better that way. Excessive chrome is for choppers....IMHO.
I'm wondering about the "correctness" of the Hella horn. Is the bike wired 6v? Did they offer the Hella horn in '51?
Great project...Good luck!

Post by Red55FL

I agree with DJ, too much chrome is not a good thing. Chrome should be used to highlight, but too much chrome dominates the whole bike and IMO takes away from the overall look.

Red

Post by 51Hog

Thanks for the opinions and advice.
The bike is still 6v, and no, the horn is not correct for the 51.
Thanx again

Post by AkDale

Its gettting there---Just a few more projects.
Waiting on a counter shaft cluster gear.

Image

Post by 51Hog

I am going to be looking for some Driving/Fog/Passing lights for the mounts by the head light.
Anyone have any suggestions on where to find some reasonably priced 6v lights that at a distance look close to original? I have already over spent my budget by a bunch. I also need a battery cover--Doesn't matter if it is painted or chrome.

Post by Red55FL

Damn she is cleaning up real nice! Re: Intro and Questions on 51 FL

Post by 51Hog


'' May 14, 2005, 2:19am, Red55FL wrote:
Damn she is cleaning up real nice!''

thanks,
It has been a lot of work.
Rebuilt the Forks
Both Brakes
Both hubs
put on new rims and spokes
New wiring
New old trans gears
New Sprockets and chains
New clutch and bearings
Tightened up the brake rods with bushings
Replaced most of the hardware with OEM
the rest of the hardware is stainless
Stripped her down ant put on new paint+4 coats of clear.
Stripped a bunch of chrome and painted it black.
Welded up the trashed inner and outer primarys.
Welded up the exhaust Y-Pipe
Added bullet brake lights to rear.
Built new windshield.
And on and on and on and......

Post by Mbskeam

faster, faster or it will be snowing up there, and you will go nuts waiting to ride it.
It looks very nice
mbskeam

Post by 51Hog

Thanks, No problem with the Ice and Snow----Just gonna run some sheetmetal screws into the tires and go for it. LOL

Post by billy

51 Hog-
Great history (Dad's & all) & Great Sister too..
Bike sure cleaned up good!! Big Improvement !!
As far as paints. I like using the 2 stage paints. Base/Clear. Using 'Urethane clear coat/s'. This is what New HD's use, & I squirted me Flat Rat with. It is excellent protection to gas spills, etc..& is very durable.
Must wear a 'hepa' mask,(at least) & I used long sleeves(Cover myself as much as possible) as modern paints are quite toxic !!!!
I very rarely paint anymore. For these reasons.
Lacquer is easy & quick to shoot. But a drip of gas & you will be polishing out that spot to pull up the shine again. Old days it was the "Bee's Knees" =Cool..

PS:
We used to wrap ropes around tires (biker chains)for some snow fun.
But I was a young kid then. ;D up north...

Post by 51Hog

Thanks for the kind words.
I did end up using 2 stage urethane. Put several clear coats on so I could buff out the dust.
I will do the buffing this winter when I build the motor.

Post by Panzerama

Good Mornign Dale,
Great Job! You never told me if that key I sent worked in the fork lock or the ignition? I kind of got the idea it worked in one and not the other. If the fork lock hasn't been used for awhile it may take a little wiggling and jiggling before it turns smoothly and the plunger and spring start sliding again.
If I can load the picture here's what I did for my '49 FL to give it a little more visibility. The bullet lights on the rear are dual filiment so it gives me 2 extra running lights to help that old tombstone. If you look under the left spotlight you will also notice the bullets on the front, factory started offering those in 1950. the switch in front of the throttle is an on-off-on switch similar to the hi-low beam switch, turn signals. All 6 volt and everything works!
keep up the great work,
mike

Image

Post by 51Hog

Hi Mike,
That is one AWSOME Scooter!!!
I thought that I emailed you with SUCCESS !!!!!
I must have been so excited that I only thought that I did.
Did you get the check?
The key works wonderfully in the fork lock. It now works great in the switch since I pulled the lock and re worked the tumblers.
I have the two Guide bullets on the back fender but unfortunately they are only single element. I bought 4 more bullets on eBay and they are also single element.
I am going to add two to the back for running lights. The two Guides are hooked to the Brake.
Eventually I will change out the front amber and one set of the red rear bullets for dual element so I can have running and blinkers.

Post by 57pan

''May 14, 2005, 3:23pm, Panzerama wrote:

here's what I did for my '49 FL to give it a little more visibility. The bullet lights on the rear are dual filiment so it gives me 2 extra running lights to help that old tombstone.''


Panzerama

I used that same bullet light set up on my 57 to give a little more visibility in the rear.
But I wanted to ask about the luggage rack you have. I have seen those offered for sale on eBay and elsewhere and they are usually identified as being for 58 and later. So, since they were for the swing-arm, I guess I figured that they attached to the fender strut. So, I'm wondering if you had to bend the luggage rack arms to get them to fit the saddle bag mounting plate holes, or did they bolt right up? Or is this rack different than the one for the 58? I want the put a rack on mine but really don't want to drill holes in the fender.

Post by Panzerama

Dave, There are 2 different racks, one for the rigid frames 49-57 and one for the duo glides 58 and up. The top rails and spacers are identical but the legs are completly different, the hard tails have more of a curve in the rear and loop back to the saddle bag mounts.
there is a special nut with a shoulder which goes thru the legs and bolts to a double ended stud (threads on both ends) and fastens both the rack and the half-moon saddle bag mount. Unfortunately the rigid racks are getting real scarce and nobody is re-popping them yet, the racks for the swing arm duo's are available just about anywhere because they used them up into the Electra Glide days. I felt exactly the same way about drilling holes in the fender and I finally found a hard tail rack on ebay, guy up in Canada had it, the top rails were trash and so were the spacers but like I said, you can use the late model stuff on top.
hope this helps,
Mike

Post by Panzerama

Dale, I'm just as happy as you are that the key worked. Like the A-Team guy used to say "I love it when a plan comes together" Aren't you glad you didn't have to do all that stuff that Plumber posted with 2 dozen 8x10's about drilling out the roll pin (if you can find it) and punching the old core out. Now you have an original key with "matching numbers". Chances are your dad never even had a key for it. I got the check, thanks.
I'm so glad you took the dump truck lights off the back, the bullets look much better. Dual filiment bullets and 6 volt bulbs are available, you just have to watch for them. The only problem is making them work as 3-ways, you can't get the bright light to be both a blinker and a brake light. On the old cars (before digital switching) they used to pass the signal from the brake light switch thru the turn signal switch so it would feed both right and left unless the turn signal was on and interupted one side. The Harley switch is just a three wire set-up and won't allow you to do that. I hope you saved some room inside that channel in the back fender to thread a couple extra wires thru it when you add the blinkers. I had to pull mine completely off to get them routed right.
can't wait to see the finished project!

Mike

Post by 51Hog

Mike,
Dad didn't have any keys for the bike. Thanks again! Didnt like dads old dump truck lights? Hmmmmmm. LOL
I found some dual filiment bullets but have to wait to buy them. Maybe this winter.
I think I will run an amber set of duall element bullets on the front, and a set of red duall element bullets on the back for the running lights and the blinkers. And leave the good Red single filiment Guide bullets on the back also for the brake light. I have already put the wires through the channel for the blinkers. They are waiting patiently under the tail light.
If I can find dimensions and good pics of the hard tail luggage rack, I may look into fabbing some of them up.

Post by Panzerama

Dale, the legs on the luggage rack are solid round stock with "flats" pressed on both ends. The critical dimensions are the holes for those special mounting nuts. The nuts are internal thread and blind, kind of like acorn nuts but with a hex head. The outside of the nut is a close tolerance fit inside the hole on the leg so the rack won't wallow around. The other important stuff is getting the curves bent right so that the distance at the bottom matches the saddle bag mount studs, the horizontal section is parallel to the road and there is enough clearance between the top of the fender and the bottom of the rack. You also have to make sure that the rack is positioned far enough forward in case you ever have to flip the fender tip up to change a tire. The factory had it engineered pretty well when you consider all the other peices of the puzzle.
That's the reason you see so many of those cheezy re-pop racks that bolt thru the top of the fender. I would look for an original set of legs. You may have to send them to the chrome shop (I know that's difficult in the land of the midnight sun) Watch out for cracks at the mounting holes, if they were mounted with the wrong hardware it usually split the ends.
mike

Post by 51Hog

When did these get offered by Harley?
I think I like the style that hooks to the saddle bag mounts.
Anyone have either of these two racks laying around and would be willing to make me a template for bending the side supports, or cutting out the end supports for the top mounted rack?

Post by Cotten

That's an Indian design that Harley copped later on. Much later.
Note how it will overlap the fender rivets awkwardly, and the 'logo' stamps have a modern copywrite stamp (the "c" inside of a circle).
I know this is just personal taste, but they are ugly. And so are the "correct" racks!

Post by 51Hog

Cotten--
Is this the right rack for the 51?

Post by Cotten

I wouldn't know for sure for two reasons:
I would have to place it on a fender to see if the 'legs' were fender-wide or swingarmstrut-wide,
And I care so little for luggage racks that I never paid attention.
Rat Scherk has always been good to me, and if he says its the rigid frame model, I would be inclined to trust him. Even in the event of confusion, it would get straightened out, I'm certain.Luggage Rack

Post by Panzerama

What's wrong with luggage racks Cotten? Where do you put your luggage?, its pretty hard to strap a T-Bag on the back of a Deluxe Solo Saddle or even a Buddy Seat. I guess I'll have to get my wife an old Electra Glide with a hack so we can load all the "stuff" in it when we travel.
Dale, that first ebay listing is one of those "period" accessories, you have to drill 4 holes thru the top of the fender to mount it and like Cotten says it rides on the rivets and (I have to agree with him) they're ugly! Besides you can buy them brand new from any of the re-pop venders, chrome $42.95, polished aluminum $124.95 current prices from 45restoration.com
That second listing from Harbor Vintage appears to be the same as the one I have on the back of my 49FL. You can also get a "clip-on" pad for the 3-rail racks that turns them into a sort of pillion seat just in case you have to transport a passenger, but you already have a Buddy Seat.
Everyone has their own personnel likes and dislikes, personally I think the Buddy Seats are ugly. I have a beautiful original Buddy Seat for the 49 pan, complete with skirt and rails, sitting on the shelf. I like the Deluxe Solo. If you look at the pic above you'll notice that the buddy seat spring is still on the 49, one bolt and one pin and I can switch it out. The passenger foot pegs work better than the floorboard extensions, when I'm riding the pan I hook my heels on those big passenger pegs and its actually very comfortable.
I'm rambling, I'll quit for now
Mike

Post by 51Hog

I agree with you on the buddy seats. I would like to get rid of mine and put two solo seats on her. That would solve the problem of luggage racks. Eventually I will be adding a side car. I really like fabbing / duplicating things and will probably build my own replica.
Sure would like to find a period correct side car for measurements and detail pics.

Post by Cotten

Panzerama Mike asked where I put my luggage.
Honestly, I could always pack more in a dufflebag that strapped across the top of the saddlebags than a rack could ever hold, and the center of gravity was lower. But I never worried about paint.
And my sleeping bag went on the back of the Buddy so I had a backrest.
Nowadays, it all goes in my wife's hack!

(PS: the double rail isn't correct for a '49, but who cares anyway except other '49 owners who like to point their finger. Or those of us with extras in our trade stash!)

Post by 51Hog

Here it is finished----Well at least until I find a luggage rack and saddlebags, and change the engine sprocket-and re-line the front brake shoes, and, and, and,.......



richierich
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:07 pm
Bikes: 1952 Harley Davidson panhead
Location: Hillsboro,Oregon

Re: 1951 FL questions

#2

Post by richierich » Wed Sep 09, 2009 5:18 pm

My brother and I bought this 52 Pan about 38 years ago for 650.00 and rode it home....I'm proud to say it's still my daily rider.............Richie Rich........ Portland Or
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51Hog
Posts: 664
Joined: Fri May 20, 2005 7:29 pm
Bikes: 1951 Fl
Location: Wasilla, Alaska

Re: 1951 FL questions

#3

Post by 51Hog » Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:36 pm

Very nice Richierich.
Good to see that someone else is riding their old iron as a daily driver.

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