1963 Duo-Glide issues

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1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by Badams » Mon Feb 26, 2007 5:37 am

Hello, I just picked up a 1963 Duo Glide, complete never wrecked or cut. Bike hasn't been started for 3 months and the battery is dead when I went to pick it up.
Top end rebuilt so I know it runs. Owner told me brakes are soft and need replacing.
I have newer bikes (Evos, TCs) however this my first step into vintage HDs. That said, what obvious mechanical issues will I run into outside of carbs, electrical and trademark leaks?

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Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by Panacea » Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:32 am

That depends on who owned and maintained the bike, some people stay on top of mechanical issues,others.......Mike

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Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by panache » Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:45 pm

Well, here's what I would check... First, I'd get Cotton's Durafloat installed in the Linkert (if the Linkert is still on the bike that is). Then, I'd do a vacuum leak test on the intake system. Don't do this in a garage with natural gas fired water heaters or central heaters. Before you replace the battery, figure out what regulator is being used on the bike. 6V or 12V, there are low output regulator versions which allow for the use of sealed AGM batteries. If you're going to run with the stock regulator, you might be better off replacing the battery with a traditional wet cell. As for the brakes, if they're the stock drums they won't stop like a modern brake. You can substantially increase the stopping power by sending the shoes/drum out to Vintage Brake (http://www.vintagebrake.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;) for an aggressive Ferodo drum brake lining. I'd recommend letting them arc the shoes. If you just cram fresh re-lined shoes back into the brake -- the linings might be so thick that the brake lever cam is sandwiched in tight between the brake shoes. You won't get the same leverage as when the brake lever cam has some rotating "breathing room" before the shoes engage the drum. Check the primary chain tension (if it's still running a chain) and the rear chain tension. LBV sells a rear chain tensioner for the older FLH's but most places don't stock it. If you hear bottom end engine knocking sounds, check the compensator before assuming it's the crank, rods, etc. If the oil is sumping from the oil tank, try re-burnishing the oil check valve seat in the oil pump. If you've got oil dripping from the rear chain after the bike has been left sitting for awhile, check the trans oil level -- it could be the trans main seal. Most places sell good double-seals for the trans. One of the users here has put up a great website -- check out the following page: http://www.57panhead.com/ProgRept6.htm
Bikernet also had a great page on keeping the oil inside the 4-speed tranny: viewtopic.php?f=63&t=2438

Well -- that's enough stuff to keep someone busy... Hope it helps!


Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by badams » Mon Feb 26, 2007 9:35 pm

THANKS A BUNCH! This is great info, and a bit daunting as well. I'm going to look over all those things you mentioned and I am sure i will be back with more info/questions. All told I pay next to nothing for it(you fill in the blank) and it is complete with a clean title. One last question I do have. The guy lost the key to it so now it doesn't have a a way to lock the ignition. Where can I get a new ignition lock?

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Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by panache » Mon Feb 26, 2007 10:30 pm

Repro ignition locks are stocked by most everyone (J&P, Dennis Kirk, MasClassics, NOSparts, etc.), however, there is a chance that you might be able to get a number off the lock and just have a set of keys cut. My memory may be a bit fuzzy, but I believe that ignition keys and fork lock keys were shared (i.e., the same) on Big Twins up to your year. I think in '64, HD started using two separate keys for the ignition and fork lock. Palmers book on restoring HD's will probably have that information in it -- or a quick search on this site should turn it up. If you can get a number off the lock assembly (not a part no., but a lock #) and if I'm right about '63 sharing the same key for both the ignition and the fork lock -- then you can get two birds with one stone... The keys are pretty simple 4-tumbler keys. If there isn't a lock#, the key needed could quickly be determined by a locksmith looking at the lock. If you have to take this route, make sure you disconnect the battery before unscrewing the wires from the ignition switch terminals. I seem to remember the terminal on the lower right hand side always being HOT. When taking the ignition switch out from the dash, keep track of any shim washers placed under the 4 mounting screws.

You're LUCKY!!! If you keep this bike mostly original -- in good shape it'll fetch better than 16K. OEM parts are sometimes available through NOSparts. They have a website:
and they also have an eBay "Store": http://stores.ebay.com/nos-parts_W0QQco ... idZ2QQtZkm

Many of the nuts & bolts on your bike -- if still original -- were machined by HD or by an outside contractor (Chandler Products, still in business). I'd save and reuse them -- just recondition them by re-parkerizing or re-cadplating them. The only exceptions I might make are the head bolts, but for these OEM NOS bolts are available through NOSparts.

One "gotcha" about these bikes, is the MouseTrap booster... They work great when dialed in and greased -- but if you have a footshift Duo with one of these, make sure you tie-up that MouseTrap if you EVER disconnect the clutch lever rod... If you've disconnected the clutch lever rod, an inadvertent pull on the clutch hand-lever will "snap" the MouseTrap. Since it won't be connected to anything, it'll snap-rotate way over and take a "bite" or "nibble" out of your front head's cooling fin! I've seen dozens of front heads with these MouseTrap bites. It can be fixed by welding/bead-blasting, but it's even better if you can avoid it!

Have fun working on your Pan!


Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by badams » Tue Feb 27, 2007 12:32 am

You are a fantasic wealth of knowledge and I really appreciate you helping me! I will certainly look into all this and stay in touch with you, letting you know about my developments! FYI, I paid 7K for her, complete and uncut....

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Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by locksmith » Wed Apr 14, 2010 7:57 am

i would like to know that does repro ignition locks use Original key patterns

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Re: 1963 Duo-Glide issues


Post by FlatHeadSix » Wed Apr 14, 2010 1:49 pm

the repop locks have a cheezy double sided shorter key in the lock core. Nothing like the original Briggs & Stratton keys.


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