An inordinate number of things go wrong

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jack moghrabi
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An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by jack moghrabi » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:18 pm


In the past month I have had an inordinate number of things go wrong with my 63FL that kind of has me scratching my head. I've never experienced anything like this before, where just about every two or three days something happens. From a mechanical breakdown standpoint here is how this past month has been:
First my carb starts to leak from a brass float gone bad (microscopic holes in the brass). So I buy a new float. About two days later my carburator float bowl manifests a hairline crack along the accelerator pump channel that runs along the bottom of the carb (Zenith). So I buy a new float bowl and fix that.
About one week after that I develop a crack in the rear cylinder exhaust spigot/port. So I take the head off and get a new insert welded on (I've written about this).
About a week later I get the head back and put her back together. I get around to kicking her over and nothing. I kick and I kick and I kick and with nobody around I keep on kicking figering its OK, that today I'll forgo my morning four mile walk, my miday one hour bicycle sprint and my late afternoon one mile swim......instead I'll get my exercise that day by just kicking her. Well eventually I stop kicking her and switch to analysis mode and I reckon my way to a faulty coil. So I buy a new coil and she fires up beautifully and I ride her for about one week, absolutely ecstatic, thinking the abnormal turn of things is finally over. I was wrong.
Yesterday afternoon my primary chain broke on my way down the ocean road from West Palm Beach. My spirit is pretty hardened so I'm not frustrated or angry, just a bit perplexed and yes I have been looking up at the sky and muttering to myself a bit more than I usually do. Any thoughts anyone? Is there anything I can buy in a can that'll cure this? Is there an ancient Greek god toying with me 'cause I ignored his skinny sister?
Or maybe I need a magic potion.......Or maybe, just maybe my bike is trying to tell me something that I'm missing?

P.S. I consider this 63FL as my primary transport and I can't wait to get up in the morning and ride her. My "reliable" back-up automobile is a 1960 Triumph TR3a that I restored myself (took me about 2 years). That's what I drove in to work today and as sweet as that car is with her 2 liter sleeved tractor motor with the big flywheel I'd still rather be on the Panhead.

Any thoughts anyone let 'er rip......JackMo!

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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by fourthgear » Wed Jan 18, 2006 7:44 pm

I would like to think its all age, every thing including us , have a life expectancy and hopefully thats all it is and no GODS of whatever is on you to make your life hell. Even if you do all the preventive maintenance that is called for on these machines , shit does and will happen. I feel your pain, I'm pretty sure we all do. Good luck.

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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by King » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:05 pm


Here is what you do. Hopefully you live in an area that has a significant population from the Caribbean. If you do you are home free. Find the store where those folks get their 'home' stuff. Go past the jerk sauces, cans of mangos, etc head to the back (usually left) corner of the store. There you will find a host of items to help. But ignore all the neat candles with the great decals on them what you are looking for are the aerosol sprays. Search around till you find a can of 'Black Cat Spray' it will have the meanest feline you have ever seen on the label in a kraut helmet with a big swastika on it. That's the Stuff. Guaranteed to ward off all evil.

Head back to the barn and spray the Pan while walking counterclockwise around it three times chanting the good stuff written on the back of the can. Apply every day with an odd numberd date.

That will do the trick. Works for me.well about as good as any thing else I've tried (LOL).


jack moghrabi
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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by jack moghrabi » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:20 pm

Hey fourthgear and King, thanks for the words....gotta love it.....gotta love it

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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by kell » Wed Jan 18, 2006 9:16 pm

You guys missed the obvious... that he failed to sacrifice a goat to Wotan. The bad news: I forgot the incantation, and for that you must walk through fire and ice until you reach the portal of the underworld. If you have the fortitude, you may be able to throw open the gates -- the answer is on the other side.

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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by Cotten » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:17 am

It is obvious that it is all punishment for removing the Linkert.


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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by panman93 » Thu Jan 19, 2006 2:18 am

JackMo, one thing I noticed is that you only replaced what was broken. When was the last time you bought something for your girl that she didn't really need? If your pan is like mine she's pissed at you for not giving her something now and then.just to show you appreciate her.
By the way, my girl is a 62 pan but with 93" S&S, STD dual plugged heads, Mallory ign, and getting fuel injected this year. All wrapped up in a stretched Santee frame with 8" over springer.

jack moghrabi
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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by jack moghrabi » Fri Jan 20, 2006 2:08 pm

Definitely appreciate the responses you all. Got to laugh which is always the best. And the good news is that yesterday late afternoon I installed a new primary chain and I rode the baby out early this morning and everything was smooth smooth smooth. Honestly, I think this is the nicest and smoothest she has ever been. I just shake my head at how nice things suddenly are with a new primary. All the vibration is gone! And Hey, Panman93, I think you definitely have a point. I am tough on her, making her stretch like she a new age girl.....JackMO!

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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by DuoDave » Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:45 pm

Jackmo, your problems have indeed been caused by that ancient Greek god you mentioned. Let's hope that he has eased up on you now. By the way, he is the spirit of the woods, and like your Harley, plays sweet music on his pipes. His name? .......Pan! :o

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Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by Billy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:19 am


A lot (not all) of the things that happened sound related possibly to vibrations.

stretched primary chain could have been the main (troublemaker) vibrator.

However, when was the last time ya checked your motor mount bolts ?
& make sure the top mount is not pulling on the frame, as tightened. This can can send vibrations thru many other things.

Just another part of thorough maintenence...

PS: All work should be done under a 'full moon' w/Black Cat Spray & goat sacrifice...(best results) ;)

jack moghrabi
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Joined: Mon Jul 14, 2008 2:59 pm

Re: An inordinate number of things go wrong


Post by jack moghrabi » Tue Jan 24, 2006 6:29 pm

Hey fellas thanks for the thoughts. DuoDave, like you say, let's hope he, "PAN," has eased up on me ..... I am genuinely amazed at how pleasant, smooth and strong my 63FL is now. What a turnaround from that troublesome period where things just seemed to break.

And Billy, you're right, the excessive vibration from the worn and stretched primary chain was definitely a contributing factor leading to the crack in the rear cylinder exhaust spigot/port. I don't think it's a stretch to assume that....

A while back, cotten wrote a really nice piece on "reliability" that exemplified what I believe we're all striving for with these machines. By choice, my stock '63FL (the motor is stock but the rest of the bike is not--she's got a 1997 hardtail frame with a 2000 wide glide front end) is my daily driver, there is simply nothing else I would rather be driving and I would like to think that if you hold "steady at the helm" during periods of adversity and persevere the trouble will pass and you will see calmer waters...... I guess more than anything that has been my personal lesson here. Now I feel like I'm driving a Rolls Royce...the motor just purring along without missing a beat or a cough.
In the morning she starts on the first or second kick (usually on the first) and for the rest of the day (even if she sits for 4-5 hours) she will usually start on the first or second kick as long as I don't touch the throttle and no choke. I HAVE been through a lot with this bike. First, putting her together from different pieces about 4-5 years ago and then getting hit by a car two years ago and physically recovering from the accident and now getting her back to where she needs to be.....It definitely has been a journey. Good Luck to all. JackMO!

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