Pix of new toy

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Mark44
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Pix of new toy

#1

Post by Mark44 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:54 am

Here are a couple of pictures of a panhead I picked up on Craigslist in my area (western WA). The engine is a '55 EL, but with the larger cylinders and pistons to bring it up to 74", and sitting in an after-market '48 frame.
48FL001small.jpg
To my inexpert eye, it looks pretty much like a '48, except for the belt drive and suicide clutch. I'm pretty sure there are lots of repop parts on it, so it will never win any prizes for authenticity, but I don't mind. It's close enough for me, plus it runs pretty well and is easy to start.
48FL002small.jpg
The color is a sort of grayish-green, that the seller told me is a BMW color--I don't know whether it's a car color or a bike color.

The only thing that I know doesn't work is the brake light, and I'm trying to chase down why that is. The brake light switch doesn't seem to work, plus there doesn't seem to be continuity in the wire from the brake light switch to the light itself. Oh well, part of the fun of these old bikes is tinkering with them.
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Re: Pix of new toy

#2

Post by Sir_Rat » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:42 am

Sweet looking bike...it otta keep you smiling for a few days...interesting color...kinda adds to the antique look.
Is it titled to the engine numbers?

Enjoy...Mike

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Re: Pix of new toy

#3

Post by hplhd » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:07 pm

i dig it. looks nice.

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Re: Pix of new toy

#4

Post by musicnbikes » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:20 pm

That looks great!!! Don't tinker too much, get out there, have fun and ride!!!

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Re: Pix of new toy

#5

Post by Speeding Big Twin » Sun Aug 29, 2010 1:30 pm

I like it, Mark. But I’m intrigued by the descriptions. You stated: ‘The engine is a '55 EL, but with the larger cylinders and pistons to bring it up to 74", sitting in an after-market '48 frame.’

However, I haven’t seen a Harley EL later than a 1952 model. Is your engine stamped as a 55 EL?

At the left of your post it says one of your bikes is a 1955 Pan in ’48 frame. Yet both photos describe it as a 48FL. Eric

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Re: Pix of new toy

#6

Post by Bosheff » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:06 pm

You can't go from 61" to 74" just by bore alone, unless ya got some really, really way over bored cylinders (aftermarket?), and even they I'm not sure ya could achieve it. Ya gotta add some stroke to git there....bosheff

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Re: Pix of new toy

#7

Post by Mark44 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:05 pm

Sir_Rat wrote:Sweet looking bike...it otta keep you smiling for a few days...interesting color...kinda adds to the antique look.
Is it titled to the engine numbers?

Enjoy...Mike
Yes, 55ELxxxx.

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Re: Pix of new toy

#8

Post by john HD » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:08 pm

that's interesting.

as previously stated i thought EL production ceased in '52.

very nice looking bike!

john

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Re: Pix of new toy

#9

Post by Mark44 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:12 pm

Bosheff wrote:You can't go from 61" to 74" just by bore alone, unless ya got some really, really way over bored cylinders (aftermarket?), and even they I'm not sure ya could achieve it. Ya gotta add some stroke to git there....bosheff
I can't say for sure that it's 74" but I remember the seller telling me that the jugs/pistons were bigger. He bought the engine at a swap meet and pretty much put a bike together around the engine. After he bought the engine, he took it to a local indie shop where he and the shop owner put the bike together. He said they took the engine apart and determined that it had just been rebuilt or overhauled. I'll have to get in touch with him to find out the details.

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Re: Pix of new toy

#10

Post by Mark44 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:28 pm

john HD wrote:that's interesting.

as previously stated i thought EL production ceased in '52.

very nice looking bike!

john
That's what Palmer says, so that's a bit disconcerting. They made FL's in 55, but the lower horizontal piece in the E on the stamp looks to be the same thickness and width as the top horizontal. For what it's worth, the bike came with a WA title.

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Re: Pix of new toy

#11

Post by RUBONE » Sun Aug 29, 2010 6:55 pm

NO engines were stamped EL after '52. From '53 up a de-tuned version of the FL was available as an FLE. It was designated the "traffic combination" and was used primarily by police and utility buyers. It ended shortly after the advent of the FLH when the FL became the base version.
And yes Eric, I know you always try to leave a little wiggle room but I do not in this case. ELs ceased to be after '52 and anything stamped as such is bogus! That is extremely well documented.
Both bore (3 5/16 VS 3 7/16) and stroke (3 1/2 VS 3 31/32) of the 61 VS 74 are different, however they are both easily changed.
Does your engine have a splined output shaft?
What are the case belly (or line bore) numbers?
In many situations it is not a big problem. It is if you take it to places like Sturgis, Daytona, etc, anywhere the detective squads are looking at all questionable bikes as possible felonies. Make sure you have a good paper trail for it. And that does not mean a current title, which instantly becomes void if it is seized, but a real trail of ownership as far back as you can go.
If you need help just post the numbers here and you will get lots of it. You can cover the last two digits if you have security concerns.
Not trying to bring you down, but you need to know what you are dealing with!
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Re: Pix of new toy

#12

Post by HD48FL » Sun Aug 29, 2010 7:46 pm

RUBONE wrote:NO engines were stamped EL after '52. From '53 up a de-tuned version of the FL was available as an FLE. It was designated the "traffic combination" and was used primarily by police and utility buyers. It ended shortly after the advent of the FLH when the FL became the base version.
And yes Eric, I know you always try to leave a little wiggle room but I do not in this case. ELs ceased to be after '52 and anything stamped as such is bogus! That is extremely well documented.
Both bore (3 5/16 VS 3 7/16) and stroke (3 1/2 VS 3 31/32) of the 61 VS 74 are different, however they are both easily changed.
Does your engine have a splined output shaft?
What are the case belly (or line bore) numbers?
In many situations it is not a big problem. It is if you take it to places like Sturgis, Daytona, etc, anywhere the detective squads are looking at all questionable bikes as possible felonies. Make sure you have a good paper trail for it. And that does not mean a current title, which instantly becomes void if it is seized, but a real trail of ownership as far back as you can go.
If you need help just post the numbers here and you will get lots of it. You can cover the last two digits if you have security concerns.
Not trying to bring you down, but you need to know what you are dealing with!
Robbie
^Well said^

I'd like to see a picture of that vin, I'm sure that'll tell a lot?

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Re: Pix of new toy

#13

Post by true61pan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:04 pm

I just pickup a 61 pan. Hoping to get it back to the original look. First project of this type. Usually play with cars.
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Re: Pix of new toy

#14

Post by Mark44 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:22 pm

Here's a picture of the VIN.
VIN2small.jpg
The most obvious possible modification (I think) is to change the F to an E. I checked National Insurance Crime Bureau (nicb.org) to see if there were any records for 55FL58xx, and there weren't any, so that's at least some good news.
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Last edited by Mark44 on Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pix of new toy

#15

Post by RUBONE » Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:25 pm

OUCH :shock:
Robbie

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