Original Primer

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Original Primer


Post by danpatch » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:04 pm

was red oxide primer used on all Panheads and knukleheads on fenders and tanks and were the frames not primed

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Re: Original Primer


Post by old1955 » Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:38 am


I was just talking (typing) about this to JohnHD and we both seem to think this is correct.

The oil tank on my bike has never been touched and it shows a lot of reddy brown primer (55).

My tool box has been repainted but only rubbed down before painting, so where the saddle bags rub on it
I see 3 different colours and the reddy brown primer too.

I have never seen primer on a factory frame. Maybe they pickled them I don't know, or the heat treatment gave 'em a rust
resistance, like steel with the scale still on it.

The reddy brown primer was used right up into the seventies, I have seen it on Glides and Sporsters tin work and parts.
I loose track after that.


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Re: Original Primer


Post by hplhd » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:04 pm

i believe the frames were a zinc oxide paint over bare metal.

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Re: Original Primer


Post by john HD » Fri Feb 12, 2010 12:34 pm

yes as pete mentioned i have found reddish brown primer on the nos sheet metal i have for my WLA. and i did find the same on my original tanks for my '55 FL. i have found no primer on my '55 frame. i am not certain about the WLA frame as it was repainted when i purchased it.


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Re: Original Primer


Post by RUBONE » Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:15 pm

Every piece of unpainted NOS sheetmetal I have ever had was in red primer with the part Number stenciled on. That includes some pre-war stuff.

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Re: Original Primer


Post by Cotten » Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:36 pm

Aside from frames and mudguards,
The Factory often relied upon Parkerizing for a mill-profile and primer.
(For example, some productions of footboards, as per Palmer's)

It has been suggested (somewhere) that welded tanks appear to have a phosphate coating inside, as well. I doubt that the interior would have been treated separately.

I hates paint.

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