Hand or foot shift

Transmission, clutch, chains and belts
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dasweasel
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:55 pm

Hand or foot shift

#1

Post by dasweasel » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:39 pm

I have a 1958 FL that I am restoring back to it's original configuration - how can I tell if it was originally a hand shift or a foot shift?



PanPal
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#2

Post by PanPal » Tue Jan 22, 2008 4:52 pm

They were not marked on the bike. It could have been either. If you can trace back the paper work to the original bill of sale you may be able to find out. Does it have the original gas tanks and what transmission lid does it have?

VPH-D
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#3

Post by VPH-D » Tue Jan 22, 2008 6:03 pm

It was more common to find FL models equipped with hand shift than the FLH. As was stated, there is real way to tell how the machine was built.
VPH-D

Robert Luland
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#4

Post by Robert Luland » Wed Jan 23, 2008 1:39 am

Dasweasel heres a long shot but if you run you hand along the inside of the front down tube you will most likly feel the dent from the u bolt if a mouse trap was used. Bob

64duo
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#5

Post by 64duo » Wed Jan 23, 2008 5:35 am

Heres how I knew my 64 was hand shift originally.
1) HD archives answered my VIN inquiry and told me the date of manufacture and that it was a hand shift bike.
2) Although when I aquired it, it was a foot shift bike, the original straight up front brake cable tube indicated it should have been hand shift. Foot shift bike has over the front fender cable tube.

dasweasel
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Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 4:55 pm

Forgive my ignorance ...

#6

Post by dasweasel » Thu Jan 24, 2008 12:12 am

Robert Luland wrote:Dasweasel heres a long shot but if you run you hand along the inside of the front down tube you will most likly feel the dent from the u bolt if a mouse trap was used. Bob
I hate to sound dumb here, but the frame has a mousetrap attached to it already. Does this imply it was a originally foot shift configuration? (Could it have been easily modified from a hand shift configuration to accept a mousetrap?)

VPH-D
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#7

Post by VPH-D » Thu Jan 24, 2008 9:03 pm

What type of shifter lid is on the trans? If you have a ratchet lid and a mousetrap, I guess yours will be a foot shift.
VPH-D

Guest

No Transmission

#8

Post by Guest » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:14 am

VPH-D wrote:What type of shifter lid is on the trans? If you have a ratchet lid and a mousetrap, I guess yours will be a foot shift.
VPH-D
Therein lies the problem - when got the bike, it was a rolling chassis and a pair of engine cases - there was no tranny :(

So I guess this leaves my question open-ended ...

john HD
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#9

Post by john HD » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:33 am

i would go with the odds.

odds are your bike was footshift. as were the majority of them produced after '52.

that is unless you really want a hand shifter, then go with that!

it is your bike, enjoy it either way!

john

FlatHeadSix
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#10

Post by FlatHeadSix » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:35 am

The bikes that came from the factory with special or additional equipment had extra letter codes in the model designation on the dealer order and production order. The extra letters were not always stamped into the engine case with the serial number. As 64duo mentioned you might get lucky with an inquery to H-D, if they still have records for your bike it will include all the extra letter codes which indicate any special equipment. Sometimes the same codes will appear on state registration and titles, don't count on it.

http://www.hydra-glide.com/panhead_facts.php

mike

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#11

Post by FlatHeadSix » Fri Jan 25, 2008 12:54 am

if you followed the link in the last post the table info will show that if the bike came originally with a foot shift it should have come off the line with FLF or FLHF or something similar on the paperwork. Without the original papers I don't think even CSI Miami could tell for sure. Even if you chipped a bunch of bondo out of the mounting holes for a shift gate on the left tank there's no way of knowing if they were the original tanks unless you knew the complete history of the bike. If you knew the complete history you would already have your answer.

jellero
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#12

Post by jellero » Fri Jan 25, 2008 2:46 am

you might check palmer's book "restoring your harley davidson". my '61 is an "fl" and a foot clutch originally and your's probably was too. seems like the hand clutch models were marked as such in the vin. in '61 the hand clutch was the sport model. anything but the vin can be changed over time. j

VPH-D
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#13

Post by VPH-D » Fri Jan 25, 2008 7:57 pm

Again, go with the odds. If your cases are FL, there is a good chance they were hand shift. If FLH, good chance they were foot shift. I have never seen the 'FLHF' foot shift designator anywhere but on factory order blanks.
VPH-D

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