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1959 tank shift conversion

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jd222
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:05 pm

1959 tank shift conversion

#1

Post by jd222 » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:56 pm

I'm getting closer to tearing my 59 FLH down (finally finished my heated garage/workshop project as my xmas present to myself) and am working out the foot to tank shift conversion. I did locate the correct 59 tanks (not easy) but am working on the other parts and have found a correct tranny lid for the hand shift, but have been told that these do not work with the neutral light on the dash, but that a 65 and up might. Does any of this make sense, and if anyone has any insights into this issue I'd love to hear them. Also, what should I expect to pay for the correct tranny lid in decent shape, as a price hasn't been worked out yet. I am leaning on using the correct lid, light be damned, unless anyone has any bright (no pun intended) ideas.

If the neutral light won't work it's not a big deal, but it was a nice feature when it came out and if it would work that would be kind of neat. I've also noticed that the clutch rocker pedals I've seen for sale all seem to be the 36811-65 "65" part number. Will this work on my '59, and what is the difference in the earlier one to this one? Palmer kind of mentions it briefly, but not in much detail and I'm not sure what I might need to use to use this lever.

Any other advice as to parts I will need to complete this conversion will be appreciated, as I am on the look out for the stuff I need. I hope to have the bike apart in January and, God willing and the dams don't break, back together for Springtime in New England. Of course, with my meager wrenching skills the putting back together part is always a bit dodgy.

Thanks for any help...have a great New Year!

Joel



1950bobber

Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#2

Post by 1950bobber » Wed Dec 28, 2005 7:19 pm

Joel,
I'm making the same mods to my '50 Bobber. Here's what I've found: 1st there is a tranny lid from 1965-72 I believe (I'd have to re-check Palmer's book for the exact dates) that incorporates the neutral switch. The shift drum number is 2243-36...this is a four speed tranny drum. The tranny neutral switch is HD part #71507-64A. There are still some NOS OEM tranny neutral switches on Ebay, a gent from Greece is selling them at $49 each...it IS NOS however if that matters to you. Now for the Rocker Clutch, I have a spare NEW style (it has the dogleg rear rocker arm) and it is OEM NOS....I'm not going to use it...I'm asking $150 for it...a great deal and I could send pics of it to you...now this one is both OEM and NOS. The shift gate should be a straight slot...NO GEAR INDENTS required....you can buy that at V-Twin. As for the rest of the hand shift items...easily obtainable and aftermarket made...unless you seach Ebay and many OEM units come up often! I believe I've got all this advice correct...if not, let's let the forum guru's straighten me out....they are obviously a wealth of info. Need any fuirther help or just shoot the sh*t...email me at: jfranco@ureach.com ....I'll get a tel. # out to you for better. more personal communication. Good luck....
Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

jd222
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:05 pm

Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#3

Post by jd222 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 am

Hey Jim- thanks for the good info. I might be interested in the rocker pedal (what's the finish on it?) although I have a lead on an older correct one and they also seem to be available as decent repros in a couple of different finishes (correct me if I'm wrong here) for under 60 bucks. I'm still unclear if using the newer style rocker makes a difference with the 65 and later tranny lid, or the orginal lid? I have yet to pull the bike apart and really start on this project, as I'm trying to get the parts lined up before spreading the guts all over, so I'm not as familiar with the details as I will be in another month! This is my first panhead project (I've got a 48 Chief and a couple of brit bikes) so I appreciate all the advice and help-send me a couple of pics of the rocker so I can check it out. Thanks!

Joel jdc22@charter.net

1950bobber

Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#4

Post by 1950bobber » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:30 am

Joel,
The Rocker Clutch I'm offering IS ORIGINAL...it's for 1941-1964 Big Twins with "the post-'46 version had the redesgined shape with the rear lever doglegged out 1/4" to give a more comfortable foot position". Its OEM NOS and is perfect in every way...thus the NOS and $150 price tag. Mine is Version #2 used from 1945-'78 Big Twins and does not have the earlier zerk fitting...instead is has a pivot shaft bushing changed from plain bronze to "Oilite" which is a graphite-impregnated bronze that is self lubricating ACCORDING TO PALMER. There was another Rocker Clutch made from 1965-78 but I think it differed from my '45-78 by way of the clutch rod attachment. One being a post and a cotter pin vs. the other attached to the operating lever instead of a stud..held on by a retainer ring. Sure you can find aftermarket, price wise I have no idea.......I'm partial to OEM especially NOS when the $$$ amount doesn't mean I have to mortgage my home...$150 doesn't put this part in THAT category, for me at least. Anyway, that's the current market price according to Ebay pricing which I found in most cases to be below fair market value. When I'm looking for HD parts, it seems the local sellers and dealers are asking much more $$$ than I can find that same part on Ebay..my experience at least. Check Ebay...look for NOS OEM Rocker clutches...I believe the NOS ones START at $150...(onj Ebay, look up "ZIMALADY" auctions...he's good and has great parts...he's really Bill of Bill's Biker Barn I think). The finish on mine is original "parkerized". And yes, it will work on a handshift tranny lid....can't help with any advice however on rachet lid trannies.
Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

mbskeam
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Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#5

Post by mbskeam » Thu Dec 29, 2005 3:56 am

Jim......
as for prices in the NW, it sound like you have been looking at parts from Jeff C.... outa Oregon..........LOL
nice parts but kinda spendy

mbskeam

jd222
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:05 pm

Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#6

Post by jd222 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:00 am

Jim- thanks for the info...I am getting a lesson in what I need to do the conversion, and at some point I'll need to decide what kind of jing I expect to spend on the whole project. I'm sure your part is a good one and well worth the price if you were to go OEM- I usually prefer going that route as well if the price isn't a factor and the quality/fit/appearance of the repro part is at all suspect. I just havn't found out enough about it yet, and I am building a rider, not a concourse restoration. Still, don't take offense at my comment as I don't intend to criticize your price at all...I am sure it is quite fair. I just need to figure out where I want/need HD vs repop- I just buried a sizeable chunk on the original tanks and despite the holiday spirit need to check my wallet now and again! Your info is great and very helpful and just what I am looking for, and you clarified which lever you had-Thanks. Bill has lot's of stuff but his NOS is pricey (but real nice stuff...but fifty bucks for head locks???ouch!) and there are some other guys out there with great stuff too. I keep an eye on E-Pay along with some of the other usual suspects and am just starting to look for the parts I will need, so I'm not sure of all the costs or what I will end up spending for stuff. Send me a pic and the part number and when I can price out the shift lever, pedal bracket, shift gate and other odds and ends I'll have a better idea what to do. Thanks again for the good advice and the nice part offer...I'll keep it on my list for sure.

Now can anyone tellme what I should pay for a tranny lid- I have been offered 2 used HD lids- one 65 and up with switch, one correct for 59 without...but no price yet on either. Damn...this is going to be a fun New Year!

Have a great one!
Joel

1950bobber

Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#7

Post by 1950bobber » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:06 am

Joel,
Paste these to your web address box at the top of any internet server. These two will take you to "ZIMALADY"...he currently is selling NEUTRAL SWITCHES...AND...the exact ROCKER CLUTCH I have offered you. Hope this helps...


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FL-N-O-S ... 4597450602" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FL-N-O-S ... 4598918310" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


MBSKEAM...don't know anything of that vendor...guess I'm not missing much! Actually, I'm turning Joel onto a guy from the midwest, Bill's Biker Barn I think he owns and really has a great collection of vintage parts, mostly NOS. He runs a private museum on his property and has been around for good while i suspect. Anyway, I may be incorrect related to the $$$ value of NOS parts...I don't pay high $$$ for NOS UNLESS I really need it and know it exceeds aftermarket quality...but anytime I locate less expensive NOS, I'll go it. I really prefer OEM parts, avoid billet like the plague, and treasure homemade that gets the job done and is unique....I've had ( as you and many others here on this forum have I'm sure ) enough less than satisfactory experiences with aftermarket stuff that I'll ALWAYS seek the alternative..GOOD 'OLE MADE IN THE US of A OEM stuff. Looking forward to meeting you...spring and good weather will see me on the road...lets plan on meeting! See ya'
Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"


Hey Joel...NO OFFENSE TAKEN what-so-ever! I keep some stuff on the wall....so it's likely I'll have that rocker clutch for a while. Just to add some last info here...I paid $125 for my tranny lid and that included the shift drum, shift rod end screw that is special to that lever and an NOS neutral switch. I've seen them price wise all over the board...but $100 to $125 seems to be the going rate on the later lids. Again...good luck...let me know if I can be of further help...I'll have my complete conversion done here in about a week.
Jim in Seattle "1950 Bobber"

jd222
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:05 pm

Re: 1959 tank shift conversion

#8

Post by jd222 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:24 pm

Hey JIm-thanks again for all the great info and leads. I'm still trying to figure this all out and not get ahead of myself. I also prefer OEM when available and affordable, especially when the repop stuff is a POS. I am still deciding whether or not to get the correct tranny lid or the newer one with the neutral light switch: will I need to change anything inside the tranny to make the light work with the newer lid, or will the switch work because I have the light on my current foot shift lid? Those links to Zimalady on E-Bay were helpful...I actually have seen his stuff which is always real nice...I wonder where he gets this stuff!!
I have been offered a restored newer style lid, looks perfect in the photos but no switch included for $150.00. I have yet to see the older lid yet, or get a price. I am guessing that your rocker also includes the mounting bracket and spring as shown, which again seems like a fair price for NOS. After searching high and low for original parts for my Chief (and I live in Springfield area for heavens sake) I know howtough they can be to find, and what a difference they can make!

Once again thanks loads Jim...can't wait to see a pic of the bobber when done! I'm just getting primed myself to cut loose in the new garage and not freeze my ass (and fingers) for once and get down to some fun!

Thanks to all..

Joel

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