Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

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Bob Farr
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Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#1

Post by Bob Farr »

I acquired a '54FL which had been with the same owner since '66. Unfortunately it was no longer an original paint bike when I got it, and there are a few incorrect parts. I'd like to restore it to original, including the correct finishes. Apparently that means the nice patina on the bronze Linkert body must be returned to black:
1.jpg
The carb seems to be a good candidate for restoration, but it may not be correct for '54. It's a M74B but the "B" is serif-less and, according to this thread, it should have the serifs: viewtopic.php?f=71&t=4960" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
2.jpg
It's in good overall condition, and was never polished:
3.jpg
4.jpg
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Bob Farr
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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#2

Post by Bob Farr »

The throttle shaft is slightly loose in the bore, but the idle/power/choke detents operate crisply and the cam faces are in good shape:
5.jpg
6.jpg
There's an "X/6" on the throttle plate, and a "HD4" lightly stamped on the manifold end of the carb:
7.jpg
8.jpg
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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#3

Post by Bob Farr »

I should add that my '54FL is a straight-leg frame (stamped "4-D" for April '54 production) with engine number 54FL4978.

So, do I have the right carb?
Should the bronze body be painted black?

Should the control shafts, cams and plugs also be painted black while assembled, or should they be left natural and assembled after the carb body paint has cured?

What about the float bowl: natural aluminum, painted or clear coated?

What about finishes on other componets like the fuel strainer and the lower support bracket that goes around the trumpet horn?

I have Palmer's book, but just not in front of me at the moment. I'll dig into it tonight.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Bob

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#4

Post by Cotten »

Bob!

We have no way of being certain exactly when the serifs were dropped.
That's why the previous discussion ended with a plea for more information.

The first REAL question is one you must ask yourself: Just how far do you want to fall into the "restoration" trap?

The notion promoted by the AMCA is that if one part of a machine is restored, all of it must be.
This concept of "restoration" destroyed more History than it will ever preserve.

A prime example is the tarnishing of your bronze body, that purists would demand to be painted.
You could preserve the patina beneath paint, but it wouldn't stick very well. Once it is etched, it is gone.
Your hardware is nicely patinated cadmium; Museum grade with just a little walnut blasting.
With luck the other hardware's cad that you mention is equally preserved. Often it is black.
But again the purists would demand that it be bright. Modern cad will never be the same as it was in the mid-2Oth Century, it costs a whole lot more, and it telegraphs every flaw.

So, is playing the "points" game your priority, or would you rather only fix what's needed, appreciating the authenticity of the unrestored parts of your machine as much as the new?

...Cotten

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#5

Post by George Greer »

Thanks for posting the great photos of this carb.

Me? Well I would just fix what needs to be fixed, and run it.

I like the finish that ya got.

Just my opinion.

George Greer

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#6

Post by Hog54 »

I always thought it was kind of dumb that they painted them black in the first place.They didnt then and still dont paint weather vains. :wink:

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#7

Post by steve_wood »

+1 on the nice patina you have right now. That is just so cool - you can't manufacture that kind of finish. Just my humble opinion.

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#8

Post by rmcrh »

Could not agree more. Well cared for metal is far better aged I thought Cotten's statement "This concept of "restoration" destroyed more History than it will ever preserve." was bang on.
One of my favourite stories to tell is of when my wife Betty and stopped over to see a friend , Art Gavel of Vernon B C Canada , who had his 1916 recently restored Indian out in the front yard. When I asked why his bike was out in the front yard Art replied "fading" He went on to explain how it was too bright.
Ride them, appreciate them , don't over restore or restore when none is needed. Wear shows usage and tells it's own stories and shows potential problems. Obviously opionated on this subject.

Bob Farr
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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#9

Post by Bob Farr »

Thank you for the input Gents. Each comment is valued ...
Cotten wrote:Bob! *** The first REAL question is one you must ask yourself: Just how far do you want to fall into the "restoration" trap? So, is playing the "points" game your priority, *** Cotten
That very question has been bugging me for months. I don't have an answer yet.

I first stumbled on the AMCA Wausseon show a few years ago looking for parts for my '74FLH. I was primarily there for the swap, but the quality of the original and restored bikes really caught my attention. The craftsmanship (i.e., the process) involved in restoring (perhaps "over-restoring") those machines is as impressive as the final product itself.

The probability of me having a nice old Pan then was, and still is, low. I was very lucky to have my severly neglected '74FLH to work on, but seeing the nice machines at Wausseon inspired me to raise my own standards of workmanship and learn some new skills. I completed the "resto" of that FAR from AMCA-standards correct bike and rode it back to Wausseon for several years. Only then did I begin to learn more about the anal-retentive level of detail put into those restorations which many people (like me at first) never notice. Correct finishes on washers and nuts, one-year-only parts, etc, etc.... how could anyone keep track of that, and could I ever be that type of person? Palmer's book just made my head spin even more.

I enjoyed the '74FLH for about six years and took it on several long trips. Blue Ridge Parkway, Civil War battlefield tour, even a few 1,000mile/24hour Iron Butt rides. Great bike. But then an offer came out of the blue. An old timer couldn't kick his '54FL anymore, and it needed some work anyway. My '74FLH was so similar in layout and appearance to his '54FL that he wanted to make a trade and was willing to throw some cash on the deal. Here's a picture of the two bikes together:
1.jpg
The '54 had the correct frame, the engine cases matched, and the bike was mostly complete: I couldn't believe my stupid luck! Here was my opportunity to own a classic Panhead. The deal was struck. He got a bike with electric start and I got my Pan. We're both happy.

The '54FL was in better shape than my '74FLH when I got it, but it was also FAR from AMCA-spec original. The cases, trans, frame, and other major components were correct, but the speedo was a repop junker, and it had been "restored" by the owner's grandson a few years earlier. Fortunately the Linkert had been removed and boxed up many years ago and replaced with an S&S. I'm lucky I have it.

The grandson's resto involved a really bad paint job to the sheet metal and an even worse wrinkle-black paint finish applied to the trans, engine cases, jugs and heads. There were some bolt-on mods. Visually the bike is ... unacceptable. I have it stripped to the bare frame now, and the wrinkle black finish has been removed from the cases:

Image

Image
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Last edited by Bob Farr on Fri Dec 09, 2011 7:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bob Farr
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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#10

Post by Bob Farr »

So, that unnecessariy long story get us to where I am now, at a decision point. I have a bike that is not an original paint machine and never will be again. But the core components are correct and unaltered. I've since found a correct '54 speedo which will be a good core for restoration. Now I need to decide where to go from here. I have no choice but to at least "refurbish" the entire machine, so do I try to step that up to "restore" or not?

Am I the "type-A" AMCA-perfect, go-for-the-100-points type of personality? No. I've been to enough of those shows and overheard enough heated conversations to know that splitting hairs on wingnut styles and finishes just for the thrill of competition probably isn't for me. I watched the judging at the Wausseon event this year. I learned a lot, and the judges have my unwavering respect, but the game itself between owners seems a bit unnecessarily serious. People's feelings really get hurt over this stuff.

That may seem inconsistent with the questions I posted about restoring my carb at the start of this thread, but I don't think I need to let myself be dragged into the "points game trap" in order to enjoy the pursuit of originality and good craftsmanship. It's a personal challenge. I really enjoyed the process of fixing up my '74FLH (I can't seem to call it "restoring" now) and this '54FL represents a good opportunity to up my game, broaden my skill set and improve the overall quality of my work. It's the process, not just the product I'm after, but I can get that same satisfaction with customizing it or trying to restore it to original "as-it-left-the-factory" status.

Or so I think ... I haven't tried the latter yet. A "perfect" restoration may turn out to be a futile exersize which only results in frustration and disappointment. I'll need to bake this decision in my head a bit longer. It is a trap indeed Cotten!

Bob

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#11

Post by Panacea »

If you have all the correct parts to do a correct restoration, why not take a little extra time to get the finishes right? I'd at least make an effort to get as close as possible, like selecting a paint scheme from 54. The finished product would be worth that much more if it was correct. If you can do it right the first time you'll save doing it over...Mike

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#12

Post by Cotten »

Panacea wrote:If you have all the correct parts to do a correct restoration, why not take a little extra time to get the finishes right? I'd at least make an effort to get as close as possible, like selecting a paint scheme from 54. The finished product would be worth that much more if it was correct. If you can do it right the first time you'll save doing it over...Mike
Mike!

The rub is in the words "right" and "correct".

If you choose to play the AMCA game, then others judge what is right for your machine, and it is mandated that everything on a "restored" machine must have gone through the wash of total renovation: It must look like it just left the showroom.
Even an NOS part with tarnish will get you docked when they can't find anything else to fault.

It takes not only time, but cubic money, to erase all signs of time and duty from a machine, usually with a finish inferior to the original, all for the glory of an award.

And perhaps an edge on the market when you cash it in.
In the meantime, you had better not ride it.

Common sense tells us that a "stock" bike should be as close to the book as possible, not only to preserve the investment, but for ease of maintenance. But a game that insists you molest every part has awful high stakes for a small pot.

Most folks have figured it out from the "Antiques Roadshow" that an un-restored original anything is far more desireable than a re-creation.
Shouldn't it follow that a partially restored, partially original machine has more worth than totally restored?

They are all piles o' parts anyway.

....Cotten
PS: Don't get me wrong Folks,
The AMCA offers a great many benefits; It is not required to leap off into Restored judging to enjoy them.

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#13

Post by john HD »

bob,

that is a very nice carb.

there are no signs of pliers or mis matched screw drivers being used on it.

if it were mine i would wash it in a gentle solvent, service the worn parts (i don't see any) and put it back in service with one of cotten's floats.

john

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#14

Post by Panacea »

That's an interesting angle. It's good to know where your going with the project, and if riding the bike after your done means anything to you. Much to consider...Mike

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Re: Linkert M74B resto for a '54 FL?

#15

Post by larryc »

I would restore it correctly ,probably would not have it judged and then treat as if it were 1954 and you had just bought a new bike[ride the piss out of it] It will develop its' own look and patina. It won't take long
Larry

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