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  • panhead motor

    after having a panhead motor rebuilt by a co. in the north east, very popular vintage restro guys, it starting coming apart hours into operation after a few phone calls and no apoligies. i got some new parts and tried again everything got worse. I gave up on this co and took it to american cycle fab. in bloomsburg pa these guys did a great job and showed me all the mistakes those vintage guys made , it was amazing it ran at all.Now even with a stroker kit and a stock linkert carb it runs great and leaks no oil. Has amazing power and does not even purple the pipes. The people at a.c.f. care and know thier stuff...thanks chris scott

  • #2
    Chris
    I think I know who you mean for the fisrt shop. There are a lot of so-called resto experts out there ripping people off everyday. I am very careful about knocking some shop, but sometimes it is the right thing to do. I don't know how we are going to handle it on this site. I know for myself, that if I have a major job done wrong at a shop, I'm screwed. I don't have the money to just run somewhere else. That will probably be it for another year, and parts continue to get more expensive, and harder to find for an original job. One thing we could do is to corelate info from assorted members and experts in different parts of the country, and maybe do some informed recommendations. I don't know, because this has always been a problem for me, since I only do minor mechanicals. I do know one thing: just because someone advertises in our mag doesn't guarantee anything.
    MIke

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    • #3
      Wow, that's a disturbing thought! It's easy to get all warm and fuzzy and think that all everyone wants to do is see another old bike on the road. It's unfortunate that there are less than honest folks playing our game...........

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      • #4
        There's plenty of honest shops doing amateur work.


        ....Cotten

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        • #5
          All I meant was that an ad does not equal a real reputation for good work. One problem I did have with a shop thet advertises in our mag is that they know the "old" bikes, pre WW 2, but they sell parts for newer ones that are incorrect. It just seems that they don't care about anything newer, so it is buyer beware.
          Mike

          Comment


          • #6
            Cscott, Let me lay some stuff on Ya! First off most shops donít have a clue about rebuilding a motor. The ones that do have a waiting list. My summer place is in Milford. As far as I know there is only one cycle shop in Bloomsburg and thatís Bills Custom Cycles. There are about three quarters of a mile off route 80 exit. If this is the shop your talking about you couldnít have fallen into better hands. Iíve been sending Bill my lower legs for years because heís the only person that has the right factory tools for the bushings. You can also visit his museum while your there call what else but BillsVille. On E-Bay he goes by Zima Lady or Bills custom cycles. For thirty years Iíve had no complaints. Ride Safe, Bob Luland

            Comment


            • #7
              not bills

              thanks for the info bob, but i was not talking about bills....

              Comment


              • #8
                CScott sorry about that. There is also something off this subject matter. I got a load of reflective insulation for the radiant heat in my new home and it came out of Bloomsburg PA. I didn't think there was enough room in that burg for all this. How where the prices on the rebuild and the turn around time? Bob

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                • #9
                  Bob, the price was fair ,not cheap but who wants cheap when it comes to this stuff, turn around was about 3 months, the last time the other guys took 1 year and promised 2 months.... where are you in milford? and do i see you riding old bikes around? thanks chris

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                  • #10
                    Cscott: - If it wasn't Bills can you share who did your work?

                    Cscott/Portagepan: Would you believe that they would do total engine and trans rebuild well? Do either of these two that you recommend do restoration work other than mechanical?

                    I do have an older recommendation from this board for engine trans rebuild from a shop in California. I did get a quote from them. I am getting to the point where I am thinking about actually getting work done. I am hesitant to ship my engine and trans across the country regardless of reputation. So someone closer in that's really doing quality/reliable work that they stand behind would be good to know.

                    Any help from you or others reading would be appreciated.

                    I am still considering how much work I would do myself and what I would farm out or whether I would take the bike to someone reputable that could do a complete job.

                    Pretty much the last 6 years have been spent studying the 65 pan in general to understand what is correct and gathering anything that was missing, which wasn't really all that much with this bike considering the special first and last parts on this bike.

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                    • #11
                      ray, if you take your motor and trans to american cycle fab in bloomsburg pa i think you will be very happy

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                      • #12
                        Thanks, I'll check these guys out.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rbenash View Post
                          Thanks, I'll check these guys out.
                          Just a follow up. Made a visit to Paul and Barb Friebus's shop (American Cycle Fabricators) in Berwick, PA last Saturday. Spent a couple hours there. Impressed with his breadth of knowledge. Had a close look at a couple of bikes he was working on. Very meticulous work. One bike was a '58 pan that was complete except for sheet metal, tires and electrics. So had a good look at overall quality, fit, finish, etc.

                          They do seem like good people to deal with. Plus they're AMCA members.

                          Keeps a detailed record of hours, parts, and labor. Barb provides periodic updates. Photos taken throughout the process and on DVD at the end. All parts not reused are returned. All parts from your bike are kept and stored separately. Uses all American internal engine parts.

                          Decided to take the bigger leap and have him do the restoral rather than just engine and trans. They will be giving me a call when they can schedule my bike in.

                          They've been advertising in the club mag for years but as flathead rebuilders. So I pretty much overlooked them. They work on knuck, pan as well. Everything gets road tested and dyno tested before delivery. Will also provide written warranty.

                          In the meantime if anyone has any additional input on ACF good or bad it would be greatly appreciated.

                          They take time out each season for Bonneville.

                          Thanks cscott for the tips and reference.


                          Ray
                          Ray
                          AMCA #7140

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rbenash View Post
                            Thanks, I'll check these guys out.
                            Just a follow up. Made a visit to Paul and Barb Friebus's shop (American Cycle Fabricators) in Berwick, PA last Saturday. Spent a couple hours there. Impressed with his breadth of knowledge. Had a close look at a couple of bikes he was working on. Very meticulous work. One bike was a '58 pan that was complete except for sheet metal, tires and electrics. So had a good look at overall quality, fit, finish, etc.

                            They do seem like good people to deal with. Plus they're AMCA members.

                            Keeps a detailed record of hours, parts, and labor. Barb provides periodic updates. Photos taken throughout the process and on DVD at the end. All parts not reused are returned. All parts from your bike are kept and stored separately. Uses all American internal engine parts.

                            Decided to take the bigger leap and have him do the restoral rather than just engine and trans. They will be giving me a call when they can schedule my bike in.

                            They've been advertising in the club mag for years but as flathead rebuilders. So I pretty much overlooked them. They work on knuck, pan as well. Everything gets road tested and dyno tested before delivery. Will also provide written warranty.

                            In the meantime if anyone has any additional input on ACF good or bad it would be greatly appreciated.

                            They take time out each season for Bonneville.

                            Thanks for the tips and reference.


                            Ray
                            Ray
                            AMCA #7140

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by cscott View Post
                              after having a panhead motor rebuilt by a co. in the north east, very popular vintage restro guys, it starting coming apart hours into operation after a few phone calls and no apoligies. i got some new parts and tried again everything got worse. I gave up on this co and took it to american cycle fab. in bloomsburg pa these guys did a great job and showed me all the mistakes those vintage guys made , it was amazing it ran at all.Now even with a stroker kit and a stock linkert carb it runs great and leaks no oil. Has amazing power and does not even purple the pipes. The people at a.c.f. care and know thier stuff...thanks chris scott
                              Could you let me know what shop did the bad repairs?
                              Thank you...

                              Comment

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