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Pretending to know what I am doing - 1947 FL

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  • #31
    Good to know. Consider it gone!

    Thank you for checking in on me, Robbie. I appreciate having an experienced eye making sure I'm doing this the way I'm supposed to.

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    • #32
      Dirt: Worse than I thought.

      OK, time for a little update. First, one of the problems I ran into is one I have faced before, but never in such quantity. That problem is dirt.

      Look, I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty. I've cleaned more goop than I'd care to think about, but this bike's previous owner took a special pride years ago in never, ever washing the bike. This has been problematic for two reasons: First, it was indeed a mess. Plastic scrapers, scrub brushes, the car wash, gallons of kerosene... I've used all that stuff trying to get parts clean enough to inspect/work on, but not ruin finishes. This pasty combo of 60 wt. and dirt is insidious, and removing it is worse than on any other bike I've owned or bought. The second problem I'll discuss after a quick picture.



      The second problem with dirt is that it makes it hard to assess something's condition. My frame, which I thought to be in pretty good shape, is a shitshow. It took a Simple Green bath one night, and then we finished at the car wash. In addition to the cracked seat post tube, I saw shiny spots about 3/4 of the way up on the seat post tube, which lead me to believe a head was rubbing on it. The bottom frame rails are in pretty bad shape, and there were about a dozen poor welding repairs done to the lower half of the frame.

      Fixing these items requires a jig, probably a fixture, and a hell of a lot of metalworking talent. I'm not terrible with metal, but frame repair is way out of my skill level. I've made some sissy bars and welded plenty of tabs and whatnot onto frames, but this is way past my ability level. The frame appears to have taken a hard hit (hits?) from below. The tubes are ovaled quite a bit and even the crash tube up at the neck curved upwards slightly - yikes.

      So my frame went to Mike P. at 47 Industries. He does remarkable work, and is going to save all my castings, and he'll have the thing for a few months. The downside to Mike's work is the cost, but I suppose A) this is the base of the bike, B) it's not like Knuck frames are not worth saving, C) I knew this would not be a cheap bike to play with, and D) if you have to farm out work, you pay the piper.

      In the meanwhile, I scrubbed off the wheels. I actually have two different finishes! The front was painted at some point, and the rear appears to be a chrome unit.



      I have disassembled the front hub for rebuilding. Everything, fortunately, was in great shape back there. I need to put it back together. I have some no-name corks from J&P Cycles that I had trouble with the last time I built a starhub, so I am waiting on some James brand units to see if they will work a bit better. (The J&P corks seem to be oversized; they're very hard to fit into place. They make obtaining a lateral play reading nearly impossible; the cork compressing almost factors into the measurements. How the hell do you measure shims if you have no idea what the cork will squish down to?!) If the James ones are satisfactory, I'll bust down the other hub and rejuvenate that one, too. (I mean, I guess I'll do it either way, I just want to try to use corks that don't totally suck.)

      In addition, I'm going to buy some new tires and tubes. Avon Safety Mileage tires are looking good right now; unless someone can tell me why I should spend more for a Firestone Champion Deluxe or other tire, those are probably going to be my new skins.

      I want to get the brakes up to snuff while I'm in there. The front looks pretty good; that stuff will likely all be reused (It even functioned well before I disassembled.) The rear is a different story. The shoes are wasted and so is the sprocket; the brake arm lever has nearly worn through the actuating rod, so all that stuff needs replaced, I believe. I'm not going to toss any of it, but I'm probably not going to run it or rebuild it; the cost makes that a little prohibitive. I imagine I will pop for some repop stuff from V-twin unless anyone else can tell me a better aftermarket source.

      My hope is to get the wheels ready so I can bolt them up to the chassis, get it on the table, and start installing sheetmetal.

      Before I leave, I have a question. My taillight housing appears to be original; the lens is aftermarket. The housing is tired: the screws for the lens have been changed to metric at some point, and the little cast piece above the light that the license plate bracket bolts too is damn near gone; the bolts are holding onto a thread and I am a little afraid to run it. (The "gasket" was basically a big dirt bag; that's going to get replaced with a rubber one.)

      Has anyone ever successfully repaired these housings? It looks like junk pot-metal, but if it can be saved, I'd like to save it.
      Last edited by govmule84; 11-27-2016, 12:12 AM.

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      • #33
        I think at this point you should stop and sell it to me for a nice profit before you *uck something up or get buried in this bike with problems or $$$$$.
        #7558 Take me on and you take on the whole trailer park!

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        • #34
          Yeah - the taillight is pot metal. Fantastic metal - strong, light weight, easy to machine, does not seep liquids but.... just don't break it cuz repairing it can be a bear. Why not post a picture of the taillight and then maybe we can give some suggestions on how to fix it.

          Jerry

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          • #35
            Originally posted by KNUCK View Post
            I think at this point you should stop and sell it to me for a nice profit before you *uck something up or get buried in this bike with problems or $$$$$.
            Hey man! I don't know what it's worth, and it might be a little while before I run into another.

            Originally posted by Jerry Wieland View Post
            Yeah - the taillight is pot metal. Fantastic metal - strong, light weight, easy to machine, does not seep liquids but.... just don't break it cuz repairing it can be a bear. Why not post a picture of the taillight and then maybe we can give some suggestions on how to fix it.

            Jerry
            It looks kind of shot; the mounting bolt holes are opened up crazy-wide, too. From all the looking I've done pot metal is not weldable. This is probably a wall-hanger. I'll use a BS repop one until the expensive stuff gets paid off, then I'll just buy another one. Same one on the 45's it looks like, so I can probably find one better rather than trying to make my garbage usable again. I'll try to snap some pics this week.

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            • #36
              Car wash was the first mistake.
              AMCA #765

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              • #37
                Hmm. I've used the car wash to scrub down most of the gross motorcycle parts I've bought in the past and all the bikes have come out looking really nice. What is the danger in the car wash?

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                • #38
                  I'll probably be building the transmission up around Christmas.

                  I think this has the wrong screws in the trans top; they are Phillips-head. I don't care about that, but I did want to break them all free to make sure none were stuck. Especially with the later hex-head bolts, I have had them get stuck and breakin' em loose can be a serious pain. The trans is super-messy with mung and dirt and crap all over it, so I hosed some kero onto it around the screws and broke out the toothbrush.

                  Fortunately, they all loosened easily. I'll take the small wins where I can get 'em.



                  On a related note, if you're ever stuck for trans-top screws, lifter block screws are the same pitch thread and have the same angle as the "funnels" in the trans lids.
                  Last edited by govmule84; 11-30-2016, 10:38 AM.

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                  • #39
                    The bottom frame rails are in pretty bad shape, and there were about a dozen poor welding repairs done to the lower half of the frame.
                    This is very common for knuckle frames.


                    In the meanwhile, I scrubbed off the wheels. I actually have two different finishes! The front was painted at some point, and the rear appears to be a chrome unit.
                    Most police bikes came with black wheels, I'm guessing chome wheel is replacement.
                    Kelsey Hayes made the wheels, there are date codes inside so you can see when they were made.


                    In addition, I'm going to buy some new tires and tubes. Avon Safety Mileage tires are looking good right now; unless someone can tell me why I should spend more for a Firestone Champion Deluxe or other tire, those are probably going to be my new skins.
                    Knuckles look best with replica firestone or goodyeat tires from coker - https://www.cokertire.com/


                    The housing is tired: the screws for the lens have been changed to metric at some point, and the little cast piece above the light that the license plate bracket bolts too is damn near gone
                    These are hard to repair, you can use heil coil inserts.


                    Hmm. I've used the car wash to scrub down most of the gross motorcycle parts I've bought in the past and all the bikes have come out looking really nice. What is the danger in the car wash?
                    Perfectly ok, drill small drain holes at low point if you hear trapped water.

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Yeah, I know the lower rails are often destroyed, but I don't know why. Is it just from riding the bikes offroad?

                      I assumed at least one wheel was incorrect. The only way I'll change one would be the rear, and that's only if the hub is destroyed.

                      The bike wears Speed Grips now, I always thought that was a late fifties/early sixties tire.

                      The light is probably a shelf item. Repop taillights never killed anyone.

                      I'm not going to be drilling on the frame... I'm sure the water will exit just fine when the rails get cut out!

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Yeah, I know the lower rails are often destroyed, but I don't know why. Is it just from riding the bikes offroad?
                        From hitting things.
                        I've had five knuckle frames, all five had smashed lower tubes, Yes it's strange, these bikes lived hard lives.


                        I assumed at least one wheel was incorrect. The only way I'll change one would be the rear, and that's only if the hub is destroyed.
                        I sandblasted chome off, you can too (after you check wheel dates)


                        The bike wears Speed Grips now, I always thought that was a late fifties/early sixties tire.
                        Check photos page 870,874,892,902,906, 18" wheels used different tires.


                        The light is probably a shelf item. Repop taillights never killed anyone.
                        Several have been killed on these bikes.


                        I'm not going to be drilling on the frame... I'm sure the water will exit just fine when the rails get cut out!
                        Tell your frame guy not to fill the tubes with water.

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                        • #42
                          Chrome wheel before sand blasting.

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                          • #43
                            Black wheels after sand blasting.

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                            • #44
                              I like this guy. ^^^^^^

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                              • #45
                                OK. Man, it's been a little while. I got really sick... pneumonia and then whoopin' cough, which sucks terribly. Can't recommend it. Still, I chiseled away and got some stuff done. I got both the star hubs rebuilt. Here, look at this little thing I learned:



                                See the stuff on the right? That's from J&P Cycles. The brake-side cork is dimensionally too large. Look at it compared to the stuff on the left. Those are James Gasket corks. The problem with this is because it's oversize, A) the thing is difficult to install, but more importantly B) it's more or less impossible to move the inner hub sleeve port to starboard, so you have no idea what shims to use in there. The James pieces allowed me to get my endplay and shim appropriately.

                                I stuck some new Safety Mileage tires on there, and a new drum/sprocky:



                                Next up was that trans lid.



                                The shift arm was kind of goose-egged, and the back side of it was chewing on the trans case. I had to make a new leather washer for it and slap a new shift lever in there, but it appears to be working nicely.



                                Timing them things is a pain. Yeah, you got your timing marks, but there is no mark for the dang shift lever! Yes, I know you only have 4 positions because the drive is square, but being off by 90 sorta sucks, because you gotta go back and do it again!

                                Now for the box. I'm having trouble figuring out what I have. I have a fifth mount, so I know it's not crazy early. I also know that it has a vent on the trans case, not in the top, which makes me think it's that Type III 1940-1955 one. That little tag (I think) says 3 30, so maybe a '50 transmission? I'd love some help on this. Here's a pic of the numbers:



                                Now one last little thing: see that drain plug? Case does not look repaired. Here is the weird part: It's drilled and tapped 3/8"-24. (I put the new plug in it, the old one was very tired-looking.) It does not appear to ever have been welded up or anything. I've never seen a drain screw this small in a BT trans, but lo and behold, there it is. It looks like there was a BT engine drain plug in there, so that's what I bought to replace it.



                                Any of you guys ever seen anything like that before?

                                Next up is going to be freshening up the box some. Gears look good, but there are lots of parts that need some attention. Little ancillary crap.
                                Last edited by govmule84; 12-11-2016, 04:58 PM.

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