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Rebuilding the Q-ship; a 1964 Harley Davidson Sportster

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  • #76
    The on-going saga of "as the sprocket turns"

    In this installment of “as the sprocket turns” we’re going to discuss one of the most overlooked aspects of a motorbike – the hub. In this case, we’re going to be looking at the rear hub because it pulls a lot of duty on an ironhead.

    Like many older Harley products, the brake drum is bolted to the hub. On big twins, this allows for the drum to stay with the suspension whilst a wheel is removed – and on older twins, interchangeable front to rear. On an ironhead, the rear drum stays with the rear hub and is NOT interchangeable with the front. Adding to the fun; Harley specified shouldered bolts that are the locating member for the assembly. In other words, the drum does not register on the center bore of the hub or by a locating pin – it is fully free to move and the only thing that clamps it tightly are the shoulder bolts.

    These shoulder bolts are a light press into the hub and should NOT be replaced with standard, full thread bolts. This will allow the drum to shift its registration and can easily lead to an out-of-round assembly. As it is; it is difficult to find a stock hub that doesn’t reach the outer edge of allowable runout.

    On a normal bike, you may never notice this – especially if you keep your chain and your rear brake adjusted “loose.” Once you start tightening things up, you may find that you have multiple tight spots in the chain and or tight spots on the brake adjustment. Much of the time, these are due to worn parts, and some of the time they are due to the hub itself. And, the faster you go or the more power you put through the hub – the more you’ll notice issues. Vibration is certainly one of them; loping brakes is another; and the list goes on.

    In sum – you don’t likely have to do anything we’re about to describe on a stock street bike. As you go to silly land – or if you just like “blue printing” components – then you may want to deal with the hub.

    An excellent write up on this whole thing can be found here:

    So, let’s walk you through it.

    In the first photos, you can see the hub as it came back to Chuck from powder coating. The original registration surface for the drum has been coated – and 99% of people would just run the hub as is. For this build, we went a little further.

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    First, we determined that the two bearing bores were within .005 of being concentric to centerline. We also took the time to mark out where the lowest run out was with the hub and drum assembled. Once we knew we could true the hub off a common centerline and have the bearings not kill themselves, we made up a mandrel and mounted the hub in the lathe. The left side of the hub was registered to a 4-jaw universal chuck and the mandrel was a light press fit into the right side of the hub and held to center by a live-center in the tail stock. The drum mating surface was then faced to dead true with the center line.

    The drum was also faced and the whole assembly put back in the lathe to cut the friction surface dead true. To do this, you will need at least a 10” lathe; 12” if you leave the sprocket attached (more on this later).

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    One more thing – Chuck did have to clean up the powder coating in the hub holes for the shouldered bolts. DO NOT just scrape these out. Remember, the light press fit is all that holds the hub true to drum. So, we very, very carefully took out the excess powder with a letter drill just below the shoulder bolts OD. To do this, we mounted the drill bit in a spare Jacobs chuck and ran it through by hand. Take your time and do not remove material from the hub – just the layer of powder.

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    • #77
      With all that done, it was time to grease up the bearings and reassemble the hub. Please don’t be a caveman and chisel the lock nut on and off. Use the correct tool or a wide pin wrench. And, unless you hate yourself, try using Loctite instead of staking the hub. It makes wheel bearing service a lot easier in the future.

      Now, we have a clean and true running hub and drum assembly! Yippee. That’s a few hours work for a “problem” you may never have.

      Heck, we even have plenty of life left in the drum for at least one more clean up of the friction surface.

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      • #78

        With that done, we moved on to reattaching the sprocket. The Q ship came with a sprocket that had sheared several rivets. This isn’t too uncommon on ironheads and the challenge is that as a rivet comes loose it usually “eggs” the hole. This means a new rivet of the same dimension can’t fill the hole properly and lock the bits together. There’s an easy way to solve this – simply drill the assembly for .187 big twin rivets 

        Before we do so, we need to take a quick look at the sprocket.

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        On first glance at the photos, many will assume the sprocket is “worn out.” Many will say “look at those pointy teeth” and not realize that even NOS Harley sprockets start out with “pointy teeth.” In this case, we took the time to overlay an aftermarket sprocket on this “worn out” original.

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        Notice they are identical except for the very tip of the teeth. Hmm, not so worn after all.

        But, the real reason we want the original sprocket is something that most folks don’t think of . . . hardness. An original sprocket features hardened teeth. When you take a file to them – they barely scratch in the tooth area. On almost all aftermarket sprockets, this step isn’t taken and the sprockets are VERY soft in comparison. A good HD sprocket will last decades and for 10s of thousands of miles. Many aftermarkets will be dead in 10-20K miles. Chuck hates replacing sprockets . . . so the original is going back.

        Anyways, register the sprocket using the convenient, factory drilled .187 registration holes (your sprocket has 16 .156 and 4 .187 holes). Then, drill out all 16 holes to an exact fit to the rivets in hand (they “should” be .187, but many aftermarket rivets are .181-.185). Then, grind the head of the rivets to fit properly in the space allotted, and rivet as you would any other sprocket. It’s a bit of work – but the sprocket is now going nowhere anytime soon.

        Last step is to clean up the drum and give it a coat of gloss black. Another given up for dead part rebuilt and back on the road.

        Yep – all this work just for the rear hub. And, we still have to lace up a new rim! We'll cover lacing in a future installment :-)


        • #79
          Looking good. Greatly enjoying this thread. Thank you for taking the time to shoot and write... I know that can be tedious!


          • #80
            An Amendment to the Cylinder Discussion

            AKA -- When Drag Specialities was aptly named.

            Early in this series, we discussed the wide range of aftermarket big bore cylinders that were once widely available for 900 sportsters. There were a few cylinders we didn't discuss -- mainly custom cylinders by Trock, Axtell, Strociek, etc. This is because they are super rare and often for 1000s -- not 900s. But, there IS an ultra rare 900 cylinder that found its way to Chuck . . .

            Around 1968, a gent named Tom Rudd got it in his head to offer finless alloy cylinders for dragsters. At the time, these cylinders cost a cool $190/pair -- which is about $1400 in 2019 bucks. That's a very heart stopping $700 per cylinder - for finless units. Yikes.

            Around 1970, finned units for the street were offered. Again, the price point was right around that $190 range . . .which was a lot of cheddar. The only "true" advantage of the alloy cylinders is weight loss. They are about 1/3rd the weight of iron cylinders. But, they do have draw backs (which we'll get into later in the series) Put it all together and not that many sets were sold, which means there just aren't that many out there waiting to be "found."

            Just who is Tom Rudd . . .well, that would be the founder of Drag Specialties and later Kuryakyn.

            Anyways, these cylinders come in 3.25 and are fully lined with a good sized steel liner. The castings are of very good quality and the machining is excellent. They are overlength and sized to fit 1000cc stroker pistons that are .060 oversize. The head bolts are fully helicoiled in 3/8-24 and the best part is that 1972 heads fit straight on. Yippee.

            But where to find these mythical cylinders. That is the trick. It took a few years, but a known associate made a pair available. They are LOVELY beyond lovely. And, LIGHT. Really light. Chuck almost pee'd with excitement when they arrived on Saturday afternoon.

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            • #81
              but, we can't spend all our time gazing at cylinders. We have a chassis to finish.

              The main order of business this weekend was getting the handlebars finished and the solo seat mounted.

              In this case, we'll start with the bars. Because this is a CH, there is really only a horn button on the bars. Chuck is using the right side "horn button" as a magneto kill switch. This makes kicking the beast to life a wee bit easier. Wiring up these switches is beyond easy as they are ground switches -- meaning when you push them in, they earth the circuit to the handlebars. Easy peasy and clean routing. So, left side is horn, right side is mag kill. Head lamp is three position switch on the visor. Low - off - High. Tail lamp is just wired permenantly on (it won't light until the motor is running anyways) and the brake lamp is switched off the pedal lever as stock. The only thing that stunk is Chuck only had 3 of the 4 8-32 screws needed to fit the switch gear. Bummer.

              We also fit all the handlebar internals. The Q ship is using all stock HD internals. The difference is that we sourced new control coils and wires from V twin. We went with the thinner vinyl covered control coils because Chuck prefers to use guy wire vs. solid wire in the controls. It gives a better feel over time - basically once everything breaks in -- the controls are truly finger tip. So, we oiled up the wires with graphite oil and slid them into the coils. Got all that mounted up with new plungers and used spirals.

              Let's stop and talk about spirals. The concept of a "push" or a "pull" spiral has many confused. Most folks who are not versed in internal throttles mistakenly assume a "push" throttle means the twist grip rotates clock wise to open -- or the opposite of normal. This is NOT true in the least. The action of the grip is always anti-clockwise to open and clockwise to close. All that changes is the direction in which the spiral rotates. On a push throttle -- it pushes the plunger and wire. On a pull it does the opposite. But as the rider, you never notice.

              In this case, we mounted up a push on the left for the mag and a pull on the right for carb. If you're using a stock linkert -- you'll want a push on the throttle side.

              We also mounted up a retro 3" mirror on the right side to keep Johnny Law happy. A lot of guys prefer two mirrors -- Chuck grew up riding almost exclusively with a single right side mirror. So, that's what he's used to and that's what is on the Q ship. Not the best, but not the worst either.

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              We even mounted up the new fork boots waiting for the lowers to come back from the chromer.


              • #82
                Oh, yeah, seats

                So, in the previous thread, the solo seat is mounted. Let's go over how we got there.

                Many times when you see a solo seat on an ironhead, it's a generic seat and mount with beehive springs mounted to a plate. A simple, functional system -- but not even close to stock.

                The stock solo seat consists of almost 30 different parts! It "seems" complicated, but makes perfect sense once you start assembling it.

                First and foremost, all of the necessary parts are now available from Colony. V-Twin also offers a complete kit. But, Chuck is from Cleveland and prefers to support local businesses directly -- so we went with all Colony parts except a replacement T bar.

                Now, about the T bar. There are at least two t bars. One for the "short" seat as fit through 1964 and one for the "long" seat as fit from 1965 onwards. There are excellent repos of both seats on the market, but Chuck had one of the $15 old Dixie repos of the long seat on the shelf. $15 is a lot of cheddar less than $180 for a repo seat :-) But, no, the Dixie seat is not as nice. Notably, it has some really ugly screws holding the cover on. So, we painted them black to hide the ugly -- a bit.

                What is nice is that the $15 seat fits directly on the V-twin repo seat bar for the "long" seat. No modifications were needed to have it bolt right on.

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                But, we can't say the same about the nose hardware. Long story short, the "tube" at the nose of the t bar is too small a size to accept the original bush. However, the bush holds a hollow steel pin through with the mounting bolt runs. So, we mounted the t bar in the milling attachment and bored a dead true hole to accept that hollow pin. It took just a few moments and suddenly we had a good fit. Sure, the lack of a bush means the seat bar will wear -- but not terribly fast.

                With that out of the way, it was time to start test fitting. Just because stuff comes out of the package doesn't mean it will fit. We took the time to test fit each piece and make sure it was all correct before final assembly. Here are a few test fit photos:

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                • #83
                  Now that we knew everything fit, it was time to assemble. First, we greased the heck out of everything. Even the springs got a good coating.

                  Then, we assemble. Here's the order:

                  Short springs
                  Long springs
                  plunger in bushes
                  retainer plate placed over both plungers
                  Rear roller, pin, and spring assembled between plungers
                  Plungers and bushes installed in frame
                  Retaining plate snugged
                  T bar nose bolt
                  slip the rear of the seat down and push the "button" on the right to set it in the "latch" on the bar.


                  Two quick tips; there are two grease fittings, one on the nose bolt and one one rear roller. Place them on the right for ease of servicing on the side stand.

                  Now we have a nice, original style solo seat.

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                  • #84
                    And, finally, we laced up the rear wheel.

                    As noted earlier, we went with Boranni repo wheels sold by Valtermoto USA via ebay. Chuck has used these rims before with very good results. Don't be put off by "made in China." These rims are MUCH nicer than you'd think, true easily, and run well.

                    Here, the hub is loose laced with the spokes just snug and the offset -- well, set. We'll true them this week while watching something mindless on the television. Experience says these rims true very fast with only a mild "kick" at the weld point.

                    As a bonus, they are dead ringers for borannis and just as light. The whole assembly weights about as much as just the steel rim we took off :-)

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                    We chose not to do a lacing tutorial as there are tons of these on the net and HD rims are amongst the easiest to lace and true. If you have specific questions, please ask.


                    • #85
                      Seat post retaining plate correction

                      We wanted to take a moment and make sure that a piece of information is corrected in the recent post about mounting the seat plungers.

                      In the photos, the retaining plate (the part that bolts to the frame) is upside down and backwards. This was done for a very specific reason. When fit "correctly" with the raised lip of the plate at the rear and facing down, the left plunger just contacted the plate. If we shifted it around for clearance, the lip then caught on the frame and marred it if we were to tighten it down. The solution was to either file the holes a bit and then reparkerize to ward off corrosion -- or to simply try the plate in another position. When we flipped it over and reversed it -- it fit perfectly. Because this is not a full nuts and bolts restoration -- we decided to leave it flipped. A hawk-eye caught this . . . and so we wanted to make sure the "right" information was out there.

                      In terms of function -- the retaining plate does it's job no matter what its position -- but only one position is the "correct" installation. To help folks who want to get all this "perfect" and as something left the factory -- here are three shots of an original paint 1960CH showing the seat mounts. This particular bike has just over 1500 original miles on the clock and still has its original license tag on the rear . . . you can clearly see how all the pieces fit together and how the retaining plate is "supposed" to be mounted.

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                      To be exceedingly clear -- THESE are the differences between a fully "restored" bike and a refurbished bike like we are putting together here. Both bikes will roll down the road the same -- but only one will be "factory correct."

                      When you are setting out on a project, these are the little things you have to decide on. It is a true challenge to achieve a "perfect" score in judging -- a challenge that is very consuming for some people -- and just not of interest to others.

                      Chuck and Will respect the guys who go for the full on all correct restorations -- but it is something we personally don't do ourselves -- as evidenced by the flipped over seat plate :-) Both are extremely valid perspectives and it really comes down to your own personal aspirations/goals/affirmations/fill-in-the-blank.

                      Happy riding and wrenching.


                      • #86
                        Fixing the Seat Plate

                        So after taking some off line ribbing from other grey beards (and we all know how brutal that can get :-) we decided to just fix the interference on the seat plate. It went surprisingly easy. Long story made short, the reproduction plate is much softer than anticipated and it took only a couple of minutes to file the offending hole just a bit. Chuck then cleaned the filed spot with some acetone and used "instant" gun blue to somewhat colour match the parkerizing. Somewhat = a dark spot -- but on the inside of the plate. With a bit of grease on the spot -- it blended nice.

                        Total time to fit it correctly -- about 40 minutes start to finish. Should have just done it to begin with.


                        • #87
                          Arcing shoes, riveting sprockets, and truing the rear rim

                          Saturday dawned clear and warm (well, warm for December in Chicago). Chuck decided that he'd let it warm up a couple of hours and then knock off for a long ride. This meant we had to get down to business in the morning.

                          The first order of business was finishing up the rear brakes. Earlier in the week, Chuck fit a set of high-friction, resin-free woven brake linings to the rear shoes. These are a bit of a secret weapon . . . they have about twice the friction coefficeint of regular linings and don't fade from heat. They do wear fast and if you're scared by 5000 mile brake changes -- then these aren't your bag. And no, they don't "tear up" drums. Quite the opposite; they practically polish them.

                          Anyways, whether you use "traditional" or "non-traditional" linings; one of the biggest hold backs to an effective drum is the contact between the friction surface (drum) and the lining (shoe). We cut the friction surface true and flat -- so the next step is matching the lining to that drum. You'll hear all sorts of stuff about "chucking them up in the lathe." This is possible for many types of twin leading shoe systems -- but on a single leading shoe with a large pivot arc like an HD -- you can't really set the shoes fully centered for cutting them round. Can it be done -- yes; is it worth it -- well, not when other methods give similar results for less fuss.

                          In this case, we did it the really old fashioned way. We simply grabbed a strip of emery cloth and used plain old Elmer's Rubber Cement to bond the cloth to the ID of the drum. Let it dry and we now have a "sanding" surface. Next up, draw lines all over the shoe with a sharpie marker, piece of chalk, etc. Goal is to be able to easily identify the high/low spots and stop when we've achieved 100% contact. This is WAY easier if you put the drum in the lathe at 50 rpm or so. But, Chuck forgot to arc the shoes before positioning the sprocket for drilling to accept big twin instead of xl rivets. Taking the sprocket back off would have ruined the alignment - so we did it by hand.

                          Simply use even pressure (two hands if you can) and slowly work the shoe around -- back and forth -- etc. The first few passes will feel terrible. This is the shoe removing high spots.

                          Here's what we start with:

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                          After a couple of minutes rotation, we are about 1/2 done.

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                          Notice there are very clear high and low spots. Arcing removes these and gives us a very, very nice brake. However, failing to arc a shoe is often one of the leading causes of poor brake performance on old drums (well, that and super hard linings!)

                          Keep going until all the lines are gone or very, very faint. Don't remove any more than you need to . . . our goal is only to fit the shoe to the drum. Blow of all the dust (don't do this inside or without a respirator - and if you're working with NOS linings that contain asbestos -- well, think twice whether you should be sanding them!) and check the fit again. When everything is nice and even -- you will feel it. The shoe will suddenly start sliding nicely across the paper and won't "fight" as much. The end result is a great feeling brake that works surprisingly well.

                          Then, simply peel of the emery cloth, grab some alcohol or acetone, and clean off the rubber cement residue. Assemble the brakes to the backing plate and we are ready for action.

                          With that done, we moved on to riveting the rear sprocket. As mentioned before, we are using big twin rivets (.187 OD) instead of XL rivets (.156 OD). This is for two reasons: 1) the sprocket had worked loose and egged several holes. The .156 rivets can't expand enough to take up the egg shape. and 2) the .187 rivets have been shown to hold up better to abuse from high horsepower strokers. In this case, the challenge was that Mrs. Chuck didn't want to hold the drum on the anvil while I swung a 2 lb peining hammer. Hmm, wonder why?

                          So, I had to balance the drum, hold the dished punch, and then hammer it home. Easier said than done -- especially as the big twin rivets are a bit harder to "set" than the XL ones. Anyways, longstory made short: pein all 16 rivets over but not tight. Then, work catty corner (or star pattern if you like) and bring them fully snug. You're almost done when the punch slips into the recess on the inside of the drum and the head of the rivet is below this. Chuck marks them off in pairs on opposite sides so there is no guess work as to which rivet is done and which is next. When you've gotten all the way round -- grab the axle and backing plate to make sure the plate can rotate freely without hitting any rivets. If it doesn't, pein some more. Then, visually check all are snug and give any a tap that you think need it. It took about 90 minutes to do by myself. But the sprocket ain't going anywhere. A coat of gloss black went on the drum and it's now awaiting final assembly.

                          Now, we're a bit over two hours into the morning (40 minutes to fix the seat plate; 90 minutes on the drum/sprocket riveting) and the sun has the roads warmed up. Gotta get riding soon . . but first we gotta true the rear rim.

                          On another group -- I took a very small amount of "crap" for using reproduction boranni rims made in "China." All the comments were about "China" and it was clear the bias was due to the country, not experience. Chuck has used these rims before on bikes he rides regularly. They are lovely and have no issues. Just to prove a point; the spokes were just snugged when we plopped the rim in the truing stand.

                          We found the low spot, and zeroed the mercer gauge:

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                          We then rotated it to the high spot and there's a whole .036 eccentricity.

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                          Our target is 1/32 or .03125. As soon as we snugged the spokes a bit more the difference between the high and low spots dropped to below .030 - with only a mild kick at the weld point. They don't normally go that easy.

                          Lateral run out was a bit over 1/16 to start. We had to tweak three groups of spokes on the low side to bring it over to the right. This took only a few minutes and we got the rim down to an average of .025 run out -- the exception being a slight kick at the weld.

                          Total time from plopping it on the truing stand to clean up was under 30 minutes. Keep in mind that just because something is "made in China" it doesn't mean it is automatically junk.

                          This also isn't meant as a lacing tutorial. There are many great resources on the net. But, if you have specific questions, please ask. We'll do our best to answer them.

                          With all that done; it was near lunch time and we HAD to go enjoy the roads. The winter bike fired up on the second crank and a tank full later we were back at the shop happy and looking forward to finishing up the chassis -- maybe before year end.


                          • #88
                            Fixing a Fender/Mudguard the really, really old way

                            The day after Christmas saw Chuck nursing a most serious hangover. But, the weather in Chicago was unseasonably warm and sunny (60 degrees F). So, outside we went to get some fresh air and help with the headache.

                            Being of slightly less than capable mind -- Chuck decided to spend the afternoon whittling away on the rear fender/mudguard of the Q ship. Long story made short, the fender which came with the project had a bunch of small dents and one big old ugly weld on the front 1/3rd. Yes, replacement fenders are widely available. And, somewhere in the spare parts stash is another rear -- but we had this one and let's get down to fixing things.

                            First and foremost, we need to examine why the fender cracked and was welded. On a sportster, the entire weight of the fender is carried by the struts. The front edge is "free floating" and despite those two big old holes in the front lip -- it is NOT intended for the front lip to be bolted to the frame. Here's why. When you add a passenger -- their weight is carried by the struts. When you hit a bump the fender compresses down -- changing the arc of the fender. If you bolt it to the frame, the fender flexes to the point of breaking/cracking. Other cracks come about as a result of excessive vibration - usually the result of a wheel out of true or poorly balanced on the rear combined with beat to snot swing arm bearings. Put it all together and sportsters have an undeserved reputation as fender crackers. If you maintain everything and don't try to ride with Big Bertha on the back . . . well, then they don't crack very often.

                            In this case, the crack is actually two cracks and the welder did an OK job. They did overheat the metal more than once -- causing it to shrink inwards. To deal with this -- they tried to add more filler from the inside -- which just caused it to shrink more. The end result was a roughly 1/8-1/4 "depression" at the weld. But, because there was so much hard filler rod -- trying to work it out was bound to cause tearing. Most people would opt to grind this flat and then use poly filler. This is a bad idea for this fender because the weld also had porosity and a few spots open to interior. This means the risk of the filler absorbing moisture is pretty high. You may have had the experience of owning an auto with body work done by drilling holes and pulling dents -- all then covered with filler. This tends to rust like mad from the inside out. Same is true here. Plus, we have that flex to deal with and a "hard" weld. The solution -- LEAD. We'll get to how in a moment. Keep in mind there are excellent body fillers out there which CAN deal with this issue. They also are way more expensive than the supplies used here.

                            Before we lay waste -- we need to evaluate. Let's take a look at our fender:

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                            Here we can see how the metal "sunk" from the welding

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                            Some obvious denting

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                            Notice the wavy nature of the right side?

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                            And, finally, the interior of the weld. Really wish the "welder" would not have left this to corrode.

                            It's not a terrible set of repairs -- but we have to set a nutty goal. Our goal here is to take out all the dents, repair the welded section, and use NO modern poly filler at all.


                            • #89
                              taking out dents by bumping metal and filing it

                              We started by removing the roughly 10 dents we found all around the fender. To do this, we start by feeling the fender. Don't trust your eyes. Go over every surface of the fender with your finger tips and note anything that feels off. In this case, we marked the spots with a sharpie and denoted whether they were high (h) or low (l). This is just to help us keep track of work and to make sure we are not accidentally causing a secondary issue by raising one area and affecting another. This is particularly important on crowned fenders.

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                              With everything marked out, we head on over to the tool crib to pick up our weapons. In this case, we are using a variety of hammers, mandrels, and body files. From left to right we have a standard small ball pein hammer; a typical body hammer (non shrinking) with a flat pick; and a hide hammer. The double diameter mandrel is custom piece Chuck made up to use on fenders just like this. It also does duty as an oversized punch. The spoon like device is a proto forming mandrel. It is a really handy tool for bumping metal when used like a traditional dolly. Not shown is a small chunk of wood we also use as a soft dolly. At the upper corner of the photo are two different body files. The upper files is a "replaceable" style. It is meant to be attached to a hardwood "holder" -- but strangely works really well when you leave it free. You can "flex" the file this way and more easily get the contour you are after. The other file is a wonderful piece of kit we got for a whole $5 at an antique store. It was in UNUSED condition :-)

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                              Every single one of these tools is still available brand new. These tools are largely unchanged over the past century and you can spend a lot of money or a little bit of money on them. Most of these tools, with the exception of the cheap Harbor Freight ball pein, came from local antique stores and flea markets. None cost more than $10, and most were $5 or less. Just keep your eyes open and all sorts of interesting tools will appear.

                              Anyways, the key to metal bumping is determining where to strike the metal (strike with a tap -- not a blow) to encourage it to resume it's former "set" or shape. Generally, working the outside edges of a dent is preferable to working the middle. As you work the outside, the center will come up (or down).

                              The second key is to make use of your body file vs just hammering away. We'll go over this a bit more in the next photos.


                              • #90
                                Bumping and Filing

                                To illustrate the process, here are photos showing us going from 20% done to 100% done on one small section of the fender. In this case, we had dents going in two directions. At the hole for the pillion seat -- the metal was raised and puckered. Just below that spot towards the #1 decal the metal was indented and rolled left to right. Striking the pucker down would cause the rolling to be worse . . . so the key was bumping slowly from the tail edge of the low spot towards the pucker -- thus raising the whole surface. THEN we struck the pucker almost flat.

                                With the initial bumping done, we use the body file to show our high and low spots. If they are relatively small -- we simply continue filing the metal dead flat and smooth. In this case, we had a few minor adjustments to make. I couldn't find my raising pick -- so I used the peining end of the tiny hammer to slowly work a few small spots.

                                Here's the first set of filings . . .see how the high spots are clear?

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                                So, we work it a bit more, file a bit more -- and the high/low spots still stand out.

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                                We work it some more -- and file a lot more to get to mostly done

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                                At this stage, we are really close and further bumping is more likely to create rather than solve problems. The solution is to file carefully. In a few minutes, the surface goes dead true and find ourselves with a fender that requires no body filler. A squirt of high-build primer will see this fender very well.

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                                In this case, we rinsed and repeated 10 more times on depressions ranging from pea sized to quarter sized. The "toughest" to take out was the wavy nature of the one fender side. This is where a block of wood and the hide mallet shine. Just patience and some thought got it darn smooth.