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Frame changes for 1954 Panheads

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  • Frame changes for 1954 Panheads

    For 1954 Panheads the factory used two wishbone frames and a straight-leg frame. But at what stage, as far as engine serial numbers are concerned, did the second wishbone appear and when did the straight-leg frame appear?

    I imagine the AMCA has factory documentation and/or factory drawings revealing when the frame changes occurred and I would appreciate it if I could obtain copies of whatever is available. Iíll be happy to pay in advance to cover any cost. Thank you.
    Eric

  • #2
    If no-one can post factory evidence in answer to my question then what does the AMCA use as proof when examining the frame of a 54 on the judging field?

    As Iíve mentioned before, Palmerís 37Ė64 SE has contradictory info regarding when changes occurred. At one stage it said the straight-leg frame returned at approx engine SN 3501 while another page indicated the change occurred at about engine SN 4500.

    And Palmer is contradicted by at least one AMCA judge who says the change to straight leg occurred at around engine SN 4000. Both refer to a factory drawing/blueprint but if they mean the same drawing then how do they reach different conclusions re the changeover?

    If the factory drawing was posted then the situation would be resolved and everybody would benefit.
    Eric

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    • #3
      silence.....
      D. A. Bagin #3166 AKA Panheadzz 440 48chief W/sidecar 57fl 57flh 58fl 66m-50 68flh 70xlh

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      • #4
        If you do a google search for frame blueprints you may be surprised at what you find.
        Be sure to visit;
        http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
        Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
        Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

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        • #5
          I thought that Chris may have a copy of the referenced drawings, but maybe Palmer is the only person that has the referenced drawings? I don't know what AMCA judges use.
          Last edited by FCJ; 09-19-2020, 05:29 PM.
          Fletcher Clark Johnston
          AMCA #282

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          • #6
            Originally posted by FCJ View Post
            I don't know what AMCA judges use.
            Common sense. :-)
            Be sure to visit;
            http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
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            • #7
              Originally posted by Chris Haynes View Post
              If you do a google search for frame blueprints you may be surprised at what you find.

              Iíve done that many times over the years and drawing 47004-49A shows up all over the place.

              But the one Iím chasing is said to be 47000-40A and I have had no luck finding it. Apparently you have though so perhaps you could provide a link to it.
              Eric

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
                Iíve done that many times over the years and drawing 47004-49A shows up all over the place.

                But the one Iím chasing is said to be 47000-40A and I have had no luck finding it. Apparently you have though so perhaps you could provide a link to it.
                Eric
                George Hood bought the frame table from Eddie Ryan's San Pedro, CA H-D Dealership. It came with a stack of H-D frame blueprints. Whether he had the -40 print you need or not I don't know. Sadly he just passed this week and I have no idea what is going to happen with his stuff.
                Be sure to visit;
                http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
                Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
                Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

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                • #9
                  We know Bruce Palmer has the drawing I'm chasing but I donít know where he got it from. Can anyone tell me? I donít know why there are contradictions regarding its content and neither do I know why the drawing hasnít been posted. If it was posted then the contradictions could be resolved and everybody would benefit.
                  Eric

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Chris Haynes View Post
                    If you do a google search for frame blueprints you may be surprised at what you find.

                    Still no luck finding drawing/blueprint 47000-40A.

                    According to you in other threads the blueprint says that after frame 3000 in 1954 they were all straight leg.

                    Palmer disagrees. Depending on which page of his book is read, the factory drawing is said to show the change from WB to straight leg happened at approximately frame 2500 or about frame 3500.

                    Three changeover points from WB to straight leg? Are any of them correct? I do not know but apparently the drawing does and that is one of the reasons Iíd like to see it posted. And Iím betting a lot of other people would also appreciate seeing it.
                    Eric

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                    • #11
                      Chris, you disagree with Bruce Palmer regarding the change from WB frame to SL. Both of you have referred to a certain drawing but you contradict each other regarding its content. Who is right, Bruce or you?

                      Maybe it was a matter of interpretation? Regardless of what happened, if the drawing was posted then it would give 54 owners the evidence they need when looking for a frame to suit their engine. But without the drawing current owners remain in limbo and the same will apply the next time someone asks what frame to use.
                      Eric

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Speeding Big Twin View Post
                        Chris, you disagree with Bruce Palmer regarding the change from WB frame to SL. Both of you have referred to a certain drawing but you contradict each other regarding its content. Who is right, Bruce or you? .
                        Eric
                        Bruce is right. I was speaking in general terms. Bruce got his print directly from H-D decades ago before Tom Bolfert slammed the door on authors getting factory help.
                        Be sure to visit;
                        http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
                        Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
                        Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chris Haynes View Post
                          Bruce is right.

                          But on which page? And what about the change from first WB to second WB?

                          Page 54 of the SE (2014) says the first 3500 1954 BTs have WB. And we all know what that indicates as far as engine SNs are concerned.

                          However, page 54 is contradicted by the FYoF list on page 952 which indicates only about the first 2500 BTs had WB because it says return of the straight-leg frame at approximately engine 54FL3501. Page 952 also said the return was mid-season which is consistent with captions on pages 950-951 saying mid-year change to straight-leg. But pages 54-55 describe a late-54 straight-leg. If the straight-leg appeared in late-54 then why is there mention of it at mid-season and mid-year?

                          The 1954-OF paragraph on 952 includes WB with flattened downtubes. That would be the first type of WB. It also indicates a mid-season change at approx 54FL3500 and that should be to the second WB which appears to be confirmed by its description: WB with non-flattened downtubes. But page 952 had already said return of the straight-leg at approximately engine 54FL3501 and at mid-season.

                          These contradictions are some of the reasons why Iíd like to see the factory drawing posted and it could also go in the AMCA virtual library for everyoneís future reference.
                          Eric

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                          • #14
                            SBT, it seems that the only person interested in this is you. Do some research on original bikes and let us know what you find.
                            Be sure to visit;
                            http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
                            Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
                            Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chris Haynes View Post
                              SBT, it seems that the only person interested in this is you.

                              I disagree. In August on six forums I placed a wanted ad for the Harley drawing and the view count suggests hundreds of people are interested.

                              Do some research on original bikes and let everyone know what I find? Why would anyone need to do that? Aren’t the answers on the drawing? They are indeed, according to you and Bruce Palmer, so why is research needed?

                              I have Bruce’s book but it doesn’t help because it is contradictory and nobody has clarified the situation. The best way to resolve the matter is to see drawing 47000-40A so why can’t it be posted? If there’s a problem then it could be sent to me and I’ll post it. And I’ll pay for it in advance as I’ve offered to do many times. I’m sure plenty of people would like to see it, especially 54 owners, some of whom I’ve been trying to help for years.
                              Eric

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