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Frame changes for 1954 Panheads

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    Ryan, from this thread how did you conclude your 22** would go in the first WB frame? In my first post one of the things I asked was at what stage, as far as engine SNs are concerned, did the second WB appear. But nobody provided the answer.

    At post #13 I again asked about the change from first WB to second WB and I mentioned contradictions in the 37–64 SE. I don’t have the TE (36–65) but I know some text in it is different to the SE. But is the TE correct?

    Drawing/cross-reference 47000-40A contains info. On occasion it is said to list dates of frame changes for 54s or that it is a list of changes with dates. One change is apparently second WB to SL although the changeover point has been contradicted more than once which is part of the reason why I’d like to see the drawing/cross-reference/list of changes posted. As for the change from first WB to second WB, that is one of the things I asked in this thread but my question went unanswered and that’s another reason why I’d like to see the drawing.
    Eric

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  • ryan
    replied
    Well after following this thread, I am pretty sure my 54FL22** engine goes into the first flat tube, wishbone frame, which kind is kind of a bummer bc I have a later '57 straight leg frame, I was going to use, which I still may. I do not think that I have ever seen a flat bar wishbone frame.

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    Chris, in 2012 you suggested I contact Bruce about the new book he was working on and let him know about omissions and errors I’d found in the FE. I was happy to share my info so I emailed him and I also advised that I’d been investigating six areas in particular: SNs and BNs including different types of characters used by H-D; additional original component identifying numbers; casting info including DCs for engines and transmissions; changes to BT trans cases, lids and kicker covers; BT four-speed swingarm frames; and BT round swingarms.

    Over the next two weeks I sent ten emails with my info. And following Bruce’s responses to most of them I then replied and included several further photos to support my opinions. Later that year I sent another three emails and in 2013 I sent a few more. I don’t recall being described by the word you used above.

    After the SE was released in 2014 there was a thread on CAI: ‘Palmer’s new book errors’
    Remember it? I didn’t start that thread but I posted in it at least ten times and again I was happy to share my info including photos to support my opinions.

    And if I find drawing/cross-reference 47000-40A, I’ll be happy to share that too.
    Eric

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  • Tommo
    replied
    Is this sort of response really necessary?

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  • Chris Haynes
    replied
    Years ago all of the drawings were being phased out. They were offered to the archives but they showed no interest is getting them. They were disposed of. The only copy of the one in question that I know of is in Bruce's library. Obviously he chooses not to share it with you.
    Last edited by Chris Haynes; 09-28-2021, 12:53 AM.

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    Originally posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    Have you contacted the H-D Archives at the museum?

    I rang the museum in Sept 2017 and spoke to a guy who later emailed me, saying he’d contacted archives but was told they did not have info I was after. The museum did however give me the name of a Harley dealer in Ohio so I called him. No info there either but the dealer advised me to ring a certain other person in his state who had some early H-D literature. I rang him and something he checked was his Dealer News from August 53. It consisted of about twenty pages but it didn’t mention new frames for 54 and he thought a frame change may have occurred mid-season.

    In Oct 2017 I rang places here in Australia and was given the address of someone who apparently worked only part-time at the archives so I emailed him at his usual workplace. He said ‘no literature that describes this here’ but because his reply was short I tried again. His second response was much longer … and unfriendly. He said the info I was looking for ‘wasn’t documented’ and he said he had told Bruce Palmer the same thing.

    Last month I emailed the AMCA archivist and he suggested I contact a certain other person at the H-D museum so I rang but was directed to an answering machine. I tried a few more times and was later given his address so I emailed him two weeks ago but no reply thus far.

    I also notice you commented today in my wanted thread so I’ll post a response there.
    Eric

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    Cheers Eric. While trying to resolve the 54 frame issue I’ve run across certain publications I didn’t have so I ordered them. All contained good H-D info and although some had been compiled by outside sources, others were straight from the factory so it seems H-D is happy to make certain info available to the public.

    As for what happened with some frame blueprints/drawings, it’s hard to say. This one in particular is proving hard to find and now, going by a recent post in my wanted thread, it seems there may be even more confusion about what 47000-40A really is and what info it contains. And that’s one of the reasons why I’d like to see it posted.
    Eric

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  • Chris Haynes
    replied
    Have you contacted the H-D Archives at the museum?

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  • exeric
    replied
    Thanks for the reply, Eric. Odd that a large portion of ACE engineering drawings have survived, and many Excelsior, Henderson drawings are still around (I have 2 Ex drawings on silk backed paper). In the case of Indian, I understand the big house cleaning in the '50s disposed of much documentation. You have to wonder if H-D mothballed a lot of their post war documents for legal reasons? Fun to speculate.

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    I don’t know how many are out there and I’ve heard several stories about info destroyed in the AMF era. Earlier this year it was suggested I contact two guys who allegedly obtained some 250 H-D documents/design drawings a while ago. I emailed the first person but received no response. Twice I tried emailing the second guy but for reasons unknown neither of my emails got through.

    One of the most well-known drawings is 47004-49A which includes info about the BT frame DC but it also mentions a certain sketch I would like to see. I think its number is 365B but I haven’t found it yet. Other drawings I know of feature a Knuckle engine and a Flathead 45 trans although it’s hard to read the details.

    But the drawing I continue to chase is 47000-40A. We know it exists and we know plenty of people want to see it, especially owners of 54 Pans. It still hasn’t been posted though so the search goes on.
    Eric

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  • exeric
    replied
    A bit of a sidebar, Eric, but are there many genuine Harley-Davidson blueprints out there? I've heard much of that was destroyed by AMF when they took over H-D, and from the many years I've been going to swap meets, I've never seen any H-D blueprints for sale. I'm sure some prints must have gone to dealers for various reasons but I know most engineering based companies are very tight with what they let out of the print room. Also, in the pre-AMF era, print copies were done as blueprint, or white print and it wasn't the easy process that reproduction is today. So I wonder how many copies of genuine drawings got out of the H-D engineering department? Just curious what you, and other members have seen, and heard about the existence of genuine H-D documentation.
    Last edited by exeric; 09-20-2021, 05:54 PM.

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    I read that motorcycles are judged against a known standard, ie, how they arrived at the dealership. But where the three types of 54 Pan frames are concerned was this known standard based on authentic documentation? The only factory evidence I’m aware of is drawing #47000-40A but I’m no closer to finding out exactly what it says than I was when I started this thread one year ago.

    Motorcycles judged as original must have original engines and frames. For a 54 Pan I’d expect judges to use the engine SN as one way of deciding if the frame is the proper type because I read the wrong frame would incur a four-point deduction. And regardless of whether or not the two things are consistent with each other, I expect at least some owners would ask where the judges got their info from. It is a reasonable question, and judges must be fair, honest, understanding, reasonable and conduct themselves with proper decorum so how do they respond? If they say their info is from drawing #47000-40A, what happens if owners ask to see it? Would it not be fair and reasonable to assist all owners to this degree?

    Or do judges not respond to such a request? And if not, is it because they themselves do not have access to the drawing? If that is the case then I suggest the AMCA, as a club, request a copy and place it in the virtual library for the benefit of all its members, especially owners of 54 Pans.

    Eric

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    Thanks Jerry. Looks like there may be some forging ID on the steering head?

    Recently I contacted a few more people regarding drawing 47000-40A and how the club determines if a 54 frame is the correct type for its engine. If I receive any info I’ll post it.
    Eric

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  • Jerry Wieland
    replied
    Here is probably the only bit of 1954 I can add to this thread and the snow has melted enough that I was able to get into my shed and photograph it. It is the remains of a 1954 bow-leg frame that I acquired 30 years ago. It had been badly wrecked and someone straightened it by cutting out and adding small wedges of tubing. The neck and the partial upper tube are all that I have anymore of the frame. The rest was used to repair other frames. The date code is 4 A.
    Attached Files

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  • Speeding Big Twin
    replied
    I don't have Palmer's TE but I received a picture of its 54-only features list a few days ago and some of it is different to the list in the SE.

    In the 54-only features list in the SE it appears the SN is wrong and the reference to it is in the wrong position. And perhaps Bruce said mid-season change because he was thinking about the change from first WB to second WB. But he altered things for the TE. The SN was changed from 54FL3500 to 54FL4499 and the reference to the SN was repositioned, apparently to reflect the intro of the SL. But it still says mid-season change. Shouldn’t the TE say late-season?

    And I do not know if 54FL4499 is correct anyway. As I said above, it seems pointless trying to interpret the book when the proper info is said to be on drawing 47000-40A. Can someone please post the drawing. Thank you.
    Eric

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