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Old 06-09-2013, 06:53 PM   #1
LeatherFoot OP
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Location: West Virginia outback
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$2500 Shovelhead Semi Adventure-ization

All,

I recently picked up my 3rd shovelhead. The 1st 2 are gone and I was casually looking for a replacement and found a really nice bike for $2500. It sounded too good to be true, and when I looked at it, it really was too good of a deal. I've always appreciated the great work documenting builds on this forum, and I'd like to contribute. So, today I took some pics and this is what I starting with.
http://s1296.photobucket.com/user/Le...21773178402241



Can anyone tell me how to link the pic? I've got alot more to come........I live way out in the country in West Virginia and plan to use this thing on a daily 1hr each way commute through dirt/gravel/mud roads, windy paved 2 lanes, and even a little highway.

LF
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:31 PM   #2
adiablolex
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Copy image URL and paste it here
Nice bike
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Old 06-09-2013, 07:32 PM   #3
MightyChosen1
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Right click on the pic, Copy the address under properties and then paste into "insert images" here.

Great price on a Shovel. Most of the ones I have seen for that price are in about 200 pieces.
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:39 PM   #4
Chip Seal
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2500 for a Shovel

Wow, a very good deal!
Was it bail money? LOL
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:56 AM   #5
LeatherFoot OP
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1st assesment

Here's a little background on the situation. 1.5yrs ago my family and I decided to move to WV and live a simpler life. I left a really nice well equipped shop and beautiful house in trade for 107 acres farm and an 1850's log cabin with no heat, water, or electricity. Considering we have 9 kids and 1 on the way, and there was no fencing for the cows and draft horses, it was chaos to say the least. No time for bikes and most of the tools I brought were scattered in the mayhem of getting set up. This shovel build is going to be my 1st attempt at rekindling my love for working on bikes. You'll notice I'm working outside, in the dirt (drives me crazy). We haven't built the shop yet so here goes:

I got the bike cheap because it appeared someone left the key on and cooked the coil (the bike has points). I ordered a new set of points and coil. Some wiring will have to be done too although it looks minor.



After kicking it through, the compression felt very weak. I pulled the plug and it looks oily. Not good



Checked compression: very low readings. 50psi front and back. I checked the valves to make sure they were closing and the front exhaust was tight. I loosened it a little, and still, low compression. Notice the little guys hands on the compression tester, that is Benedict. He's 5 and really likes mechaical things.



Looks like I'll have to dig deeper into the lack of compression. The heads will have to come off.

Next order of business is to install the new heavy duty pogo I bought. I really like the 4 speed kicker frame with a pogo seat. I have a bad back and find these bikes to be the most comfortable ride out there. I took off the old seat to find:





The pogo doesn't fit. The hole is too small and it looks like there is no bushing. I heard the 79's were the last year the bushing was installed but this one doesn't fit. It looks to be about 1.1" on a rough measurement.

On top of that, there is no bushing or washer at the bottom to keep the pogo from falling straight through the tube.





So it looks like now I have to find some way to bore out the tube so the pogo bushing can be pressed in, then either weld in the washer at the bottom or make some kind of bracket that bolts to the bottom of the frame so the pogo can be attached at the bottom. Anyone have any other ideas?

Also, I mocked up a spare seat I have. It is in excellent shape except somebody named Paul had their name stitched into the side. I'll fix that later. I used an old starter shaft to hold the seat and t bar in place.





Overall this bike is in really great shape and I hope to get it cleaned up and on the road shortly for some WV adventrues. Here's a few more pics.






LeatherFoot
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #6
crampfan
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50 lb/2 doesn't sound too far off for kicking. A lot of those had "B" grind cams installed, and will give low compression readings when kicking.
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Old 06-10-2013, 12:34 PM   #7
LeatherFoot OP
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Low compression

Do you think 50 lbs could be right? It feels very weak when kicking. It is kind of strange too that it is even on both cylinders. Could the b grind overlap be doing this? Please explain more if possible. Thanks for the feedback.

LF
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Old 06-10-2013, 01:10 PM   #8
Chip Seal
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Great deal

Looks like the bike had your name on it. Good luck and enjoy it!
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Old 06-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #9
mwood7800
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Guess he let go cheap cause the motor needed rebuilt. Good luck
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Old 06-10-2013, 04:46 PM   #10
Sidecar Jockey
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Good deal, even with the low compression.

50 lbs is TOO LOW. If you can even get that bike to run, it wont run well. You'll need to fix whatever is causing the low compression.

Even for the low compression kick-only FX model Shovel, the factory manual listed 98 PSI MINIMUM.

I also heard that 1979 was the last year for the pogo-seat frame for the FLH... but I have heard that the FX frames stopped being bored out for the pogo several years earlier, but I dont remember exactly when.

I dont know the details, but I have heard of people using the bushings and pogo posts from the pre-1958 Harley FL hard tail frames. Both the bushing OD and the post diameter are skinnier for the pre-1968 hard tail pogo setups and will fit into a non-bored 4 speed FX/FL frame with minor mods. Check out http://www.shovelhead.us/forum for info on the old pogo setup into the 'new' style shovel frame.
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Old 06-11-2013, 05:30 AM   #11
LeatherFoot OP
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Pogo

That is great news on the Pogo. Thanks! I was getting ready to buy some tooling and prep to bore the tube. Also, I'm also getting ready to inspect the top end. I'll do another post.

On another note, I met the gentleman who built the bike. It is a small world here in WV. It was completely overhauled top to bottom including powdercoating the frame, all new bearings, bottom end rebuild, the works. He sold the bike to another with 8k miles on the rebuild including a trip to Daytona from WV. He did a really nice job on the machine. He wasn't sure what happened after he sold it, but didn't think it was ridden very much so he was suprised to hear about the low compression. Time to dig in and find out.

Thanks for the help.

Ryan
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:41 AM   #12
gusanito
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According to the J&P Vintage catalog, late '80-'84 FX/FL frames that don't have the castings for the bushings can use the 45" pogo.
Here's the page with the info.
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Old 03-10-2014, 02:41 AM   #13
LeatherFoot OP
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It runs

Well, I replaced the points, burnt wires, and coil. It started relatively easy. Did this last fall and actually commuted on it until it got too cold (ice on the roads). Considering the low compression measurements, it runs really good. Actually, it is the smoothest shovel I've had yet. I'll get pics posted
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Old 03-10-2014, 04:35 AM   #14
trumpet
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeatherFoot View Post
Do you think 50 lbs could be right? It feels very weak when kicking. It is kind of strange too that it is even on both cylinders. Could the b grind overlap be doing this? Please explain more if possible. Thanks for the feedback.

LF
I'd get the ignition sorted first.

Quite a few aftermarket cams had grinds that letoff for kicking. There was a article about it on the S&S site years ago, and their older catalogs.

I built a stroker with a B and had too much compression, went to a 495 grind and that let the compression build slower so it could be kicked through.

trumpet screwed with this post 03-10-2014 at 04:41 AM
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Old 03-10-2014, 10:26 AM   #15
LeatherFoot OP
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Thanks for the reply. I did sort out the ignition problems and it is working good. The bike really runs great. The plugs look a little on the rich side, on purpose to run a little cooler. It does feel really weak when kicking through. Is it possible that a cam could do that? I can't believe the compression is 50psi because it starts easy, doesn't smoke (much), and runs smooth.

LF
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