1934 Harley VLD Rebuild

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Sugar Pig, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    NC
    So, as promised I will do a follow along/write up of my progress in getting my '34 VLD back on the road.

    It all started a few months ago on Ebay and I was looking for a VL because I have been riding with some people that have them and just love the way they look and the way they are put together. A fella on Ebay named Dave had one up and it looked very promising so I called him up to talk about it.

    Well it turns out he is selling it to finance a Ducati Multistrada 1200. Well, I have an example of said Ducati and tell him I am willing to trade plus some cash from him. The deal is made and then comes the delivery problem. He lives way up in Wisconsin and I live in NC. Well, with much trust involved by both of us we agree to meet in Dayton, OH and swap bikes and money. Everything goes great and I come home with this:

    [​IMG]
    #1
  2. Old Mule

    Old Mule Been here awhile

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    Man you got the best of that one.
    #2
  3. usgser

    usgser Long timer

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    Nice, you're gonna have some fun there.
    #3
  4. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    Awesome bike!
    you are gonna love it.
    Steve who has VL Heaven has a really good book out on restoring/fixing VL's. I would suggest getting one. He also has all the parts you will need.

    Doug
    #4
  5. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    NC
    I popped the heads off a while back and the pistons are only .020 overs which is impressive for a 80 year old machine. They are marked on the top with a T which I believe means they are Harley pistons.

    The motor looks like it has been run but not for very long. It appears to be rebuilt and the cylinders looked good. I decided to not pull the cylinders and just annealed some headgaskets and re-installed the head with some new plugs. If the thing smokes once I start it it is very easy to pull the cylinders and get them taken care of.

    I wonder if the motor was run on a test bench as the circuit breaker is not functional yet and the carb was 'iffy'. We shall see.

    Next up is the transmission. Don't let its outward appearence fool you, its a bit of a mess inside. The main problem is I can't get the basket out of the hub. I have the correct puller, it is just stuck something good. Multiple rounds of heat, PB blaster, and soaking in EvapoRust have not resulted in success yet.

    [​IMG]

    Here is where I am at today.

    [​IMG]
    #5
  6. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    NC
    While the clutch has a soak in Evapo-Rust in hope of breaking it free from the mainshaft.
    [​IMG]

    I went ahead and rebuilt the carb. I replaced the original cork float with a PEEK one, replaced several broken springs, and put in a new seat and needle with a neoprene tip. Ugh, that new seat sticks out like a sore thumb. The body of this carb should be nickle but I can't afford to plate it or find a correct one so it will just have to work like this. It is the correct model though.

    [​IMG]

    On to more wiring and a little painting.
    #6
  7. SloMo228

    SloMo228 World Class Cheapass

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    Cool project. I love the way the old Harleys (and other American bikes of the era) look, very clean and simple. As for the shiny new brass on your vintage carb - there are various chemical solutions you can apply to brass to create a patina quickly. Might be something to consider?
    #7
  8. Buck McCann

    Buck McCann Been here awhile

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    Aug 18, 2008
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    Very nice! I will be following this thread.
    #8
  9. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    Recalculating...
    Subscribed!
    #9
  10. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    NC
    :clap

    After a 10 day struggle involving approx. 15 hours, 4 days of soaking in Evapo-rust, about 30 intense heat cycles, 3/4 a can of PB Blaster, and the involvement of two separate greybeards:lol3 the clutch basket was finally removed from the mainshaft.

    I had completely pulled the puller through the plate as you can see in the photos. We then had to re-weld it in order to pull some more. You can see the tapered and keyed shaft that was rusted to the mainshaft with 80 years of determination.

    [​IMG]

    So now it is on to take the clutch pack apart.

    Some friends I'm sure most of you are familiar with:

    [​IMG]

    A little release of the pressure:

    [​IMG]

    And you end up with this:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Stayed tuned kids, disassembly of a 3-speed transmission (with no published exploded diagrams) is next. I'm gonna wait on my buddy Steve and we are going to get methodical with this step and will have lots of pictures.
    #10
  11. photomd

    photomd Been here awhile

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    Sep 29, 2007
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    750
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    The Land of Cotton (SC)
    What a cool old bike....:clap
    #11
  12. vtwin

    vtwin Air cooled runnin' mon

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    Jan 11, 2005
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    NorCal
    Subscribed!:clap
    #12
  13. argentcorvid

    argentcorvid Some Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Oddometer:
    511
    Location:
    Marshmellow-town, Iowa
    One thing I've been curious about, is how the shifting linkage works. I'm familiar enough with the modern style, but have never been close enough to a bike of this vintage to see how it used to be done.
    #13
  14. gww

    gww Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Oddometer:
    45
    Location:
    colo.
    i m a bit late. sorry. maybe it will help someone else.
    gonna be a great rider.

    Subject: rust

    Machinist's Workshop magazine recently published some information on
    various penetrating oils that I found very interesting. Some of you
    might appreciate this. The magazine reports they tested penetrates for
    break out torque on rusted nuts. They are below, as forwarded by an
    ex-student and professional machinist. They arranged a subjective test
    of all the popular penetrates with the control being the torque required
    to remove the nut from a "scientifically rusted" environment.

    *Penetrating oils ........... Average torque load to loosen*
    No Oil used ................... 516 pounds
    WD-40 ..................... ... 238 pounds
    PB Blaster .................... 214 pounds
    Liquid Wrench ...............127 pounds
    Kano Kroil .................... 106 pounds
    ATF*-Acetone mix. ...........53 pounds

    The ATF-Acetone mix is a "home brew" mix of 50 - 50 automatic
    transmission fluid and acetone. Note this "home brew" released bolts
    better than any commercial product in this one particular test. Our
    local machinist group mixed up a batch and we all now use it with
    equally good results. Note also that "Liquid Wrench" is almost as good
    as "Kroil" for about 20% of the price. Steve from Godwin-Singer says
    that ATF-Acetone mix is best, but you can also use ATF and lacquer
    thinner in a 50-50 mix.

    *ATF=Automatic Transmission Fluid
    #14
  15. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    Thats a handy little tidbit. I'm gonna mix some up & give it a try.


    Sugar, get steves VL book at vlheaven.com

    I promise it will save you time & money. he has alot of info in it.
    #15
  16. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    NC
    +1 On the tip from GWW. We actually were using Kroil at one of the other guys shops. It has a much nicer burning smell than PB :lol3

    I'm going to find a little metal can and mix myself up a batch of the ATF/acetone.

    Doug, I have that book from Slocumb it is an excellent help on these. As you know once you get below '37 information is harder to come by.

    I'm glad to see your JD coming along. We were all standing around your truck after you picked it up this spring. I was with with Sid from Tenn and Jim at the kickstart rally in some dealership (Charleston/Savannah) and we all headed up to Denton after it finished.
    #16
  17. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    finding JD info is harder than finding VL info, theres no JDHeaven out there!
    Luckily I have been meeting guys that know alot about JD's, Im sure they will get tired of my stupid questions!

    dont miss Denton next year, they talked me into being the speaker at the banquet :lol3
    #17
  18. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    685
    Location:
    NC
    Lots of JD bits:

    http://www.competitiondist.com/

    I ordered some clutch parts and stuff from them this morning. LOTS of JD and a little VL and other stuff.

    I can't wait for Denton, we won't heckle you I swear :rofl
    #18
  19. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    this is a good place for parts
    http://easternmotorcycleparts.com/

    but I think they only sell to dealers. I'm working on getting set up as a dealer, so if you need anything, let me know
    #19
  20. cyclefreak13

    cyclefreak13 Been here awhile

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    Aug 24, 2010
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    134
    Location:
    NC
    #20