1934 Harley VLD Rebuild

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

  1. gww

    gww Adventurer

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    colo.
    Doug, what info are you needing? sure no expert but know a little. we met on last yrs. cannonball. #57
    #21
  2. rtwdoug

    rtwdoug prominent underachiever

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    nothin specific yet, just wish there was a good book on JD's

    I dont wish it enough to be the guy to write one, but would be nice if someone else did :)



    #22
  3. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
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    A quick look in the transmission. This is a sliding three speed, so that shuttle to the far right slides back and forth to lock the different gears. Despite the poor appearance of its shaft it slides very easily. I may still replace the shaft as there is not much to it and it probably is inexpensive. The fan shaped piece has a claw underneath that grabs the circular object in the middle and moves it side to side.

    Luckily everything look decent. I will replace what ever parts are available and run with it.

    [​IMG]

    Next up is the oil pump. The motor appears in good shape and may have been rebuilt and then sat. We won't be able to gauge its condition until I can run it. It seemed prudent to clean out the oil pump as the bike has been sitting.

    [​IMG]

    It works like a two stroke jetski. You can see the baseline setting to the left with 'more-less' and then the arm on top is attached to the throttle. The more throttle, the more oil.

    Don't forget kids this is a total loss motor and has no recirculating oil. This pump feeds the crankpin and then it just bangs around in there and goes to the chains and provides fragrance for those who follow.:shog

    The worm gear that drives it, this hidden grunge makes me question whether the motor is rebuilt or not.

    [​IMG]

    The wedge on the piece to the left is attached to the 'more-less' adjuster and slides depending on where you set it. The crazy wheel on the right spins and presses the pumper on each rotation.

    [​IMG]

    All done, I'm out of solvents so cleaning will have to wait for a trip to the store. Lots of little parts, but everything was in great shape. I will replace the gasket and a check ball but that's it. Was a little grungy and I feel better having taking it down.

    [​IMG]
    #23
  4. argentcorvid

    argentcorvid Some Guy

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    Oh, OK, not sure what I was thinking, but whatever it was it was way more complicated than that. :rofl

    Very much similar to the transmission in my buddies dirt track race car!
    #24
  5. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    What strikes me is the pristine appearance of the nuts and screw slots. This is the first thing I look for. It makes me wonder if it's ever been apart. Everything seems so crisp and nice.

    I'm going to make a suggestion. Roller and ball bearings can etch from acids in used motor oil over time. You might want to split the cases and have a look, it may save you from having to do the job over if the bearings need to be changed.
    #25
  6. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

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    The bike really is exceptional in that regard. Everything on it looks like it hasn't been apart. It's hard for me to wrap my head around that no one has screwed with it for 80 years.

    Where did it sit that it was protected for all that time? It has original sheet metal and appears to have been a complete bike based on a few little things. All I know was that it was in New Jersey before Wisconsin.

    The mystery of it all is one of the most fun parts for me.

    You are right about splitting the cases but I think I will fire it up and see what I have first. Just to play devils advocate a little the rods in the VL run in bushings not roller bearing like EL and UL and I think the only roller bearings are in the cases them selves. Also since it is total loss presumabley the oil was cleaner inside of it than a recirculating motor. Since the rods would be fed only from fresh oil from the tank no acid should be present. We'll see what I decide in the end, but that would be the most prudent route.
    #26
  7. HOT DAMN!

    HOT DAMN! ♪ ♪ ♪

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    :lurk
    #27
  8. verdelac

    verdelac Rust never sleeps

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    Good thread, thanks!

    I'm hooked.
    #28
  9. DireWolf

    DireWolf Knees in the Breeze

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    Yow!

    :lurk
    #29
  10. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    Another reason to split them would be to use a modern sealant to avoid leaks. I know they all drip from the primary case by design, but the less the better.
    #30
  11. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
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    Today is the day. This is a simple transmission and despite never having one apart my friend Steve and I had no problems. But there were a couple of curious items.

    Let's start with the kicker gears:
    These came off that shaft to the left, the mainshaft
    [​IMG]

    Next is the transmission sprocket:
    Sprocket is hooked a little and loose on the shaft, but I have a nice replacement from Competition Dist. on hand.
    [​IMG]

    Next is the countershaft and the cluster gear:

    [​IMG]

    Here is where it got a little tricky.
    See the big sleeve at the top with lots of threads?
    Well that is threaded into the case with right hand threads and then the figure eight piece goes over the top and is held in place by the other nut that is ...LEFT hand thread.

    So, you actually take off the LEFT hand thread nut first so it leaves you thinking the other part would be LEFT hand thread too... Luckily we had Steve Slocumbs book and patience and no mistakes were made.

    Reference the last photo for today on how this could go very badly....

    [​IMG]

    Then the mainshaft comes out:

    [​IMG]

    All done:

    [​IMG]

    I was very lucky today, despite the epic battle the clutch shell put up nothing fought us in the transmission itself. All of the threads are very nice and the bearing surfaces are excellent. I will install new sealed bearings and replace the loose bearings and the sprocket. My gears are usable but I was able to score a new cluster from a respected source and will keep the original gears as spares.

    Here is the one definite weak spot when buying a case for a VL and I assume a JD. These threads are very fine and in aluminum:

    [​IMG]

    This is were that piece with threads going both directions goes into the case. If you stripped these turning the wrong way or cross threaded this you would be completely screwed. I would pay special attention at a swap meet/Ebay to this area as the case would be unusable if it were damaged.

    ****Coming up next****

    Good and bad news with the wheel hubs.
    #31
  12. HOT DAMN!

    HOT DAMN! ♪ ♪ ♪

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    This is the next best thing to rubbing shoulders in your garage, thanks for taking out the time man! :deal
    #32
  13. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
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    Well, as I have gotten deeper into the bike I was starting to have the sneaking suspicion that restoration that had been started was simply a cosmetic one.

    The bike is in excellent condition with regards to parts, bearing surfaces, and wear items. But there were little clues that kept suggesting things were only cleaned up on the outside.

    Here's what I found in the rear hub:
    [​IMG]

    Thats just dried grease, not rust, and those splines actually look good. No problems just a little more work needs to be done. See the spray paint overspray on the spokes that was hidden by the brake drum.

    They also did a horrible job of putting a new sprocket on the brake drum. That will need to be completely re-done with a new sprocket and new rivets.

    So I was installing the new Parkerized motor mount bolts and you have to remove the generator to get one of the front ones in. I found this:

    [​IMG]

    That does not have the look of a rebuilt engine.

    And inside the generator:
    [​IMG]

    Just missing a few parts in there.

    So I am going to finish up my '47 motor build and put it on the road
    [​IMG]

    And then I will get started on the '34 again. So coming up we will have the rebuild of the tranny, tearing down the motor, and rebuilding the hubs and brakes.

    Stay tuned, LOTS of winter projects to come.
    #33
  14. Laconic

    Laconic Anodyne

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    Recalculating...
    Too bad people aren't more "forthcoming".

    You'll know what you have when you get done, anyway.
    #34
  15. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
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    I'm waiting till Sunday to put the UL motor back together and don't have any work for the next couple of days. I couldn't stand it and started taking the VLD motor apart and out of the frame.

    First look under the pistons:
    [​IMG]

    Those baffles are the source of some debate with these motors. That hole on the right side is unusual and some head scratchin and debatin' will have to be done.

    No problems just mucky in there, everything seems nice. Notice the whack on the top of the flywheel where it was trued with the wrong kind of mallet.
    Rods shake is OK but probably over tolerance by seat of the pants. Probably just new bearings and we're good. I was wrong earlier the VL's do have roller bearings but the rods have bronze bushings instead of steel like ULs.

    Pistons are Harley aluminum with steel truss the last in the lineage of flathead pistons. Notice the part # on inside, 1938.

    [​IMG]

    Bores look OK, might just do a quick ball hone and call it a day.

    [​IMG]

    Then the tappets blocks come out. You just screw your homemade tool down and screw the bolt into the tappet. The tappet pushes against the cam and the tappet slides out. Look how clean that piston is, and no scuffing on the skirts.

    [​IMG]

    Next the cam cover come off:

    [​IMG]

    And there's your cams, notice the wadded up fine screen at the bottom, early attempt at an oil filter. It did have some debris trapped in it.

    [​IMG]

    And an empty cam chest:

    [​IMG]

    All in all I am VERY pleased. The cams look great with just some tiny pitting, gears are excellent, surfaces are great. Just needs cleaning and re-assembly. The bushings look ten times better than the ones in my UL and this bike only had two cam shims in the whole thing. My UL must have 15.

    Tell me it's not just my work bench that looks like this :lol3

    [​IMG]
    #35
  16. rodteague

    rodteague Enjoying the ride

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    My bench is even worse:huh This build is fascinating! Subscribed!
    #36
  17. tommcbride

    tommcbride Long timer

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    Inquiring minds would like to hear more about the baffles......:ear

    Fantastic Report So Far SIR! :freaky
    I'm on board for the ride :wink:
    #37
  18. argentcorvid

    argentcorvid Some Guy

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    It's a little amazing how little that part of the quad cam HD engine has changed, all the way through the Sportsters up into the Buell Thunderstorm motors. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it!
    #38
  19. ttpete

    ttpete Rectum Non Bustibus

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    My understanding is that they were there to control oil consumption and to keep the oil down in the crankcase. These engines didn't have a timed breather valve like the later ULs did and crankcase pressure was a problem.
    #39
  20. Sugar Pig

    Sugar Pig almost certain...

    Joined:
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    Slocumb says something different. He states that the low pressure area under the piston pulls the oil mist up into the hotter and less oiled front piston by vacuum.

    To many this is a little dubious as the spaces are large and the amount of vacuum is hard to determine to a non engineer.

    So the early ULs also had various baffles and the later ones did not. However, the UL has several oil scrapers inside its cases that keep the flywheels from picking up to much oil and to feed oil into the scavenger pump.

    The VLs having no scavenger pump also have no scrapers inside their crankcases. However, the front of the baffle looks like a scraper and it seems to me as there are no other scapers it would scrape the oil over the top of the front baffle and put extra oil up in the front cylinder.

    For me the bottom line is this in the debate: This was the forth year of this engine and I am going to return to it stock set up. I will repair the hole in the front baffle and probably just smooth out the rear ones. The rears would have been squared off originally. If you look at how they broke it seems like a poor choice to make them square again and they would probably just break again.

    To me the scrapers vs. no scrapers is the important determinating factor in this debate and is why people feel ULs do not need baffles.

    The advent of better oil control rings brings a whole other level to the debate. But as such that this motor just has compression rings it does not apply to me at this time.
    #40