103" Shovelution

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by Helibee, Feb 13, 2020.

  1. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'm finally back in the shop working on a long planned build. It's obviously a departure from the usual ADV fair seen here. I happened upon the whole Adventure riding thing through this site several years ago mid stride of another Harley build. It struck a cord with me with memories of my youth riding dirt bikes. To scratch that itch, I found a KTM SE and thoroughly immersed myself in that world. The journey has been fun and I've enjoyed learning about this genre. This is intended to follow a similar, but different strain of what I've found I enjoy.

    I'm from Wisconsin and I identify with the proud Harley heritage of the state. I marvel at the iron butt warriors of the past, so I'm going to emulate their grit and give this a go. If nothing else, it'll be a story for my kids and future grandkids.

    Several years ago I was gifted a shovelhead. It was built of little but aftermarket parts.
    #1
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  2. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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  3. kruzuki

    kruzuki Gear in the Machine

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    Old skool!

    Let's see what you do with it.
    #3
  4. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    The frame was so old Paughco didn't have records of it or the MSO. Similarly, Delkron did not have records either. The bike had been sitting for at least 2-3 decades. But it had impacted my imagination, so I set out collecting parts to make what I saw in my minds eye.

    I bought a titled 1976 Shovel frame as my starting point. While I didn't care for the rear hardtail section, a reasonably priced and titled frame won the day.

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  5. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    The motor was a .010" 80", which I debated flushing and trying to start early on. Deciding not to risk damage or waste my time, the motor came apart too. There was some minor scuffing in the cylinders, but the biggest reward for the tear down was finding gauling on the crank pin. Since I had it this far apart it only made sense to capitalize on its state, so I bumped the stroke to 4-1/2" using a S&S crank built and balanced by another Wisconsin legacy, DarkHorse Crankworks.

    I reached out to VeeTwin Racing in Fl to discuss head work. Kirby, the current national champ, convinced me that porting money was better spent on the Evo chamber rather than the Shovel hemi chamber, so I gave Axtell a call and ordered up their Shovelution conversion. Of course, since the Delkron cases are so heavily built, punching them to accept the 3-13/16" spigots was a non-issue. To top it off I found some Evo rocker cover lids shaped to look like a Shovel rockers to make it look like a legit Shovel motor.
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  6. JLA49

    JLA49 Adventurer Supporter

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  7. C.Hensley

    C.Hensley Been here awhile

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    Love the old Shovel's....I'm in too:ricky
    #7
  8. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    I spent several years collecting parts and pictures of builds and features I liked. The off-road adventure scene colored my thinking in weird ways before settling on the hardtail format. Old school is what I think of when I hear Harley. It's what influenced my first build as well. Several 5-600 miles days on this bike with no complaints.

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  9. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    Last summer I thought I was nearing the beginning of getting this build started. I had picked up a Mullins 41mm narrow spool front end for what I thought was an iconic look. I was still debating the tranny and drivetrain, which of course confused the build components. I love the simplicity of the 4-speed, but the practicality of a 5-speed softail tranny made more sense if my intentions are to ride cross country and an electric leg an eventuality. If I'm going to do that, a 6-speed makes even more sense, but that gets away from the classic looks I love and if I'm going to go 6-speed, a Baker is a no brainer for longevity sake. But pricey to say the least. I went back and forth in my thinking too many times to count.

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  10. Wildebeest90210

    Wildebeest90210 Long timer Supporter

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    Shovelicious :lurk
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  11. Schmokel

    Schmokel Key to Happiness: Low Expectations

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    Man, I just love the look of fat tires.
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  12. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    I was haunted by the potential issues of 103" and no front brake. I know there are many people out there that have and do ride spools, but the caveat always present is "as long as you ride knowing you have one brake." I don't consider myself old, but I'm not as young as I used to be. Heck, I feel uncomfortable not AGATT thanks to this site and my riding on the SE. There have been numerous times where I used the full capacity of the SE (and all my luck) to slow that thing down. What the heck was I thinking?

    Then I saw this bike by Uwe Ehinger and I fell in love.

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  13. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    I had finally settled on what I was after and switched directions a little bit. So after Christmas, my fine wife didn't protest too loudly for my lobby of an indoor pre-build dress rehearsal to see where things sat. But first, I was chomping at the bit to determine my driveline.

    Baker Frankentranny 6-speed builders kit to the rescue. The genius (ha) of the idea is being able to swap the gear set among the Delkron soft tail tranny case and an early oem fxr case I have for other future builds waiting in the wings, as well as the S&S 5-speed in a 4-speed case resulting in a 6-5-4 set up for this old school build.

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  14. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    What some here may or may not know is, the motor is significantly taller than the oem 74"/80"ci motor. Enough that there is some work involved squeezing it in. So last week, I headed to the shop to begin the adventure of realizing the "vision".

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  15. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    But first, I met a buddy at the Harley museum for some real inspiration! It was my first visit despite having grown up here and it wasn't a disappointment. A great place that is a "must see" for Harley fans.

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  16. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    Now to the grit of nearly getting up to speed. First order was to strip the frame and see what I've got. I found some axle plates sold by Harlot Cycles I much prefer over what was on it. Many of the joints were "molded". It looked good enough, but I wanted to be certain of the frame's integrity.

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  17. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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  18. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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    So as they say, " out with the old, in with the new." I had to make up a couple crude press dies to shape the backbone splice.

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  19. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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  20. Helibee

    Helibee Been here awhile Supporter

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