Teardown: Day 1

I have spent enough time looking at this bike. Even though I am not sure of the exact direction I am going with it, this much is certain: all the fluids need draining and the bike needs a thorough cleaning. So we can get started with teardown and clean up. Along the way, we might decide just how far we are going to go with this thing!


Well, the seat is easy – one bolt and you lift it off. Total effort – about 2 minutes. We are rolling now! The seat is a pretty nice Corbin seat and it looks like good quality leather. Some serious care and cleaning and this will go back on when all the other things are done. (I am feeling like this bike needs a sissy bar… more on that some other time.

Gas Tank

The gas is old and smelly – definitely a mix of water and varnish in there. I am going to use Kreem to get the tank back in good condition, but first I need to get it off the frame and drained.

Gauge cluster. Aftermarket, not really liking them.
gauge backs
Somebody has been in here before! Duct tape… still going strong. Taiwan origins on the speedo and tach.

Before the tank comes off, the gauge cluster needs to come off. The gauges are definitely aftermarket and not in such great shape. Look like Taiwan manufacture… I guess I will start looking for NOS Harley speedo and tach. And the leather tank bib is a little rough. And if I am going to reuse the gauge mount, then I will need to find a replacement rubber base for it – the rubber is dried and cracked. The gauges come off easily enough, then there are just a few mounting bolts and some rubber hoses to remove. (Those hoses need replacing too… add them to the list.)

exposed tank
Gauges and tank bib are off. Note vent hose connecting the split halves of the tank.

After draining the old gas, I realized I am not sure how to dispose of this and the used oil that will be coming out of this thing. I will ask around and find the proper way to dispose of this stuff. Everything in the garage smells now… but at least it isn’t diesel fuel!



Battery Case, Kick Starter, and Exhaust

The battery case needed to come off… plenty of crud caught in behind it and under it. In addition, I plan to remove the oil tank (another day) to drain and clean the oil tank. So getting the battery case off was a simple start to stripping things down to the essentials. The more I remove, the more I think I might take it all the way down to the frame.

kickstart shaft
Worn kickstart shaft. Crappy bolt in here too. Will deal with all of this later.

The kickstarted has worn the shaft end unevenly. The square end of the shaft is rounded off – it might work a little longer, but I might as well replace it. I will need to look, but I think this shaft runs through into the transmission. If it does, then I will pull the transmission and rework it on the bench. For now, the kickstart lever is off and on the shelf. (I removed the chrome spring cover too… I kind of like the look of the exposed spring!)

The exhaust wasn’t much to take off… one bolt hold the flange on each exhaust port, and the pipes were basic drag pipes. This thing had to be loud as hell when it was running! I like the look of the original 2:1 from Harley – and the rear pipe came forward and looped around the timing cone and cover. I think I will look for a similar style when I rebuild. For now, these tubes can go in the junk pile.

All in all, it was a small start but I validated how much I like the look for the rocker boxes! Getting the engine cleaned up, running smoothly will be a fine milestone – and then it will need to go back in a bike designed to show off the Big Twin!

Day 1 teardown progress. Now you can see the profile of the shovelhead!

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