View Full Version : 1915 jd help

06-29-2015, 02:56 PM
Hi, I am new to this forum and new to the restoration of pre 36 harely in general I have a few bikes I am trying to restore at this time and am have a hard time finding any info or parts to do so first I have a 1915 k Mostly complete I have completely gone though the engine and replaced a few things and it looks like it's ready to run but I am missing the coil lead out towers to.come off the mag I have done some looking around and all I can find are the Bosch style but the don't look right to fit my mag? They have 2 screw holes where mine just has a spring clip

06-29-2015, 03:22 PM
Judging by the brush holder clips, you have a Berling magneto. To my knowledge, those brush holders are not available. I had a Berling on my 1920J and I didn't like it. I would bite the bullet and look for a Bosch which is the magneto H-D used in 1915. The Bosch is a much better mag but I don't know why as Berlings are beautifully made, and high quality.

06-29-2015, 03:52 PM
Dose anyone maybe have these brushes available to take measurements/ pictures of maybe I can remake new ones or find ones that will work I hate to just ditch s working mag for no reason as far as we can tell it's original to the bike my family has owned the bike since new it was wreaked in the late teens and hhas been sitting in my grandfather's house since I still have paper work on it from the oringal purchase

06-29-2015, 03:56 PM
I've got some NOS Berling pick-up holders if you're interested.
e-mail me p.j.thomson@actrix.co.nz
It also looks like you're missing the tin cover that goes over the magnet.
I can help you with a used one of those if you're interested.

06-29-2015, 04:46 PM
Some better picture of what I have

06-29-2015, 05:13 PM
Peter is your man. I'm glad you're going to save the Berling, I didn't want to discourage you, but Berlings are hard to piece together, and the Bosch has an excellent survival rate. The only reason I bad mouthed the Berling is from my experience here in humid Florida. It just seemed to be very sensitive to moisture and made my '20J hard to start. The Bosch just seems to be more reliable, and rugged.

06-29-2015, 06:08 PM
Dose anyone know where I can get any information or documents on this bike I really have nothing for it I am missing a lot of parts and I am by no means a expert. I can make just about anything if I have to. I have a full machine shop but when you have no clue what your making you kind of get a little lost. I can't even find good detailed pictures. When I do find parts I have no way of knowing I'm finding the right ones.

06-29-2015, 06:16 PM
I guess my biggest issue is right now I purchased a orginal front end (just the rear fork section) how do I know I have the right one? They all look very close all I could find looking around is the stem should measure 8" mine dose but it looks like a lot of years did

06-29-2015, 06:45 PM

This should keep you busy for awhile.

06-29-2015, 07:58 PM
Anthony- where do you live?

06-29-2015, 08:51 PM
I like to keep things on this forum if possible and not redirect people away as I feel that doesn't help the AMCA and the survival of the forum.
Anthony get yourself a 1915 Parts Book and read it thoroughly as it is all you will need.
I've copied a couple of pages to give you some idea as to what sort of information gems it holds.
See how the early part numbers reflect when certain parts where introduced. A not very well known fact.
It's covers 1915 only models and is not one of the later multi-year ones that started later.
Enjoy Tommo

06-29-2015, 11:41 PM
Thanks a lot everyone for the help I very much. I just ordered a book see what that brings me. I ordered the newer ones as well I also have a 1917 and a 1925 in pricing together

06-29-2015, 11:43 PM
Anthony- where do you live?
I live in northern Pennsylvania. In a small town in the middle of no where

06-30-2015, 05:22 AM
I've put up a couple of photos of Berling mag pickups to illustrate how Berling marked their HT lead locations
The front cylinder had an "F" on the base of the pickup and the rear one a "R" as you see in the photo.
Apparently you bought these little disc's and they fitted snugly into the base of the pickup.
I do have a marked pair on my bike in the collection but only have a rear one as a spare so I can't show you what the front "F" looks like without taking it off the bike.
Just a bit of trivia that may interest some of you and I do have more NOS Berling pickups if anyone wants a set.

06-30-2015, 08:47 AM
Eric giving link to info is a good thing.Hiding info is not.The Bosch is the only one shown in the '15 parts book-berling was later because of WW1

http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb324/duffeycycles/IMG_0847.jpg (http://s1200.photobucket.com/user/duffeycycles/media/IMG_0847.jpg.html)
http://i1200.photobucket.com/albums/bb324/duffeycycles/IMG_0848.jpg (http://s1200.photobucket.com/user/duffeycycles/media/IMG_0848.jpg.html)

06-30-2015, 09:20 AM
Duffey is correct. The Berling was used on 1918 and early 1919 models.
Tommo, I could use a set of those Berling pickups for the magneto on my 1919 Harley opposed twin Sport model. PM sent.

06-30-2015, 01:50 PM
HD went back to Bosch because of reliability problems with the Berling-same thing Eric has found

06-30-2015, 02:38 PM
HD went back to Bosch because of reliability problems with the BerlingIs there a quote from HD factory records that shows this, or is it a guess based on the fact they went back to Bosch? The reason I ask is the assets of Bosch were seized by the U.S. during WWI and sold off at a very attractive price. This was the subject of a Federal investigation a few years later. Anyway, having paid very little for the assets, the owners of American Bosch likely would have been in a position to sell their magnetos at a lower price than other manufacturers could. Without more information about the switch back to Bosch this seems a more plausible reason.

06-30-2015, 04:05 PM
Read it somewhere ,I wasn't there

06-30-2015, 05:33 PM
My understanding is that Harley switched to a Dixie for 1917 and then the Berling for 1918 and part of 1919.
It may have been due to forecasted availability issues with the Bosch because of hostilities or it may have been because of the German sounding name Bosch. In my opinion,the Dixie has a better design concept due to the way in which the pole shoes move with the advance/retard mechanism. I'm not sure if the execution is as sound as the design. I'm not a magneto expert in any way but I can see the merits of the design.
Why did they switch back? Cost? Quality? Don't know.

06-30-2015, 05:35 PM
Read it somewhere ,I wasn't there

I read something as well Duffey. I recall it was a very detailed article about the political, and financial complications of having a factory in an enemy country. Something like what Ford, and GM had to deal with when Hitler repurposed their factories. I hope it wasn't an article by Harry Sucher:)