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Thread: New to restoration and need help and advise

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default New to restoration and need help and advise

    I'm in the middle of doing my first frame up resto on a 1971 Harley FX Super Glide. The bike was in rough but rideable shape when I got it. Most of the parts are original. There are some parts that are very serviceable but show moderate to severe wear in the finish.
    Is it better to replace all worn parts with new old stock if avilable or repo if not or leave the original parts as is? The tank, and both fenders will need to be stripped and repainted. Some of the cadmium plating is discolored, should I repaint with cadmium color paint or leave it as is? I will attempt to clean the stained areas but not sure how well it will come out.

    Thanks,
    Terry

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,166

    Default

    Terry, you should strive to find genuine H-D parts when you can. They always fit, and the quality is almost always better than reproduction. If you want to do a first class job you should get your cadmium plated parts re-plated. I just had a big pile done for one of my bikes and there is no substitue for real cad plating. Cadmium is very reasonable in price if you can find a cooperative industrial plater. They want the parts clean, de-rusted, and not oily. Preferrably glass beaded. Having said that, there are some fu-fu can paints that come close to the look of cadmium, and it is safer to handle.

    I personally believe in paint and not powder coat for frames and all other components. I think there is a noticable difference in the look, and modern acrylic enamels are very durable and easy to use. Also, you can touch up paint and make the repair invisible.

    The trick with restoration is to define what your end use for the bike is going to be. If you want a winner's circle bike then you will be spending a lot of time and money getting every single part to the highest standard. At the end of the day you will have a bike that you won't want to ride. If you want a rider, then you do whatever it takes to get it running reliably and nuts to the judges. However, don't complain when the critics beat up your pride and joy. Most people go for the presentable rider which is a bike that you strive to make factory correct but also have fun with. This bike makes sense to me because they can be a work in process but still give you the rewards of riding. Good luck.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks exeric,
    I want a factory correct rider. I would like to show it because there seems to be so few of them left in factory or near original specs. I also want to ride it. I have never been one to have a "trailer queen" I ride everywhere I go. I guess that I will build a reliable rider with as many correct parts as I can find.
    There are several plating companys in my local area that I will check out.
    I'm wide open to other suggestions or ideas that you might have.

    Thanks again for the response.

    Terry

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1971fx View Post
    I'm in the middle of doing my first frame up resto on a 1971 Harley FX Super Glide. The bike was in rough but rideable shape when I got it. Most of the parts are original. There are some parts that are very serviceable but show moderate to severe wear in the finish.
    Is it better to replace all worn parts with new old stock if avilable or repo if not or leave the original parts as is? The tank, and both fenders will need to be stripped and repainted. Some of the cadmium plating is discolored, should I repaint with cadmium color paint or leave it as is? I will attempt to clean the stained areas but not sure how well it will come out.

    Thanks,
    Terry
    Hi Terry My frist bike was a 1972FX stay with the stock parts if you can. If you need any help let me know we will be glad to help I have a Front Fander I will give you for Free for the Cost of shippnig and I can look to see what els we have. Jeff of willardsmarts h-d parts & sales AMCA 9583
    WillardSmarts H-D Parts $ Sale
    Ogden Utah. Jeff & Claudia AMCA 9583
    (801)920-9574

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default

    Thanks Jeff,
    I will be in touch in the couple of days. One thing that I really could use is a list of what parts were chrome. I have looked at as many pictures as I can find (there haven't been many) and no two show the same chrome.

    Terry

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
    Posts
    5,460

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1971fx View Post
    I'm in the middle of doing my first frame up resto on a 1971 Harley FX Super Glide. The bike was in rough but rideable shape when I got it. Most of the parts are original. There are some parts that are very serviceable but show moderate to severe wear in the finish.
    Is it better to replace all worn parts with new old stock if avilable or repo if not or leave the original parts as is? The tank, and both fenders will need to be stripped and repainted. Some of the cadmium plating is discolored, should I repaint with cadmium color paint or leave it as is? I will attempt to clean the stained areas but not sure how well it will come out.

    Thanks,
    Terry
    Your motorcycle is only original once. Original paint and plating is more desireable than fresh.
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default

    So Chris, is your advise to use as many of the original parts as possible even if they aren't in pristine condition? I can't save the paint because it is the wrong color with poorly done ghost flames.

    Terry

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    2,772

    Default

    Sounds like you are trapped in that no mans land between full restoration and preservation. You either need to try to find original sheet metal to match your existing patina or you are basically forced to do a total restoration. The finish on all the parts needs to match, and the judges are pretty much bound to look at it that way. Original finish machines are acknowledged to have their nicks and bruises but restored need to be as they were originally delivered with every part like new. Tough call! Good luck on your project, those '71s are very cool.
    Robbie
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hummelstown, PA
    Posts
    901

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    Terry,Here are some pics I took of the Factory's 71 back in the late 80's when I bought mine. They should help with the finish on lots of stuff. The last pic is of my 71 the day I brought her home. That was a good day. If I can be of any other help don't hesitate to contact me.













    Brian Howard AMCA#5866

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    6

    Default

    BMH thanks for the pics. If I go the "original paint" route should I buff and polish the rocker boxes, cases, etc... or should I leave the nearly 40 years of patina?

    Thanks Terry
    aka the confused one

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