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Thread: 52 Wishbone frame

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria. Australia
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    471

    Default 52 Wishbone frame

    Hi
    A couple of years ago I saw a frame on eeekBay.
    I down loaded some pictures of it and kept them in a file. It was in very nice condition and all looked original.
    It had the 51 style front engine mount but also had the later top engine mount and later tool box bracket.
    My thought is that it was a 1952 frame.
    The strange thing about this frame was that it had a raised LJ forge stamp above the steering lock on the neck. The LJ was on its side.
    Has anyone got any information on this style of neck. eg alternate foundry or reason for the mark.
    Regards Steve

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Hummelstown, PA
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    901

    Default

    I have seen two very late production 51 motorcycles that have had frames with the 52 type front motor mount but the pre 52 top motor/seat/tank mount and a strap type tool box mount. Both of these machines had been restored some time ago and both owners claim the frames were original and none of the brackets in question had been altered. One of these gentlemen told me that the last few hundred 51's had frames like this. Sounds to me like you may have been looking at a frame with a replaced front mount.
    Brian Howard AMCA#5866

  3. #3
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    Apr 2008
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    Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria. Australia
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    Default

    Hi Brian.
    Did either of these frames have 5/16 lettering L J that was tipped on its side just above the steering lock.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2007
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    Honestly Steve I wouldn't have even known to look for something like that. The one machine is owned by someone in New Jersey and they ride it to the jefferson meet on occasion. If I run into them there in October I will be sure to check or ask if they didn't bring that machine. Is this mark stamped in or cast in relief? Must assume it is something that was added later as I looked at my earlier wishbone frame this morning and it does not. This is all very fascinating, I didn't realize that these small numbers and such had changed so much over time. Just made sure the castings all had foundry marks and we had the right neck etc. Is there a listing of what year frames should have what markings on which components? That would be handy reference material.
    Brian Howard AMCA#5866

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Hi Brian.
    This 1952 frame neck has lettering standing up off the casting, like all the other part numbers and foundry marks on the forgings.
    This particular set of lettering is a capital L J. It is placed on its side, running verticle and starting with the L nearest the steering lock.

    The size of the font looks to be 1/4" or 5/16" in size and is placed, just above the steering lock boss on the right side of the neck.
    The steering lock is still fitted in the neck and is the early type.

    I have never seen another neck with this LJ lettering.

    If the frame is the result of another "unkown to me" frame manufacturer... I will take my metaphorical hat off to him, as I could not fault the authentic look... but my thought is that it is original.

    For comparison between 1951 and 1952, I have an unrestored 1951 Pan which has never had the wiring loom off the frame.
    The engine number is 51 FL918** which makes this bike close to the end of the 1951 manufacture run.

    My late 1951 Pan has the early style toolbox bracket and early style top engine mount.
    The front engine mount has the solid "filled in" outside edges... and early style "unfilled" middle.
    This style of front engine mount is common on 1951 frames.

    In comparison, this L J frame also had the 51 front engine mount but had the later style top engine mount and later style toolbox bracket.

    At this early stage my thought is, that based on the frame componentry, this L J frame may be restricted to early 1952.... but I'm open to consice information.

    Anyone with an unrestored or "Known history" 1952 Pan...
    your information would be welcome. Or you can personal message me on this forum or email me steve@raceframe.com.au.

    Possibilities as follows... L J could signify a new foundry used for a short period in 1952.... or the L J could signify some expermintal model etc, etc.
    Does anyone have history records for 1952 for HD. Maybe there was a strike at the DIF foundry.

    The neck looks original and untouched and has original shape and definition. I know the neck is not one of mine and the original look excludes other earlier aftermarket frame manufacturers.

    I will try to scan the picture of the neck later today and post it on this forum. I can't do it at the moment, as it is blowing a gale here, and we are getting power brown outs.

    Brian.
    To answer your other question on a frame list existing, I have been compiling a list of frame information over the last 20 years.
    It is extensive from 1937 through 1964.
    I have some later records for (1965 - 1969) but havent applied the same tenacity for information gathering.

    My recent posts on frames in this AMCA forum were in an effort to clear up a couple of grey areas in my frame records. eg (Time period/VIN number range of 41 Bent Frames)..which is still unresolved.
    I am still corelating some VIN numbers to some small changes in frames, but this will only ever be an estimate, as I dont have any records or affiliations with the mothership.

    For the most part my list is fairly complete.

    I will defere to Steve Hews "another Australian" for consice information on the 1936 frames.

    Regards Steve Little
    Race Frame Engineering P/L
    Australia
    AMCA 1950

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Hummelstown, PA
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    Steve, Checked my photo's of a friends 52FL25XX which is known to be an original frame/motor combo and I don't see the mark you refer to. My friend is currently out of town but when he gets back I will have him check for such a mark. I looked at a good many bikes and frames yesterday ( this was a great excuse for a two wheeled field trip) and saw none with such a mark, of course none were actually 52's either. Also found pic of steering head on 52EL22XX and cannot see any indication of such a mark there either. This bike does have the front mount with filled in valleys at the outside.

    As for front motor mounts I have in my notes that the same mount was used through late 51. A mount with the valleys filled in on top was used late 51-52 and finally the mount with the large oval mount surface appeared in 53. Is this correct or am I missing a type of mount? In looking through my photos, if there is a change to the amount of fill in the top valley for 51 frames it must be slight as I can see no decernable differences in that area till 52. Of course this is all based on the left side of the mount as the right is all but impossible to photograph on an assembled bike.
    Brian Howard AMCA#5866

  7. #7
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    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Little View Post
    I will defere to Steve Hews "another Australian" for consice information on the 1936 frames.

    Regards Steve Little
    Race Frame Engineering P/L
    Australia
    AMCA 1950
    Here is the factory photo of the one year only 1936 frame. Little was changed during it production. The most noticeable thing was moving the location if the grease fitting on the brake crossover shaft.
    It is rumored, but not conformed that the late 1936 EL's had stepped into the 1937 type frame. That photo of Sam Arena's '36 seems to confirm it though.
    Last edited by Chris Haynes; 08-16-2009 at 10:02 AM.
    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/

  8. #8
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    Nov 2008
    Location
    Virginia
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    215

    Default 52 wishbone frame

    Steve,
    I have a 52 pan with a vin # 52 FL 565X and don't see the LJ you reference. I bought it from the former owner of Detroit HD, whose personal bike it was. They sold it originally and managed to buy it back from that original purchaser so the history seems pretty solid. It does have a raised marking in a box (which I can't make out) and the number 24 (small numbers) also raised next to it right below the front dash mount on the right side of the neck forging. That is the only head casting marks I can find besides the normal XE ones. Other than paint (some one panted over the original Tropical Green with Persian Red ouch!) and some changed out hardware I believe this bike is original. I can't get to any of the other castings at the tranny/lower seat post or parts covered by the assembly.

    Rollo
    AMCA# 12766

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Upper Yarra Valley, Victoria. Australia
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    Default

    Hi.
    The reason for my initial post on this frame is that I have never seen one of these again.
    It was on ebay.
    It was not a 1953 frame due to the front engine mount.
    It was not a 1951 frame due to the other frame components.
    That is my basis/reasoning that it is a 52 frame.

    Rollo yours is 52 FL565# which makes it 3/4 through production for the year.

    Brians mate is 52 EL22## 1/4 way through.
    Maybe its earlier than Brians mate or in between the two.

    I'd like to know if its an oddball original or a reproduction.

    I will be at Davenport ...researching all things frame.
    You'll recognise me by my intro line.... excuse me mate, do you mind if I have a look at the frame.
    Click on the image to enlarge. Appologies for the quality. I printed the picture straight off ebay and did not "save to file" I had to take a picture of a picture to list it here.

    Regards Steve
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    460

    Default

    I've been following this thread, as I own 52FL399x. Although the frame is far from pristine, that portion of the steering head is unmolested, and I believe the frame is original to the motor. I can see no evidence of the LJ mark being discussed, but there is a fairly heavy deposit of paint in that area. Later today, I can blast that area, and if I see the LJ, I will certainly report it here, Steve.

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