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Thread: 1920 Harley Model F

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Blighty
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: 1920 Harley Model F

    Hi, our family and guests who came for Christmas departed yesterday so today I was able to spend some time in my workshop. Mostly I have been opening boxes of parts and cleaning them up and making lists of things to do.

    Remember the front hub picture earlier in this thread, here it is cleaned up fresh from the washer.



    There are lots of items like this so I wont bore you with loads of pics of the same sort of thing but here is a picture of the two petrol taps, one cleaned up and one not done yet. The original finish is largely intact due mainly to the fossilised oil and grime on them. They take ages to clean and I have left some of the more stubborn dirt on for fear of taking off the finish.



    One part, the hand lever for the clutch, had a thick layer of what seemed to be household gloss paint. I used a rotary wire brush to remove it but was careful to wear a mask because I assume it is old and full of lead. It is actually white paint underneath the surface but has gone a yellow colour on top.



    I found a few spares as I worked through the pile. I have a spare Bosch ZEV magneto plus a spare, NOS, rear numberplate to replace the badly rusted original plus a pair of spare footboards and a spare ratchet attachment for the brake.

    The bike has the rear brake plate suitable for hand operation plus the remains of a hand brake lever. I believe that this was an optional extra from new. I would imagine that this was a popular option given that the clutch is foot operated as well as the brake.



    The cable is OK to use again but the lever is history. I have seen later 1920's repop levers for sale, does anyone know where to get a 1920 lever from? I am OK with repop as long as it is good quality.

    Also, the inner band is OK to reuse once it is relined but the outer band is badly corroded. I have found new inner bands for sale but could not find any outer ones. Does anyone know if these are available?

    Part way through the day I took a break from the parts washer and started cleaning up the frame.

    First job was to remove the seat. I would like to rescue this seat if at all possible so I took some detailed pictures and sent an enquiry off to a specialist leather guy to seek an opinion on the feasibility of preserving it in a state that would be useable.

    Here are a couple of pictures of the saddle.

    First on the bike



    Then a couple of pics of it showing the condition.





    After that I started at the back of the bike and gave the rust a relatively gentle wire brushing by hand making sure that the small amount of original paint was left intact.

    Once I got to the headstock I wanted to remove the handlebars and forks.

    Unfortunatly the handlebars are stuck solid. The top triple clamp is not stuck but the bars are immoveable. I have doused them in ATF/Acetone and left them but apart from brute force and ignorance does anyone have any suggestions on un-sticking them?



    Finally, with the seat off I can verify the frame number at the back of the top tube. I am happy that the bike is a 1920 bike with numbers as follows:

    Engine No = 20T 218**
    Gearbox No = I 217**
    Frame No = 20F 216**


    To summarise questions I need to answer so far:

    Are the spokes plain, butted or double butted? I believe these are also called single diameter, swaged double diameter and Center reduced spokes

    Are suitable 1920 correct hand brake levers available?

    Are new outer brake bands available?

    Ideas gratefully received on removing the stuck handlebars?

    What should I treat the rust with? I had intended to use Owatrol Oil to stabilise the rust and prevent further rusting but the finish is too shiny on a test piece I did. Can anyone provide any suggestions on other products to treat the rust with. I have heard that boiled linseed oil and white spirit is an older method but I have no experience of using it. What have others on here used? Remember I live in England and it rains here. (in fact at the moment it is raining A LOT!)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: 1920 Harley Model F

    I am running parallel threads on this bike on here and caimag so In the interests of keeping them both roughly at the same point here is a small update. Someone on caimag commented that they were not sure that the brake should have a hand lever. I pointed out that it was an optional extra and posted the following extracts which I think the guys on here might find of interest too.

    The bike came with a 1920 brochure. It is in such good condition that at first I thought it was a reproduction but then I found the cover letter that was in worse condition. Here is the letter (address redacted) plus some extracts from the brochure. I am sure you might find it of interest.









    A small update on today’s progress.

    I spent a few hours today sorting and cleaning parts. I noticed that the 2 footboards that were on the bike in the 1988 pictures are corroded at the edges with some of the edges rusted away. There are 2 replacements that are in better condition that I will use. When taking a closer look at them I note that the 2 original boards have remnants of green paint on them but the replacements have remnants of gray paint. I assume that the guy who sourced the spares that came with the bike must have got a batch of pre-1917 stuff.

    I have been putting ATF & acetone on the stuck handlebars for 3 days now so I found a stouter block of wood and a bigger, 4 pound, hammer and gave the bars some hefty blows and lo and behold they moved. That was easier than I expected!

    I can get on with the forks now and finish off cleaning the frame up. When it is clean I will check the tubes to see how sound they are.




  3. #13

    Default

    Beautiful bike, sir, and a great project. I'll be looking forward to following your progress. Nice work on the handle bars. Sometimes it's a balance of patience and force.


    Kevin

    .

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    234

    Default

    Another quick update on todays progress. I managed to get a bit of time to finish cleaning down the frame and forks. I got my automatic centre punch out and tried it in a few of the worst pits and frame and forks seem sound.



    I stripped the rear hub down and was pleased to see it full of fossilised grease. The cups and cones and spindle all seem good as do the same components on the front that I cleaned down a little while ago.

    The same can not be said for the head bearings. See pictures






    Next job is to order new head bearings and also some fork rocker bushes. While I wait for them to come I will finish cleaning up small parts.

    I still have an unanswered question.

    The parts book says 9 gauge spokes and I assume that they are plain spokes, not double diameter or centre reduced? Looking at my rear wheel the spokes are all tapered, I assume that this is just caused by rust and not in fact because they were double diameter spokes?



    John

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Jersey City
    Posts
    2,001

    Default

    John, those frames rot from the inside out. You want to use a regular center punch with a ballpeen hammer. I mean give that lower loop a couple of good shots in different areas. Just because it looks good on the out side doesn't mean so on the inside. Your life could depend on it. I had one in the shop last summer that looked beautiful. The center punch when right though. There wasn't but a 1/16 of an inch of material left in that bottom loop. Bob L

  6. #16

    Default

    The spokes should be double butted.
    Mark

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Blighty
    Posts
    234

    Default Re: 1920 Harley Model F

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Luland View Post
    John, those frames rot from the inside out. You want to use a regular center punch with a ballpeen hammer. I mean give that lower loop a couple of good shots in different areas. Just because it looks good on the out side doesn't mean so on the inside. Your life could depend on it. I had one in the shop last summer that looked beautiful. The center punch when right though. There wasn't but a 1/16 of an inch of material left in that bottom loop. Bob L
    Robert, those are Sage Words indeed!

    So as soon as I got in from work today (first day back after a week off, not a good Monday morning) I went back into my workshop. First I honed a regular centre punch so it had a good point on it and then gave the frame some really good wollops. I did about a dozen places and all were solid. I only did down the centre line of the underneath of the bottom loop so I might need to do a few more at the sides there but it would seem to be in good condition. The bottom loop seems to be in unexpectedly good condition on the outside so I was fearing the worst (if that makes sense) but so far so good.

    I didnt have much time tonight so i will do some more tests in a few more places but so far all seems OK.

    Thanks very much for your comment which has prompted me to double check the frame. I work in an industry where safety is a huge priority so I always very much appreciate it when someone takes time to double check on safety items.


    The bottom loop, I didnt check it before because it looked so good



    You can just see 4 or 5 punch marks, I will do some more when I have a bit more time.







    Quote Originally Posted by MMasa View Post
    The spokes should be double butted.
    Mark
    Thanks Mark, your encyclopedic knowledge of these bikes is impressive.

    I will find some double butted spokes. I may have to get them from the USA because the spoke suppliers I have tried so far tell me that butted and double butted spokes are only available from them in stainless which I dont want.

    Thanks everyone so far you have all been a great help.

    John

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,790

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TechNoir View Post
    John, is that a black pin stripe on the side of the frame tube?
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    England
    Posts
    82

    Default

    Hi
    Try Steve at MTS for the tank repairs, he did my WLA and they came out like new, easy to find on the Web.
    MTS Motorcycles, near Milton Keynes.
    They are "old school"

    Regards

    Chris Lewis

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Corvallis, Oregon USA
    Posts
    688

    Default

    [QUOTE=TechNoir;153012 . . .

    I will find some double butted spokes. I may have to get them from the USA because the spoke suppliers I have tried so far tell me that butted and double butted spokes are only available from them in stainless which I don't want.
    . . .
    John[/QUOTE]

    Stainless spokes can be made to look like any other metal that you prefer. Lots of info here or in the Internet about that. Bill in Oregon
    Bill Gilbert in Oregon

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