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Thread: 1939-1946 Dash Information Courtesy of Paul Friebus

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Default 1939-1946 Dash Information Courtesy of Paul Friebus

    Hi. I'm sort of new to Knuckleheads, and definitely not old enough to have practical experience with them, but I think I can maybe add to some of the collective knowledge here.

    I was hanging out up at American Cycle Fabrication with Paul Friebus, and he was kind enough to drag some parts out of his stash to educate me. Mr. Friebus showed me that there appear to be more types of '39-'46 dashes than are listed in the Palmer book. I decided to take some notes and pictures because what he was saying did not appear to be easily-found information and runs counter to what most of us "know," but the proof was sitting in front of my eyes.

    Palmer talks about two main styles of dash, the "V" and the "square chin." He talks about two sub-types of the "V," one being pre-XA ("tall rectangle") and post-XA ("short rectangle"). That would make for three styles total. Paul thinks there are at least five.

    What Paul presumes to be the earliest that he owns is this one:



    This is a V-type. It has the "tall" rectangle Mr. Palmer talks about due to the shorter semicircle. Note in the above photo that the hole for the ignition switch is perfectly round. Now, look at this photo:



    If you look on the right side of the photo, you'll see what appears to be spot welds above and below the "ridge line." Paul believes this to be the earliest type, and I concur; I couldn't see those spot welds on any of the 6 or 8 dashes I picked up after that. None of this is mentioned in Mr. Palmer's book, so I suspect he may not have known about this.

    Next we have the following iteration that Mr. Palmer wrote about:



    This has no spot welds, and still has the "tall" rectangle. Paul believes this is next chronologically. (It must be pre-mid-1942, because the tall rectangle is pre-XA.) Note here that at the 9 o'clock position in the ignition switch hole, there is a small cutout. The square cutout at 9:00 is for the locking bar of the ignition switch to not contact the dash cover - this info was supplied by Robbie Knight. I suspect this is the earlier of the two "V" dashes Mr. Palmer mentions.

    Here's the front:



    Now we move on to what Paul thinks is next. Here, look at this one:



    Note that this dash is still the "V," but now has a "short" rectangle. (That's really an illusion due to the increased frame cutout for the XA, as Mr. Palmer notes. I think this is what Mr. Palmer believed to be the second sub-type of dash.) Here's the front of that dash:



    Now we move to another one Paul pointed out, but I don't see in Mr. Palmer's book. Paul notes this must be later due to being a "square-chin" type of dash.



    This looks the same as the second sub-type, but Paul showed me a difference. (My photo here is a little blurry because my focus was off. Still, the part you need to see is sharp enough. Also, the notch in the ignition switch I mentioned earlier is really visible here.)



    See that second cutout on the rectangle? This dash came off a police bike. That second cutout is for the speedometer hand lock cable. (That information is also from Robbie Knight.) This is another type I think MR Palmer did not know existed.

    Now we move on to the latest of the group, a "square-chin" with no double cutout; this is obviously for a UA/WLA. Note that this final type can't be dated as earlier or later than the preceding police dash (I think) given the information Paul gave me and what I dug up. (The notch in the ignition switch I mentioned earlier is really quite visible on this one, too.) Here's that dash:



    ...and the front:



    I think I got this all right based on what he told me, what I shot, and what I read. If anything is wrong, it's probably my fault, not Paul's. And if it's not evident, my goal is not at all to tear down Mr. Palmer's work, but to present some things I found that may help someone trying to do an accurate resto.

    Thanks for reading! Feel free to correct me if I fouled anything up there.
    Last edited by govmule84; 11-01-2017 at 10:36 AM. Reason: Resized photos, grammar.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    That is interesting. I had noticed some of those differences (not all) in my own stuff. Then there were some with a big ignition switch hole too. Thanks for posting.

    Jerry

  3. #3
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    Dec 2014
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    Right on! I'll tell him he was on the right track.

  4. #4
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    Feb 2011
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    thanks you made me get my dash and check with your photos ,cheers Rob

  5. #5
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    Aug 2004
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    Two comments on your descriptions that I see. The square cutout at 9:00 is for the locking bar of the ignition switch to not contact the dash cover. The other is the one you refer to as "Police" and the extra notch is for the speedometer hand lock wire, not pursuit lights.

    Thanks for posting the pics, and thanks to Paul for helping you and consequently all of us.
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  6. #6
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    Dec 2014
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    Two comments on your descriptions that I see. The square cutout at 9:00 is for the locking bar of the ignition switch to not contact the dash cover. The other is the one you refer to as "Police" and the extra notch is for the speedometer hand lock wire, not pursuit lights.

    Thanks for posting the pics, and thanks to Paul for helping you and consequently all of us.
    Thanks, man. I changed it in the original post and gave you credit for your contributions. (Just in case someone doesn't read the whole thread. Like I said, I am writing things as correctly as I know them to be, but I also know I don't know dang near anything!)

    Educate me: what changed in the ignition switch on the early covers? Also, you just helped me out: my bike has four switches on the bars, and most look factory-ish. One more piece of the puzzle that id's my bike as a former cop bike. (I also have holes for a plate on the front fender, not a fender lamp, and the bike's rear fender has a siren cutout, and it has a first-aid box on it.) Karma strikes quickly.
    Last edited by govmule84; 11-01-2017 at 10:41 AM.

  7. #7

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    The third dash looks like the front skirt is welded around & uneven at the top instead of straight & spot welded.This is probably just paint reflection but looks repop in these pics

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    west bend wi
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    PB010001.jpgPB010002.jpgPB010004.jpgPB010005.jpg I have a dash cover that appears to be different than all the pictured ones. The cover is original and the base is a cheap junk repop. Adding to the mystery pile, Gary

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