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Thread: 1930 V front brake control coil change

  1. #1

    Default 1930 V front brake control coil change

    I would appreciate the forums input on when the 1930 V series bikes changes from the bare nickel control coil 4143-28 to the braided cotton covered 4143-30. I am doing a later 1930 and am always aiming for as much authenticity / accuracy as possible.
    I am after those that have seen their share of unrestored 30s bikes and someone who has both a 1930 and perhaps a 1931 parts book.
    Ive read a fair amount on the subject and have several later years parts books which are not necessarily accurate as you may know.
    For example the coupler we all know well 4142-30 shows in a 35 parts book as late 30 to 35 when in fact it came out in 1932 to my understanding.

    And for some further fun please take a run at the control wire oiler (4141-30?) and when it came out as this, I believe, was on the bare nickel coil.
    I have a later years one of these that fits the cotton covered control cable but this is not 30 - 31 V
    The first 4143-30 out had the coupling with the oiler built in or was this optional on the first offering of the cotton covered 4143-30?
    By 1932 this all becomes current and easy with the 4143-30 & 4142-30.

    In short I seek wise council on the correct front brake control coil set up for a later 30 V


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2003


    Dear Bob, glad to see you're getting into it. There can't be many 1930 bikes still with the original front brake cable so a lot will be inference from parts books. I reckon the 1930 bikes started off with a plain nickel front brake cable with no oiler at the top and no felt washer packing nut at the bottom to keep out the rain. The 1927-1931 parts book issued 01 August 1930 shows the braided cable, control coil ferrules, oiler and felt washer packing nut all 'later 1930', but that does not mean they all arrived at the same time. Logically (always dangerous with Harley), the braided cable, the ferrules which fit over the braided cable, and the top oiler all arrived at the same time, with the felt washer packing nut earlier or later (I've always thought earlier).

    The cable oiler will be the pre-1932 style discussed elsewhere on this bulletin board. The 1932 style now reproduced was given a 1930 part number as it superseded the earlier version. The packing washer is flat nickel or cadmium plated brass, not the cad or parkerised steel which came later. The braided cable has to be cut 10" one side (this is in the parts books) to insert the oiler. The cable does not have the 1939 integral oiler as on the later nos items still seen with the 4143-30 part number.

    1930 was the highest production year for the VL with 10,000 VLs built. It must have been a busy year for the engineers, with the first couple of thousand VLs recalled for serious modifications, and the early 45s still with generator and clutch problems. The VL was a completely new machine compared with the JD, and running changes were made throughout the model year. The most visible was going from two to three piece valve covers with stronger springs, and we still see European bikes around engine number 9000 with the early valve covers. I'm thinking the cable oiler and felt washer were installed after rider feedback on stiff cable operation after rain, so this would surely take a few months. As the cotton covered control cables were not introduced until the 1932 model year, I'm guessing the cotton covered brake cable arrived later in the 1930 season rather than earlier. A Harley factory photo of 30V8069C shows no cotton covered brake cable, no top oiler and no felt washer packing nut. This bike also still has the two piece valve covers and the 'earlier 1930' right hand fuel filler set forwards.

    Perhaps members from Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Scandinavia and the Netherlands can help. The D small twins and the A, B and C model singles had the same brake cable set-up and many were exported. Harley seemed systematically to use up old parts on export bikes, so domestic production might have changed earlier.
    Last edited by Steve Slocombe; 11-15-2017 at 04:41 AM.

  3. #3


    Thank-you Steve for an excellent and thorough reply. Especially the info from the Aug 01, 30 parts book.
    Now begins the hunt for a pre 1932 coupler with built in oiler.

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