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Thread: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Gentlemen......

    I guess this will be the start of my thread on the mock-up of my '52FL-- after years of learning, researching, hunting and scrounging and collecting the correct parts, I think it's about time to bolt everything together...!

    This is only a mock-up; repeat, only a mock-up. I decided that it's better to do a full assembly of everything before I send parts out for painting, plating, and repairs, and etc. This way I can make sure I've got everything right, all the right parts, no mistakes. When I dissassemble, I can separate the pieces that need cad, parkerized, or black paint-- and be pretty sure I haven't missed anything.

    For the record, I started almost 5 years ago with the purchase of a complete piece of crap assemblage of mostly wrong-year stuff and just plain junk 1952 FL motorcycle. At first I just wanted to make a few corrections and ride the damn thing, but the more I tore into it, the worse it got. Eventually I decided to totally rebuild it, and then the bug hit me--- the more I learned, the more I became determined to make it right, doing a proper restoration and returning it to the way it left the factory. And thus began this long old journey..............

    Here is a photo of the motorcycle as purchased in December of 2007............





    There are other earlier threads here that explain the painful experience I went through with the frame, and also the trials and tribulations of rebuilding the motor.......


    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~
    - - - - - FAST FORWARD TO PRESENT DAY - - - - -
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~


    So... as I begin the first steps towards assembling a mock-up of the motorcycle, I want to start by make it a rolling stock. First thing to do, install the fork brackets (aka "triple trees") to the frame.
    I dug around in my accumulated parts, and came up with three sets of fork brackets, not neccesarily matched sets.....




    Of the three lower brackets, I know that 2 are "early", and 1 is "late". In the photo, the center one is recognized as "late" by looking closely at the offset of the stem as it's welded into the bracket. Also, the stem is not drilled for a fork lock.
    I am surmising that "late" means Duo-Glide.... can someone give me the years of that "late" bracket, the middle one in the photo?




    I know the later bracket isn't correct for the '52, so throw it out of the discussion here.
    Of the two "early" brackets I have, notice they are shaped slightly differently on the side of the center part, as seen in this photo. See the slight 'indent' on the one on the left....?
    Also, the one on the right has studs and nuts instead of pinch bolts, but I am not sure if they are original to the bracket. Both brackets are threaded 3/8"-16 NC.




    So I examined them a little more closely. The casting number is partially covered by the lower bearing dust cover on both of them, but I could make out a casting hallmark--- this hallmark "MF 1" was evident on the bracket on the right in the photo above:




    The other bracket, the one on the left with the indented shape, carried this hallmark, "MF 3"...




    Am I correct in presuming that the earlier hallmark number represents an earlier casting, and the hallmark numbers progressed numerically over time? Who can shed some insight into this process?
    I originally wanted to use the bracket with the "MF 1" hallmark for now, as it's in nicer shape. But perhaps the "MF 3" would be a better match for a mid-'52 FL..... not that it really matters, but if I have a choice, why wouldn't I choose the one that is closest to "correct"?

    Okay....with the bottom brackets set aside , I examined the three top brackets. They are all identical to each other in appearance, with the exception of the location of the hallmark. Here is an "MF 3". The hallmark is near the casting number on what would be the right side of the motorcycle when installed.




    The other two have the hallmark located on the left side. Here's an "MF 4".............




    And an "MF 6".....................






    My friend Dick at Wasco frame gave me a set of steering head bearing cups that have have turned down to fit loosely into the steering head for mock-up purposes. I'll use those instead of beating a good set of cups into the frame, then have to remove them later.

    Stay tuned--- this won't be a fast process, but I'll keep plugging away...............!
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  2. #2

    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    i don,t know anything about hallmarks but if i had to guess about the set of trees with no fork lock i would say 69 or 70 and up. glad to see ya getting a chance to start working on it. might make everyones winter more interesting.

  3. #3
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Reading Palmers book, the "late" fork bracket could be 1960-72.
    I don't know how the fork locks, however....
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  4. #4
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    Mar 2008
    Location
    Beautiful Northern NM
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    The fork lock up through '68 was still a frame plunger so the hole in the stem is necessary. However if no lock hole is present there should also be a welded on plate for a padlock which must have been removed at some time in its life.
    You are correct in that the earliest lower is also the one with the studs and nuts in it. That changed in '51 to just a bolt and then again in '55 to a larger bolt (7/16-20) So your #3 hallmarked tree should be good for your '52!

  5. #5
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Here is a photo of the motorcycle as purchased in December of 2007............

    For some reason I can not see the posted pic(s)....??? Any ideas....

  6. #6
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Thank-you, Robbie...!
    I did end up cleaning up the tree with the #3 hallmark, and bolted in on.
    And I'll tag the #1 tree as 1949-50.
    And I'll look closely at the late-style lower bracket to see if I can tell if the padlock tab has been removed.

    Of the three uppers, I had to go with the hallmark #4. It looks like someone "cleaned up" the #3 upper to run on an open-look wide glide style bike. By that I mean it seems most of the rougher casting marks have been polished out of it where it would show. Not that it would matter much, but it just doesn't feel right mating that up with the #3 lower. Not a good match. But I'll probably media-blast the paint off it and see how it looks then.......

    I have only two sets of OEM "cowbells", and they are all pretty well mis-shapen on the open end, not round but 'oblonged' (I don't know the geometric term for a triangle with rounded corners). Is there a good way to make them round again so they match the fork sliders, or do you just massage them by hand and get them as good as you can?

    (Progress photos coming later........)
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  7. #7
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    Lachenaie, QC
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    You really don't need to see the bike Derek...........As per the owner said, it is a:''complete piece of crap assemblage of mostly wrong-year stuff and just plain junk 1952 FL motorcycle.''!!!

    I'm kidding you Tom! The thruth is that when I read this, I thought you were being very humble and honest. Lots of folks would have never admit they got screwed with their purchase. I like that in a person.
    Bob
    43 wlc

    '' 4 wheels move the body, 2 wheels move the soul ''

  8. #8
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek43WLC View Post
    Here is a photo of the motorcycle as purchased in December of 2007............

    For some reason I can not see the posted pic(s)....??? Any ideas....
    I don't know.... I'll try posting again here for you:




    Did that work...?
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  9. #9
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Quote Originally Posted by bob42wlc View Post
    ............. Lots of folks would have never admit they got screwed with their purchase. I like that in a person.
    I don't know if I got "screwed", the seller was a long-time friend of mine, and I got it pretty cheap. I knew it wasn't perfect, I just didn't realize HOW unperfect it was...!
    I was Hell-bent on a '52, being's a birth-year bike, and all.....
    Funny thing was, it was legally registered as a '53. When I went to change the title into my name, the gorgeous creature at the Licensing Agency changed it to a '52 on her computer before I even had a chance to open my paperwork and plead my case...! LOL
    52 HydraGlide
    59 Pan/Knuck Chopper
    77 Stroker Shovel FLH
    94 Evo Secret Components

  10. #10
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    Re: 1952 FL Restoration--- A Mock-Up Assembly

    Great start Tom. I'll have to stop by and check it out again as you get further down the road on it.
    Fabe
    '41 FL
    '50 Indian Chief
    '64 FL
    Nothing else of any significance

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