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Thread: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

  1. #1

    Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

    Earlier this year I picked up a 1917 Harley 500 motor. Matching numbers, very good overall condition, etc.
    One catch, it's missing the FRONT cylinder.

    The 500 motors (first know as M motors for 1915 and 1916, 500 motors for 1917-1919 and as E motors for 1920) were specially constructed using narrow 1914 style cases. As a result, the entire valve pocket is 3/8" closer to the center-line of the engine as compared to a standard 1915 up 61" engine. This means the valves are 3/8" closer too. 500 motors have a VIN serial number between 500 and 999, hence the designation as 500 motors.

    Attached below are a number of pictures of what I have. On both M and 500 motors, the center-line of the exhaust valve is 5/8" away from the side of the cylinder base flange. On a standard cylinder this dimension is 1". Note also how the area above the upper valve spring cover is filled in as opposed to the recessed look of the same area on a standard cylinder.
    M and 500 cylinders look much like a 1915/early 1916 cylinder with the three "wave crest" fins that partially wrap around the upper exhaust valve cover. They also use intake valve housings and clamping nuts that are smaller than on a standard 61" cylinder.

    Please have a look at your extra cylinders and contact me if you have something (anything) that gets me closer to where I need to be with this.
    I'd be interested in a front, a pair or even a rear as I may be able to use it as trading fodder for someone that has multiple fronts and needs a rear.
    Thanks for ANY leads or help of any kind that you can offer.
    This engine if for my personal collection and is not for sale or trade.
    Thanks again
    Mark Masa








  2. #2

    Re: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor








  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    6,166

    Re: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

    Wish I could help you on the cylinder, Mark. Could you speculate on how many M, 500, and E motors were built? Was that something a dealer could get for any customer, or were those motors doled out to favored sons

  4. #4

    Re: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

    According to the Legend begins 60 model "E" 16 hp direct geared twin in 1917
    17-M is listed as sidevan with covered body.
    There were 12 model "R" and 5 model "H" whatever they are.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    new britain pa
    Posts
    3,184

    Re: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

    Let me get my wise arse comment out of the way first. "Good luck". 3 European forum members here have bottom ends. 1 is using 14 cylinders with a straight manifold. The other 2 are still looking. You probably know all the names i'll give . Try these guys. M lange, f. Lange. S lepualt. Walksler. Maybe d. statnekov. I don't think you'll sneak up on one in a swap meet . but you never know.

  6. #6

    Re: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

    Rob
    Those were the first people I called along with another dozen not on your list.
    I actually once owned the front cylinder that I now need. It was about 18 years ago and I sold it to Dale Walksler at Oley.
    I knew exactly what it was at the time but I said to myself "I'm never going to need this thing" ��
    It is now on a fast motor in the museum.
    Lesson learned.
    Mark

  7. #7

    Re: Please Help! NEED a Front Cylinder for a 1917 Harley "fast" 500 Motor

    Still looking
    Thanks

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