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Thread: 52 FL Bobber build project

  1. #1

    52 FL Bobber build project

    I haven't been active on here in a number of years, but recent events have rekindled my desire to get my Pan project going.

    How this got started: I love old bikes, and have wanted a Pan for years. Decades, even. In 2011, an incomplete but freshly rebuilt 52 Pan motor with title. Internals all new or overhauled, but didn't include heads. I bought it. That's my starting point. I subsequently bought a set of STD Pan heads with Shovel intake (O-ring) and exhaust ports (STD's 3-bolt pattern). These are bare castings, with only the seats installed and what STD called a "Stage 1" port job.

    Then, nothing. Not enough $ and not enough time to do anything with it, though I did carry engine and heads with me back and forth to Vegas when my wife and I moved out there for 2 years in 2012-2014.

    I am currently rebuilding my 2002 Road King following a crash, and doing some upgrades to it. One of those upgrades includes converting the front end to 2014-up 49mm front end. This makes the 41mm forks available.... And it just so happens that the Pan Hydraglide front ends use 41mm tubes. So I'm going to get a triple tree set and will then have the front end for the Pan.

    I plan to buy a Paughco straight leg rigid frame of stock dimensions. Or another option, if I find one I like that's reasonably priced. But I like the Paughco because it's US made and relatively inexpensive. As opposed to V-Twin's replica frames, which are imported and expensive. Though I've heard and read good things about the V-Twin replicas.

    This will never be a "restoration." First of all, I'm not a purist about much of anything. 2nd, I LIKE tough-looking, compact bobbers. 3rd, the cases of this motor have been polished, and that's impossible to un-do. I also have a bunch of miscellaneous parts which are usable and will help me cobble this Frankenstein machine together.

    The plan is something like this:

    Dual disc front end with 16" wheel; Sportster flat-track style bars (I have these already in the box of misc parts). The bars could change, I have several styles in the box, but I like the compact, low flat-track bars in my head. I know I want a seat post and original-style tanks. Don't have any of that stuff. I do have 2 other tanks, but neither is what I want for this. It will have foot boards, foot clutch/jockey shift. I would prefer the original style, rocker type clutch pedal, but if I have difficulty finding one or if it proves to be far more expensive than a suicide clutch type of setup, I'm open to doing that as well.

    That's pretty much where I am with this at this point. This will be a start-and-stop kind of project as time and $ permits. But I am determined to make it happen and get this thing on the road. I also see that this particular forum is pretty inactive. Hopefully this thread gets some views and some input.
    Last edited by northeastconfederate; 11-17-2019 at 09:37 AM.
    Eric Williamson
    '52 FL (project)
    '02 FLHRI

  2. #2

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    In fact the hardest thing is to start your project .Reunit the parts and solve each problem encountered.
    I have a little idea what this represents.
    With a lot of energy, a little money, a little help from the community with a zest of madness, we mix everything up for a long time.
    And we get something original that looks like us.
    Good luck for the future.

  3. Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    I'm kinda diggin' your project, because my very first bike ever was a '52 panhead chopper. A radical peanut tanked, fishtailed, all gold heavy metal flaked, ape hanger, with a suicide clutch.
    Since I've been converted to an Indian owner since 1971, I doubt I'll ever find the inspiration to build a copy of my first bike. I will follow your build with a latent interest. I do have a suggestion, if you don't mind. Concerning the wheels, especially, but not limited to only the front wheel. I would suggest you put 18" wheels on it !! I believe you will find the look very appealing, and the handling is far superior to the heavy and "fat" look of the ballon tires. And most of all, it likely will be quite different than most of the other fifties bobbers. The 18" tires are just slightly taller than the 16's, and they fill the fenders pretty well. Easier to change tirees when replacing tires or fixing a flat. Certainly true for a skirted Indian, but thats a different conversion.
    I've forgotten most of my Harley skills (just kidding) since I no longer speak the language. But, when it comes to a '52 panhead, it dredges up the old memories of my first experiences with things like the suicide clutch and a sissy bar above your shoulders.
    Good luck with your project, hope to see a progress report in the future.

    C2K

  4. #4

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    Thanks, guys. UPdates will come as they are available. Right now, I have a question I hope someone can answer. I found this aftermarket lower tree CHEAP. It's listed for 60-84 Pans and Shovels. Any reason this won't work for me? I can't imagine why it wouldn't.

    https://www.otosiponline.com/6084-fl...k-p-502128.htm

    It's sort of ringing my "too good to be true" bell...... I never heard of this site before. But what the hell... The top tree can be found on ebay for roughly the same money, so for around $170 I could have a set of trees. Comments? Why shouldn't I buy this lower tree?
    Eric Williamson
    '52 FL (project)
    '02 FLHRI

  5. #5

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    I am always suspicious of web sites that won't put in a physical address.

  6. #6

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    Keep in mind the '85 & earlier trees are about 1/8 narrower that the later trees.The brake/wheel/spacing is key to making odd stuff work.I just did an '85 wide glide with the original trees & '96 style sliders & brake.'60 & later shroud & headlamp adjuster for sidecar to make the WG raked neck & trees work.Double your trouble with dual disk alignment.Cowbells are also slightly different if you go there.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Location
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    Posts
    12,308

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    I have a pair of chrome AM trees that someone did a minor modification on the fork stops for some custom application. If you want them you pay shipping and you can have them.
    Friends help friends move,
    Real friends help friends move bodies!

  8. #8

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    I have a pair of chrome AM trees that someone did a minor modification on the fork stops for some custom application. If you want them you pay shipping and you can have them.
    SOLD! I'm sure I can deal with the fork stops. PM on it's way to you.

    Scratch that... I tried to send you a PM but your inbox is full and cannot accept messages...

    Please message me with an email address and I'll send you all my info. Let me know how much shipping is, and how you want to get paid for it, and I'll make it happen.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by northeastconfederate; 10-28-2019 at 08:58 PM.
    Eric Williamson
    '52 FL (project)
    '02 FLHRI

  9. #9

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    Quote Originally Posted by duffeycycles View Post
    Keep in mind the '85 & earlier trees are about 1/8 narrower that the later trees.The brake/wheel/spacing is key to making odd stuff work.I just did an '85 wide glide with the original trees & '96 style sliders & brake.'60 & later shroud & headlamp adjuster for sidecar to make the WG raked neck & trees work.Double your trouble with dual disk alignment.Cowbells are also slightly different if you go there.

    Thanks for the heads up on that. Sounds like I'll have a little figuring to do.
    Eric Williamson
    '52 FL (project)
    '02 FLHRI

  10. #10

    Re: 52 FL Bobber build project

    Quote Originally Posted by duffeycycles View Post
    Keep in mind the '85 & earlier trees are about 1/8 narrower that the later trees.The brake/wheel/spacing is key to making odd stuff work.I just did an '85 wide glide with the original trees & '96 style sliders & brake.'60 & later shroud & headlamp adjuster for sidecar to make the WG raked neck & trees work.Double your trouble with dual disk alignment.Cowbells are also slightly different if you go there.
    Regarding wheel/brake/rotor spacing, I have a Road King front wheel and calipers, as well as axle and spacers. One of the stock spacers is obsolete, which I find unbelievable, but it is. So I have to make one of them anyway. It will be easy enough to turn the other one down to the appropriate length (I have a lathe and a mill, so making or modifying these parts isn't a problem). And since the calipers mount to the inside of the sliders, I should be able to mill a little bit off the mounting points to correct caliper position. That's what I'm thinking about wheel and brake spacing. Obviously, it will take some careful measuring.

    Please tell me if I'm missing anything or oversimplifying here, but I don't think so.
    Eric Williamson
    '52 FL (project)
    '02 FLHRI

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