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Thread: 1939 knucklehead transmission

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    East TN, just north of Chattanooga
    Posts
    700

    1939 knucklehead transmission

    Hi list,

    as I continue to assemble my glorious bitsa bike into a 51 thru 56 ish pan I am finally down to the transmission. The transmission I got in "the pile" is a 1939 (no vent hole) three speed with reverse. Its all there except the kicker assembly is missing (no kicker cover, kicker arm, or pedal).

    I was going to post it on ebay this weekend in the hopes of getting enough money out of it to buy a complete (that is has the kicker assembly) four speed hand shift transmission for a rigid Pan. I would prefer a 56 (technically that is the year of my bike) but any year will do.

    I thought I would ask here first to see if anyone wants to trade, I know finding early knuck stuff can be real tough.

    PM me and I can send pics.

    Thanks,

    Joe

  2. #2

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    hey joe sent a pm the gear box that came with my 39 has L3 casting date and has the bronze insert in the 5th mount i dont know if its 43 or53. i did,nt know that 39 had a unvented case.

  3. #3

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    The casting code used on a 1956 would be 3 3.
    Chris Haynes
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  4. #4

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Haynes View Post
    The casting code used on a 1956 would be 3 3.
    I'm not the sharpest tack in the box so could somebody please explain this to me? Thanks!

  5. #5

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    Quote Originally Posted by jwl View Post
    I'm not the sharpest tack in the box so could somebody please explain this to me? Thanks!
    I can't explain it. But the fact remains that from around 1954 through 1958 all H-D tranny cases carried a 3 3 code on them.
    Chris Haynes
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  6. #6

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    Thanks Chris, I thought we were talking about date codes but I see where you were going with the 3 3 info. No mistaking a 46 for a 56 with your info.

  7. #7

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    Also a '46 has the vent in the case and the '56 has a vented screw in the lid. The vent boss is still on the '56 and later cases but it isn't drilled and tapped.
    Chris Haynes
    A.M.C.A. Member
    Costco Member
    I can't Re Member
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  8. #8

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    chris how would i figure out if my L3 box is 43 or 53 thanks.

  9. Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    Bronze threaded insert = 1943 Jerry

  10. #10

    Re: 1939 knucklehead transmission

    In '53 they used a different code system.
    Chris Haynes
    A.M.C.A. Member
    Costco Member
    I can't Re Member
    http://vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/
    Be sure to register so you can view large photos

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