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View Full Version : 90,000 MILE BIKE REBUILD (Or, how I learned to curse in many different languages)



tankgeezer
08-14-2010, 04:30 PM
My aging Harley-Davidson Electraglide had finally decided enough was enough, and spoke in low dulcet snorts that a refit was in order. This is the largest, and heaviest of the Electraglides, and includes all luggage, fairings, even 2 way radio, stereo, and casset player, and cruise control. But all of these refinements mean little if the damn thing wont run. (unless you enjoy having a wheeled 900 lb radio set.) Getting it apart was not terribly tough, I had a manual, (it was helpful in propping the bike up a bit) and tools aplenty from my years of doing this work on most every bike I ever owned.
I had the valve job done at a local shop, luckily nothing additional but new seals needed. The jugs, would be needing more attention, and had to be bored to .020" over (2 steps over STD.)
These things completed, it was time to order gaskets, seals, odd bits n' bobs to finish up with. Times have changed, when these things were fairly simple, and inexpensive, they are now made to NASA specs, and are as expensive as Shuttle parts. (hopefully, they work better) I was astonished when the manual said I actually needed a torque wrench, This is a first.
The H-D EVO engine is a more complex engine than its ancestors, needing many more seals, and O-rings which keeps it from dripping all over the floor. (In days of old, if it wasn't leaking, there was something wrong.) but I kind of like not having to scrub the garage floor every week. Could be on to something here....
Now its time to put it all together again, and its going okay. (very suspicious if you ask me,,,) not much speaking in tongues, yet.
Pic 1 , The old Dreadnaught in the background
Pic 2 , Top end coming apart (evil spirits are released )
Pic 3 , Grumpy, worn old piston (if it could talk, it wouldnt be printable)
Pic 4 , Rear cylinder back on, all shiny, and happy, front piston, and cylinder go next.

Uyraell
08-14-2010, 09:09 PM
May you have every success and Blessing in this TG my friend. :)
`Tis a delight to see this work in progress.

May your knuckles be unbloodied,
May your wrenches all fit the nuts well,
May the alignments and seals conform,
May the joy of the renewal travel with thee all thy days.

Warm, Kindest, Respectful Regards and
Blessed Be TG My Friend, Uyraell,

tankgeezer
08-14-2010, 09:27 PM
Well thank you my friend, I appreciate it. (but bloody knuckles are part of the fun).

Uyraell
08-15-2010, 06:19 PM
Well thank you my friend, I appreciate it. (but bloody knuckles are part of the fun).

You are most certainly Welcome my friend. :)

While I freely acknowledge that bloody knuckles are part of the fun, I with equal freedom acknowledge that bloody knuckles contribute vastly to the expansion of one's vocabulary in non-standard entymology.
I often helped my dad rebuild his Austin Sevens, to the consternation of the spirits of those vehicles, and the frequent vocabularic expansion of both paterfamilias and humble self.
It is of note that Austin Sevens may well be as difficult to work on in certain respects as the venerable Harley.

It is a pleasure to see such work done tho, and I am truly delighted to see your work as shown here.

Warmest, Kind, and Respectful Regards TG my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
08-15-2010, 09:28 PM
Oddly enough, getting the jugs back on was not the problem I had expected, though it wasnt without some eccentricities. But now the fussy stuff begins.

1) heating the piston allows the wrist pin to be seated without tools (wrist pin is chilling in the freezer, and it did pop right in.) A common hair drier will do nicely, heat for about 10 minutes, use glove to handle.
2) Front jug down, all is well.

3) Head is on, all fingers are intact. (brain is another story...)

Uyraell
08-15-2010, 10:19 PM
Very neatly done though, TG my friend.
Must say I'm impressed with the neatness of your garage, all very clean and orderly-looking.
As opposed to that of pater, wherein one might well consider hiring archaeologists to locate that part being worked-on last week ...... :mrgreen:

Warm, Kind, And Respectful Regards TG my friend, Uyraell.

Panzerknacker
08-21-2010, 12:55 PM
Good job my friend, the people always is fascinates when they see a parked good old big motorcycle in perfect shape but they dont realize the hard work behind to reach that state of thingd.

Incidentally my two mother lenguages are quite useful to to repair my old bikes, spanish to curse when working in an old Puma and italian while struggling with an old Gilera. :mrgreen:

tankgeezer
08-21-2010, 02:32 PM
So true my friend! I think that curse words are actually good Ju-Ju when working on cars, and bikes etc. Happily, the big stuff is over, now its just the fussy little stuff to deal with. The push rods are not adjustable, and all are a different length. Have to be careful to put them in the proper order. And there are a dozen or so different seals for each cylinder/rockerbox, and they all go in just so. I believe that I will learn a few new words before I'm finished.. :)

Panzerknacker
08-21-2010, 05:45 PM
Hopepully that NASA made parts will not drain your resourses dear TankG. :lol:

by the way sometimes I dream with this one, a truly sexy american bike.

http://www.finecars.cc/typo3temp/GB/f1d540951d.jpg

tankgeezer
08-21-2010, 06:25 PM
The posh Indian bikes are prized by many bikers,and are considered the Bugatti Royal of their day. Henderson was another well known builder in the old days, they built an inline four as well. they are out there, if you have the $$$$$ .

Panzerknacker
08-22-2010, 11:54 AM
The posh Indian bikes are prized by many bikers,and are considered the Bugatti Royal of their day. Henderson was another well known builder in the old days, they built an inline four as well. they are out there, if you have the $$$$$ .

They are really beautiful, extremely beautiful I must say. I ve seen several Harley, some Indians in my province but no a single Excelsior.

tankgeezer
08-22-2010, 07:42 PM
Old Indians, and Henderson/Exelsiors are still turning up here, and there, whether or not its suitable for restoration is another matter, but some people just like the clean them up, and display them without a restoration. Both names have been reintroduced in the modern market, so you might see one of them sometime. (Indian Chief left, Henderson right)

tankgeezer
08-23-2010, 07:55 PM
Many a strange noise, and curious utterance were heard from the Geezer Garage, but the engine is nearly completed, needing only the rocker box covers installed (but this requires charms, and incantations from the Order of the Ruby to do properly) Should be done in a couple days, if the store has a part I need. The original switch is well roasted with age, and doesnt want to play anymore.

Pic left: Tidy engine all ready for rocker covers, each rocker assembly is held to the head by 9 bolts.


Pic right: The center engine mount showing the crispy vacuum switch with shredded pig tail, and melted vac line at right.

Pic farther right: engine buttoned up, pipes on, ready for carburetor. turns well, with no weird noises.

Uyraell
09-02-2010, 03:59 PM
Looking very nice TG my friend, seemes you've got it buttoned up very neatly. :)

Warm, Kind and Respectful Regards TG, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
09-02-2010, 04:13 PM
Still waiting for some parts,,, ZZZZzzzzzz.

At least i had more to start with,,,, unlike this fellow..

Uyraell
09-02-2010, 05:27 PM
Last time I saw an accumulation like that, it was in fibreglass, as an objet d'art.
I can't quite visualise in the above picture what would encourage someone to proceed in attempting a restoration.

Too little there to begin with.

Warm, Kind, And Respectful Regards TG my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
09-02-2010, 05:41 PM
When it gets to that point, abstract art is the only option,,, :) (though I have seen worse...)

tankgeezer
09-08-2010, 08:13 PM
Okay, its finished, no parts left over, I'll try to fire it tomorrow.

Nickdfresh
09-09-2010, 06:49 AM
That's a beautiful bike 'Geezer, definitely worth the effort to rebuild...

tankgeezer
09-09-2010, 09:00 AM
Thanks Nick, its what Bikers call a "Geezer Glide", or a "Tuna boat." At 16 yrs, its not the oldest bike I've had, but it is nice and comfy. (stereo is great) A fender Bunny would be nice too.;)

Uyraell
09-10-2010, 12:11 AM
Very nice looking machine my friend.

I hope firing her up brings you all the pleasures it deserves.

Warm, Kind and Respectful Regards my friend, Uyraell.

tankgeezer
09-10-2010, 12:32 AM
Well thank you, one never knows what the result will be until you push the magic button,, I'll shoot video of starting it,(or the crater it leaves)and post a link.

Gen. Sandworm
09-10-2010, 04:53 AM
Well thank you, one never knows what the result will be until you push the magic button,, I'll shoot video of starting it,(or the crater it leaves)and post a link.

:lol::lol::lol: Or the more common and less awesome result ..... complete silence!!!

Rising Sun*
09-10-2010, 10:24 AM
Okay, its finished, no parts left over

**** me dead!

I didn't think that was possible!

I've never finished a rebuild without at least a couple of washers and a bolt or screw or two left over, and I don't know anyone else who has.

The amazing thing is that the motors perform perfectly without them. If only the bean counters at the relevant factories knew that when they were building them! ;)

Congratulations on pulling off the most unlikely rebuild: One with no parts left over.

tankgeezer
09-10-2010, 01:54 PM
Surprised me too RS, I guess for once I paid attention... (Egad, I sound like my Dad...)

"Or the more common and less awesome result ..... complete silence!!! " That can sometimes happen, but as is said by gearheads everywhere,, "If it has t*ts or tires, you're going to have trouble with it" And both entities can generally be counted on to make some kind of "noise" so I can only hope for good noises...:lol::lol:;) Anyway, here is the link to the video, I did cheat a bit and used starting juice till the gas made it through the carb. Break in oil is 50 weight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZCHb_ciy7M

Panzerknacker
09-11-2010, 08:54 PM
I am suscribed to your channel and this video didnt appeared in my inbox, damn. Good work TankG. I think it just need a quarter screw turn more in the carburator.

tankgeezer
09-11-2010, 10:58 PM
It should have, its open to everyone, though I'm no expert on the YT system, I'll look to see if I can find a problem setting or something. It did sound a bit rough, but I was using old plugs for the initial start-up, to clear excess oil etc. from the cylinders. It has new ones now, and runs as it should, no popping, or sputtering, took it for a ride, no troubles at present, but it would be a good idea to have the carb, and timing checked.

tankgeezer
02-27-2011, 06:14 PM
Now that its Springtime in the Mountains, I've been putting some break-in miles on the old horse, so got some video on a trip to the grocery store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0aDaSM4Uuw

skorzeny57
03-19-2011, 04:10 PM
Hi tankgeezer,
you really did a great job! If you need to learn a string of curses in italian, don't hesitate to ask... I have a great family tradition and i'm a kind of expert in bad words and curse science. ;)

Rising Sun*
03-20-2011, 05:59 AM
Now that its Springtime in the Mountains, I've been putting some break-in miles on the old horse, so got some video on a trip to the grocery store.

1. You need to control that camera better. I thought you'd dropped it once and were about to plunge onto the other side of the road on another occasion.

2. Why does all the traffic in your area drive on the wrong side of the road? ;) :D

tankgeezer
03-20-2011, 08:59 AM
I was holding the camera on a wrist strap, so its a bit jumpy. Scientists said that since you guys drive on the left, we had to drive on the right, or the Earth would spin off into the Sun. (or everyone would turn Welsh or something) but I thinks its the Moonshine. :)

tankgeezer
03-20-2011, 02:50 PM
Hi tankgeezer,
you really did a great job! If you need to learn a string of curses in Italian, don't hesitate to ask... I have a great family tradition and i'm a kind of expert in bad words and curse science. ;)
I do need some new curse words, the older ones lose their effectiveness after several uses.(per hour) I do know some classic profane gestures, but its hard you use them while working.....:)

forager
06-23-2011, 12:51 AM
My last project.
Owned and rode this bike over 30 years.
Next is another Pan with hack.

tankgeezer
06-23-2011, 08:23 AM
Very nicely done..