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Old 02-05-2019, 05:34 AM   #1
Cpt.Fred
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Default The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

hey there everyone,


since i haven't really contributed anything for quite some time
and the old flattie is running well (had some tranny troubles over the last
year but nothing worth sharing here i guess) i will try and add
another (slow) build thread.


in March 2018 i dragged home this pile here:







1978 74cui FXS lowrider shovelhead that obviously had seen quite a lot already.


the engine had been rebuilt recently, i was told, and the price seemed fair to me back then.

...who am i kidding, i just desperately wanted another project and anything
older was out of reach.
i need a machine with a swingarm and more beef than the flattie has to
take the wife out for a spin, she really wants to come but the WLC is for
ego trips only, with the solo saddle, rigid frame and none-existing brake power


so i started to take it apart and look at the damages,
and i'll try and show the progress that has been made since then.


these are some tear down pics from April 2018.





both the ugly 3" belt drive and that hideous front end had to go.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:55 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

more ripping... and new tools i had to get,

this modern machinery is all new to me





these frames are heavy!





the 4-speed was leaking oil all over the place,
so i decided to take it apart. first time i do this...














looked pretty good to me. the bushing of the 4th gear was
damaged because the baring support for the belt drive was
loose. at least that's my theory...


i'll be happy to take advice on this when i start the rebuild
as i have no clue about ratchet top transmissions! all i know is 3-speeds.
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Old 02-05-2019, 08:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

oh, almost forgot, i got my hands on the original 35mm front end
and tried it on before taking the engine out




there was a lot of hidden damage, i guess it would have been pretty unsafe
to just get i running and ride as is. i kind of liked the overall worn out look
of the thing and so i decided to kind of stay with that (but change nearly
everything ).
that's why i call it the "toad" (maybe makes more sense in german).
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Old 02-05-2019, 09:24 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

Got my popcorn and a comfy chair... good show so far.
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:29 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

Nice score.. you said ur looking for a hardtail? Got a early 50s one sitting in my garage (blasted and primed).. The neck had been hacked sometime, tracks straight.. just off center..
Sorry, just realized ur "over the pond"...
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Old 02-05-2019, 10:44 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

nah, this one's going to stay a nice comfortable swing arm. thanks, though!


i find it is quite a different deal building a swing arm, getting the lines and
overall shape to look good. on a rigid it's pretty much straight forward.
the hardest part is to let it be a swing arm, for 2 persons, and not a
swing arm with a solo seat that wants to be rigid in the next life
like i said, it has to be a two-person-scooter to take my girl with me on trips.



since i had a lot of other stuff to do over the rest of 2018, the parts
went under the car and into the shelf and the engine to the bench.


the rest was mostly parts hunting and thinking about what to do with the whole mess.

here's some of the goods i want to be part of the bike at some point:







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Old 02-05-2019, 12:10 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

Nice! Electric and kick, I can dig it for you two. Are you going back to a chain for the primary?
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Old 02-05-2019, 12:58 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

actually it's a kick only setup, and always was when i am not mistaken.
i wouldn't have rejected an e-start/kicker combo, not at all,
especially when i imagine a situation where i am getting nose bleed from kicking at the side of the road and she's standing alongside and hates me and her life, but it is what it is now
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Old 02-06-2019, 03:05 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

i got rid of the cone and ignition because i wanted to go the same route
like i went with the flathead and use a magneto.

i don't like the looks of the cone and the standard magneto bases,

so i decided to try a Burkhardt drive system.


inside the engine everything seems to be nice and clean,

from the look of things the tale of the rebuilt engine might actually be true.





turns out you can't use SU Eliminator carbs in combination with Burkhardt mag drives...





unless... i heard about step down manifolds for people who want to use SUs
with 5 gallon tanks, so i tried to get one in order to flip it around.


finally around November i got one and:










it seems to work! you have to do some little adjustments, figure out a way
to get the bolts through the holes on the lower side, build an alternative
carb support, stuff like that, but overall it looks pretty promising.






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Old 02-06-2019, 03:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

this is how the finished product looks like.









i like it a lot, hopefully it works in the end...
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Old 02-07-2019, 04:18 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

by the way,

i know this is nothing new to most people, but to me it actually is,
i don't have a clue about shovelheads.
this is my first overhead harley engine, first 4-speed,
first telescopic front end in my life, so i'm most likely going to make mistakes
here and there.

if anyone sees something wrong, please let me know.


i'll definitely ask a lot of questions about the transmission soon


took the front end apart to learn about its contents.
i found a nice tutorial on how to rebuild these things,
and i guess it was made by one of you guys here? the guy in the pictures
looks pretty familiar to me. i don't remember a name, but a super nice
survivor UL chopper... is that right?
https://www.revzilla.com/common-trea...ing-35mm-forks







i found most of the front end was in pretty bad shape, so i went on
to get another one to rob parts from.
the 33.4 needs a lot of love and the stem is too short for the big twin frame,
so i put it away for now and will restore it later at some point.


found some hacked tin primaries that i could piece together to fit the whole thing:







then it was time to cut away the ugly things i found...









and come up with something a little better but still it has to appear
pretty stock to make the officials happy. for a 78 harley there are a lot
more regulations here than for a 42...










oh yeah, i'm not too proud of my welding skills... but seeing the factory ones
on this frame i guess it'll be ok, and for the really important stuff i just got a TIG welder
and i'm practising, i promise
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Old 02-07-2019, 05:07 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

[QUOTE=Cpt.Fred;2054172]by the way,

i know this is nothing new to most people, but to me it actually is,
i don't have a clue about shovelheads.
this is my first overhead harley engine, first 4-speed,
first telescopic front end in my life, so i'm most likely going to make mistakes
here and there.

if anyone sees something wrong, please let me know.


i'll definitely ask a lot of questions about the transmission soon


took the front end apart to learn about its contents.
i found a nice tutorial on how to rebuild these things,
and i guess it was made by one of you guys here? the guy in the pictures
looks pretty familiar to me. i don't remember a name, but a super nice
survivor UL chopper... is that right?
https://www.revzilla.com/common-trea...ing-35mm-forks







i found most of the front end was in pretty bad shape, so i went on
to get another one to rob parts from.
the 33.4 needs a lot of love and the stem is too short for the big twin frame,
so i put it away for now and will restore it later at some point.


found some hacked tin primaries that i could piece together to fit the whole thing:







then it was time to cut away the ugly things i found...









and come up with something a little better but still it has to appear
pretty stock to make the officials happy. for a 78 harley there are a lot
more regulations here than for a 42...














yeah harleys welds arent always great, this build is super cool though. ive been wanting to convert my cone to a magneto, i really like your setup
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Old 02-11-2019, 02:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

i got rid of the old paint and welded a crack in the rear of the frame.


then it was time to get some of the parts from the shelves where i had stashed them away and start playing around...





new bearings for the round swing arm.





test fit with rear wheel.





a new coat of paint. i used a brush and several different types of black
to match the shabby look of the older parts. i really don't like powder.
when the paint was dry i sealed it with a coat of Owatrol oil.







new head set.


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Old 02-11-2019, 02:38 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

the best parts from 3 different front ends come together.










2" difference in lenght between FX and FXS 35mm forktubes.





i decided to use the shorter ones for now.


the shop cat doesn't care.




engine back in frame. some 30s triumph rear fender fragment for the back.
the shocks are ugly and i guess the peanut tank is too small.



front end reassembly.

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Old 02-11-2019, 10:55 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

It all looks boss, especially the new timing side. (Not to run down its opposite; those diamond primary covers are almost too cool to be OEM Harley.) Have you considered a banana tank? Probably.

That guy who wrote the 35mm fork rebuild piece: beware. He takes a sick pleasure in misinforming people, and he was recently banned for animal husbandry.
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Old 02-11-2019, 12:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ratso View Post
That guy who wrote the 35mm fork rebuild piece: beware. He takes a sick pleasure in misinforming people, and he was recently banned for animal husbandry.

You sure have a twisted sense of humour Ratso. For me the high lite was seeing Lemmy wear one of Joel's Run for your Life t-shirts. I miss Image_1.
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Old 02-11-2019, 01:09 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

Animal husbandry, I believe, is legal in most locales, provided one does not actually become involved in the breeding as more than an observer. My lawyer has advised me not to speak any further on the topic.

...but what's the story on that shop cat?
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Old 02-12-2019, 02:08 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead


based on my current state of knowledge

and given the turn of events in the last 3 posts

i am unwilling to reveal any further information about the shop cat.


hehehe.


but thanks for that tutorial, Lemmy, it was a great read and huge help to me.
i must not forget to fill oil into the fork tubes, as soon as i have found out how much they need.


moving on. front end temporarily reassembled and on the bike.







playing around with head and tail lights.





i got to the conclusion that the peanut tank didn't quite cut it.
so, naturally, i came to think about cutting up other things...

like that pair of not really great and most likely not even matching

3 1/2 gallon tanks that came with the Toad.

(look at the size of that SU. man... but i'm still going to keep it, because i'm in love with it)



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Old 02-12-2019, 03:51 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

took a deep breath and cut them up...





checking if both sides are roughly the same size
(it's amazing how different they actually were even before,
i never noticed that, but i guess you don't really see it
when the dash and all the other stuff is mounted on top)





mocked up how it should look in the end (sort of)








afterwards i decided to cut the undersides too, i wanted the tanks to sit
higher than stock and this way i figured i'd get a little more fuel in them,
with straight bottoms instead of the curved in ones the factory made to
clear the rocker boxes.


tacking the new bottoms in place:




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Old 02-12-2019, 08:13 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Toad... '78 Shovelhead

That is going to look good. Do it to it!
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