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Old 10-30-2020, 10:42 AM   #1
bigfoot
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Default 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

Picked up a 46 U Flatty that came from South America, and I'm not sure if the frame is original. It's too perfect! Not a tab cut off, nothing butchered or welded back on. It's just too nice. I guess coming from down there in the jungle, it never got cut on and was just ridden all these 74 years. Does anyone have a sure fire way of telling an original from a high quality repop with all the casting numbers in the right places and so on. I read Palmers section on the bull neck frames and it appears to be a late 46 to early 47 frame according to his description. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 10-30-2020, 12:48 PM   #2
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A modern frame should be
Obvious
My 39 the down tubes are beaten flat
Side stand is almost worn through etc
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Old 10-30-2020, 03:59 PM   #3
magnum45pete
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

a fella I bought an FXS from 4 years ago had this sitting in his garage,
it came out of South Africa & was fitted with a sidecar when he got it, but he stupidly let a 'buddy' talk him out of it for £1000 ( $1250)!,
it's All traceable with Army paperwork to a contract that went to South Africa in 41 or 42,....
it is pretty much mint & all original except the rear rack he got from a 45 he owned years ago, (still an OEM part not repro),...
no marks, dents dings or anything to show it's age & what he believes is just over 18000 miles under it.....
sometimes ya just can't do wrong & score a great deal from overseas where the chop it up cult never started back in the day....
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Old 10-30-2020, 04:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

To add to Pete, I've seen a few non molested 39/40 41 frames go for 8000 dollars... be hanging on to my 40 for a long time as it's all OEM!
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Old 10-30-2020, 05:07 PM   #5
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

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Originally Posted by bigfoot View Post
. Does anyone have a sure fire way of telling an original from a high quality repop with all the casting numbers in the right places and so on.
I would post pictures of the casting numbers, etc. I agree with richbob that an old frame is going to have some wear and tear.

Someone like Eric (SpeedingBigTwin) might be able to offer some insight, that's why I suggest posting pics.
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Old 10-30-2020, 06:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

eric will need real clear pictures if every number on the unit close up to give you a real evaluation

i have seen unmolested frames and being from a warm area in the world rust is and should be present - no air conditioning into the late 60s / 70s for people with real money in that country
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:07 PM   #7
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

Here are a couple of pic's of the frame awhile. I'll try to take some better ones, but I already had these loaded on my PC. I know they are kind of dark. I found a little bit of rust inside the seat post tube. The problem is someone started restoring it, so the frame is already painted. The tanks are original, but the fenders are not. The tranny is a 46 and matches the engine. The front end is original, but it is an inline springer, and It should be an offset, so the whole bike is a bit of a miss match. But for what I gave for it, I could not pass it up. I'm going to change the wheels back to mechanical brakes, they were going to use disc brake wheels on it. It's a project!
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Old 10-30-2020, 07:56 PM   #8
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

That looks pretty real to me BF.

If it's not it's a damn good copy! I'd say real though. If the neck is not molested, may be worth checking the rake. It should be 30 degrees for bullneck. Although there were some late 47 frames which were not bullneck and also 30 deg rake.
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Old 10-30-2020, 10:55 PM   #9
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Repop frame. All knucklehead necks were brazed up til 1947.
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Old 10-30-2020, 11:15 PM   #10
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeeman View Post
Repop frame. All knucklehead necks were brazed up til 1947.
And I thought it looked brazed to me....
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Old 10-31-2020, 06:16 AM   #11
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

Quote:
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Repop frame. All knucklehead necks were brazed up til 1947.
It definitely looks brazed...
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Old 10-31-2020, 08:38 AM   #12
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Oh yea
Some nice brazing 🤣
My frame brazing is much neater 39ulh
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Old 10-31-2020, 09:03 AM   #13
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

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Oh yea
Some nice brazing 🤣
My frame brazing is much neater 39ulh
That is really neat Rich, mine isn't that neat.
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:26 AM   #14
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Then maybe your repop too
Brazing doesn’t make a big booger type weld line outside fitting
Even I know that (but I did study it at school)
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:54 AM   #15
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

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Then maybe your repop too
Brazing doesn’t make a big booger type weld line outside fitting
Even I know that (but I did study it at school)
your dead right, Brazing leaves a real neat finish on the joints,.. I have had a few 45 frames which were all but the odd tab or bracket brazed & needed no filling or grinding to clean up before paint,..... as you say, only repops were welded, this is a brazing station at harley & you can just about see the bright braze on the joints .....
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Old 10-31-2020, 10:59 AM   #16
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

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Then maybe your repop too
Brazing doesn’t make a big booger type weld line outside fitting
Even I know that (but I did study it at school)
Nah mines original, just not quite as neat as yours.

By far the nicest I've seen. I know it's neater than welding. I also think mine has had a few repairs.

The frame I had on my UL was repop and that was really tidy too.
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Old 10-31-2020, 11:58 AM   #17
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

Braze cannot be welded over,...
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Old 10-31-2020, 12:32 PM   #18
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Indeed
The plot thickens
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:29 PM   #19
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Default Re: 46 U Bullneck Frame Question

& as you can see here the joints all look very tidy at the factory...
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Old 10-31-2020, 01:56 PM   #20
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Braze cannot be welded over,...
I didn't say it had been welded?

I stripped my frame down to bare before I sprayed it. I can assure you it's not welded.
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