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1942 WLC build

37205 Views 173 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  Cpt.Fred
I thought i'd summarize my first build here for everyone who's interested.

Unfortunately i must have done something wrong and the computer killed everything
i typed for the last 20mins.
So i start over, and this time i try short posts.


Sooo, i decided to get a new project 2 years ago and i wanted it to be two-wheeld this time.
I got onto everyone's nerves here for quite some time and then found something of interest. I didn't think too long because i knew i'd buy it anyway, and bought it.

Here's what i got:

edit: the board keeps telling me my message would be too short. i don't think so?
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oh, unspeakable mischief and hatred!

the output shaft of the 4 speed was manufactured about .003" too big
and now i can't get the clutch basket on. i just don't get it, why do people
keep on manufacturing and selling aftermarket parts that do not fit or work?
this is frustrating.
i guess i have to sit down and file it down until it fits :mad:

old shaft:

fits like a glove and goes on easy

new shaft:

looks good and is ok to set the basket on the gear teeth,
but than after a few mm it doesn't move on.
i made a BIG mistake and tapped it lighty with a plastic mallet...
i shouldn't have done that :eek::(

now it's filing until hell freezes over, the SOB is hardened as it seems.
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it turned out the teeth were too wide... so it had to be the file.
i colored the teeth with a sharpy, put the basket on, then filed
carefully were i saw the paint was removed.

after four hours i finally could slip it on easy, as it should be.
this style clutch hub sits flat against the step in the gear that is right behind
the splines and is fastened with a special nut and locking plate,
torqued to 150nm, so the teeth are not to important,
so there can be a little play there.
everything is back together.

unfortunately the clutch basket is rubbing on the inner primary cover now
because it sits "deeper" on the new output shaft than on the old one.

zero gap... :(

i am thinking about ditching the inner cover,

but then water and dust can enter the primary housing.
maybe i can grind it to fit or cut out a part of it.
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a thousand little problems later i finally managed to build myself
a (super sketchy, cartoony looking but functional) shift gate with
the reversed shift pattern, and she's finally a runner again.

feels good to ride again
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thanks, guys. yeah, i hope i can spend some time riding it some more this year.
hopefully work will clear up a bit by september.
next on the list are the wheels. i really need to get new hubs. these are oem ones,
rebuilt for the 27th time i guess?

they are completely shot and run only on grease and prayers.
if i can get enough money saved til winter i'll try and build new wheels.
here's a little update on the 45. it still runs strong.
i recently updated the front end with a narrow flanders style handle bar... it rides so much better now :)

now all i need is a need a new brake cable up front and spring can come.
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lol that is a standard "asphalted" cloth cable guide with a piece of narrow white duct tape wound around
to make it look like those too-cool-to-be-true old 2-tone cable covers they used to have back in the day.
like we did on our bicycles as children when we wanted cool and didn't have the money.
it's really torn up from the past years of neglect, and broke shortly behind the handle when the bike tipped over at a bbq once (without me on it, i promise)...
anyone have a clue where i can get one of the real deal ones? i don't want to do the duct taping again on the new one :)
service time!


new brake stay (killed the welder on that one, welded it in nicely later on) rod and bushings

from the factory these were put in glowing red hot and had the head beaten square to stay in place. i don't have acethylen in the shop so i just welded it in instead.

new center bushing for the backing plate

all new rocker bushings and hardware

back together and play-free for the first time in years

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moving along to the back.

all the bushings and some of the rods of the brake linkage need replacement and/or some loving...

getting the rod out that is the center pivot point of the brake linkage. i managed to get it out without removing the inner primary... phew!

there is the old worn out one

in with the new one and new center piece

all new foot board hinges and lots of little details adressed. most of the holes were welded shut and redrilled in the correct size to minimize play

needless to say all the new parts got some patina to match the crusty rest of the pile. i love this bike to death :)

moving on to the rear end

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sooo, the rear end was something different...

i mean, i knew the throw out lever bushing was bad and the speedo drive was shot for a loooong time now,
but other than that everything was acting normal, or so i thought, and i had not looked at it for YEARS. mea maxima culpa.
this is BAD o_O

everything was so f'd up, incredible 😅

well, i decided i had to make up for it. poor bike.

baking plate got some love. new bushings, springs, speedo drive etc, welded the hole in the lever shut and redrilled it

all new brake drum and sprocket

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when i checked the rims and hubs themselves i realized, that maybe these old wheels had reached the end of their life span, after all.
so, with a little bit of luck i found everything i'd need to build a whole new set of wheels. yes, they would be repops, but the oem parts where sooooo worn and tired,
no way to get the play out of the wheel bearings anymore (already oversized since the last time i had redone them 10 years ago or so) and the rims themselves
where just incredibly banged up, no way to improve that anymore on the truing stand. so, off they go.

now they're off to a local shop to have them trued and centered by a person that has way more experience with this than i do...

there she is, waiting for the new wheels on her super sketchy lift thingy 😅 i hate the single loop frame...
i mean, i love it for the look and everything, but it is just sooo much easier to work on a straight leg or wishbone framed bike!
but it works for now. just don't touch it :)

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happy new year everybody.

so, the truing and centering guy fucked up a little and now the front wheel was off (although he had the old wheels for measurements).

back it went to be corrected.

in the meantime i spent countless hours to get the rear drum and brake pads / backing plate to work together.
the new drum has a slight radial run-out / dent and i spent a lot of time to get that fixed and improve the backing plate and how the brake pads
are sitting in there. i had to grind off a little here and bend a little there and so on... in the end the pads were sitting nice and snug, parallel to the backing plate
and flush against the faces of the throw-out lever. i'm confident that now it should work a lot better than before.

front wheel came back, centered correctly. the guy didn't charge anything the second time, so all is well.
testing with the axles all the way tightened down...

afterwards multiple layers of different types of black had to be put down to match the overall look of the frame and fork paint

next the tires will be mounted and i am searching for a shop that can balance a WL front wheel...
not an easy task because nobody can mount a wheel with an axle that thin to their balancing machine any more it seems.
there is a shop here that exists since the eighties that also did my shovelhead wheels a few years back, i hope they can help me.

overall i must say i am pretty bummed out by the quality of the parts, the rims although brand new are far from perfect and still have whobbles and run-outs
that won't go away just by turning some spoke nipples, i had multiple issues with clearances and diameters varying from the oem parts, the run-outs in the brake drums,
even had to replace the front center bushing of the backing plate a second time because the new axle stub in the front is way smaller than it should be.
it's a little sad, spending that much money and then having to end up saying "eeh, at least it's better than before" . it's far from being really good, let alone perfect.
just not too satisfying all around.

but it is what it is, and at least it's better than before :p
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thanks Ratso. i try to update every time something happens that matters.
i just got the rear wheel back from the tire shop. they had to stack 50 (FIFTY!) grams of weight on the spokes to counter the massive unbalance the Firestone is causing.
he turned the tire in the rim several times and tested, but it was no use. these tires are horrible if it weren't for the looks.
the weights he used looked horrible and he stacked 5g units on top of each other and somehow they all were pretty loose and brittle,
so i thought no way i'm going to shoot people in the head with that or even catch one myself, so i told him to get them off again.
i just found old lead units that are put on the spoke nipple directly as heavy as 25-30 grams, so i ordered those and we'll see where that leads us.

edit: i just googled what detritus means and had to laugh out loud :giggle:
rear wheel is back in , new chain etc

it turns out the front wheel can not be balanced by anybody here due to the tiny axle diameter. incredible.
i will have the tire put back on it today and then statically balance it myself here at the shop.
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😂hahaha, i beg you, kind sir, have some faith in me!

that chain will look right at home very very soon, and stop sticking out like a sore thumb.
i still would be interested in that farm equipment chain of yours for the next project...

the ridiculous stacks of zink weights are already gone on those pictures.
i just put on the new ones made from lead, they are MUCH better and i can live with it.
pics are coming soon.
i will get the front tire put on in an hour and hopefully have the bike back on its wheels by sunday.
hehehe, i guess it would take me a lot longer than that if i attempted to do it myself, and in the end both rim and tire would be pretty banged up...

took the time and bent the new rear brake rod in a shape so it clears the chain guard and its fastener on the trans housing

here's the 50gs of lead on the rear wheel

just balanced the front wheel

it took exactly 50gs as well ... only on the opposite side of the tire this time.
i guess it has something to do with how these things are manufactured, maybe there is an overlay of some sort at that heavy spot?

brake is back together with a(nother) new center bushing

fits nicely

next thing she goes down again, on her new feet...

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set her down and cleaned shop a little.

next thing will be hunting for electrical bugs and oil leaks, maybe.
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