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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up a titled 48 motor with what I assume is at least a replacement left case...any good way to identify the manufacturer? I've got a Palmers trying to see if I can figure if any of it is OEM just from outside identification
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. Thanks fellas.

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Speeding big twin will be along and will see that is right and what is not about what you have
 
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If the left case is H-D it’s 55 or later judging by where the inner primary would go. Sometimes a replacement case may have had its SN done with factory stamps consistent with the original style but I don’t think it happened on this occasion. For example the F for 48 usually has more difference in the length of its horizontal strokes. And it may not even be a Harley F because some other characters such as the 4, 8 and 6 may be AM although they are similar to H-D types. Has the number boss been altered or is it just the photo making it appear that way?

Here’s an example for comparison of some characters. NB: there can be some variation in the appearance of H-D characters due to how they were struck.





Left BN is not consistent with factory stamping for a 48 Pan. Hard to tell what sort the 1 is but the 4 appears to have a serif across its base when I’d expect it to be sans serif. And its top looks open instead of being closed courtesy of a very short horizontal stroke. Notice the 9/6 is a straight-back style instead of the certain round-back type used for 48. (H-D used several types of round-back 9/6 in BNs over the years.) Anyway, why do you think your left case is not H-D?

Here’s a 48 Pan BN for comparison of some characters.





If the R-H case is H-D it’s 58 or later because it has no generator cradle. Its BN looks the same as the left BN and that is not good. I won’t be surprised if the BNs were done with some of the same stamps as the SN and it happens sometimes when people start with unnumbered cases or after the original numbers are removed. Is there any sign that a previous BN was removed from either case?

Pan R-H cases had a relay bracket boss for 48–64 but part of your boss has been removed and it may have been done to accommodate a magneto. Notice the timer clamp is secured by what looks like a tappet guide screw from a later model. I imagine you’ll eventually replace that screw with a stud?

On top of Pan cases H-D used at least two 7s: seriffed; and sans serif. First 7 was seriffed and it’s the only type I’ve seen so far on 48 Pans. I’ve seen both types for 49 and 50 but at some point during the 50 model year the sans serif 7 seems to have taken over completely. Your 7s are sans serif and their backs are fully curved as I’d expect but I don’t know if your 7s are authentic and the answer to that may depend on what happened with the BNs and SN. Also notice the area with the 7s appears level across both cases. The factory began machining that area as of 58 models to accommodate the regulator bracket that was used for 58–64.

Which Palmer book do you have? In his 37–64 SE he says the 7s are 1/2” tall. I don’t have the TE (36–65) but I know it says the same thing. On top of rear mounts I’ve seen hundreds of authentic-looking 7s, some seriffed and some sans serif, and on 41 Knuckles thru 70 Shovels, but none of them are 1/2” tall. I do not know why Palmer says they are.
Eric
 

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I wonder if those could be oem replacement cases?
I have seen oem. pan cases with shovel era casting number dates inside.
I have also seen oem. shovel replacement cases that are no doubt made during the evo era.
In the past you could buy replacement cases from HD if you turned in a chunk of a damaged case that had the serial. number on it.

Reason I wonder is that some details on your cases look right and some wrong for a 1948.
Generator mounting on the right case looks like something from 65-69, no saddle and strap mount for a 3 brush generator.
Are the generator mounting screw holes 5/16" for a later 12V 2 brush gen or 1/4" for a 6V 3 brush" ?
Your pix show the timer advance cable mount boss trimmed down for magneto clearance.
Is your timer an auto advance from 65 and up, it looks like it is from what I see in the pix.
The primary mounting is tin primary like but yet different from something from 48.
I would like to see your left case behind the motor sprocket. Could that be a Timken tapered bearing retainer nut hiding back there like something from 55-68 or maybe a large seal like a 69-99?
Up to 54 the sprocket shaft will be 1" diameter running on loose rollers in the case, 55 and later is 1 1/4" diameter running in Timken tapered roller bearings.
Also the motor sprocket will be a tapered and keyed sprocket for 54 and older, splined for 55 and later.
Your motor sprocket nut could be by what it looks in the pix the later 7/8"X14 thread, not the 3/4" thread of a taper shaft nut, the nut just looks big to me.

This is not the best view to show the generator mounting but there is enough to see on this 52 case set, a 48 should look more or less the same...

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
If the left case is H-D it’s 55 or later judging by where the inner primary would go. Sometimes a replacement case may have had its SN done with factory stamps consistent with the original style but I don’t think it happened on this occasion. For example the F for 48 usually has more difference in the length of its horizontal strokes. And it may not even be a Harley F because some other characters such as the 4, 8 and 6 may be AM although they are similar to H-D types. Has the number boss been altered or is it just the photo making it appear that way?

Here’s an example for comparison of some characters. NB: there can be some variation in the appearance of H-D characters due to how they were struck.





Left BN is not consistent with factory stamping for a 48 Pan. Hard to tell what sort the 1 is but the 4 appears to have a serif across its base when I’d expect it to be sans serif. And its top looks open instead of being closed courtesy of a very short horizontal stroke. Notice the 9/6 is a straight-back style instead of the certain round-back type used for 48. (H-D used several types of round-back 9/6 in BNs over the years.) Anyway, why do you think your left case is not H-D?

Here’s a 48 Pan BN for comparison of some characters.





If the R-H case is H-D it’s 58 or later because it has no generator cradle. Its BN looks the same as the left BN and that is not good. I won’t be surprised if the BNs were done with some of the same stamps as the SN and it happens sometimes when people start with unnumbered cases or after the original numbers are removed. Is there any sign that a previous BN was removed from either case?

Pan R-H cases had a relay bracket boss for 48–64 but part of your boss has been removed and it may have been done to accommodate a magneto. Notice the timer clamp is secured by what looks like a tappet guide screw from a later model. I imagine you’ll eventually replace that screw with a stud?

On top of Pan cases H-D used at least two 7s: seriffed; and sans serif. First 7 was seriffed and it’s the only type I’ve seen so far on 48 Pans. I’ve seen both types for 49 and 50 but at some point during the 50 model year the sans serif 7 seems to have taken over completely. Your 7s are sans serif and their backs are fully curved as I’d expect but I don’t know if your 7s are authentic and the answer to that may depend on what happened with the BNs and SN. Also notice the area with the 7s appears level across both cases. The factory began machining that area as of 58 models to accommodate the regulator bracket that was used for 58–64.

Which Palmer book do you have? In his 37–64 SE he says the 7s are 1/2” tall. I don’t have the TE (36–65) but I know it says the same thing. On top of rear mounts I’ve seen hundreds of authentic-looking 7s, some seriffed and some sans serif, and on 41 Knuckles thru 70 Shovels, but none of them are 1/2” tall. I do not know why Palmer says they are.
Eric
Thank you very much for the very detailed answer, exactly the kind of insight I was hoping for and one of the reasons I love this place. I bought this over the internet as a titled numbers-matching motor, which I suppose it is. When I got it in person I was in the middle of working on another bike and just put it on a stand, this was a couple of months ago. Had a little time this week and started looking it over, noticed the later style timken bearing/primary mounting area, then busted out the third-edition Palmers and now we're here. I have no reason to suspect anything has been altered, BN area is just dirty doesn't look messed with to me, neither does the SN boss...which leads me to think the guy replaced his cases and had them stamped to match his title...I've reached back out to the guy I bought it from to see if he can shed any light, but it was a "posting for a friend" deal so we'll see what comes back. It wasn't a shady transaction or anything, and it's 100% on me that I didn't dig deeper. I'm a little bummed that it wasn't advertised for what it is but not bent out of shape by any means...pan motor with a clean title is still that, and I wasn't trying to do a resto or anything. At this point it'd just be nice to know as much of the story as possible, if for no other reason that I will want to be up front about it when and if I move on from it.

For now I'm going to march forward with putting a new bike together around it. Came out of a runner, wasn't planning on opening it up unless/until I needed to, that's still the plan. Thanks again for confirming. I'm still relatively new to the Palmers game and your explanation was a lot clearer for me.
 

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You’re welcome. Thanks for checking the areas of the BNs and SN. I imagine whoever stamped those numbers also stamped the 7s.

Regarding Pan crankcase ID and Palmer, his first edition mentioned changes to the left side for 55 and some of them are right. Another change he indicated for 55 was the increase in casting size around the bolt just in front of the front cylinder but in fact that change occurred as of about mid-52 models. In 2014 he released his second edition but it too contains that error. I hope he corrected it for the third edition.
Eric
 

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Quote from dan r: ‘Generator mounting on the right case looks like something from 65-69, no saddle and strap mount for a 3 brush generator. Are the generator mounting screw holes 5/16" for a later 12V 2 brush gen or 1/4" for a 6V 3 brush"?

R-H case isn’t 65–69. If it was it wouldn’t have had a boss for a relay bracket. Generator cradle was omitted as of 58 models as I indicated in my first post. I don't think the generator mounting screw holes in the case would be 1/4” because that size ended with 57 models. As of 58 models the size changed to 5/16” when the generator cradle was omitted and a new 6-volt generator (2-brush) was introduced.

Quote: ‘Is your timer an auto advance from 65 and up, it looks like it is from what I see in the pix.’

I don’t know if the timer is H-D or not but it isn’t 65 because a 65 timer wasn’t secured by a clamp. Instead it was secured by two screws.

Quote: ‘The primary mounting is tin primary like but yet different from something from 48.’

Inner primary area is 55 or later as I mentioned above. (55–64)
Eric
 
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