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Building a Shovelhead from parts?

5571 Views 32 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  Nemesis
Has anyone done this? I'm just playing around with it in my head. Starting to think maybe I can piece one together... Any sage advice, wisdom or insight would be helpful.
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Has anyone done this? I'm just playing around with it in my head. Starting to think maybe I can piece one together... Any sage advice, wisdom or insight would be helpful.
Without a doubt the most expensive, slow, frustrating way to build a bike. Your best bet is to buy a compete bike, even if it isn't running and modify, fix and repair as necessary. You'll be money ahead, and it will be finished sooner. I just purchased a 75 FX in good shape with a new Jims 5 speed off Craigslist for cheaper than than you can imagine. The deals are out there. Cash is King. If you don't have the money, save up and you'll find a deal when the time is right.
i did!!! twice... start collecting... titled frame to start
Buy a complete bike and go from there. Shovels can be had super cheap these days. having a matching number bike and title also adds value when you have finished with it.
It's all reletive . If the biike has everything you want it might be better to buy a complete bike. You can always part out the stuff you dont want to replace with the cash you get back. I have gotten great motors for a grand and wheels and everything else at times. I builld every bike piece by piece to end up where I wanna be but it.takes patience to wait for the deal. I usually buy basket cases to sell ofd parts.if i.bought a complete runner it would cost me.more than I have spent cause most of the parts wouldnt be used. Shovel, triumph , or whatever. Unless you are making a stock bike.
What part is the most important to start with?
Type of engine and frame i would say . I am starting with an engine and bought aframe and looking for a springer now for my next deal.
I have a roller, just looking at the engine in particular. Thanks.
I think Loffer's experience on building bikes make his statement true for him. But it doesn't sound like you have that much experience. Correct me if I'm wrong. I've done it both ways, and have a lot of parts in my stash to pick from. But you will find the little things will nickle and dime you to death. Plus if you don't have the experience, half the time you won't even know what you're missing and what to look for. It can be pretty spendy and very frustrating. However if you deide to go this route, buy a Titled frame first and foremost. Any big ticket items like engine, transmission etc. (that have a serial #) get a Notarized bill of sale. Keep a accordian file for all receipts. And buy A SERVICE and a PARTS manual for the bike you intend to build. Also be honest with your self as far as skill level goes. Farm out, that which you cannot do.
By far, the part with the title !!! pre 70 = motor, post 70= frame. Depending on the state, I have had good luck piece by piece, people call me to buy shit daily, & i sell what i have to to be able to keep the good shit for me !!! I'm restoring a 42 wla, & have found out that the older it is the harder & more parts there are, I have never spent over a year building a bike, & this is dragging out to be almost 2 years. But its a compilation of mostly original H/D parts & all the hard ones, but i'm almost there. & i have several other bikes to ride in the mean time to !! It makes a difference.
Title like the other guys have stated, then an egine with unaltered #'s and the same with a frame if its got them.
Have to agree with both Loffer & Gscraper, Chet, i may be able to help with the drive train, a guy owes me & has a shovel motor & 4 speed ratchet top I may get for cheap. I will look into it more tomorrow & let you know, let me know what your workin with as i may be able to help.
If you are going to build make sure you have a good work area and get busy.Cramped in small places or small rooms makes it tough.I have put them together in a bedroom before.But I think there is laws now saying you can only build one custom bike in a lifetime titled custome by yourself so get a title with it or at least matching numbers.
Slim, I don't have much, so I appreciate the offer but the reason I asked was because I wanted some advice on which direction I should go. I will just continue to save and buy a complete engine when I have the scratch...
I have a roller, just looking at the engine in particular. Thanks.
Okay, now that we flogged the subject, now you tell us!:mad::D:rolleyes: If you're not worried about OEM, bang for the buck (and good quality, from buddies experience) I'd start with an Ultima case, saw one on the auction site $699.00 with free shipping and of course with an MSO. Takes all stock or Aftermarket H. D. parts. And its a cone shovel. Much cheaper than a Genny shovel to build.
Thanks Gasket. Here is my build thread. Winter/hunting as taken my time, just starting to refocus again...
if you have a chunk of change that you can hold just for the build then doing it piece by piece is easy(depending if yer lookin for hard to find parts) but if you cant do that buy a complete bike and change what you want, doing the whole build can either be a couple month thing or a couple years, if you get a complete bike atleast you will have somethin no matter what and then can really figure out plans for the bike.
So you want to build just an engine as you have the frame etc already??
Just looking into that option and asking advice.
It can be done,the only thing is a lot of people think they have gold and you may pay a good buck for the parts.
Are you looking for stock engine cases or aftermarket,as one of the guys already said Ultima makes a nice set of cases for a good price,I've used them before,whats nice is you use a pre 91 evo oil pump with their cases.
I've built a few Shovelheads like this and evos you just got to look and ask questions hit alot of swapmeets,swapmeets are the best deals,Iwould lag around untill the end then make a rock bottom offer,9 out 10 times they will take it...
just my 2 cents....
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