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Math meets meth (aka shop built isn't always a good thing?)

4825 Views 87 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Shovel_Dan78
Figured it's been long enough, I really should just start a build thread for my 1978 Shovel. This may at times be random and rambling, but that's pretty much how I go about bike building, and life in general 馃榿
My brother got a 2000-something Softail, so I needed to get a bike to keep up. Got on Craigslist, and stumbled on a Shovel almost as old as me. I never really believed in it, but this was love at first sight. Knew in my heart that this was my old lady, and immediately called the dude. Set up a date to look at it, and of course, boss man sends me out of town on that day. Nothing stops true love, so after a white knuckle drive down a mountain (sorry, coworkers!) I made it to check it out.
She was even prettier in person! Since it had been years since I was on a bike, and had never ridden anything as finicky as an AMF Shovel, I told the dude "Yeah, looks good. If it fires up, and you make around the block, I'll take it". She fires up, first try. Oh my God, what a sweet sound! He makes it back, and I'm sooooooo sold. Check the VIN with my "What fits what" book. The bike has FL bodywork and an electric start + kick, but the VIN says it's an FX kick. And the engine number matches the frame!
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Sounds good to me, let's do this!
He hands me a folder full of receipts from professional shops, so I figure, wow, must be totally good work (more on this foolish assumption later!!!). I let my brother ride her home, because I trust his riding skills ore than mine. And that is where my adventure begins...
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Thats one brand . Sorry for double pics ?
It is, but for it to crack, I'd actually have to get it running and on the road 馃槀. Right now I'm just trying to figure out why I'm only getting forty though travel on my pressure plate when I should be seeing at least sixty!
I'm pretty sure it has to do with spring tension. With 9 springs I barely saw any movement, with four springs I saw .060, with six springs I see .042. I am trying to find out if just four springs will be enough, or maybe either get longer shoulder bolts, or remove a friction and steel plate to reduce the clutch patch overall thickness, in order to ease some of the spring pressure 馃し馃徎鈥嶁檪锔
How are the fingers on your clutch release lever inside the kicker cover? I've also seen them with a finger broken off that were kicking the release bearing sideways.
How are the fingers on your clutch release lever inside the kicker cover? I've also seen them with a finger broken off that were kicking the release bearing sideways.
Copy that , and a worn down throw out bearing and that 鈥渨itch hat鈥 you where talking about Dan will not help either , this is to transfer the movement from the lever to the push rod.
Best to change this for a panhead style throw out bearing anyway.
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Are my terms off? I thought the witch hat is the old style heavy duty conical looking throwout. That's what I have, not the wafer-and-oil-flinger type. It looks like the "two finger" lever that sits in the notch on the witch hat is still intact.
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Took out a friction and steel, and put the pressure plate adjusting screw at 1/8 turn out. Seeing .065 travel now. Unless I hear any warnings about why taking out a couple plates is a bad idea, I think I'm gonna give this a try 馃槵
After three months of sitting idle, my baby finally got in the wind again! After starting the day breaking my starter solenoid, I soldiered on with buttoning things up. Kickstarting wasn't as easy as it used to be. Found out why, when my oil cap blew off, and my breather began spewing more oil than Jed Clampett's homestead 馃が Guess the case filled up over the winter. Once I stopped panicking, the bike settled in and ran as smoothly as I remembered. Went for a test ride.
It seemed like I had to let the lever out almost all the way for the clutch to engage, and the bike didn't pull as forcefully from a stop as I recalled. But shifting was smooth, and after the ride, it shifted into neutral on the first try 馃榿. Still need some tuning and seat time, but am thrilled to be back on two wheels!
Great , enjoy
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Since it was pretty clear that I either needed to clean my pilot jet, or invest in a gym membership to strengthen my kicking leg, I decided to rebuild my Dellorto. Wow, amazing how complicated a bunch of Italian engineers can make something! Jets underneath jets, that was a new one. Thank God I took photos of each step of the disassembly!
Anyhow, since the throttle cable came from who knows where, I was having trouble with the cable outer popping out of the carb top, since it is so close to the underbelly of the tank.
Had to make a little bracket to keep the cable seated in there. Not the prettiest, but no one will ever see it anywho. Just hope it works!
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Oh yeah, you can also see the choke lever extension I made, to replace the janky vacuum hose I had stuck on there.
Tip:

Bicycle cable parts make nice throttle cable runs on motorcycles.

You can use a "noodle" for that 90 bend at the top of your carb. They cost $3 on Amazon or LBS.

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Oh joys of this wonderful experience you are on, welcome to the club...
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I think I've finally found a workaround on my BDL kit. After installing it, I wasn't seeing sixty thousandths travel on the pressure plate. It looked to me like the springs were binding up(?). With lots of help from the BDL tech, I tried various things, but they weren't working. In the end, I put on shoulder bolts that were 1/4" longer than the ones that came in the kit. I have to run all 9 spring/bolts, because the clutch was slipping with just six. So far, things are going well, so I will let you know how it works in the long run 馃槉
why not use the longer shoulder bolts and shim them for correct travel and pressure with lesser springs, that will save your jerking hand in time.
i only use 4 springs now and so far it is enough.
edit, or machine down the pressure plate surface and use the stock shoulder bolts.
Not that I've got my belt drive pretty well sorted, my next project is the oil system. Besides the remote oil filter, I want to bend up up some hardline and run from the crankcase to each rockerbox.
I want to plan it out BEFORE I start taking it all apart, so I am wondering what the threaded holes in the crankcase and rockersboxes are? I've heard they are 1/8NPT, but wanted to doublecheck before buying anything (I've got enough "this'll probably fit" parts already, lol!)
Thanks, always, for your help!
Holes in heads and cases is 1/8NPT.

Wide variety of fittings available.

I did did mine in stainless hard tube with push-to-fit fittings.

Not not leaked a drop in years and is easily serviced/removed.

Jason

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Clean looking setup! I'm a total nerd for plumbing and wiring 馃
Thanks for the info. Years ago I plumbed a couple of hot rods in stainless AN, so I've got a little experience. I did have to use aircraft conical seals on a few connections to get everything leak proof, but I have had way better luck with AN than those damn inverted flare connections in autos, lol.
I'm stoked, because I will be able to use the leftover 3/16 line on my brakes once I get done with the oil 馃榿
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After much deliberation, trial and error, I am nearing completion of an oil filter addition to my Shovel. Just need to add oil and redo the top rocket oil line I had to cut in half to remove so I could change the seals.
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