Click hereto see first week progress report.

Click here to see final report and photos.

The Grim Reaper Comes Together Again.
May 23, 2006

I've spent the week putting the engine together and getting it into the frame.
A few bits have come up missing, which is slowing the process, but the thing is beginning to take shape.
The engine went together with no problem - easy to say before it's been fired up (grin). It only took a ten thou shim under the front mounts to make it solid. I've used grade eight and stainless steel fasteners throughout. That stuff's expensive. I'll probably have a couple hundred bucks in nuts and bolts in it before I'm done.
Most people prefer the panhead for looks, but I think a clean shovelhead is the best looking engine Harley's ever done.

There's no reason on earth for me to use a magneto and SU carb except they just look right on this bike, and they work just fine when they're set up properly. Just call it nostalgia.

Notice in the photo at right, at the back of the rear cylinder there is a curved piece of tubing from crankcase to rocker box. If it ain't one damn thing it's another. I went to a hydraulic shop to have that hose made - for you folks who don't know Harley engines, it feeds oil to the rockers. I got it back about a half-inch too long; it ought to barely have a curve in it at all. It'll get changed.

Here you see the two elements of the rear suspension on a rigid; springs under the seat (for those of us over 50) and a rear tire run at about 18 to 20 psi. I put a Continental tire on the rear the first time I built the thing in Puerto Rico - it was all I could get. The damn thing has a sidewall like cement, very rough-riding. I'l replace it with an Avon.
I'm a happy camper. It's all coming together. I've got to finish installing the magneto (a drive gear was missing from the kit), assemble the primary drive (the sprocket nut grew legs while it was in storage; have to order a new one), brake lines, hang the tanks, and a few other odds and ends and it'll be ready to go.
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