email from Mert . . .

I got an email from Mert Lawwill today.  It's really neat this guy actually responded to my "very good question" that I had . . . not too busy for me.  Mert is one of my all time heros of racing and engineering design.  He manufacturers parts for people with disabilities and makes their lives richer, fuller and more worthwhile.  These products help people.  His hard work and dedication doesn't go unnoticed, and he's been so much more that just a famous motorcycle racer and promoter of our sport. 
But, I gotta say . .  when you see the "In-Box" is a reply from Mert . . . it's like - Alright !  Dude ! 
So cool.  Thanks Mert.

Kenny Roberts

Are those wheels magnesium?  They sure are neat.

Honing 1939 Knucklehead Cylinders

Advanced Cycle sleeved these cylinders for me . . . and I bored and honed them for new pistons.  Nicest set of 4-Fin cylinders in the country !

Harley Racers

Road Racing, Flat Track and TT . . . with basically the same engine.

Random Stuff . . .

80" Flywheel Casting Number
Hawbaker had a great couple weeks . . . 
Won a motorcycle ice race in Wisconsin
and a snowmobile race in Clear Lake !
Harley VL Cylinders: They need valves, guides & a fresh bore.
Iowa can be very barren in the winter.
 Rochester Harley-Davidson Schedule:
MC 10.5:1 Forged Pistons w/Offset Pins
Now this is a 4 X 4 !
Always a good time in Des Moines

McFarland's Micro Machine Shop

My friend Jeff does a lot of my machine work - and it's great to see him progress from a hobby - to a skilled machinist.  He's old-school all the way.  This type of machinist is formed from old-time techniques.  No fancy shit.  It's a dying breed - and we need to keep it alive.  Making jigs and fixtures to assist in the machining process.  We've tackled all types of broken and battered parts - and put them back into service.  I have a workin' knowledge I've acquired from my dad.  I bring measuring devices, indicators and some of my our fixtures - so it's allowed us to basically fix-a-lot-of-shit - and make it reliable and functional again.  Pictured above is his Mini-Bridgeport he's built from scratch.  He's currently working on the lead screw and belt drive system.  It will run - and actually machine, small micro parts - mostly brass and aluminum.  The Micro-V-Twin engine was also built from scratch.  The arm on the front will advance the timing - it will actually run.  He's working on the fuel system.  His shop is heated with this big wood burner, old machines . . . a metal storage bin full of steel bars, brass, aluminum . . . shavings everywhere.  Cold beer - cigarette smoke.  Fun stuff !

Land of the Rising Sun

Almost forgot about this one - in Japan

New Club: The Side-Valve Sliders

Side-Valve Sliders
Must ride a side valve
Ride at least one time - every month of year
Members now include:
Noot Jr, Rattlecan, Pat 
and whoever wants to chime in . . .

Bud's Ironhead - No Warrants

It's finally done.  All gone through.  Ready for Action.  A bit more than 32 pennies, but the Down Boys will be Rockin' . . . Preserve our heritage - Rebuild Vintage !

Panhead Cylinders

Bored & honed for NOS H-D pistons . . .
Painted with H-D Hi-Heat Silver Barrel Paint

Good Swap Meets

Al's Stroker Motor

My dad checkin' piston clearance, overlap, endplay . . . all the checks you make when building these motors.  Al does his own final assembly.

Weird 1952 Cases

My motor is a 1952.  It has a hydraulic lifter "clean-out" filter screen provision cast into the cases, which is strange since the oil passages for the hydraulic lifters have never been drilled (under the tappet blocks).  Panhead hydraulic lifters were moved from the pushrods to the tappet blocks in 1953. This clean-out screen was to filter debris from the lifters.  The factory apparently started casting the clean-out into the cases in 1952?  I have a clean-out that really doesn't function in the manner it was designed to . . . and since I run solid lifters, it doesn't really matter.  Huh.  Why do I dwell on such subjects????

NOS, New Old Stock

I keep seeing parts listed as NOS, which, to me - means new, vintage, unused parts of oem, original equipment manufacturer's origin.  Made by the original companies like Harley-Davidson, Yamaha, etc.  I feel that "NOS" can also be from Performance Machine, old Gary Bang, Crazy Frank, etc.  But, now you got these bozos listing "NOS" and it's a Chinese part !  It's new, yes . . . but, it's Taiwan, India . . . come on !  If you are advertising a part as NOS for a vintage Harley . . . it should be USA.  (If I'm restoring my Chinese bicycle from 1973, that's different.)  The shaft above is the ultimate meaning of "NOS, New Old Stock."  When I opened the UPS shipping box, and pulled back the bubble wrap, I was like - freakin' aye dude ! 

Gene(son) and Joe Smith

Smith set many 1/4 mile ET records.  
Shovelheads have the potential to be incredibly fast.

. . . with a little help from my friends . . .

The countershaft (closed end) bearing boss of my KHK cases was cracked and oval.  The bearing just falls out.  Someone had tried to peen it in - it's just freaked up.  McFarland spun out an inner aluminum sleeve for the ID - and he made an aluminum "donut" for the outside.  Pat will weld all this up - creating a strong boss for the bearing.  With both case 1/2s together, with the trans door installed - McFarland will locate off the door bearing ID - and then remove the left case 1/2 - and using this dimension, line bore the closed bearing ID - to leave about a .0025 press fit for my new closed-end bearing.  Understand?  I do, but I've been running this through my head for about 10 days now . . . brain strain !

The "New Way . . .

 I just love my Newway Seat Cutter.  The carbide cutters are adjustable, they give you the 46 and the 30 (just flip it over) and you can get a 60 degree too - and then you can achieve the seat width you want, and with some practice, you get a nice smooth seat finish by gradually decreasing the pressure on the spring-loaded handle.  It makes cutting seats fun, and it's not so messy.  I lap the valves in carefully with a low-speed drill (forward & reverse) and then hand-lap the final finish.  This is my KHK racer cylinders with big, honkin' valves.  They almost touch each other.  She's factory-ported and I just dig these K Models !

Retro Rewind Dubuque - "Yes, it was a blast !"

I'd have to rate it as one of the best indoor events in the Midwest - Great to see everybody again and make some plans for Vintage Torque (also in Dubuque) 1st weekend of May . . . See ya'll soon.