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  1. #1
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    Default 79 Shovelhead build

    Welp after spending the last few weeks looking for a shovel to buy, this project popped up locally. Rode over to check it out and I was sold almost immediately. I was torn between picking up a stock shovel then tearing down, hard tailing, paint, etc or finding a project someone was selling (or kinda assembled basket case?)

    Hereís some pics (sellers pics)









    Plans are to first get the oil tank/battery box mounted. As of right now Iím going with horseshoe style with battery mount in the back. This I need to buy. Would any horseshoe tank for an older big twin work? I heard panhead horseshoe tanks will clear the transmission.

    Then figure out how to mount the fender (to the oil tank?). Wiring next, going minimalist (small battery, lights, etc). Remove electric start components & outer/inner primary cases. Any idea on what kind of belt clutch system that is? The hard tail is a Road 6 Customs. Sportster 39mm narrow front end too, I plan on shaving the forks too.

    The motor ran a few months ago, right before the PO hardtailed it. Iím hoping she starts up smooth after everything above is done.

    I will be ditching the forward controls for Frisco high mids. Eventually throw on a 40 spoke rear wheel.

    Iím new with Shovelheads or old bikes in general. Been riding and working on my EVO sporty for the past 8 years. I'm looking forward getting this shovel up and running. Please let me know if you guys see anything Iím not or any other good info. Anything to help me get on track with this thing. Gracias.

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    Kickass man, that is EXACTLY the type of project I am hoping for in the next year or two.

    You really scored sweet on that one. Good luck and enjoy every minute of it

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    ]Hey man that’s a good shovelhead project.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FC1DFCAE-1037-4421-9EBF-664B88EA35A4.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	24.8 KB 
ID:	102448 I have a 79 shovel that I hardtailed the stock frame and used a horseshoe oil tank off an older EVO softail that fit really well above that rotary top 4 speed transmission (like the one on your bike). I had to weld 3 bungs to the frame to mount it, but it’s solid and has lasted the past few years of riding.

    If I was you I would run that belt drive without a primary cover, it looks just like my BDL but I’m not sure which one you have.
    Last edited by Eldergiraffe; 04-22-2020 at 8:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldergiraffe View Post
    ]Hey man thatís a good shovelhead project.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	FC1DFCAE-1037-4421-9EBF-664B88EA35A4.jpg 
Views:	19 
Size:	24.8 KB 
ID:	102448 I have a 79 shovel that I hardtailed the stock frame and used a horseshoe oil tank off an older EVO softail that fit really well above that rotary top 4 speed transmission (like the one on your bike). I had to weld 3 bungs to the frame to mount it, but itís solid and has lasted the past few years of riding.

    If I was you I would run that belt drive without a primary cover, it looks just like my BDL but Iím not sure which one you have.
    Thanks dudes. I just ordered a black repro panhead style horseshoe oil tank. Tomorrow I'm gonna a begin tearing off the electric start components. And yeah, I do plan on running an open primary. Once I get electric start crap off I'll remove clutch and inner/outer primary covers.

    Can you show me your shift linkage (if your running hand clutch) for those Frisco mids? I'm ditching these forwards and going Frisco mids.

    I plan on using two tabs from lowbrow to mount oil tank (do I need three?). And hopefully the oil tank mounts will fit the downtube mounts on the shovel frame. We will see.

    Previous owner was kind enough to throw her on the back of his truck and drop her off today.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20200422_165251.jpg  

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    Good call on the black oil tank. Chrome nowadays is shit and pits then looks like ass.

  6. #6

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    with that pan oil bag you'll also need battery tie down rods, Battery tray and tank mounting hardware from Colony or J&p or make your own spacers. and a battery cover (metal) The front mounts will match if I remember correctly. Great project. I'll follow it for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gww250 View Post
    with that pan oil bag you'll also need battery tie down rods, Battery tray and tank mounting hardware from Colony or J&p or make your own spacers. and a battery cover (metal) The front mounts will match if I remember correctly. Great project. I'll follow it for sure.
    Yeah I'm gonna order those next. Do you guys recommend a battery that fits in those tanks? I'm going for minimal electronics so I'm assuming I don't need a large battery. This will give me extra room so I can put fuse block in there as well. I plan on doing lots of searching here when I get to that stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    Good call on the black oil tank. Chrome nowadays is shit and pits then looks like ass.
    Yeah, not a fan of a lot of chrome on bikes. Just a little here and there is cool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan83taco View Post
    This will give me extra room so I can put fuse block in there as well.
    There won't be room enough for a fuse block, just enough for a good quality battery..... This is a pic of my pan battery....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails MVC-007S.JPG  

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan83taco View Post
    Thanks dudes. I just ordered a black repro panhead style horseshoe oil tank. Tomorrow I'm gonna a begin tearing off the electric start components. And yeah, I do plan on running an open primary. Once I get electric start crap off I'll remove clutch and inner/outer primary covers.

    Can you show me your shift linkage (if your running hand clutch) for those Frisco mids? I'm ditching these forwards and going Frisco mids.

    I plan on using two tabs from lowbrow to mount oil tank (do I need three?). And hopefully the oil tank mounts will fit the downtube mounts on the shovel frame. We will see.

    Previous owner was kind enough to throw her on the back of his truck and drop her off today.


    I was planning on doing frisco mids but after making a set and trying them out sitting on the bike, I hated the way it felt so I ditched them and made some forward controls to suit my riding style.

    As for having three mounts on the oil tank, you definitely don’t need three but I added the third mount under the battery tray because I build shit overkill...seemed like a good idea on one of those snow days with nothing else to do.

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    Thanks for the info guys.

    Got the primary off and gave her a good degreasing and cleaning today. Also, that rope method of getting the compensator nut off works great!







    Found this on the 4 speed. Looks and feels like caulk. Is this some shitty leak repair??



    Ditched the forward controsl but now I have no kickstand, bahaha. Gotta find one. Also getting rid of that real wheel. Not my style. Found a softail 16x3 (3/4 axle) chrome spoke locally, gonna go pick it up today.

    Cleaned up the front wheel, it’s a keeper.

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    just a heads up, you wont get that oil tank in there with a cowpie trans

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    Quote Originally Posted by Natehate View Post
    just a heads up, you wont get that oil tank in there with a cowpie trans
    Well shit. Thanks for the heads up man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan83taco View Post
    Thanks for the info guys.

    Got the primary off and gave her a good degreasing and cleaning today. Also, that rope method of getting the compensator nut off works great!







    Found this on the 4 speed. Looks and feels like caulk. Is this some shitty leak repair??



    Ditched the forward controsl but now I have no kickstand, bahaha. Gotta find one. Also getting rid of that real wheel. Not my style. Found a softail 16x3 (3/4 axle) chrome spoke locally, gonna go pick it up today.

    Cleaned up the front wheel, it’s a keeper.
    Hey man, funny that I had the same caulk on my cowpie tranny too. Yes those were probably leaking through the o rings that should seal those shafts. I replaced all the seals and orings when I rebuilt my transmission and still put some gasket maker over the ends of the shafts.

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    Does anyone use this stock frame tab before I cut it off? The lower one parallel to the head/jug. Kinda curious about what is was originally intended for.



    Making progress on this thing. Cleaning it up. Got my fork lowers off, sending those off to Quality Handmade Motorcycles so he can trim off those Fork tabs (fender and brake), shave, and a polish. While those were off I figured itíd be a great time to throw on some 6 over forks, ordered those from TC Bros. Im glad I took apart these forks becuase the seals were gross. Ordered a new 530 chain from them too. Iím gonna inspect steering head comments, grease bearing as well, and get those installed correctly.



    Ditched that ugly (IMO) rear wheel and picked up a NOS 16x3 chrome spoke (3/4 axle) which was cheap and super clean. Throwing a Shinko 777 on their too.

    Big thanks to @bringtherukus for helping me ID that horseshoe tank hat fits with cow pies. Itís on the way. And yeah, that 58 to 64 definitely doesnít fit cow pies.

    Got a new rear fender, sissy bar kit, and mounts on the way from Lowbrow too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bryan83taco View Post
    Does anyone use this stock frame tab before I cut it off? The lower one parallel to the head/jug. Kinda curious about what is was originally intended for.



    Making progress on this thing. Cleaning it up. Got my fork lowers off, sending those off to Quality Handmade Motorcycles so he can trim off those Fork tabs (fender and brake), shave, and a polish. While those were off I figured it’d be a great time to throw on some 6 over forks, ordered those from TC Bros. Im glad I took apart these forks becuase the seals were gross. Ordered a new 530 chain from them too. I’m gonna inspect steering head comments, grease bearing as well, and get those installed correctly.



    Ditched that ugly (IMO) rear wheel and picked up a NOS 16x3 chrome spoke (3/4 axle) which was cheap and super clean. Throwing a Shinko 777 on their too.

    Big thanks to @bringtherukus for helping me ID that horseshoe tank hat fits with cow pies. It’s on the way. And yeah, that 58 to 64 definitely doesn’t fit cow pies.

    Got a new rear fender, sissy bar kit, and mounts on the way from Lowbrow too.
    Hey that tab is for mounting a stock style oil cooler. I cut it off mine because IMO oil coolers on choppers/bobbers aren’t necessary...but that’s just my opinion

    Cool looking project, I’ll be following along!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eldergiraffe View Post
    Hey man, funny that I had the same caulk on my cowpie tranny too. Yes those were probably leaking through the o rings that should seal those shafts. I replaced all the seals and orings when I rebuilt my transmission and still put some gasket maker over the ends of the shafts.
    That’s funny, obviously a common fix. I’m gonna keep an eye on it. Haven’t seen this engine and transmission run yet so I’m hoping all is well.


    Quote Originally Posted by Eldergiraffe View Post
    Hey that tab is for mounting a stock style oil cooler. I cut it off mine because IMO oil coolers on choppers/bobbers aren’t necessary...but that’s just my opinion

    Cool looking project, I’ll be following along!
    Thanks man, that tab will definitely be coming off.

    Found a good deal on nice 21” wheel then ordered a tire for it.

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    Does anyone use this stock frame tab before I cut it off? The lower one parallel to the head/jug. Kinda curious about what is was originally intended for.
    The lower one, on the left side, is for the horn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by confab View Post
    The lower one, on the left side, is for the horn.
    Oh ok I see. So the one up top between the wishbone is for the stock style oil cooler and the lower is for a horn. Probably will cut both off. But I’m not there yet.

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    Hey guys, do me a favor and check out my fender and sissy bar mount plan. I also will be doing a 3.5” bung on the bottom frame rail to the bottom of the fender.

    So three total mounting positions. One at the sissy bar with the trailer fender support bracket, a bracket on the top frame bar to the fender, then the bung I just mentioned. Never done this before so let me know what to fix before it’s all welded on.

    I plan on tack welding everything once it’s good then bringing the stripped frame to a local bike shop so they can do some real welds on there. Not confident in my welding skills and I lack any real welding equipment for frame work. Just got a little flux core machine.







    Edit: can’t seem to find a 3.5 coped and threaded bung on the webs. Is that bottom mount necessary with the two top mounts?
    Last edited by bryan83taco; 04-30-2020 at 5:10 PM.

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    Got my fender mounts figured out. Sissy bar and fender all ready to go. Trimmed the fender and cut for chain relief. Parts are starting to come in. But I fucked up and ordered a wide glide 21” front wheel. Didn’t realize until after I put the tire on. Also realized the 11.5” rotor that came in the parts bin with bike is for the front. Oof. Not running front brakes.

    Quality handmade motorcycles finished up my forks. They are looking fucking sweet. TC Bros 6 over forks came in too. Just mocking things up for now. Waiting on some mounting tabs and bungs to to finish up oil tank and fender.





    Once these tabs and bungs come in I’m ripping out the engine and trans to weld everything up. Gonna cut off useless stuff on the frame then clean it up rattle can it. I’ll take it apart this winter and powder coat.

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