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  1. #1
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    Default 1952 Panhead "Rustoration"

    I picked up this 1952 FL earlier this year. I want to get a correct rigid frame for it. It's got an unknown year swingarm frame now and has been this way for at least 40+ years. I'm planning on switching over the motor/trans and wheels/forks and doing a jockey shift. Getting a HD frame is probably impossible but what year would be semi correct, 48-52? I'd do aftermarket as well I'm not restoring just want a rigid correct 52 style. Thanks for any advice.





    The previous owner
    Last edited by Bbqbiker; 09-28-2017 at 6:42 AM.

  2. #2
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    Nice bike...Any wish bone frame will look correct..... 98 percent of the people wouldn't know the difference....... Now a 52 was by it's self like most of those years..... I wouldn't get a aftermarket frame go with a Harley one..... But that's me it's your bike..... Good luck...

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    Very nice acquisition and an epic beard btw. I suggest you obtain an Instagram account, there you will probably find a good deal on a straight early pan rigid frame, probably $1k or so. Aftermarket about $1.2k++ depending on country of origin. You've got a beauty as is with a few personal updates.

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    Last edited by Dragstews; 10-04-2015 at 8:13 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tattooo View Post
    Nice bike...Any wish bone frame will look correct..... 98 percent of the people wouldn't know the difference....... Now a 52 was by it's self like most of those years..... I wouldn't get a aftermarket frame go with a Harley one..... But that's me it's your bike..... Good luck...
    Thanks, original is the direction I'm heading

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    Quote Originally Posted by crush1776 View Post
    Very nice acquisition and an epic beard btw. I suggest you obtain an Instagram account, there you will probably find a good deal on a straight early pan rigid frame, probably $1k or so. Aftermarket about $1.2k++ depending on country of origin. You've got a beauty as is with a few personal updates.
    Crush,

    Thanks for the info. The beard belongs to the previous owner and it is epic and he's a nice guy.

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    Thanks for the info much appreciated

  8. #8
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    Very nice bike the way it sits (sissy bar is a little over the top though ). I would a couple of things. Get "How to restore your H.D. 1936-1947" by Bruce Palmer III from the Palmers website and "How to restore Classic H.D. big Twins " by Rick Schunk. They'll run you about 150.00 for both and be well worth the money if your doing a correct restoration. That being said BEFORE you make any changes to that nice ride I would find out an approx. amount of money I might spend vs. just looking for a more correct bike to begin with. it could take years to build what you want. As far as O.E.M frames are concerned It's pricey to find an uncut one. If your thinking about replacing / repairing an O.E.M frame my rule of thumb is they are only worth repairing if you need one large replacement casting and one small replacement casting . Castings and the cost of work to replace them can get very costly , very quickly even if you could do the job yourself. If they need more than that forget that particular frame and spend it on one closer to original and save yourself the hassle.
    Good luck.

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    Might be a thought ... ???



    Replica rear hardtail frame section is duplicated from an original rigid frame. Weld-on type.
    This hardtail includes rear transmission mount, tool box bracket, fender cross brace, seat post top yoke, and 2 dowel pins to connect lower frame tubes. Installer must weld lower tube inserts and top seat post yoke assembly which requires alignment and fitting of the components. Top seat post forging is included but not welded in place, fabricator or installed must add tubing and seat post bushing.
    Fits:
    FL 1958-1984
    FX 1971-1984

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by 47str8leg View Post
    Very nice bike the way it sits (sissy bar is a little over the top though ). I would a couple of things. Get "How to restore your H.D. 1936-1947" by Bruce Palmer III from the Palmers website and "How to restore Classic H.D. big Twins " by Rick Schunk. They'll run you about 150.00 for both and be well worth the money if your doing a correct restoration. That being said BEFORE you make any changes to that nice ride I would find out an approx. amount of money I might spend vs. just looking for a more correct bike to begin with. it could take years to build what you want. As far as O.E.M frames are concerned It's pricey to find an uncut one. If your thinking about replacing / repairing an O.E.M frame my rule of thumb is they are only worth repairing if you need one large replacement casting and one small replacement casting . Castings and the cost of work to replace them can get very costly , very quickly even if you could do the job yourself. If they need more than that forget that particular frame and spend it on one closer to original and save yourself the hassle.
    Good luck.
    Again, thanks for this good information and advice from those who have done this before.

    I'm very happy with the bike, runs perfect and does everything right. That being said, I want a correct 52 frame for the 52 motor. It's not a restoration project but will be a dirty old rigid chopper instead of a dirty old swingarm chopper.

    I will keep the chassis and maybe drop in a pan/shovel motor and have another old runner in the stable.
    Last edited by Bbqbiker; 10-09-2015 at 8:40 PM. Reason: Typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragstews View Post
    Might be a thought ... ???

    Replica rear hardtail frame section is duplicated from an original rigid frame. Weld-on type.
    This hardtail includes rear transmission mount, tool box bracket, fender cross brace, seat post top yoke, and 2 dowel pins to connect lower frame tubes. Installer must weld lower tube inserts and top seat post yoke assembly which requires alignment and fitting of the components. Top seat post forging is included but not welded in place, fabricator or installed must add tubing and seat post bushing.
    If he had a forged neck like on OEM swing arm frame, maybe that replica hard tail could be an opttion, but in my opinion, it'll look awkard with the front frame he have.

    Good idea to look for an original frame, if you don't want a mint condition, you'll find one, they are out there

    Good luck with your project, it's a nice start !

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    Yeah just get looking, put up a wanted ad on george's antique motorcycle trader

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    Quote Originally Posted by ElekVins View Post

    If he had a forged neck like on OEM swing arm frame.

    Maybe that replica hard tail could be an opttion, but in my opinion, it'll look awkard with the front frame he have.
    Good eye Vins, didn't see that it was a repop swing-arm...

    If it was a OG Harley frame, be a bit hard to tell that a hardtail had been grafted on... Side-car loops would be a dead giveaway....

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    Took the Pan out for leisurely ride on Sunday, stopped at a cookout and then in the afternoon decided to take a ride down see My Motor Jesus. He has my blown up 124 on his bench (oil pump fail) and was going to put it back in the retarded bike on Monday. Since he had the motor out I took the exhaust pipe home and rattle canned a few coats of stove paint on it to freshen it up a bit. You'd think that a thousand dollar ceramic coated pipe wouldnt look crusty and rusty after less than a year but thats another story ahem RB Racing. Cough cough.

    So....I carefully wrap the pipes and bungee them to the sissybar on the Pan and jump on the highway. I'm rollin along at 75ish and life is good. The Pans runnin sweet, I'm droppin off parts to get the stupid bike back in action, and there will be beer when I arrive.

    Uh oh........losin power on this long uphill grade.........
    Uh oh........lost a lot of power and now I'm riding a single cylinder bike......crap! What the hell........I'm just gonna ride it out till it dies....no mechanical noises just running on 1 cylinder how bad could it be??

    I put my chin on the tank to streamline myself hahaha and I manage a respectable 39mph. Little cloud of smoke behind me and got some curious looks from the cars blowin by me at 70 but I was determined not to walk.

    I pulled up Motor Jesus's driveway and he was there shaking his head. "That don't sound good" I left it running and hopped off. I was amazed that it idled at all. There was some oil around the front cylinder but not too much else to see. I shut it down and pulled the front plug, it was dripping with oil. Put a thumb over the plug hole and kicked it over....no compression. She's all done. Was gonna do a top end over the winter but winter came early I guess.

    So into the shop goes the Pan, next to my bagger on the lift with it's motor dissasembled on the bench. We have a couple beers and then go out for a nice Portugese steak dinner. Life is good again. He'll put the motor back in the bagger, then tackle the Pan. Motor Jesus lets me take his FXR home. It's nice to have a mechanic with a courtesy loaner.

    I have a 3rd bike in the barn, an nice 84 FXR that I was intending to sell, but I may just throw a plate on it because I apparently need backup bikes to ride. I'm not an abuser I just have bad luck.

    This is the life I have chosen...

  15. #15
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    Teardown in progress motors gettin total rebuild cases up. This bike is going to be left as is after motor is freshened up, I like it and have a 48 rigid Pan build going in another thread.





    Last edited by Bbqbiker; 10-16-2017 at 1:54 PM.

  16. #16
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    Hahahha slight change of plans....went to Motor Jesus's shop to check progress on the 52 motor rebuild and there was a frame sitting on the shop floor. It's a Santee big twin straight leg rigid frame (oem replica) built in 2001 with paperwork. Dammit.....

    If the 52 wasnt torn down then I would have just grabbed another beer and passed on it. But...I've wanted to put the motor in a rigid since I got it. So.....a deal was struck and the 52 motor will go in this frame along with everything that will fit from my swingarm frame. Gotta get tins and a jockey setup......I think I know where I can get some....stay "tuned"

    Last edited by Bbqbiker; 10-16-2017 at 1:49 PM.

  17. #17
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    So I'm back at this again....

    Motor's ready for assembly, lower end's all rebuilt heads are done. I shitcanned that Santee frame and have now decided to purchase a complete Vtwin 1949 HydraGlide roller. Drop in my motor and trans and be done with it.

    This is what I'm thinking


    I ordered it with " restoration finish" which is black and parkerizing hardware. Black 16" wheels too. Comes with everything minus drivetrain. I can modify to my liking as it goes together. It may smell a little like paddy water but I'll be RIDING

    I bought a lift. Yeah it's the Harbor Freight one and I had a fucking coupon so WTF it was $329 out the door.

    Fits in my Van


    I will attempt to put this all together myself over the coming fall/winter. Should be a total fiasco as I can barely change a spark plug. But I'll be able to say I fucked up everything MYSELF!

    Cleaned up cylinders


    Line boring






    0.30 over Wiseco forged Pistons


    Andrews J cam gonna reuse it


    Matching cases


    Matching cases
    Last edited by Bbqbiker; 09-28-2017 at 6:46 AM.

  18. #18
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    bbq, I know it's a bunch of extra work but i'd be real interested to see this come together. I want to see how much needs tweeking and fitment. I would look for a roller in the meantime if you havn't ordered it yet. I bet it's a pricey booger.

  19. #19
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    Out of curiousity. How much did you have to cough up for that roller?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by nuklhd View Post
    bbq, I know it's a bunch of extra work but i'd be real interested to see this come together. I want to see how much needs tweeking and fitment. I would look for a roller in the meantime if you havn't ordered it yet. I bet it's a pricey booger.
    I'm just a working slob and can't afford all the through the roof prices on OEM shit. $3,500 frames? $700 headlights? $2,500 springers?? I'm all set. I just wanna ride I have no one to impress but myself fuck those cork sniffers I'm not a restorer I'm a rider

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