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Thread: 1979 Shovelhead

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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    705

    Default 1979 Shovelhead

    So I finally bought myself a shovelhead, its already been hardtailed and has an open belt drive. however, it has some issues right off the bat that I'm going to have to address before its road ready.

    Here's some pics to start off the thread -








  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    705

    Default

    Some of the issues i've noticed right away:

    The bike has horrible exhaust leaks, i can feel the air leaking out while its running from both exhaust ports at the heads. Anyone have suggestions on gaskets for sealing these up? Saw a recommendation to use / stretch evo exhaust gaskets?

    They didnt put a proper petcock on...instead it has a plumbing style 3 position valve in the fuel line....the carb also isnt sealed at the line and leaks horribly. its a super e carb. whenever the bike is running and i crack on the throttle it feels like it wont return to idle very quickly, not sure whats causing it to stay running at higher rpm after you crack the throttle, maybe thats related to the exhaust leak?

    the seat and fender mounts are both broken and will need to be redone.







    it looks like they were fucking jb welded bolts or something. the frame has a cross post behind the oil tank i can probably drill through to mount the fender to with two bolts. a lot of the hardware on this bike seems hastily thrown together and not very quality. like the gas tank has two different bolt types and the exhaust studs are two different types of bolts as well (allen and hex...)


    The rear juice drum has ZERO pressure and is not working at all. Not sure where to start troubleshooting this one. Even after pumping it ~100 times i cant get any brake pressure in it. Its using a modern style master cylinder setup with a braided line with no pressure light switch between the mc and the brake itself. i'll need to add one to add a brake light, does anyone have a suggestion on what to use?

    Ideally i'd like to bring the forward controls to mid controls , or high mids. anyone have suggestions on mids they are using?

    I'm new to shovelheads, but coming from experience with ironheads.

  3. #3

    Default

    That is a sweet, sweet start to a project that isn't too involved!

    I would say if the exhaust seals are that fucked then the intake is probably not too good, which may explain your carb situation as well, though the leaky fuel line and exhaust leaks are not helping I'm sure. Another simple solution may just be a gunked up throttle cable that is hanging up.

    For your brake light, I would recommend this guy:

    Woodcraft Brake Light Switch

    If you can just suss out what size your banjo is that can replace it. I've used it before and it's super clean and simple.

    As for high mids (the tightest look in my opinion) Maindrive Cycles makes a whole kit:

    FRISCO MID CONTROLS

    That said, it wouldn't be hard to go off his design and make a less polished version of the same system yourself.

    Hope that helps!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Posts
    12,134

    Default

    That's a damn nice looking start... Take your time, do it right and it will be a reliable bike for many years...

  5. #5

    Default

    Rad bike. Are you set on the juice drum? I ran a brakeless front end with a 2000+ softail caliper in the back, much better set up and stopping power. I'd make sure the pipes are not connected to the frame in a way thats pulling them away from the heads. Also the EVO ones would be a good solution but ya gotta stretch them a bit. Also make sure you have a proper carb support and all your intake seals are spot on too. Looks fun!

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Posts
    705

    Default

    thanks for the replies guys, didnt have too much of a chance to work on it but i did order some parts. gonna be swapping it over to a dyna s ignition system, done that on my ironhead before should be easy.

    Anyone know how i should bleed the brakes on the rear drum? I dont really see a nipple to loosen to attach a bleeder to like i would on a regular caliper. i tried googling but didnt find much on how to bleed it.

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