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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-21-2018, 02:25 AM Thread Starter
Alpha Geek
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Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Midwest USA
Posts: 487
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This is the bike I've been planning a long time to build around Wolfie's red and black seat. It's a 1974 XLCH Sportster 1000 with several non-original parts but a lot of potential. 72-79 are the best for strong builds, but 72-73 have the crap jugs that can only be bored 0.030. Basically shot if they're worn at all when you buy the bike. 74 makes this the first year of the good jugs, slight better 1000cc heads I'm told than the 72/73, and the last year of right side shifters. Yep, that's going to confuse anyone who wants to borrow this!

I got her in trade for a VN750 that kept giving me trouble plus some cash. Not running per se, but did kick over and sputter, horking a bit too much oil from the puke tube. Wiring was a hack job, twist together to start. Title was clean though, not stolen with the ignition chopped and hotwired. I checked the VIN. It's a real 4Axxxxxxx. Numbers matching. Read up. Great year to get, and it came with some extra parts I might be able to hawk.

Now she's going to be a long term project and build. First mechanical rebuilding, then tuning and streetable, then customizing and cosmetics. It was somewhere between a bike I wanted to get running for myself and for Wolfie to have some fun with too, and since he croaked the bucket, it's a tribute/memorial bike for him now. I'm not sure which way I'll go cosmetically yet, whether to build something he would have made himself, something he'd think was really cool (he was into all kinds of things), make it a midsize Sporty bagger like Bessie, or build the shape as something else and theme it for him. Lots of ideas, lots of ways to go, so I'll be keeping an open mind and seeing what parts I come across. That's a lot of what Wolfie did too.

It's been sitting a while on the back burner as I'm trying to get by disabled without any disability income, parts taken off, boxed, some ruined by inconsiderate others who shared a garage, and I was beginning to tear it down to find any problems before I put it on the road. Well, there was oil all over it, of course. It's a real vintage Harley ("bless their oily little hearts"), not some twincam/twinkie garbage. There was so much crap on the cases, I couldn't even tell where it was leaking from. Engine out to do the oil pump because it was soaked and no telling if it was any good, and without that, there's no point in any moving parts.

Well, since that was off it turned into pulling the heads. Dirty as hell. Jugs are only another 4 nuts each and no water jackets, so why not? Off they came. A few worrying score marks. "If you give a mouse a Harley...". Next thing I knew, cam cover, primary cover, rocker boxes, tins, controls, oil bag, etc. Might as well get the frame cleared off so I can touch up any rust.

Now I'm at the point where I've gotten new micrometers, dial indicators, inside bore gauges, etc. to check it all over. What's the damage? Hard to say without splitting the cases, but I have a lot measured out and so far it doesn't seem toooo bad compared so some I've seen. More pics and info to follow as I get time.
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