Day 1 photo of our project bike
Here it is as I got it,
front end smashed, rusty, one sorry sight. Can it be fixed, of
course it can, have faith!
Stripped down to the basics
Already come a long way,
but a long way to go. The further I get the more I find to do.
Dirt and rust holding it together
Just frame, engine, transmission
and lots of grease, dirt and leaves. Oh yea, and some crusty
old wires. All sitting on my new lift!
Think my wife would kill
me if I put these parts in the dishwasher?
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OK, I pick up a 1976 Electra-Glide
for $600, a dream right? Right! Just needs a little elbo-grease
and some good old fashion wrenchin'. So I call my buddies over,
buy some beer and away we go...
Dec 21st, 2000
First we pull off all that front end damage. Looks like it's
been in a major accident. The down-tubes are bent up bad, the
lower tree is junk, lower legs may be salvagable. We took the
headlight shroud off, what a mess of wires. I tried to label
as many as I could but it's messy. I have to go get the shop
manual! We have to hammer the fork tubes to get them out, I hope
the top tree is OK. One of the studs in the lower fork leg is
broken but it comes right out with an EZ-out. The damper rods
are straight but they're really scratched up. I'm getting new
ones. Headlight shroud is cracked. Front wheel and front fender are junk.
Ok front end is off and out of the way.
We start trying to clean things up and see what's good and what's
not. The read bumpers and light bars are really rusty and it
looks like a monkey wired them. Off they go. The fiberglass
bags come off the back (just pop off
with 2 levers). The buddy seat comes off.
I kinda like it but both me and my wife won't fit. Plus it puts
me up too high. While taking it off I notice the monkey that
did the wiring put the seat on too. With coat hangers?! I take
the carb off and start cleaning that, we replace the oil cooler,
remove the oil tank and some of the chrome covers to get to the
gunk on the transmission. The battery box is a bitch. Those little
rubber mounts are rusty as hell and I brake most of them off.
Oh well, I'll get to that later. Tank come off too. Looks good
inside! But the wiring under the tank
The carb confuses me a little. It has a Keihin, but it's not
the stock one. From the manual it looks like the 1978-198something.
But I think the engine is a 1976. No matter, both carbs are strait
forward, butterfly with excellerator pump. I spend about 3 hours
cleaning it inside and out.
So we get a little ahead of ourselves and go for some gratification.
We breakout the polish and scrape a few layers off the rocker
covers, polish the shocks, fender struts, anything that will
shine. OH YEAH, my father-in-law (the guy who found this machine
in the first place) bought me a bike lift for Christmas. So we're
loving life, rolling the bike around. I have the thing a foot
and a half off the floor. SWEET!
Now I think we'll get back to work.
I did some sand blasting in a make-shift blasting box. Dust everywhere.
I think I need to invest in a real blasting box if I'm going
to keep sand blasting. I cleaned up the battery box. Lots of
rust from a leaky battery. Not like new but it will look fine
once I paint it. I took the front calliper apart and started
to follow the "overhaul" instructions in the Climer
manual. Says to use compressed air to blow the piston out of
the calliper. I figured out that one of the air fiting I have
threads into the hole, but 100psi isn't enough to push the piston
out!? I'm going to have to force it out with a master cylinder
and brake fluid, but the front brake line was torn so that will
have to wait. The rear calliper and rotor
look 100% worse than the front. I'll need a new rear rotor and
wheel. The parts list just keeps growing.
It's been a while. Since my last
entry, the fender got removed, the exhuast is off. I took the
engine guard (crash bar) off. All the floor boards are off. The
rear wheel is removed. OH and I decided this is going to be a
long term project. I previously was thinking that I wanted it
on the road by summer, but I think I can save a ton of money
and do a better job if I use the summer to work too. That will
give me an oppertunity to check the swap meets for used parts.
So I'm on my way to removing the engine. Here's where we are
Some things I noticed today: The
front brake light switch was rattling around inside the control
and the wires were stripped and taped together to keep the light
off. I'll definately need new points too. The wiring
is starting to get me down. I wired a '71 Sportster from scratch
and it was a pain in the ass. This machine has about five times
more wiring that the Sporty. I'l salvage as much as I can but
there are so many broken wires, wires going nowhere and cracked
insulation. Guess I'd better buy a few spools of primary wire.