Author Topic: 1942 WLA bobber  (Read 1258 times)

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Offline Super Dave

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1942 WLA bobber
« on: January 12, 2016, 01:00:19 PM »
Picked up a project. Of course just about everything needs to be gone through.
It didn't have an engine sprocket on the primary to even turn the engine so I'm starting there.
Question, probably one of many. How many teeth was the stock sprocket and since I'm not riding up and down hills in France and Germany, what would be the sprocket to put on it now? It's a solo bike always, I weigh about 175. I don't need to scream down the freeway, but I don't want to get rear ended either. Don't know what engine modifications have been done.
I did notice that the tranny has reverse, so, that's special.
Thanks All.

Offline Super Dave

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2016, 03:32:33 PM »
I found the answer to one question. Stock is 31 tooth.

Offline Hossamania

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2016, 03:49:04 PM »
Tranny is more than likely out of a servicar. Just my guess.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2016, 05:58:31 PM by Hossamania »
My boss always says mean things to me,
like, "You're late."

Offline Super Dave

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2016, 04:14:20 PM »
Tranny is more than likely out of a service. Just my guess.

Could be. Seems to turn by hand which is how I found the reverse gear. I'll need the primary hooked up to get more info.

What is a good service/repair book for flatheads. I see them for knuckle/pan but not flatheads? I have the military one but it's pretty hard to read. Seems basic like for working on your bike in the field.

Offline Hossamania

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2016, 05:59:43 PM »
Tranny is more than likely out of a servicar. Just my guess.


Had to modify my answer to the proper name. Stupid auto correct.
My boss always says mean things to me,
like, "You're late."

Offline Super Dave

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2016, 12:39:59 PM »
Yeah. I guess if I find myself nose downhill, I can just put it in reverse. Foot clutch, uphill in reverse...sounds exciting! I guess I have a servicar option in the future.

Offline tomcat64

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2016, 06:27:01 AM »
back in the day when you ordered a bike with a sidecar,, from the factory,, the bike came with reverse,,

Offline Hossamania

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2016, 07:43:25 AM »
back in the day when you ordered a bike with a sidecar,, from the factory,, the bike came with reverse,,



That I did not know.
My boss always says mean things to me,
like, "You're late."

Offline Ultrashovel

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2016, 09:43:02 AM »
Yeah. I guess if I find myself nose downhill, I can just put it in reverse. Foot clutch, uphill in reverse...sounds exciting! I guess I have a servicar option in the future.

If you have a reverse gear in your WL transmission, you might want to consider locking if out with a bolt, nut and two washers in the shifter gate. I had one in a 1942 WLA back in Chicago when I was but a mere child. I had a Model G Servicar and I swapped the engine and transmission into a solo frame so the transmission still had the reverse gear, which was all the way forward in the shifter gate on the left side tank.

Shortly after getting the machine on the road, I tried to take off from a stop sign, not realizing that I had engaged the reverse. I gave the engine some gas, let in the clutch and....and....and....went right over the handlebars as the bike slipped backwards from under me. It was a strange feeling as I landed on my head in the road. I added a bolt to the shifter gate later that day. LOL.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2016, 09:45:52 AM by Ultrashovel »

Offline Super Dave

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2016, 10:38:39 AM »
I'm going with a 3 speed gate UltraShovel. Thank you for sharing your experience. I can see me "spacing out" and putting it in the wrong gear.
Ever shift down when you mean to shift higher? Yeah, me too. :doh:

Offline Hossamania

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2016, 11:42:51 AM »

Ever shift down when you mean to shift higher?


Umm, no.     I mean, yes.
My boss always says mean things to me,
like, "You're late."

Offline Ultrashovel

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2016, 03:31:32 PM »
I'm going with a 3 speed gate UltraShovel. Thank you for sharing your experience. I can see me "spacing out" and putting it in the wrong gear.
Ever shift down when you mean to shift higher? Yeah, me too. :doh:

I had a friend about the same thing. He had bought a 1941 61" EL that had been set up with a sidecar so he had a reverse. He did the reverse gear thing but he just fell down and we helped him get the bike upright. I'm pretty sure that he added a bolt later on.


Offline Geezer_Glider

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2016, 10:10:16 AM »
As far as manuals go the military stuff is really pretty good. You want: TM 9-879, also TM10-1175 and the Uncrating and assembly instructions. There is also a WL-G floating around that I believe is a put together by someone. The book "How to restore your Harley-Davidson" is also a big help and he has a new edition out along with one just for military, I think. All the manuals are out there as pdf files. PM me if you can't find them, I amassed a fair amount of info when I had my 46WL.
Just saying,
R Meyer

Offline Super Dave

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2016, 11:36:13 AM »
Thanks Geezer. Yeah, Bruce Palmers book is a big help. It would be nice to know what can be swapped with what. Like what intake manifolds fit, what carb fits each manifold. It's always like this in the beginning though isn't it. You start out asking dumb questions.
I'm using the "45 Performance Book" from the Victory Library to get some info on giving it a little extra while I've got it apart. I think there's a Linkert M51 in my future and bigger intake valves. I got a bigger manifold that I THINK will work.
I took off the head and the pistons and valves look brand new. Bored 2 over. But it's not very clean in the bore, on the pistons. Like they did all that work and slapped it back together. Think I'll need to take the barrels off and make sure the pistons even have rings and it's bored right. The cylinders look freshly bored and honed but the walls have some pitting. Strange. Like it wasn't bored enough to take out the pits. I believe these can go 5 or 6 over.

Offline rbabos

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Re: 1942 WLA bobber
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2016, 09:06:21 AM »
Thanks Geezer. Yeah, Bruce Palmers book is a big help. It would be nice to know what can be swapped with what. Like what intake manifolds fit, what carb fits each manifold. It's always like this in the beginning though isn't it. You start out asking dumb questions.
I'm using the "45 Performance Book" from the Victory Library to get some info on giving it a little extra while I've got it apart. I think there's a Linkert M51 in my future and bigger intake valves. I got a bigger manifold that I THINK will work.
I took off the head and the pistons and valves look brand new. Bored 2 over. But it's not very clean in the bore, on the pistons. Like they did all that work and slapped it back together. Think I'll need to take the barrels off and make sure the pistons even have rings and it's bored right. The cylinders look freshly bored and honed but the walls have some pitting. Strange. Like it wasn't bored enough to take out the pits. I believe these can go 5 or 6 over.
If the pitting is minor and spaced out , it will have no noticable negative effect.
Ron