Building a 1933 Harley-Davidson VL: Springer Front End Rebuild

For some reason, the previous owner of my springer decided to paint the entire thing with tan spray paint. Springs, fork legs, rockers, alemite fittings and even the inside bearings surfaces all got a good coat of paint.  I wanted to return the front end to a more correct look, which meant that the springs needed to be parkerized and the rest of the parts needed a coating of black enamel.  I'm not much of a painter, so I decided to send out the black parts for powder coating while I tackled the springs.

Do It Yourself Tools for Rebuilding Harley-Davidson Springer Front Ends

When I was rebuilding the springer front end for my '33 Harley-Davidson VL, I found it necessary to build a few tools to get the job done correctly.  I'll be the first to admit that two of the tools could easily be replaced with a hydraulic press, but the simple tools I designed take up a lot less floor space than even a small press.  The only hitch being you'll need a lathe to make these tools or better yet, a friend with a lathe in his shop...

How to Parkerize Motorcycle Parts

If you've ever looked closely at the fasteners on an old Harley-Davidson, you'll have noticed that many of them are dark grey or black in color.  This is not the result of age or weathering, but was purposely done at the factory to prevent the corrosion of steel parts.  The process is known as parkerizing and for the chemists out there, it is an electrochemical phosphate conversion process using either a zinc or manganese base.  Even though that may sound complex, the actual process is cheap and easy to perform at home which just a few supplies.  Most of which you can pick up at your local Walmart.

The Motorcycles of the 2014 Kickstart Classic

This year's Kickstart Classic was the biggest yet, with over 100 motorcycles registered for the run.  Here's photos of about a quarter of the motorcycles that attended.

Perry Ruiter's Generator Rebuild and 2-Brush Conversion

The Harley-Davidson V-series engines began using the Model 32E 3-brush generators in 1932.  I assumed that I would be using a rebuilt 32E for my build and went about looking for a reputable builder who hopefully could supply me with a completely rebuilt unit as I did not have a core to rebuild from.  After a little searching I found out about Perry Ruiter who rebuilds 32E generators up in Canada.  I sent him a brief email telling him what I needed and what I wanted to do with the motorcycle and he quickly recommended that I go with one of his rebuilt 32E's that had been converted to a 2-brush model.  Perry went the extra mile and not only educated me on the difference between the 3-brush and 2-brush set ups, but also took pictures of the entire rebuild process explaining each step.