Timbo’s ’64 FL Restoration (Part One)

Not too long ago, my good friend Timbo approached me with a proposition, restore his 1964 Harley FL, I agreed. Problem was, it’s in a box, literally! So after a brief discussion on exactly what we wanted to do, how much it would cost and the possible value at the end of the rainbow, I started the Hard Ride back from Hell with the old ’64. I picked up the bike, basically a roller and all the boxes of parts that came with it. As you probably expected, this will be a frame up restoration as close to factory specs as I can get it.

There will be some minor changes, which I’ll talk about as we go along. First thing was to lay it all out and take inventory to see what was missing. After some research, I found replacing parts for the ’64 surprisingly easy thanks to J&P Cycle, Biker’s Choice, and the internet. I ordered the Vintage catalog J&P Cycle puts out and started researching parts I needed to replace.

I also found a local polishing company and chrome hardware supplier (needmorechrome.com) to make life easier. Tear down was a snap. Make sure you bag or box all your parts as you go and label what they are, and in some instances what order they go in. It’s not a bad idea to take lots of photographs for future reference. Sometimes a parts manual comes in handy.

After tear down, I started the fun stuff, going through each and every part, each nut and bolt and cleaning them. Some parts and hardware will not be salvageable, so you’ll have to replace them with either new, or good condition used. I found that there is a tons of vendors on line for just about everything you need. Buying new parts from the catalog is not always the best answer, especially if you’re on a budget like I am.

So shop around, do some research, you may be able to save as much as 50% sometimes. You will also need repair manuals and a few restoration guides like the one my friend Bandit sent me for reference from Wolfgang publishing, thanks Bandit. It has been very useful so far. This is the first of many articles on this restoration project. As the months progress, I’ll try and give you a detail look at what’s involved with a full-blown restoration.

Tail Gunner out for now, see ya next month!

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