We have a 1942 U (Flathead Engine) that is in a motorcycle that was originally purchased by the Philadelphia police department in for a rebuild and restoration, the motorcycle was fitted with a 3 speed only transmission (no reverse). Naturally we cannot rely on the recorded miles on the speedo with a vehicle of this age unless documentation was with the unit. The engine/motorcycle had been re done in the past and it had some addition chrome on it that the customer wants removed and refinished as it was when it left the factory. Of course there are often surprises to be found when working with items this old that sometimes may not make sense on the surface as to why things are the way they are. The motorcycle was purchased from a owner on the East coast (make sense) and it was started up and ran fairly well when it got back to Wisconsin prior to being disassembled. You always want to hear them run before you take them apart and if possible ride them in my opinion, as evidenced by some of the videos I had placed on Face book in the past. It never hurts to learn everything you can about the subject you are working on. When I began    dis-assembly I found some good things and some like, why in the hell is it this way, or why did they do this? The engine is now 80 ” not 74″, ok bigger is better, that is not necessarily a bad thing is it? The manner of the machining process could have been better, we can fix that though so lets make notes and move on. The crankshaft (flywheels) had been re machined in a manner that is seldom done. The crank pin tapers were machined out to the size of a 1941 and later and more powerful 74′ OHV set of flywheels, and this takes some accurate machining to be performed correctly. The flywheels were not to bad as far as being in true when I checked them prior to taking them apart. Most often with parts this age that have been together, apart, re assembled etc you find them not as true as they should/could be and that can be from a number of reasons. The oddity with this combination of a engine is in the carburetor, yes it is a type that Harley used, it should be a M51 but it is a M88 a size and model that was used on the 45″ WLA motorcycles made for the military and there are differences that matter. First the M88 which is what we have here was a fixed main,jet only model (probably so the solders riding them could not miss adjust them and cause non operation is my opinion). The body has the main jet soldered up and a adjustable needle installed, ok someone overcame the fuel delivery limitations on the main jet for this bigger engine we think. The next problem for a engine of this size to be used on the highway at today’s speeds the venturi is way too small. Like I said earlier on some times you find things that do not seem to make sense on the surface. Was this M88 carburetor put on at the factory? It could have been I suppose, remember how it was set up and possibly being used (in town at low speeds 3 gears only, easier to ride?). I have found no information yet in print to this issue, but I am not done looking yet. Well now that I have most of everything inspected it is onward to the cleaning, refurbishing, rebuilding of this old warrior, stay tuned.

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