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K Model Linkert - Painted or Not?

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Bruce Palmer III

Posts: 49

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:54 pm

Post Fri Mar 17, 2006 7:25 pm

Hello all,

My two cents.

On the M-88, not one of the military factory photos I have (and have many) show a bare factory installed carb. All were either nickel, silver, green, or black.

Military contracts for the WLA specify that there will be no bare metal parts. The military was concerned with corrosion. This being a bronze carburetor body would be subject to corrosion.

On the personal side, I have acquired many NOS M-series carbs over the last 35 years and all had a finish on the body. The one above is the first I have seen without paint. If delivered without paint would have been in violation of the military contracts (not that it could never happen). Leads me to believe someone has removed the original finish sometime in the last 60 years. Particularly since the patina of the throttle lever comes no where to the patina of the body. (During the mid-50's, all parts stocks -tanks, trucks, motorcycles, etc - were repackaged and repainted if necessary. This may have been stripped at that time for a repaint dur to corrosion, as evidenced by the corroded cad palting, but then overlooked. This program was handled Ordnance personnel and some outside contractors, not Linkert not H-D.)

Regardless of the origin of the finish of this particular replacement M-88, the original question dealt with the finish on a Linkert M-series carburetor as it left the factory installed on the motorcycle. I will re-check all post-war photos of civilian models (none K) to see if I can find anything other than a black carb and let you know. Up front, I think I am going to be re-verifing that they are all black. I doubt if the factory was hap hazard about the appearance of new motorcycles and would have insured uniformity. And yes, non-standard parts show up on assembly lines, but the good lineman would rather kick the part back then have to later remove and replace it.
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thefrenchowl

User avatar

Posts: 584

Joined: Fri Mar 10, 2006 3:18 pm

Location: Crewe, Great Britain

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:45 am

Hi All, Bruce comments made me check my Pohlman photos, here they are:

1952 KR
Image
1952 KRTT
Image
1953 KRM
Image
1954 KH
Image
1956 KRTT
Image
1959 Brad Andres KR
Image
1959 troy Lee KR
Image

All carbs appear to be with black bodies and as cast alloy float chambers, I stand corrected...

Patrick
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amklyde

Posts: 626

Joined: Fri Dec 19, 2003 1:01 am

Location: Wisconsin, USA

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 8:25 am

As Tom pointed out workers on assembly lines make mistakes. We have all seen NOS military issue parts boxed and shipped with unground bearing surfaces, no threads, etc. Could or would Linkert Carb Man. send out some carbs to fill an order to HD, if their paint supplier had let them down and the production planner/buyer at HD was under pressure to fill the bins so orders for bikes could be filled? Wouldn't surprise me. I have run onto two machines with very low mileage that showed no sign of ever being apart, with carbs not showing a lick of paint. A 46WL and a 65FLH. I realize that doesn't prove anything, but leaves open the possibilty for me. Linkerts look so much better without paint to my eye.
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Barry55KH

Posts: 240

Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Kirkland, WA, USA

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:10 am

Hi Guys and Gals,

I have been working on K models since first buying a '52 basket in '85. A friend that helped me put my '55KH together in '86 has two, and all the carbs for K models I have seen except one, had no paint. Just brass with maybe a coating on the brass. The bowls were all Alum.

I scowered all the shops that were the old HD shops in the Northwest in the Eighties looking for certain parts and ran into a lot of carbs, and only saw one M-53 of any kind that was painted, and thought that very strange.

I am going with the no paint theory. I had someone tell me one time that my rims should be painted also, but I didn't buy that either. I had just spent $200 to chrome them, and the "foo foo" didn't seem reasonable at the time, or now either. All K models, for the street came with chrome rims.

Good luck on the project. I just put my top end back on again. Test ride when the weather breaks. This is Seattle and that may take a while....

Best Regards,
Barry55KH
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2648

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 11:43 am

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Anklyde and Barry,
Go back to the original question on this post.

"I am still restoring my 1956 KHK and am getting closer. My Linkert is unpainted but I have been told by another collector that they were painted black. I have also been told they were left unpainted. What is the real deal? "

The question is asking what is correct by factory standards for judging. Not what mistakes made it out or what 10 year old carburetor had the paint removed when the carb was rebuilt. The fact is the factory standards called for the body of the carburetor to be plated or painted. If I am judging a bike and I see a bare carb body, that is going to cost the machine points.
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Dave56KHK

Posts: 71

Joined: Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:01 am

Location: Northern IL, USA

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:33 pm

Patrick and all, thanks for going through the trouble to post all of the great pictures. It seems as most of the evidence is pointing to paint. Today I called the most expert early Sportster and K model man that I know of, and he adds credence to the painted K model Linkert. He states that they came with a very flimsy flash coat of black paint that in all likelyhood would have immediately started sloughing off from gasoline sloshed about from the Linkert leakers. Thanks to all again. Dave
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Cotten

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Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:37 pm

Chris and All!

With all due respect to AMCA judging standards, which we all agree should be held to the strictest of criteria,...they reflect the ideal of a concours production machine. This ideal, however, has been embellished by today's world of intensive over-restoration.

Not all carbs produced by L&L of the period were enameled.
HD models were supposed to be, granted.
T'aint nobody gonna confuse M-53 with M-350, huh.

It would be tragic if an authentic piece was dismissed because of dogmatic assertions. Conceivably an entire machine, possibly an important one, could be molested (restored) because of one piece lacking original paint.

We must resist revisionist declarations, and keep an open eye for the unique if we wish to preserve accurate history.

Respectfully, honest,

...Cotten
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Bruce Palmer III

Posts: 49

Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2005 1:54 pm

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:20 pm

I checked my post-war factory photos (none of them K only 45 Solo, Servi-Car, and BT) and all carb bodies where visible were black painted.

My opinion on the K-model Linkert body, based on my photos, the K photos presented here, and my experience, is that all (at least 99.9%) post-war H-D factory installed M-series Linkert carb bodies (including post-war WLAs) were painted black. I'll differ to others where Indian is concerned.

I have around a hundred Linkerts, many which are near devoid of paint. Close inspection of even the barest usually shows some trace of paint.

In 1936, all E series, V series, and R series H-Ds had nickel plated carb bodies. In 1942, all E/F series, U series, W series, and G series H-Ds had silver painted carb bodies. In 1949 all E/F series, W series, and G series had black painted carb bodies. With the exception of late model 42WLAs which had green carb bodies, all models for any given year had the exact same finish. It is hard for me to imagine that in 1952-1956 E/F series, W series, and G series would have black painted carb bodies and the K series bodies would be bare.

Cotton, while AMCA judging often gets too picky for comfort, the aim for restoration to AMCA standards is not to restore to concours specifications but to restore to original factory specifications. It is not the club's desire (or at least I hope it is not) to push for "over-restoration" (triple chrome, $20,000 paint jobs the H-D factory never produced, etc.). The judges are human and can make mistakes.

You are correct that too often vintage motorcycle's are "over-restored." Over-restoration is really, more or less, customization. I prefer to see motorcycles "preserved" (restore only what needs to be, if really needed, and leave the rest untouched).
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2648

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sat Mar 18, 2006 10:35 pm

Cotten said,
It would be tragic if an authentic piece was dismissed because of dogmatic assertions. Conceivably an entire machine, possibly an important one, could be molested (restored) because of one piece lacking original paint.


Come on now Cotten. Do you really think somebody would do a ground up restoration on an original old machine because the carb body didn't have any paint left on it? On old bikes a lot of time there is no paint left anywhere. That is when you learn to keep them oiled down.
On the other hand the Tutel boys of Orange County Choppers recently acquired an original paint 1915 or so Indian twin. They took it to an Indian man to get it running. He did a great job of fixing the bikes woes and bringing what was left of the original paint back to life. The old man was tickeled with it and told him to take it back to his shop and do a ground up restoration on it. Sadly he does not appreciate an original, unrestored motorcycle. They are only original once.
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2685

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 10:37 am

Chris!

Once upon a time I helped open up an ancient barnfull for an estate that included a very un-molested 45". Unfortunately it had no VIN. Only after the machine was scattered to the partspirates was it determined that the motor was fresh NOS, and should have been mated to one of the titles in their stack.
Another piece of history was lost.

And Bruce!

Many of us share the same interest to 'conserve' the authentic, rather than to destroy history by 'restoring' it to a mythical ideal.

An unanswered question in my mind is why the black enamel upon HD Linkerts was so much more fragile than the black enamel found upon Indian Linkerts.

...Cotten
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2648

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 11:56 am

Chris!

Once upon a time I helped open up an ancient barnfull for an estate that included a very un-molested 45". Unfortunately it had no VIN. Only after the machine was scattered to the partspirates was it determined that the motor was fresh NOS, and should have been mated to one of the titles in their stack.
Another piece of history was lost.

Cotten,
Are you saying the NOS engine should have been tatooed with numbers from a title on hand? That is a good way to go to jail, lose the motorcycle, the building it is in and the property it is on.
If it was me I would have simply left it alone.
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2685

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 12:25 pm

Chris!

I am state-licensed in Illinois, and I assure you this liquidation was performed under the auspices of the authorities. It was they who pointed out the tragedy when the case was surrendered! (They told the new owners to put it back together...)

With due process, it is perfectly legal to have an un-assigned case stamped as a replacement.

If a VIN had been removed, then it would have been a liability.

....Cotten
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2648

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 4:17 pm

Cotten,
What do you mean when you say, "the motor was fresh NOS, and should have been mated to one of the titles in their stack." How do you mate an engine to a title?
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indianut

Posts: 604

Joined: Mon Oct 13, 2003 12:01 am

Location: Largo, Fl

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:13 pm

By stamping it with a PROPER set of stamps. Anyone who thinks that there is not ever a legitimate reason to stamp an engine case in today's real world is living under a rock.
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gin

Posts: 171

Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2004 1:01 am

Location: vero beach FL.USA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 5:47 pm

I would be willing to bet that at lest half the original parts found by the judges struting around at the A.M.C.A. flea market at one time in there life were hotter than the hubs from hell. I learned this from 50 years in the business.
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2685

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:06 pm

Chris!

Titling falls under the jurisdiction of your local authorities, and this Forum covers way too many geographically to address.

If you have any Illinois concerns, I can streamline the process dramatically, as Illinois enforcement focuses upon perpetrators of crimes, not victims.

....Cotten
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Chris Haynes

Posts: 2648

Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 12:01 am

Location: Los Angeles, CA

Post Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:26 pm

Illinois enforcement focuses upon perpetrators of crimes, not victims.

But what happens when somebody in IL stamps their own cases then sell the bike to someone who lives in a state that is not so trusting? Agreed that stamping a blank set of replacement cases is not altering a number. It can still get your ass in hot water in CA.

In the early '70s I can remember going to a Harley-Davidson dealer in MO. I saw his mechanic doing a number job on a Police motorcycle. He said it was no big deal cause the engine he tattooed was also a Police motor. But the Police sold those bikes to somebody when they were retired. Trouble in the making.
I went to this same dealers home to look at his old parts stash and laying outside his barn was a pickup truck bed full of bare engine cases. Most had good numbers on them. He said they were worthless because he had no tittle to them. He said that in MO if you had a title you could put that number on any case and run it. Needless to say I bought several sets from him.
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Cotten

User avatar

Posts: 2685

Joined: Thu Sep 30, 1999 12:01 am

Location: Central Illinois, USA

Post Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:50 am

It is still a felony to stamp your own cases, of course! That's not due process.
That's the authorities' job.

Illinois investigators are much more enlightened since I sold them Bruce's book.

.....Cotten
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