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Pa's 42WLA Build

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Pa

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Post Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:24 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Here is the handlebars as they were first installed. All I had was this poor quality pic.

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Pa

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Post Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:30 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I think I began routing the wiring and cables at about this time because the reproduction outer primary cover is still on the bike. I also installed my refurbished scabbard along with my temporary fake Thompson. Please forgive the poor photos. The camera flash did funky things to the look of the finishes, including the paint, which really does not look like it does in reality. Pay no mind to the dust around the outer edge of the speedometer lens. Maybe these wire and cable routing pics of my wla will help others out in their wla builds.

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Pa

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Post Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:32 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Dash wiring completed with tanks installed

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Pa

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Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:32 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

One more wiring pic…My radio suppression bond strap adapter connected to engine and oil tank via the bond strap. Sorry for the poor pic. I took several photos and this one was the best out of all the ones I took.

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Pa

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Post Wed Jun 25, 2014 11:37 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I’d been pondering about my oem saddlebags. They were super rough and stiff. They had been lying on their backs for scores of years and were flat as a pancake to boot. How do I soften them up was the biggest 1rst challenge. I spoke with many a leather expert, both local and abroad. As for softening them, I decided to try a product named “Leather Therapy Restorer And Conditioner”. An 16 ounce bottle runs from $20.00 and up. I bought three them and used all three on the two saddlebags. They recommend using their cleaner first but these bags were so hardened I was really afraid they would break, literally speaking, they felt like wood and obviously would have actually broken into chunks of dryied up leather if I were to have started with the cleaner. So I gently applied the “Leather Therapy And Conditioner” on the outside surface of both saddlebags, applying the liquid over and over as each application of it dried. This took several weeks. The leather softened to a point where I could actually put my hands inside of them. Next I used 4 spare inner tubes I had on hand, gently inserted them into both saddlebags, along with topping off the inner tubes with balled up newspapers to fill the voids around the inner tubes. Making certain the valve stems were facing up, I inflated the inner tubes enough to shape the saddlebags where they should be. The product I mentioned did its job as it said it would. The leather was now soft and flexible. One saddlebag which already had a couple of splits at the bend of the cover flap did not split any further. The other saddlebag had no splits. Both saddlebags needed some straps replaced. Some were completely missing up to the rivets. It took me a almost a year to find a few missing oem buckles. I discovered while I was doing the leather softening procedure, one of my saddlebags was actually a WLC saddlebag. I knew this as soon as I was able to insert a pair of the inner tubes into the bag. The bag has the sewn in leather pouch as WLC models had. WLA models did not have this pouch in their saddlebags. To beat all, my WLA saddlebag is in worse condition and much filthier to a point of a color of solid black. There is so much built up grime on it the pebble grain in many areas is completely filled in and has a glazed look to it. The WLC saddlebag is in much better condition than the WLA saddlebag. It is also black in most areas but nowhere near the condition of the WLA saddlebag. The WLC saddlebag had a frame strap replaced and they used the wrong width of leather, wrong buckle, and wrong rivets. The WLA saddlebag was missing two luggage rack mounting studs. Both saddlebags are pebble grain leather. I have not yet thought of a way to make two match each other in color and am still pondering that. I will use the WLC saddlebag until I find another decent WLA one. Maybe there is someone out there in need of a WLC one ? Maybe they need it so bad they are willing to trade for a pair of good oem WLA saddlebags ? I know….wish in one hand and shit in the other to see which hand gets full faster. Pics of unrestored saddlebags below. Sorry no pics when they were pancake flat hardwood.

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Several people suggested I go with the new reproduction saddlebags. I will not for one main reason. The reproduction ones look brand new. Even the so called made to look aged ones look brand new. I want mine to look their age. Though the finishes on my bike look fresh, I still left blemishes in areas all around the bike to maintain the age look. Fresh paint and finishes will patina quickly. Second…reproduction is the easy way out. I am not building a model. I am putting together the real deal. And thirdly…the reproduction saddlebags, though are high quality in leather and craftsmanship, they definitely do not look authentic in many details. I decided I would rather do my best to repair my oem saddlebags and find a way to match coloring. I’m ok with some damages, which only authenticate the age of the saddlebags. However, some straps must be replaced so the saddlebags are actually functional.

I had already started repairs to the saddlebags at about this time. I have not yet completed those repairs. Below is where I am with them at this present time.

I mentioned I had already acquired the missing oem buckles. Since I had the buckles I figured I might as well make the replacement straps for those missing or for those which were about to break. I was able to acquire the correct rivets from an old horse saddle makers daughter who had stock from clear back to the 1920’s. She had continued her father’s trade after his passing to this day. I also purchased the leather from her. She was kind enough to cut my newly purchased leather to the widths and lengths I needed them to be. I did the hole punching, slot making, and dyeing myself. I said dyeing but I did not actually dye the leather because my research had shown me dyeing does not remain and will bleed off onto your hands for years. Not only that, dyeing does not penetrate clear though the leather. I asked one elderly retired leather craftsman, if dyeing is not so reliable and durable, then what is ? Below is what he told me to do.

He said….go purchase a gallon of white vinegar and a box of baking soda. Scrounge around your garage for rusty crusty bolts, nuts, screws, and washers. Use an old coffee can or pot and put all the rusty crusty hardware into it. Pour the white vinegar in so the vinegar completely covers the rusty crusty hardware. Put the can aside for about three days to allow the white vinegar to do its job. The white vinegar will have turned brown. Using a cloth over another container, strain the brown looking liquid into this other container. Insert your leather into the brown solution and let soak for about 2 minutes. Pull your leather from the brown solution and let it lay for about 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes have passed, soak your leather in a mixture of baking soda and water in order to neutralize the brown solution. Neutralize in the baking soda water roughly 5 minutes. Pull your leather from the neutralizer and rinse with clean water. Wipe dry to remove coloring residue. The coloring is now permanent and will not bleed off over time. Lay your leather off to the side to dry out. Condition your leather once dried.

Anyhow, I did exactly what he said to do and I was super impressed with the results. His formula worked perfectly. The color change did not take place while the leather was actually submerged in the brown solution. It took place after removing it from the brown solution and right before my very eyes !! Not only that, when I punched out the holes and slots, the coloring was clear through the leather. The coloring is also a flat looking almost black tone.

Before using the formula

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After using the formula

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More after using the formula

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Pa

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:04 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

No input of what to do about my saddlebags ?
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Pa

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2014 2:07 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Restored dash cover and oem data tag installed.

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Front brake lever assembly installed and adjusted to front wheel brake. Mirror installed as well.

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john HD

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:06 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Pa,

so, how close are you to dumping gas in it and firing it up?

then you can get it out and get it good and dirty!

they never look as good again!

john
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Pa

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2014 3:33 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

John..........I am very close. I want to get it out and get it good and dirty. It will look more authentic then. The dirt and patina will enhance what I deliberately left unscaved. Fire in the hole comes when the bike is completed. I won't fire it up until it is totally completed. I still need several windshield parts and may have to purchase a good quality reproduction windshield assembly just to use up my oem windshield hardware. There is no doubt in my mind a good oem transparent shield will be even obtainable but the framing is still out there. This is one of the issues a restorer runs in to when they put together a project such as mine. There are just some parts that have to be reproduction. Tires for example...I had oem tires and I would not trust my worse enemy to ride on them because they were so hard and dry rotted with millions of cracks all through them, it was just foolish to think one could roll on the road with them. Battery comes to mind next. One will never find an oem correct year battery that will actually be able to perform. Tire inner tubes is another issue. If ones is fortunate to score oem inner tubes, they are relics of no use except for collecting. Light bulbs are a toss up. I've got oem nos bulbs for every light but newer may be what I should burn. Spark plugs...I have nos spark plugs but then again newer may be what I will run. To sum it all up.....all I need to complete my project before fire in the hole happens is....complete the windshield, restore the legshields, paint the mudguard I.D numbers on, and finalize my saddlebags. And .....maybe score a radio which the luggage rack was meant for initially.
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Rich C

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Post Thu Jun 26, 2014 8:00 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Words can not describe how impressed I am with this build. I started following with the transmission rebuild and am ecstatic with the information you are sharing.
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john HD

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 4:53 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Pa,

Yes there are some parts you must run reproduction for safety concerns.

the windshield, David Sarafan has very accurate repros. just a little paint on the bar between the canvas and plastic makes them look great. you may want to add the black edging depending on what year you are shooting for. i have seen them both ways in vintage photos.

Spark plugs, i run NOS surplus ones with no problem. Dial the motor in with throw aways then switch to the originals.

Battery, i have a lead acid from the usual suspects. it leaks and wrecks the paint like clock work. if i did it again i would use a gel cell in a repro case.

Tires and tubes, that is obvious as you stated.

Leg shields, i have originals. i have not restored them yet...

good work!

john
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Pa

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:27 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Rich C wrote:Words can not describe how impressed I am with this build. I started following with the transmission rebuild and am ecstatic with the information you are sharing.


Thanks Rich. I wish I would have spent the time on documenting the rest of the progress on this bike, as I did with the transmission. I also wish I would have documented all of the errors found in the parts books and service manuals. There are many errors in both publications. Off the top of my head, I can think of the headlight mounting hardware. It is totally incorrect in the military parts books. Motor pool personal must have tore their hair out trying to install a headlight with that information. Motor pool engine repair personal must have had a thrill as well when they tried to replace cam gears noted in several military parts books in reverse of where they actually go. Guys overhauling transmissions must have lost their patience when they were setting clearances on the shifter forks since most military service manuals have the two clearances reversed. My memory is poor but there are many many more errors in the books.
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Pa

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:32 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

john HD wrote:Pa,

Yes there are some parts you must run reproduction for safety concerns.

the windshield, David Sarafan has very accurate repros. just a little paint on the bar between the canvas and plastic makes them look great. you may want to add the black edging depending on what year you are shooting for. i have seen them both ways in vintage photos.

Spark plugs, i run NOS surplus ones with no problem. Dial the motor in with throw aways then switch to the originals.

Battery, i have a lead acid from the usual suspects. it leaks and wrecks the paint like clock work. if i did it again i would use a gel cell in a repro case.

Tires and tubes, that is obvious as you stated.

Leg shields, i have originals. i have not restored them yet...

good work!

john


Thanks John. The windshield information is great to know. I usually see David a couple of times a year. I missed him so far this year. Ziggys Motorworks, out of Washington state, claims to have an excellent reproduction windshield assembly and states it is the most accurate of any out there. I will have to call Ziggy to chat about his.
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ohio-rider

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Location: Ohio

Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:39 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Pa, about those saddle bags, have you spoken to Michael about them? When I had him do my seat I didn’t want it to look like brand new and asked Michael if he could make the new seat appear to be a couple years old. He did a fabulous job on aging the leather to look just the way I wanted.

As far as the battery goes, I’d go straight to a sealed gel battery hidden inside a standard one. As you know, those vented acid batteries are like silent killers. If you need a donor, I have one here for ya.
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Pa

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 12:53 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

ohio-rider wrote:Pa, about those saddle bags, have you spoken to Michael about them? When I had him do my seat I didn’t want it to look like brand new and asked Michael if he could make the new seat appear to be a couple years old. He did a fabulous job on aging the leather to look just the way I wanted.

As far as the battery goes, I’d go straight to a sealed gel battery hidden inside a standard one. As you know, those vented acid batteries are like silent killers. If you need a donor, I have one here for ya.


I haven't spoken to Michael about my saddlebags yet Steve. I wanted to do them myself if possible. I know Michael does some excellent work. He did my seat.

I appreciate the donor offer but I am good on a sealed battery setup. I purchased the fake outer shell battery case and got the battery with it. I am a little concerned about using the sealed gel battery though. I recently read a post somewhere where it was stated sealed gel batteries do not like a 32E 3 brush generator. Have you seen that post " Has anyone seen it or heard this ?
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Pa

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:54 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

I mounted the WLC saddlebag after I repaired it. It only needed the frame tie down straps replaced. The actual saddlebag lid straps are still holding in there but I made replacement straps for it just in case. I mounted it to see how it will look on the bike. Sorry the pic is so bright. Sun was shining bright and the camera flash wouldn’t cooperate. I think the WLC saddlebag looks really close to the seat coloring. What do you Bros think ? I know my oem scabbard is a bit darker but that would be the case anyway since it leads the bike through the dirt and grime when in motion. It only makes sense to me the scabbard would dirty up more and faster than the seat and saddlebags. Now if I can get my WLA saddlebag to match a little closer to the WLC saddlebag than it does right now. I’ve been thinking about ways to remove some of the dirt and filth on it without using an abrasive, yet…. not remove it all so it appears as the WLC saddlebag appears. I would like for whatever method I end up using to at least show the pebble grain of the leather.

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I forgot to mention early on in this topic a detail about my nos oil bath aircleaner. If you notice, or stare, at the outer area of the data letters, you will see mine is not like most oil bath aircleaners you normally see. May data area is a tack welded on stamped plate. You can barely see the tack welds but you definitely can see the four sides of the plate. This detail is what makes my air cleaner correct for an early type III 42WLA. Late type III through type VII 42 WLA models used the same oil bath aircleaner but the data lettering was stamped into the filter body skin from the inside before the skin was formed into a rectangle assembly. See the pic below. I know….I sure am not a photographer.

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Pa

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Post Fri Jun 27, 2014 9:38 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Below is a close up pic of my WLA tire pump mounted to the frame tube, on the left side, just in front of the saddlebag. Pump is the correct oem short version for my WLA model. The pump hose and frame clamps are nos. For those who do not know, the fitting you see on the top side end of the pump [bottom of pic] is actually the pump hose. The hose has a fitting with dual threads. When not in use, the hose threads down into the pump body. When in use, the hose threads on the pumps lower body.

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45Brit

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Post Sat Jun 28, 2014 3:11 am

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Love the detail
Shoot, a man could have a good weekend in Dallas with all that stuff...
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Pa

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Post Sat Jun 28, 2014 1:02 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

45Brit wrote:Love the detail


Thanks Bro. I've restored all finishes as per Bruce Palmer III's military book for my year, type, and registration number. It is amazing how much finishes changed from the beginning of WW2 to the end of the war. My 42WLA type III had several finish changes made, hence an early and late type III 42WLA designation in Bruce' book.
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Pa

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Post Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:23 pm

Re: Pa's 42WLA Build

Ran across this pic of my tire pump as it was before I cleaned it up and restored it to its military glory. Notice how my nos WLA tire pump clamps wingnuts were designed to prevent the wingnuts from being completely removed. You can’t loose a wingnut unless you loose a complete clamp assembly. What is even greater about the tire pump clamping design is you only loosen the wingnuts just enough to remove the tire pump and to re-mount the tire pump. The clamps won’t fall off of the frame when you loosen the clamps just enough to remove or re-mount the tire pump. I thought that was pretty cool of the MoCo to think of this feature.

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