Serving NYC/LI since 1978
Custom Metal Work - Custom Wishbone - Customs by Ripper
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Customized Original Harley Davidson Wishbone:
This frame had major issues.....
OK, here is how it came in. Notice, there is no seat mounting hole, there are added-on brackets and the front engine mount looks bent. The seat tube was stuffed with newspaper and what I can only guess was a hammer handle, then filled in with body filler over the top. Also, the part between the front rails was made out of cardboard and body filler.
The seat tube needed to be honed out as well. Someone peened the top of the tube over. I do not know why. They also built up around it with "Gorilla Hair". I added some metal in between the front rails where it had previously been a piece of cardboard. I managed to weld this in without melting the surrounding body filler (that was not easy)...
While this was being done, I also added a threaded hole to the back of the seat mounting area to tighten the seat post when it is installed, then I smoothed the top of the frame area with some body filler.
The rear fender brace/frame crossmember was cut completely through on the back side. My guess is there was a fender mounting bracket that was no longer wanted, so they hacked it off and filled the cuts with body filler (nice...) After welding, grinding, welding, etc..., you can't even tell it was ever like that..
With the frame pretty much squared away (I straightened the front engine mount and cut off all the unnecessary brackets, but missed taking pictures of that), it was time to tackle the fenders. The front fender needed some minor custom work. This fender came off an FLH with a marker light or reflector mounted to it and some bolted-on chrome moldings. This bike had no such additions planned, so the mounting areas for those add-ons needed to be worked flat and filled in. All trim holes were welded shut and ground smooth on both sides (inside and out). The welding was done in stages to avoid warping the fender (much). After all the welds were done and ground down, a hammer and dolly put the fender back into shape before a skim coat of body filler was used to smooth things over.
The rear fender was next. The same thing was done to the rear fender. All chrome trim mounting holes were welded shut, then smoothed on both the inside and the outside. I also welded the hinged portion of the fender to the rest. There is no reason to leave this option, but the owner wanted that part to look stock for some reason. I welded the hinge rivets and flattened them out (he didn't care about those, I don't know why he cared about the hinged look....). These old folding fenders were also very rough on the sides. I think it was the forming process, there were stretch marks all over the sides of this fender. they were removed as well....
The tanks were next. These tanks had minor dings and dents all over. The tank emblem mounting brackets were filled in with lead at some point in this bike's history. Most of this and some other problems were hit with 36 grit on a small die grinder. A thin coat of body filler was used almost completely over both tanks to fill in all of the dings, dents and waves in the metal.
Next stage, primer:
To see the paint work, click the button:
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Custom Wishbone 1978 FXE Tombstone Fender Panhead Exhaust
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