Project: Triple Surprise

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
I knew my next project would come along sooner or later. Since I'll be spending the winter in Ohio rather than going south this one has come along at an opportune time. An older gent near here got this a few years ago and I helped him find a new, oversize piston and get the cylinder bored for it but since then it has just been sitting in his shop and he decided he'd never finish it and wanted it out of the way. He said he would have sold it to someone else but wanted to give to me so the price was right, Triple surprise... why? Well first, because it's a Harley Davidson. Yeah, I know, anybody who knows me would be surprised that I'd take on a Harley as a project. The second surprise is that it's a two smoker, again, not usually my thing. And finally, it's got three wheels.

The thing is a fairly uncommon 1968 Harley Davidson Utilicar. The Utilicar is based on the HD Golf Cart but rather than a fiberglass golf body on the back it has a metal flat bed body. As the pictures show it's a true basket case that'll need a 100% clean-up, refurbish, paint, repair, and replace job but when finished should be lots of fun and quite useful for us. In this state a golf cart can be licensed as a USV (Under Speed Vehicle) as long as it's titled and has lights, turns, brake lights, horn, windshieldrear view mirror, and seat belts. I think the title is going to be OK and everything except the windshield shouldn't be difficult. Hopefully I can get @Hurco550 to assist w/ a windshield frame. It's powered by a single cylinder, 250cc, two cycle that's set up w/ a starter/generator. There's a differential for the rear axle but no actual transmission. Put it into "reverse" and step on the go pedal and the engine starts in reverse.

Truck full of parts:

HDCart02.jpeg


Unloaded and ready to sort:

HDCart03.jpeg


HDCart06.jpeg


Disk brake on a '68:

HDCart07.jpeg


Builder plate, yup, it's a Harley:

HDCart05.jpeg


So the goal is to get it going and done in less than 1/10th of the time it took for my last project. We'll see. There's no plan to do anything radical like an engine change or significant modifications just clean it all up, paint it, and assemble.
I'll try to find something nice for wheels and tires and will do up some kind of hardwood stake sides for it. When it's completed it should look something like this:

HDCart01.jpeg
 
Last edited:

teazer

Over 1,000 Posts
DTT BOTM WINNER
Interesting project. It will look good with fat tires and Polaris or Rotax 800cc twin two stroke motor.. Just sayin'........
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
Interesting project. It will look good with fat tires and Polaris or Rotax 800cc twin two stroke motor.. Just sayin'........

Yeah it would. It'll get fat tires for sure. The bigger two stroke would be fun, however there are a couple of details that kind of restrict that; first is that in order to register it in that USV category it can't be able to run over 30mph. The second thing is I learned in my research there are a limited number of such engines set up to "run backwards" and I guess they're getting difficult to find. Mrs Ridesolo will often be the operator so I'll need it to be simple, reliable, and relatively docile.
 

Hurco550

Keep er' Between the Ditches
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
I learned in my research there are a limited number of such engines set up to "run backwards"

I've been around a couple of old 2T dirbikes that will fire up backwards even if you don't want them to.. lol

Neat project. I MAY actually have a windshield sitting there that could be just what you need! If not, you know I'll help build you one.

This definitely isnt the "Hardly Ableson" I pictured, but i think you guys will have a great time cruising around Bucyrus on it!
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
Ha, I knew that when I told you the new project is a Harley it would throw you for a loop!

If what you have won't work I was thinking that maybe we could bend and weld something made of 1" square tube. The windscreen can be just plexi/lexan, it doesn't have to be safety glass or anything fancy.
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
When sold as shown above they offered options for the bed; plain, with a box, w/ stake sides, or a box w/ stake sides. There's also a much more rare option that I'd LOVE to find somewhere (but I seriously doubt I will). There were a few of these sold that had a cab included that look like this:

1605914608295.png


1605914725611.png


I kinna like the open look a little more, but having the cab or at least the front of one would make dealing with a windshield much easier.
 
Last edited:

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
I found somebody selling a manual for the thing as a PDF file on a thumb drive so I’ve ordered that and it should arrive in a few days. It ought to work out fine on the old beater laptop I have in the shop, but if not I can get an ink n paper one for a bunch more cash.

The entire ‘glass front body isn’t there but the guy is going to get it back from whoever was going to repair it for him. If that doesn’t work there’s a guy in the state advertising on Craigslist who has lots of parts available. No idea if that kind of parts go cheap or at a premium.
 

irk miller

You've been mostly-dead all day.
DTT BOTM WINNER
One of these days, I will do a golf cart or Cushman truck. Will happily follow along.
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
I had a Cushman Truckster a few years ago that I sold. I had put a Honda Big Red three wheeler engine into it and had it well along but ran outa money, time, and patience. If I had it now I’d have it finished and would be using it.
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
A couple weeks have passed and I've been giving this lots of thought. As of now the plans haven't changed but there's been little progress. Mrs Ridesolo has been recovering from surgery so I've been occupied w/ all of the various caretaking tasks required. She's becoming more self-sufficient so I've finally been able to get some shop time in.

Yesterday I ordered a carb rebuild kit and then took the Tillotson apart and used the little ultrasonic cleaner I picked up a while back.

image83.jpeg


image84.jpeg


I hadn't used the little devil before but for a $4 thrift shop purchase it did pretty well. Used Dollar store generic PineSol, hot water, and a couple drops of Dawn dish soap. Go figure... while taking it apart I was being exceedingly careful because of lessons learned in the past and still managed to have the one little spring disappear! Fortunately a replacement is included in the rebuild kit.

At this point I'm still trying to decide if I need to spend the cash to sandblast the frame or just break out an electric pad sander and give it a good working over. It's largely just old and dirty, not really heavily rusted. I have a soda blast unit but I think that would probably be a long and slow job on a frame this big.
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
That's a little classier than my redneck cleaner LOL
I'm fairly limited to the size of parts that'll fit in it, though. That and the max it'll run is 480 seconds (8 minutes) then you have to turn it on again. At least w/ your setup you could run the thing until the brushes in your sander fall apart.
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
Here are the cleaned parts waiting for the rebuild kit to arrive. I was disappointed w/ these pix, the parts look much nicer "live and in person" but I guess in this case it really doesn't matter a whole bunch what they look like as long as they are clean.

image85.jpeg


image86.jpeg
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
The carb rebuild kit arrived ao I completed what will, undoubtedly, be the easiest part of this build. I can wish the rest of it could be this easy and go this fast, but that ain't gunna' happen.

image68.jpeg


image69.jpeg


Next, the rest of the engine. Think I'm going to have to beg for some @Hurco550 two-smoker knowledge.
 

ridesolo

Who, me?
DTT SUPPORTER
DTT BOTM WINNER
I got the carb and manifold back together so they are ready to be stashed away until needed. When I disassembled the thing I could see that the studs in the manifold were too long and it had been put together w/ several extra (thick) gaskets between the carb and manifold. That didn't seem right to me and the drawings I had didn't show multiple gaskets. Rather than to put all of them back in I decided to shorten the studs down a bit. Done and dusted... BUT how strange... those studs are threaded 1/4-20 where they go into the manifold but the part that gows through the carb flange is threaded 1/4-24. Is that some kind of Harley quirk or would there be a reason for that?

Anyway, here's the stack back together. This bolts to the bottom of the block opposite the cylinder.

image70.jpeg


So next I think I'll start on the engine. I've pulled that out to see what things look like. Sorta' wish Irk lived a bit closer I think I'd see if he could vapor blast this thing for me. The piston I picked up for the guy I got it from is there at the bottom of the pix. I was thinking that I got a .040" over piston for him but I see that the box says .070", pretty sure that was the largest overbore they had available. I believe we decided on that because the scratches in the old piston are fairly deep so we wanted to make sure that enough would be taken out of the bore for everything to be clean.

image71.jpeg


In the bottom of the box was the packing slip from the piston when I ordered it for him in September 2015! All this stuff has been sitting over in his shop for five years! Hopefully the thing will be back in one piece and running in less than five more years!

image72.jpeg


On a final note, it's nice to be out working again. When I built the shop I put a hole in the wall w/ a vent grill right behind where I planned to put the compressor. The plan was to build an insulated "hut" for the compressor to live in so it would be quieter in the shop and so the compressor was taking in outside air for intake and cooling. At that time I just put a piece of plywood over the hole in the wall. I eventually did get a compressor but didn't get around to building the "hut" until this year. This summer I got the surround built but because of Covid I didn't get out to buy 2" sheet foam insulation for the inside walls. Whirl the clock around to the last couple of weeks... I couldn't figure out why the heater didn't seem to be keeping the temperature up in there. Over the weekend the light bulb finally came on. I got a sheet of the blue stuff yesterday, cut it up, fit the pieces in place and it's amazing how it heats and stays warmer when there isn't a 18 X 24" hole in the wall. Duh!
 

DTT Bike Of The Month Gallery

DTT Light or Dark

www.jadusmotorcycleparts.com
shop.themotoworks.com
www.cognitomoto.com
https://www.townmoto.com
www.speedmotoco.com
www.lostapostle.ca/
www.sparckmoto.com
Top Bottom