TREE'S PAN

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IF I WAS EVER TO HAVE ANOTHER PANHEAD BESIDES CRUELLA, THIS WOULD BE MY CHOICE

It was written that Cruella could be the perfect blueprint for a Panhead Chopper, well Tree's Pan is running a close behind if that was true, this is the Best looking Pan I have seen next to my Girl of course, but that's just my opinion. You put a smile on my face Tree when I opened the first photo. Some of you wouldn't understand, most would, but when you come across something this beautiful, it touches you from the inside out. Well done Tree, damn I wish they could mate, CG

ARE YA DROOLING YET?

READ ON AND ENJOY!!

Tree's Chopper...
 
frame... 1949 HD (modified)
History... This frame started life as a '49 (Hydra-Glide) wishbone... I can date this one back to Chicago, 1976 where it was purchased for the chopper that I bought in '81. At that time the bike had a 16" overstock narrow Springer. I modified the frame in '84 changing the rake angle and building another (4" over) narrow Springer.
 
This setup lasted 'til 1985 when I got splattered on US 61. The frame was very nearly a total loss in that wreck - smashed and twisted from neck to rear axle. The ensuing re-build resulted in a new backbone with a 2" stretch and a 1.75" stretch on the new and now straight-leg style down tubes. A friend donated an old forged neck as mine was ruined in the crash.
 
For the next dozen years, leading up to this rebuild, this frame had only minor repairs and changes (such as addition or removal of tabs and brackets for various combinations of tanks, brakes, etc.) 
 
For this build, I again cut the backbone at the seat post being careful to leave the original forged backbone attachment post. I removed the front motor mount and cut the down tubes at about the midway point. Jim machined a new neck which I fitted to the new backbone and new down tube sections at a 36 degree rake angle.
 
Instead of gussets, I chose to give the neck area an open look so I came up with arc shaped tube design. My search for a short piece of the correct diameter tubing came up empty so I started looking around my shop. My floor-jack handle was the perfect size and strength so I bent it on my bench vise with a cheata pipe to get the correct arc radius. I also cut a smaller piece of the same handle for the short horizontal span across the down tubes. 
 
After fitting all this in place, I tack welded everything together and installed the front end including the wheel. I needed to test the fork travel with full finished weight and didn't have a complete motor layin' around, so I loaded the frame with a stack of old bricks... (I've got a photo of this...)
front end... 1937 HD UL Springer (modified)
I pulled the rear fork piece from a garbage pile about 18 years ago. Someone had botched an extension job using the old Ford steering struts. It was bent, broken and rusty but the tree and steering stem were intact.
 
I cut out the stem, turned it down to accept Timken bearings (the original bearings were ball type) and re-welded it back in place. I then cut off what was left of the rails and fabricated new 6" overstock ones from mild steel tubing (not an easy task since the rails are both tapered and oval shaped.)
 
I then fabricated internal stiffeners out of 3/16" flat bar which run internally the entire length of the rear rails up to the top curve. I plug-welded the stiffeners to the top section at two places front and back, slipped on the rails, again plug-welding and finally butt-welding the rails to the top piece.
 
I found the front fork tree in Ocala, Fla about 10 years ago on a trip to Bike Week. The original rails had been cut off with a torchI fabricated complete new 6" over rails to fit. The rockers are from an old Paugcho front end that I had layin' around. Archie gave me the top tree which I trimmed down and painted.
 
engine - general... HD 74"
History... This motor had a Pan top-end when I bought it. Cases were busted up in the '85 wreck and re-welded (twice) near the front motor mount. 
 
In '87 I installed a "sucker" oil system routing the top end oil directly into the crankcase side of the engine. (This is a whole other topic so I wont go into more details here.) I was also running a magneto at that time.
 
Around '91 during a rebuild, I put a 1969 Shovel top end (as the old Pan top was just slap worn out.) I also added a '69 oil pump and cam cover (which made the motor look just like a Flatside Shovel.I ran the Shovel top-end setup until this re-build. 
 
bottom end... 1958 HD

Stock... I like it stock! This time I only had to split the cases in order to Heli-coil a stripped hole... other than that, this bottom end is unchanged from a the last re-build a few years ago.

top end... re-worked 1956 HD

Cylinders are OEM HD bored .060 over with forged pistons. Heads are HD which I bought dirt cheap along with some other old parts. They were in fair shape but had the old bronze seats as well as a few stripped out holes and busted exhaust flanges.  
 
John C. got one of his customers to fabricate some new exhaust flanges made from 6063 alloy. With some good machine work and tig welding by my friends Tommy and Jimmy we got the new flanges on and no-lead seats/valves installed. The old heads are hooked up and lookin' good once again.
cam... Andrews A-grind

Nothin' special here... just a good cam for a stock motor

ignition... stock HD distributor


Wish I had a fancy Mallory electronic unit... but hey, the points unit has been workin' fine for 47 years now... let's roll.

lifters... solid


They iz what they iz... not the best, but cheap and easy... hmmm, reminds me of a few old girlfriends... but I digress.

carb... SU


What can I say?... I've had this one for many years... there are a few of us old schoolers who love our SU carbs... everyone else hates 'em.

exhaust pipes... handmade


I put a lot of work into these... fabricating the back pipe from two old ones and a new piece from the local muffler shop. The front pipe is made from seven old pipes and a piece from the muffler shop. I made the squish section on my bench vise. I fabricated the machine gun style heat shields from an old junk 2.25" exhaust and had 'em plated.

transmission... 1969 HD 4 speed

An OEM component... It works fine but could use a rebuild after all... its 36 years old now. The jockey shifter is one of my early stainless pieces that has been on this bike since the 80s. The knob is sometimes a crystal door knob, or a 13 ball, or a feed scoop handle, or off an industrial something... you get the picture... right now it's a round red knob off a diesel generator.

tank... swap meet special (modified)

I picked this up several years ago at the Broke Spoke Swap meet. This custom tank had mounting tabs made for drilling into the top of the backbone. Of course, I couldn't have this (too easy and too cheesy) so I cut those off, bought some CS angle from Home Depot, fabricated new below-the-tank mounts and welded 'em on.
 
During the course of the frame fabrication, I really put some dings in the tank dropping it two or three times... I don't know?... Late night welding gasses, I guess.
oil tank... old Paugcho

This oil tank was on the bike when I bought it in '81. I don't know how it survived the '85 wreck and all those hard miles, but, when I started this rebuild it was still hanging around my shop like an old dog, so I figured I'd use it again. I fabricated a new battery box and had the tank powder coated.

seat... handmade

I've made a few fiberglass seat pans so I figured this one would be easy... right? Wrong!... The resin I bought from the auto parts store wasn't any good - it never completely cured. So I started over with some good raw materials I got from my old pal Frankie and the pan came out perfect... right?
 
Wrong again!... I ended up changing the location of my rear fender slightly so I had to cut and extend the pan an extra 3/4". I finally got the pan to my friend Bill where he applied his exceptional upholstery talents to it. It's very, very lightweight and attached to the fender with Velcro.
bars... handmade, with internal throttle
I started out with my old 16" apes... didn't like 'em. Then I tried some 1930's HD bars I picked up with my Indian basket case... they were cool, with the internal throttle and advance timing controls, but the horizontal spread was too narrow to provide the look I wanted. I then made a set of very narrow drag bars... these things looked baddass but just don't work well with a jockey-shift bike.
 
I ended up making the final setup out of two sets of old bars and an internal throttle I bought on Ebay for . Had 'em powder-coated. Rooted out some old black OEM grips and a cable out of my junk to finish 'em off.
license bracket... handmade
I started with a piece of extruded aluminum cable tray (used for routing electrical cables through industrial plants) and my trusty fifteen-dollar Black & Decker jig-saw. After a few cuts, drilled holes and 30-40 minutes of polishing I had a new location to mount my ageless Cat-eye lamp. 
 
Using rubber grommets I was able to rubber-mount the old license plate The rigid frame vibrations tends to crack the thin aluminum if they're solidly mounted.
fender... 1977 Superglide (modified)
Years ago I ended up with this old beat up OEM fender... It was originally on Falldown Frank's bike. I threw it away once but retrieved it from the trash (I'm cursed that way... arrrrrrrgggghhhhh!) so it lingered around my shop for years.
 
For this project I used the jigsaw to cut away about 60% of the thing and then welded in a strut brace in the back and some heavy washers in the front for mounting. I then welded up about a dozen holes where various seats and sissy bars had been mounted... (I'm tellin' you this thing has been around the block quite a few times.)
 
The mistake I made here was not removing a couple of plugs of old bondo as I found out later it bubbled the paint in extreme heat.
 
fender struts... Home Depot

I bought a piece of 1/8" x 1" mild steel flat bar for .50... made two cuts, drilled a few holes and bent the things on my bench vise... viola!!! I painted 'em with black urethane.

forward controls... handmade

Fabricated from 1/4" stainless plate, I originally made these custom-fit pieces 18 years ago for the mechanical brake suicide clutch setup I was running. I modified the brake side control a few years back when I switched over to a disc brake.
 
This time around I put on the correct 5/8" bore master cylinder so, instead of yet another modification, I made a new brake-side control and used my old pedal. I cut the plate with my jig saw again and spent 2-3 hours polishing. Mike, Jimmy, Cowboy and I all contributed to the machine work here with Jimmy making the coolest pedal stop I've ever seen. He also did the welding on the new piece.
Floorboards... original HD Panhead

These swap meet special 50+ year-old boards have been to hell and back and are still smilin'. Board mounting posts were fabricated on my bench vise with a hacksaw and a hammer.

wheels... early 1980's HD

Rear... 16" dual flange - nothing special - had it in my parts collection. I would really like to run a juice/drum setup here (it's so much cleaner) so if anyone has a lead on a '63 to '72 wheel with brake (or just a brake assy.) let me know. Front... 21" single flange from Gil's parts collection... might change the front out to an 18". I've always run a 21" but I'm considering the fat front tire look.

brake... old GMA

I bought this years ago shortly after breaking another mechanical brake linkage rod (and... wearing out a new pair of boots while sliding through a red light on US 61.) It's one of the few aftermarket pieces on this sled and I hope to replace it one day... The master cylinder came out of a box full of HD brake parts I purchased for .00 at the Harley Shop garage sale.

tires... cheap, black

I decided I'd try to get the cheapest tires I could. (For years I got all of my tires for this bike from behind the Harley shop for free) but I wanted a new one so I bought the rear, a Kenda, on the internet for .00. This is actually only the second rear tire that I've paid for on this bike - the first was an Arco (some of you remember those) that I bought from Lightnin' in 1982. The front tire was already on Gil's wheel... hey, that brings my tire cost average to .50!

paint... urethane black

I had about a 1/2 quart of 15 year-old leftover urethane single stage (no clear coat) so I brought the can over to Judy's paint store where Jim shook it up an added enough to do this job. Judy and Jim have helped me on every paint job I've done (and God knows I need a lot of help!) I painted everything under a tree in the back yard so the paint has a few dust and bug specs to give it that "organic" effect.

QUESTIONS ON THE BIKE? YOU CAN WRITE TO TREE AT: treeschoppers@hotmail.com