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Thread: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

  1. #1
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    1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Hello to all my friends here at the forum,

    since the rebuilt of my buddy's Super Glide is progressing rather slow, I decided to start a new project in parallel. As I told you in the thread of my Super Glide restoration, I was trying for a very long time to convince another friend to sell me his 1950 Hydra Glide. This bike was sitting in pieces for more than 20 years in our workshop. He bought in in 1996 and wanted to restore it, but lost intrest. Last week I gave him a call and he eventually sold it to me! Now I'm the proud owner of that beauty. Or better now I'm the proud owner of a huge collection of parts formerly known as Hydra Glide.
    This picture shows the bike before disassembling:



    This is how it looks today:





    I spend some hours yesterday to check the parts and it looks most of the parts are correct for the 1950 model year, all forged numbers on the frame are correct, and even parts like the original air cleaner are there. The first picture show the bike with an S&S carb, but the stock Linkert is in the package.

    Like JFK said 50 years ago (slightly adjusted): "I choose to restore this Pan and do all the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard....."

    The bike was pretty much original, so I decided to build it back into into factory condition. I have given myself 2 years for the job, since there will be a lot of research required, I will report regulary here about the progress. At first I will reassemble the bike for technical checks, then I will disassemble it again and start the real job.

    I hope, I can count on your support, like you have done during my other project.


    Looks like fun!

    Jens

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  2. #2
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    If it's as good as the last one, say no more!

    Good luck - look forward to seeing the progress.

    Rod.
    Time out of mind

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  3. #3
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Thank you for the warning Jens, I will get in a supply of tea and biscuits, ready to sit down and enjoy your progress!

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  4. #4
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    anything i can help you with ,,just ask my 1950 EL

    johnClick image for larger version. 

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    (old iron ass)

    BMW R80GS winter hack
    1978 FLH80 SHOVELHEAD
    1950 EL hydra glide PANHEAD

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  5. #5
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Thanks John, I will surely do if I need some answers!

    Today I've spoken to the TÜV (the organization for vehicle saftey in Germany). Basically you have to have your bike (and all other vehicles) checked for saftey and condition every 2 years in Germany. My Panhead was de-registered 23 years ago, so I have to have an extended check... No problem, but the guy told me, that in this case a certification of Harley Davidson would be required to proof it's an original frame.... Welcome to Germany 2019, world headquarter of bureaucracy..... He also send me a 12 pages document (issued by the TÜV) showing how to identify an original frame vs. and aftermarket one. An aftermarket frame is not street legal over here as long as not tested and approved by the TÜV...

    Still sounds like fun!!!

    Jens

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  6. #6
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Looks like a great project. Does frame have the month / year stamp in place? Should prove its pedigree??
    Boris

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  7. #7
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Frame has all the correct die numbers, it's simply original. I'm waiting for the answer of HD. No big problem, but it's still annoying...

    Jens

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  8. #8
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Yesterday I checked the parts. Looks like all is there. My friend had many parts already chrome plated, this needs to be removed (I never thought I would say this...) Next weekend I will start with the engine assembly.
    Here are some pictures:

    The original air cleaner is there


    Brakes and sprockets...


    more parts...


    even the tank name plates are original:


    All other engine parts (incl. 2 sets of cylinders, original M-61 Linkert carb etc) are also there. Tranny is complete and working, Fork is already rebuilt (but I will do this again of course), Wiring is there, mainly original, but I will build a new harness (out of the correct material). Whats not included is the complete seat unit, but this is a minor issue. I found some left overs from the original Steward-Warner Speedometer, I'll try to have that one rebuilt.

    Jens

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  9. #9
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    Hi Jens

    Great project and I'm looking forward to your usual level of attention to originality detail.

    Cheers
    Matt

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  10. #10
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    Re: 1950 Hydra Glide EL61 Restoration

    How about the valve seats? sunken? and cracks across to the spark plug? (hopefully the answer is "no" to both...)

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