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Go to Colorwrite Index Page Knucklehead fenders repair and refinish
Knucklehead fenders repair and refinish.
1939 Metal Work, Riviting, welding and fitting.
I currently have 9 other front fenders in similar condition to be straightened and repaired. Some will be returned in primer, some will be painted. I am currently making tooling for the braces to make the repairs quicker.
Rear fender, it has a total of 12 misc holes and 12 saddlebag holes all needing to be plug welded after removing braze and old repair work. The hinge rivets are #10 and need to be 3/16" to properly rivet the hinge in. after making plugs for the holes, it's time to do a combination of Tig and Mig welding.
Another picture of the hinge area with numerous holes and braze, no welding can be done where there is any brass. It All must be removed.
Picture of the numerous saddlebag holes.
Extra holes brass and stress cracks where the tool box area needs repair.
Where the taillight metal shroud has been caved in, the previous repair shop put in a Panhead fender hinge, after another collision. And more brass to be removed.
Tail section with 6 holes and one crack to repair, more brass.
Pieces of the front fender brackets, all bent. The rusty center piece is the reinforcement where the front fender meets the rigid rear springer leg.
Another shot of the braces, and the reinforcement. Without removing this reinforcement and blasting it clean, the outside of the fender would have another rot hole within a year.
Front fender to rocker mounts, Twisted.
This is the front fender where it meets the rear springer leg. It shows a rot hole, and the spot welds and the spot welds drilled to remove the reinforcement.
Nose of the front fender shows the bracket rivets removed and the holes needing filling and welding. There is also lead to be removed. The front fender is also the wrong shape, the crown is to round.
Starting to fit and straighten the braces and fender.
Started straightening the fender and establish the correct shape. Rivet holes have been welded.
Butt welded the rot hole shut.
There is space now in between the braces and the fender to draw a sheet of paper through.
More work on the front fender fit. This will be assembled and put on a straight springer several times to check alighment, every time you bend one side of a brace, the other side has an equal and opposite transfer of force.
Lots of holes on the front, all in critical areas. Fender fits perfect to the tire, the cosmetic work starts now.
Another picture of the straightened front braces.
Fit of the front fender inside the springer.
Spacing is equal although the fork is not mounted with the correct bearing cups.
Ten holes. These were exposed after the lead was removed, all in a very tough to fix place.
Rear fender. Ready for repair after the brass has been removed. Part 2
Some people send us fenders and sheetmetal just to do metalwork and primer. We also repaired the primary cover.
Welding on the top of the fender, it's had several repair done in the past, and numerous cracks.
Tig welding on the side, plugs were made for each of the large holes to minimize warping.
Wire loom on the tail section, spot welds drilled, it will be blasted, and then zinc primed, and reinstalled.
Saddlebag holes ground down inside and out. After blasting, they will need thin spots touched up with more weld, and metal shrinking done.
Welds in the rear ground and finished.
Preliminary hinge fit and all of the welds inside the fender ground down. If mating surfaces, such as the hinge repair area arn't kept the original guage, the hinge will bind and not allow full use.
Rear fender fits, and hinge works properly.
Centered to the rim.
Rivit holes repaired and relocated for the hinge.
Another shot of the front with the cosmetic work done. After this much work, it makes sense to check the front fender fit often.
Another shot of the front. Properly repaired valances remain the same guage with a slight skim coat of filler.
With the exception of the hinge, we were able to keep all the original sheet metal as it left Milwaukee in 1939. A lot of shrinking took place on the rear fender.
Finished cosmetic repairs done to the rear fender.
The rivit areas can't have any filler on them, or the rivit fit will be compromised.
Wire loom welded back in with the new hinge.
Filler work on the inside of the front fender, I only neaten this up. With the value of these bikes approaching six figures, and the fact being that the insides were painted when new, I make the insides look presentable as well.
Another picture of the inside, This fender had been hit Very hard at least twice in the past. Every time you hit a dent in or out, you leave damage on the inside. Now if a judge or a prospective buyer/investor looks inside the fenders, they'le see a proper product.
Another shot of the front fender, rear half.
Toolbox side of the rear fender.
Self etch primer, the first step before primer surfacer. This doesn't show, but without it, primer surfacer fails prematurely.
Primary cover repaired and straightened, it goes with the same bike.
Urethane Primer Surfacer, I will block sand this coat off, and reprime it. I am only doing this job to primer, the owner has a painter he is happy with locally. I will box these parts up and ship them. These are not riveted, that will be done afer the sanding, and before the next primer coat.