USCA Sidecar Forum

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Brake Interface - Panhead/LE Sidecar

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Hi! I just bought a '65 Panhead with sidecar. It is still enroute from Indiana. The sidecar brake system was partially refurbished before winter set in up north. I'm in Yuma, forecast for near 90F weather this coming week! The seller says all that is needed is to connect and bleed the brake line. It is a Harley LE frame with a L&W steel body. The bike itself has an original steering dampener from the factory and is supposedly already aligned with the sidecar. It is a 4-forward bike with no reverse. I also have a '63 pan that should have similar bike brakes and am trying to figure out how the sidecar brake would connect hydraulically? Is there a hydraulic tee on the rear brake cylinder? Will that interfere with the chrome cover? The bike won't get here for about 2-3 weeks and I'm just trying to satisfy my curiosity while waiting and also anticipating the work I'll need to get it all finished before it gets too hot. The seller "says" it'll be easy but that what they all say in their pitch. Thanks! Any advice will be appreciated. - AZP

An extended bolt screws into the brake intake hole that has two inlet holes to accommodate the sidecar brake line and the rear brake line.

That is good news, I think.. The existing rigid brake line comes forward and down then under from the rear cylinder. I have about an inch clearance within the cover front, so it should fit if the extension isn't any longer than that. This will be interesting. I started out with just wanting a later panhead in mind and somehow ended up with one and a sidecar. I've never even ridden in one less ride a bike with one! I must admit I've wanted one for my Topper and even bid on a complete setup recently. It ended up in a California museum. The money and deal just worked out that way on this pan. As you know, it'll all be self-evident after it gets here. I also have to install the windshield which the seller says is more work than I'd think. I'm excited about this addition to my humble collection because it is something "different" but just one more new "technology" to learn. Now I wonder.... do you have to bleed the brakes if you take the sidecar off? I would think so. Our collection (me and Blondie's) is at http://www.radvet.com should anyone care to visit. It is a personal (not sales) site. I have the seller's pics of the bike/side car up there until it arrives. Maybe someone from Indiana already knows this bike (the '65)? So having a sidecar is called having a "hack?" I didn't know that. Thank you! - AZP

The setup for my 93 Tour Glide is supposed to have an added tee in the rear brake line to hook up the sidecar brake line. When I bought the bike it had a modified rear brake line with no easy place to add the tee so I used a double banjo bolt in the rear caliper. You may have to improvise depending on what type of fittings you have. I saw your sidecar rig on ebay, looks very good. You have a very nice collection of vehicles, have fun with the sidecar.

I haven't had a "modern" Harley for quite some time but they also don't change much. So, I'll take your help (with appreciation and thanks) and apply it as soon as my "hack" gets here. Meanwhile, there doesn't seem to be much web documentation about sidecars in general. Palmer's resto book for panheads does have a few citations about LEs. I immediately thought that the sidecar was crying out for white side panels to match the gas tanks, sorta like old Corvette coves. Nope, Palmer says that it should be a solid color, the same as the bike. Darn! '65 was a transition year for FL Harlies just like '58. Seems like those years always lack documentation in general. The seller was modernizing the bike before deciding to sell. I usually bring my vehicles back to what they were at time of production. I am passionate about the past so the toys are actually time machines to me... better times in general. Blondie has a "M" endorsement on her license and says that I'll be in the side car with her riding the bike. That'll be a first. Her last bike was a 800cc Vulcan and I'm wondering if she'll be able to handle a FL. Another question.... the seller took the rear crash bars off but hasn't said why. Is there anything sticking out (like those bars) that might hit against the sidecar? Kicker pedal? Some of the rear view pictures of FLs with sidecars show the gap to be fairly close. Again thank you. - AZP

I finally got a straight answer and it apparently won't be as much work as thought. The tee and rigid connecting brake line is already there, supposedly capped off. All that is needed is to connect to the sidecar brake and bleed. I also have to install the sidecar windshield which came with the deal but uninstalled. The hack was picked up in Indiana but apparently stalled at their terminal in Columbus, Ohio waiting for a southwestern bound load. Arrival is scheduled for no later than March 6th. I'm "almost" a sidecar guy! - AZP

azpaul50 - 2/14/2014 2:26 PM I finally got a straight answer and it apparently won't be as much work as thought. The tee and rigid connecting brake line is already there, supposedly capped off. All that is needed is to connect to the sidecar brake and bleed. I also have to install the sidecar windshield which came with the deal but uninstalled. The hack was picked up in Indiana but apparently stalled at their terminal in Columbus, Ohio waiting for a southwestern bound load. Arrival is scheduled for no later than March 6th. I'm "almost" a sidecar guy! - AZP

Don't know what the problem would be with installing the windshield on the sidecar, takes 2 bolts in either side for the windshield frame work and if I recall correctly about 8 screws to mount the front apron provided it was previously installed and removed for shipping.

Chuck - He had the kit (minus footrest) but never installed it on the sidecar. Nothing has been drilled for it. It is traveling inside the car right now which is apparently still in Columbus, Ohio. Grrrr.. The spare tire's star hub was missing so I had that rebuilt in Indiana so it could travel installed on the sidecar. I appreciatre everyone's tolerance for the new kid and coping with my excitement about a new toy. We have the biggest bike event of the year here this April (Prison Run, Norwalk Centaurs) and my '63 is busted and won't be fixed in time. I'd like to use the '65 since I don't have anything else to ride other than my Topper which wouldn't be cool for this specific event. You know.... gotta keep the "rep" up. I've ridden panheads here for decades. I've been reading something about "common sense" canvas attachments. My impression is that I'll be drilling more than just the main windshield supports to include several snap locations. The seller has apparently installed one before and was alluding to his observation that it was a 2-man job and could take 3-4 hours to complete the installation. Now consider doing it in 100F heat even in the shade! It was 90F here this past week! Meanwhile, the seller is younger and with good intentions, replaced many of the original OEM parts with "updates." As he was systematically destroying American history, he kept only some of the originals. I also have the task of putting them all back on before April not to mention scouring the earth to find those completely missing parts I've identified. I'm not looking to "accessorize" the sidecar which (to me) seems like it is complete. The three uninstalled side moulding pieces are also coming with the car. Would you look at it in the sellers pictures of the hack at http://www.radvet.com and tell me if anything else is obviously missing with the car so I can order them now? Thank you all! - AZP

Is L&W part of this association? Just wondering.... it is a L&W tub. - AZP

No L&W makes body's, parts and accessories for the Harley steel body sidecars from the j model to the last steel body that the Harley made you could look them up on the web.

As for the apron and cover those were one piece attached to the body on top from the windshield frame, then from the inside of the frame it could be rolled up and secured just under the sidecar windschield when the sidecar was being used. The snaps were located to secure it to enclose the sidecar interior when not in use not 100% sure but I think there were 6 or maybe 7 snaps

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