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AMF years and shovelheads

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Old 01-30-2010, 12:28 AM
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Default AMF years and shovelheads

Been wondering about something....

I always have heard that the EVO motor came out and was so much better as far as dependability than the shovel. I also always heard that with AMF at the helm, quality was down. People used to say that for every two bikes coming off the line, you would end up with one good bike and one for parts...

So a couple of questions...

What year did the Shovel motor come out?

What year did AMF take control?

Were the motors BEFORE the shovel considered even less reliable than a shovelhead, or the same, or better?

Why the poor quality during AMF? Quality control on the line? The shovel itself? ????

Thanks in advance
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Old 01-30-2010, 12:57 AM
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I cant answere all your questions. I bought a AMF Harley in 77 brand new, never had a problem that maintance did take care of.. Others might not be so lucky so their milage my vary.
BUT with out AMF and their dumping money to design the EVO and retool you wouldnt have the bike you have now. For better or worse who knows
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:18 AM
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BUT with out AMF and their dumping money to design the EVO and retool you wouldnt have the bike you have now. For better or worse who knows
Yeah I have heard that several times..big company like AMF had the money for R&D.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hdtwice View Post
Been wondering about something....

I always have heard that the EVO motor came out and was so much better as far as dependability than the shovel. I also always heard that with AMF at the helm, quality was down. People used to say that for every two bikes coming off the line, you would end up with one good bike and one for parts...

So a couple of questions...

What year did the Shovel motor come out?

1966 was the first year for the shovelhead engine.

What year did AMF take control?

1970 was the year AMF took over.

Were the motors BEFORE the shovel considered even less reliable than a shovelhead, or the same, or better?

The shovel was just a Panhead with a new head design. 45 degree intake ports. Larger intake valves. Better rocker arm design. Better valve geomety. Better exhaust port.

Why the poor quality during AMF? Quality control on the line? The shovel itself? ????

A lot of the old time Harley Davidson employees did not like being sold out to AMF. There was sabatoge on the assembly line. A lot of the old timers retired or quit. New employees took time to train. Poor quality control contibuted to the problem. A dark time in the history of The Motor Company.

Thanks in advance
Hope this helps.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:13 AM
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I had a '69 FLH and like "Old 96" said that was the year before AMF took over. There was a story going around then about a fellow who'd worked every position on the line at Harley (he started as a kid apprentice) and had been there almost fifty years. He carried an old shop worn notebook in his back pocket where he had penciled in every specification and tolerance for all the bikes they built. And a lot of it was stuff he figured out on his own, or learned from others before him. He knew what worked and what didn't, and he knew how to get things done.

When the AMF suits descended on the plant, with their time studies, output quotas, and bean counters this old gent calmly took off and hung up his shop apron and he, and that notebook, walked out the door never to return!

I don't know how true that is, but it's a story that made plenty of sense to us over the next few years . . .

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Old 01-30-2010, 02:36 AM
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Your questions have been answered but as to AMF and quality I had an experience like Ironhand. I bought a new 1978 1/2 Shovelhead FXS Low Rider and kept it for twelve years and it was as reliable and trouble free as any bike I have ever had. Do not be afraid to buy an old AMF Harley just because of the AMF reputation.
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:35 AM
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I worked in a HD shop, 82 to 85, went to the factory for the EVO course in 84,[course they had'nt come up for a name yet for the new engine design] After the service school course they took us on a factory tour, It was great, a lifetime dream, no cameras allowed, watched a aluminum block turned into a running EVO engine. Out back was a dumpster, full of new EVO engines that didn't make the grade. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against change, it just takes a while sometimes to make a change for the better. They have accomplished that. Anyways, I'm rambling on like the ol' fart I am, got lost in the factory, trying to find a washroom and finally found one. Standing there, getting relieved when the door opened and I heard someone come in. I looked over and here was ***** G pissing right beside me. I'll never forget that. Anybody curious, I'll talk about our conversation. cole
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Old 01-30-2010, 03:51 AM
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Quote cole: I looked over and here was ***** G pissing right beside me. I'll never forget that. Lucky he didn't **** on your pant leg!!
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:02 AM
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I bought three new AMF Harleys,only problem I had with one of them was ignition module,the bikes were bullitt proof otherwize.Also owned many bikes before AMF as old as 1928,all were a blast to own.Back then we never focused on bad things about the bikes,we just rode them and fixed what was wrong.Actually still ride like that today,focus is having a good time not complaining.Without AMF's money things might have been a lot different for HD.A lot of what was said about HD back then was like it is now "media hype!"
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Old 01-30-2010, 06:58 AM
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Ol' 96 hit 'em ALL.

We own a Pre-AMF. '65 Pan
An AMF. '78 FLH
Post-AMF. '96 Sporty

Which one see's the most sunlight ???? ENJOY, I do !!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMV7xpq13Ec&NR=1




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