Classic Harley Maintenance – 1936 Cold Weather Reminder

Here is what the folks at Harley-Davidson recommended to their dealerships and riders on today’s date (November 4) in 1936.

Classic Harley Winter Tech and Maintenance

For many of us, winter is just around the corner. If in your locality you will soon have below freezing weather, now is the time to get out a card or letter to all of your riders suggesting a winter tune-up job. The most effective plan along this line is to work up a combination of tune-up jobs at a special, low flat price for the group. You can probably stand a little extra work in the shop right now and at the same time you will be doing your riders a good turn by getting their machines in shape for good cold weather starting, easy shifting and best all around performance. Don’t forget, too, that an active winter service campaign always results in the sale of a lot of cold weather accessory equipment.

Here are some of the things that need attention in getting ready for winter service:

     Battery – Charge and inspect terminal connections.

     Generator – Clean commutator. Inspect brushes and renew any nearly worn out. Check charging rate and, if low for winter service, adjust higher.

     Circuit Breaker Points – Clean and adjust, or renew.

     Spark Plugs – Clean and adjust, or renew.

     Valves – clean carbon and grind valves, or raise valve covers and flush out thoroughly with kerosene with motor running to correct possible sticky, sluggish action. Adjust tappets.

     Carburetor – Remove and clean thoroughly. In re-adjusting set throttle stop screw for somewhat faster than normal summer idling.

     Clutch – Check for slippage and also complete disengagement.

     Motor Oil – When temperature is down to 20 to 25 degrees above zero, change to “Medium Heavy” oil (61 OHV model uses “Medium Heavy” oil the year around).

     Transmission Oil – Same as motor. When cold enough so that shifting becomes difficult, even with “Medium Heavy” oil, after a motorcycle has stood for a time, add 1/3 to 1/2 pt of kerosene to thin oil. Late four speed transmission and also three speed and reverse transmissions of the constant mesh type may become very difficult to shift unless this attention is given. Difficult shifting due to stiff oil also means hard cranking when starting.

     Chains – Adjust and report condition if bad.

     Brakes – Adjust and report condition if bad.

     General Lubrication – Thoroughly grease complete machine. Oil control cables and control joints with light oil.

(NOTE: If winter weather goes down to zero and remains at or below this temperature for a time, even “Medium Heavy” motor oil may need to be thinned with kerosene to prevent congealing. Add just enough to stop congealing. This applies to late motors with circulating oiling system as well as earlier motors. Congealed oil means hard starting, poor oil circulation for quite a time after starting, the possibilities of shearing something about the oil pump, and if oil becomes too solidly congealed the supply to motor may be shut off entirely, even though pump is working.)

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2 Responses to Classic Harley Maintenance – 1936 Cold Weather Reminder

  1. Don says:

    Might be a typo error on the editor’s part, but the advertisement is not from 1936. First it’s the wrong motorcycle shown for 1936. Secondly it’s more likely an add from 1924 or 1925 based upon the design of the ad.