Honey I blew up the iron piggy


HERE’S A quick & dirty motorhead pictorial, to document my effort to get the old hog in shape for winter. Best to do it now, before frozen-knuckle weather.

It’s time for new tires. That’s always a good excuse to tend to whatever else needs doing. Good time to pop in a new set of brake pads on all three calipers, and freshen up the brake fluid.

The general rule: You don’t have to go but you duz have to stop, brother.


This was Tuesday, I think, early morning sun. Slide the jack under the piggy and get to work.


The ’49 truck makes a good work bench. A place to put the seat, saddlebags, mufflers, header pipes, the headlight & nacelle, passing lamps…


Tires aren’t terrible but they’re thin enough to feel loose on the road in certain conditions. That drive belt pulley is shot.


The plating is all gone. I’ve got a low-mileage used one in the shed, will swap it out for this one.


Time for new wheel bearings all around, two up front, two aft. These old bearings have 40,000 miles or so. They can last longer but piggy lives outdoors, gets a lot of weather exposure, I’m happy they lasted as long as they did.

Left to right, that’s the old bearing that came out of the shiny bore, the spacer that sits between the two bearings, and the tool for pulling the bearings out of the wheel hub.


Both front brake rotors are ready for the scrap heap. They mic at .182, within spec by two thou. Any thinner than .180 and they’re done.

That last two thou will scrub off quick, especially with new pads.

The rear-wheel rotor is still good, it mic’d at .213.


Granted, it’s not like I’m racing the old hog in the Isle of Man TT, scooting along at 180mph and setting up for a turn at 60.

I dump so little heat into the rotors I’m sure I could get away with running them thin, even very thin, but… why? The wheel’s off the bike, easy to put new rotors on.

Tony down at Ocean State Harley-Davidson put some parts aside for me today, tires, rotors, bearings, brake pads, etc. I’ll pick them up in the morning.

Not the tires. Will have the OSHD shop mount and balance the tires after I install the bearings and rotors.

Piggy will get new fork springs while the headlight nacelle is off. I’ve got a new pair of rear shocks for her, too. And new header pipes, true-dual exhaust.

Suspension work is long overdue. It’s not a comfort thing, it’s actually been a control issue for some time now.

Busy busy busy… so easy to just keep putting it off & putting it off…


Time to get piggy in shape and get a safety inspection done. Her sticker expired 15 months ago.

More current than my truck sticker, though. That one expired 21 months ago.

I need a personal assistant to tend to life’s little details. I’m more a…  big picture guy! Yeah, that’s it, officer. I get distracted by the big picture.

Tony DePaul, October 13, 2017, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA


About Tony

The occasional scribblings of Tony DePaul, 62, father, grandfather, husband, freelance writer in many forms, ex-journalist, long-distance motorcycle rider, motorcycle wrecker, motorcycle rebuilder, collector of surgical hardware, blue routes wanderer, outdoorsman, topo map bushwhacker, handy with a wrench, hammer, chainsaw, rifle, former photographer, printer, logger, truck driver, truck mechanic, jet fueler… blah blah...
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4 Responses to Honey I blew up the iron piggy

  1. brad says:

    I love to see your piggy/pickup posts, because I marvel that you do this outdoors… without a shade tree. Odd thought: is the shade tree a Southern thing? Anyway, I look forward to installment blog 2 where the tires come back and you discover a malady that leads us to installment blogs 3 and 4. Love ya’, buddy.

    • Tony says:

      A tree would be good today if it served as a rain umbrella, as opposed to sun. I did pick up my parts at Ocean State Harley, though. Probably the only thing I’ll get done. This is shaping up to be one of those days where the secret of my success is to start out slow, then taper off.

  2. Ryan says:

    Let me know when you start accepting resumes for the assistant position.

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