TM9-879 TM 9-879 Motorcycle Solo Harley Davidson Model WLA (Enlarged Reprint of 1943 Edition)
This is a complete service shop manual to assist in mechanical reconstruction of the famous Harley Davidson WLA used by the US ARMY. This manual was issued to
service men in US army facilities and used for maintaining these amazing motorcycles. It covers all aspects of the bike and is over 200 pages.
The model number breaks down as follows:
- W : the W family of motorcycles. Harley Davidson (except in very early models) gives a letter designation for each model family. The W series at the time was the newest incarnation of the 45 cubic inches (740 cc) flathead motor, and was developed from the earlier R family 1932–1936.
- L : “high compression”, in the usual HD scheme. The “low compression” W model was only briefly available.
- A : Army. The company would also produce a model to the slightly different specifications of the Canadian Army, which would be named the WLC. The WLCs differed from WLAs chiefly in the use of some heavier components, usually Big Twin parts, as well as Canadian blackout lighting.
The WLA is very similar to civilian models, specifically the WL. Among the changes making it a military model:
- paint and other finishes: painted surfaces were generally painted olive drab or black and chrome- or nickel-plated parts were generally blued or parkerized or painted white. Some parts were left as unfinished aluminum. However, Harley Davidson was apparently very practical in its use of existing parts and processes, and many finishes remained in their bright civilian versions for a time, and, in some cases, for the whole production run.
- blackout lights: in order to reduce nighttime visibility, WLAs were fitted with a second set of blackout head and tail lights.
- fenders: to reduce mud clogging, the sides of the standard fenders were removed.
- accessories: a heavy-duty luggage rack (for radios), ammo box, leather Thompson submachine gun scabbard, skid plate, leg protectors, and windshield could be fitted. Most came with at least these accessories less the windshield or leg protectors.
- air cleaner: an oil bath air cleaner, originally used for tractors and other vehicles in dusty environments, was fitted to handle the dust of off-road use and to allow easier field maintenance. Oil bath cleaners require only the addition of standard motor oil rather than replaceable filters.
- fording: changes to the crankcase breather reduced the possibility of water intake into the crankcase.