FINALLY about to start: Making a "jig?"

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by ZappBranigan, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. kshansen

    kshansen kshansen

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
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    499
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    Central NY
    Guess what I'm not getting is if there are threads on that end of rod that is bolted to the center stand bracket why can't you just cut off a few inches of the end that is threaded into the tube and then screw it further and make it shorter? Like I said maybe I'm missing something here!
    #41
    Ridn3 likes this.
  2. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    First off read the very first few bookmarked posts on the hack site with regards to setting up sidecars. They will give you a better understanding on how to set up a rig.

    Then cut some of the threads off that rod. ( Or is it in the wrong position ??? ). Thread a nut on the end first and then cut, when you remove the nut it cleans up the threads and they will thread back into the black portion. Take a couple of inches off, reinstall and if needed then cut some more. You want to end up with at least a couple of inches of rod threaded into the black portion. The mounts that you have that came with that car are universal and as such need to be modified to work with your bike and set up. With your front mount, I see you have the 2 bolts where the upper frame tube bolts with the lower frame tube. You should be able to adapt one of the upper mounts shown in a couple of pictures. That upper mount then won't turn.

    Also lower front mount might need to be adapted so that you can use the least amount of threads possible. To my eye the sidecar needs to move in about 6 inches. ( hard to tell exactly from pictures ). What is your current wheel track ( distance between the center of the bike rear wheel and the center of the sidecar wheel ). You want to look for something in and around 50" for a starting track width. This is just an estimate, what works best can be a bit either side of that number, but that is a good starting point.

    If you get the lower mounts to move in about 6 " or start with a 50" track width then that will also shorten the upper mounts and give you a better working angle for them. All of this is trail and error and you end up with measurements that suite your rig and what makes it handle properly.

    When setting up the complete rig, have somebody sit in the sidecar, you sit on the bike and then tie the rear suspension down ( with your weight on the bike ) so it is locked in place. Then you can get off and the rear suspension of the bike will stay compressed. Then get a 4'/5' level and place down between the bike and car, and also put a level across the back of the sidecar. With weight in the car and the compressed bike suspension you are looking for both of these levels to indicate level ( or very close to it ). When you take the weight out of the car and off the bike the bike and car should be noticeable un level. The car should lean out to the right a bit and the bike should lean out to the left a bit. If you use a tape measure at the handlebars ( front wheel straight ahead, unloaded bike and sidecar, on level concrete ) the right handlebar ( as you sit on the bike ) should be about 3/4" higher than the left handlebar. The toe in for the sidecar tire should be about 1/2 inch. ( Do a search on this hack blog - for how to measure toe in - I won't repeat the process ). These are both starting measurements aND can vary a bit.

    If you get lost do some searching on this site, lots of good info on how to set stuff up. Have fun with your rig.
    #42
  3. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Littleton, CO
    Believe it or not it's 47" right now. Just measured it, twice to be sure.

    I think the pictures don't reflect that the front of the sidecar will be moving in. Right now it's "splayed outwards" with the sidecar wheel pointing away from the bike. That's why I need to shorten the upper front mount by at least 2", possibly more.

    Currently the distance between the right footpeg end and the car frame is about 6.5" Should it be closer than that? With a 47" track I would think I'm OK.

    You can see the splay out very prominently here. The front of the car will be moving at least 2” towards the bike.

    [​IMG]

    Fighting off a nasty spring cold (that happened to hit on the first day of my vacation) so no work on the hack today but hoping to do some tomorrow.

    Thanks again for all the help!
    #43
  4. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Today’s update:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I actually felt confident enough that once I tightened all the bolts, I took it for a couple of short rides around the neighborhood, one of them to a local car wash to wash the literally years of dust off the hack.

    A few observations:

    1. As expected, left turns were easy, right turns not so much. Hard to explain but it felt almost like the bike was going to tilt over to the left side when I turned right (I'm by myself so I wasn't able to see if the car wheel was lifting up, i.e "Flying the car" but it sure felt "squirrely" in right turns.

    2. Noticeable head shake between 20 - 30 MPH (~35 was the fastest I went today, 3rd gear.) Is this normal or does it indicate something may be out of adjustment?

    I'm sure it will need some "tweaking" but at least I feel like I'm getting closer to having a working hack!
    #44
  5. halflive

    halflive Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
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    438
    Lean out is too much. The rear springs are too soft, the sidecar is too light. Try again with 40 kilogram in the tub and the bike more upright.
    #45
  6. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Yeah, it definitely felt like it was leaning too far out. I'll try with weight in it and re-adjust the angles.

    Should I be looking at getting better shocks for the bike? AFAIK it's still on whatever shocks that Bonnies came with back in 2002.
    #46
  7. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    FWIW I just ordered one of these from DMC. Still have the front upper clamp-on mount but it's temporary until this one comes in.
    #47
    RockyMtnRoadRash likes this.
  8. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    Looks like the chair leans into the Tug.
    #48
  9. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    This is with an empty bike & car. If you stand behind the rig, on level ground, the bike & car should be leaning out away from each other. Do the following before you start cutting stuff.

    To properly adjust the lean out, have somebody sit in the car, you sit on the bike and tie the rear suspension down so that it stays compressed when you get off the bike. Put a long level down between the car and bike ( on the car frame ) and a smaller level on the car itself. The long level measures front to back level and the shorter level side to side level of the car. To adjust lean out. Measure from the handlebars down to the cement. Adjust the lean out until you get about 3/4" higher on the right handlebar end, than on the left handlebar end. Adjust the front to back level by moving the rear lower mount up ( some, like on mine - you just pivot the rear mount to do this - not sure of how to do that with your set up ) or front down. You want the car to be level or just slightly down at the front and level side to side with the weight in the car. This adjusts the bike and car to compensate for the crown of the road and 3/4" at the handlebars is a good starting point.

    Then toe in is set for about 1/2" or so. You need a couple of long pieces of metal ( wood can be used but not always straight ). Place one piece about 3 or 4" off the ground down the left side of the bike so that it is touching the rear tire only, on the outside of the rubber. Do the same down the sidecar tire. Using a tape measure the distance between the two pieces, just in front of the front wheel and just behind the rear wheel of the bike. You are looking for the front measurement to be about 1/2" less than the rear measurement. This is your toe in. This is a starting point and you may have to add or subtract a small amount to this measurement to suit your rig. Any change in toe in will affect the lean out, so you have to do them together and then check on the lean out, same goes for adjusting the front to back level. They all work together and you will want to fine tune all three to get the setting that works for your bike & car. You want the rig to track straight down the road. Too much toe in wears out tires faster and too much toe out causes the rig to wander and makes it hard to keep it going down the highway in a straight line and is also hard on tires. Think of a front end alignment on your car or truck, it is the same principle.

    When starting out put about 60 lbs of ballast in the car and spend some time in parking lots or some other safe spot, to practise turns etc. It does take some getting used to the left and right turns and some cars are much easier to fly than others. Keep you speeds down on twisty roads until you get the hang of it.
    #49
  10. RockyMtnRoadRash

    RockyMtnRoadRash Useful and decorative

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
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    Seconded. Level that sidecar, then adjust leanout, then re-level the sidecar. It'll look better and ride better. Toein should stay moooostly the same but double check it for completeness and to make yourself crazy.
    #50
  11. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Picked up 2 x 60lb sand bags for weight in the car. Think that will be sufficient? 99% of the time the car will be empty and if I have a passenger she will only weigh 40 lbs:

    [​IMG]

    I feel like I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #51
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  12. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Apr 4, 2013
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    Location:
    Fort Collins, CO
    "I feel like I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel!"

    No, that's just the construction marker lights!
    #52
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  13. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    At least it’s not an oncoming train.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #53
  14. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    120lbs of ballast in THAT rig should be OK for starters but it's a little on the heavy side. Once you get everything dialed in, put in a few hundred miles with the 120, then see how it feels with 60. You need to get the setup right first though.
    #54
  15. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    Littleton, CO
    Got it more-or-less together on Friday and even took a short ride. Seems to handle OK, no unusual wobbling and the head shake I noticed earlier seems to be gone. Measurements seem to be about correct. Definitely easier to ride with the sandbags in the car, though.

    I did notice a very heavy effort turning left. I assume that's normal? Right turns are easy but I have to be careful not to lift the car wheel.

    I shot some video but not sure if there's a way to post it up here. I don't have a Photobucket account anymore and it seems I can only load stills from my iPhone.
    #55
  16. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    To do a video, first you post it to YouTube, then use the Media button (right next to the Image button) to add the YouTube URL.

    And no, that's not normal. Haven't read this whole thread, but are you sure you have the right amount of wheel lead?
    #56
  17. Valk rider

    Valk rider Adventurer

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    Fort Smith, Arkansas
    accelerating through left hand turns may seem heavy as the sidecar is countering inertia and you have to drag it around. Opposite of right turns where acceleration makes it easier to steer. This may be what your perceiving.
    #57
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  18. ZappBranigan

    ZappBranigan Still Riding

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    I think that's what it is. My measurements all seem to be in order so I'm going to try and ride it the way it is and see if I get used to it.
    #58
  19. DRONE

    DRONE Dog Chauffeur

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    . . . "very heavy effort turning left" . . . "right turns are easy" . . .

    I'm not super experienced, maybe only driven a dozen different rigs, and perhaps if I concentrated I might be able to feel a slight difference in effort one way over another, but no way have I ever driven a rig that was "very heavy" one way and "easy" the other way.

    Are any of you other guys experiencing the same thing as Zapp and Valk?
    #59
  20. FLYING EYEBALL

    FLYING EYEBALL out of step

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    trying to setup a Rig with 120 lbs. of ballast in a lightweight chair that will most often be empty doesn't make any sense (to me)

    Also

    Did I miss if you have heavier springs on the Bike?
    #60