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Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by I Am Murphy, Jan 29, 2012.
The battery re-orientation went relatively smoothly, here's the final product:
Had to cut out some of the stainless handlebars I made, the HD bars have a cutaway intended for the wires to tuck into.
Assembling the combined handlebar design was not without disappointment, I had to remove the guts from the HD heated hand grips I loved so much. Looks like I'll be switching to heated gloves for the winter.
But I got it all back together, now I just need to build my new fuel tank. Here's the cardboard mockup I'll be using for construction:
I like where you are going with this. Are you going to do a rear wheel swap to match the front? Maybe make it easier by getting a rear HD hub and lace up a rim of your choosing?
Yeah, I'm hoping to do more of a whole rear end swap. In my mind I've got this project broken into three parts: front, middle and rear, to be done in that order. I've been kind of charging ahead blindly, focussing only on front. Basically I am working on blind faith that once I get that together I'll be able to figure out the other two sections.
The one thing I have considered for the rear is buying a used rear swingarm from an 80's XL600R, keeping the pivot end from the sportster and welding on the tire end from the XL, and cutting both to give me 4" extra length. Once I get a little closer to execution I'll have to investigate compatibility of the sportster belt to chain conversion kit with the rear sprocket from the XL. Should be an easy match though.
On a side note regarding conversion and fitment, the banjo bolt from the XL caliper fit the eyelet from the HD brake cable like a dream.
More than one way to skin a cat !
I like the contrast between your build, Doug's JTH's and johnwesley's. Go man go !
Today marks the beginning of actual fuel tank fabrication. This will undoubtedly be a slow process as I have no experience with this sort of work. I started with a cardboard mockup (admittedly, the picture didn't do much good expressing the general shape) and now will be attempting to figure out which shapes will be cuts, and which one bends. My lunch break is over, but here's what I did for the rear and top of the tank.
Okay, I'm gonna load up a step by step of fuel tank progress so far.
To date, I have:
Designed a cardboard mockup around the existing parameters,
Cut up a junk sportster tank to keep the base components I want,
Sandblasted the edges to prep for welding,
Traced out the general shape from my cardboard model,
Cut out the sheet for just one side,
and Tack-welded that side in place so I can build around it....Here goes!
The fairing is in from Britannia Composites, I copied Wesley and sprung for the generic Lynx setup. Looks real nice, and since I'll have to cut a few light wires, why not take the extra step to make an old dream come true? Instead of just snipping my headlamp wires and making the switch, I'm going to take advantage of the opportunity and cut ALL the light wires and run them through a kill switch. Once all is said and done I should be capable of disappearing into the twilight with helmet mounted night vision and stealthy light discipline. We called it blackout drive when I was overseas with the cavalry. I know it's nuts and I'll probably never get to make real use of it but humor this old Walter, just let this one go
Anyway, I digress. Today I wanted to talk about my indicator light panel. Since the new fairing has a spacious dashboard, I saw no reason to mount any instruments on my bars, and to expediate field maintenance (#2 priority after function!) and also give the smaller instruments a more unified appearance, I will be making a backplate for my OEM turn signal indicator / oil / neutral light and battery gauge. The idea is, I can pull the panel instead of multiple gauges for field maintenance.
I did this on my lunch break today, took just under 30 mins.
Once I had cut my piece of scrap to a dimension that would allow just enough corner space outside of the instruments for countersunk flat top screws, I marked approximate center, where the battery gauge wires would pass through.
With the wire hole drilled, I zipped my scrap down to a block of wood with a wood screw and washer, marked a .25" border, and put a quick center punch to the corners. Not looking for total perfection, though the devil IS in the details.
After drilling my corners and putting a countersink on every hole, I traced my OEM indicator light cluster to get a general eyeball guideline for machining.
Letting not a moment go to waste, I hit the mill.
Being in a hurry doesn't usually deliver perfection, and in keeping with the age old laws of man, my haste made waste. In trying to accomplish my modest goal in such limited time, I absent mindedly ran the mill in reverse for well over half the cut. Nothing ruined, but it sure slowed down the milling process, and made deburring a bigger pain than it needed to be as well. But it sanded out just fine.
With sanding completed, and only a few minutes left on my break, I had to make up for lost time. I took off that easily scratched shiny surface in the sand blaster to give it that more rugged, militant metal look.
Slap all the components in and call it a day, back to work. I didn't realize it until just now, as I uploaded the photo, but my lack of planning wound me up pretty asymmetrical from top to bottom. That'll bother me a bit, but then again its those oddball imperfections that say "I slapped this sucker together on my lunch break one day..."
Here it is with the countersunk mounting screws. Next step will be to mount it on the dash.
Cool gauge stack er dash.
Today I finished up the basic dash. The Vapor gauge is intended to be attached to the bars, and doing so would be hard to mess up, but placing it flat on a dash is not. With the mounting holes located relatively centered on the back side of the instrument, there were issues in hole spacing and alignment. I didn't take a lot of pictures as I went through this process, as I would drill or walk the bit in minuscule increment and check gauge alignment over and over, and I just wanted to get through it and get it right.
First I just slammed in a general hole for the instrument wires, using a hole saw to cut two offset holes. Later I would end up adjusting this hole with a Dremel and routing attachment.
I marked center and horizontal line with masking tape.
The Vapor gauge uses a watch battery to maintain time etc when the power is off*, so I routed out enough of the dash to allow me to change batteries without completely removing the gauge. Initially, the gauge was sitting just off level enough to bother me. I had held off on drilling the countersinks until the end just for this possibility. To level out the gauge's lay, I forced one countersink sightly high and one slightly low, respectively. As I cranked the screws into set position, they countersinks forced them into a slight rotation and levelled it out...only took about five tries to get the pull right.
So, perfect? Maybe not quite. But given the adversities that showed up in the process, I'm definitely happy.
I placed the small panel I made last time beneath the gauge and eyeballed an approximate location, popped out the OEM indicator light cluster, and marked its dimensions roughly with a razor blade. Then drilled a strayed hole and ripped out the general shape with the Dremel. Afterwards, I would slam a hole through the dash with a hole saw, blindly guestimating where the battery gauge wires might land. Later I could route the hometown be a better fit if need be, but the best way to KNOW that my mounting holes will put my panel square on the dash will be to use the piece itself to mark their locations.
I used the piece to mark with center punch the first hole, and drilled the dash with the panel off. Once the first hole was drilled though, I screwed it down and eyed it up straight - the rest of the holes would be drilled right through the panel, so I could ensure their position.
So the dash is assembled. Sometime (soon, hopefully) I will finalize the dash process with a quick post regarding the connection of all components.
*This ended up being a bit of a misunderstanding on my part. The watch battery I now believe is there to backup the memory only. In the earlier stages of installation I ran the gauge power through the same kill switch that controlled the lights, but found that this caused the memory battery to discharge at an accelerated rate. For the sake of being capable of full light discipline the gauge is still run through a kill switch, but the switch is NC, so I can power it down in a blackout situation but otherwise it remains connected to main batt. This switch controls power to the gauge only, while lights and battery gauge share a separate circuit.
Also, progress in small steps, but I put two more sides on the tank today. These small pieces were cut at an angle to match match the base angles on the rear plate, and bent approximately 30 degrees to mate up with the sides of the stock tank base.
For now, I'm just spot welding all the pieces together for fitment, once its a full build I'll run a full weld around all the seams.
And here it is with three of the God-knows-how-many small plates that will ultimately build up the entire tank.
I looked into several fairing options, and found that the Britannia Composites' pricing was competitive even versus used Honda fairings on eBay. The Lynx fairing comes with separate high and low beam halogens and a harness centered around the three prong adaptor that most automotive light bulbs are made to mate with. The three prong connector then breaks off into a split harness, powering the two separate relays and light fixtures. Connecting through the three prong harness allows you to control the lights with the existing dimmer switch.
Powering the new lights was as easy as connecting that three prong duder to the Sportster's headlight harness, running back the new harness' lead and ground wires to the power source, and connecting the split harnesses to their respective light fixtures, but something I did caused my right front turn signal to stop working. Should be easy enough to trace back and fix that, and once I do I'll then run all lights through the kill switch.
Here's that three prong plug in its natural habitat on the Sportster. It's got two grounds, one that runs back and connects through the harness to the other lights up front, and one that grounds to the light housing (shown here marked with masking tape).
Three prong plug separated from the OEM arrangement.
...and here it is reconnected, without the headlight housing. The wire that grounded the harness to the housing I spliced into the ground on the Britannia harness and ran back to the frame underneath of the seat.
As it appears from the front, the fairing is looking pretty slick!
I drilled out the bottom triple clamp and tapped to 1/4"x20.
...and here between the triple clamp and the fender you can see I have also implemented lockwashers and nuts, just to be sure this sucker doesn't rattle off, as have so many other highway decorations from this bike.
The three pronged plug is shown here, splitting off to the two light fixtures. All this will be neatly concealed behind the dash soon.
All in all, there were a few issues in connecting the fairing to my Honda-Davidson front end, and there are still a few more yet to be worked out, but from selecting the right fairing and mounting hardware to wiring, lighting, shipping and mounting questions, Ian at Britannia Composites has been quick to get back to me by phone and email - the company really seems to have a vested interest in the outcome of the project.
The Honda banjo bolt fit snugly in the H-D banjo, but what I had NOT accounted for was how short the OEM hose would be against the new fork length. Cyclebrakes.com offers custom brakelines through Galfer, they have a design sheet that makes the process a little easier, though I still felt the need to add a supplemental design sketch to ensure that I got what I wanted.
Potential issue? The H-D master cylinder takes a 7/16" x 24 banjo bolt, and Galfer only offers metric hardware. The M10x1.25 banjo bolt from the Honda caliper will be provided, and I'll use the OEM H-D bolt up top, but where the difference from SAE to metric caused the Honda bolt to be snug in the Harley banjo, it will have the opposite effect as I use the SAE hardware in the 12mm banjo. I'm hoping the gasketed washers will still seal the system, and if they don't, I'm hoping to "step" the washers to make a seal.
In addition to being longer, the new line will eliminate the solid pipe section and was intended to have a stiffener for protection in off-road applications, but my take on it is that Galfer received the order and said "don't look at his drawings, they're not on the correct letterhead."
Either they were in a hurry (I would have a hard time believing that, since I read on the site that they ship custom orders next day, and this custom order took almost two weeks), or they just don't pay attention to what the customer asks/pays for...disappointing no matter what the reason.
I am changing directions with the fuel tank fabrication. I still have to look into a few things before I'll speak of my plans, but for the mean time I bent the back plate to avoid having to extend the breather tube.
Here it is in the brake...
And here it is after two bends, this will decrease my intended fuel capacity a bit, but I think it will make the tank less intrusive of my riding posture, and will save some time in the final steps of fabrication. I'll spill more on these plans as soon as i verify that they're viable.
The engine temp is sent to the Vapor gauge unit by a connection to the spark plug.
To accommodate the ring terminal that goes around the spark plug I'll have to remove the existing crush washer.
Not as easy as threading it off, but it's gone, nonetheless.
...the fit to the spark plug is nice...
...but the spark plug well is going to be a tight fit. Unsure of how this will work out, I'll just try cramming it down in there.
And you can see here, it didn't hold up too well to the abuse.
...and it looks like it will need to be extended...oh well, that's for another day.
When installing a similar CHT sender on my VW I rotary filed a relief for the tang.
That was something I had thought might work, but I didn't want to cause any problems. If I do that though, I'll probably wait and just do it on the 1250 head so I can do it just once and keep my stock heads unadulterated for resale. How did yours work out, cause any problems?
Nope, no trouble. The hole was tight enough that I couldn't get a socket on the plug with the sender tang bent to fit the hole. Motor is out for other reasons right now and I may JB Weld the sender in place to ease future plug changes. On a VW the plugs sit inside a fanshroud and it's extremely hard to hold the sender in place whilst installing the plug.
Oh nice, that's a really good idea, I'll have to take the lesson from you there. I'm guessing I'll have to buy another temp sending unit from Vapor, I get to feeling so pressured to finish that sometimes I do dumb things like this in haste, but I'm assuming that the small cylinder attached to the copper ring is a transducer, and I may have broken it. I guess I'll try it out first, that could always be one of those things that gets replaced years later, once I know the build is at least reliable.
Thanks for the help, this really sets me at ease on the matter of the TSU.