Home build rugged hack on an 11GS

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Fanum, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    It's been done for a while now, and has a little over 3000 miles on it now, but I keep dipping in to this section for tips on our next build so I reckon it's only fair to put something back......

    This is the tale of a shed built rugged hack on an 1100GS...picture heavy and not for the purists or those who like to work out every little detail and angle on a CAD system before getting out the angle grinder :evil

    As background....we run a workshop that specialises in restoring old Landrovers, but both Gert and I have been into bikes for many many years....he's had Harleys forever and for the last 8 years has been on GSs, and I've had GSs forever and had a company runnning off road trips in North Africa/Sahara etc, so have a fair bit of off-roading behind me.

    EDIT....I'm going to quote some posts from the original thread on UKGSer, or some of the replies that may explain some of the things we did won't make sense
    #1
  2. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Ok, purists, look away.......

    This is going to get fugly, so if you haven't realised that you ride an ugly tractor, you may not want to watch this thread :)


    Last week we picked up a wrecked old tub frame complete with suspension and a wheel/mudguard

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    We looked at putting it on my bike for a few mins :augie

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    But decided it would be better to put it on my old Kalahari which now belongs to Gert.

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    So last night when we'd closed the workshop, we got stuck in.....it's fun playing with angle grinders and stuff :D

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    :beer



    This could get messy :clap
    #2
  3. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    This one's only supposed to be a load carrier, so there won't be aby shiny covering skin or anything on it......

    Ellefant Treffen January :thumb



    :eek1:lol3
    #3
  4. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Next scheduled work night is Thursday.
    Poor old Gert had to go to hospital today with a flared up eye.......
    I'm sure an evening welding and the eye are pure coincidence :blast

    Tight schedule and a budget of , er, zero..... place your bets :D

    A slow week on the project this week.....more standing around scratching heads and wondering how to proceed than actual spannering :blast


    Anyway....frame of chair base tidied and some bits cut off.....


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    Another mounting point done.....straight through the centre stand pivot hole

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    And we lined it up to get a feel for how big it's going to be, and by how much we need to widen it up.

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    We're going to widen it by at least 4-5 inches.......and we've found some inspiration for the top mount points too.....more to follow :)
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  5. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Just behind the telelever pivot, there's a crash frame<>engine mount point.

    Sadly, you can't use that on its own because the bar would foul the telelever, so we're going up from that about 2 inches, then a bar from the place where the beak subframe mounts onto the main frame member to strengthen it, and to allow clearance for the telelever movement

    Position 2 will be a proper bodge up.......two pucks of steel mounted onto the frame above the rear footrest hanger and the diagonal below it, with a 10mm bar welded across the two faces of the pucks.....the pucks will be about 2.5 inches square and very solidly bolted on.

    It'll work :deal
    #5
  6. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Ok....here we go again :clap

    1) established the width of the beasty and put in some gate pivot hinges for frame mount points and adjusters (every mount bar will have adjustment so we can tweak and tune the distances)

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    Front corner with detail of gate hinge onto a 90 degree flange on the angle iron...there's a good 6 inches of thread up the pipe so we have 3-4 inches of adjustment capability :clap

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    Rear mounting on subframe

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    It became quite apparent that, (as we had thought actually) the sub frame is definitely going to need bracing to a solid mount on the other side of the engine block to make it rigid and strong enough....she here's the mount point we're using and a 10mm plate cut and bolted into place, ready for a cross-member to be welded on going across to the iron angle on the other side :thumb2

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    Now, some cross bracing on the frame

    If you recognise the tube going across, it means you know your land rovers.....NRC1824, half of a steering Drag Link Tube from RR classic :D

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    Now for the top mounting points.....always the hardest places to get solid mounting points to. :blast

    We've stood there scratching our heads for days over the issue.
    Contrary to how it might appear, we have actually done a LOT of research and reading up on this, but nearly all the examples of home made chairs being fitted to 11xxs have been from abroad, which obviously means they are right handed chairs, whilst ours has to be a lefty.

    There's a nice guy who goes by the name of Mr Cob on Advrider so we raided his smugmug portfolio on his home made build HERE for some inspiration.... This is what we were going to do initially, but for several reasons we adapted it a little

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    So instead, we did this:

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    Jez, you can poke your criticisms of the welding where the sun doesn't shine :thumb2

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    I know from experience that there is a weak point on the top frame there though:

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    That part of the frame snapped off cleanly through on BOTH sides, after several years of admittedly overloaded off-roading in Morocco, so After a temporary bodge to get us out of the desert that involved turning Vern's pannier rails around, I ended up with a fillet in my own frame there.

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    So my gut feeling though is that I need to weld in another fillet inbetween the top frame rail and the one that goes down diagonally ..like this:

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    With an 8 or ten mill plate in there, the fekker's not going to break :rob

    That's it for this week....we need 3 or maybe four more of the gate post hinges and some rose joints, then we can sort out the front top mounting point which we already have a plan for, then start on the basket and changing the wheel and suspension for something a little better......On the hunt for a GS wheel now, complete with hub, disc and caliper :clap:clap :augie:augie:augie

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    #6
  7. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Thanks Val, all useful stuff :thumb2

    We are going to be reinforcing it a LOT, and we are looking for a new wheel/axle assembly...

    This is primarily a load carrier for the Elefant etc, so there won't be a person on board......we are planning on putting a 2nd battery with a split charge system on board though, and the ubiquitous jerry cans as well, so as long as we strengthen the bars, that will provide a fair bit of outboard weight as well :thumb2

    This is Mk1, and I suspect it won't be too long before the Mk2 is built :blast

    By the way, there is already some extra strong tubing going in....3-4mm thick walled steel stuff, and we have a pile of steel standing by :thumb2

    B


    Actually, here's a bit more of the plan for consideration.....

    The frame from the Velorex (which we also have the tub from) is literally only going to be a subframe really......on top, there's going to be a tubular cage that the top mountings are going to fit to (probably bolted, but maybe welded, or half and half so there's a modular platform sort of arrangement going on and we can change the tub)

    The tubular 'basket' is probably going to have (we estimate) at least twice the strength of the Velorex frame, and may well end up being part of the mounting system for the indespension/swing arm type setup that will bear the axle and shock etc.....it will certainly be bolstering the linkages though, in some way.

    Although there is a design concept behind the whole thing, we are (as you can tell) making a lot of it up as we go along.

    We spend as much, if not more time scratching our heads, offering up bits of rod and sticking lengths of string across things to see how it 'feels' strengthwise (imagining the string is x, y or z grade tubing) and generally brainstorming before we commit to picking up a power tool :thumb2
    #7
  8. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Before this thing leaves the shed, believe me, it will be destructo-tested.

    Two or three of us jumping up and down on the frames, putting full weight over on one side then the other, watching for bending or flexing where we don't want it etc etc.

    It will be ridden carefully at first, then hard, around the farm tracks on the private land we're on and through the woods that are on the land, then again, inspected and load tested.

    It may look like a cowboy job (fekk, it IS a cowboy job) but bearing in mind that if it goes wrong, we are very aware that it will be OUR lives at risk first, we are taking it a lot more seriously than a casual, 'for-fun' write up here may imply

    Lighting won't be a problem and we will be brake-testing, making sure that nothing is sharp, pointy, wobbly, loose or otherwise unfit for use.

    Type approval is fine, but unless somebody does the first build and testing, nothing could be 'type approved'.......

    Don't worry :huh


    #8
  9. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Just going back through this to make sure I've taken everything on board :thumb2

    Thanks Vern.....that 'mounting point' isn't actually going to be structural- It was more there initially just for lining stuff up and setting up the chair frame on the bench- the bit of rod poked through into it in one of the early pics was just that, an alignment tool.

    That point sits in a triangle of space that is probably going to be needed for paddling the thing backwards or holding it on inclines, so I doubt there will be anything at all there in the finished version :beerjug:




    We ordered 6 welding bends in 38mm thick wall tubing today...should get them tomorrow, then we can get on with thinking about considering how to go about planning how to build the cage that will go on top (and strengthen) the Velorex frame.

    I've been scouring all the Ebay ads and bike wreckers for a single sided swing arm assembly from something that had a bit of power....I've done a 3d CAD drawing of a single sided swingarm in a frame cage, but also a double sided jobby (plenty around for around the 50 quid mark) that looks seriously do-able.

    The original axle and wheel have been pretty much mentally written off now, and we've been through every type and grade of Indespension unit online to see if we like those......A nice aluminium double or single sided swing arm with a really solid shock mount bracket feels like the way to go....ideally, one with a fitted disc or maybe even disc, caliper and wheel :eek: :thumb2



    Oddly enough, we did have our heads up the front wing of a 2CV today

    Erm.....ok, edoomakate me, why a waste having a disc that side?

    Ok, I completely understand that it would need a regulator to de-power it, or a tiny disc/one pot caliper or whatever, but a valve to regulate the pressure is something we have off the shelf, yet a lower-drag drummed wheel or something would be a substantial cost for the size we'd need to get, and certainly a specific order or a very lucky Ebay win


    One of........We have a 90 we are going to turn into something fast and rorty and rugged, think wildcat but not on a tubular chassis.
    Plus a series 3 hardtop rebuild, a series 1 SWB already stripped to the chassis for a nuts up resto, an Iraq/Merkin Humvee that's now fired up and just needs some details finishing, and a few odd things to play with inbetween (like work)
    #9
  10. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    It's been a busy week.....

    First top mount point put on and welded up.....still needs a fillet inbetweeen the two frame members I think, but it's proper tractor engineering :D

    (Left handed threaded bolts that size are stupid money, so atthe moment, there's just the right handed one which means that you have to disconnect it from the bracket and screw it in or out to get any adjustment)


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    That tube/bar coming down is made from a jack handle :augie
    (I'm only pointing that out because I know how much it annoys the 'OOoh you shouldn't do it like that!" brigade :evil

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    New frame that goes on top of the original base frame, and has been welded on to support and strengthen the original.

    Still looking for some sort of swing arm, and have been eying up a stub axle from a fiesta recently......the weeny little axle in this wheel, as Val pointed out, just isn't up to the job.

    The other option is an indespension unit, but try getting just ONE of those :knary

    We also put a bid in on Ebay last week on a single sided swing arm (one triumph, the other I can't remember) that would do the job.....the frame we put on last week is easily modified though :thumb

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    And a bit of strengthening on the existing suspension unit area, in case we end up just trying a thicker axle.....

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    The front end......room for a couple of 5 litre jerries, a car battery run on a split charge system so we can run LED floodlights (a bit of maths showed us that we can run one for well over 24 hours on a car battery, so that's fine for putting up tents in the dark etc etc :thumb2)

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    Aluminium skin to go over it later, after it's all been taken off, stripped and painted :eek1
    #10
  11. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Well things took an interesting turn today :D

    I bought one of these, without the sock but with everything else:

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    It's upside down, so if we mount it the 'right way up', the wheel will be inboard of the swingarm, which is obviously no good for tyre changing, but looking at the other pic on the sale, there is a good chance we can use the various mount points to attach the end of a shock to.

    Delivered, £43 off Ebay :JB

    Hopefully it'll arrive fast, as there are things that depend on having the swingarm mounted and the positioning of the shock mounts in place before we move on......the polan will probably include having as much flexibility to mount the shock as possible, so we can adjust angles and travel :thumb2

    Val, if you're still reading this, we did follow up your suggestion about talking to F2 about a spindle upgrade and were a bit gobsmacked to be told the 'kit' is the only way they will supply now, and it includes the shock, back plate, hub and basically everything involved with the wheel and suspension.....that's a bit on the heavy side of expense for this project :blast

    We also looked in depth at 2CV suspension units and Ford Fiesta kit....the fiesta kit is a definite plan 'd' fallback position if we can't make this single sided swinger fit.




    EDIT....anyone got a spare rear wheel for a VFR 400 laying around wanting a purpose in life? :augie
    #11
  12. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Today is going to be a GOOD day :clap

    Things move fast though, and plans change.......it looks like it will be at least a week before the VFR arm gets here, so today we got a freebie suspension unit, hub, axle and wheel from a Ford Fiesta......we've looked in detail at several that have been fitted to rigs attached to various bikes, the biggest being a Goldwing, so we KNOW it will be plenty strong enough :thumb

    Watch this space :D

    I didn't book any work in, so we can spend the whole day on the build

    So far....some cleaning off and hacking about...

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    The last remaining attachment point to the bike, the front top one, is in....ignore the silly pin through it in this pic....

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    And best of all....the fiesta stub and suspension is ON!!! :JB

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    Ain't no way that fucker's coming off :rob

    More to come.......

    Today is going to be a GOOD day :clap
    #12
  13. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Heading rapidly towards the top of the list is the cross-body subrame bracing plate......we're waiting on a sheet of 10mm steel to be delivered so we can cut that out and start fitting it......with that on, the rig can come down off the ramp :JB

    Target for the day is to ride it around the yard :eek: :augie

    Here's a better view of the front top mounting point and how we did it

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    And the Fiesta special :D

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    It'd ferking cold in here today, but we don't care :bounce1

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    Just off to get some M16 x100 bolts and the aluminium sheeting so I can start cutting up the skin panels.....loose plan at the moment is pop rivetting the skin on with a good bead of RTV between it and the frame.

    Lots of sanding and tidying to do, then red oxide, satin black top coat, skinning, then wiring and........ooooooh fuck, it's going to be a long day :eek
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  14. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    That's the bit I meant, the sheet of steel we're waiting for is for there

    It FEELS solid now, IYKWIM.......that 15mm axle on the old suspension unit was 'feeling' like the weak point as more and more strength has been poured into the rest of the framework.

    We should know very soon.....there are some good farm tracks here and the pair of us bouncing around on those on this thing should show us a lot

    Now, where did I put my serious armoured kit

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    #14
  15. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Right, let's get the fekker outside :)

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    And here she is :beerjug:

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    Lots of room.....tomorrow a railing is going around the floor platform, then after it's come off the bike and the dodgy welds, angled cuts and little details have been dealt with, we can have a go on it, see if we need to change the geometry about a bit and then get to painting (Desert storm II Sand coloured, with paint left over from the Humvee rebuild) and wiring......split charge battery system, LEDs, etc etc :clap:clap
    #15
  16. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Val, you're spot on, and thank you

    We've created a sandwich effect, with the top slice (our strong one) attached to the top mounts and the bottom slice (the velorex one) attached to the bottom mounts, with those four 2 inch square plates as the only filling apart from that one other plate we put in on the suspension unit area.

    That filling is, as you suspect, going to start 'sliding' inbetween the two slices as the force of the upper and lower mounts pull the two layers in opposite directions

    It will be rectified at the beginning of the week

    Don't FFS stop pointing stuff out....It's easy to miss things when you're so close to it, and your input is valued and taken the right way

    Thank you
    #16
  17. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    We had to start taking out a gearbox to go to Ashcroft's tomorrow, so we lost a few hour's work on the rig, but things are still progressing and it ought to be tested, fully legal and properly set up for it's inaugural trip to the ICL rally this weekend coming :thumb

    Front and side ally plates in place, 1mm plate
    Rear light panel in place with a superbright 4 inch combined side/brake LED light and a pair of 2w red running LED markers on the back bar:

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    I swear this thing looks more like a Roman War chariot every minute :D

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    Nearly forgot to disconnect the battery before some more welding :blast

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    And then a pause for me to transfer the shytebag from my GSA to the Brick :thumb2

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    You can't see it with the tank back on, but under here, from the top mount going forwards and upwards to the beak subframe mount point on the main chassis rails, there is an 8 inch strengthening bar whose main purpose is to stop any twisting forces on that top mount point.

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    Using special electric glue to stick a plate on for me to wire in a junction box for all the lights

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    And while we have the electric glue gun out, a strengthening fillet between the top layer and the Velorex subframe (there's another you can see over on the suspension side, on on top and one underneath)
    The top layer of the sandwich is now well and truly glued to the weaker bottom layer :thumb2

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    A subtle coat of red oxide

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    And then some 1 inch box and a few offcuts to make up a mudguard mount- over engineered, but there's likely to be a rack on top, or some fat German guy will sit on it at some point :blast

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    before painting the supports, this is how the mudguard (9 quid from a trailer shop) fits:

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    And the little tab for the junction box I'll build tomorrow :thumb2

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    First test wiring of the LEDs on the back
    Tail off the bike to trace out the supplies- Wiring should take the load 'cos we're only adding a couple of extra LEDs on :cool:


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    Gert took it around the Farm on Sunday when I wasn't around ( :fyyff and reports that it rides well, with some handlebar shake coming in at around 30mph.....we'll have a play some more when it's fully road legal after tomorrow and see if it might need a steering damper
    #17
  18. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    It Lives!!!!!


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    #18
  19. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Well it's off to the ICL (Icy Hell ) Rally this weekend.......Gert with Kattrin on the back and all their camping gear in the rig......

    I have to say it turned out much better looking than either of us imagined, from what we started with

    Next week we'll be fitting a split charge system in with the car battery that Gert has just taken for this weekend strapped in rather than fitted.

    There are still some details to be sorted and a bit of painting to do, some better lights and so on, and the suspension needs tuning properly, plus after a moderate ride this weekend (The rally is up in Lincolnshire somewhere ), we'll go over every witness mark I made carefully to see if anything has shifted, plus by then we'll know if it handles, shakes its head or whatever.

    I'll upload another few short bits of video tomorrow and hopefully after the weekend there'll be a load of pics of it in action

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    Loaded up tp go

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    160 miles later, still all in one piece :thumb2

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    I'll bring my bullet cam in soon and we'll strap that to it, but it drives well and cruises at 65 fine......carries the load well and does what it says on the tin :clap
    #19
  20. Fanum

    Fanum Moto-Morocco Meister

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    Well, after a coouple of months of testing, tuning and tweaking, plus a trial run from here up to Lincolnshire for a weekend rally, the outfit is going to be PROPERLY tested next week.....Shod with brand new TKC80s on the bike and the decent new-ish car tyre on the rig, plus a car battery wired in to a split charger, it's going to the Elefant down in Bavaria-Thurmansbang-Solla

    Two up, with a new spring and shock, fully loaded, it'll be a good test of our engineering :thumb2

    Guess who gets to stay at home and look after the shed :blast

    Last minute panic bodging today.....

    Loaded up, with the two of us fat bastards jumping up and down on the rig, we decided that the shock wasn't up to spec.

    Armed with three or four old shocks from the cellar and various 'odds and sods' bins, we got out the whirry sharp tools and started playing


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    That's the unit we settled on, with a progressive spring on it

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    The bottom mounting point would have to move back a few inches. The suspension tower would have to be strengthened up as well...we didn't like the 'feel' of the look of the top part, it just 'felt' like the weak spot IYKWIM

    Before the new piggyback swingarm went on (we like making up new engineering terms :D)

    Out come the choppy uppers

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    The bit of angle iron going across the 'swing arm' is going to be to glue the piggyback swingarm to.

    You can also see the cleaned surface of the spacer between the two swing arm plates here

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    Offering it all up and prior to strengthening fillet/paint

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    Then a strengthening fillet at the top of the suspension turret, and if you look at the end of the new piggyback swingarm, you'll see we cut a v in that, bent it up half an inch with our impact adjuster (XL) and welded it back up.
    That was all to add an extra half inch or so of preload to the spring.

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    Back on with the mudguard and it all looks pretty good (well, we think so :p)

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    Out she goes, and we run it around the yard a bit with the fattest bloke on site (That'll be me then :rolleyes:) jumping up and down on the sidecar floor to do a proper scientific controlled measurement of all the exact suspension parameters that are crucial in setting up a sidecar for a trip to the Elefant next week.....


    :ricky feels good :ricky yup that's ok too :ricky :ricky fuckit, it's fine, let's get the kettle on :JB

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    #20