Utility Hack Thread

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by toolfan, Dec 1, 2008.

  1. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    Ok, to avoid further threadjacking, and in the hopes of getting some more pointers (especially from Claude and RedMenace,) here is the new "utility sidecar thread.

    Here is mine:
    <img src="http://lh3.ggpht.com/_5Pbryp6GOqI/SLGaDwrC-ZI/AAAAAAAADNQ/ibTtgmS7RCk/s400/rear_quarter.jpg" />

    <img src="http://lh4.ggpht.com/_5Pbryp6GOqI/SLC2S2e0c6I/AAAAAAAADNA/roPgCORgwRY/s400/DSCF8503.JPG" />>

    It has an 11 gallon fuel tank under the hack seat, and the car is reconfigurable to haul stuff or passengers. There is a deep cell battery behind the fuel cell that powers the winch and the pump for the fuel cell. The battery is not connected to the bike - so if I use the pump or winch much, I have to hook the battery to a charger.


    I'd like to change a few things, and make it more useful. For instance - I'd like to have some weather proof storage. I think the existing fuel cell is horribly inefficient, as it takes a lot of space and requires a big ugly external pump to use it.

    Claude has pictures of a rig he built that is an older GS with a similar car, but it has storage where my fuel cell is and a spun aluminum fuel cell behind the seat.

    Another goal is to make it more comfortable to ride the car - maybe a deeper/lower seat with a little more foot room and a little bit of dish to it to provide some stability.


    Sorry for the wordiness. :D
    #1
  2. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    I think that your hack is a unique and interesting design. The fuel cell as it is is a much better idea than replacing it with a tank set up high. If it works, I'd leave it.

    If I had your rig, I'd look at a large, water-tight luggage box behind the seat, above the fuel cell, perhaps with a rack on the lid.

    I think the taller seats are more comfortable than the more conventional seats where you lay down with your feet in front of you. Try making the seat hieght and grab rails sized to fit your normal passenger so he/she doesn't need to reach out for the grab holds and the seat has the ergos of a normal chair. Leave room so the passenger isn't pinned in and can stand to absorb bumps and move to assist you in corners or on rough ground. If you need more storage, add panniers to the bike but don't put heavy stuff in the left one.

    Spend some time changing the mounts to be more easily adjusted(unless the set up works well for you as it is- I gather not?)

    Ditch the winch if you haven't already. It is way too big and you will rarely need it. If you want that capability, find a smaller winch or rig a spot to carry a come-along and tow strap.
    #3
  4. tony the tiger

    tony the tiger Long timer

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    :rofl Wonder how that'd look attached to (AIRmail editor) B. Jan's Deere bike?![​IMG]
    Very nice, Claude! :thumb
    #4
  5. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    Fantastic!

    Claude - that first bike is my inspiration, I love it.

    But I love that John Deere rig as well!


    Redmenace - thanks for the advice. I was thinking about getting rid of the winch. It and the battery are pretty much just ballast at this point. If I get rid of the winch, I could move the battery and put a storage locker right there... that's a good idea. Or just get rid of the battery as well... the bikes electrical system could handle the pump every now and again.
    The fuel cell works decent, but the pump is ugly and in the way. It's also lower than the bikes fuel system, so if I'm not careful about routing the fuel lines, the bike tank drains into the aux tank... took me a little while to figure that out.

    I'm more comfortable on it now, but I still want to revise the mounts. The goals will be adjustability and to get my right foot back - the lower rear mount is so close to the peg that it kind of wedges my foot under the cylinder. Works great to save the bike if you fly the car too high, or so I've been told. :evil Not that comfy though.
    #5
  6. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Vernon makes some good points.

    The John Deere rig is a similar configuration. It has a John Deere seat on it. Need to get pics pof the finished rig at some point. Bike will be painted to match. It is built for a John Deere rep. We used body parts off of a John Deere Gator.

    You may want to relocate the battery and wirte it in to be used as the sole battery for the rig.
    In the pic below you will see the aluminum battery box with black top right behind the sidecar wheel. Placing it between the bike and sidecar is also popular.

    [​IMG]
    #6
  7. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Toolfan,
    Did you ever get your lower mounts straightened out? In an older thread you had said you were having trouble with them.
    #7
  8. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    I got it *close* and I'm a newb enough that it works for me.

    But, I need to revise it, I've got some washers in there as spacers, and I don't really like that, and the upper mount squeaks because I had to leave it at a wierd/awkard position where it's maxed out of it's adjustability.


    That's where I was thinking for the battery - to increase the ballast effect.

    I've been thinking of wiring it as the bikes battery, but my charging system is REALLY weak, and this is a deep cycle battery. (And I'm cheap.) I'm not sure how that would work out.

    (I'd love to see finished pics of the JDgator rig. Several of my family members have gators and my uncle is a JD lifer, worked his way up from mechanic and now runs a dealership)
    #8
  9. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    You don't want the first one as it is too complicated and unless you intent to raise and lower the rig a lot is not worth the trouble. That is what is on the R100GS rig.
    The second picture shows a more conventional setup. Many times you will see the arms at angles but we prefer to run them straight as it makes lead adjustments easier. Tubing must be stout and the distance it runs is best kept minimal to prevent any flexing.
    As far as your battery goes it has little to do with the charging system unless you run it way down. You are only replacing what you take out so battery size is not a bad thing to the charging system.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    Those are interesting, Claude.

    I think those are the first pics I've seen of mounts that allow for that kind of adjustability with regards to the wheel lead.

    Do you think it's worth it?
    Other than a little bit more complexity, it seems like a set up like that would require a slightly wider rig, no?


    PS - I really enjoy the photos you share of your work. Absolutely fabulous.
    #10
  11. RedMenace

    RedMenace Adventure Sidecar

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    The adjustability is nice, particularly since you have none at all with your current mounts(or at least with the set up I saw last).

    What Claude depicts will also allow you to adjust height and sidecar attitude, fore and aft and side to side, which in turn allows more flexibilty with the lean out and choice of tires/wheels for the sidecar and bike. Yes, it will make your rig a little wider( or a lot wider, depending on how you go about it).

    Bring it up to Hood River and we can take some measurements and figure out what you need to change.

    Claude, do you sell mounting hardware-struts, strut eyes, and the clamps you pictured? Ball park on the prices? I looked on your website the other day, but didn't see it.
    #11
  12. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    RedMenace - I might have to try to take you up on that...

    I think I want to build a subframe for it - and I probably should use your expertise as long as it's close and available. :deal

    I'm a M-F 8-5er, so it would have to be a weekend, and this weekend is out. And it's starting to get cold out your way... But I really want to get this going this winter if I'm going to do it.
    #12
  13. kliff

    kliff Retired Ole Phart

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    Got any detail pics of the hack suspension, swing arm etc.? :thumb
    #13
  14. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Vernon wrote:
    >>Claude, do you sell mounting hardware-struts, strut eyes, and the clamps you pictured? Ball park on the prices? I looked on your website the other day, but didn't see it.<<

    We hope to get the website up to par soon. My friend who does the website stuff recently lost his daughter in a tragic house fire and things are pretty hectic right now.
    Yes, we generally have the following items in stock. Call or email for pricing of specific items.

    Eyenuts (CNC Machined with no square edges):
    Through holes ('eye' area ) are 1/2"
    Blind holes (for threaded strut rods) are 3/4" x 16 in L.H.or R.H.Thread
    -or- Fine thread 1/2 R.H.
    Std. 'finish' is black oxide

    Clevises(CNC Machined with no square edges):
    Through holes ('eye' area ) are 1/2"
    Blind holes (for threaded strut rods) are 3/4" x 16 in L.H.or R.H.Thread
    Std. 'finish' is black oxide

    Weld in strut eyes(CNC Machined with no square edges):
    Similar to an eyenut in usage with 1/2" through hole but end is turned down to 1" .OD. to be welded into 1 1/4" x.120 wall tubing to fabricate struts

    Weld in inserts: 1" o.d. with 3/4" internal threads in L.H or R.H.. These fit into 1 1/4" x .120 DOM tubing to fabricate struts

    Threaded Rod: Grade B7 in L.H. & R.H 3/4" X 16

    Frame clamps: Similar to Motorvation clamps. Can be used to mount subrames to bike frame also.
    Std. 'finish' is black oxide

    Mounting items such as pinch block 'T' bars and various lower mount rigging is made to order. Typically tubing ranges from 1" to 1 1/2" OD DOM. In some cases a double walled member may be utilized. Tubing is coped for a good fit, ground and then is TIG or MIG welded as required. Pinch block areas use 7/8" x .120 wall DOM to receive a 1/2" Grade 8 bolts. Note that the use of this larger (7/8") tubing allows bolts to be tightened and loosened as desired without creating any diifculty in reinserting bolts into pinch block if they are removed. End caps are available or ends can be welded shut.
    #14
  15. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    Toolfan,
    I would encourage you to do just that..take Vernon up on it!! You will learn more by doing that than by struggling though a lot of trial and error yourself.

    Heck I was cleaning out the shed the other day and ran across some early eighties Hack'd Magazines and there was some stuff in there written by guess who. Vernon....LOL.

    Someone once said that the school of experience, or trail and error, is a good school but the tuition can be high. In regards to sidecars there are quite a few folks on this forum and other places on the net who have paid their dues through trial and error and are glad to share what they have found out. Not that all of us agree across the board but it sure is a lot easier to get someone like Vernon to look things over and see what he thinks:deal
    #15
  16. BeemerChef

    BeemerChef Wandering Homeless

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    As far as the winch goes, yes, Red Menace is correct. I use a come along with a steel anchor that I hammer in the ground and cables... It works great, much lighter and no juice needed...
    Yes also as far as the dues paid!!! Ah! In many forms too... listening is so nice...
    Be well and good luck. Will see you down the road...
    [​IMG]

    Ara & Spirit
    #16
  17. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    ARA WROTE:
    >>I use a come along with a steel anchor that I hammer in the ground and cables... It works great, much lighter and no juice needed...<<

    aRA,
    You mean to tell me you actually got stuck on that thing?
    T H I N K G O O S E B A Y '0 9 :rofl

    [​IMG]
    #17
  18. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    I'm going to take it off,

    but that winch is probably smaller than my come along - and it packs easier when it's bolted out in the weather like it is.
    :freaky



    Any thoughts on taking out the moto battery on a bike with a fairly weak charging system and using a deep cycle? I'd plug it in to a tender every night. I'd imagine the deep cycle has enough capacity to run as a total loss system for my commute every day, but would it tax the generator more than the smaller moto battery?
    #18
  19. claude

    claude Sidecar Jockey

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    I posted this yesterday:
    >As far as your battery goes it has little to do with the charging system unless you run it way down. You are only replacing what you take out so battery size is not a bad thing to the charging system.<

    We have not run a motorcycle battery for any lenght of time on any of our personal outfits in years. Car batteries cost less and last almost forever and also add some ballast if desired.
    Again, the larger battery is not going to tax your charging system any more than the one in there now as you will only be replacing what ever you have drawn out of it. If you decide to use it for additonal draws for acessories, camp lights etc then it isn't a bad idea to charge it when stopped. Good thing about a car battery is that you can quick charge it unlike a motorcycle battery.
    #19
  20. toolfan

    toolfan Broken Hearted

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    Sorry. I was thinking about mounts yesterday and glossed over that.
    :shog

    Alright, cool. Tonight I take the winch off and wire the deep cycle into the bike.

    I think eventually I'd like to get a quick-release wiring harness and mount for the winch, but for now I'll just leave it off.

    I'm also going to start keeping an eye on craigslist for a small diamond plate toolbox that I can mount either behind the seat or where the battery currently resides.
    #20