An 800's Rebirth/The build of MechanicO

Discussion in 'Parallel Universe' started by FinTec, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Not using the stock plastic. As a matter of fact not using much from stock from here on out. I am going to go for a look that I believe some will like and some will not. I honestly just want to have fun with this bike and building to a look that I want is, well...what I am going to do.

    Also, I have never been a big fan of the tuba-wear look with plastic over everything. I prefer more the naked look but with some "extras".

    The shape and look of this build will start to take shape from here on out!
    kiwimichel and Shooby like this.
  2. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Did a similar method to make the sides of the new air box: laid the current set-up down on poster board and traced the profile and cut it out

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    Do both sides and then make sure they are symmetrical

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    Cut out of aluminum, drill some holes and then start to bolt to main assembly

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    Now I have to start thinking about the top plate. I know I will be welding the inside of it and thus will have a weld inside I will not be able to grind down. So I need to stand-off the top plate so the upcoming weld will clear. I did this by making some small tabs of aluminum that bolt to the four corners of the top opening. This "lifts" the top plate up about 1/8" of an inch so the weld will eventually clear

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    Same method as before, trace out the profile on some poster board, then cut out of aluminum

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    Cut that out by hand and then made some end pieces and tacked those on the front and back

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    Drilled some more holes and temporarily attached the top plate to the main box via Cleko rivets. If you are not familiar with Cleko rivets, they are the bomb for work like this. They are more for holding sheet metal in place that you cannot get to the back to. But they are also great for holding anything sheet metals that needs to go together and come apart several times as you work on it


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    Here is a close up up a Cleko. You do have to use their special tool to open and close it. Here is is as you stick it in a drilled hole

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    The release the pliers and this is what it does on the back side of the hole

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    Clamps the two pieces of aluminum sheet together. Really quick and holds everything in place.

    Now I made some side pieces for the top plate and tacked those on. This was a tough one to weld. The side pieces did NOT want to stay in place. And at the same time all the other stuff wanted to shift and move. I have to create this crazy clamp set-up to get everything to stay where it should as I clamped. It was like a house of cards I was waiting to collapse.

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    Then I finish welded all joints and then also welded inside.

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    Eventually I will grind down all the outside welds to make the outside smooth. Top plate done.

    And here are two shots of the sides removed but with the new top plate installed and the intake tubes as well

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  3. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    The top plate does not actually seal the top of the air box. It will only act as the surface that allows an actual lid to be used with a seal. So the first thing to do was cut a hole in the just finished top plate. This hole shape and size are a pre-engineered profile so it will all go together with a seal and a lid to be made next. So in my opinion, to get a good seal for this lid, we need to make sure everything is cut to a certain level of precision. One miss cut or miss calculation and the seal will not set well and now we have an air box that leaks past the filters. Not good at all. As the 1190 KTM guys how their air boxes have let in fine dirt and cause all kinds of engine issues. Nothing kills a motor better that dirt in the intake.....or no oil I suppose.....or a dozen other ways to kill a motor. Regardless! Dirt contamination will not be one of them on MechanicO.

    So in order to cut an accurate opening I need to do it on the mill. The trick was holding this thin weird shaped piece. So came up with this: drill holes in the part of the top plate I am cutting out. Then screw it down on some sacrificial wood on the vice. This will hold it so I can cut the opening.

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    A little deburring and clean up then we can see how it looks with the seal

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    I am using a seal material that is perfect for this. It has the classic U shaped wire reinforced clip that holds it onto the sheet metal, and then a large diameter round profile and hollow seal facing outward. I designed the entire system like you would a roof: all the layers overlap downward. So the idea is water and such will have so way to puddle/ collect and make their way in the air box. We'll see more of that design when we make the actual lid. Aaaaaand next.
    thirsty 1 likes this.
  4. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Ah yes, the air box lid. I knew this was going to be the crown jewel of the air box. The one piece everyone will see. The one piece I will be seeing all the time when I roll with MechanicO. It has to be something special. Sure I could just make another piece of sheet aluminum that would work. But it would look cheap and shoddy. And I want to to be precise and rigid to get a good seal on the top plate. So I came up with this design

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    The top picture is the top of the lip and the round cavity in the middle is going to be for the cap that holds down the lid. The second shot shows the underside and that channel is what the seal on the top plate will fit into to give a good seal.

    So this first we start with a nice big plate of 3/8" aluminum

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    Then clamp onto the vice in the mill and make two cuts on what will be the backside of the lid: one is the actual channel for the seal and the second set of cuts are a series of threaded holes on the inside you can see in the picture

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    I designed the channel on the back side of the lid to compress the seal between 20 and 40% its original diameter as the manufacturer suggest. Also I wanted a two point contact in that not only does it compress the seal from above but also contacts the seal on the outside. This double contact should give one hell of a seal and not let anything in. But I did want to check this before I committed the the final cut and took it off the mill. So here I have a piece of sheet aluminum and some seal to see how it fits in the channel.

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    With that looking good, I then placed the entire top plate with the seal on it into the cavity. It was perfect, just a small amount of resistance and then it falls into the channel.

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    In order to mill the top side of the lid I need to create a holding plate that I can bolt the lid to via its threaded holes from the first operation. I take another large piece of aluminum and drill a series of through holes that perfectly match the patter in the backside of the lid.

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    I counter sunk the holes as well so I can use a series of M8 flathead bolts so the entire assembly can lay flat back on the table (later). So here we have the sacrificial plate with the lid bolted to it.

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    Now I can clamp this assembly directly to the mill table and get my tools ready to cut the final profile

    You can see one single hole in the middle of the lid. This let me indicate the part so when I cut the top profile it perfectly matches the lower work we did earlier ( the channel for the seal).

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    So after about an hour of cutting, you see this done

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    LOTS of round corner work as I really wanted this to look smooth and clean.

    And here are two shots removed from the mounting plate (in back)

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    The two profiles match perfectly. It is very rigid but rather light. And as you can see I placed all those thread holes where there are ribs on the top profile. In other words, you cant see them up top. And besides, holes (after the air cleaner) in an air box don't go well.

    And the best part is I can also use the lid to serve dips and salsa!

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    Next we need to think about how to mount the air box to MechanicO.
    jowul, foogr01, Noyah and 4 others like this.
  5. Mercury264

    Mercury264 Once you go Triple...

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    Outstanding, just outstanding :clap
  6. NCD

    NCD Dirty Hairy Supporter

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    Incredible work!
  7. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

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    Nice work! This thing is finally coming to shape, can't wait to see it finally running.

    One question for your final faux tank/new intakes: Don't you lose the ram air intake from the original design? I assume that would matter if you are moving at speed, since the original map must be designed with that in account. The flip side is that at low speeds, your design breathes a lot better.
  8. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    sarathmenon: Actually, the new air box will eventually mimic the side ram style intake of the stock air box. I just have not made it there yet in this write-up. But eventually I will be adding forward facing intake tubes. Again, it will be a look you will either like or not.

    I do like the look of a ram intake and it has some technical positives: clean air picked up from the front of the bike, cold air intake as air is not coming off the motor or radiator, intake noise facing forward away from rider, and of course the quazi-supercharger affect of air induction into the motor.....sort-of.

    Now the last one does sound nice but in reality, not much is to be gained from the supercharge affect of facing forward. Using some VERY basic math and ignoring some factors, the boost gained from a forward facing (RAM) intake looks like this:

    MPH_______Boost (psi)_____Horse Power gained
    10__________.0019___________.007
    30__________.0107___________.062
    60__________.043____________.25
    90__________.0967___________.56
    120_________.17_____________1.0

    So even at 120 mph we only can get .17 psi of boost and one HP gained. And this is in a perfect world. Not accounting for losses in air flow, non-laminar flow, air temp/density, etc. But with these bikes we live more around the 60mph world so if lucky that gets us .25 hp gain. Probably with loses more like .15 hp.

    Yea, not a lot, but heck, it is free so why not. Coupled with the other gains (listed above) I believe it is worth trying to add this function to any build. And admit it, it just looks cool :D
    sarathmenon likes this.
  9. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    I wanted to make sure this new air box was firmly mounted to the frame but at the same time used isolators to allow for some movement, in case it gets knocked around and also to keep vibrations down. This is always a good idea when making an aluminum sheet metal item.

    One of the worst things I see a lot of is someone gets a beautiful aluminum custom radiator or intercooler, and then they direct bolt it to the frame of the car/bike using no isolators at all. Thin aluminum like that is just looking for an excuse to fatigue over time and get cracks in it. Ever wiggle the radiator in your car? It is just about floating on huge puffy rubber pillows so it will not crank and fail down the road. Given this was just an air box and not holding a liquid, but I still did not want to go back and deal with cracks after the fact.

    So I started with the front of the air box and machined these brackets from aluminum

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    Welded them up

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    Them mounted them (screws) to the front panel of the air box. You can also see the rubber grommets here as I re-purposed the stock grommets from the BMW radiator mounts. Perfect size, nice and squishy, and I don't have no crappy plastic BMW radiator no more!

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    Made some tabs from 1/8" Steel for each side of the frame. Here they are mounted to the new brackets so I can get their position just right before welding

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    Right before I tacked the tabs onto the frame

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    Another shop rule of mine: put it on wheels. If one guys cannot pick it up, put it on wheels. And here is why: very inconvenient to drag this bike over to a welder sitting on a floor across the shop. But put the welder on wheels and move it to the work spot with ease. I did make a nice welding bench/cart that has a 30 ft power line as well so it all comes with it. But if you are buying a welder, don't be cheap, buy the optional wheel stand they all offer or make your own. A welder sitting on the floor sucks.

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    Weld the tabs onto the frame.

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    Nice fit with the brackets

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    For the rear of the box I took some aluminum bar, bent it into an S shape, drilled some holes on one side, and machined slots on the other. Looks like this on the air box

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    And looks like this o the bike. I was able to use the same mounts for the stock box that are some nice tall rubber isolators. So with everything snugged down the air box if firmly in place, but if you grab it you can move it around say less than a 1/4" in any direction. Perfect.

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    Time to work on some of the components that keep the motor running now that I am not using the stock air box.
  10. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    I decided to start with the idle air control valve (IAC) as it was going to be a very important part and needs maximum attention and design. This is a shot of the port for the IAC valve in the stock air box. Basically picks up air from inside the box (filtered) and then bleeds into a hose that feeds into the throttle bodies after the butterfly valves in the throttle bodies. Not a hard item to make when you beak down what it needs to do.


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    So should be a doable thing to make a separate body for the IAC valve that does the same thing as the stock air box but allows me to position it where I need it. So modeled up this aluminum based body for the IAC valve.

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    Start with a nice piece of aluminum that I have already made square.

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    Mount on the mill, set-up some tools, and start cutting.

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    So there are two aspects that I MUST achieve to make sure this valve works properly: first all the bores for the O-ring, the valve itself, and the port for the valve needle to fit in MUST be concentric. If they are not, we could end up withe very erratic performing valve. The second aspect is the port for the needle valve on the IAC needs to be made from steel. If I just made it from aluminum I suspect the port would start to "mushroom" from the needle valve pressed up against it and cause issues. And the stock air box also has a steel insert pressed into the same spot.

    So the key to making everything concentric is to do it all in one operation. So here I make the counter bore for the IAC body, the counter bore for the O-ring that seals its, and then finally the counter bore that will holed the steel bushing for the needle valve port. All done in the same clamping on the vice.

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    I made the plug for the needle port out of some 303 stainless bar. 303 is an excellent material as it machines fantastic. It's biggest fault is it is terrible to weld. So I wanted to press fit this plug into the aluminum housing I just machined. But I really wanted to make sure it would never works its way out, but at the same time, not be to much force to press it. When it comes to an interference fit (press fit) it take VERY little interference to make it stay there. Generally .001" to .002" interference is perfect and works great. More than that and it can be a pain to press in and you may never get it out.

    So I used a reamer to make the bore for the plug so that was dead-on. But I wanted .001" to .0015" interference for the press. OK, this is a little over board (well a lot) but this is one of my favorite measuring tools: a Mitutoyo digital micrometer that is good to +/-.00005". That is half of a tenth of a thou. This thing rules when you need to get it dead on. So I had a .625" reamed hole, and here you can see I lathed a plug that is .00155" over that. No taper as well, short on the chuck and a stiff cutting tool. It will press in like a dream. I drilled the through hole for the needle valve after this shot.

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    Also important when you press something in to use the proper tool. OK, I have been (and still am) that guy who grabs a sockets that is close whack it with a hammer. Two issues here: the sockets can allow the plug to shift in the bore and hammering can deform other areas of the part. And it is very cave-man like. You might get lucky, you might not.

    So I lathed this nice tool up that keeps the plug in-line with the bore and allows us to put it all in my shop press and in a controlled manner, press it in.

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    Plug pressed in

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    Time to assemble. Here you see the IAC valve bolted to the side, the air inlet is the brass 90 deg elbow that will be pulling air in from the air box, and on top is a stainless "press to fit" fitting that will be the air outlet to the throttle bodies. "Press to fit" fitting are the bomb and I use them when ever I can. To insert the hose just press it in, but if you pull on it, you cannot get that hose back out. Kind of like a Chinese finger trap. But press the outer ring on the fitting and the hose comes right out. Good seal up to several 100 psi in some cases. Your quick connect air fitting for your shop hoses works of a similar design. Makes assembly and disassemble super fast and easy.

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    We'll be mounting this assembly inside the air box eventually. I wanted to build it first then I can play around with where it goes best.
  11. murph76

    murph76 Been here awhile

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    So.....y have an air box? Couldnt u just make carbon ram air tunnels then put one of those pointed k&n filters on the end of it .... shootem out the side then towards the front kinda in line with orginal tunnels....then u would fab a another piece or more to cover this and have more luggage space...?
  12. pklop

    pklop Motorcycle addict

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    You are missing the point. That's a) to easy for his skills and not special enough and b) then he has to ride the thing and that's for sure not why he bought it. Machining stuff is his thing and we are here to enjoy it with him. Keep doing what your doing Fin :clap
  13. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    That is a very fair question and at one point had thought of doing this: just run the intake runners with air cleaners on the end and no "air box". Couple of reasons why we are going with the air box though:

    • Protection: the air box protects the otherwise fragile carbon intake tubes

    • Induction Tuning: as described many threads ago, this is a system to use induction tuning. Generally speaking if you put air cleaners on the ends of the tubes, it can "muffle" the resonance effect.

    • Turbulence: Air boxes also allow air to settle and equalized inside the box before entering the intake tubes: laminar flow vs turbulent flow

    • Noise: not that I am 100% against intake noise, but an air box also acts as a muffler for the intake system. And considering the intake is between our legs and below our face, it might be overwhelming.

    • Rider Interaction: in our case, we need something in front of the seat to allow our legs "wrap around" something. The air box works well for this.

    Understood that generally speaking air boxes are not considered cool or sexy. But there is a reason they are used, especially when torque and drive-ability are the key goals.

    And who says I can't store stuff in there? I plan to put some electronics and other small items in there down the road.
  14. murph76

    murph76 Been here awhile

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    im not harpin on how u do stuff just tryin too learn alittle
    protection- isnt carbon fiber as strong as steel?
    induction tuning- got me a little lost...totally lost when i was reading that ax-fied thread
    turbulence- what does it matter as long as u have good air flow......laminar flow?
    noise- most of us over 40 cant hear a damn thing anyways
    love all the brass yer using to ...definitely dont see that used much anymore
    Juozaz likes this.
  15. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    "We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard..." and because Fin is a badass.
  16. pklop

    pklop Motorcycle addict

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    Yes; exactly why we also ride a 250 kilo bike through mud and sand and up steep hills and such! :ricky
    Juozaz likes this.
  17. murph76

    murph76 Been here awhile

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    to get to starbucks?!
    pklop likes this.
  18. TBR

    TBR One Life ~ Live It...

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    Mate ~ blows my mind, amazing work and progress once again ~ now get that beast ready please....
  19. ebrabaek

    ebrabaek Long timer

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    Stronger actually, when done right. The caveat is that they have very little abrasive protection. On of the early items I build for my big thumper, was a CF front fender.
    It worked great, but in the desert southwest where there are a lot of dust in the atmosphere, the fender was slowly wearing down from the tip and back. It was slowly being sand blasted.
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    So protection from the elements is a smart move. When Fin was at Casa Brabaek last year, we did discuss the material for the box. As he is a ninja with alloy's it was easy to see why he chose that.
  20. Loutre

    Loutre Cosmopolitan Adv Super Moderator

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    you're still alive Erling?