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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    Need to start with mounting the new dash and keypad. Yes, I think this is now the third dash area I have made. I really love the cockpit of a bike. It is something you stare at for hours on end so why not make it as nice as possible. And you interface with it at a very personal level. Make it count. A look I don't like in cockpits is the clamp-on bracket look. I have seen clamps on clamps on clamps holding a phone. Come on, make some effort and clean it up!

    So here is a mach-up I made to see where I wanted everything. Yes, the dash is telling me I am an idiot and almost out of fuel. Just trying out some custom messaging on the new dash. Did not even notice when I took the picture. It is like MechanicO is already talking to me....

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    Fabing and bending up some aluminum to mount everything on

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    Unfortunately, I forgot to tell the powder-coater to mask off the serial number on the steer tube. I might have been able to recover but I figured a good excuse to just make my own VIN plate. I knew it had to include the words "Rebuilt from salvage" as that was mandatory when I was inspected for the salvage title. And I figured MechanicO could wear it as a badge of honor! Made it from some stainless steel plate and then had a buddy laser engrave the needed words and letters. None of that sticker crap.

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    I also decided to change out the throttle assembly as it was going to be hard to keep the stock one without using the stock buttons that are built into the BMW throttle assembly. And I had plans to make my own controls eventually. So MotionPro make a pretty darn cool throttle assembly that lets you change out the diameter of the cable disc to better match your throttle body travel. You can see the colored disks in the pic below. And they had one that was pretty darn close to stock diameter. I think (have to double check notes) it is 45mm diameter. But if I ever wanted to I could go bigger or smaller and change the feel of the throttle control. They even have one that is "progressive" starts slow and goes to fater open times as you twist more. Interesting, hmmmm. But figured let's start with close to stock for now. Also, when you order it MotionPro makes a custom length cable to your spec. Perfect!

    Here is a question for the think-tank crew out there: this new throttle body comes as a dual cable design. One cable for pulling throttle body in one direction, second cable for returning throttle body position back. However, the stock BMW is a one cable system and relys on the throttle body spring to return it. Why are there these two types and why does one bike have one cable and another two? Also seems dirt-bike tend to use the double cable system and as you move to street they go single. What is the logic here?

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    And while working on throttle system I attacked one that is a complete pet-peave of mine. I dislike extra stuff that is not being used. It just sits there and mocks you, "hey, look at me, I serve no purpose but yet here I am. Just taking up space, adding weight, and odds are I'll be in your way one day". I hate that shit.

    So there is this extra "ramp" on the throttle body that must be there if these same throttle bodies are used on a different model or make. And it sticks up in the way and I could see it getting caught up on something and holding the throttle open. Not on my watch. So took the dremel and off it comes! Now the action on the throttle is so much faster and precise with that weight removed. Yea, I feel better.

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  2. Pressingonward

    Pressingonward Looking forward to what is ahead

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    I know the dual cable is intended as a safety mechanism so that you can force the throttle closed rather than relying on spring force alone. I suspect it is more prominent on dirt bikes because they are more likely to get mud or debris jammed/packed into either end which could theoretically hold the throttle open. That's just my theory though ...
  3. FireDog45

    FireDog45 What should I do today...?

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    This is my understanding as well but unable to verify.

  4. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Yea, the ability to force the throttle body closed in extreme grimy conditions (mud) might be it. Hmmm, still a debate here me thinks.

    Believe it or not this shot below just makes me giggle. For those in the know this is a shot of the back side of our 800 motors just behind the cylinders.

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    So why excited about this? Well, it exemplifies the level of engine monitoring I am added over stock. On a stock motor you only have one of the sensors you see in this pic, that would be the coolant temp sensor found in the middle here. In this pic you can see I added two new sensors. On the left we have a true oil pressure sensor. Yes, pre-2013 bikes did also have this but it was only an "idiot light". I have added a true 0-5v sensor that will give real time oil pressure on the new dash. On 2013+ bikes the port is still there, but BMW just put a plug in it. Again, probably bean counters saying "hey, we can save $.15 if we remove the oil sensor. Who needs it anyway?". I do! I want to always see that my engine is healthy and not in danger of cooking itself. And I can also run logic in my new controls to give me full sized messages/warnings on the dash if I want. Heck, I can tell the new controller start honking the horn if it gets real low. And for those who watch oil pressure you also know that at idle the pressure can really drop to a low value but it is not dangerous to the engine at this low rpm. So I then tell the new controller to only give me a warning when it sees I am moving forward via the front wheel sensor. And on and on ..... Lots of control here.

    The second sensor I added is the far right. This is a Bosch knock sensor. Yep, I'll be able to detect knock issues with the motor and have the ECU adjust either fuel or ignition (or both) to address the situation and not nuke the engine. This is important for two reasons:

    1) I plan to run the tune at performance levels that are above stock. And this is primarily done with ignition and more specifically advancing ignition. There are HUGE gains in torque to be had here with ignition tuning. More on this later, but suffice to say, when you do this, the engine becomes a bit more "sensitive" and can become more prone to knock issues. So adding knock control via this sensor can allow you to tune more aggressively but still allow you to pull it back if the motor starts a knocking. Again, I suspect BMW cut this for cost as these sensors are not cheap. So how do they get away with not using one? They just de-tune the motor to levels that will not allow it to knock in most/average" situations. That is why there is always untapped power in a factor motor, they are just playing it safe. Now don't get me wrong, an adventure bike with a motor so juiced up on the tune it might blow is also not what I want. And the tune we will do will reflect that, somewhere above stock output but not to "stupid dangerous" levels, somewhere in between. And the knock sensor will help keep it together as well.

    2) An adventure bike has a high probability of using "mystery" gas or low octain gas or water infused gas, etc. In those situations a knock sensor will see the engine is NOT happy (knocking on heavens door) and make the needed adjustments via fuel (more) but probably pulling back (retarding, can I say that now still?) the ignition. That said I also plan to have a map setting for the ECU to tell it pro-actively I am running sub-par fuel. More on that later.

    Here is a pretty darn good and simple article on what knock is and why you need to address it:

    KNOCK me down baby!

    Interestingly enough, on the motor is a flat, machined boss with a M8 thread in it just sitting there unused. And right on the cylinder wall exactly where you want a knock sensor. Don't believe me, go ahead and take a look yourself. I'll wait.......I think there was a plan to originally use a knock sensor but that dick-head bean counter guy got involved and there you go. I hate that guy, I really do.

    So in that one shot I am showing a significant amount of engine control and monitoring over stock. I want this, I like this, and I sleep better at night knowing these things about MechanicO. I can't have him die again.
  5. Indy Unlimited

    Indy Unlimited Long timer

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    Looks like this project is well into phase 2 . Great plan with the sensors. Cant wait to see how you set up the ECU for this. Stunning work as usual. Thanks for keeping us posted Finn!
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  6. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement Indy Unlimited. I have done a stand-alone ECU on a Subaru before but their are a million base maps you can start with on something like that. With this we are starting from scratch. We have to model the ECU with no base map to start with. Lots of work. Luckily Motec support is beyond stellar. Those guy really carried this (and still do). Spoiler alert: the results are fantastic. These motors really do have a lot of untapped potential.
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  7. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

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    Finn I've been following your build from the very beginning. Excellent work and I love all of the custom machine work you have done, the welding skills you have are awesome. Thanks so much for posting all of this for us gearheads to read about, it really helps to get through winter for those of us in the north that can't ride. I just TIG welded up an aluminum skid plate for my latest 800GS project bike. Man aluminum is quite the challenge to weld, but I'm getting better at it. Whenever I see a new post in the thread i'm excited to see what you have done to MechanicO. Keep up the good work, Fred.
  8. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Excellent on the welding 1994klr250. Any chance you can share a picture or two of the skid plate you made for your 800. Like to see it.

    Best advice I ever got on welding aluminum was three easy rules before you start the weld:
    1. Clean it
    2. Clean it
    3. Clean it
    ANY contaminate on aluminum equals = pop, fizzle, then "unplanned inspection hole". I actual use Windex for cleaning and then blow off with air-hose. Several time. Of course after sanding/brillo padding the crap around the weld areas. Pre-heat is another trick that helps big time with aluminum welding.
  9. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

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    Great advice on aluminum having to be clean. I've been using acetone for cleaning. My welder is an AHP Alpha tig 200x using it on a dedicated 50 amp 220 Volt circuit when welding aluminum. I made the skid plate from 3/16 5052-H32 Aluminum. This project yielded my best welds so far. I'll have to post up some pictures of it on the GS I'm still finishing up a steel bracket that bolts to the front of the skid plate.

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  10. JoeGoat

    JoeGoat n00b

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    Not just soap and water clean, but oxidation removed clean. Big difference in melting point. I have to re-certify every six months. Prep prep prep.
  11. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Excellent work 1994klr250. Clean and simple. Welds look really good to. Better than most my aluminum work! I like how you tapered the side and front as that always helps deflect energy with impacts. I did not like that with the Black Dog plate I started with, had a very flat and blunt front profile.

    I do like the BlackDog system where they have a sub-frame that holds the guard and it keeps the hardware flush and only have to remove two front bolts for oil changes.

    By the way I suggest just keeping it raw aluminum. If it is like mine, you WILL be banging it back into shape and need to weld up some cracks and such. Means it is doing its job!

    How do you plan to flush the hardware on the bottom?
  12. HermanTM

    HermanTM n00b

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    Hello Fin,
    found your compilation of phase 1 on YouTube. Great pics of the highlights. Viewing was like a playback of your georguos work you've shown in this thread. Thank you very much.

    I'm very exited about your next steps.
  13. 1994klr250

    1994klr250 Long timer

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    I drilled 1 inch holes all the way through the 3/16 thick skid plate and then I welded those four 1/4 thick aluminum mounting points so it gives the nut a recessed area on the bottom of the skid plate. The hardware isn't completely flush about 1/8 of an inch sticks out, but it's the best I could do with the tools and my current skill level. I got it mounted up on the bike and I couldn't be happier.

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  14. Barry T

    Barry T n00b

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    I'm in the process of obtaining a F800GS. Just started reading this thread, and like most of what you're doing. Most Europeans would obviously notice that a German brand would never install something with an American flag on it, nice try though haha.

    I like the whole air box process, but I'm personally not a fan of its looks. After you did the carbon fiber intake pipes that are connected to the throttle bodies, I was actually expecting a fully carbon fiber air box (for more weight reduction, after all the previous weight reductions you made). But you seem more comfortable with metals than cf.

    Keep up the great work Fin.
  15. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Barry T,

    Ha, then the Germans are going to have a heart attacked when they see the next installment of electronics. I hope they like Australian, Japanese, and USA technology running their hardware!

    I was wondering when the topic of looks would come in. And honestly, I 100% accept your opinion. MechanicO was never built to be a beauty queen, heck not even 3rd place in a middle school pageant in Ugly Town.
    The way I think of MechanicO is he is a rolling "proof-of-concept". A constantly changing and evolving machine for the sake of engineering, not aesthetics. When I do a second project, I can work from what we learned here and put some more effort into looks for sure. So yea, ain't the prettiest girl at the dance, but he's got it where it counts. Wait, is he a boy or a girl? ;)

    Yes, I did get super-close to going with a carbon-fiber air box but it came down to time. As you know I work on him during the winter and ride during the summer. If I went carbon fiber that is a very long path of work to be done versus hand fabrication of an aluminum air-box which I can make is a shorter time (comparatively). Even with the aluminum air-box it was close, I think he was not road worth until early June. Way longer than I wanted it.

    At least I don't have a purse....sorry, tank bag on him. :D
  16. morfic

    morfic Been here awhile

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    Much respect on all the work in this thread.

    I made the mistake to browse through it, everytime I see someone run stuff on their mills and lathes I get majorly jealous, as I never get to run personal parts on production equipment and have no machines of my own.

    So please do me a favor and enjoy the hell out of the fact that you do, for all us green with envy ;)
  17. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Thanks morfic, sounds like you are machinist as well. Just go in at night when no one is there :D

    Saw your profile, here is my 1979 XT500. Crazy fun bike back in college. Always room for a girl on back when I went to campus!

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  18. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    Time to tie all these electronics together and make a harness. Yep, not using the stock one at all. I was able to strip and reuse the plugs for some of the sensors but I would say 95% of the harness is now new.

    Interestingly enough this was the longest and hardest single project of the bike. But by far the worst for photography in this write-up. How many times can you show a plug being built and wire crimped? But it took a VERY long time. What I am going to show was probably 100+ hours for me to complete. I have never built a harness from scratch so I mover very slowly, because I know one thing: one bad wire connection will ruin your day. So I did quite a bit of research on how to make a bullet-proof harness. Found some great resources and information, here is one of my favorite articles on building high-end harnesses:

    https://www.rbracing-rsr.com/wiring_ecu.html

    What I learned right away was wiring is NOT created equal. The stuff you get at the auto-store down the street is crap. Every had the coating on a wire just crumble away on you in a short amount of time? This is a function of the coating being low-grade. Also, more but thinner strands of copper make for a more robust harness. I could go one but bottom line is you want to use high grade wire. And the aeronautical industry is all about this. When they wire an airplane it cannot fail. Period. They use some crazy high end, temp resistant, cross-linked, high-stand count stuff. Just having it in you hand you can feel the quality.

    And plugs and connectors, don't get me started! They need to have well engineered stain-relief for the wires going into them and also be sealed. Those crap Molex connectors at that same auto store should be banned. They WILL let you down. I have to admit the connectors on the BMW where pretty high quality and I reused a lot of those. But if I had to add plugs and such I went with a combination of Deutsch connectors and Molex Mizu connectors. They are a bit of an investment but worth it.

    Bottom line I do not want this:

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    or this

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    Or even this

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    So I did the research, planned, and took NO shortcuts here.
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  19. morfic

    morfic Been here awhile

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    I am a machinist and proud of it, more of a mouse pusher lately.

    Steel tank XT just look better, is that a skinny super trap?
  20. FinTec

    FinTec Been here awhile

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    That picture is from maybe 1989-90, so cannot remember the exhaust. It was loud and it did go thump-thump-thump.