My Barn Twins

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by fxray, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    ^^^I agree, Washpark. The E350's are classics. I only had mine for a little over a year, but it always put a smile on my face when I drove it. Here's a parting shot, as it was about to leave the scene of the crash. It still looked good, at least from that angle. :(

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    Yesterday, @OdyBandit and I rode our Airheads about 100 miles north through some great Illinois backroads scenery to watch the Cannonball riders roll in for lunch at Workman's HD in Rock Falls, Illinois:

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    @rtwdoug was there and we said Hi to to him. He is making the run with no support vehicle this year! Here's his ride:

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    There was a BMW in the competition:

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    Those of you who follow BritBike.com would be familiar with the expert writings of Magnetoman. I have long admired his knowledge and expertise, and I got to meet him yesterday. He is riding a 1928 Ariel 500 single:

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    A few random shots:

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    And finally, I am a great admirer of this gentleman, who eats breakfast with us nearly every Sunday at the VFW gathering here in central Illinois. He is a Cannonball Referee, and has ridden his '53 Pan to Maine and then followed the route back across the states. He will do the full route and then cruise home on his bike. Despite what you may think from first impressions of his bike, I have never seen it mark its territory or fail to start on one kick. That's a testimonial to his mechanical abilities. He was having a great time yesterday, and (on a lesser scale) so were OdyBandit and I.

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  2. Bruincounselor

    Bruincounselor North Plains Drifter Supporter

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    Cool photos of the Cannonball. I'm headed to Iowa this afternoon to catch them in spirit Lake. Sorry about your van.
  3. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Thanks for the pics and the guided tour up and back Ray. Just want to add if you’re anywhere near the Cannonball take a day off and go them at a stop. You can see the bikes and most of the riders are hanging around more than willing to share a story or two.
  4. Beamer Bum

    Beamer Bum Been here awhile

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    It's too bad I missed you guys. I was at Bourbonais and decided I had nothing better to do than go to Iowa. It turned out, that the route I chose was also the Cannonball route. I waved these two guys (99 and 25) around me and followed them about 60 miles in to Rock Falls.

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    Rock Falls was mobbed. I wouldn't have been able to find you even if I knew you were there. Anamosa was also packed when I got there.

    And here's some Airhead porn, just because.

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  5. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    ^^^Cool! You had a good ride. You're right about Rock Falls being mobbed. It was sorta hard to take pictures because everyone was trying to do so at the same time. Thing is, they were all polite and nice about it. Everybody was having a good time and acting like proper motorcycle people should.

    I'll have to look back through my pictures. Maybe you and I were taking pictures of the same bike at the same time and accidentally took each other's picture in the process. In other words, I may have a picture of you taking a picture of me. :lol3:lol3
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  6. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    Back in early September, I described the demise of my bike-hauling Ford E350 Van. See that here if interested. I also mentioned that I had used the insurance payout to replace it with this combination -- a 2007 Chevy TrailBlazer with a factory towing package, and a 6' x 12' single axle trailer by American Hauler:

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    I've spent way more time than I anticipated in setting up the trailer to make it suit my purpose, so I figured I'd describe that here. I had no intention of making the trailer into a mini-camper or combination camper/toy hauler. I only anticipate hauling motorcycles, home repair materials (the typical 4' x 8' sheet rock or plywood, etc.), and maybe some furniture.

    I started by painting the inside walls with some Zinsser FastPrime2 water base primer sealer, followed by a coat of Pittsburgh High-Gloss Enamel Super White. My objective here wasn't to make it pretty, but to make it reflect light better when tying down a bike.

    With the walls painted, I used some Dutch Boy Skid-Resistant Porch & Floor Satin Paint. Despite the negative things I had read and heard about pre-mixed sand in paint, I decided to try this stuff and was well pleased with the results. The sand was evenly dispersed in the paint, and stayed that way throughout the process, with just the occasional stirring. This paint is self-priming on bare wood. I used two coats and was happy with the results. Before I got the floor paint, I had already picked up some 10 foot sticks of E-Track, which was powder coated. I had the paint tinted to match the color of the E-Track.

    Here's the trailer with the walls, floor, and drop-down tailgate ramp painted:

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    I also painted the little flip-over lead-in ramp for the tailgate, but did not like the raw edges of the OSB (Oriented Strand Board). I decided to clad the edges with some aluminum channel, so that was some more fooling around.

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    Then I added the E-Track and tied down the spare tire.

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    The spare tire hold-down is a J-bolt from my buddy's junk bucket at the gas station, and the rest came from a junk yard donor car.

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    Since the trailer didn't come with a spare tire (I had to buy it separately), it for sure didn't come supplied with a jack or a lug wrench. I shopped around and picked up a small floor jack from Harbor Freight. Why not just use a small bottle jack? I wanted something that would collapse to a smaller height than a bottle jack.

    You see, the trailer people tell you not to jack under the trailer frame, and the axle people tell you not to jack under the axle. :lol3

    If there is a flat tire, the bottom of the axle will be on the ground. The frame will be only a short distance above the ground. Hence the need for a low profile jack. I also intend to carry a couple pieces of 4"x6" lumber for cribbing. I figure on jacking under the frame, near the axle mount, until I can slip a block of wood under the axle mount. Then I will let down the jack, set it on top of another block of wood, and lift the trailer enough to change the tire (or some variation of this process).

    I also sourced the lug wrench from Harbor Freight, in the form of a breaker bar and a single socket:

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    The brand new spare tire went from 50 psi to zero overnight. After checking it in a tub of water for an extended period of time, I could not find any leak. I also laid it on its side and poured water around the bead and studied it -- no bubbles at all. Ditto for the other side. While in the tub, I pushed and pulled the valve stem -- no bubbles. I released air from the shrader valve core and got bubbles, but they stopped when I released the valve.

    I finally decided to replace the valve stem core, and found that the existing one wasn't tight. I gave it a quarter turn, and the tire now holds air! This despite no bubbles.

    Speaking of tires, I wanted to replace the Chinese crap ones that came on the trailer, but found that all the ST rated tires in the world are Chinese. Goodyear still sells trailer tires, but they are from Taiwan. I will play this by ear for a while to see if the OEM ones hold up, but there are bad stories out there on the internet.

    {Edit 10/26/2018} I stand corrected on this. Thanks to Geezerrv for the heads-up. I had been looking at outdated information. In early 2017, Goodyear announced their Endurance line of trailer tires, made in their plants at Gadsden Alabama and Fayetteville North Carolina. People are posting on the internet that they are happily replacing their "China bomb" tires. It looks like good reports so far for the USA made tires, but it may be too soon to tell. They are load range D, with an N speed rating, which is good for 87 mph. Looks like about $116 apiece for my size. Maybe I can sell off the ones that came on my trailer.

    As far as E-Track is concerned, I started small, but soon escalated. I wound up buying 60 linear feet of the stuff for my 12 foot trailer! You can buy this from a lot of sources, but if you want 10' sticks of it, you will pay through the nose for shipping. I bought mine at a truck supply place, and picked it up myself with my new trailer. That's right, the only only load I have hauled so far with my new trailer is stuff to set up my new trailer. :lol3

    They also had a variety of attachments, but I got a minimal amount of those to start with. I opted for a single strap that has an E-Track clip on each end, and eight ring clips -- enough to tie down two bikes. The strap will be for non-bike stuff, like building supplies or furniture.

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    Here are the ring clips, stored in one of the side wall tracks.

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    They are the heavy duty type:

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    After a lot of thought, I put four strips of E-Track on the floor, one strip up on the LH wall, and two strips up on the RH wall. I don't know yet if this is the optimal arrangement, but there was some logic involved.

    Most of the time, there will be a single wheel chock in the trailer, as shown here:

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    I could have run a single E-Track right up the middle of the floor, but that would mean placing the bike wheels on the E-Track. I jockeyed around with some measurements and found that it worked out well to put two E-Track strips down the center of the floor, spaced apart just enough to mount the Condor Chock between them.

    This lets me run a bike into the trailer and into the chock, then use the two outside strips of E-Track (the ones along the walls) for tying down. That gives a good spread angle for the straps. The bike tires are on the non-skid floor, which makes it a little safer to load/unload. The two center strips of E-Track make it easy to aim the front wheel into the chock when loading.

    If I need to carry two bikes, I can take the Condor Chock off my bike lift table, and bolt it into the trailer floor in addition to the chock that is dedicated to the trailer. I made three sets of mounting brackets to allow for this. Here are the two chocks installed, and filler bolts to plug the holes in the center position:

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    The dimensions worked out nicely here. If a bike is in the RH chock, I will tie it down using the E-Track along the RH wall, and the E-Track adjacent to the other chock. It may not look like it, but the RH chock is centered between those two strips.

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    It works out the same for the LH side:

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    With my modestly sized bikes, they can sit side by side without the need to stagger the handlebars (barely).

    For the walls, I ran a single 10' stick of E-Track along the LH wall, 30" above the floor. I figure this will let me secure taller items, such as furniture or whatever. It may also help in tying down a bike under some circumstances.

    Because of the pedestrian side-door, the RH wall didn't lend itself to a 10' stick of E-Track. It made no sense to E-Track the door itself, and the studs in front of the door were not placed well for the E-Track there. I wound up cutting that stick into two 5' pieces and mounting one piece 30" above the floor, with the other piece near the ceiling. I cut small sections out of the wall trim wood where necessary to mount the E-Track.

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    I would have called it finished at that point, but I got worried about the raw OSB and poorly painted steel frame members underneath the trailer. After a lot of reading and thinking, I chose not to use bed liner or undercoating. Instead, I chose to prime the bare wood with Zinsser Bulls Eye water base interior & exterior Primer.

    Then I added one coat of Rust-Oleum Gloss Black Protective Enamel, oil based. I put this over the primed OSB, and over the factory "paint" on all the frame members, after wiping down all the steel parts with mineral spirits.

    Painting the bottom was not an easy task. I had already spent a lot of time under the trailer when my neighbor and I were installing the E-track (bolted through the floor, with nylock nuts and flat washers under the trailer). I wanted to brush or roll the paint, and there was no room to dip the brush into the can while flat on my back and squeezed under the floor.

    The answer was to borrow a two-post lift. It was a close fit, but it worked:

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    The front arms on the lift (for the rear of the trailer when backed in) were spread as far as they would go, which was barely enough:

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    With the trailer up as far as we could take it, I sat on my shop stool and rolled around under the trailer. The first task I did under there was to eliminate most of the ridiculously long self-drilling tap screws that American Hauler had used to hold the floor down:

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    To avoid flat tires, I accounted for each cut off end and saved them for the trash:

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    Then I spread out a big tarp to catch the drips and splatters, and painted with a brush and/or a roller till my shoulders screamed at me and my butt was too sore to sit any longer on that shop stool.

    In the end, the bottom looked like this:

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    When I was under there, that floor stretched out to infinity:

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    About the only thing left to do is eliminate the big, long, drilling/self-tapping screws that American Hauler chose to employ to attach the tiny led marker lights on each fender. Right now these pointed screw tips are sticking down through the fenders and are poised directly above each tire -- scary!
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  7. globalt38

    globalt38 "A Fist Full of Throttle" Super Supporter

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    As someone who often wishes he had greater attention to detail fxray - I am in awe of yours!
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  8. Geezerrv

    Geezerrv Been here awhile

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    Last set of Goodyear Wrangler ST I bought were said to be USA made. I didn’t look to see if they were.
  9. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    5D4287BB-3E44-479C-A5B1-A9158E794480.jpeg AFFB3F17-1074-4746-9D1C-8EDA2009F95E.jpeg Hey Ray, trailer looks great. Since your a E350 fan here’s a couple pictures of my niece’s. She’s about 30 and has been living in it for a couple years picking up odd jobs in the south west.
  10. junkcollector

    junkcollector Adventurer

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    Very nice job Ray!
  11. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    Thanks, guys. If I don't stay with it to the last detail while I'm in the mood, a project can languish for years around here. I'm sorta worried about my Havana Gold R90/6, but I do look in on it every so often. I'm hoping to get back to that soon.

    Thanks for the heads-up. I had been looking at outdated information. In early 2017, Goodyear announced their Endurance line of trailer tires, made in their plants at Gadsden Alabama and Fayetteville North Carolina. People are posting on the internet that they are happily replacing their "China bomb" tires. It looks like good reports so far for the USA made tires, but it may be too soon to tell. They are load range D, with an N speed rating, which is good for 87 mph. Looks like about $116 apiece for my size. Maybe I can sell off the ones that came on my trailer.

    Hey Ody, if that is your niece in the picture, tell her to shave her legs! :lol3 :lol3

    Just kidding. It sounds like she is enjoying herself. She could probably write a book by now, a la Jack Kerouac's On the Road.
  12. OdyBandit

    OdyBandit Long timer

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    Yep those are her legs. She’s a one of a kind.
  13. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    Oops! Sorry -- I guess I made what my Dad used to call a "fox pass", which I do too often. In any case, does she have any need for a Curt trailer hitch for her E350?
  14. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

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    It's 4 years later, but I found your post to be particularly useful, Ray. :thumb. I have to pull the old disk breather from my '79 block, and will make up an adapter like yours.

    Did you heat the area before pulling it?

    Cheers,
  15. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    ^^^Hi Jim. I did not heat the block before pulling that valve.

    Later, when I wanted to replace the valve on my other R90/6 (the 1976 Havana Gold one), I tried to use that same home made POS tool, and it couldn't get the job done. I remember reading this from bmwrench:

    That prompted me to go buy a cheap slide hammer kit from Harbor Freight. That worked exactly as @bmwrench had said. The valve popped right out, which made me feel rather foolish for cobbling together the home made puller.

    It is a strange coincidence that you mentioned this old thread today. Only a few hours ago I was emptying some shelves and found that piece of 1/2-13 rod with a 1/4-20 bolt running crosswise through it. It took me quite a while to remember why I had done that and what it was for!

    BTW, I didn't heat the case on the '76 bike either.
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  16. Texer

    Texer Been here awhile Supporter

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    That is funny- I had not seen this puller discussion and had actually pulled the flap cave from my’70 years before as a novice. I also used a dent puller slide to change to a reed valve. I remember lacing chain through the openings. It worked great.
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  17. Jim K in PA

    Jim K in PA Long timer

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    Glad I bumped this thread, Ray. :thumb. It deserves the attention.

    I made up a crude notched tube like you did, but it failed miserably. I then made up a J-hook like @bmwrench described, put it through a piece of pipe and beat the thing out. My dent puller is AWOL, so this had to do for this one.
  18. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin! Supporter

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    Always good to see old friends.... :beer
  19. fxray

    fxray Long timer

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    Thanks, guys! Though I'm doing more lurking than posting here these days, it is good to see you are still at it. I'm spending all my time battling entropy around the house and grounds these days, but someday hope to get back to motorcycles.
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  20. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid! Supporter

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    Slick! :thumb