My build(s) - a scratch built frame and chair etc

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by guzzirelic, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. tomrux

    tomrux Long timer

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    +1 on pics/details on those replacement shoes pls.
    Am in the planning of a hack build after doin my first one 20+ years ago. Learnt a lot then but always lookjng for more info. I have a mould for the body already, not much different to what you built up but I have a plug mould ready to go so that at least is easier. Trying to decide on a tug at this point and go from there. Something Japanese for availability and price, at least a litre in engine size and shaft driven for convenience. The last one was on an early 80s Suzi GS1000G. Was tired i think and therfore a little breathless.

    Cheers Tom R
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  2. tomrux

    tomrux Long timer

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    Oh and at least in the antipodes 'tubing' with that much wall thickness is more commonly called hollow bar.

    Cheers Tom R
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  3. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    Here are a couple of photos of my bender, showing the shoes that I cobbled together to stop from denting the tubing.

    Bender001.jpg

    Showing the same bender with the shoes in place, instead of those silly rollers.

    Bender002.jpg

    This photo shows the "shoes" I cobbled together to support the tubing while bending, no more dents!
    #43
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  4. Pokie

    Pokie Just plain Pokie.

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    If I'm making or bending an arc, I'll mark increments on the tube (say an inch or so apart) and bend a little at a time until the right arc is formed. I've done this while making frames and forks.
    #44
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  5. brstar

    brstar Long timer

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    Useful info and thanks for showing the bender mods.
    I find I retain pictures better than words.
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  6. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    Thanks for the tube bender ideas. I'm passing this along to my buddy who has the bender.
    This morning I was back and although it might not look like three hours work, we got the down tube mounts tack welded to the swing arm.
    (among a few other little things).
    Most of our time was taken preparing and positioning the swing arm in relation to the down tubes and to the bike itself. Obviously it needs to centered side to side, level and needs to position the axle where we want it to provide the new trail measurement. (the steel plate is laid on top to keep the swing arm from moving. It' not part of the design)

    [​IMG]

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    You'll see that we have two holes in the mounts, one that will reduce the trail by 2 inches and the second, an additional 1.5 inches for a total of 3.5.
    We have a bolt through the unused holes to hold the mounts square and aligned for tack welding.

    [​IMG]
    Tony manning the Mig welder tacks the mounts in place on the swing arm.

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    Sorry it's upside down on the bench but here it is ready for a full weld job. First we'll brace the mounts with some 3/4" threaded rod and nuts to prevent any movement. And he'll jump from side to side doing the welding.

    Next up is making and fitting a cross brace that will mount on the down tubes in the area of the bend that will provide a spot for the upper shock mounts as well as making the whole LL more rigid. Then the lower shock mounts will be made up to be welded to the swing arm near the axle clamps. And then we move onto caliper mounting. And then...a cross brace on the rear of the down tubes and fender mounting and brake hoses...and...and...and...

    I've got the body at home so in the meantime I've been working on a possible fender for the tub and trying to resurrect the windshield I had on it. It came from a 1989 or '90 Yamaha snowmobile, (cut and modified) so I foolishly thought it would be easy to buy a new one. Seems 30 year old snowmobile windshields are not readily available. I scoured our obsolete shelf at the shop where I work and despite us having about 30 in stock, none are going to work without reinventing the wheel.

    We're making good progress but still much more to go before test driving. More updates soon.

    Ken
    #46
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  7. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    Tony sent me these photos yesterday. Work continues in my absence.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The down tube cross brace which also serves as the upper shock mount is in place but not welded yet. And one shock is mocked up with the lower mount on top of the swing arm. The brace which is a piece of angle steel, will be notched out to provide good clearance for the tire during full swing arm movement.
    No photo but he has also made up a an axle spacer that centers the wheel and brake rotors within the swing arm. The original spacer was a few millimeters too long for our LL swing arm. Once again, this reinforces the fact that I just couldn't have done this project myself. Such a simple piece is easily turned up on Tony's lathe, but would have been a pain for me to have made.

    Ken
    #47
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  8. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

    Assembly is on the bench for some finish welding.
    And next, back on the motorcycle and with the jack removed, supporting the weight with a level swing arm. This is important as shock selection is a bit of a guessing game for us.
    [​IMG]
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    These are some cheapo shocks that Tony had purchased to use on his CTX/Hanagan rig but found they weren't up to that task. I'm happy that they seem to be strong enough for my Convert rig. We did swap the springs for another set from something else.

    [​IMG]
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    You can see in these pics that he arched the cross brace to provide clearance for maximum swing arm movement. And notice the rear down tube brace just above the swing arm is welded in place. This is going to be a very rigid front end.
    The project is getting close to coming home...just the brake caliper mounts and fender mounting to sort out.

    I can't wait!

    Ken
    #48
  9. guzzibus

    guzzibus n00b

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    nice looking link have you considered having your calipers mounted so they called "floating" calipers. you may have done this all ready.i have Got sp1000 guzzi made my links 35 years ago floating caliper never looked back
    #49
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  10. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    Sorry for the delay but it's been a busy couple of weeks. On Wednesday, June 12th Tony brought my Convert rig home! His work was done and now it was time for me to finish it up.
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    [​IMG]
    This is the bike as we rolled it out of his trailer.
    Problem was that I was leaving on my Eldorado for a few days the next morning. My work on the sidecar rig would have to wait until I got back from the annual CVMG national rally in Paris Ontario.
    The following week, starting Monday evening after work I began the finishing work. There didn't seem like a lot to do but everything takes time.
    My list included: plumbing the calipers and bleeding the system. I needed to lengthen one of the brake lines and did so by adding an 8" piece of brake hose. The bleeding process went pretty good by removing the calipers and holding them with the bleed screws at the highest point.
    Tony had also left the front fender mounting up to me. I'm happy to be able to use the original Guzzi stainless steel fender and only added one hole to adapt to a rear brace that he had added to the swing arm. I made the front mount from aluminum tubing, aligning it with existing holes in the fender.
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    I went over all the hardware, tightening it and in some cases changing bolts to match sizes and trimming lengths.
    I had to reinstall the bar risers, instrument panel and do all the related electrical connections. And then the Vetter fairing had to go back on, battery and ignition system connected and by later in the week I was able to start the engine.
    On Saturday, June 22 I took my first short ride with a leading link equipped sidecar rig. Only about 4 miles, up my road and back but everything worked ok and it didn't seem to be trying to kill me. So on with the body, fender mount fitting and I was ready to do some more riding.

    I had already made up a sidecar fender mount but needed the rig here to align my mount and drill the holes. Any guesses as to where that black plastic fender came from?
    As well, I'd installed a new windshield while the outfit was with Tony and the body was here with me.
    [​IMG]
    Yes it is bigger than the last one but I just couldn't find anything else to fit. I do like the way sort of shortens the nose of the chair. In some ways it doesn't look so long and narrow as it did.
    With a few more side road rides under my belt, after supper on Saturday I went out on the highway for 20 mile spin.
    At 60mph the rig tracks straight. There is no pull and I'm quite relaxed. This is a night and day difference from this rig with standard forks. And a huge improvement over my previous rig, (the Eldorado with stock forks and this sidecar attached)
    The head shake is greatly reduced however still there at 30mph. More on this in a bit.

    My daughter happened to be visiting so she volunteered to be the first passenger for me in the Convert rig.
    [​IMG]
    She reported that it was much more comfortable than the old sidecar, this due to my addition of seat suspension. (remember my pic of springs on the bottom of the seat?)

    And then Sunday, I took the rig to a vintage bike gathering, (bbq lunch) at a member's home near Kagawong Ontario on Manitoulin Island. It's about 65 miles each way. Here I am stopped at the docks in Little Current. That's the only road on/off the island in the back ground, over the 105 year old swing bridge. (there is also a ferry from the south end of the island, connecting to the Bruce Peninsula that runs from May- October)
    [​IMG]
    There were other rigs at this event. Tony's Honda CTX/Hannigan with his recently built LL front end as well as a Beemer /Velorex with Steerite modified triple trees, another Honda 500/Velo and a V-Strom 650/Velo 700.
    [​IMG][[​IMG]
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    This ride really gave me the chance to get to know the rig and the handling. Overall, it's working pretty good and I'm very happy with the LL front end. Pleased that Tony talked me into doing the job now instead of waiting for the off season. For sure, it is easier to handle and steer.
    Of course having no previous leading link experience I have no idea if mine is "as good as it can be" but I do know it's much better than stock forks.
    We designed two swing arm positions into the build. It's currently set at a 2" trail reduction and at some point I will try it at the 3.5" position.
    I don't know if that will be better or will it be going too far? There's only one way to find out but I think I'll wait until I have more riding time with it as is. That way I'll be better able to make that assessment.

    Ken
    #50
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  11. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    After my ride to Manitioulin Island last Sunday, working on the Convert continues. There was still enough of a "to-do" list but the bike added a couple of evenings of electrical fun. On the way home from work Monday, the charging system quit. I lost the signals, then the headlight but made it home. I won't bore everyone with the details but it was one of those things that took a long time to find, but then was an easy fix.
    I mentioned the head shake in my last post. It was reduced from the stock forks but still there. I found it annoying on my Island ride because I took some rough back roads to by pass some road construction. The back roads aren't in great condition so my speed was hanging right around 30mph, the exact speed that the shake is worst. Add to that, the empty chair giving me constant steering inputs as the sidecar wheel hit the bumps and I was needing to keep a good grip on the bars.
    Thursday eve I reworked the mount and added the second steering damper. I had two on the Eldo rig, then I had two on this one that I removed to get them out of the way during the LL build. I had installed one, the easy one and now both are back on. And yes, it has helped.
    Yesterday my wife went out for her first ride in this new rig and actually her first ride in any sidecar since September of 2016.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Like our daughter, she says it is much better than before. She is asking for some sort of grab bar as she's sitting higher and feels the need to hang on sometimes. She will also have to get comfortable with the new entry/exit routine. With the Eldo rig, (before I narrowed the chassis of the sidecar), there was room to get in from the rear going between the motorcycle and the chair. I guess if I take off the saddle bag that would still work but I made a step ahead of the side car wheel and hoping she can get used to that.
    Still to do---lots of cosmetic things. I'd like to make some sort of parcel rack for the back deck of the chair. Not so much to carry anything but more to break up the huge amount of white fiber glass area. As well, I'll mount a second brake light and move the right signal light to it.
    I've also got a windshield bag that my Harley riding boss gave me that I might use on the sidecar. It will hide the mounting holes from the old windshield and give the passenger somewhere to keep small items.
    On the bike itself I want to add an oil pressure gauge, (don't trust Guzzi idiot lights), a voltmeter and a power point; the latter two to the Windjammer.
    Guzzibus replied above, suggesting floating calipers and that is something I'll consider. Although the brakes are working good as is so that will be a future consideration.
    But these are all fun things that I can pick away at while the rig is on the road.

    Ken
    #51
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  12. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    A few more pics. Today I removed the sidecar fender and mount to paint the mount. And the windshield bag is in place. Not sure if it will stay, depends on if my wife wants to use it. No holes drilled, (they were already there) so no harm done if we scrap it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Ken
    #52
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  13. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    [​IMG]

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    Our northern Ontario riding season ended early this year with cold temps moving in during October. We had our first snowfall on the 31st of that month and although the temps climbed above freezing a few days after that, my season was done with the salting of the roads.
    I'm now starting my winter sanity projects and have some small things to do to the Convert outfit along with a bit of work needed on my other bikes.
    I thought I'd share the sidecar rig work here in case anyone might find it entertaining.
    The photos are from various rides including my daughter in law's first time in a sidecar. She is a bit of a thrill seeker so yes; she enjoyed it.

    As you can see from the last pic, my leading link front end is in need of paint. I held off doing this in case we needed to do any alterations; cutting and welding. As mentioned in earlier posts, I'm quite happy with the overall set up and will only be tweaking things so finishing the bare metal and rust is ready to be done now.
    Before I get into that, I've been playing with the shocks. Although as said, it works good I did feel that the shocks were too heavily sprung for the application. The ride was a bit harsh on the front end. And I noticed that there was little to no downward movement of the swing arm. Raising the rig and letting the wheel hang free would drop the axle only about a quarter of an inch. This was because the shocks were too short. They would "top out" at this point.
    So my idea was to somehow lengthen the shocks and soften the springs.
    I removed the springs to find that they were over 2" of preload, (compressed) even with the adjusters in the softest position. It was actually scary compressing the springs that much to free the shock ends for disassembly. WAY TOO much preload. No wonder the ride was on the harsh side.
    Shocks and springs are not cheap as you all know and buying something new would be a guessing game --- at my expense.
    I don't mind spending the cash if I knew for sure I'd have an improvement but I'm not going to gamble several hundred dollars to experiment.
    So I worked with what I have on hand. (my usual theme)

    I replaced the springs with some from the rear shocks off my 1976 Yamaha DT400C enduro. They were shorter and weaker than the others. And they are a progressive type spring. Cosmetically they aren't the best but I can live with that.
    Next I made up some plates that lengthen the shocks by 2". Not fancy but I prefer function over form...they'll look as good as the rest of the front end once I paint them.
    And with this extra length I'm able to fit the swing arm in the rear holes which will add an additional 1.25" of trail reduction. On top of what I already have.
    Will it be too much? I won't know until next spring when I can get back out and do some test rides. But I'm hoping it will be a further improvement over an already, nicely handling rig.
    With these small mods I now have an inch of static sag. This is the difference between totally unloaded, (wheel hanging free) and the weight of the outfit on the ground when measured from shock eye to shock eye. (13.5" hanging free and 12.5" sitting on the ground).
    The swing arm hangs slightly lower than horizontal when jack up and slightly higher than horizontal when on the ground.
    I'm hoping it works better. For sure it will offer more usable suspension travel.

    [​IMG]
    Unloaded, wheel off the ground hanging free.

    [​IMG]
    Wheel on the ground, supporting the weight of the rig.

    Next up I'll take it apart and do the painting. I considered powder coat but that would mean removing the entire front end from the triple trees, plus it's obviously much more costly and there's no one close to me that does this work. So I will apply POR 15 which I'm sure anyone reading this will know about. I've used it before, once on a complete bike frame and it stood up very well.
    I'll get to this job in the next couple of weeks. And then there are some cosmetic/farkle type things I want to do.

    Ken
    #53
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  14. TripleDaddy

    TripleDaddy Hoping my skills exceed my horsepower

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    Seeing the rust on your leading link after all that work makes me sad...

    Forgive me if I missed it, but what keeps your new shock spacers from pivoting out of alignment? It looks like they could fail up or down, and it would be a bad day for your front suspension (especially if your front tire met the notch in your fork brace. Not trying to be a Monday morning quarterback, just want to make sure you are safe.

    Kudos to you and your buddy for undertaking such a big project!
    #54
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  15. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    Hahaha...no worries, the rust will soon be replaced by nice black POR 15 coating.

    As for the shock extensions, the original mounts are three sided, (closed at the front). The new extensions are shaped to fit snugly against the bottom surface and the forward, vertical surface of those originals. This should prevent the extensions from being able to pivot for or aft. I made spacers to fit on those lower bolts to keep the extensions properly spaced. The extensions are two pieces of 1/8" plate per side.
    I think it should all hold together but your point is well taken and I have been thinking of running a bead of mig weld to join the extensions to the original mounts. I was hesitant to do this right away in case I have to change something but I suppose I could always grind the weld off if need be.

    [​IMG]


    You're right, it was a big enough project but well worth the time and cost. It really did make a huge difference in handling and steering effort.

    Thanks!

    Ken
    #55
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  16. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    Short update --- before posting here last evening I sent the same pic's and short explanation to my LL building friend Tony. (he's not on ADV Rider)
    When I got off this site I opened his email reply which basically said the same as TripleDaddy...

    I'm no longer thinking about it; I'll definitely be welding the shock extensions to the existing mounts. Should be done tomorrow during my lunch break.

    Ken
    #56
  17. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    With a couple of days off I've managed to finish the Leading Link spruce up.
    The shock extensions are welded to the original mounts and I started by sandblasting the swing arm.
    [​IMG]

    The down tube part of the front end wouldn't fit in my blast cabinet so I left it in place and scotch brited the surface. The POR 15 goes on pretty good with a brush.
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    The finish isn't perfect but it's well protected and looks better than the rust.
    [​IMG]

    I also did the sidecar upper mount struts to clean them up. Today I removed the Windjammer. I'm going to wire the running lights and add a voltmeter somewhere. Maybe also a power point. Then I'll move on the side car work.

    Ken
    #57
  18. storch

    storch Been here awhile

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    Did your friend tony bend the 1.5" x 1/4" down tubes with the 12 ton bender ?
    Thanks for reply

    Gary
    #58
  19. guzzirelic

    guzzirelic Been here awhile

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    Yes he did. Way back I posted a couple of photos as we lined up the second down tube to match the first bend we did.
    And yes, I was surprised that this type of bender had that capability. But it worked great. Nice and slow and controllable.
    It wasn't hard at all to get the two exactly the same.

    For the swing arm bend he took the tubing to a hydraulic specialty shop as the the bend required was too small a radius for his bender.

    Ken
    #59
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  20. storch

    storch Been here awhile

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    Thanks for reply.Nobody in my location(Nanaimo) was going to do the bend,had to go to Vancouver.[​IMG]
    #60