Now that it's almost finished...

Discussion in 'Battle Scooters' started by Bueller, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin? Super Supporter

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    ...I thought I would pass along some info about installing a cozy sidecar on a Stella.

    A few weeks ago I posted some pics about my progress here. Since I didn't really have any pictures or decent instructions I put the remainder of the project on hold when I found out the rear brake lever wouldn't clear the sidecar mounting bracket. Originally I thought I would grind away part of the brake lever so it would clear, but it is cast aluminum and probably isn't very strong so I decided I would have to modify the sidecar bracket instead. It took me a while to get ahold of the right people to find out what they were doing to get around the problem, and some additional time to figure out exactly what hardware I wanted to use and what changes I wanted to make. Now that I've done it I thought I'd pass along a few notes for anyone considering installing a sidecar.

    It's no secret that the welding and machining on Indian manufactured vehicles isn't an exact science. Sure, it's adequate, but less than most of us who work on Japanese, American, or European vehicles might be accustomed to. This alone can cause a myriad of installation problems. If you want to attempt to install a Cozy sidecar on a Stella you'd better have reasonably good mechanical aptitude, a good understanding of the geometric relationship between the sidecar and the scooter, a lot of time, and a lot of patience.

    Although the bracket that comes with the sidecar is supposed to bolt right up and fit properly, that is somewhat less than accurate. The top of the sidecar bracket that bolts to the underside of the scooter has to be ground down to clear the ribs of the scooter chassis. Once I had modified it and installed it I found it wouldn't let the rear brake arm return to it's at rest position, which made the brake light stay on all of the time. To make matters even worse, the manufacturer supplied a bolt with a shaved down bolt head that was intended to fasten the right front corner of the sidecar bracket to the scooter body while supposedly leaving enough room for the brake lever. These people couldn't hit water if they fell out of a boat! Even without the bolt installed the brake lever would not clear the bracket. I called a couple of Stella dealers to find out if I'd done something wrong or if they were even aware of the issue. One dealer was not, the other knew exactly what I was talking about. He confirmed my suspicions that I was was going to have to modify the bracket to make it all work. I had to cut a section out of the bracket to clear the brake pedal arm. Then I had to grind the thickness of the end of the bracket down, and finally I tossed the bolt supplied in the kit and replaced it with a countersunk allen head bolt. I drilled the bolt hole in the bracket just enough to bevel the bolt hole so it would match the countersink angle of the bolt. Here are the results:

    This pic is taken from the front right underside of the scooter. You can see where I have cut the bracket out right next to the brake lever.

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    Here is a view with the brake lever depressed, showing the countersunk allen head bolt:

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    The brake lever in it's "at rest" position:

    [​IMG]

    Another view:

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    In this pic you can make out the grind marks on the face of the bracket where I had to grind it to make it thinner. I still have to paint it.

    [​IMG]

    All of the mods were done with the bracket attached to the scooter which made it considerably more difficult. But in doing it that way I was able to make sure the cuts I made and the holes I drilled would all line up. I can't imagine there'd be anything much worse than realizing you've just drilled a 5/16' hole through the body of your scooter in the wrong location :eek1

    Here's what it looks like now

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    [​IMG]

    All that is left is wiring the light on the sidecar fender and setting the toe-in, which I'll do once the weather warms up and it leaves the living room.

    If you are considering a hack for your Stella and this looks like a lot of work, trust me when I tell you it is. If you're not sure you're up to the task you probably aren't. Having been a professional wrench for 20 years when asked by a customer if they could do a certain task I usually told them to give it a try because most of the time they weren't going to break anything that I couldn't fix if they got in over their head. This isn't one of those situations. If you drill the holes incorrectly you are screwed! It will require a trip to a welder and paint work to straighten out any mistakes. If you aren't sure about doing it yourself you might want to play it safe and pay the 8 hours of labor the Stella dealers are getting to install a hack.

    Although it was a pain in the ass I still think the end result will be worth it!
    #1
  2. Willyz

    Willyz Grasshoppa.....

    Joined:
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    So how do you get it out of the living room?? Double doors?

    Doh!

    Seriously, it looks great. They had a blurple one with the sidecar at the Indy dealer show last weekend. It had the Ipod kit installed on the glove box door. It was pretty dang slick.

    Will I be the first AdvRider with a Stella dealership?? :augie

    BK
    Little Apple
    #2
  3. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin? Super Supporter

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    Yep, I saw the same one at the dealer expo in Indy last weekend. I was also able to see that the windshield on their display unit was just as scratched up as the one that came with my sidecar. I was going to return it, but since it looks like there are others like that I suppose I'll just polish it. I won't be using it that much anyway.
    #3
  4. familyman

    familyman I have bad ideas

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    Did you notice if the one at the dealer expo has the same 'modifications' as yours to make it work? Just curious if this is a design flaw or a quality controll issue.
    #4
  5. Bueller

    Bueller Cashin? Super Supporter

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    Although not exactly the same, the modifications were similar. It is both a design flaw and a quality control issue. It is wrong by design, but the amount of grinding and modifying required probably varies from one unit to the next. As I described in my first post I don't think these things are built with a great degree of accuracy.
    #5