Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

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nozila
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Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2013 5:41 pm

Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by nozila » Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:40 am

want to make some extra cash on side for your welding skills? :D

amazing work your doing. wish I could do the same.

gsand
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by gsand » Mon Sep 30, 2013 6:25 pm

Nozilla, Thanks. I use a MIG with no gas and fluxcore wire, it is less than ideal but it's what I got. The welds require lots of cleanup and splatter is guaranteed. The welds dress up okay with a flap disc - but there's a reason I haven't posted a picture of the underside :oops: :oops: :oops: This welds on the underside are purely structural and had no requirement to look pretty.

Prof, Neat idea - however I'm going to stick with the external type for two reasons- I'm using the cubbyhole inside the cowl as storage for some bits and pieces and want to maximise the space. Also drainage when it's raining, It's just easier to weld them to the outside. If using a 5/8 round sissy bar, probably 5-700mm (unsure yet), do you think 1.6mm would be strong enough to bend around into a U-shaped pocket? Just like on the original design Neo posted previously, they don't look too thick at all. Length would be comparable to an original design. I also considered using 30x6 flat bar as a sissy bar and making rectangular pockets out of square section.

All part of the fun hey.

Prof
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Prof » Mon Sep 30, 2013 7:48 pm

I'd definitely go 2mm wall... especially with the loads you like to carry! Seriously, 1.6 will tend to tear and pull out of shape over time.

An alternative is to use some close fitting tube. You can use something slightly larger diameter and slit it and squeeze it in a bit. Tack it to the body and then weld a couple of narrow pieces up each side.

You could also use the tube without the side pieces and plug weld every inch or so from inside the body... you would need to be confident of your welding.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

gsand
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by gsand » Fri Oct 11, 2013 9:14 pm

Well we got a long overdue update guys!!

Been madly working away and finished the rear fender. All that's left to do is make the seat to match it, and do a taller, stainless sissybar.

Taking of from where we left off, I got had a good idea for the sissy bar pockets. I grabbed an old pair of 7/8" handlebars that had plenty of wall thickness, and cut them straight through the bend. This gave me a smooth surface to mount up to the sides of the fender. The ID of the tube was too large for 5/8" stock which the sissybar is made of, so I cut a slot down the inside. After working up and down and squeezing at various angles to avoid ovalising them, they were a perfect slip fit over 5/8" bar. Before I welded them on I also removed all the chrome with a flapdisc.

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To get everything lined up I bent a temporary sissybar out of some 5/8" Mild steel. This will be replaced with a polished stainless job and probably a bit taller too. This is all bent by hand in a vice without any heat, just by using some thick wall tube that is a close fit over the bar while bending - to keep the bend where you want it.

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Here you see the pockets welded on. When I positioned them up for a test fit, I got a bit keen - tacked em on and then just went for it without putting too much thought into it. In hindsight I would have liked to weld them up a few inches higher, to keep a larger gap between the bottom of the pockets and the beading on the edge. Too late now - at least both sides match!!

You can see that I didn't weld the bottom where it blends into the side plates. There are two huge beads of weld the whole length of the tube, It didn't need any more. Welding this area would just mean I'd have to grind it all back very well to achieve a smooth finish at the end.

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Gave the whole shebang a blast of some primer to give the body filler something to stick to. I don't know if this is the correct way, but I've found it works best for me.

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Then I gobbed some body filler on to it. This is actually the second application of filler, after sanding back the first time I had a few holes to fix up, plus smooth around the front mounting points.

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I missed a few pictures here, but it's nothing new - sanding filler has got to be one of the worst jobs around.

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Skipping some more steps - I painted it with some Dulux rattle cans. I don't really believe in really nice paint jobs - we use our bikes too much to worry about that. The first time I strap me camping gear or some swapmeet finds to the back, "nice" paint will be buggered anyway. Despite this, it's surprising how nice of a job you can get from basic materials. The whole thing was done with 2 cans of Dulux quickdry, no preparation at all. It has a nice sheen to it, but there are a few spots of filler that really show up - Just more attention I should have put into the sanding process. Oh well - Doesn't bother me! The sissybar pockets did however come up a treat and there is no sign of where they mold into the sides of the fender.

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Well, we can't come this far without putting it on the bike. After 2 days the paint is dry and able to be handled, but it is still very soft. So I present to you...

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What's next of course is for the oil tank to get bolted in. Err, wait, ummm... You can't get the oil tank around the frame rails with the fender bolted in place. It all fits in there, you just can't GET it in there!! So either the fender has to come off, or I make another oil tank that is more practical for day to day use. To be honest this oil tank has caused me alot of issues and I'm thinking of replacing it with a "round" oil tank - but we'll see. :oops: :oops: :oops:
If I were to make another one, I would do things differently. Its a possibility, but it is a heap of work. The main thing I'd do is make it wider. There is just enough clearance under each side for a 5.00x16 Avon. There is no way I'd be able to run a modern type 16". This isn't a big issue as I will always use the skinnier Avon, but if you need to replace a tyre in an emergency on the road, it'll be tough finding one. Also the sissy bar pockets, after I welded them their position really was bugging me. After molding them in and painting them, it isn't as noticeable so I can live with it. I'd definately move them up a few inches though given the chance.

While I'm here typing away, here's a few other little pics of stuff.

I finished and painted my headlight mounts. The top mount was fine but I remade the lower mount because I couldn't get enough angle into the first mount. Sorry for the blurry picture but it is a piece of 4mm plate between the tree pinch bolts, and some 10mm flat bar stuck to the front of it.

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Also here is the smooth (no holes) early speedo cover for twin tanks. I'm still not entirely happy with running the twin tanks, but It's what I've got for now and they offer good range. Since I'm not running any lights or switches in this area, the standard cast dash is silly, not to mention ugly. These are a copy of the knuck/pan dash covers but without any of the holes cut into em. The shape of the early tanks is different to Shovel tanks though so the bottom needs to be trimmed to suit. The bezel of the speedometer should just sit proud of the dash cover so there is a bit to trim down.. I also made a speedo cable to use the standard HD speedo with the speedo drive from my Yamaha front wheel. I used a speedo cable from a Valiant that used the same threads at the speedo end, and then replaced the bottom of the cable to suit the drive in the wheel hub.

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That's all for now folks!!!

xsive
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by xsive » Fri Oct 11, 2013 10:40 pm

coming along well ...perhaps a couple of small holes under the guard where the bend are welded will prevent water build up ?
IM NOT CRAZY ITS JUST OTHER PEOPLES PERCEPTION OF MY NORMALITY THAT DIFFERS

Neo Dutch
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Neo Dutch » Sat Oct 12, 2013 12:05 pm

gsand wrote:Gave the whole shebang a blast of some primer to give the body filler something to stick to. I don't know if this is the correct way, but I've found it works best for me.
Looks good. Probably better than a bought one.

On a technical note, bog is designed to go onto bare metal to work best.
Don't let your luggage define your travels.

Youngblood
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Youngblood » Sat Oct 12, 2013 11:12 pm

On a technical note, bog is designed to go onto bare metal to work best.
I know a few panel beater / spray painters that would disagree with that comment. I've had a few lessons from a couple of them and they seal the metal of first with a 2 pack Hi build primer filler before applying bog. I'm no expert but they are and that's what they're teaching me. However they told me the old way was to put the bog straight onto the metal. :)
Youngblood

Neo Dutch
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Neo Dutch » Sun Oct 13, 2013 11:52 am

The key here being "2-pack high build primer". Paint chemistry has changed but bog is still the same.
Don't let your luggage define your travels.

Prof
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Prof » Sun Oct 13, 2013 2:20 pm

Hey Victor. Was looking at those springer pics you sent. On your bike, are you going to do upsweeps and a decorative sissy bar. I reckon they would look the part!
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

gsand
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Interests: Riding bikes.

Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by gsand » Sun Oct 13, 2013 8:53 pm

Prof I got a secret in store for the pipes!!

Time for another long post guys...

Spent Saturday down in working with Prof in The Chopper Shed. I wanted to make some thumbscrews for my Keihin Butterfly carburettor that I'm using. The right fuel tank sits right on top of the carburetor so ordinarily any tuning involves removing the tank. Knobs however are able to be reached and turned by hand - so you can fine tune the bike without pulling the whole thing to pieces! Here is the result. The larger knob is the idle speed adjustment. This was a large thumbscrew that was turned down on one end, and then expertly braze welded by Prof onto the stock adjustment screw. Works a real treat.

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The second one was a bit trickier, and took 3 attempts at making the knob - but we were only given one chance with the needle... This is the idle mixture adjustment, a brass needle that is right at the back of the carburetor, recessed into the carb body and normally has a flat head slot on the top of it. Very carefully the screw head on the needle was turned down, and a 2.5mm hole was drilled part way in. The knob was also a thumbscrew that was turned down. I turned the shaft to allow a permanent press fit into the needle without damaging it. This also worked well, but took 3 thumbscrews to get it right. I turned town the head on it as thin as possible to put minimum weight on the brittle brass. It operates perfectly.

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The third carburetor part we made was a throttle cable clamp that slots into the carburetors throttle wheel. I didn't get pictures but I'll get one when I can. This allows me to use a straight end cable,, just feed it through the hole and then tighten down the locking screw. No lead ends to worry about, no worries about having to get a throttle cable that fits or custom made from somewhere... I make my throttle cables from tandem bicycle brake cable. $10 will set you up for a throttle cable about 2.5 metres long!

After all that was done, I started poking around the depths of the Chopper Shed and seeing what I could find. After getting frustrated with my oil tank I decided I to make a new one this weekend- while it was hot on my mind and I had the motivation. Of course Prof has just the thing - a shelf full of different size fire extinguishers.

These were the two candidates, but it came down to their capacity. I originally was going to use the left one. It holds approximately the same capacity as the standard Shovelhead oil tank. However it was too wide for the frame, so after narrowing it the capacity is starting to get a bit low. Next size up, the diameter is larger and of course the volume is hugely increased.

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It too was very wide for the frame - soon fixed by slicing 2" out of the centre, but with the extra volume of this one there is still plenty of oil capacity. The joint where I cut it open will be the last thing to weld. Leaving one end open allows in inspect the inside of the tank while you are doing the fittings and filler neck.

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So we need some way of getting oil into this thing. Prof provided me with this length of tube that was the closest thing we could find to hold a stock Harley dipstick. However it was still too large in diamater so I cut a slit down the length of it and started working it around in the vice to get a very firm fit of the dipstick. I cut one end at an angle so I could offer it up to the oil tank. Once its in the position you want, draw the filler neck and you have, roughly, the hole you need to cut out.

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Again this was done by drilling holes around the area then filing smooth.
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Filler tacked on
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Then I ground off all the powdercoat with a paint remover disc on the angle grinder. Messy job....

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With that done for now, I got to work on mounting it to the frame. The problem I had with my horseshoe oil tank was mostly bad design, it was really hard to get in and out of the frame - and impossible to do with the rear guard bolted on. That's when I remembered about the coil mounting lugs on the left side of the seatpost. It's such a simple idea I cannot believe I never considered this before. There are two blocks welded to the frame that have a 3/8 fine thread in em. Studs come out of here that mount the ignition coil in stock form. Why HD chose 3/8 threads just to hold the coil is strange, but they are gonna work real good for me!!

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Working out where I want it to sit

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Bracket cut out of 3mm sheet
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And the oil tank just tacked on for mocking up purposes. You can see my drawings on the bracket - Just some ideas to dress it up a bit..

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Going to mount the battery behind the tank in it's own little box. Cut out some sideplates from 3mm again to start the basis of the battery box.

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Something like this... Before I start welding this end I'm going to bust out the holesaw on the battery box plates, both to lighten them and provide airflow to the battery.
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Here is roughly where the battery is going to sit. I'm going to make a little "table" to weld on top of the oil tank - where my fuses/distribution block will sit. The fuse block pictured is similar to what I'm going to use except with blade fuses.

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That's if for this weekend, Hope to get back at it some evenings this week.

Last pic before I'm off... Rear light and plate mounted up to the rear end. My nice paintjob lasted a few days atleast, it's already starting to get beaten up :D

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Prof
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Prof » Mon Oct 14, 2013 2:12 pm

All looking nice and simple. Battery looks a tight fit... if too tight you could hammer in a curve in at the front to allow the tank to be moved further forwards against the seat post.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

Bearcx
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Bearcx » Mon Oct 14, 2013 5:05 pm

Hammer a curve in a battery.?? I'd pay money to see that.. :lol:
The brave may not live long, but, the cautious do not live at all.

Cromag
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Cromag » Mon Oct 14, 2013 6:19 pm

Lovin your work!
Does not work or play well with others
Loud pipes save lives
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Prof
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by Prof » Mon Oct 14, 2013 8:47 pm

Just looking through your post again and would suggest a third bolt to the right side clutch cable mount. I think it necessary because there will be a fair amount of weight swinging on those two bolts and using them as a hinge... same principle as welding... a bracket welded on just one plane may be broken off with enough leverage, but be immovable if welded on the opposite side.
Chopit'nrideit... Prof

gsand
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Re: Shovelhead chopper rebuild. Picture intensive!

Post by gsand » Mon Oct 14, 2013 9:53 pm

Prof only the front mount is just done for now, but I am going to add some triangular gussets behind it to the oil tank. Once the battery box is welded up it will form the rest of the structure, then the whole arrangement bolted up with two 3/8 bolts to the plate I've welded to behind the cross-tube under the seat. You can see the mount in the pictures. I can ensure that fitting and removal of this oil tank will be a breeze!

In regards to battery box size, The battery I plan on using will go in and out of the frame easily. The battery box will be large enough to accept a more common size battery if the emergency arises, but will require a bit of fiddling.

Thanks for the comments guys!

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