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Old 10-14-2009, 07:19 AM   #751
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stagehand
Hey! I just met a dude from Athens on the road crew for Lucinda Williams that has a PD and knows Nate really well. You probably know him too, for that matter. I forget his name because I'm an idiot, but I'm sure if you asked Nate who the PD riding guitar tech is he could tell you. Small world, except for the six degrees of separation.
Thats Dewit Burton.. Also of REM fame.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:45 AM   #752
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Originally Posted by hardwaregrrl
Thats Dewit Burton.. Also of REM fame.
hey hey whatdoyaknow! small world. Funny circles.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:00 PM   #753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoodsoil
anybody wanna go to Alaska next summer? I'm planning on leaving some time between May and July.

11,000 miles from here in Georgia. I'm planning on 6 weeks with a 5 day stop in Yellowstone and Denali. average 350 miles a day. About $2,000(I sleep in the woods and cook). Oughta be a cakewalk compared to Central America.
Hey, do you want to pre-stage spare electronics and trannies at every-other-state on your path? If so, better start the logistics now. A new motto: "A Pair of Points In Every Time Zone".

I went to Alaska a few years ago (2006) for 6 weeks and loved it. Not on the bike, but had a great time. Would be glad to help with any planning. To be honest, I loved my time in BC, Yukon, and NW Territories in Canada 3x as much as Alaska. I know lots of great roads up and back.

T.
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Old 10-14-2009, 01:51 PM   #754
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there shouldn't be any electronics issues. I drank the Kool-Aid:

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Old 10-19-2009, 06:22 PM   #755
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New Project!

I mounted some extra lights on the crashbar last year with u-bolts and L-brackets.



It worked okay but it looked rigged. Now I got a welder so I can get a bit fancy with it.

I got some flat stock and drilled some holes in it with a hole saw to get a rounded end




4 brackets made:



On to the fun part!


You can see the splatter that the flux core is famous for.





Yeah, the welds are ugly but hey I'm new at this. give a guy a break



I tried to knock off most of the spatter with a dremel but the paint really shows up what I missed. This is the bottom, I got the tops nice and smooth. You know, it's all about the looks







All's well that ends well

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Old 10-20-2009, 07:27 AM   #756
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Success? They are butch? Looks like pretty good penetration.

SPeaking of electronics, are you disconnecting anything from the bike, like the battery or the ECU or anything, before welding?
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Old 10-20-2009, 10:47 AM   #757
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I remember reading somewhere to disconnect the negative leads that go to the frame so I went ahead and disconnected the battery entirely. I did that when I pulled my steering head races and nothing fried. I also made sure to have the clamp close to the weld area. I could see it frying something if the ground clamp was on the other side of the bike with all your electronics in between.

What's the danger with all that? Can I really mess things up welding? I'm just guessing.

The welds are plenty strong but since they're so short they don't look good. I can make a long weld look pretty good but it always take me a second to adjust once the solar lens gets dark so the first 1/2" is always a bit erratic.

Having nice clean crash bars really points out how incredibly dirty my bike is. My alternator cover is black but it looked like the same color as the rest of the engine. Black engine parts definitely show dirt a lot more than silver.
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Old 10-21-2009, 09:58 AM   #758
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoodsoil

Having nice clean crash bars really points out how incredibly dirty my bike is. My alternator cover is black but it looked like the same color as the rest of the engine. Black engine parts definitely show dirt a lot more than silver.
Your harley inclinations are shining through.
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Old 10-21-2009, 10:02 AM   #759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bgoodsoil
I remember reading somewhere to disconnect the negative leads that go to the frame so I went ahead and disconnected the battery entirely. I did that when I pulled my steering head races and nothing fried. I also made sure to have the clamp close to the weld area. I could see it frying something if the ground clamp was on the other side of the bike with all your electronics in between.

What's the danger with all that? Can I really mess things up welding? I'm just guessing.

The welds are plenty strong but since they're so short they don't look good. I can make a long weld look pretty good but it always take me a second to adjust once the solar lens gets dark so the first 1/2" is always a bit erratic.

Having nice clean crash bars really points out how incredibly dirty my bike is. My alternator cover is black but it looked like the same color as the rest of the engine. Black engine parts definitely show dirt a lot more than silver.
I'm impressed, regardless. I need to break out my welder and start just DOING it.
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Old 12-08-2009, 08:18 AM   #760
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Courtesy addition to an un-necessarily long thread.






..........................See, we do pay attention!
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:17 AM   #761
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ha! thanks!

I was going to wait until I was done to post this but it's raining and I don't feel like going to get my last piece of steel. So, here goes...

new project!

The racks for my Jesses disintegrated on my trip down south. They're made from 18 gauge steel with no supports.

talk about burning the candle at both ends! I got real close to losing this box.




The bolts went into the boxes right at the corners so they had no washers. By the time I saw this it was too late.


I ran ropes down to hold up the weight. It got me home.



notice the rack in this picture. See how it stops about halfway down the box? It's hard to see but the rack stops to left of the rope on the right. It's the same on the other side. The racks only support the front half of the boxes. the back half is swinging in the wind. The crossover on the back connects the two boxes but doesn't go up to the frame. This is beyond stupid.

I think Al Jesse owes me an apology for these racks. It made me a nervous wreck thinking my boxes were going to fall off on a bumpy road. They were built for a G/S and I didn't do anything that you wouldn't expect a person to do on a G/S.

I had a few things I wanted out of my racks:

-more strength. The original racks didn't have braces that go down to the main frame.

-ease of removal. Originally it took 3 wrenches and a ratchet to get these things off

-a place for my trunk. I ran a bracket down to the boxes before and so had to unbolt it to remove the boxes.

-stronger backings for the bolts going into the boxes.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:29 AM   #762
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I started off building the central support for the racks. This runs behind the tabs that hang off the bottom of the subframe.

1x4" x 1" flat stock. The crossover is welded on the right, bolted on the left so that I can pull it apart in pieces. The trunk will rest on the top of the crossover.



Okay, not all the welds look like this. The flux core welder throws a lot of slag so they usually have little balls of steel on them. This one was exposed enough not to catch any of the spatter.



Sorry for the grainy photos. I'm having to use my video camera and it doesn't work well in low light.



You can see another crossover in front of the box. This ties in to the tabs that the fender mounts on so that some of the weight is supported by them instead of the main sub-frame tabs that are so famous for breaking.

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Old 12-08-2009, 10:34 AM   #763
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The reason why building these racks is such a complicated process is because the backs of the boxes are not flat like other boxes. The left has clearance for the exhaust, the right has clearance for the swingarm.

The left box with my new rack fitted in. Notice how my rack supports the entire 20" of the box.


The right side. Those holes in the top are where the box mounted. Somebody drilled it wrong so it had 2 right next to each other. Again, right next to an edge so that a big washer couldn't be fitted. There's one more hole at the very front. The back had no support.
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Old 12-08-2009, 10:43 AM   #764
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For the right side rack I used a plate of 16 gauge steel. The 16 gauge is plenty strong. Believe me, I don't want to do this twice.



I made the ledge out of 2" angle iron because it happened to fit perfectly. Cutting this steel takes forever.


I also ran a 1/4" thick bar between those two braces at the bottom and welded in a triangle gusset at the top where they meet.

I welded in another 2" piece of angle at the back. The bolts that go into the box will go through these pieces at the front and the back but the weight of the box should actually be resting on the ledge. The bolts are only there to keep the box in place. tack welded and test-fitted. everything lines up perfectly. little did I know....


then I hit a snag. I tack welded everything together on the back of the box. I mounted it to the bike and set the box in it. Everything fit great. So I pulled it off to do the full welds. When I mounted it up afterwards the racks had shrunk 1/16" of an inch. poop!

I knew that welding warped steel, heck I've used it to pull bearing races, but I didn't think it would make a big difference here. I guess I shouldn't have made it so tight. I ended up having to cut the rack down the middle and weld in a joint on the back.



Here's a pic with the 1/4" bar that goes down to the frame. I lifted up a bit on the rack before welding it in so I know weight is being supported here. 1/4" x 1" flat stock is SOLID. If I can't bend it across my knee it'll be stout enough for my supports.


I was having a blast building these racks. It'd get late, I'd clean up and try to go to sleep....then something would pop in my head and I'd rush off to the garage in my pajamas.

My roomate had a party on a weekend that I was gone. I came back to find cases of every kinda cheap beer you can imagine. Natty light, Coors light, Bud light--you name it. I spent most of this project guzzling huge amounts of crappy beer, stumbling around with a welder in my hand. It might explain why my first rack ended up short!

Good times in the garage:

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Old 12-08-2009, 11:01 AM   #765
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The left side rack is a 1-1/2" angle with 4 1/4" x 1" flat tabs sticking out. I'm going to put a piece of sheet metal across the top to spread the load out and another on the side but that one's mainly for looks.


I planned on running braces from the middle tabs down to those two pieces that dangle down but even the way it is right now I can't get those dangling parts to flex no matter how hard I squeeze on them. This may be a comment on how puny my arms are rather than how robust the rack is I may run the braces. If I have enough steel left over I'll think about it.

I ran a bar down to the frame instead of using the exhaust pipe like the old boxes. a big advantage of running the forward brace to the frame is that it protects the ankle of a passenger. The left footpeg is mounted on the exhaust.

note: the rack isn't mounted. I sat in on the muffler for the pictures



I had to go back to the stock exhaust. The Sito is too fat at the back. I put the final welds on this last week so it hasn't gotten paint yet. I rode up to NC and did some bumpy dirt roads with the boxes loaded and nothing moved.


The dangley bit at the back is there to provide for a crossover. The original setup had a bar that went from box to box with a small 6m bolt going to the aluminum of the boxes. in the corner. with no washer. Yep, it ripped a hole through the aluminum there too. Mine has a crossover that goes from rack to rack so when I pull the boxes that crossover bar doesn't have to be removed.


When I get the sheet metal to cover the left side rack I'm going to cut big flat pieces to use as a backing to all the bolt holes. I'm going to JB weld them to the insides of the boxes. My bolt holes are close to the old bolt holes so I'll fill them in with the JB weld and sand it flat on the outside like bondo. I'll also weld nuts to the metal so that I only need one wrench to remove the bolts and the boxes. I may weld big butterflies to the bolts and see if I can get it toolless but I've seen how much vibration from a bumpy road can back out bolts and I don't think it's going to work.

But as of right now I'd say 'so far, so good'

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bgoodsoil screwed with this post 12-08-2009 at 04:44 PM
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