Wednesday, July 14, 2010

LePera Seat and Plans

So I've kind of been in a holding pattern waiting for the funds to buy the seat I wanted for my scooter. I decided I was sick of waiting and sold some stuff on eBay that I had just sitting around collecting dust and raised the cash in just a few days

New seat is the LePera Bare Bones model LN-002. No biker gel. Low, thin and mean looking.

Plans now are to rig up this rear fender (in bobbed fashion) along with bending a custom sissy bar out of some stainless steel rod that I bought a while back from these guys.

The fender will be attached to the swingarm under the oil tank and then via the sissy bar too which'll mount to welded on tabs on the swingarm near the rear axle. That'll let the fender move up and down with the swingarm and rear wheel, independent of the frame, so I can drop the fender real low and close to the tire (the look that I'm shooting for).

After that I'll need to figure out taillight and license plate mounting.

Cross that bridge when I come to it, though.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Wiring, paint and a new headlight

With the arrival of warmer weather came motivation to tear into my shovel. She's apart right now in preparation to get new wiring, some paint and a brand new headlight.

Some of the previous owners wiring was frightening. Mostly crimped connections, some of which were failing, lots of splices and electrical tape. The new wiring will include all soldered connections secured and sealed with heat-shrink tubing.

While I'm into the wiring I'll be dumping all controls from the bars including the turn signals, cutoff switch (never worked anyway), horn and hi/low. I might mount a switch on the new headlight for the hi beam.

I never liked the Low Rider 'eyebrow' style headlight; it reminds me of a dirt bike. So, lighting the way is a new, halogen 6.5'' Wide Glide-style headlight with the bottom, bates-style mount. A nice new drill bit and my trusty 18v Dewalt made short work of the lower tree and cover. I replaced the bolt that came with the headlight and opted for a allen head one because of the narrow space in which it seats from under the lower tree (woulda been hard to get a socket on a normal bolt).

I'm doing some painting while everything is apart, too. Front and rear fender are getting gloss black, cam cone and oil pump are getting either flat or wrinkle black.

Got some other odds and ends, too. I'll post pics once it's all back together.

Friday, February 19, 2010

A long, cold winter.

It's been a long, cold winter here in northern Indiana and I've done no work on the Shovel. Lately, though, the sun has peeking it's head out between the clouds and it occasionally happens long enough that some of the snow melts away and you can see green grass and black pavement. On those days, I daydream about tooling around town and wrenching in the garage.

I think I'll Netflix Easy Rider this weekend. I've never seen it, but it looks like it'll be good motivation and a nice distraction from these last weeks of winter we have left.

I've heard that the weather allows for some riding in March.

I'm looking forward to it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Peotone Motorcycle Swap Meet

Heading to the Peotone Motorcycle Swap Meet & Parts Expo tomorrow. I've heard they have a good selection of new and used Harley parts so I'm pretty excited.

I'll possibly be looking for a new oil tank, a low profile single seat, a new dash and some other odds and ends.

We're going to Giordano's for lunch afterwords so even if the Swap Meet is a bust, we get some good pizza.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nasty leak from the oil tank cap

So since doing all that work to the lube system I've developed a pretty bad leak from the oil tank cap when she's running. There's a cork seal inside the cap itself and I'm sure it needs replacing. Just not sure why it'd go from seemingly not leaking before all the work to basically a steady stream now.

Ah well, I'm sure a new seal will fix it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lean and mean

I've gotten lots done on the Low Rider over the last few days.

The oil bag cleaned up real nice. The paint was pretty scuffed and chipped so I decided to sand it down and spray paint it. It's only a temporary fix as I plan on getting a new, horseshoe style tank once money isn't so tight.

I went with a metallic gray looking color for the tank (but I'll be damned, I didn't get pics) and it turned out pretty sharp. I like the color so much that I'll likely end up considering it for the rest of the tins when I finally get around to them.

The Harley shop here in Michigan City ended up having the main gasket for my primary in stock which was an awesome surprise. They usually look at ya pretty funny when you tell 'em you're riding a shovel.

I picked up some Permatex (Hylomar) gasket sealer, cleaned all the surfaces where the primary cover and housing meet with some carb cleaner and elbow grease, used the sealer to "glue" the gasket to the primary cover and then put her all back together. Added ATF to the primary and checked for leaks... nada yet.

I decided not to pull the whole primary off and opted to just shorten and plug the return and the vent hoses with small bolts. They're basically hidden under the bike so it's not like it causes an eyesore. I'll do 'em up right when I do pull the primary (most likely this winter).

I did end up pulling the oil pump, though, to plug the stuff on that side proper. The tip on to plug the primary-case return using a brass plumbing plug worked perfectly. I picked the plug up from Lowes for like 89 cents. I snapped off the supply nipple with a pair of pliers and tapped it for a small machine screw. It's leaking from there some while she's running so I may tap it again slightly larger and maybe use some teflon tape on the threads.

I ditched the oil cooler which came stock on the '79 Low Rider but from all accounts really isn't necessary. Between getting rid of the hoses for that and getting rid of the hoses for lubing the primary, the bike looks leaner and meaner already.

Once I had her all back together with the new oil lines run I did a 5-quart oil change. Added 4 quarts to the bike, pulled the return hose and let it pump into an oil pan. Ran her until most of the old crude pumped out, shut it down and refilled the oil to the proper level.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Oil and stuff

I drained the oil this evening and pulled the oil bag to give it a good cleaning. Judging solely from the shit that was caked to the outside I'd guess it's never been done. I'm going to give it a good gas-bath in the next few days to break up some of the sludge that's built up inside over the last 30 years.

I picked up some oil hose in anticipation of running all new lines. What better time than when I have it drained? I'm also planning on simplifying the oil system some by removing the cooler and sealing my primary.

In most (or all??) stock shovelheads, the primary chain is lubed by the engine oil inside an enclosed "outer primary" which houses the chain and clutch plates. When oil leaves the primary enclosure, it's dumped directly back into the motor without being filtered, carrying along with it any contaminants from the chain or clutch plates (metal shavings, clutch dust, etc). That shit can be bad news for the life expectancy of the motor.

By removing select supply and return oil lines and plugging fittings, you can isolate the primary from the rest of the oil system and "seal it up". You give it a bath of it's own lubrication (I'll likely end up using normal old transmission fluid so I can spot leaks easily) and... problem solved!

Pics and progress updates soon...