Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Today I started on the new swingarm. I used 2 inch, 1/8 wall mild steel tubing. It was a tiny bit off from the stuff BH uses. I had to take a few thousandths off of the slider blocks before they would fit inside. Thanks to my trusty old 1925 Dalton lathe/mill combo machine, everything went charmingly. Tomorrow I'll do it again. I may be up on two wheels by this weekend. There is still the clutch and final drive issues, but I'll address those later. So far it is fun since there have been no problems that weren't easy to solve.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
In the past few days, I have tacked in the extended swingarm mounts and cut out a rear mount/crossmember. The crossmember will bolt to the rear of the Ranger where it bolts to the Curtis. I will weld ears to the frame to bolt the crossmember onto so the entire thing will drop out. This will make splitting the frame easier later on. To those that may have noticed the pitted appearence of the new crossmember, this is due to my being a scrounger and a tightwad. It's a piece of 1/2 plate that was part of a target at the shooting range at the jail, where I work. A little flat black and you'll never notice the bullet holes.
I picked up the square tubing for the new swingarm today, so as soon as the welding is done on the frame, I will start building the arm. It will be a shortened version of the stock item with a few changes to keep the wheelbase as short as possible
So far, so good. Minimal bloodshed, no hurling of tools/parts, one minor temper tantrum when I realized I had built two identical swingarm mounts. They should be mirror images. DOH !!!!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Earlier this week, Monday to be exact I received the Curtis gearbox. With 90% or so of the needed parts and lousy weather, I decided it's now or never. Wednesday and Thursday evening were spent splitting the frame and yanking out the Nesco. No big deal. Everything came apart nicely. I bolted the Curtis to the Ranger and stuck the assembly on the bellhousing and bolted everything to the block. There is no clutch, yet. Everything is a mockup at this stage.
Using three Sawzall blades I amputated the rear crossmember. I coulda used the smoke wrench, but I figured I may be able to reuse it and didn't want to booger it up too much. Waste of time. It won't fit the reconfigured swingarm mounting plates. Chucked it in the weeds. Buh Bye.
The new plates for the swingarm were cut from 1/2 plate. I picked up two 3/4 inch four bolt flange mount bearings from Grainger. Appropriate holes were drilled in the plates and the bearings bolted in place. I was a bit dissapointed that the housings for the bearings are die cast. They are rated for around 3000 lbs (I forget exactly). I'll be keeping a close eye on them. If they give me any grief, Browning and others make them with a cast iron housing. I may go ahead and change them out anyway before I put it back on the road. These will be good for the time being.
Tomorrow I will weld up the plates and work on the crossmember. I hope to have the mounts all done and good before next weekend. I'll be fabbing a new swingarm after that. By the time I get through cutting and modifying the old one, I could just go ahead and build one from scratch.
So far, it all looks good. Everything fits as well or better than expected. The bike will end up less than 2 inches longer than stock, about 50 lbs heavier and I'll be able to hammer the crap out of it in first and second. Whooo Hooo