Tuesday, April 28, 2009

If Yer Gonna Spew, Spew Into This.

Quote from "Wayne's World"
At the advise of another rider, I ordered this overflow or "puke" can for my radiator. The price was right and I needed one since I loose a bit of coolant during the hot months. It was suggested that a couple of billet clamps could be ordered to fit the crashbars that have holes that fit the can. I circumvented the clamps for a couple of reasons. I'm not a huge billet fan, I want to keep it simple and, of course, I'm a cheapwad. I simply drilled two 3/8 holes in the crashbar, installed nutserts and bolted it up using the, supplied, angle brackets. Again, clean and simple..............and CHEEEEP!

Friday, April 17, 2009

My Odyssey

No, it ain't "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?", just a new battery. I've been wanting to try one of these for a while. A friend has one in his 502 and has had no problems. It came with a couple of cheesy "L" shaped adapters to convert it to side post cables. They received a quick course at Captain La Fong's School of Aeronautics. Yup, the ol' flying lesson. I took the side mount cables and cut away all of the plastic and tossed the little bolts also. This left me with a small mounting tab. I cut the end of the tab off where the original hole was. This left enough remaining tab to drill a 1/4 hole. I covered most of the tab with shrink tube and bolted the cables to the battery with the supplied bolts. Nice and tidy. Using the "L" brackets that they sent would have worked, but there is no need for them and they only add more areas to experience corrosion and bad connections. Remember the KISS principle, Keep It Stupid, Simpleton.
The real bonus is the extra tool carrying capacity. I have a 3/8 drive socket set, a 1/4 drive set, set of Allen sockets, 12 inch and 6 inch crescent, 5 combo wrenches, pliers, screwdriver, Swiss army knife, zip ties, electrical tape, teflon tape, small roll of tie wire, extra chain, fuel pump, fuses, rags and there is still more room for additional stuff. The extra T shirt is in case I want to go somewhere nice. There is nothing in my fork bag and nothing in the pocket, that I previously made, in the right side cover, so there is still more room available for additional items. Plus, I have plans in my head for a rear mounted travel pack that will hold large items. It will attach to the sissy bar mounts. More to follow.

Coming Through in the Clutch

Well, it seems that I've finally solved all of my clutch issues. I've been having problems getting enough throw to fully disengage. It would work well when cold, but as everything warmed up it began to drag, to the point that I would have to shut it down in order to get it in gear. No Good!! I realized that, again, my geometry was off. The bell crank from the cable to the booster was at too acute an angle to work properly. It got chucked into the "Big Tub O' Failures". I fabbed up this new one and what a difference. The clutch action is smooth and light. Not two fingers, but an easy three finger pull. I used the foot peg as a pivot on the old one. This one pivots on a bronze bushing. Not the Torrington bearing that was recommended, but I think it will be fine. I can always change it later if it proves to be inadequate.
At the beginning, I was asked why a vacuum booster AND a mousetrap? I had no real answer, I just thought I'd give it a try. I think I made the right choice. As stated in earlier posts, full disengagement, no heel assist pedal and a comfortable pull at the lever were my objectives. There just seemed to be no way to achieve this with the booster alone. I decided to piggy back the mousetrap onto the existing system to see if it would help. It did. I also discovered that the mousetrap alone, when adjusted tight enough to disengage the clutch would not re engage. This is due to the diaphragm clutch cover and the fact that it becomes easier to pull the farther it disengages. So, the answer turned out to be two boosters, one vacuum, one mechanical. It seems Rube Goldberg and, perhaps, it is, but it does work. I also believe that the necessity to replace the clutch every 10 thousand or so miles on the old clutch bikes is, partially, due to the fact that there was never complete disengagement. At a stop, the disc was dragging slightly. It wouldn't be noticeable due to the weight of the bike. Every time you would stop, you were wearing out the disc and overheating the cover and flywheel.
Another Ranger conversion has a hydro/electric setup on it. It seems to work well from the pix and videos that I have seen. He is riding the bike and so far, to my knowledge, has had no problems. I wish him well. I don't think mine is better or worse than his, just two separate roads up the mountain. We'll see after we have some real miles piled up.