Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Square to the World

I spent 5 or 6 hours in the shop today shimming, prying, leveling, dropping plumb bobs, measuring, establishing center lines and so on. Things just didn't seem right. Nothing was the same from left to right or top to bottom. The long and short of it is, the engine did not sit in the frame straight or level. It was 3/16" low on the right side and skewed to the right about the same amount. I don't know why my belt tracked straight with everything so far out of whack. I thought, at first, that it might have been due to all of the mods that I made to install the Ranger, but the only, real, change was the rear mount which was built with the original front and top mounts in place. Of course, all this tweeking came at a cost. Now the swing arm mounts, that I built at the beginning of this saga, are misaligned. So, out came the smoke wrench and 2 minutes later they were off and laying on the floor. No drama other than the small brush fire in front of the building. I'm still pretty spry for 63. Ran, grabbed the hose, ran through the shop,dragging the hose, soaking everything in the process, out the front door and extinguished it. After catching my breath, I tacked the mounts back on. Everything is now coplanar. That is very important with a belt drive. Every component has to be at 90 or 180 degrees to each other. If not, there will be tracking problems. Some riders compensate for misalignment by cranking up the left adjuster. This is bad practice for several reasons. First is the one inch diameter axle and the large slider blocks in the swing arm. They do not allow for the axle to be "gimbled" over. What really happens is the swing arm and the bushings are placed under, even more, stress. The other thing is the belt is deformed. The belt is, basically, a cylinder. When you tweek it to one side to adjust tracking, it is forced into a slight taper or funnel shape. It will take a set as the fibers bed in. The only real solution is to be anal about setting everything straight. I'm glad that I noticed this before finishing the swing arm. I only want to build this last one

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