Wednesday, November 12, 2014
The constant dragging wore the bottoms of my pipes until they looked like Elmer Fudd's shotgun after Bugs ties the barrel in a knot. So, with a vision in my mind, I went to the local muffler shop and picked up a 90 degree, mandrel bent, piece of 2 1/2 exhaust tube. Back at the shop, I sliced it right up the middle. I then held them up to the existing pipes and decided what I thought looked good. I marked the pipes and lopped them off with the cutoff saw. After bolting them back up to the headers, I tacked the half pipes in place. Seeing that it looked good, I finish welded them. Using some cardboard, I made templates for the fillers that will form the top and bottom of the collector. The patterns were transferred to some sheet metal that I had leftover from another project. I welded these to the half pipes. In spite of my efforts to be sure it would fit, which entailed taking off and re installing the pipes eight or ten times, on the final fit up the flanges were half an inch off. Crap! I had to slice the inside pipe nearly in half and bend it in until the kerf closed up. Still not enough. One more slice and it bolted up. I welded up the kerf and it finally fit. After some trimming to get the opening even, I took some 1/4 inch rod and wrapped it around the opening to finish it off. Since the cutting, welding and grinding pretty much ruined the chrome, I decided to wrap the pipes and paint the collector. I used high temp silver/gray. I don't like the way it looked so I went with flat black instead. Looks pretty good, I think. It does sound different now. Not louder, just different.
Thursday, November 6, 2014
Enough about me, let's talk about my motorcycle. After I finished the transmission swap, I noticed that it didn't handle as well as it used to. The rear end was mushy and it bottomed out going around corners and over minor bumps in the road. Using my highly honed skills in Euclidian geometry, I determined that the new swing arm was the culprit. It is about six inches shorter from the pivot to the shock mount. Again, relying on the wisdom of the ancients, this time, Archimedes, I realized it was a matter of leverage. I needed stiffer springs. The manufacturer is just a quick hop down the freeway from me, so off we went. They rebuilt them, new oil, gas recharge, new bump stops and new, black powder coated springs. What a difference. Though it is a bit stiffer than I'd hoped for, all of the sponginess is gone. I can lean into tight turns now without leaving pieces of exhaust pipe, ground off, in the road. Now I have to fix the pipes that I ruined