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PostPosted: March 13, 2012, 10:50 am 
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IA599 wrote:
Do you have anymore info on that goldwing powered RT?


This one? http://www.xzilarator.com/


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PostPosted: March 13, 2012, 11:47 am 
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nofreeride wrote:
IA599 wrote:
Do you have anymore info on that goldwing powered RT?


This one? http://www.xzilarator.com/


Nope, I didn't notice that one. The single seater with the VW trailing beam front. It might be a GL1000 engine.


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PostPosted: March 13, 2012, 11:57 am 
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Gotta ask -- and you can answer me offline if you'd like -- What do you think of the Delta race car?

The Delta doesn't make sense to me unless you don't ever have to turn it. I go back to one of your first posts, that the 2 wheels in front is widely thought to be the superior configuration?

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Hayes front, S10 +2 rear, Lalo body.
Girlfriend thinks I'm nuts for building this....


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PostPosted: March 13, 2012, 2:19 pm 
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IA599 wrote:
Nope, I didn't notice that one. The single seater with the VW trailing beam front. It might be a GL1000 engine.

Sorry, I don't have more info on that. I just pulled it from the internet because it reminded me of years ago when I first saw one and the idea was planted in my head.

geek49203 wrote:
Gotta ask -- and you can answer me offline if you'd like -- What do you think of the Delta race car?

The Delta doesn't make sense to me unless you don't ever have to turn it. I go back to one of your first posts, that the 2 wheels in front is widely thought to be the superior configuration?

It looks like that one has 4 wheels :). A lot can be possible with the right engineering.

The handling on my 2F1R trike is different. I can't really describe it in typical understeer/oversteer terms. The rear simply follows wherever I point the front. There is some body roll and the inside front starts to lift. Oversteer is not easily induced except in low traction conditions. Of course, I haven't found the limits yet, and I could make adjustments in spring rate, alignment, ride height, adding a sway bar, etc., if needed.


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PostPosted: March 13, 2012, 5:21 pm 
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Part 5: Tools and Materials

What I had:

Compressor
Parts Washer
220V Mig Welder with gas setup
Oxy-Acetylene Torch
Drill Press
Chop Saw
Various air/power tools for cutting/grinding
Google Sketchup
Single Car Garage

What I needed:

Tubing bender
Tubing notcher
Level build surface
Bigger shop

What I wish I had:

Plasma Cutter
Better Bender
Bigger Compressor
Real Build Table

Sketchup
I started by researching a lot on the internet and putting some designs together on Sketchup. Honestly, I think that Sketchup was the most important tool in this build. Without it, I don't think I could have built something original like this. I would have had to use a kit/plans with minor modifications. And there is no way the design could have gone through as many iterations and options before the final product was created. I was not familiar with any design software prior, and I'm afraid the learning curve and complexity (and cost) of using AutoCad, Inventor, SolidWorks or others would have been prohibitive.

Garage/Shop
I started mocking up suspension arms on a table in my garage, as well as parting out the donor motorcycle, but I just couldn't imagine how I was going to build the whole project in a one car garage. My old shop was 36x48 with cement floor and a lift, and I felt crippled ever since I had to sell the place. Well, I'm now renting half a shop with another guy (who is also renting the adjacent house) and it has made the difference between enjoying the build, and possibly even enabling it to be eventually completed. The cost of the shop is not figured into the cost of the project, but I figure I easily save that money per month in car repairs and professional therapy. Besides, when we refinanced the house, our payment went down by more than the shop rent. It may sound like I need to justify it, and maybe it's true, but I will spend my last dollar to keep my work space. It means that much.

Welder
All my welding prior to this project had been done with a 110V mig w/flux core wire. Got a 220V from Northern Tools with shielding gas setup. It took a bit of a learning curve with the gas, but definitely resulted in stronger, cleaner welds.

Build table
I built the front suspension and floor pan on a sturdy, level table. The project was then transferred to the floor and kept level with jacks through each step of the project. It worked out for me this time, as all of the diagonal measurements are within 1/16" and the level as well. On driving it, it was easy to align, and tracks straight and true. That said, a proper build table would have been great.

Image

Tubing Bender

I will add my testimony to the many who have said "Don't buy this!".

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Please ignore anyone who says this will work. It won't. Even with all of the 'tricks' and special modifications that many say they have done to make this work.

I ended up with a Hossfeld Bender because it was free. Well, not free. Borrowed. But I still had to buy a 1.5" tube die set, which was pretty spendy. My entire design depended only on bends of 1.5" tube with a 6" radius. It worked pretty well, but a vertical bender would be better in its ability to bend tubing at repeatable angles and multiple-plane bends.

I could go on and on about tools that I want, but for me, these were the essentials.

Next, Part 5b, Materials...


Last edited by nofreeride on August 25, 2019, 12:01 am, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 13, 2012, 5:31 pm 
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Part 5b: Materials and Supplies

Steel:
1.5 x .095 ERW round
2 x .120 ERW square for front suspension crossmember and center tunnel
.75 x .065 ERW square for diagonal and other supports
3/4 DOM for steering column
Various other flat and angle for brackets, tabs, supports

Body:
4' x 10' panels of smooth white FRP (fiberglass-reinforced plastic). This is a construction material used primarily for commercial kitchen and bathroom walls.

Favorite Suppliers:
Speedway Motors - Front Suspension parts
Dan's Performance Parts - various buggy and VW parts
JC Whitney - seats and various parts
Jeg's - shifter cable, brake proportioning valve
Harbor Freight - Let's face it, most of it works great, and if it doesn't, just throw it away.

Next, beginning the build with front suspension...


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PostPosted: March 15, 2012, 4:52 pm 
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Part 6: Front Suspension

I easily spent more time designing the front suspension than on any other part of the build. I did so much research and study on this that my head almost exploded. Here is a summary. I don't think I could have explained it all anyway.

I thought about the VW Beetle suspension and played around with it for quite some time. In the end, I just couldn't affordably get a wide enough front track and the geometry that is more easily achievable with a dual A-arm configration. Looking at only parts available new, at an affordable price, I went with Mustang II spindles (2" drop), and Mustang II steering rack (2" wider per side).

I transferred the key points from the MII spindles and rack into sketchup and mocked up a suspension with all of the necessary parameters:
3 degrees anti-dive
3 degrees caster (adjustable)
0 camber (adjustable)
0 toe (obviously easily adjustable)
No bump steer
1.5" pivot radius. I had to use positive offset wheels to achieve this, as the stock MII had a huge stock scrub radius.
Proper camber change in cornering
Ackerman
6" ride height

My suspension did not require me to make my own control arms, and I went with these from Speedway:

Image

$25. Can't beat it.

I used 2" square for the front crossmember because I wanted to be able to reproduce it from my model with reasonable accuracy. The front crossmember and center tunnel would be the basis for the rest of the build:

Image

Image

Thankfully, the rear suspension was easier. :lol:

Next up: Who is Ackerman?


Last edited by nofreeride on August 25, 2019, 12:04 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 15, 2012, 5:02 pm 
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Part 6b: Who is Ackerman?

This is a true story.

I had never heard of Ackerman before this. I have built several cars, but I always either used an existing suspension or relied on someone else's engineering, so I never had to worry about it. Who woulda thunk? You have to design the car such that the front wheels don't both turn the same amount. The inside wheel has to turn a sharper angle because it completes the turn in less distance than the outside wheel. All of this is accomplished by the angle at which the steering arms attach to the spindle from the steering rack.

Well, I started studying and researching this Ackerman thing. It seems like it's all I thought about for several days. On the way back to work from lunch one day, after having been pondering Ackerman, I look over and someone is walking down the sidewalk wearing a football jersey with "ACKERMAN" written across the back. Not kidding. I have never known someone with that name, much less someone with that name on a football jersey, who walks down the street in front of me after I had just studied their namesake's work.

This is absolutely true. The power of the unconscious mind...


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PostPosted: March 15, 2012, 7:28 pm 
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We are Slotus!
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Location: Tallahassee, FL (The Center of the Known Universe)
Well, thank goodness you hadn't been reading that joke about "Who is Jack Schitt" or no tellin' WHAT might have been on that football jersey...

Great Story, Bro!
:cheers:

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Quinn the Slotus:Ford 302 Powered, Mallock-Inspired, Tube Frame, Hillclimb Special
"Gonzo and friends: Last night must have been quite a night. Camelot moments, mechanical marvels, Rustoleum launches, flying squirrels, fru-fru tea cuppers, V8 envy, Ensure catch cans -- and it wasn't even a full moon." -- SeattleTom


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PostPosted: March 15, 2012, 10:54 pm 
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Excellent build log and story!
I am really enjoying the simplicity of your build when so many get bogged down with complexity.
I look forward to every new post you write up.
I am looking at my VTX 1800 engine donor in a new light.
I could design and build the front suspension and subframe for my future car build and in the meantime build a simple frame to connect the front subframe with the stock motorcycle frame and have a fun trike to drive while building the car frame...
A strong roll cage midframe of course. Hmmmmm.....

Carry on sir!

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PostPosted: March 19, 2012, 11:48 am 
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Part 6c: Tires, Wheels, Brakes

I was trying to keep the front suspension unsprung weight as light as possible. I didn't really accomplish that, as there would have been many ways to reduce the unsprung weight, including inboard shocks, lighter wheels, different hubs and brakes, fenders and brackets not hung from the spindles, etc. I could have even [maybe] figured out how to use the motorcycle front brake discs, one on either side. However, I did try to keep weight as low as possible while meeting other design constraints: locost, reduced complexity, and use only new, available components.

I was afraid that the bumps would transfer too much into the lightweight chassis. All that being said, I am more than satisfied with the result so far. The ride is comfortably compliant on bumpy roads, and performs more than adequately in steering and cornering.

I went with some relatively inexpensive 15" wheels originally designed for a Civic or other FWD car with 5 x 4.5 hubs. The positive offset wheels would help solve the extra large pivot radius of the Mustang II front suspension. The tires are 185 wide in the front and the single rear tire is 205 (the widest possible that will fit in the stock swingarm).

For front brakes, I ended up with Mustang II. The larger 11" rotors with metric calipers also would have worked, and would have widened the track slightly as well. I ended up with the stock Mustang II brakes with 9" rotors, thinking it would be lighter. I am not so sure, though, as the Mustang II calipers are huge, and heavy. I did have to have the inside bore of the wheels increased by a machine shop, as I didn't properly research this before buying them. The wheels would not fit over the hubs. Couldn't use the center caps, either, so I painted the dust shields on the rotor and used them as center caps.

I'll talk more later about the pedals, master cylinder, and plumbing of the brakes. With the front wheels and suspension on, and the motorcycle stripped down with the rear tire mounted, I was ready to start building the frame around it.

Image


Last edited by nofreeride on August 25, 2019, 12:06 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: March 19, 2012, 12:26 pm 
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Part 7: Frame

I didn't build the entire frame at once, interjecting other small projects along the way, like the pedals, shifter, and some of the wiring. But I will talk about the entire frame building process here.

After the front suspension and crossmember were fabbed up, I carefully measured and tacked on a 2-inch square center tunnel. This tunnel would house all of the electrical, brake and clutch lines, accelerator cable and shifter. Generally, it worked out great, but it is a pain to fish out or add anything in the tunnel.

I then cut the floor out of 16-gauge sheet metal, and tacked it on to the front suspension and center tunnel. Using screw-type adjustable jacks, I kept the frame level through the build-up of the frame and attaching of the drive train.

I rolled the motorcycle up and squared it behind the frame, then set about figuring how to attach it all together.

Image

The front of the motorcycle would be attached in front using existing mount tabs. The bike would be attached in a total of eight places, with the strongest mount being in the center of the aluminum frame using existing engine mounts.

Image

It was important that I tie the front and the rear together, and this is where it came time to start bending tubing. The roll bar had four bends on two planes, and it came out surprisingly well considering my lack of experience in bending. The roll bar was bisected by the upper seat belt harness support, which would also serve as the front mount for the motorcycle. The side rails had multiple bends and would define the overall shape of the body.

Image

The lower rails would outline the floor and rise in the rear to form the rear mount. The side mount would come in diagonally from the body and attach to the bike at the existing engine mounts. With the addition of the rear roll bar supports, the trike could stand on its own, except I didn't have the front coilovers in yet.

Image

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Next up was the windshield, hood and dash. All of the design iterations that I did showed that the windshield and hood would look better if I kept them on the same plane. The pictures show it better that I could explain:

Image

Image

At this point, everything was just tacked in, as I would be adding various supports and gussets later on. It was starting to take shape! ...


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PostPosted: March 21, 2012, 3:15 pm 
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Part 8: Primary Controls

Steering
Rack: Mustang II widened 4 inches, also uses longer tie rods than stock.
Shaft: 3/4" with splined ujoint on one end and quick disconnect adapter on the other end.
Wheel: 13" 3-bolt wheel attached to quick disconnect hub.
Support: 3/4" pillow block type bearing mounted under dash

The output on the steering rack is just slightly off center of the middle of the driver's seat, but hardly noticeable and not worth adding a second u-joint and bearing. Love the quick disconnect because it makes it easier to get in and out and the wheel can be a security device. (Careful not to leave the wheel attached as someone else could take it just as easily.)

Brakes
Front Brakes: Mustang II, rotors, calipers and lines.
Rear Brakes: Stock FJR minus master cylinder
Master Cylinder: VW, has three ports plus hydraulic brake light switch
Proportioning Valve: On center tunnel behind dash for adjusting rear brake bias.
Lines: Hard lines custom made with various fittings/adapters.

Initially had a problem with the brakes as they locked up solid. Removing the internal residual pressure valve solved that problem. Got the bias adjusted to my satisfaction, and it all stops well and good now.

Clutch
Master Cylinder: Original FJR mounted at pedals with custom pushrod.
Lines: Hard line custom made with various fittings/adapters.

Still have not worked out an issue with the clutch pressure bleeding out. If I leave my foot on the clutch and in first gear, after about 30 seconds, the trike will start inching forward and then stall. I have an extra FJR master/slave and I will try swapping those out.

Pedals
Bought an aftermarket floor-mounted pedal set made for a buggy. It had to be modified fairly extensively for my setup, including mounts, return springs, pedal stops, bracketry and linkage.

Finally, it feels good and operates well.

Accelerator
Bought an extra long throttle cable and adapted it to the throttle on the bike and to the pedal set.

Shifter
Bike end: Replaced the entire assembly except the splined arm and attached a bracket and a push/pull cable that enables it to shift sequentially as on the bike.

Arm: Made the shifter out of 7/8 handlebar tube with a M/C handgrip for a handle. Mounted on the center tunnel with a bracket and the other end of the push/pull cable.

I had to decide how to make it all work, and I decided to go forward for downshifts and back for upshifts, with neutral between first and second. If you're used to driving a manual, you have to learn quickly how to shift or you will be going from 2nd to 1st instead of third. That will really wake you up.

Two other modifications were made: A stop to limit travel so as not to break the cable (learned that the hard way) and return springs that will ensure a return to center after each shift so you're ready for the next gear. All that's left is a shift boot in the center to cover all the ugliness.

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This portion of the build took considerable time for not much visual impact. I would have to leave it sometimes and do something else for more of a sense of accomplishment.

Next, electrical...


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PostPosted: March 26, 2012, 12:47 pm 
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Part 9: Electrical

The plan here was to use the motorcycle controls as much as possible. It would be simply a matter of extending the wires and mounting everything up front. The ignition switch, hazard switch, and a 12v outlet would be in the center of the dash. The gauge cluster with an added voltmeter would be above the steering wheel, and all of the handlebar controls would be left of the steering wheel, including turn signals, high/low beam, horn, starter button, and kill switch. Most everything else is mounted in the same location or near where it would have been mounted on the bike.

All of the wiring is run through the center tunnel. I made a diagram of the pinout on the connectors so as to make it possible to figure out which wire gets traced where.

In the back, the relays and battery are mounted below the engine cover. The coils and resistor are in their original positions on the FJR frame. Although this doesn't look the best, it was convenient to leave most items in their original positions where possible. The horns are mounted up front under the hood. I disabled the clutch and side stand intterupts, so don't try to start it in gear with the clutch out.

I added a second battery up front under the hood in anticipation of installing an electric reverse down the road. Plus, the original FJR battery was a bit iffy. I figure I will install a new one when I get the reverse figured out.

Image

Image

Next, lighting...


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PostPosted: March 26, 2012, 1:35 pm 
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Part 10, Lighting

I had this brand new pair of low profile high/low beam lights that I bought 10 years ago for a different project and never used. As I was wiring them up I dropped one on the floor and it broke.

I had an old pair of headlights from a buggy. They were a little rough and would need some refurbishing. They also had that carriage bolt adjuster that I didn't like, and the more I looked at it, the more I knew I didn't want to use them.

So I went to some 5 3/4" motorcycle headlights from Custom Dynamics. They have some with a blue tint on the lens. They look good and work great.

I thought about using the stock FJR tail and taillights, but it was damaged so I went with LED front and rear for signals/park/brake/tail. I got the 3-inch dual-intensity lights. I also had to change out the flasher relay for it to work correctly with the LEDs.

I also added some LED license plate bolt lights, which also have a red rear-facing LED, which I wired in to the brake lights.

Image

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All four are taillights. The bottom two are turn signals, and the top two are brake lights, along with the red LED's on the license plate bolts. Down below is a reflector.

Body and Paint up next.


Last edited by nofreeride on August 25, 2019, 12:20 am, edited 3 times in total.

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