|February 2000 Bike Feature||www.virtualindian.org|
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THE REAR FENDER
I had been putting off the drilling and installation of the rear fender for a while. Don’t know if I was thinking that it would install itself or if someone who just happened to know how to do it would stop by and do it for me. Anyway, being just about ready to paint, I needed to get the holes drilled in it, so that I wouldn’t be taking it on and off the bike and trying to drill it after I had it painted. So on New Years Eve 1999, I went for it. It’s done now, but I bet I had the thing on and off the bike about 15 times before I was done!.
First I observed that I would need do drill four holes to mount the fender. There are little tabs that sit at the back of the frame, just over and on each side of the rear axle. They contain holes used to bolt up the sides of the fender. There is a cross piece in the frame that has a threaded hole in the center (5/16”). It is located near where the rear section bolts to the front section. Not knowing any better, I figure the fender will get bolted from the inside through this. The last location is a hole in the casting that supports the center and side (jiffy) stands. This appears to be just a way of stabilizing the lower portion of the rear fender.
There are three pieces of sheel metal that interact when they are being fitted here. They are: the rear fender, the chain guard, and the battery tray. The chain guard is original. The battery tray and the rear fender are reproductions. I decided to use the chain guard to locate the other pieces. The chain guard was in decent shape when received. It has two mounting flanges (upper and lower front), and three holes (rear) to fit over studs on the fender. A while back I had gotten the upper flange brazed on (it arrived broken, but some thoughtful soul had wired the broken piece to the chain guard). I did not particularly trust the hole in this flange to be located properly, but knew it was close. There was also a line worn into the chain guard, which I found matched up perfectly with the back of the battery tray. I decided that the lower flange could be bolted loosely to the motor, and sat the fender on the bike, placing the studs through the chain guard. Then I moved the fender around while standing over it to try and get it centered. It did not work.
First of all, the battery tray was stopping the chain guard from moving freely. It came off and was set aside for last. I’m not much of a metal worker yet, but I knew I could modify or make a new one if need be. The chain guard can pivot up and down (but not move much from side to side) when the bottom flange is bolted down. I centered the kickstarter crank stud in the hole where the kicker lever comes through the chain guard. This moved the front of the fender around a little. I got 2 bolts, two spacers and 2 C clamps and clamped the fender where I thought it ought to go. The right side was pretty well located based on the chain guard position. After clamping, loosening and adjusting a few times, I marked it by outlining the spacer with a marker. Then I removed the fender and found the center of the circle I had marked. Drilled a pilot hole and used that to center the final hole. I actually started with a 1/8” drill bit as the pilot, and used every other size till the final size of 3/8”.
Replacing the fender and chain guard, I bolted up the chain guard, top and bottom, placed it over the studs on the fender. The new hole on the right side was bolted the frame. The second hole would go in the middle of the fender at the crosspiece. It appeared that the mounting on the crosspiece was exactly centered in the frame. Since this was brazed in when the frame was built, it needs to be checked for centering. The fender was firmly fixed in position on the center of the right side, and pretty well fixed at the front of the right side. I used a couple of handy screwdrivers for wedges to force the fender into the best position, and clamped the left side at the axle location. The spot I would have to drill was marked using a pencil through the mounting.
The fender came off and it was time to drill. But I wimped out. I wanted to be sure that the hole was in the center where I wanted it to be. Took a framing square and laid the long end lengthwise on the top of the skirt where it bulges out. It was easy to scribe a line three inches in. The line was centered in the fender. I scribed a line from the other side as well, for a test. They were off by a 16th, but my original mark was centered there, so I drilled it (5/16”). The fender and chain guard went back on the bike. Now I was able to bolt up the front as well as one side, and things were lookin’ good!
Spotting the left side hole was easy, but I had to mark it twice. I marked it once, and checked the location by measuring from the rivet at the top of the fender support to the proposed center of the hole (11.5 inches) and from the edge of the fender to the proposed center of the hole (1/2”). Then made an adjustment. Drilled that one and put the fender and chain guards back on. Looked nice. I had to bend the chain guard a little to get it to fit the way I wanted to, but it was not very much. The final hole was the bottom front of the fender. I thought I could just drill through the fender to match the hole in the casting. This did not work out because my fender was a little warped to one side. As it was only a half inch, I was able to persuade it into better alignment before drilling.
CHAIN GUARD AND
A 1940 Sport Scout has trim pieces that separate the valenced side portion of the fender from the curved upper area. There are also shorter trim pieces located on the upper area. These items need to be located and fit and the holes drilled before final painting is done. Otherwise you are sure to screw up your paint. I did this work after the first coat of primer on the back fender, and during the body work on the front fender. The front fender being original had mounting holes for the trim. The requirement here is to actually install the trim and bend it to fit the contour of the fender. As received, the trim fit fairly well, but there were still adjustments to be made. The long pieces had eight mounting points per side and the short ones four. On the front fender there is a lamp. It is a good idea to go ahead and mount it at this time. In my case, the original holes needed to be filed out a little so that the reproduction lamp would fit. The center hole is important because too tight a fit can ground out the feed to the lamp. I made sure there was plenty of room and am going to make sure that area is well insulated before I finalize the wiring. The last item on my front fender is a chrome fender tip. When I got the fender it was a little mashed up in this area. Looked like someone parked it halfway through a cinderblock wall. So I put the fender tip on to stiffen the area (and I like the looks!). The fit of the tip to the fender can be improved by adjusting the contour of the fender to fit the fender tip. Hammer, dolly, patience. Also if you look at a lot of pictures of bikes you will notice that the trim strips can be seen in many different places in relation to the fender tip. My fender tip is set so that the trim strips point right at the points on its outside rear. The rear fender needed a little more thought. The holes for the lower trim were established by laying the trim on the bike at the point where the valence is tacked to the upper part of the fender. Then I measured the width of the trim. The holes would be offset half of the trim width (3/16ths for me) up from the valence. Next I went and compared what I was going to drill with the holes on the mangled remains of the original fender. The first hole is at the rear of the bike about a half inch from the end of the trim. The rest of the holes are spaced about four and three quarters inches apart except the last two holes. These are located an inch apart near the frame. I added an extra mounting point to help adjust the curve of my trim. It was straighter than it should have been at this point. For these pieces I used 9 mounting points per side. The smaller trim pieces were located by checking the front and back original fenders holes. The left and right holes in all cases were about 4 and 1/16th inches apart center to center. Used my framing square to locate the center line of the fender and then offset the holes from the center. There are 5 mounting points per trim piece. A rear fender tip is installed. It is a bit smaller than the front tip and fit well without any body work to the fender. Again I set it so that the ends of the trim point at the tips of the fender tip. The tailpipe has an attachment tab that bolts to the rear fender near the fender tip. This bolt is sometimes used to secure a rear bumper. Bought one, but could not get a fit that I liked. The fender tip and the bumper together looked too busy for me.
I was lucky enough to come across a set of kidney bean shaped saddlebags. They were originals in a black or dark brown so dark it looks black. They were pretty dry. I put a 7.5 oz. bottle of Kiwi neatsfoot oil (not from Kiwi Indian Parts - from a shoe repair store $2.95/bottle) in each one and that softened them up pretty well. Then I cleaned up the outside with saddle soap. The next day I put Snow Proof Weatherproofing (original formula since 1904!) on them. They are lookin' good! I had my local leather outfit replace the zippers which were beat. One of the old ones still had the original Talon pull, so I’ll stick that back on. The mounting can be handled by drilling into the fenders, or suspending the bags from a package tray. I plan on using the package tray.
one and two here.
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Jim in parts book cover pose!