|April 2000 Bike Feature||www.virtualindian.org|
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METAL FINAL INSTALLATION
After the painted parts had a chance to sit for a while it was time to put the sheet metal back on the bike, hopefully for the last time. But first all the accessories had to be installed on the sheet metal. I started with the rear fender and installed the trim pieces. The trim I ordered is made of aluminum and bends rather easily. Although we had test fit it to the fenders as part of the pre- paint finalization there were still minor adjustments needed to make it lay right. I gently tapped it from the sides with a rubber mallet until it conformed properly to the fender and was nice and straight. Instead of the nuts and lock washers that came with the trim, I used lock nuts. I donít ever want to deal with the underside of that fender again if I can help it, therefore the deviation from factory practice.
Then I installed the tail light, and wire. The tail light wire is a two conductor armored cable that is fed through loops of metal tacked to the inside of the fender skirt. I secured the cable to the loops with small black tie wraps. This is overkill as the cable does not look like it will abrade. The wiring to the brake light switch is installed in a similar manner. I have looked at a few bikes, and some had an armored cable in this location, while others just used 2 wires. Not knowing which is right, I chose the armored cable, to match the tail light cable. These cables are fed out of the fender through holes and protected by grommets. I rolled up the loose ends to protect them from scratching the tape. At the end that would later go to the brake light switch, I soldered connectors on and used black shrink tube to cover everything but the ends of the connectors. This is the method I used for all connectors I installed. Mechanical (crimped) connections look great, but will fail. After you crimp them solder them!
The package tray and rear fender tip were also installed using lock nuts.
Turning the fender upside down on a piece of scrap carpet, and resting it on the package tray, I taped off the center stand latch holes, and the mounting holes. Then I grabbed a tube of 3M Ultrapro Sealant seam sealer. I went over all the inside seams to make sure they were filled and waited a day. Then I came back and Liberally applied 3M Undercoating part No. 08881.
Well by now all you purists are probably flopping allover the ground, foaming at the mouth! Ha! Itís my Virtual Indian so deal with it! Any way, you canít see it unless you lay on the ground and look up under the fender. I left the visible parts red.
The front fender was handled in a similar manner.
A few days later I installed the fenders! When I built my garage, I put a pretty good slant in the floor so that I could wash my cars inside and all the water would run out. My lift is designed to lift a full framed bike, and even with wedges under the frame to stabilize things, I was afraid that the bike would fall over. While we were test fitting the front fender Gonzo and I talked this over and the upshot was that we installed a large eye bolt in the ceiling. A couple of strong tie-downs from the bike up to this made me much less paranoid. It is a bit of a pain to jack the bike up a little then tighten the straps, but what the heck. A couple of neighbors were by for a drink, so I used one of them to hold the handle bars straight, and carefully snuck the fender in between the forks. Then we slowly jacked the bike up until the front wheel would just sneak under the fender, and lowered the bike down over it, ensuring at the same time that the front brake arm fit properly into the fork stud.
After the fenders were installed I went back and installed the coil and the center stand latch.
Before I could install the right gas/oil tank, I had to install part of the line sets that goes in the tanks. After posting to VI to find what to use on the threads, and getting five different answers, decided to use Teflon tape in the gas tank petcock threads. I used Permatex number 2B on the oil line threads. The right side went on, and I finished part of the plumbing. I connected up the oil lines and bent them to fit between the front cylinder and its exhaust pipe. The gas line petcock on this side seems to sit a little far back on the (repro) tank. I could not make the lines fit up properly with the petcock perpendicular to the bikeís frame, so I swiveled it about 45 degrees forward.
The wiring harness from the fuse block to the dashboard goes along the frame. I ran it on the lower frame tube and secured it with black tie wraps. Not sure if it should have gone on the upper frame tube. The speedometer cable I got is a reproduction, and much thinner than the original. It has a steel outer casing that I know would rub on the rear fender. To prevent that and to make it look older, I wrapped the casing with rubber tape. The cable crosses to the left side of the bike and is routed through an indentation in the left gas tank up to the speedometer. I secured it to the lower frame rail with another black tie wrap or two. Then the high voltage lead and ground wire from the coil to the distributor. These route through a little chrome tube along with the spark plug wires, so I installed that, too. As a side note, when finalizing any bolts, I used Locktite blue.
Finally the left gas tank could be installed and its petcock connected to the gas line. Then I hooked the gas line to the carb.
Each gas tank has a little badge that snaps into a clip. I carefully snapped them in, holding a paper towel under the pointy end so that it would not poke into the paint.
Nearly there! Freshly painted sheet metal installed.
Click on pictures to enlarge!
Petcocks at 45 degrees.
Wrapped-up speedo cable.
For those of you who missed the Swimsuit Edition, here's a nice rear!
Jim made me write this!