Sunday, April 7, 2013

Welding Table Part 2

She's good to go!! Well, for some welding for now anyways. That leg situation kind of got figured out, not what I expected but it works! I'm building some legs for it yet but for now I just had to get the table going so I could work on other things. 

Yes, the car ramps are welded to the table and the table to the filing cabinet. It's beautiful.

Shitty jig that turned into scrap.

Made some legs for another side project of mine, it was a learning process but I think I've got a pretty good grip on it now.

The battle station, ready to rock and roll.

Welding table from 1x2's Part 1

The table I've been using for welding is this super thin card table. Every other weld, it'll buckle underneath and try to fall over, I'll hold it up with my leg get it put back together to continue. With as much welding as I plan to do, I needed to make my own welding table. I'm cheap though, so just buying one or using plate was pretty much out of the question.

I used Craigslist (surprise surprise) to find the 1x2's. 14 gauge, cold rolled, nothing special. A steel company south of KC had a bunch for about 10% of what other places were charging, but they had a little surface rust. Nothing a wire wheel on the angle grinder couldn't fix.

Feels like home.
They cut it into 6' sticks so that I could fit it in my car. Got all the pieces wire brushed down.

Then cut into 2' lengths.

Here's the general idea. A 24" x 48" steel table, with the 1x2's spaced 1" apart.  I used extra  pieces to space everything and clamped it all down before each weld.
Full length welds on all the pieces. I know it's probably a little overkill but I wanted to try to get some time to practice my welds and try to dial in this finicky Harbor Freight welder. Needless to say, it took every single weld to get close. I figure that with some more time with this welder under my belt I'll post about my trials and tribulations.
Top getting close. I would like to take a flap disc to  the top and grind some  edges. Still need to clean the welds on the underside and wipe it down with some WD-40 to keep it from rusting. The "legs," situation is still in the works but it'll be ironed out soon anyways.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Shakedown Run 4

Another run tonight as the snow has mostly melted enough for me to make a couple quick runs on the Ironhead. Of course, I've still got some work ahead of me.

Problem with the intake sucking in the foam filter element against the butterfly valve on the carb fixed. 

I think that getting shit in the master cylinder is bad. So tape that shit up.

Dwanky wiring that's giving me problems...
Run Lessons:

1. Electrical shit still sucks. Every 2 minutes or so, all of my lights turn off, then turn on quick. In idle, running it around or just on not even started yet. No fucking clue. Maybe a bare wire? Bad connection? Connection in the wrong spot? I'll be investigating it, but the girl runs good, even with these stupid electrical problems. 

2. Old bikes make noise. I've always been a pretty anal dude (no homo) and when it comes to bikes, the extra machine noise generated makes me nervous. I need to start using the right oil, really get into the insides of the machine and just get over it. It's not bad noise necessarily, it's pretty neat actually.

3. The clutch is still shit. It works ALOT better, it's just a bitch shifting. I can get around the gears okay but it takes some work. Basically, I need to adjust the system looser. With a tiny bit more play in the lever to make sure it's fully on or off. Clutch lever fully released is still engaged a tiny bit. In neutral it's a challenge keeping the bike from lurching forward. Which is a problem.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

KC Spring Break 2013

Hopefully this is the last of it for the year but hey, a little snow can't get this guy down. 

I still need to do another run on the Ironhead and work out the clutch deal along with my list of other things. The snow's been keeping me in for the most part though, which is alright with me. These cold snow days build an appreciation for the warmer ones.

Things concerning the Ironhead that I've been thinking about lately:

1. Bonneville Salt Flats - I'm having a hard time finding out Ironhead statistics on the Bonneville Salt Flats. How cool would it be to have the world's fastest, production frame, gas powered, Ironhead? In some small way I'm sure I don't qualify though. I have been doing some research and it looks like there's a 130mph club, that'd be something to shoot for. I'm sure this endeavor will get brought up soon.

2. Torque Fest - Dubuque, IA. Vintage drag racing, open header parade, vintage car/bike show, chain races, vintage board track racing, mini bike racing.... hopefully it's in the cards for me this year. This seems like a place for me. We'll see how for I get with the Ironhead.

3. Track days - I've got a friend of mine that brought up motorcycle track days and being able to get your bike out on the track (not circle, legit race track) and run it. I don't know anything about it but it sounds like an experience. Kind of like the test and tune nights they have sometimes at local drag strips. I'd like to get out to some more of those.

4. Side car - I would like one.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Shake Down Run Number 3

Took the Ironhead for another run. I swear I had the clutch dialed in perfectly. It was about 12:30 am when I rolled her out in the middle of the street took off. The clutch wasn't how I planned at all. It never fully engaged and when full out, was still half in. Which means I gave her all I could and still only made it to about 10 mph. It shifted different gears fine, just never got into the gear.

Here's what I learned so far:

Ironhead specifications in the manuals are typically pretty round about numbers. I'm learning that the most major factor when dialing in components is going by your basic mechanical instincts. 1/4 turn out, tighten the locknut... could mean 1/2 turn IN then tighten the locknut, making sure that about 1/8" true play in the clutch lever is where you're at. I dialed it in again when I got home, not quite to spec and haven't had the chance to take it out since. We'll see how that goes soon, but we're expecting snow for the next couple days again. 

Primary and Engine fluids. Some people say using 20w50 automotive is fine, others swear by using ATF and most say to use some Revtech or Harley fluid specified. Note that this is for my 1976 XLH1000, it varies bike to bike, regions should be considered (temperature) as well as how or how frequent the person rides of course. I'm finding that all agree that although the Revtech or Harley fluid costs an arm and a leg.... it works. I went the 20w50 automotive route this time and found that it works, it's just not making dialing in my components an easier task. Nor is it the best option for my Ironhead. Even though I'm a super cheap ass, i'll be switching to Rev Tech 60 weight for primary fluid and engine oil next time around which will be soon.

I need to do my research still and figure out if the best option for changing the engine oil is in the plug at the bottom of the bike. I've heard that the plug here is prone to being stripped as it's designed on a fault. I've also heard that the best, most reliable way to change this oil is through the plug on the bottom of the oil bag, which is what I did last time around and it seemed to work okay.

I'm getting to know these nuts and bolts pretty good.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


After the last super short run, the ironhead died. Switch turned on resulted in absolutely nothing, no sounds, no light, no nothing.

I. Hate. Electrical. Shit.

Mostly because I'm super stupid when it comes to this stuff. I mean, I can wire in car subwoofers... but that's about all that I can do. I really need to work on this. I ended up finding a piece of solder on a wire going to the starter solenoid, that broke off that was causing my problem. I had to look around for awhile but I ended up shaking the right wire at the right time to figure out what was wrong.

With all of my electrical tools, minus the Harbor Freight multi-meter  I'm trying to learn to use.

I started with the ignition switch and ended up taking off this HUGE horn. The freaking thing weighs like 10 pounds! 

Much better.
Where the bad connection ended up being. It's a red wire connecting to the black plastic deal on the bottom of the battery. I learned that it's a starter solenoid. I need to learn to solder too. I melted my, "heavy duty," soldering gun, made the worlds ugliest connections and broke two soldering iron ends.... all trying to solder one freakin wire. It's solid, but I need to work on my soldering game.
Took some time to figure out how to wire in the brake light. I got it all wired in perfectly! Except that it needed  some quick connects to be a well functioning piece. 
So I went on another short ride (4 blocks again), checked my primary fluid and oil before hand as I needed to do that as well. Turns out I ordered the wrong oil filter. Also, I still can't shift out of 1st unless I reach down with my hand and wiggle it up oddly enough. Oh yeah... and my brake light doesn't work now.

Just remembered, I ordered this sweet looking chopper drilled disc air cleaner. I put it on... it keeps trying to suck the fucking filter down the carb. I pulled in after the ride and the filter's all up against and wrapped around the butterfly valve going into the carb. Looks like I'll need to figure out something different there too.

More stuff to fix and learn!
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