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Old 07-14-2005, 11:26 AM   #21
lang
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NOTE: THIS ONLY WORKS ON THE '88 VT800. The 86-87 vt700 wiring is a little different, so some of this will be helpful, but some won't for those bikes.

M@Man, I had every intention of documenting the gauge removal a la your great forwards article, but I'm slightly compulsive and I have a hard time stopping once I'm into something. So, basically I flaked out. But, the whole processes is easy to lay out.

1. First, remove your seats and unhook your battery.

2. Then, under the gauge cluster there are 2 bolts securing the gauges to 2 mounting brackets on the triple tree. Take the nuts off of these bolts and lift the cluster off the triple tree. I found it helpful to also unbolt the front turn signals which are also attached to the front of the triple tree by one bolt each. NOTE: I think the stock signals look really weird up there with no gauges. I highly recommend mounting signals to the forks as long as your at it (vt700's and vt800's have 39mm forks, BTW).

3. Next, open up your headlight by removing the 2 bolts holding the bezel in place. NOTE, there are 2 sets of screws, one set for headlight beam adjustment and one set of the 2 mounting bolts. ONLY remove the two mounting bolts.

4. Several of your gauge wires are attached to wire harnesses inside your headlight. They are easily unhooked because they are connected via bullet connectors. Unhook your green/black stripe ground wires (it's the only wire with a female bullet connector on it, the rest will be male ends). Unhook your left and right turn signal wires (orange and light blue - You'll also find the wires running to your signals (same colors) right next to the signal indicator wires). Unhook the blue high beam wire. Unhook the tach wire (yellow/blue stripe). That's it in the headlight.

4. Remove the 3 bolts holding the gas tank in place. Gently lift the front of the tank away from the frame. Attached to the frame, right under the tank, you'll find a wire harness with a black/brown stripe wire (power or ground wires, I'm not sure which), blue/red stripe wire (oil), brown/white stripe wire (back light), light green/red stripe wire (neutral), grey/black stripe wire (fuel gauge) and a green/blue stripe wire (temp gauge). Just unplug the wiring harness. This releases the rest of the gauge wires.

5. Remove the gauges from the bike and reseat the gass tank and reinstall the bolts (torque value for the tank bolts is 16 ft-lb).

6. Now you will be looking at 2 mounting tabs that stick off of the triple tree with rubber bushings in them. Remove the bushings and grind off the tabs. I used the Everyman's Equalizer (ie dremel with heavy duty cut-off wheels. I used about 4 wheels for the entire project). I then used my dremel with a combination of metal cutting burr wheels, the cut off wheels, and sanding drums, along with metal files to get the front of the triple tree smooth. Then I used 120, 220, and 400 grit emery paper to get a nice satin finish to the front of the triple tree - It really wasn't as hard as I thought it would be - cast aluminum works almost as easily as a hard wood.

7. Clean up the filings and put everything back together.

That's it! If anyone ever needs to know how to wire up a Drag Specialties gauge, I can post that info too.

Last edited by lang : 01-10-2006 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:31 AM   #22
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One last thing, M@Man, when I got my original shocks cut, Pete gave me a sheet on how to cut or replace the spacers in the forks to lower the front end. I'd be happy to send a hard copy of it or scan it and email it to you. Just PM me an address.


and, SeaBass, no need to pay $260 for the Progressives. Phat Performance Parts has them for $199 w/ free shipping.
http://www.phatperformanceparts.com/...Code=412-4233C
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Old 07-14-2005, 11:39 PM   #23
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Thanks Lang on the instructions for that mod, I know how it goes when you start something and get into it, it's really easy to forget to stop and grab the camera.
I did that with my forward control mod. I was lucky to get the pics that I did, and I do confess...one of the pics was staged becuse I'd do something and then I realized that forgot to take a pic.
It was an action shot too, can you guess which one?
I sent you a PM with my info, and also wanted to say the I apreciate your contribution to this forum.
You too, SeaBass, you've got a kick ass project in the works! I can't wait to see the finished results!

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Old 07-16-2005, 09:53 PM   #24
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SeaBass,

to the exent that it's helpful, here's pics of my bike with stock shocks, shocks cut by SOTMC, and finally the 11" Progressives. You can see I get a little lower in each pic. Actually the Progressives lowered the bike more than I thought. Now I just gotta figure out what to do with my kickstand, it's too long and the bike almost stands completely vertical on it. I guess I could bend it out a little or cut away some of the stop so it moves forward a little bit. Any other suggestions? I'd love to replace it with a chrome stand from a VLX or something.

M@, I'm guessin' you staged the cutting of the diamond plate. BTW, Thanks for your work around this place - It's so cool to have a place to bounce some ideas off of other classic shadow riders.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg shocks-stock.jpg (44.0 KB, 2345 views)
File Type: jpg shocks-cut.jpg (46.2 KB, 2328 views)
File Type: jpg shocks-prog.jpg (42.6 KB, 2340 views)
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Old 07-18-2005, 02:20 PM   #25
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Lang,

Nice...just what I was looking for. I never understood why they jacked the backend up like it was a dirt bike in the first place. I think the 11" will definately do but if anyone wants to go lower there is a shop out here that makes em any size you want and I can get their number for you.

One question...does it bottom the shock before it hits the fender when you have load on it? (I'm not calling your wife "load"...some people have allot of bags too...not that I'm saying...anyway you know what I'm talking about.)

I HATE THE STOCK KICKSTAND. Damn thing sits it too upright as it is. Just glad I have an engine guard as many times as the wind has blown it over. I want to lay it over to the side more so I don't think moding it is going to work...unless you add more metal to it and I don't know that I trust my welding THAT much. Anywho, if I find anything I'll let you know.
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Last edited by SeaBass : 07-18-2005 at 02:25 PM.
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Old 07-18-2005, 03:27 PM   #26
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SeaBass,

I don't know. I haven't ridden two up with the new shocks yet. In any case, I'm only about 160 lbs and my wife is only 100 lbs, so with the preloads set on 4 or so, I doubt we'll manage to bottom out. We generally do short day or overnight trips, so a dayback is about all we ever carry.

But, this info may be helpful: I was contemplating struts so I was measuring clearance with my shocks off. I was able to raise the rear wheel to a point where the distance between the upper and lower shock mounts was 9 1/8 inches. At that point it seemed like the swing arm contacted the frame. In any case, I couldn't lift the wheel any higher and there was still clearance between the wheel and the fender.

So, it seems like with 11" shocks, there's a little less than 2" of play before the bike bottoms out. Whether the shocks or the bike bottoms out first, I don't know.

Last edited by lang : 07-18-2005 at 07:30 PM.
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Old 07-19-2005, 11:27 AM   #27
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I needed a change, since $$$ has been tight I decided to take off my pillon seat & add a fender bib. Little things do mean a lot!
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Old 07-27-2005, 10:33 PM   #28
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I hear you on the tight $$$, but you're right about the little things...looks good. :thumb:

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Old 08-01-2005, 09:20 PM   #29
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M@, what kind of pipes you got on your bike?
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Old 08-01-2005, 11:05 PM   #30
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Jardine's, with the baffles removed...loud, the dB results are on the exhust mod thread.
I did make a couple of slip in strait sections, it lowered the exhust note without droping the volume. I may get some more later and make those into a "baffle" (sorta) just for the night time rides...I've got some really good neighbors and I don't like to disturb them late at night.
In fact they just brough us over a lemon merengue pie the other day.

Middle America in my neighborhood, we still borrow cups of sugar around here and leave our doors unlocked. I think that's why I stick around, the rest of my family lives in other states, it sure as hell ain't for the corn fields.

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