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Old 07-16-2013, 03:09 PM   #11
Aced It
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Okay, well first of all, the rims sealed up perfectly (as I knew they would). I was hoping to get the tires installed on the rims today. Didn't happen. Also disassembled the front brake caliper and master cylinder because I received my rebuild kit for the master cylinder and I am preparing it by thoroughly flushing.

Chassis Engineering, a major player in drag racing parts, chassis, suspension, driveline parts, etc. is located a few miles from my work, so during last week I picked up a 10 foot stick of 1"x.095 DOM mild steel for about $30. My welding skills needed some practice after quite a few years of missing in action:




So after some screwing around with the welder and lots of practice pieces, I figured why buy handlebars when I can make them?

Overall dimensions measured at tubing centers are about 10" tall X 8" wide at the base. I also designed a 20deg pullback for added comfort (see pics). There's a few of these types of bars out there, but for me it's a personal touch in that I made them and after powdercoat for about the same or less than the cheapest bars out there.

Stress test? Believe me, the welds are strong ... I whacked every joint with a hammer and dropped it on the concrete floor several times before inspecting for any cracks. Gettin' ready for powdercoat:










Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:10 PM   #12
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Slow movin'. Too much work lately and just not enough time in the evenings. I did manage to get the new bearings and seals in place, along with mounting the tires on the rims:




But, found a little problem. In my efforts to keep costs down I was going to reuse the rear tire since tread was still pretty good. However, the bead is not seating properly, and though I did not take a picture of the tire's bead it is pretty bent out of shape. I actually tried reshaping it by hand with tire irons and some contortion, but to really no avail. Based on that, I went and had the rims verified by a local wheel straightening shop (RimFX) so at least that's a go. I decided to order a new rear tire now simply based on my 'comfort' zone knowing the bike was neglected within the last rider's capability.




So anyway, new tire is on order. This weekend I am planning on mocking up the rear for hard-tailing since I've got at least a tire on a rim for a temporary install. I also am planning on assembling the front shocks using the Progressive lowering springs. We'll see how everything goes.

Project "restoration" is in effect.

After a little running around this morning (household duties) and realizing that somebody rebuilt these front forks POORLY, I picked up some new fork piston rings and slider bushings. What I found with the forks is that not only did somebody Mickey Mouse some spacers in a few pieces, but also used a dust seal as an oil seal in one fork (no joke) and used a homemade back-up ring. I have to order some new oil seals of which the dealer didn't have in stock. More waiting (yawn).

Meanwhile ... it has begun:








After evaluating the areas where I want to cut, I chose a straight run that will involve no bending of the new tubing:








Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:12 PM   #13
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I will also fab-in a new upright simply because it looks right and ties in the bottom part of the frame not only as additional structural support, but visually due to the mammoth blob area containing the swingarm pivot joint, etc. You can see I'm using the Scootworks solid strut in place of the stock strut to hold everything together as I modify the rear. I originally bought it thinking I'd just lower the rear. Obviously, things have changed. I'll end up selling that since I'm not going to use it.

Another day, another hurdle ... My pool pump took a crap this morning, so I ran around getting some PVC to hook up the extra one I had in the garage. Household duties ... never done. Ha!

However, looky what I picked up from powdercoating today:






They look AWESOME! I feel my welding skills are almost back to par; but that glossy black is just the cat's meow, eh? Hehe!

The tubing I bought for the frame is .095. I feel it's a bit too thick considering the frame is only .060 with the swingarm being .075. I'd like to see even weld penetration, so tomorrow I'm heading over to Chassis Engineering to get some thinner walled tubing before I continue with the hardtail.

Finally, a productive day despite the fact I don't have the new tubing yet.

Got the new rear tire installed; no issues there; holding air and ready to go! No pic; don't think you really need one, LOL!

I cut back the excess OEM tubing at the rear of the frame from my original cut so as to reuse the sleeve on the axle plate. I ground down the weld joint and cleaned it up:




As that was in process, UPS delivered the rest of the components I needed to rebuild the front struts. Now as I mentioned before, you don't need special tools as specified in a factory manual. The same wooden shovel handle I used to remove the seat pipe is also used to reinstall it. As well, I used a 1.5" PVC pipe as a makeshift slide hammer to install the new guide bushing, and then in combination with the old back-up ring I also used the PVC to seat the new oil seal:








So, new Progressive lowering springs dropped 2" and a load of all new components - and the finale ... aren't they purty? Yep, added boots.




I was up and down about using the front fender on the rear. I decided against it for several reasons - First, it was already borderline too narrow leaving about an 1/8th of tread area showing on both sides of the tire as viewed from the top. Second, it was a bit damaged. Third, the bracket underneath it (aka: fork support) was spot welded on and it wasn't coming off to well without damaging the fender more. I could have just cut the edges off, but then leaving the rest of it under the fender took up unnecessary space that disabled closer fitment to the tire. And finally, when I fit it against the new tire, well, the previous measurements were all over. The old tire was a bit more flat in the center and a bit more worn, like a totally different shape, LOL! So with all that in mind I decided to breakdown and get a real rear fender. It should be here by Wednesday and its design will allow me more flexibility in my own design.

Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:13 PM   #14
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More pics on the front shock rebuild.

For record's sake, these are the Progressive lowering springs. I installed them as 2" lowering option, for which their instructions state to cut the 3" PVC spacer down 1". You can see also that there is a washer included to keep the spacer from binding with the spring. The springs themselves are installed with the tighter winding upward. I also show here how to measure your fluid using calipers. For the '91 VLX, you fill the fluid until it's 111mm (factory spec) from the top of the fully compressed shock tube.

Fully compress shock; fill fluid and measure:



Pull up shock tube (uncompress) and install spring w/tighter winding at top (stock spring seat on bottom of spring - not shown); drop in provided washer:



Place in the PVC spacer, in my case cut down to 2" from the 3" provided:



Install cap:



Here's some interesting tidbits:

Look at the difference between the stock steering stem bearings (circa '91) and the aftermarket All Balls bearings. Ball bearings vs. roller bearings. Nice! Also note the depth of the new races. Again with the "special tools", you don't need 'em. If you don't have a press, simply use a pipe that is the similar diameter of the inner bearing race and gently hammer them down using a flat piece of metal to spread out the blows. In my case, I used the OEM spacer that was in the front shocks since I am not reusing them. Nevermind my 'sanding' on the stem as I was removing the powdercoat in the areas where there shouldn't have been any. Pics:

Bearing comparison (Honda OEM right, All Balls installed):



Outer race comparison (Honda OEM left, All Balls installed - bottom view, topside similar):



Installation:






I received my new frame tubing last night, but I'm going to hold up on welding them up until I get the new fender for fitment purposes. Should have it tomorrow!
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #15
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Alright, couldn't help myself, I was going to hold off, but here's a sneak peak! Got my rear fender today. I temporarily assembled the front end and wheels so as to mock up my design. Tank will be raised in the front so the lines are clean down to the rear axle. Fender will be cut to my liking and sized appropriately. No, the 2x4's and duct tape are not part of the plan, although quite industrial in theme I must say, haha! Seat pan is just about where it will be, sprung of course and will be padded and clad in leather. But this weekend I am planning on welding up some frame modifications and then tearing it down again for paint. No luck tonight, to much family time, haha! I don't know about you, but that front end looks purdy sexy with those homemade bars and boots and ...... Uh, anyway, pardon the messy garage. 8-)





Actually found a couple hours to myself last night. Disassembled/reassembled the swingarm to double check proper installation and fitment of the collars prior to measuring and cutting the new frame tubing. You know the old saying, "Measure twice, cut once". Bent up a couple pieces of 7/8" DOM to use as upper slugs, then cut to size the main frame tubes. I need to pick up some 3/4" tubing to further sleeve down by the axle flanges ... the flanges have step-downs already, but I want more.









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Old 07-16-2013, 03:15 PM   #16
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Then on to drilling a few holes for spot welds into the slugs.

VERY productive day!

First, USPS dropped off a package I've been waiting for for a month. Custom velocity stacks and jet kit from TJ Brutal Customs! Tommy is awesome, super knowledgeable and so very willing to help it makes me angry that we live on separate ends of the country. Anyway, can't wait to get all this installed:




I started by disassembling the front and rear down to the frame again. I measured and cut all sorts of tube ... main tubes, support tubes, rear extension sleeves and slugs. Beveled all the edges. Put the drill-press to work making holes for rosette welds. Tacked everything up and went to town welding. Pretty welds they are not, lol! But good penetration they had. Some grinding and flapping later:




This is how the rear axle flanges looked before. To me they were a bit too short, so I added some rosette welds, added in the slugs and a short sleeve in order to extend them under the new main tubes:







Continuing on ....







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Old 07-16-2013, 03:17 PM   #17
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So this is how she's sitting as of now. Happy, happy, happy:



A lot of this time has been waiting on parts including the tubing. Things are rolling a bit more smoothly now though; and at this point I am only limited by my time, which when you have a family I don't need explain that.

What I did do last night though was to cut off a few unnecessary mounting tabs and such on the frame, fill in a few pits in the frame, smooth over some of the weld joints and sand in prep for primer. I still have to remount the rear wheel and fit the fender to chop to size, then figure how I'm mounting it. This will also include welding a cross bar for the seat mounting, and then I need to weld in some new fuel tank mounts to raise the tank in front. As for the weather, it has SUCKED big time down here ... every day, rain. I can only paint outdoors, so I have to wait for some decent weather for that.

I still gotta get down to Tandy Leather and get some tooling leather and other stuff for the seat and grips, etc. Hopefully do that this weekend, but since that's at mostly the end of my project I can still hold off a bit.

THAT'S IT AS OF JULY 16th 2013!
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:24 PM   #18
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Where did you get the fender?
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwardl
Where did you get the fender?
They are made by Led Sled Customs. I got it through Lowbrow Customs because Led was out of stock and not back into production yet. LC had them available.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:27 PM   #20
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Glad you decided to post your build up over here! makes me want to take a sawzall to my wife's VLX..... but I know what her response would be
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