Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Odds 'n' Ends.

Having realized my lower chain slider was heavily worn, and that I had a replacement sitting in the basement engine parts storage room from an XR600, I went to work installing it. I found that the one on the bike had totally lost it's plastic and the chain was riding on metal. Oops! I went into this thinking that this was a recent development, perhaps the reason for my chain's rapid slackening, but I found that this was not the case. It will still have a positive effect on the drive train. A chain riding on steel would fail sooner than one riding on plastic due to the vibration caused. So maybe it was the reason my chain stretched out, but now that the damage was done, replacing it would not allow me to readjust the chain tension, I was still at the end of my adjusters' travel.

While I had the rear wheel loose, I greased the brake shoe rocker inside the brake drum per the factory manual. It seemed to take care of the rear brake sticking I had been experiencing. It was such that I could feel a dragging resistance as I took off from a stop after applying the rear brake within normal usage. The only remedy was either to roll the bike backwards to free the brake, or ride through the resistance and it would go away. Still an annoyance I was unaccustomed to, and I was glad to have figured it out.

While I was at it I remembered my rear brake lever adjustment. Since raising the rear of the bike to match the front, my riding position had changed to further forward in the saddle. This position was more like that of the XR600 and XR650L, and also the position I'd end up in if carrying a passenger. Adding foam and contouring the seat to be more like the seats found on the aforementioned models would have to wait. The new position creates the need for the rear brake lever to come down so that I don't have to lift my foot to depress it. Fortunately Honda thought of this and added this handy adjustment feature.

I adjusted it once before the hardware store and readjusted it to a better position after I got back as it was too low.

The shift lever naturally followed.

Next on the agenda (well, on my ad-hoc agenda anyway) was making split expansion plugs so I could install my bar end weights. They were once held in by my Ghetto Machined rubber plugs backed with nuts for a rubber squish-fit, but one of them vibrated off while my brother was riding it during his visit. Since they were removed, I had been experiencing a lot of high-frequency vibrations in the handlebars, the exact reason these bikes came with bar end weights. It's a thumper, and it's not the bass I mind so much as it is the treble if you know what I mean. I went to the hardware store to look at the steel stock they had. There was a huge bar of galvanized 5/8" stock, a very small piece of which was required for this project. I checked the fit to my handlebars and found that it would be too big, and not close enough to do any of my patented Ghetto Machining on it to get it to fit. I checked the nut and bolt drawers and found clevis pins in a 1/2" size, and one of them for a couple of bucks would be enough. Getting to work, I drilled a somewhat plumb hole in the workbench for the work piece to rest in. The plumb was gauged by the level bubble on the back of the drill, perfect for the "close enough" craftsman I sometimes am. I had thought about making extra long split expanding fasteners to function as extra weight in the bars, but I am glad I went with the shorter ones. The most easily noticed reason is that there is some really tough goop crap in the opening of the bars, and there is a big enough piece in the left end that I had to tap in the expander to get it to go all the way. Besides not having a metal miter saw, a drill press, or a lathe, the construction was quite simple. Drill a hole through the axis of the bar stock so you have a thick-walled pipe, thread it at least half way through, cut it in half at an angle greater than 45*, then drill one half out bigger, so that when the two pieces draw together, there is room for one of the pieces to skew to one side, creating pressure and grip inside the handle bar end.

Since it was plain steel that can rust, and I may need to remove the bar ends at some point, I applied anti-seize compound to the threads.

On one side there was an even layer of the goop crap I mentioned earlier. I liked this as it added a vibration-dampening layer between the bars and the weights, making it less likely to vibrate the threads loose. So I applied a bit of silicone sealant to the inner wall of the other side before installing it. Now I need to find two bolts to replace the current sluggers I have in there. Apparently a flat (countersink), allen head, stainless m10 was too specialized a fastener to ask of my neighborhood hardware store.

1 comment:

  1. I just completed my XL600R Street Tracker, check it out...