Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Electrical System re-do

Here's my modified wiring diagram:

I'm removing the side-stand safety switch, relay and diode and deleting the entire interlock wiring associated with this. I'm using the neutral switch only to light the neutral indicator light. So that wiring got slightly changed. The other change required to pull this off was to tie the Orange/Blue wiring from the Kill Switch connector straight to the fused common, instead of getting it from he side stand relay. Now the only start-up safety mechanism is the clutch switch, which I happen to like. Can't start it without at least thinking about it.

500k .jpg, watch out -
And the stock wiring diagram (many wires removed for the stupid side stand interlock system!)
The next step is to integrate the new gauge and re-wire for the Ignitech Sparker TCI-P4 programmable ignition system. I'm considering fixing a Throttle Position Sensor to my carb, as the Ignitech has an input for this. Would be kinda nice to see it on the graphing software. It might be too much trouble though. I know the 1st gen SV650's are carburated and have a TPS mounted on the rear carb. I might be able to adapt this to the VX...

I'm considering two different gauges right now, the simple Trailtech VAPOR, or the data logging Mychron3 Gold (or plus). I've got my eyes on a used karting Mychron3 Gold right now... It would be pretty trick to get graphs of my RPM/speed/temps/TPS etc to tune the bike.

Carb rebuild

Rebuilding my carbs:
Lot's of parts... After dissecting them and then buying necessary replacement parts, I think I understand where each piece goes.
I'm just waiting for my new o-rings, gaskets, screws etc.

Got my Factory Pro standard rebuild kit:
Of course, no job on this bike would be complete without a broken screw:

It holds on this bracket:I didn't even really need to take this off. I just wanted to clean it really well. I couldn't resist undoing every single part. It just wouldn't be complete otherwise. This is what I get:

I also drilled out the mixing screw, which is blocked off on the US (or at least Cali) models of the VX.

I should have these back together within a week. Hooray. Next step, programmable ignition system. I'm also redesigning the wiring on the bike right now. My latest project to get OCD on.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New Headlight

So here's the new headlight and mounting brackets associated.

The process started with cutting off the stock tabs from the headlight hanger. The fabbing new tabs, then welding them on. Very, very painstaking process to get the alignment right.
All made of mild steel (probably too heavy a gauge but oh well), so I could weld to the stock hanger.

This headlight comes from a 2006 Yamaha MT-03. Only sold in Europe until recently, I imported the damn thing from England. I would have liked to use the bracket from the MT-03 but the fork rake is different and fork width is different, plus I didn't want to spend another $200 on the bracket. LSL has a kit for mounting this on a Triumph Speed Triple (my old bike), but the same problems apply. Plus the mounting kit cost ~$300.00. Way too much.

Posed for fitment, before molding and painting.

The stock horn bracket and horn were in the way of the new light. So the horn bracket got modified. I chopped it down, folded over the support for the hanger and drilled new holes:

More pre-painting fitment:
I started out with the light lower down on the forks, which I thought looked slightly better. I ran into troubles with the horn bracket even after modd'ing it. I ended up raising the whole thing up. It gives the bike more of a hunched up look. Maybe like a cat arching it's back with it's hair standing up.
The result of moving the light up is that it interferes with the stock gauges. I've now decided to use an aftermarket gauge. I was never fond of the stock gauges sticking up the way they do since I've removed the standard handlebars. I don't want the stock gauges being the highest thing on the bike, sticking up all crazy. Another corner to engineer my way out of.

Here's some shots with the bracket and headlight on final install. I've also installed new front brake master cylinder and controls.
And the new modd'ed horn bracket, painted and installed:

Front view looks nice and tidy!
Here's the top view. You can see the new brake master cylinder, and custom mounting of the reservoir:

In the above photo you can see the way I mounted the brake reservoir. I took the stock clutch lever assembly, sawed off the mount that connected it to the handlebars. I then filed this down nice and round, and painted it up. I made a custom bracket to hold the reservoir, out of aluminum, and painted that also. I'm using the threads that used to hold the mirror on the stock clutch lever bracket, to screw the new reservoir bracket into.

You can also see that I've upgraded my throttle controls. This comes off a 2006? GSXR.

The new front brake setup is off a 2008 Yamaha YZF-R6, purchased from a salvage shop. It's a 5/8's radial cylinder with separate reservoir. I couldn't make the VX stock master cylinder fit. It kept bumping into the clipon where it mounts to the forks. I went from a 1/2 master cylinder to a 5/8s. That's going to soften up my front braking a little. Hopefully not too much...

I've now got a completely refurbished stock VX front brake master cylinder and lever for sale!

Ok. That's all for now. This took SO much time to accomplish. I was running this work in parallel with my engine rebuild and many other current projects for the VX though, and lately I've only been able to work on this on weekends...

All said and done, I'm happy with the look. It's extreme, but I feel it will fit in with the new look of the bike as a whole once it's complete. One thing I hate is aftermarket headlight jobs that look pasted to the front of the bike, with no harmony with the lines and feel of the bike. I searched long and hard for a light that would be eye catching, but not cheesy. Something as far from stock as I could get, which limited me to non-round lights.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tank work

It's finally time to start on my tank. I started with a dent-free spare I bought for $125 at a wrecking yard in Vacaville.

I decided to use a paint stripper this time instead of blasting it. Paint makes the coolest sound when it breaks free!

The final stripped tank with filler applied:
My new custom seat will not be going as high on the tank as the stock seat. I never see the purpose of putting the seat up the tank because then you can never ride forward.
I'm using EVERCOAT METAL2METAL for this work. This is the first layer sanded out. I'll fill with another layer and sand to shape.

Before I start applying primer, I'm going to use electrolysis to remove the rust on the inside. It's not significantly rusted, but it NEEDS to be removed. It's light surface rust only. I don't like the tank sealers, so I'm going to just treat the metal immediately after doing the electrolysis. As soon as I can find some "washing soda" I'll be using the DC power supply that I used during the my aluminum anodization work.

Engine problems

Well, I've had a few minor setbacks that have been really stalling me on progress. First I tore my cylinder to block gasket. This weekend I tried mounting the #2 cylinder again and this time I had a bent dowl pin and in an attempt to force the cylinder down, I broke my cam chain tensioner right where it mounts into the head/cylinder assembly. Ugh. Now I'm waiting for a new tensioner and dowel.

At least I made some progress, I got the cam sprocket and cam installed on the #1 cylinder, and successfully removed the slotted cap in the generator cover, without damaging it. I made a custom tool for this out of aluminum. I also made a custom piston ring compressor. That makes 4 custom tools I fabricated for this motorcycle.

No pics for this post. Working on the engine by yourself is not conducive to photography. I have few enough hands as it is.

I've also finished my headlight bracket and painted it. I'm pretty happy with how this worked out. I'll do a whole post on the new headlight as it took me so much designing and sweat to get it finished.