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Old 01-02-2016, 08:09 PM   #41
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Onward regardless... There is incremental work to be chipped away at.

It's hard to even get a sense of proper chopper-dress-up with the fender at full circumference. First order of business was to get an initial cut on the fender, both to get it a more manageable size and, more to the point, to get a practice cut in with this material. See how it works, what doesn't work and so on...

Measure thrice, something reasonably orthogonal:

IMG_2940 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Tried marking it with blue tape for a cut line, with a "cut to" side marked:
IMG_2941 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

LOCK IT DOWN

IMG_2942 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

I spent a while setting up the cut, trying to find a way to immobilize the big boy and position the cut line to my body well.

Note: this may be trivial (no, this is trivial) for many of you. But this is my journey and I'm loving every minute of it.

Anyhow. Motherf(*&^er is strapped to a milk crate with an old military surplus cam strap, which is clamped to the bench. Then I went at it with a cutoff wheel. Just like the old days in Beirut.

Reasonably clean cut, and I get a bonus mini fender with a name tag:

IMG_2944 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Seriously considering filing it down to "Bro Tom", mounting it, and re-christening the bike. Sorry Zodiac...

Also, BroTom looks pretty good on there, very Narrow Strike Eagle-ish

IMG_2947 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

I may mount the nub initially and run that, the main reason I want the longer tire coverage is for a potential passenger pillion and/or gear landing pad (though sometimes its hard to tell the difference).
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Old 01-02-2016, 08:11 PM   #42
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Just realized I tripped onto another page here... people who are smart please go back a tick and weigh in on best practices mounting (thick?) aluminum fenders for neophytes.

THX
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Old 01-03-2016, 04:53 AM   #43
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Possibly the biggest killer of aluminium parts is going to be fatigue from vibration. You said the fender is quite thick so you could mount it with rubber grommets isolating it at each bolt but that is probably overkill. I'm thinking the rear of a four-speed frame doesn't move around much so I'd just bolt it securely, but making sure that any spacers/packers are shaped to fit (not trying to pull it all ways at once) and that it is supported back at least as far as you'll be perching the pillion.
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Old 01-03-2016, 10:50 PM   #44
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Possibly the biggest killer of aluminium parts is going to be fatigue from vibration. You said the fender is quite thick so you could mount it with rubber grommets isolating it at each bolt but that is probably overkill. I'm thinking the rear of a four-speed frame doesn't move around much so I'd just bolt it securely, but making sure that any spacers/packers are shaped to fit (not trying to pull it all ways at once) and that it is supported back at least as far as you'll be perching the pillion.
Thanks for the input... I'm going to try to get a pair of calipers on the fender itself (now that there's the center meat exposed from the initial cut) and post up a real number besides "pretty thick".

Meanwhile, playing chopper dressup with the "main" fender section:

IMG_2957 by Eric Bott, on Flickr
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:42 PM   #45
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Things that are now inbound:

-Mid Star rear wheel, BLACK LIKE MY HEART
-68-72 Juice Drum OEM drum and backing plate
-Assorted axle spacers and jazz for the rear bolt up on a round swingarm

Now... gotta source a round due-glide swingarm. Realizing that I need to do this now (if ever) to position the rear wheel exactly where it should be for mounting/positioning the fender.

Also bought a small spool of aluminum wire for the booger-thrower, going to test out how reliably I can glue Al together with the wee MIG. Given that it such a small job, I am hopeful that I can get some decent penetration and file and grind off all the extra metal that doesn't look like a sexy moto fender.
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Old 01-07-2016, 02:09 PM   #46
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Lets just say I learned a lesson on proper grinder use...

IMG_2990 by Eric Bott, on Flickr
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Old 01-08-2016, 08:11 AM   #47
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Wow - yeah, be careful. Use two hands, a backing plate on the disc and the accessory handle when possible. Clamp or secure your work piece so you can use two hands.

ALWAYS use two hands with a wire brush. They can snag, jump back and wind themselves into your clothing and body before you know what happened.

Also use a separate disc for a aluminum and steel. Don't mix the two.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:07 AM   #48
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

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Wow - yeah, be careful. Use two hands, a backing plate on the disc and the accessory handle when possible. Clamp or secure your work piece so you can use two hands.

ALWAYS use two hands with a wire brush. They can snag, jump back and wind themselves into your clothing and body before you know what happened.
Thanks, I will say that I was basically going all those things. It may be a little unclear from the pic, but those are burn holes from the spark stream coming back at my body. Using a cutoff wheel with good body alignment (two hands, extra handle, guard on and set for best position...), I did some test cuts to see if I really wanted to tackle the seat pan cuts with the grinder, and when I got done saw the two smoldering holes in my jacket.

Luckily its my "shop jacket", but I should probably get a sturdy shop apron for such activities. I always wear leather gloves, full face shield, and ear pro with this stuff now. Makes me more calm and focused on the task at hand and yields much better results.

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Also use a separate disc for a aluminum and steel. Don't mix the two.
I did not know that, thanks!
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:52 AM   #49
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

In conjunction with dorking around with fender alignment and positioning, I got a jump on the seat pan.

Started with basic patten making using file folders... quickly figured out that they are a bit too flimsy for my use and methods. I was taught pattern making for wooden boat construction and interior fitting, so I just copied the logic to choppering? Who knows, did I mention I have no ideas what I'm doing?

Picking up the initial width for the first flat section. I wanted the edges of the seat to hit right in the center of the tube sections.
IMG_2978 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Picking up various angles and taping bits and pieces for fitment rather than trying to cut everything to size right off.
IMG_2981 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_2982 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

The first drop seat section:
IMG_2983 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Hinging on the rise section:
IMG_2985 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Just playing with curling the material for the final run off the strut ends:
IMG_2987 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

After the aforementioned hole in my jacket, I transferred the first flat section to some sheet (12 ga hot roll) and cut it on the band saw. Then cleaned the lines up on the bench sander, which worked very well. nice crisp lines.

Def going to round out the sides more. I'm not going to narrow up the frame on this bike like the VCP "The Saint" or Narrow Strike Eagle, but want the seat waist to cheat it a little and bring the eye to a narrower line, even if it means leaving a little muffin-top of tubing poking out...

IMG_2992 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Before I get along much further I need to get some spacer sections between the plate and the frame to account for paint and upholstery on the final seat.

Oh, and mount the fender so I can figure out the "pommel" for the seat. Going for something like a cobra to mild scorpion-ish rise... well see.
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Old 01-08-2016, 10:59 AM   #50
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Dorking around with fender fitment at work, copying Jeff W's CoC shovelhead struts on paper... helps me learn the angles to draw it out, its fun, nerdy, and better than working.

He initially used a wee flap of fender on his '79 swingarm shov build, but then abandoned it for a Crazy Frank.
IMG_2972 by Eric Bott, on Flickr





One of my all-time fav builds, but doesn't fully fit the vibe this bike is throwing out...
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:21 PM   #51
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Lets see here... where did I leave off?

First off, got some parts in from auctions and other shenanigans.

Scored a killer deal on this black mid-star rear wheel:

IMG_3073 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

The chopper fairy also dropped off a late model juice drum:

IMG_2997 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_2998 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Came with a rear axle, all the sleeves and spacers needed (I think, anyway) and the lug bolts.

IMG_2994 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

With the new rear wheel coming in I gained a little more wiggle room in my one-car garage to maneuver the bike around on the dolly sans wheels. I never really had good access to the left side of the bike. Since I'm building left-side high pipes, I really wanted to be able to take a standoff from the bike when mocking them up to dial in the flow...

This also mean I get a new perspective on the scoot in general:

IMG_3021 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3022 by Eric Bott, on Flickr
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:28 PM   #52
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Then started on the pipes... something I'm really excited about and intimidated by, mostly because I *really* want them to be as sick as they look in my head.

We'll see.

First off some basic mockup and tinkering with some welding rod to get an idea of the bends I will need.

IMG_2996 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Careful observers will double check my math and realize I f'd up. Mixed up radius and diameter when ordering... but really I just had to buy the tightest bend I could find for the initial loop on the front head, to loop back, up, and to the left to exit on above the case deck and stay inside the frame.

It seems that Paul Cox is the only one I've seen that builds left side high pipes with any regularity. I love the look, and the totally uncluttered right side as a consequence.

This is what I'm somewhat going for for the pipe lines (Cox's Barracuda)



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Old 01-18-2016, 07:38 PM   #53
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Playing around with general positioning with some random straight bits.

IMG_3029 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3031 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3032 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3033 by Eric Bott, on Flickr
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:20 PM   #54
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Got my (for now) final front pipe mockup and tacked together.

Stared at this a bunch, the old painters tape and paracord dangle.

IMG_3060 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3061 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3064 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Then to the bandsaw, sander, hang, stare, sand, stare, fuss, file, the fuckit.

IMG_3035 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

(I am pretty embarrassed about my welds... they suck. I know.)
IMG_3062 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3034 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3065 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

Fitted a longer bit for the final runout, and got it basically where I wanted it: Parallel with the line created by the cast manifold split, and tucked in reasonably tight to the frame. Terminating the pipe before the aft-most part of the oil tank meant it could hug in a little more. Probably will add a little turnout at the tips.

IMG_3066 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3067 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3072 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3068 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3069 by Eric Bott, on Flickr

IMG_3070 by Eric Bott, on Flickr
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:52 PM   #55
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

Are you comfortable you'll be able to get to the clutch pedal with the front pipe?
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Old 01-19-2016, 02:56 PM   #56
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Are you comfortable you'll be able to get to the clutch pedal with the front pipe?
I *think* so. But maybe not. I figure I can always mock up a heat shield if need be, or move the petal. Not sure yet but its a good thing to keep in mind.

But I am letting the pipes dictate things a bit, I'll build around them...
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Old 01-19-2016, 03:54 PM   #57
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

turn the grinder 180 degrees - shoot the sparks away from yourself and cut backwards - keep your old coat
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Old 01-20-2016, 12:06 AM   #58
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Are you comfortable you'll be able to get to the clutch pedal with the front pipe?
Well, I just went out, sat on the bike and made vroom-vroom noises....

and you're totally right, that pipe position isn't going to fly. Thanks for the catch man.

Started to reposition it lower and therefore tighter into the frame, along the taper of the jugs.

Chop chop chop
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Old 01-20-2016, 07:14 AM   #59
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Started to reposition it lower and therefore tighter into the frame, along the taper of the jugs.
my eye says the pipes need to follow the top of the primary cover. I think that is what makes the IL pipes work. I made a set very similar to what you are doing, and that little bit of upsweep really makes a big visual difference. but its just my opinion, and your pipes...
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Old 01-20-2016, 09:10 AM   #60
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Default Re: '55 Panhead Yet-To-Be-Named

I had a stock 59 FLH that I truly loved maybe more than any bike I ever had. I had a heart attack, 2 strokes, and throat cancer all in a 5 year span. I got to the point where if I didn't get it started in the first 2 or 3 kicks after prime I was done. Short story I sold her for a electric start bike. Now 10 yrs gone and feeling great, I regret selling her to this day. Your Pan brings back fine memories. Personally if I had that Pan I would name her (Lost Dreams)
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