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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! Tought I could share some progress with my chopper project. Been here for 4 years and finally my bike might get ready for summer. Modified Santee frame, 4 speed trans and 4 ⅝" stroker Shovelhead motor. Almost all work done by me, just let professional welder finish the frame and fuel tank welds. Welded the oil tank myself, haven't made any pressure test yet. I laced the wheels myself, at front there is 19" narrow rim with early 80's narrow dual brake hub, rear is 4x16" with 90's alloy wide glide front hub. Front end is +12" 39 mm with '04 FXDX lowers and "adjustable" damping (internals made by me, haven't made any road tests yet). With short slugs the fork is about +16" old hydra. Maybe it's time for some pick and less talk, it's almost midnight here so more photos tomorrow.

 

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That's real good. Looking forward to more pics. Looks like a whole lot of rake in the trees, would you say some words about them? (You may have noticed that there's a recent/ongoing JJ thread about raked trees, trail, etc. etc., that has somehow ballooned into a five-page wonder. Possibly of interest to you?)

Also you mention (if I understand correctly) that the forks are 12" over stock and are slugged for ±4" more? I've never run a very long bike; but back approximately 1,000,000 years ago everybody seemed to be certain that slugs were mortally dangerous. (At that same time and despite all the negative expert-type advice, fork slugs were big sellers among [low-end, I think] chopper builders.

I don't want to reopen any old cans o' worms, and clearly you're confident that slugs are OK to use. But I'd kind of like to read your and others' views, see if all the c. 1971 badmouthing was fact or fantasy.

Thanks for the show & tell.

James rats
 

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James I think he doesn't talk about old style slugs. The 4" are the difference between an old stock 1950s Hydra glide 41mm front end an a modern stock 39mm front end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah they are actually like fork plugs that are made from 2" slugs, they are chopped so the fork tube ends just below upper triple tree, basically the same as hydra/wide glide. Here's a pick of those as I can't say all the work that I have made to these.



Maybe I have to check that raked tree topic, mine has 7 degrees with a bit over 1" offset, about 45 degrees in frame and around 3 ½" trail. Steering feels nice and easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I started to build this bike at the end of 2019 as I found the lower forks and dual brake front hub from annual swap meet. The forks were already polished so they didn't require anything but some research and measuring for the inner parts to make those fit. But lets start the picture posting with wheels as they were the start of my build.

The front hub was painted and I wanted it polished, so I figured the best way to remove paint is with lathe, but I'm not so capable with it and couldn't do the large radius so it went a little edgy.







The rear one was harder, got the rim from my father and it was a bit rusty inside so paint paint paint after rust cleanig, it should be good. Once again I promised myself to lace and true only new rims, as the used ones are always harder to get straight.
Drilling larger holes for rear sprotor:







Rigid frame is probably the best truing jig for rear wheel





 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When I was ready with the wheels I started to work with the front fork. As mentioned earlier, I found the lower forks already polished at swap meet and I had +12" upper forks laying around with these custom made triple trees. So on we go, made the inner parts to make all these parts to work with eachother. Copied the dimensions of stock dampers and made my own with M8 bottom thread to fit the lowers. Made them also a bit longer than TrackerDie extended dampers and as I had to make the lower stops too, I made them with thicker bottom part to get all the length I could get. Also made new top plugs/slugs mentioned earlier that added a bit over 1" to the fork. I didn't drill any holes in the dampers, as all oil flows thru the bottom bolt to the original damping adjuster screws. I hope it works or at least keeps the oil inside the forks as I used Redline Likewater suspension fluid. Time will tell.







As I mentioned earlier, the triple trees are custom made to my specs. They have 7 degrees rake, 30 mm offset on top tree and they are a bit narrower than stock. Well made quality parts, but at the time when I ordered these I didn't know how much I hate adjusting the headlamp to point to the center and not left or right. So I machined square inlay and now I don't need to adjust the light as it is always centered.





I also had to drill larger handlebar mounting holes but I'll get to that later.



Also machined new front axle to fit, as my wheel has ¾" bearings and the forks were originally meant for 1" axle. No pics from that operation, most times when I'm using a lathe I need both hands... Maybe some frame stuff at the next post, maybe not.
 

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Amazing work! Love all the neat little touches you've put in or added. Kudos for the trees as well, I bet that took a bit of math!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks, it takes a little math and a lot of time. Thats why this project is slow

The frame is some old rigid Santee that needed a little more stretch and rake. For some reason Santee has made the neck shorter, maybe to fit older Sportster fork or something. I machined new neck and cutted a few tubes in the way I liked them. The seatpost got half inch stretch too, maybe it would look better with engine closer to the frame, but I appreciate the fact that I can remove the rear rocker cover without taking the head off. Last year I had to take the engine out to get head off of customers stroker shovelhead, don't want to do that with mine.

So I tacked everything to a jig and let my friend to weld them in place. Also got rid of those sharp bends under the seat, they felt quite uncomfortable at stoplights.

















2020 midsummer regards from Finland, the almost moving summer vehicles at work:

 

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Holy cats. This gets better and better. More show & tell, please, when your leisure schedule allows.

The rightmost (swingarm) bike in your final pic above, damn, it's a dead ringer for a Shovel I used to see loping around southeastern Michigan right around the time when the Superglide first came out. Even the color's the same. I admired that bike a great deal, never caught the owner sitting still to talk about it. ... I don't know what he'd have said, anyway, beyond "Yes, I've got real good taste and I like practical, comfortable motorcycles."

Anyway: Like the others in the photo, that bike has definitely stood the test of time and kept its good looks.
 

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Holy cats. This gets better and better. More show & tell, please, when your leisure schedule allows.
That really sums it up. Beautiful work. Addressing the sharp bends in all the Santee and Paughco frames. Nobody sees that except our Finnish fiend. Fun lathe tip. Leave the tool holder a little loose and when it advances it makes wonderful smooth shapes. Manual only of course. Works for me on my South Bend.
Oh and Mopar or no car. Love the big C-bodies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I'll try to get this story to this day, with every detail that matters. Now some seatpan/sissy/rear brake stuff:

The king&queen seat that was in this bike when I bought it wouldn't fit the narrower frame anymore, so I had to chop it too. Now when I think of it it would have been better just make completely new seat and sell the old one. Ended up cutting it half, as I changed the rear fender angle a bit. Welded it together and also welded round bar around the sharp edges so upholstery will live longer.









The sissy had that weird shape at the end as tail light was there but that didn't look good and I cut it open and straightened it leaving the other end a bit longer (it makes it easier to tie up luggage). Welded it with stainless stick welder, needed a little grinding but looks good enough, that was my first stick weld job for stainless been using MIG for years thou.











The rear brake that was in the bike when I got it was great, except it didn't look so good. Well, it still looks too new as it is 6 piston sprocket brake but sometimes you have to use stuff that are available and works, some small touch with file and polishing and it's good to go.



 

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Really interesting, how your changes to the caliper erased all the "billet" signifiers. ... I hope that sentence is comprehensible, and/or you know what I mean so I don't have to try to fix it. (Short version: Those subtle cosmetic changes took a "dated"-looking piece and un-dated it. Nice.)

I also notice and like that on the frame you're using, the front downtubes have a bend, a straight bit, and a bend: like the factory's pre-Shovel frames. The Shovel's single large-radius bend suggests (if you have mild OCD, like me) that ease of manufacture won out over good looks (no surprise there), resulting in a clumsy, one-size-fits-none product.

Is it reasonable to assume that you're going to share some closer, multiple-angle photos of the fuel and oil tanks? Come on man, I know you have nothing better to do with your time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
That makes sense to me, and yes I'm going to talk about the tanks too, but now we're going to the front brakes.

The yellow shovel (and all the other vehicles in the pick) are my employers. It's 1200 with some Wood cam, it runs good and quite high for a shovelhead. He only complains 'bout the seat and rear shocks.

I got a set of almost new 2004 dual calipers and they got a bit more angle grinder first and the file and polish later. They needed 11/16" master cylinder so I ordered some chinese superbike clutch cylinder, got it for 17€ (close 1:1 in $) so it really was cheap. Well, it was again looking too much billet and the file got back to work.





And that leads us to the larger holes in upper tree:

I wanted to run throttle cable and brake line inside the handlebars and it was easiest to do so with left hand brake lever. It just makes sense to me, my flathead has controls the same way and I'm left handed. So I bought M16 stainless bolts that I bored thru in lathe. Left side got tapped for M10 banjo bolt and right side will get some nipple for the throttle cable slack adjuster. Handlebars were a bit bent Harley buckhorns in they're previous life, so I cutted them in half and welded the bolts at the end. Left one has smaller diameter tube inside, and it is welded on both ends to save some dot 5







The master cylinder has 22 mm clamp, so I machined some stainless 1" bar with 22 mm inlay for it. Also made a thread and inlay for banjo bolt and seal there, and the upper end of brake line is welded inside. I had to split a piece of handlebars to get all these parts welded together. Still not finished, they are quite hard to get straight. OE Harley bars are great as they're stainless steel so no need for chrome.









The brake line had to be divided into 2, so once again machining stainless steel. Wanted to use "dragster style" fork brace with brake line thru the rear bar. That is hard to explain but I have pics:









On we go down the forks and into the front rotors. I didn't know the dual brake front hub I had happened to be somewhere between '77 and '83, and it had to be used with 2 13/32" inner diameter rotor that are only available with 10" diameter. The narrow forks, 19" rim and 4 piston calipers doesn't fit with that small rotors when the calipers hit the spokes. I had already laced the wheel when I found out there aren't any 11.5" rotors available with that large id I had to draw them myself and a friend of mine laser cut those from stainless steel (he also has cut all the sheet metal parts for the tanks and fork brace). The calipers needs a bit machining at the backside and I might still make small spacers under the rotors to get a little more space.



The rotors are star shaped like the rear sprotor, just tried to do them look light as they are quite large for this bike. As they are completely custom I had the ability to use the measurements of the front hub, so they fit almost seamless to the hub.



Fuck, Tapatalk has "maximum images uploaded for month" now and mine got full. I'll try to upload the rest of the picks somewhere else. I hope these pics can be seen and that they are here more than this month.


There was different links for small and big images, my phone shows them both quite good, but how do you guys see them? Specially intrested on how they are seen in computer screen.
 

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You just opened my eyes i have to take my front brake caliper back from the future as well, just never thought of it , yet that simple to change the looks.
 

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Excellent work. If you're taking opinions:

Slugs are... not great. I'd buy longer tubes.

Have you considered how well a juice front end is going to work at that rake? I always felt 37° or so is getting to the outside of how well a hydraulic fork works.

And imgur will let you dump photos without a max upload.
 
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm taking opinions, but not with the forks I know I mentioned the slugs first but they are fine in this configuration. They are like top plugs of 41 mm forks, and I have never heard anyone having problems with those. I'd be happy to use longer tubes, but it seems like nobody makes longer anymore, even the +12" are hard to find these days.

The rake does make hydraulic forks not so good, but there are people running with +32" tubes with 60 degrees total rake, I have only 52 degrees total. IF it feels like the fork is like rubberband I might get raked cups and make it 49 degrees total rake and lower the forks. But now it has felt good moving around the shop, only driving it can tell how the damping works.
 
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