leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)
saophoto
Posted 10/22/2017 11:11 AM (#95446)
Subject: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Hi Folks!
I am new to sidecarring and have only had my rig set up for about a month without much riding in yet.
I have a velorex 562 mounted to a ural retro with regular forks.
Unfortunately the only place I had at the time to set it up was an uneven driveway made of pavers (bricks).
It actually handles pretty well and have had it on the side streets and up to 45 mph without any noticeable issues.
I recently started taking it to work and realized how unlevel the frame is, and when riding it is even more pronounced, with the frame sagging in towards the bike.

My question is, now that I have found a decent spot to level the frame...
Do I have to disassemble the whole thing to get the frame level?
Do I have to start from scratch?
Can anyone give me a step by step to do this?

I have done some research and some recommend compressing the shocks on the bike to simulate me being on it while in other writings this is never mentioned.
If setting it up with shocks compressed, wont the sidecar frame appear to slant away from the bike when no rider is present?

Should the sidecar be empty of ballast when setting the frame level?

I believe the velorex instructions state not to snug anything down until after toe in and lean out and also say to remove the blocks holding everything up before that as well, which seems to me would allow things to sink out of level, especially the two bottom braces on the sidecar frame.

Any advice in getting the frame level is greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
Steve

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Valkrider
Posted 10/22/2017 1:53 PM (#95447 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
Strap the bike down or do as I did and put sandbags on the seat equivalent to your weight approx. There will be someone along soon that actually knows what their talking about but I believe that it will effect toe in as well as frame level. In my case when I got the frame level, my tire was not vertical. Instead of leveling the frame I had to adjust the wheel vertical which left the frame unlevel. I shimmed between the frame and body to compensate to make the body close to level. Something you might want to check for as I was told it isn't an unheard of issue. Before final toe in and lean out I did add expected passenger weight in the sidecar. Good luck, you will learn a lot doing it yourself.
Don't know if total disassembly is necessary but stands to reason all your connections are going to need to be loose. Whether the frame appears level without rider is immaterial.

Edited by Valkrider 10/22/2017 2:21 PM
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saophoto
Posted 10/22/2017 2:24 PM (#95448 - in reply to #95447)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Hi Valk, thanks for sharing, sandbags sounds like a good idea!
But still unsure, do we leave the simulated weight in place until everything is tightened right up?
I figure once i get the frame level, and tire vertical, the toe in and lean out wont be as difficult as my first few attempts.
I just watched a video from dmc and they appeared to attach the bottom mounts and snugged them up, adjusted toe in and then added the uppers.....
I am wondering if that technique could carry over the the velorex......
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Valkrider
Posted 10/22/2017 2:36 PM (#95449 - in reply to #95448)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Location: Fort Smith, Arkansas
The weight needs to stay on the bike during set up. It took me a long while and several attempts to get mine to what I believe is okay if not perfect. Frustrating, as at least in my case, one setting affects the other. I understand this is somewhat dependent on where the lower mounts are located in relation to each other. Adjust toe in and lean out using the lowers. Attaching the uppers will hopefully lock everything together and should attach without needing to apply force. Someone with more experience will be along soon.

Edited by Valkrider 10/22/2017 2:42 PM
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jaydmc
Posted 10/23/2017 10:39 AM (#95450 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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See attachment. If you have any specific questions you can email me directly jay@dmcsidecars.com or phone 866-638-1793
You might also read this article
http://www.dmcsidecars.com/the-result-of-improper-sidecar-mounting-...
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793



Attachments
----------------
Attachments BASIC SIDECAR INSTRUCTIONS.doc (388KB - 12 downloads)
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saophoto
Posted 10/23/2017 5:27 PM (#95455 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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thanks Jay, after watching your video i was planning on the same approach!
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saophoto
Posted 10/23/2017 6:01 PM (#95456 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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ps... Jay, should I keep the tie down on the bike until all settings are complete?
Thanks again!!!
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KAmes
Posted 10/23/2017 11:11 PM (#95460 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: RE: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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saophoto - 10/22/2017 10:11 AM

If setting it up with shocks compressed, wont the sidecar frame appear to slant away from the bike when no rider is present?




This is where I'm at at the moment, with my sidecar slanting out slightly. I imagine it looks more level when I'm on the bike, although I've never seen myself on the bike. It drives so well I'm reluctant to change anything at this point.
I'm glad to hear yours is handling well too, some folks seem to struggle with handling problems.
I can't really offer any reliable advice as I'm a new to this also, other than to say enjoy the process it's part of the fun!

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saophoto
Posted 10/24/2017 8:25 AM (#95461 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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hi all!
If the rain holds off, I will be heading off to my friend's shop and pretty much start the mounting from scratch I think as that may be the easiest way to go.
Having set the rig up on a paver driveway, at first I didnt realize how uneven the whole thing was. Depending upon where I parked, sometimes everything looked good, other times super wonky!
The first test run after getting it all together almost put me in the neighbors oak tree! Somehow managed to get it back to the driveway and a few days later readjusted everything... did some more test riding on the side streets and all seemed fine. Or at least as far as I could tell.
Soon I started taking it to work, less than a mile from home, learning to get up to speed and still crawling through the right hand turns.... then one day recently I looked out the window at work and saw that the sidecar wheel was crooked... my heart sunk, I was looking at it from the front and really couldnt see the frame from there....next day, I pulled in so that I could see the bike from the back and that was when I saw that the frame wasnt sitting straight. Leaving work that day, a friend was following me out and the next day I asked him if the car looked wonky, sure enough he saw how the frame was slanted too. So even though it "felt" right, or seems to since I am new to driving a sidecar, the frame alignment is way off and I have since kept its use to a bare minimum.
I had a feeling, while following the original directions that things could slip when removing the blocks without snugging things tight, directions that were read over and over to make sure I was doing it right, and read again while in the process of hooking it up.
So this time around I am blaming the poor directions and the uneven driveway
Next time, if I dont get it right, I will accept all blame
If I can get to it today, I will be attaching the bottom struts first, making sure there is a load on the bike and the frame is level, adjusting the toe in, and snugging everything up there before removing the blocks that will hold the frame level, and then move to the two uppers.
Fingers crossed that this round gets it right!
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LowriderBud
Posted 10/24/2017 9:26 AM (#95462 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Location: East Texas
Saophoto, I am very interested in how your realignment works out for you. I have a Velorex 563 mounted to a Suzuki VL800. The bike is lower than the sidecar frame by about 1 3/4" causing the car's frame to be unlevel. I'm thinking to correct I'll need to fabricate new lower mounts, so I am holding off taking things apart and starting this project. If your realignment shows improved results, I'll attempt a redo. Keep us posted with your procedures and your progress.
Later, Bud...
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jaydmc
Posted 10/24/2017 10:09 AM (#95463 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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If done right unless you have very stiff suspension on your bike, when you get off your bike and look at the rig, it is going to look wrong. All adjustments need to be made with your weight equivalent compressing the bikes suspension. Once your weight is no longer on the bike, it suspension will lift mainly in the rear making it look like the nose of the sidecar is down.
Jay G
DMC sidecars
866-638-1793
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Valkrider
Posted 10/24/2017 12:02 PM (#95464 - in reply to #95462)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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LowriderBud - 10/24/2017 8:26 AM

Saophoto, I am very interested in how your realignment works out for you. I have a Velorex 563 mounted to a Suzuki VL800. The bike is lower than the sidecar frame by about 1 3/4" causing the car's frame to be unlevel. I'm thinking to correct I'll need to fabricate new lower mounts, so I am holding off taking things apart and starting this project. If your realignment shows improved results, I'll attempt a redo. Keep us posted with your procedures and your progress.
Later, Bud...
Sorry, having a hard time visualizing your problem of height. Not familiar with Velorex but don't the tubes that extend from the frame pivot up and down by unclampinping lock nuts to change height?

Edited by Valkrider 10/24/2017 12:03 PM
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Jeff_Online
Posted 10/30/2017 9:00 AM (#95531 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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The universal mount that comes with them, the front lower is a gooseneck sort of arrangement that can pivot to change height of the frame. The rear ones and the front upper are pretty standard straight clevis & rod-eye arrangements. The sliding clamp for the rear lower is a bit wonky, I welded mine in place once I got it in the right spot, because it kept sliding. It should be fairly easy to level the whole thing, the problem is most likely this sliding clamp. The best solution IMO would be to turn it upside down. That's the difference between hanging the frame down from the bike, or holding it up from underneath, so you basically subtract the width of the frame tube and can hopefully level it out that way. Or even better yet, get rid of the universal one-size-fits-none mounting system. I ended up welding things and adding and subtracting pieces... I just discovered one of Jay's installs and how he did it, I'm going to try emulating that on my re-do, where the front upper has a 90 degree bend and gets nicely out of the way.
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Peter Pan
Posted 10/30/2017 10:05 AM (#95532 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)



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Other point: What buddy Fernando, the former local Jawa importer, used to do, is get the measuring rails 4" off the ground, so they get good contact to the wheels. For different size wheels he used to put some distance shims to the tires (better said rim border) and strapped the rail snug to the spokes. That way he got rid of erratic wiggle waggle.
His adjustments always came out way better then mines.
Sven
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saophoto
Posted 10/31/2017 6:28 PM (#95560 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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So I brought it to the shop the other day.
Used three jacks total, one under the bike, one at the front of the sidecar and one in the rear. Lifted til all were level. attached the bottom clamps and struts, set toe in and clamped things down. Attached the two uppers and adjusted the lean out. I did not remove the jacks until I had everything near where I wanted it to be and things were pretty snug, wrench snug. Removed the jacks form sidecar first, slowly and watching the level at the same time. The car stayed straight! Rechecked everything and tightened everything twice. I added some lines with silver sharpie going from clamp to frame so I can watch for movement.
Tracking good, needs only about 40 lbs ballast in the trunk, which I may take out later and see how it handles. Have done about 20 miles on it since, side streets, lots of corners, a bit of highway. All seems good and all clamps have stayed put.
Thanks everyone for the helpful comments!
Next is hooking up the lights, adding the brake, and painting it black to match the bike.
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LowriderBud
Posted 11/6/2017 5:09 PM (#95630 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Location: East Texas
Jeff Online, I believe your suggestion to invert the bottom rear mount is what I need to do to get enough adjustment to compensate for the bike being so much lower than the sidecar frame. I am going to try that, and I will most likely need to rebuild the lower front mount and weld some of the clamps in place so I can have the desired alignment between bike and sidecar.

Thanks to saophoto also for following up with the changes he made; looks like they might help with the realign.

I'll post when I get to a place that I feel is in the right direction. I'll also post if I screwed things up...

Later, Bud...
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saophoto
Posted 11/6/2017 6:07 PM (#95631 - in reply to #95446)
Subject: Re: leveling sidecar frame questions (new to sidecars)


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Hi Lowrider!
I have my rear bottom inverted as well, it angles up a little to the bike frame but so far is holding great.
If I didn't invert it on mine the strut would be too close to the heel of my boot and I didnt want to chance snagging on it when I need to hit the brake.
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