Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)
OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 2/13/2011 10:53 AM (#56178)
Subject: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Hello All,

I'm the proud owner of an Auburn Gemini! (Same molds as the Ride-by-Side and the TwinStar, but predates them both). I'm disassembling the unit for painting, inspection and general rebuild. She'll need a new interior before she gets mounted too. It came off a GoldWing GL1000 and I plan to mount 'er to a GL1100. Mounting hardware was included!

I have a few questions before I get too deep.

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1. The wheel rim needs to be either replaced, or rechromed or otherwise refinished. I'm considering replacement. The rim I have is 13-inch with 4 bolts. While looking up rims on-line, there are a few more numbers to consider. As an example, I see a 13-inch, 4-100 or 4-110 (as well as others). What does the 100 and 110 mean? Is that the measurement of the hub hole in millimeters? Distance between studs? Stud diameter? What is the wheel off-set?

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2. Can I mount any 'ol 13-inch tire on the wheel or do I need to match the original as close as I can? Radial or Bias Ply? Does it matter?

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3. I don't know anything about the shock, so I'd like to replace it. How does one go about sizing a replacement shock as far as strength? Is an air shock an option?

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4. Going to replace the wheel bearings too. No questions here other that if anyone knows of anything unusual about this hub, I'd appreciate it.

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Thanks in advance for all your help and encouragement!!

Edited by OldSchool_IsCool 2/13/2011 11:07 AM
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SidecarMike
Posted 2/13/2011 1:06 PM (#56179 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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If you can find a short air shock, you can give yourself some easy ride adjust.  We used to use a bicycle hand pump on the Hitchhiker.  About three strokes took you from very soft to very hard.
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Hack'n
Posted 2/13/2011 1:38 PM (#56181 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Looks like a standard 4 on 4" trailer hub with 1" axle stub and Timken bearings.
Measure the offset needed from wheel mounting flange to the swingarm pivot point. Do the same with a mounted replacement wheel. A 13" high speed trailer wheel/tire assembly will work just fine.

L.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 2/14/2011 8:57 AM (#56203 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Thanks Mike, Thanks Lonnie,

I'll keep you posted as the restoration continues. Bolts that haven't moved in 30+ years sure don't like to move now!!


Mike, Just checking, The three strokes were on the bicycle pump, right?
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/7/2011 9:27 AM (#56497 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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OK, got the tub off the frame and have removed the windscreen, reflectors, brake light and other misc nuts and bolts. Fender and tub are at the paint shop while I ready the frame and tug. Found that GL1100 air shocks are the right length. Handy as the tug is a GL1100 and consistency of parts, IMHO, adds to the elegance of the solution.

Windscreen:
It's rather cloudy and has paint on it from a PO's ham handed paint job. Can this be cleaned up? Replaced? The creases in the screen are all pretty straight. Would it be difficult to get a lexan sheet of similar thickness (3/16th it looks like) then use heat and a straight edge to make my own?
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SidecarMike
Posted 3/7/2011 9:33 AM (#56498 - in reply to #56497)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Windsheild doesn't look all that bad.  Find yourself a tube of Flitz Polish and follow the directions on the box.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/7/2011 1:38 PM (#56502 - in reply to #56498)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Thanks for the tip Mike. I see my local Auto Zone has tubes in stock. Not cheap, but not outrageous either. I'll give 'er a shot!
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SidecarMike
Posted 3/7/2011 1:57 PM (#56504 - in reply to #56502)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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OldSchool_IsCool - 3/7/2011 12:38 PM Thanks for the tip Mike. I see my local Auto Zone has tubes in stock. Not cheap, but not outrageous either. I'll give 'er a shot!

 

It lasts a long time.  I'm still using a tube I bought in 2004 for the Valkyrie.

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SideCar
Posted 3/9/2011 11:24 AM (#56534 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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If you do end up needing a replacement, yes, you can bend it your self or I can look up where I had a replacement made in original size. You might also think about how high or low you want it. I cut mine and contoured it some to have a lower one for the kids, but my wife likes a higher shield. I've got a local guy who is going to make me a higher one as soon as I get off my duff and measure how high my wife would like it.

Here is what it looks like with the short windshield.

DFW Ride for Kids

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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/9/2011 1:35 PM (#56536 - in reply to #56534)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Thanks Sidecar! Looks AWESOME!

It would appear that there was a change to the fender configuration in the years between your car and mine. My fender is much bigger and covers the shock. Also, my shock angles to the back, not the front.

As for the windscreen, I'm guna try to clean it up as suggested already. If it doesn't turn out, then I'll try bending my own. I wana keep mine rather tall as I plan to mount a bow behind the seat to drape a convertable-ish canopy for sun and/or rain protection. I've seen a picture of just such a setup in the photo gallery here, but can't seem to find it now.

As I mentioned before, Happiness is not only an empty bladder and a full tank (ala Mike), it's also takes a contented monkey! But I have found that calling her a monkey does NOT lead to contentment And "ballast" doesn't work either -- double
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SideCar
Posted 3/9/2011 2:00 PM (#56537 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Yes, I notice the differences you're talking about. My frame is also made of square tubing rather than the round in yours, but it all looks similar and has the same tub. You probably already know that Texas Sidecars (now in Leonard, TX) inherited/bought the molds for this model, but they had a fire at some point that damaged the molds and have chosen not to redo them. If you do need something for yours, Bob at Texas Sidecars might be able to help with that.

For lighting, as you can see, I wired up a basic $20 driving light going forward and ran the wires underneath along the frame to quick connects to the bike. I started with 100 watt, but changed to 55 as it seemed to be too bright for those in front of me. I used some surface mount oval LED taillights on the back (surface mount so that I only had to drill holes big enough to run the wires inside), but realize I don't have any pics of the back.

I'll be very interested in how the canopy turns out. I had considered that at one point, but never gotten excited enough about it to take action.
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Hack'n
Posted 3/9/2011 2:26 PM (#56539 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Here's one of the last Texas "Twinstar's" made. Note that the shock/swing-arm is set up different than the Gemini. Frame is square tubing and it used a trailer fender.

Lonnie

Edited by Hack'n 3/9/2011 2:33 PM




('94 Heritage Softtail-Twinstar 002.jpg)



('94 Heritage Softtail-Twinstar 003.jpg)



('94 Heritage Softtail-Twinstar 005.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments '94 Heritage Softtail-Twinstar 002.jpg (126KB - 51 downloads)
Attachments '94 Heritage Softtail-Twinstar 003.jpg (126KB - 30 downloads)
Attachments '94 Heritage Softtail-Twinstar 005.jpg (128KB - 35 downloads)
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SideCar
Posted 3/9/2011 2:41 PM (#56540 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Thanks for those pics.

Same frame & shock setup (different shock, though) as mine. I removed the chrome trim piece around the middle when I painted it all black. On mine, the wheel has an exagerated natural negative camber that I wish wasn't there or was decreased a bit, but it appears that the block on the frame that mounts the wheel assembly was made that way from when it was assembled. But, I'm guessing you've seen every kind of combination imaginable with all the rigs you have seen and had a hand in.

Looks like someone did a nice job on the taillight in the fender. I keep thinking about putting a turn signal out there to go along with the running/brake lights I mounted on the rear of the tub.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/9/2011 2:49 PM (#56541 - in reply to #56539)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Thanks Sidecar, Thanks Lonnie!

Yes, that fendor is definitly different than mine. My fender is a BEAST in comparison! It bolts up directly to the tub. My painter has found stress cracks in the tub's fiberglass right where the fender connects and is prolly a result of the heavy fender bouncing along. There are a couple of lower supports for the fender (you can make 'em out in a few of the photos in the original post). Those lower supports were attached to the underside of the body at only one point (read poor mechanical support!). I'm guna see if I can attache the fender without need to bolt to the tub. That way I can pull the tub and drop a cartop carrier on the frame instead and still have a fendor with brake light.

Lonnie,

I see the cover on that car is secured with snaps. Any issues with stressing the fiberglass? I'm considering using turn buttons so that I'm less likely to rip a snap out when I remove the cover. Am I being needlessly concerned?
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SideCar
Posted 3/9/2011 2:56 PM (#56542 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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I've got the same cover setup on mine. No issues on it pulling anything out of the body. Mine does flap enough that it rubs the paint where the edge of the cover contacts it, but we use ours as the family SUV for my kids and lots of others and I don't worry about scratches or rubs here and there.

Look forward to seeing how yours comes out. Are you going to use the tub and the car carrier interchangeably or is the rig going to be more of a freight hauler?

Gary
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/9/2011 3:18 PM (#56543 - in reply to #56542)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Gary,

Thanks for the advice on the snaps. I'm going to look in snaps a little closer as turn buttons are not only more expensive, they require special tools to install. And those tools are CRAZY money! So much so that I was just going to farm out the top to a custom boat cover maker. That would be an expensive option too, but the results would prolly be much better.

I imagine the setup will be 80% sidecar, 10% hauler and 10% solo. Those numbers may change if my monkey... er.. wife... finds the car uncomfortable. Since we wana take our pooch along with us, she may ride pillion with the dog (and a whole lota ballast) in the car. If that's the case, I may put a lexan bubble and venting in the carrier for the dog and use that more.

I like the flexibility, in theory anyway!
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/10/2011 6:19 PM (#56561 - in reply to #56543)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Body and fender sanded, filled and primed. Ready for paint next week! The primer was lifting the original paint, so had to sand it A LOT!!!

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SideCar
Posted 3/10/2011 8:50 PM (#56562 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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What color are you going with? Any graphics?
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/10/2011 9:57 PM (#56563 - in reply to #56562)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Gloss black on the fender and below the body seam, metalic gold above the seam. Prolly paint the tire rim gold too. And a black convertible cover. No graphics or stripes.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/12/2011 10:29 PM (#56607 - in reply to #56563)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Here is the fender with final color. The painter found a deal on a metalic black, so I went for it!

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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/16/2011 10:07 PM (#56698 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Before I go destroying a perfectly good hub, these bearing faces should be knocked out if I'm replacing the taper roller bearings, correct? The faces seem smooth to the touch and the races roll nicely. But since I'm this far and since a new set is so cheap...

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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/16/2011 11:26 PM (#56699 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Here are the swingarm bearings. Definitely going to replace these!!

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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/21/2011 7:25 PM (#56812 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Been a busy week here in the 'ol garage! Finally got the frame all taken apart. Measured up all the fasteners and bought all brand new Grade 8 nuts, bolts and washers where ever possible.

Wire brushed all frame components

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Primed 'em
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And painted 'em

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 But the BIG event is that the painter has finished the tub!! 

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The Mrs likes!!

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Daryl Martel
Posted 3/26/2011 9:41 PM (#56962 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)


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Looks great! Keep the pix coming. You're doing nice work.
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SideCar
Posted 3/27/2011 7:47 PM (#56980 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Looking really good!
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 3/27/2011 9:58 PM (#56987 - in reply to #56980)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Another busy weekend!

 

Got the tub home and started preping the frame to receive it.

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The new swingarm bearings are a wee bit thicker than the originals.  I drove the new bearings into place and dry fit the swingarm.  I think I may need to shim the pivot shaft to keep the swingarm from binding on the outter race of the bearing.  What do the pro fabricators think about the clearance shown in the third photo?

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Next, I cut a piece of plywood to act as a subfloor for the interior.  Glued some carpet pad to it for rider comfort, sound deadening and to bury the bolt heads that connect the tub to the frame

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Cut some carpet to fold up into a bowl shape once I shove it into the nose. 

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 Waiting now on a little help from my neighbor to lower the tub onto the frame so that I can get them bolted together and make the final trimmings to the carpet.  Then I'll start in on the bench seat! 

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Lloyd
Posted 3/27/2011 11:12 PM (#56989 - in reply to #56980)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)


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You are doing a great job, looks great.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 4/15/2011 1:00 PM (#57349 - in reply to #56989)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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For anyone following this thread, I'm still around and still working on the rig. I've been busy with the tug for the past few weeks, getting 'er buttoned up and ready to mount the hack to it. Here's what I've been (will be*) doing:

Tug is a 1982 Goldwing Interstate (GL1100) bought in November with 49k miles on the clock
- new tires (Dunlop 404s)
- rebuilt rear air shocks (new seals, O-rings, bushings, gaters 20w fork oil)
- cleaned final drive, repacked with Moly-60
- changed final drive oil (75w90)
- rebuilt all three calipers (new seals, new pads)
- new stainless steel braided brake lines all around
- fresh DOT3 brake fluid
- new air filter
- new fuel filter
- new fuel lines
- replaced timing belts (found that the right side was off by a tooth!)
- new radiator hoses, thermostat and radiator cap
- fresh coolant
- oil & filter change
- tappets adjusted
- new spark plugs
* replaced front fork oil (20w again)
- cleaning up any electrical connections I come across
- converted main fuse to blade (found the PO replaced the main with wire! OH NO!!)
- wiring up marker lights
* new cables (push, pull & clutch)
* new mufflers (free HD take-offs!)
- checked swingarm & head bearings
* guna run her around solo for a bit to make sure she's all good and to scuff up those new tires!

I'll be get back to the hack, including updated pics, in a week or so. It still needs:
- mount tub to frame
- install air shock
- install fender
- install LED tail/brake/turn light
- LED strip marker lights (red in the rear, amber on the nose
- hack headlight
- paint or replace wheel rim
- new rubber on rim
- finish carpet
- new bench seat
- build arch behind seat
- canopy
- mount to tug
- learn how to pilot the dang thing!



Edited by OldSchool_IsCool 4/15/2011 3:18 PM
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Pavin
Posted 4/15/2011 7:48 PM (#57353 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)


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OldSchool that is way to cool.
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SwampFox
Posted 4/15/2011 9:49 PM (#57358 - in reply to #57349)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Coming along nicely. Keep us posted.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 5/1/2011 4:54 PM (#57577 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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OK, I FINALLY got back to working on the hack! Note to any future (re)builders: If you are working on both a bike and a sidecar, FINISH THE SIDECAR FIRST!! Because if you finish the bike first and the weather is good, you'll find it pretty tough to get back to the hack!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!

OK, so here is what I got done in the last few days:

Got the tub mounted to the frame. I put it on good an tight, using two nuts. The second nut is a nylon lock nut that I used as a jam nut against the first nut. And if that wasn't enough, I drilled through the bolt tail and cotter pinned it. You may notice that between the bottom of the tub (shiny black) and the frame bracket is a material with a wavy pattern.  That is an iron bar, prolly 3 inches wide by a quarter inch thick.  The bar spans between two frame brackets and spreads the load of the tub and cargo across the mounting brackets.  The wavy pattern is rubberized tool drawer liner I wrapped around the bar (2 layers) to act as a vibration dampener between the frame and the tub..

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Next, I mounted the swingarm including the air shock.   At first, I used all grade 8 nuts and bolts.  But when it came time to drill a cotter pin hole, I discovered one of the differences between grade 5 and grade 8.  YOU CAN'T DRILL GRADE 8 with normal backyard mechanic type tools!!  So I pulled it all apart and put it together again, this time with grade 5 hardware, complete with cotter pinning.

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 Next, I mounted the hub and checked the tire clearance.  Since the air shock is so much thicker than the original shock, I was concerned about the tire rubbing against it.  Looks like there is 4 inches clearance between the air shock and where the wheel rim will bolt against the face of the hub.  I checked other high spots and found that the head of the axle is the tightest at 3.5 inches.  Since the axle is original, the thickness of the air shock won't interfere with the wheel/tire.  WHEW!

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I then dry-fit the fender just to make sure that the air shock and hose will fit in there OK.  I didn't take a picture, but no issues there.  I then wheeled the assembly into the sun to see what it looks like mostly together.  I'm pretty pleased with the results so far! 

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Next up will to get the rim painted and a new tire mounted.  Then it's time to get the fender on tight, the tail/brake/turn light mounted and wired, the head light and running lights too.  Then I can go for mounting 'er to the Goldwing GL1100 and practice, practice, practice while I work on the interior and cover!  Oh, and get the windshield polished up too.

 

I'm getting pretty excited to get this thing finished!!

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SideCar
Posted 5/2/2011 8:49 AM (#57587 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Looking really good and it's good that you're taking the time to think it through and measure, measure, measure. Looks like there is a hole in the fender for a taillight. Where did you source the fender and what kind of taillight are you going to use?
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 5/2/2011 7:37 PM (#57607 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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The fender is original to the car. The back has a 4-inch hole, so a standard round tail/stop/turn should fit nicely. I picked up a water-proof boat trailer LED unit, complete with grommet, at Harbor Freight. It comes with 30-feet of 4-conductor trailer wire, including the flat-four connectors!
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Hack'n
Posted 5/2/2011 7:43 PM (#57608 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Only 30 feet of wire, Huh? Well you can always add onto it if needed.

Lonnie
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 5/9/2011 12:34 PM (#57741 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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Looking for some ideas on other approaches to my proposed solutions below. Also sending out a warning to others concerning cheap wiring kits.

I got around to wiring the brake/tail/turn lamp and the headlight this weekend. When I pulled the HarborFreight wiring kit out of the package, I got a little concerned. The wires in the kit are quite small! I think 20, maybe even 22 gauge.

http://www.harborfreight.com/four-way-trailer-wiring-connection-kit...

I found this wiring calculator for automoitive applications:

http://www.gtsparkplugs.com/WireSizeCalc.html

And using the fact that the headlight is 55 watts (55W/13.8V = 3.9 amps) I see that 20 gauge wire wouldn't carry that amount of current more than 7 feet. I'm needing more like 10 to 12 feet. This kit isn't going to cut it, not for the headlight anyway. The tail/brake/turn lamp is LED, so that isn't a problem.

I'm thinking I need to find a kit with 18 or 16 gauge or maybe a 2-wire connector just for the headlight. I'd rather keep it to a single connector for the hack frame and a second connector for hack accessories. The idea being that if I swap out the tub for a cartop carrier, that the single flat-4 will continue to support required lighting.

Solutions:
- find a flat-4 or flat-5 kit with 18 or 16 gauge wires
- go with a second one or two conductor connector just for the headlight
- go with a lower wattage (LED??) headlamp

Thanks all!

EDIT:

This prolly isn't DOT kosher, but does the hack's headlight need to be up to DOT headlight specs?

http://www.etrailer.com/p-LS-108.html

Edited by OldSchool_IsCool 5/9/2011 1:11 PM
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IndianDrives
Posted 7/4/2011 2:04 AM (#58829 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)


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Thanks for the advice of cliches. I'll look a little lace in the round buttons are not only more expensive, require special tools to install.
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 7/10/2011 9:18 PM (#58952 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: RE: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



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A big day today! I'm officially a "Sidecarist in Training!"  No interior yet, so I'll use my tools to provide ballast while I practice.

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I managed to get 'er nice and level too (as seen from the roof of the trunk)
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Much to do yet
- head/tail/turn/brake light hook ups
- carpet
- chair
- windscreen
- canopy arch
- canopy
- swamp cooler

I think I need to beef up the front suspension too. Bottoms pretty easily.  Think I'll put in a spacer on top of the springs and see if that'll help.  I did just replace the fork seals and bushings up there and put in 20w fork oil.  The stock springs are longer then spec, but they are stock from what I can tell. 

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SideCar
Posted 7/11/2011 9:15 AM (#58964 - in reply to #56178)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



Veteran

Posts: 146
10025
Location: Colleyville, TX
Looking good. I see the key/lock in the pick with the level. Does it appear that someone had put a lock on the previous seatback or what is that for?
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OldSchool_IsCool
Posted 7/11/2011 9:35 AM (#58966 - in reply to #58964)
Subject: Re: Getting a Gemini Ready for the Road (fixed fotos)



Extreme Veteran

Posts: 420
100100100100
Location: Michigan - Kalamazoo
SideCar - 7/11/2011 9:15 AM

Looking good. I see the key/lock in the pick with the level. Does it appear that someone had put a lock on the previous seatback or what is that for?


Yes, that tumbler locks the seatback thus securing the "trunk".
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