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| SoA army themed refurb thread|
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|I always wanted a sidecar (and my beagle to ride it) but i wasn't really wanting to put 15k into a ural, or anything that needed more than oil/tires/gas and go. I don't mind tinkering, but i don't prefer it on my bikes, more on old cars. I wanted my bike to be a jump on stress reliever. |
I found a VL800 local with a SoA on it, and with help from reading here and info from DMC and florida sidecar, i started breaking it all down to refurb.
Here is a link to the build thread over at volusia riders, but i'll also try and link some pics here of the sidecar build, which is almost done, once i figure it out.
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|The work on the side car its self is looking very good, However the mounts could use some work. The lower mounts should be lower and further apart, also with the lower rear higher then the lower front when ever you adjust lean out toe will move the wrong way. So for instance if you were trying to fix a pull to the right you would lean it out which would also toe it out which would cause more of a pull to the right. Also, it really needs to have an upper rear mount and some permanent ballast added to the sidecar as this is a very light sidecar. I would have done the upper front quite a bit different as well by extending the frame forward. |
Chance are you will have a bad head shake that can not be adjusted out due to the less then ridged mounting of the sidecar.
|The rig was setup when i got it, we had discussed through email about handling and how light it was (i'm sure you talk to a ton of people and don't recall specifics.) The wood will add, i don't know, probably 30-50 lbs, which isn't a ton. The dog or daughter is another 50 lbs give or take. It's still a little light, but i've been cautious and the handling is...acceptable i guess...to someone who's never driven sidecar, and that was when driving it empty or just with the dog, no wood, no seat, etc. I guess one day i might drive another and be like OMG this is amazing compared to mine. I can say this one is kind of what i expected? Not unlike driving a 3 wheeler when i was a kid? |
I did drive it for a few months prior to tear down, and i didn't have any tracking or head shaking. I did spotweld the adjustment nuts on the arms when i took apart to be sure nothing changes because i didn't want to be chasing that.
With the way each of the three mounts is at a different angle, the rig is rigid for sure. At first glance you'd think the frame would make the sidecar able to lean or pivot on the bike. However all three mounts being different clevis angles makes it so you can lift it if you like with the bike. The two flat stock pieces underneath did nothing, not sure why someone had them on there in the first place.
If it does have handling or other issues, at least i'll know it's due to how the mountings were done, and have to focus there for upgrades.
I will say, i like how close to the bike the sidecar is. I see some of the generic kits, and it seems like the sidecar is like 18"-2ft from the bike. This does have it very snug, and is visually appealing.
Location: Houston Tx
|Looking great, the wood sure gives it a nice detail. |
Was that the shock it came with?
|The rig and bike came to me together with a lot of miles on them, so can't speak to whatever came factory. If you look at the photos with the frame before i stripped it, you'll see the spray painted blue shock. That was on it when i got it, was 11 3/4 i believe. The black one i got a pair for $70 off ebay, described as for a light bike and not for a heavy cruiser. Standard adjustment notches on it, we'll have to see if it's too stiff when it's all together, or too short (it's 11" eye to eye.) |
If it works, i have a spare.
|Was able to get out and get everything fitted together (forgot to put seatbelts in, DOH!) |
Anyways, found more acorn nuts for the underside (4 to hold it on and 5 that bolt seat hinge.)
Also had to trim a gusset i made on the frame that stuck out too far and did a minor scratch on the paint, not one thing it's another! (like that i had the shock bolt in backwards and it was rubbing in the wheel well.)
I'm pleased with how everything tied together though, it definitely gives off that classic feel which was what i was going for! As soon as i get this truck i'm working on out, time to give the bike the same treatment!
I'm really thrilled with the polished aluminum strips. I thought i'd have to glue them in, but the extra width of the clear on the boards, and the carpet making the rig slightly narrower inside, meant that just putting them in and tightening the four bolts was enough to snug them right in. The short pieces i'll likely put some RTV on to hold in place. I also had some solvent bubbles on the seat back paint but i don't care at this point, it's not perfect and you really don't see that anyways. I wish i could think of a latch system to hold it snug unless you need to get in the back, so you don't hear the seat banging when it's not loaded.
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Location: Richton, MS
|Very impressive work. You have given me some ideas for potential modifications to my rig. |
Thanks for posting.
|Thanks! Should have another project out of my garage this weekend, and i can get back on it and get the bike back together. Pretty Excited! Can't wait til i get to the point i can obsess over decals and small details.|
|Been awhile since i posted, but been making progress, wheels finally back tonight, should button up and maybe have the car attached again tomorrow evening!|
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|Have been making more progress.|
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Location: DFW TX
|Very cool and well done sir.|
Location: Independence, MO.
|One of the best looking rigs I've seen in a long time! I love the color combos and all the attention to details. You do have an artistic eye! Also love the Hudson in the background.|
Location: Western Pa
|I did not see a Packard in the background. But what I did see is an old Saab or DKW that was equipped with a 3 cylinder 2 stroke engine from about the late '50s or early '60s. Right or wrong?|
Location: Astoria, or.
|really nice work.he whole thing is very pleasing to the eye. pat|
|Thanks guys! I'm currently working on a trailer to match the 66 truck to pull the rig with for shows or when driving far and then puttering around in the sidecar (the wood floor matching the sidecars floor and the trucks bed floor). Still doing small stuff to it, but they say these things are never done right? I'm very happy with how it came out, it's a head turner for sure, especially with the beagle riding shotgun! |
On the car in the background, Hudson is close, but she is a packard, 50 ultramatic 4 door. Engine is out currently, spun a rod bearing, likely won't get it back for several months and i'm not in a hurry for it. The color green it is, could throw some stars on the door and some little flags on the ends of the front bumper and pull the bike around too!
Hard to see the car with the nasty plastic from painting so much. I have a hunch when the plastic comes off there will be some HEAVY buffing to remove what might be hiding underneath. She looks good from a few feet away, but she's a driver anyways. I do kind of miss her.
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