Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The best-laid schemes...

Robert Burns wrote,
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men 
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
And so it goes with my pride and joy tail lights. After riding with a friend, I did a quick check of the tail light functioning: running light, turns, stop lights, etc., and found that the center (LED) running light was not on, however the brake lights worked fine (both signals lights are wired to brighten on stop along with the center brake), as well as the running lights in the turns housing.

Huh, must be bad bulb, so I changed it out to a regular bulb and sure enough, no running light and in fact, no stop light, and the turns were light up solid like the brake was on. I suspected a bad ground so broke out the meter and sure enough the ground on the center socket was "open".

Sad bunny. I had to open up my entire wiring harness to give enough relief to pull the socket out of the housing to solder the ground back on. This involved a complete tear down of the rear fender to get to the wiring harness, etc. Enjoy the glorious mess.

I'm glad to report it's all fixed. Everything came out in the end. I hope this is not a repeated process. I'm starting to rethink my rear light system. At some future incarnation, I may just go for two turns wired as stop lights like I presently have with the three light solution. Live and learn.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

A Horse with No Name

Decided to follow the practice of debadging the plastic emblems off the tank. Looks very clean. No name.

Followed this thread and removed the tank emblems using dental floss as a "saw" to cut the double face tape between the tank and emblem and then cleanup with hair dryer to soften the tape to remove.  A little Goo-Gone and the job was done.

One small detail, previous owners must have replaced the original "burgundy" tank (damaged somehow?, since the speedo/odo was replaced as well) with a new primed tank and had it custom painted. They then proceeded to tape the emblems on and also used HOT GLUE to secure the emblem ends. No matter, the dental floss cut through the hot glue easier than the tape.

I say the tank was painted on primer because the fender had the same custom paint scheme, but they painted over the original burgundy (same as side panels which weren't painted) but never bothered to scuff up the burgundy to ensure good retention. The over-paint flaked off in places where I cut into the fender (bob job and mounting holes for the tails) leaving nice, clean, shiny burgundy in spots. Who doesn't prep prepainted surfaces before repainting?

Now I'm rethinking the final paint job. May keep tank and paint the sides and fenders to match either the "red" or the "grey" on the tank.

What do you think?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Water flows downhill!

Water flows downhill! So does gasoline. So why the need to pump gas downhill from the tank to the carb? Which is worse, ignorance or apathy? Who knows, who cares. There is no need for the fuel pump.

Following the information in this forum thread (sorry, registration required), I removed the fuel pump. What do you think? BIG change in the looks on the left hand side.

In the beginning, Yamaha put on this huge fake boob cover.

This boob is plastic chrome. And even the little tab that holds it at the top broke off leaving just the screws at the bottom to hold it on. On a real Harley, this chrome blob is the horn which serves some purpose. But the fake boob covers some really ugly stuff.

This stuff is a fuel filter and fuel pump. The pump seems to be needed to pump the gas DIRECTLY ACROSS to the carb on the other side. The thread cited above suggests God-created gravity can flow fuel sufficiently to the carb if the small float bowl jet is replaced with a larger variety.

Look how much cleaner when the ugly stuff is removed!

Now a little detail. The stock jet is a #2.  I used a later recommendation to use a #3 jet from a different Yamaha applications and ordered it. It was around $30 with shipping. Don't pay much more.

I won't bore you with the jet installation. Just don't lose any parts during the installation. I found a small o-ring on the ground after I had reinstalled the tank and carb. I was able to take just off the fuel bowl. The o-ring is for some kind of accelerator pump.

Here's the final picture.

Some notes where I did different things than the thread. I reused the metal fuel line that comes across between the cylinders and I reused the exiting filter and fuel line. The only expense was for the jet and a 3mm hex wrench to take the fuel bowl off.

Oh, I also had to relocate the choke from just under the fuel pump bracket. I cut off the existing choke brake and moved the choke to the RH side on the air cleaner mount. YMMV depending on your air cleaner setup.

This was a very worthwhile modification. It visually opened up the cluttered left side of the engine making it open clear through. It also eliminated a source of failure, the fuel pump.

What do you think?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Light it up!

Bought the 5.75" Bates style lamp to replace the monster headlight. I mounted it on the existing lamp bracket. Just had to drill out a small mounting hole that was already centered in the bracket to fit the larger bolt. This lamp is considered a "Springer" lamp.

Much cleaner looking. Now the front turns look out of place.