Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back to Hacken

Pigpen is back where it belongs attached to Petunia.  Took it for a spin in the neighborhood on Friday and everything except right turns seemed fine.  Almost got hit twice trying to turn right and Petunia just went straight.  Part of the problem was I had no ballast in the pigpen.

Got out early Saturday morning to wash the rig and was going to install the right turn signal on Pigpen, but the flange isn't flat as there is a nut the protrudes about 1/8 of an inch and I'm not willing to drill that big of a hole in the side of the car body.  So, I will have to come up with another option.

Got ready to take her out on the road for a real test and decided to put a toolbox inside the Pigpen for ballast.

That was the ticket I missed on Friday and at highway speed, with my ham hock hanging off the right side of the seat and shifting my weight between Pigpen and Petunia, right turns in the road were nothing.  On the straight portions on the highway Petunia's steering was completely neutral and she tracked straight and true.  I could have almost taken my hands off of the bars and she felt like she would still run straight.  Tighter corners were another story, as it required some muscle to get her to turn.  She ran very strong up to 70 mph and could have gone higher, but I'm not in that big of a hurry. 65 mph seemed to be just about right and the cruise control held her there without any issues.

Back into town I stopped at Wally World to get some cleaner for the tonneau cover and between there and home I discovered that right turns were still an issue.  It seems I just wasn't putting enough input into turning the bars as required.  I will be out working on that this weekend.

Still have a few finishing touches to be done, but all looks promising.  Dexter came out this morning to check out his new ride.  I hope he knows what is coming.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Pigpen Progress

Just spent a warm, humid, six hours in the garage. The result is the pigpen frame is now attached to Petunia.

Took her out for a spin in the neighborhood and at all speeds she runs true with no pull to left or right.    That tells me all of the extra care and time on the attachment was well spent.  Only real problem was when I took off the bolt on the strut to adjust the lean out I dropped Petunia on her left side on top of the frame.  I worried that it may have messed up all of my work, but all pinch bolts had been torqued and rechecking showed everything was still good.  Also, there was no damage to Petunia.

The ride showed no speed issues up to 45 mph, but without the body that isn't a fair assessment.  However right turns were an adventure.  With no weight out there flying the chair was a bit hairy.   Next step tomorrow is connecting all of the electrical and installing the body.  I also changed the baffles in the mufflers because I was tired of the loudness and am worried about Dexter riding in the car that close to the pipes.  She is much quieter, but still sounds like a Hog.

Have to get a new Taillight as the current one has four holes drilled in it and the tape that was covering them up is past tense.  

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Garage Time With The Pigpen

Well, the temperatures in Arizona are down into the low 100's, but the humidity is a bit high.  Still it is time to try and venture into the garage and think about installing the pigpen, also know as a sidecar,  back onto Petunia.  Dexter the Wonder Dog is getting ready to become a motorcycling pooch and he got his new Doggles this week.

First order of business was looking at the TILT control that didn't work the last time I had it hooked up.  The purpose of the TILT is to raise or lower the sidecar to lean the bike out or in to help with steering on crowned roads.  I started by removing the body from the frame.  I did this for two reasons.  First was to be able to get a perfect foundation when making the connection between Petunia and the pigpen.  Secondly was to be able to access all of the wiring.  Cutting into the wiring I found a rats nest of a crappy job that someone before me had done.  Digging deeper I found the TILT has a pair of disconnects near the motor and one of them had somehow come apart.  I also found the 3 way switch on the bars was bad.

This is how it is supposed to work

The nest of wiring

I plan on redoing every bit of the wiring using all soldered joints and shrink tube.  Just seems like the best way to do the job the right way.  Also, when I got the sidecar the guy had the switch mounted to his handlebars, so that is where I put it.  That leaves it out in the elements and unprotected.  To protect it I will drill a hole in the fairing and install it out of the weather.

Another issue that I paid no attention to last time was the turn signals.  The pigpen doesn't have signals on the right side of the car body.  I have ordered a pair and will put them there, disconnect the right turn signals on Petunia, and hopefully that will prevent anyone from being confused when I signal a right hand turn.

The plan to get back into the world of hacks now begins in ernest.  Updates will follow as I continue to look into sidecar forums, get it installed, refresh my riding/driving skills with the hack installed, and teach Dexter he really WILL like to be a Biker Dog.