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.


  1. Those that have the lean adjustment seem to really like it. Good luck with the installation. What happened the last time it was installed? I just remember reading about performance issues.

  2. Richard you remembered correctly. Shortly after installing the sidecar the cam adjusters went out. I had a set of gear drive cams installed, the six speed transmission, and an ECM unit that never did seem to be able to be adjusted. The bike would never pull the sidecar over 40 mph and only got about 12 mpg. With the new power and ThunderMax auto tune I am hoping for better results.

  3. Dexter looks pretty stylish in those doggles. How did he take to them? Did he mind them at all?

  4. Something tells me she’s not for sale anymore, so I’ll stop asking. Except this time. Is Pigpen for sale?

    On the technical side, a nice Deutsch plug would be the ticket for a waterproof connection between the two.

  5. Trobairitz; Dexter didn't really like the Doggles, but finally gave up and just laid down.

    Will D; Anything is possible, but I am hoping it will work this time. I'll let you know if I change my mind. The rig came with a square six way plug connecter and that is what I bought already
    . Didn't know about the Deutsch plugs and seeing the crimp tool in north of $200 don't think it is in my future.

  6. I can't imagine trying to do any work in a garage with temps like you're having (well, I can't imagine doing any work in a garage at all, since I don't have one but that's another story.) Good luck with your installations.

  7. OMGosh! dexter! precious rock!