Sunday, June 9, 2013

Finishing the Goldwing

June 9, 2013


In the past few weeks, I have started on the finishing stages, which include adding cosmetic touches, positioning all of the necessary bits and finding new bits that need repair.  The first item on the list was a leaking fuel pump.  I knew that the diaphragm was giving out and considered cracking it open to do an internal repair, until I read about the popularity of replacing the stock pump with one from a 1985 Honda Prelude.  The fit is perfect on the thing even though the new pump is a bit larger.    So far, so good, but I’ll know for sure after I spend some time riding on it. 

Cosmetically, I was able to add a few touches by grinding down the raised text from the master cylinder lid and the hydraulic clutch’s lid and painted both these as well as the top of the throttle housing copper.  I added in a small gear for looks where the kill switch used to be which I think looks really cool next to the thumb while riding.  This really helped to clean up the look of the bike, getting away from the Mad Max look a little bit and leaning more towards a proper steampunk look.


I tossed around a few ideas about slimming down the front and passenger seats before finally settling on making this bike a single seater by replacing the back seat with a glove box mounted on the rear fender.  I cut off the back seat entirely and shaved ¾ inch of padding from the front seat to help me sit more into the bike rather than on top.  
I also followed my buddy Tom’s suggestion and used garage wall spring clips to fasten the single seat to the frame, which actually does give a little spring to the seat.  These two adjustments have made a big difference in the feel of the ride.


Using an old ammo can, I created this steampunk themed glove box.  I sprayed it with a textured copper furniture paint on the can body and a few coats of black for the lid and the clasp followed by rough sanded heavy clear coats to give an aged appearance.  After screwing the timing chain and its associated gears onto the rear, I was able to bolt this can directly into the frame.  This allowed me to cut away the rear seat base entirely, really cleaning up the appearance of the bike from the rear. 


I drilled holes in the rear fender to prep for the turn signals I've ordered from Dime City Cycles and I still need to find mounts for the front turn signals.  I also managed to clean up the interior portion of the false tank assembly by adding the storage tray and the fuel spill catch basin.  I’m hunting down a 6V regulator to connect the finger swipe switch to the Lumindisc, which I think will make for a great effect.  My next mission is to attach the fuel and temperature gauges that I just ordered from a seller on Etsy.  

December 29, 2013
Well, after a lot of time away and working on other projects, I've finally gotten back to the Goldwing.  All turn signals have been attached; I used pipe clamps and rubber gaskets for the front ones.  I sewed the leather onto the seat, using a thick lace to give it more of a raw look and added a few steampunk buttons for flare as well as to cover the start/stop stitch area.  

Additionally, I had to replace the 12V rectifier/regulator after the original went out.  This was a little tricky to diagnose at first, because my symptoms included: bike not starting, turn signals intermittently blowing fuses and I boiled my battery.  After checking my fuel pump and finding that it was taking fuel in but not pushing it out, I found that the rectifier was the common bond between the fuel pump relay and the turn signal relay.  That’s when it hit me that the rectifier was blown, which explained why the turn signal fuses would only blow after I tried starting the bike and it made sense why my battery was boiling.


Now that the bike is running again, I have been able to focus on a few other needed repairs, such as the speedometer and high beam assembly (which I hope to finish in the next few days). The only work that is really left after that is cosmetics (pin-striping and decorative gear placement) and to fix the rear/integrated braking system.  I've also decided to make a few changes to my original plans for the fuel and temp gauges, but I’ll wait until those are done to post about them.  Here are a few photos of how the bike is looking right now and I should be posting more soon after the cosmetic work and the high beam assembly are finished.

January 5, 2014
A bit more work done this weekend.  I was able to finish all of the decorative gear placement for the cosmetic portion of the project.  On the rear fender, I also added a small lion head piece that really pulls everything together for me.  I also did wax pencil sketch of the pinstriping work that I should be accomplishing next weekend.  Seeing the bike in these final stages is getting to be a really good feeling.  All that is left after the pinstriping will be to fix the rear brake issue, attach the finger swipe switch to the Lumindisc (which I realized will not require a regulator as I was guessing) and to attach some sort of a fuel readout. 


The big part that I’ve been working on has been the high beam assembly and headlight switch.  I built the box from sheet aluminum and put it together using JB Weld so that I wouldn’t disturb any of the electronics in the copper high beam tubes.  However, once I finally got everything put together, I’m getting a very weak signal, not enough to power the LEDs.  So, aside from the pinstriping, I will be doing a bit of electronics investigation.  I’m hoping that the problem takes place in wiring within the bike and not in the high beam box assembly.  Fingers crossed. 


January 13, 2014
Over the course of this past weekend, I managed to completely finish the cosmetics of the Goldwing, something I am very happy about.  Included are a couple of pictures of the pinstriping job that I did.  When I initially finished the striping, it looked like the old time machine/steampunk machine I was hoping for, but with a brand new stripe job, which I was not happy about.  So, I took some mineral spirits and scrubbed at various parts of the pinstriping job that would eventually see a lot of wear, and then speckled it over with flat black spray paint.  This properly aged the stripe job (in my mind at least) so that it looked like it was painted upon its build date, in 1896 or thereabouts.

After I finally got the high beams I built working properly, it dawned on me that I didn't think it was doing the bike any favors in terms of aesthetics.  I decided to remove them entirely and hook up the headlights built in high beam; I’ll be saving the copper tube high beams for another project.  So, I finally got the bike looking right, and all I need to do now is fix the integrated brake (rear and right front), possibly add a sight glass for the fuel and hook up the finger swipe switch to the Lumindisc.  Or so I thought.  Right as I was pulling the bike back into the garage, the sight glass on my hand brake’s master cylinder decided it had a good long life and gave out.  So, now I have no brakes at all, giving items to order on eBay and a little more time working in the garage.

November 24, 2014
Well, I haven’t written in quite some time, but I also haven’t been doing much work on the Goldwing, so there’s been very little to write about.  I did replace both the front and rear master cylinders replaced all the brake lines with braided steel.  I also managed to take the bike around for a few days over the summer, but it was short lived.  One fine day on the way home from work, the fuel pump sprung a savage leak and started spitting gas all over my leg.  I've just finally replaced the fuel pump after finally finding one for under $40 on eBay.  I also started having problems with the secondhand rear master cylinder that I used as a replacement.  It also doesn't want to hold its respective fluid, but that is a repair I have yet to tackle.

In the meantime, I bought a Biltwell Gringo helmet and found plans for building a really cool face shield at this site here, and I got to work right away on what it simply a first draft attempt.  I purchased a sheet of lexan and everything else at Lowe’s for under $30.  The lexan was surprisingly easy to work with.  I was able to cut out the face shield with a score and crack method followed a decent amount of vigorous sanding.  Strapping the face shield into place, I used a heat gun to shape it to the helmet.  Overall, I don’t think it turned out too bad, but I know that I make it a bit cleaner the second time around.  That’s my plan for this weekend, hopefully I’ll be in touch soon.