Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And.......it's a wrap !

Here's Donny's former Softail frame "rigified". All the plug welds are done, and all the final welding for the splice areas completed. I think it came out pretty damn nice, and his hardtail section and labor came to half of what a new rigid frame would have cost him. Plus, he still keeps his original VIN numbers to boot, no re-registering as a "special construction".
Next up is figuring his spacing for the 18x5.5 rear wheel, lining up his final belt drive, remounting his OEM wraparound oil tank, and from there, mounting his new fender, and fabbing up his sissy bar.

If things go well, you may see my step-by-step on this whole hardtail conversion in the next issue of Street Chopper.


Aaron@VanguardCycle.com said...

Rich, frame looks great man, nice and clean.
any fitment issues with that v twin tail?
seems like there is no end to the 'are they any good' debate.

Irish Rich said...

There's always been fittment issues with Vtwin hardtails - be they for the Big Twin, or the Sporty. Even when they were supplied by Santee (now sold under the "Wyatt Gatling" banner, so probably China made now)there were ALWAYS fittment problems. No two hardtails were ever the same, but usually not jacked enough out of alignment to make them unusable.

I think they were (are) jigging and welding them so fast, they are sloppy on the setup, and they pop them out of the jigs too fast.

Remember, the hardtail above I used was originally designed for a Shovel 4sp frame. You could always fit them up to the later Evo 4sp frame (and I've done a bunch) by shortening the hardtail's top rail section, where it met the seatpost top plates. The late 4sp Evo swingarm, and the Softail frame are identical from the seatpost area-forward, it's down below by the tranny that they are different.

So, to make a short story long, there would have been fittment hurdles to "jump over" anyways fitting the hardtail up. What I did find fuckered up with the hardtail itself was the right lower leg where it would have mated the rear transmission mount crosstube was overbent, and I had to heat it and bring it down in line with the left side, and the left axle plate was welded in sticking way out to the left, and crooked top to bottom. That was also lined up with heat after the frame was totally welded, so it wouldn't tweak anything when I bent it straight. "No muff too tough...".