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Thread: My Trike

  1. #1
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    Default My Trike

    Good day to everyone, my name is Andy, I bought this trike from my neighbor who's husband had passed about 10 years ago, and I thought it was his toy, WRONG. It turns out that her mother and boyfriend bought it, replaced the original motor with a motor that they had/or rebuilt themselves. So this trike has been with the same owner since early 1980 as I can tell. The first day of registration was in 1976 and no real way to tell how many miles on the trike.

    IMG_20180203_111626.jpg

    First I had to make heads and tails of the wiring mess. The fuse box was mounted, but not much was wired properly. So I started doing wire schematics of the wiring and what I replaced and did to make it correct so that one might be able to follow the schematic and find problems or what ever. Also had to figure out how to get some gauges and sending units installed, again wiring schematics done on how all is wired into the trike electrical system, and yes I got a full working fuse box now. Next will it start and run ?

    Secondly I had idle running issues, so went to do the tune up on it and found some residue in the fuel lines and carburetor's. Sent them to a shop to be cleaned and rebuilt, apparently only one worked half way, took several attempts at cleaning them out before all was clean, so I did get my money's worth. What are they, I run the dual stock Solex carb's, and at that time I upgraded the linkage along with electronic distributor system.

    Than I got the idea of cutting out the old rotten gas tank, I took off about 1/3rd of the front rounded bulge, kinda like a ( L ) shape cut. Made me a dash panel and mounted the gauges.

    No pic of that work yet, I am bad. Still have issues with some working, at least I think, more on that later. It took some work to find and mount nuts in the fiberglass inside the old tank area, but got it all done, except the welding of the L panel piece together where they meet.

    Now I have an issue, no fuel tank, so I spent a winter in the garage designing and building me a model of my new gas tank.

    Okay I need to check on a few pics, not all are loading up for me.

    IMG_20180203_111626.jpgDSC00003.JPGIMG_20180203_113324.jpgokay the middle pic is the model gas tank that I made, than I drew up the schematics from the model, yes I did the in and out work to make sure it fit as I needed first, than once I new I had a working model I drew it up on paper.

    Now the end pic of the rear end, that was taken after I my attempt at lowering it, a bit to much, so I have played with the camber and stuff trying to get that ride height figured out. Actually it is about the engine sitting level. The rear was so lifted the engine was on a angle and thus the carburetor's too. This has lead me to think that the Trike was not put together correctly with the proper fork length.

    I know I need enough torsion in the bar so that the spring plate will force downward enough to give camber to the rear tire. I feel I am should set the tires as levels as possible to the road surface, Zero degree's of camber if possible .......correct or wrong ????

    Than there is the Atomic Drop plates that claim the drop or raise the rear end by 3 inch's, is that the secret ?

    But if I want the tank to be mounted at center of the belly of the trike, between the rider legs, than a higher ride height is beneficial, yes no ?

    I think I have the rear end where I want it, but the spring plates still set on the lower stopper, but move off of it with rider and passenger body weight on the trike. No not sure what I am doing to be honest, just trying what I think is the solution to the problem.

    So to help me get on the road and ride some, I mounted a fuel cell on the back behind the passenger seat. I used to just put the input line in a 2 gallon gas tank and run it in the drive way, but I need to ride it down the road.

    Now the daughter said something to me, and it appears to be happening.

    She said that I created a siphon on the fuel because the tank is mounted higher than the carburetor's, and I think she is correct. I run a electric fuel pump, but the trike runs with out it on and last night I smelt the dip stick for the oil, oh ****, it smelt like gas, did not light on fire, but I found where the fuel went from the tank.

    A quick fix to help me only made a problem, so does one just put a valve in line so the can turn of the fuel supply when not running, crack it open when you want to run the engine or ride the trike ???? Help me, yes I know do not start the engine until I drain out oil and let it air out a bit. But first I need to stop the siphon flow of fuel.

    LOSt for sure.......

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    Default

    I do want to change the exhaust system on the trike. The current stinger pipe is in my way to much and I plan a rear cargo box on the back and I do not want the exhaust heat near it. I do not remember the name of those individual exhaust pipes for each side, come straight out of the heads leaving center of engine exposed to work on.

    I wanted to ride, not put lots of money into it, but I do not have a death wish, and I like to be in control of what I am riding, so I do believe I am looking at a new set of forks with offset triple trees so that I can get close to 0/2 inch trail area to exsist, right now it is the trike rides with to much trail and the issues with it.

    I know I need to get some photos up of what I am looking at to get some solid feedback, will try to get it done.

    But I could be wrong, but don't I want to set that rear ride height with a level engine first ???????

    Than move on to the front end and what might be needed to be correct??

    Does the spring plate ride on lower stops, or are the spring plates suppose to float between up and lower stops so the plate has room to travel with out hitting either upper or lower stop ?

    I welcome any and all help on this matter, does the engine need to be level to perform properly ??

    engineID.jpg

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    Looks good Andy.

    As with any trike project there will be hoops to jump through until you can just hop on and ride. Don't let the setbacks you may encounter along the way, discourage you.

    As for the fuel issue, yes a petcock would solve your "siphoning" problem. There are a couple options that you can use. One that would be the easiest to utilize on your "custom" fuel tank would be a simple "inline" on/off type. My recommendation though would be to use a motorcycle type that has 3 positions: Off, On & Reserve. That is what I'm running with and I can attest that the reserve feature/setting has saved me headaches out on the road, as I have no fuel gage on my trike, and no place to safely carry spare fuel jug(s).

    Also, not sure I'd do the tank in aluminum, as close as it will be to the road. Steel would be much stronger in case of ground "contact" which by the way, is inevitable at some point. Something to think about...

    If you can convert to the more reliable mechanical/stock VW fuel pump, that would let you eliminate the electric pump which could in turn reduce some of the excess wiring. I doubt the dual carbs you're running actually need the added fuel pressure that the electric pump puts out.

    As far as engine angle, the angle in your pictures looks okay, and not anything that would cause run issues.
    Isn't it weird that in AMERICA, our flag and our culture offend so many people...but our benefits don't???

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    Might just be me, but, that tank looks huge. I'm wondering if you are planning on baffles to keep fuel from sloshing as the level drops? In that kind of volume, sloshing could affect handling.

    My next thought would be about as that fuel level drops, and fume replaces it. I'm thinking some sort of venting will be required? That tank is probably 10-15 gallons? Lot of fuel that could go boom in an accident.

    Just my thoughts. But, your trike is a beauty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FuzzyWuzHe View Post
    Might just be me, but, that tank looks huge. I'm wondering if you are planning on baffles to keep fuel from sloshing as the level drops? In that kind of volume, sloshing could affect handling.

    My next thought would be about as that fuel level drops, and fume replaces it. I'm thinking some sort of venting will be required? That tank is probably 10-15 gallons? Lot of fuel that could go boom in an accident.

    Just my thoughts. But, your trike is a beauty.
    Yes the tank and idea behind it was to make it as large as possible. The volume test I did was near 9.5 gallons, but that is with 3/4" material and not the thinner aluminum material.

    The drawings had the wrong file tag, but in those it shows the baffle design for the sloshing issue and some strength, sides to center baffle.

    There is venting in the design also. The electric fuel pump was what it came with and so I just replaced it with a new one when had to. Why would one go to electric fuel pump over the stock mechanical one ?

    The more it can be cleaned up, I am for it.

    I have realized that I can simplify the tank shape some, yes I lose some capacity, but it will eliminate some issues and give a bit of room that is needed.

    Now I have been bitten to ride again, going nuts about not riding when the sun is out, so of to get this temp. fuel tank working correctly.

    Now from what I understood, the float needle valve will close off the supply of fuel once the bowl is full of fuel. If this is true, than why or how does the fuel work its through the carburetor's? My oil is very stinky like gas now, figure near a half gallon of fuel was lost. Off to drain this oil out. Any favorite oil for summer ?

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    Default not top notch, yet

    I am able to do things, limited on tools and space, but my desire is strong enough to get most done.

    My tank design was a bit crazy, but it was what I wanted, and did not find any affordable offers, so I bought me a TIG welder, well it is multi styles, and portable if needed.

    My idea was, I will teach myself how to weld and weld my own tank together. I can weld a bead, and it varies at times due to me, but some constant weld time helps get all right. Now I am just questioning my ability and quality of welds, am I good enough to do a tank.

    One person told me this, weld a cube together with a valve stem inserted in it. Than I could feel it with air and see how long it held pressure. Than it was said to set up a safety cage so that I could see how much air pressure it would hold before **** happened. This would give me an idea if I was good enough to weld the tank, any thoughts ?

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    I would also recommend hydro testing the tank when finished and then a good quality tank sealer.

    I've done some welding (converting a boat trailer to haul a trike), and I at one time thought I'd build a tank to hold diesel. I was talked out of it by a friend that was a professional welder because of the challenge to it. Obviously it can be done, but, doing it without leaks is pretty tough I guess.
    2014 HD Ultra Limited - Ebony, 2008 Gold Wing with Champion Conversion - Fat Bottom Girl 2, 2001 Goldwing - Tweety, 2015, HD Triglide - Fat Bottom Girl, 2011 HD Ultra - Raven, 2006 K1200LT - Vianca, 2007 HD Ultra - Ice Blue, 2006 HD Ultra - Arctic Blast, 2004 Honda Goldwing - Snow White, 2001 Goldwing - Crimson Pearl, And Many More

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    Several thoughts:

    Here's at production tank. Pricey for sure but says it's 14 gal. Personally not sure I'm comfortable with the low mounting. http://www.possumpridetrikebodies.com/tanks/

    As for welding up your own tank. Do you want to learn to weld or ride? Maybe you could cut and fabricate the tank panels and get a certified welder to weld up the finished product for you. Take it from one who has missed several years of riding while attaining the skills needed to fabricate needed parts for my build.

    A constructive criticism on the tank design as the beauty is in the eye of the builder in all cases. Just my $.02 here but how would it look if the front/bottom profile of the tank followed the bottom body lines a little more? Yes, you would loose some capacity but at an expected 30ish mpg, 6-8 gals would would give 200-250 miles. i know I was ready to get off and stretch my legs by then!

    Your rear suspension looks good for a start. The problem with VW suspensions on light vehicles is that the torsion bars were designed with a spring rate for a heavier vehicle and when you back them off for a correct static setting, the missing preload results in an overly soft suspension. Atypical fix for this is to set up the torsion bars to give you about -1 degree camber with the trike unloaded and add adjustable coil over or air shocks to adjust the ride as needed for varying loads. These are available as dune buggy accessories.

    Level engine is what you are shooting for. Solves a lot of carb and oiling isues.

    Take a look at Rex's Tech, tech, tech sticky thread in this forum, especially post #29. It shows how to correct trail issues on a springer front end by changing the rocker geometry. You should be able to get the correct trail by reworking the rockers without replacing the front end. Save some $$$$ and keep a nice looking front end.

    Welcome to the forum and good riding!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vwbug72501 View Post
    As for welding up your own tank. Do you want to learn to weld or ride? Maybe you could cut and fabricate the tank panels and get a certified welder to weld up the finished product for you. Take it from one who has missed several years of riding while attaining the skills needed to fabricate needed parts for my build.

    A constructive criticism on the tank design as the beauty is in the eye of the builder in all cases. Just my $.02 here but how would it look if the front/bottom profile of the tank followed the bottom body lines a little more? Yes, you would loose some capacity but at an expected 30ish mpg, 6-8 gals would would give 200-250 miles. i know I was ready to get off and stretch my legs by then!
    Great ideas ... didn't really think about having a pro do the welding. And I like the idea of trimming the tank to more match the lines of the trike, or, maybe paint it flat black to not draw the eye to it. But, as stated previously, the beauty is in the eye of the builder.
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    Now from what I understood, the float needle valve will close off the supply of fuel once the bowl is full of fuel. If this is true, than why or how does the fuel work its through the carburetor's? My oil is very stinky like gas now, figure near a half gallon of fuel was lost. Off to drain this oil out. Any favorite oil for summer
    If gas sat long enough in the float bowls it could have affected the needle valves ability to seal, thus causing flooding of the float bowls, some or all of this gas could drain down thru the cylinders over time

    This is 1 reason for a shut off valve

    Modern carb kits have new and improved needle valves for this rotten alcohol gas we have

    I hope this helps
    Nuff Said," Were Burnin Daylight, Lets Ride"(Sober 30years)
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