1st Time Build- Trials and Tribulations...

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by JankeyKevin, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Hey everyone. I have been lurking for awhile just soaking in all the info and I decided to share my first experience with these motorized bikes and perhaps provide insights to some other new builder. Just to preface, I gained my sobriquet JankeyKevin as I am a bit meticulous. I purchased the kit back in May, but collected parts until August. Here are all the parts on the living room floor. Bonus- there was no yelling from the wife!

    Lastly, as this is my first time, I welcome additional tips and suggestions for changes. You experienced builders have been invaluable. Thank you.
     

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  2. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    I got a free mountain bike from a friend, put brakes on the thing and got it rolling. The more I looked at it, the more I didn't like it (because it was SO raggedy). I sold it, thinking that the money would cover any additional parts I needed- lol! Anyway, here's pictures of what I had vs. what I decided to go with.
     

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  3. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Of course, the cruiser needed some work, it was all out of adjustment and the whitewalls were brown. Anyway, I think, it looks good and met, much more, what I wanted to build, in my mind's eye.

    So I started by rebuilding the coaster brake and repacking the wheel bearings with high-temp automotive grease. I took advice from this forum to used colored grease so I will know when it turns black, it is worn out. Anyway, I definitely understand you don't want bearing failure at 25-30mph. I watched some YouTube videos so rebuilding the coaster wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I probably spent 2hrs total, front & rear.
     

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  4. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    I bought a Seeutek kit off eBay. Of course, at that point, I hadn't discovered motorbicycling.com so I plead ignorance. At this point, I still believed this was a budget project.

    So time had passed and it was early August, I did learn about this forum and read of the nightmare of the install of the infamous rear sprocket. I purchased the style which clamps to the hub and replaced the metal plates, thinking this would help align the holes and make installation easy.

    I don't actually know if it was any easier? It still stunk and was my least favourite part of the build. After tightening, untightening, and adjusting, I finally was able to get the sprocket centered on the wheel to my satisfaction.
     

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  5. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Did I mention, I am particular? I was thinking that cars have rubber motor mounts so I want them on my build. Therefore, I ordered the hockey puck style of solid rubber mounts. After untold hours of reading forum posts, I now believe I have a good understanding of why rubber mounts should not be used. If rubber is used, it should not just be wrapped around the frame and mount like a cushion. I just want you all to know that I now know that. ;)

    I attached the rear mount directly to the frame. When I got to the front, I had trouble as the angle of the bike frame didn't align with the angle of the motor mount. I tried the parts from the kit and realized it would require a bunch of fabrication. Hmmm, what to do? Of course, I didn't want to crimp my frame. I then hit the internet and in a moment of frustration, hit the buy it now button.

    Well the part came quickly and I realized it wouldn't work either, doh! Should have measured first! Anyway, with my frame size, I recognized they don't even make one so small so I would have had to make some shims. Ok, that would be a whole lot of work.

    All that to say, I went with the hockey puck. I am open to criticism or guidance for another option.
     

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  6. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Up next, exhaust installation. I was so excited! Like finally; progress! I hoped I would not have to bend the pipe for clearance and mess up the chrome with heat. I put it on and it looked good!

    It was then I realized the crank arm wouldn't clear the motor. Bummer. :(

    Back to the internet for bent crank arms. Time passed and I got the part.
    At least, it gave me the opportunity to regrease the bearings in my bottom bracket. Be sure to order the right part here. I had to order axle, sprocket and crank arms as old and new parts would not work together. I did reuse the stock bearings and the new grease caps were not the same thread so I had to work it out.

    Happily, the bent arm solution worked.
     

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  7. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Next up is motor chain installation. Of course, me being me, I pre-purchased the idler with the skateboard wheel which attaches to the chain cover.

    When I put the chain on, there was so much slop, I decided to remove a link (with the punch). At the same time, I recognized the bike chain length was too long (as the new bent crank arm kit has a smaller front sprocket. I took a link out of the bike chain too.

    To my surprise, everything lined up without needing the idler! Yay! :D

    I heard, the difference between a new builder and an experienced one is the chain idler. I felt pretty good that I lucked up and got it to happen on the first try. Again, this was pure luck.
     

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  8. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    I'm not used to this posting stuff. I don't know why I can't see the comments left by other members? I can see that there have been comments, I just can't see them on my end. Someone please PM me so I get a better understanding of how this works. :) Thanks.

    Edit: I think, the only comments had been left by me! LOL
     
    #8 JankeyKevin, Sep 24, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  9. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Next progress was I modified the stock exhaust hanger. Again, I stole the idea from another member, here. It is pretty rigid. I should also mention that as I went along, I replaced the original hardware with bolts from the local big box hardware store. To hold the exhaust, I cut the heads off some 6mm screws.

    The hockey puck mounts came with long hardened threaded rod. I Dremeled them off as originally, they hit the exhaust.

    We were in Canada (across the river from Detroit) on vacation, this summer. If I had been thinking, I would have bought 6mm threaded rod. It is not sold, here, at the local hardware.
     

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  10. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    I also installed a rear brake for safety at speed. I am a total believer in increase the go, increase the whoa. Taking some of the advice, here, the coaster brakes are for emergencies. I am still debating on a front brake. My mind is pondering disc or rim? I have had bikes with both and the stopping power of mechanical disc is exceptional. My reservation is just pure vanity. I like the classic look of the chrome wheels and the only disc ready wheels I have found, so far, are brushed aluminium. I guess, we'll see.

    Anyway, the rear frame was already drilled for a mount. The angle was wrong to mount it on the outside so I mounted it reverse... I recognize I bent the arms incorrectly, they should taper towards the wheel the opposite way to prevent squeal, oopsie.
     

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  11. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Up next, I recognized I needed replacement handlebars. The originals came with foam grips the length of them; no way to attach the clutch and throttle. At first, I thought I would go with a mountain bike style bar but I went back with cruiser bars for comfort, instead of a more aggressive seating position. Why are they called handle bars when it is only one bent bar? I know, I wonder unusual stuff....

    What I learned is I had to order a new stem. :( The old stem wouldn't come off without cutting the foam off and the only local stems I came across were BMX style. Again, the overall theme of my build had me waiting on a cruiser style stem. A few more days passed as I waited on the part.

    A few more YouTube videos and I got the clutch installed or I thought I had it. It would not release so the tire would roll. Hmph! I took most of the slack out of the cable but it still would not release! Finally, I took the chain cover off and the chain was pinched by the cover and wouldn't move. Some filing and Dremel grinding allowed the chain to fit, nicely, and the clutch started releasing, yay! :D

    I forgot to mention that to prevent grinding grit from going into the clutch bar housing I stuffed some paper towel in there. You can see where I regreased the bar.
     

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  12. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    I neglected to take photos of the throttle install. Enough info can be found on that. It took watching some more videos to understand how to thread the wire into the carb & properly align the pac man clip. At first I had something screwed up and didn't get full throttle response so I took it all apart again, installed the cable into the carb then reinstalled the throttle on the handlebars. Things went right and I got good throttle response.

    The tip I have is when I got ready to drill the hole, I took a new "juicy" marker and colored the bottom of the pin then quickly lined the throttle up on the handlebar as I wanted it oriented. The wet ink left a mark on the handlebar so I knew exactly where to drill. Use a pointed punch or nail to divot the steel and mark the spot so the bit won't "walk". I started with a 1/8" bit and stepped it up to 5/32" which made a nice snug fit fr the pin.
     
  13. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    More reading, on this site, advised that the stock plug is junk. I had ordered NGK BPHS. But when I compared that plug to the original, I saw the nose of the plug is longer than stock. I got nervous that the longer plug would hit the piston and I had made a mistake with my purchase, so I read a post where a guy used a Champion plug. They don't stock Champion at my local hardware so I got the comparable E3. After painting the threads with anti-seize, I installed the plug to realize the plug boot was too long (or porcelain too short) and the electrode wouldn't reach the wire. Shucks, or some such term! More money wasted!

    In retrospect, I had probably disassembled the plug boot and can't recall if I put it back together? I did have a coil wire for an '84 Chevy van with a 350ci (I used to have one of those motors). As this little motor has never run, I didn't want to start modifying stuff too much so I didn't installed the better wire. I am still unsure of the process of ripping the old wire out of the CDI and jam in the new one? Sounds barbaric, lol!

    All that to say, I used the NGK after more forum research as the porcelain is long enough to fit the boot. The longer plug nose has not been a problem.

    In case anyone is wondering why I took the parts out of the plug wire; I have never seen a set-up like this and why would anyone want these parts which have the possibliltiy of mucking up the connection? The little spring looks like a great place for a failed connection. The cap on the end of the plug is now in direct contact with the plug wire electrode.

    The photo illustrates how the E3 was too short and the plug wire was all the way down with no connection.
     

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  14. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Now we are almost ready to ride! I had ordered a cool chrome springer seat post, because it looks cool. After an hour of messing with it, my conclusion is it is a show only part. There is a serious design flaw as I can't keep the seat from spinning like a bar stool. I could probably machine & weld it so it would work but I gave up and since ordered the other version with the rubber accordion boot. If anyone wants to tinker with it, PM me and we'll make a killer deal. Please note, it has some marks where I tried tightening the shucks out of it! Here I am, ending a post again with: more money wasted. This seems to be a theme....
     

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  15. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Last but not least is tank placement. I ran some racer tape along the bottom of the tank to prevent slipping and paint protection. I also checked to make sure the tank was clean and rust free, which it was. Matter of fact, it is all painted or coated inside. I wish I had had it pin striped before installation but I didn't want to wait ANY longer! I had also ordered fuel line and a brass fuel shut-off. The weird thing about the brass valve was I could not determine if it was off or on? The screw just spins so I used the stock one (more money wasted). The upgraded fuel line was so tight, I had to put it in the oven (on some tin foil) at 220' for 3 min to get it over the barbs of the stock plastic fuel filter (my wife was not home). I don't know what I will do if I ever have to take the tank off? I guess, I will have to cut the tube off. Anyway, I have a leak free connection.

    What I did learn was to cut the tube longer than needed as the first one looked just right but after squeezing it on the barb, ended up being 1/4" too short. Shucks.
     

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  16. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Active Member

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    I can't believe you spread out an engine kit on the carpet. Wives have killed people over such things.
    Add a front brake. Cagers will pull out in front of you like you don't exist.
    I understand why you installed the engine kit on the cruiser instead of the mountain bike. Mountain bikes can ride very stiff, especially when they have high quality chromo or aluminum frames.
    A beach cruiser bike with a springer fork rides pretty nice on rough roads.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Finally, the bike emerged from the basement! I bought some pre-mix 40:1- 2 cycle oil. It is more expensive than the mix it yourself stuff but I wanted to make certain things were right for break-in. There is a lot of advice regarding mixture for initial break-in. Some folks advise 40:1 so I ran with it. I also got some packs of Opti-2 which I will switch to after I run through this pre-mix.

    So I rode the bike 4 blocks with the spark plug wire unhooked but the fuel petcock open to lube the motor. I made it home and sprayed a shot of starting fluid in the spark plug bore. I put it all back together, went down the driveway and let the clutch out....
     

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  18. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    I stopped the last post to add dramatic effect, lol!

    The motor started and I was so surprised I hit the brake and killed it. I have been rolling ever since though. It is a super fun machine!

    I forgot to mention, in the last post: I never did connect the kill-switch. I may cut those wires or install a pit bike throttle? They are just wrapped around the handlebar (no s, lol). Everyone advised the kill-switch can cause major head-scratching regarding 1st time starting issues.

    Since the last post, I added the mechanical speedometer which came with the kit. Seems I can hit 30mph! Fun!

    My neighbours & I have been having a blast. However, yesterday, one of them pointed out that with chain stretch, the chain is rubbing the frame. :( I plan to pull the rear sprocket and reverse it inboard to gain a few mm and touch up the frame to prevent rust. Bummer, I am not looking forward to that fiasco again!

    I will get you guys a photo with the bike in its current stance. I added a decal pin-stripe to the gas tank. I have on order: LH mirror, springer front end, dual kick-stand, springer seat post. I also have plans to better attach the wires than the tie wraps currently used.

    Once again, more to come...

    Thanks for playing and thanks to the experience on this site & the advice given! I am stoked with my new toy!
     
  19. JankeyKevin

    JankeyKevin Member

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    Thank you Wheel Bender. I think you have given sage advise regarding a front brake. I will have to order a dual pull brake.

    I forgot to mention that I also have, on order, front & rear lights, for safety... And a good bike lock!
     
  20. Chaz

    Chaz Active Member

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    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on your start up. You did your homework and it paid off. The chain will stretch while you break in the engine, it's a universal law. I hope the springer you ordered has the bosses for brakes. If not you can always get a disk adapter to go that route.

    Anyway, welcome aboard. I can see you have a very methodical approach which will help you if something goes wrong. Things will appear during the break in as the gremlins get shaken out.

    nice build!
     

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