My first Beach Cruiser Build

Discussion in 'Motorized Cruiser Bicycles' started by Greengabbard, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. Greengabbard

    Greengabbard New Member

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    I'm new to the MB community and I'm in the middle of my first build. I'm very excited and I've been spending a couple hours every night reading the forums on here and learning from those that have come before me. I've already learned so much that I wish I had taken a different approach, but let this all be my lesson for my second build. (don't tell my wife I said that, she still isn't happy about my first build)

    First a little about me:*
    I'm a Navy Submarine Veteran (Electronics Technician)
    I now teach electronics for a living to high school students in St. Louis. I am one of our schools FIRST Robotics Coaches so I have a LOT of knowledge about chains, sprockets, bearings, gear ratios, fabricating, etc. So I don't consider myself a true newbie, but rather a knowledgable person with a new hobby that is in line with my other hobbies.*

    What kind of bicycle?
    I bought a Micargi Rover (orange in color, though the spec. says saffron) from www.bikebuyers.com
    I got one with a Shimano Nexus Inter 3 with a coaster brake. I really like the smooth curves of the bike and the retro look. I think it will look like an early motorcycle when it's finished.*

    What kind of engine?
    I bought a 66cc SD Stinger from www.motorizedbikeparts.com
    I looked at several different dealers and read a lot of reviews on here before buying. Many good reviews of the SD Stinger and the price was right so I went for it.*

    Funny story about the ordering of those two big items. I ordered them about three days apart and yet they both arrived on the same day from two different carriers.*

    I also ordered a bigger one gallon tank for it because I didn't like the idea of a bike with a 150 MPG range that could only go 75 on a fill up. Something about that didn't sound right to me. I got the tank from www.thatsdax.com
    It is the only reasonably priced one gallon tank that I could find.*

    The build so far:
    So a buddy of mine (a former robotics student who is now a licensed A&P Mechanic) and I got started at around 12:30 last Saturday. After having read a lot about things that can improve the bike, we didn't start with the engine, but instead we took apart the bike and began replacing some of the hardware.*

    We took the fenders completely apart and drilled the rivets out of the "L" bracket. After a trip to the store to get some hardware we put some heat shrink on the fender brackets where they touch the fenders for vibration dampening. We replaced the screws with 10-24's with acorn nuts. After a close inspection of the "L" brackets we decided that they were pretty strong (please tell me if you think I should replace these with something better) and we reinstalled them with more 10-24's and acorn nuts. The acorn nuts really look nice on the fenders (especially when you pay attention to lining them all up straight).*

    Then we opened up the SD Stinger and began the installation. We cut up an old bike inner tube to use for a vibration dampener on the mounts. The SD kit was perfectly sized to fit the seat tube and the oversized front tube. (In the future I'd like to replace the kit mounting studs with some grade 8 studs) We had to remove the chain guard to get the engine to fit because the clutch cover is close to the chain.*

    Then we got the fun part of figuring out the throttle and clutch levers and cables. The instructions were rather vague-ish and we puzzled it out on our own. I must say that I wasn't please with the quality of the throttle or the clutch lever. The odd three click clutch latch is very poorly designed. I have since ordered a push button locking clutch lever from www.bikeberry.com that we will install on our next build day. I'm still looking for a quality throttle lever that doesn't have a plastic housing that holds the whole thing to the handle bar. I did find a nice metal one, but it was out of stock and I'd much rather buy a whole assembly. The clutch cable wasn't too bad, but I do have one question, there was this brass fitting that seemed unnecessary because the clutch lever on the engine had its own set screw. If anyone would shed some light on this I'd be grateful. But the way we hooked it up it seemed to work fine for engaging/disengaging the clutch.*

    Let's talk carburetor... I was instantly unhappy with the style of the mount that holds the carb to the intake. I'm very worried about the dreaded air leak. I've begun reading the forums here looking for an appropriate replacement. Any feedback would be appreciated. The throttle cable seemed to connect to the carb just fine so that doesn't concern me at all.*

    We did a couple other minor things like mount the CDI. I intend to use better connectors than what came in the kit and then I will use liquid electrical tape to waterproof those connections. I really interested in checking out the "white wire power" to see what it really is. I've read so many different things on here that I don't know where to start. I intend to decipher it and post my findings. I will likely use an oscilloscope to give a good reading of it.*

    We were gonna mount the gas tank, but the oversized frame made that impossible for now. So we stopped playing with it for the night.*

    Next build day we will finish mounting the tank, hook up the fuel lines, electrical system, and then....the terrible rag mount. I've been searching for a solution to this and I have yet to find anything that makes me happy. The Shimano Nexus Inter 3 makes it harder. I am thinking of getting a large clamshell and machining it to fit my hub. I am bothered by the fact that no place lists the ID of it (most sites don't list the ID of any of their mounts).*

    Lots more to come; including pictures.*

    Thanks for reading,
    Charlie Blair
     
  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Sounds like you're off to a great start. Welcome to the forum...
    SB
     
  3. Greengabbard

    Greengabbard New Member

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    Thanks! I feel very welcomed by everyone. I'm glad that this place exists. It is an encyclopedia of knowledge just waiting to be discovered.
     
  4. darkhawk22

    darkhawk22 New Member

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    Welcome to the forum! The company I work for sponsors the First Robotics program heavily in our area and others (AutomationDirect.com).

    Enjoy the ride!
     
  5. Greengabbard

    Greengabbard New Member

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    Always nice to see what a small world it is. Automation Direct is awesome for being a corporate sponsor of FIRST. (I've done some programming on AD PLC's) What do you do for them?
     
  6. 2door

    2door Moderator
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    Welcome to the forum, Charles.

    It sounds to me like you've done your fair share of reading the information available here and have made some good decisions with your build. I believe you're on the right track.

    As far as the rag joint/sprocket adapter, the Nexus hub you have measures out at 1.833. The best (in my opinion) adapter available unfortunately will not fit that hub. The maker might redesing his product in the future but currently one is not available.

    You're probably read a lot of bad press about the kit supplied rag joint, most of it, in my opinion is unwarranted. Installed correctly paying close attention to concentricity with the rear hub and getting the sprocket to run true, the rag joint will give you many miles of carefree riding. It sounds to me like you have a firm grasp on mechanics so making that item work for you should be no problem.

    Please keep us informed on the progress of your build. Post photos if possible.

    What part of St. Louis are you in? I know a little about that old town. Did a lot of growing up there when I was just a youngster. Wilmore Park area.

    Tom
     
  7. Greengabbard

    Greengabbard New Member

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    I will give the rag joint a shot and see what happens. I was hoping to get it done this weekend but my machinist buddy didn't get around to the enlarging the hole in the sprocket to make it fit over the larger hub (I can't complain, he's doing it for free). I will definitely post some pics after our next build day. Hopefully that is sometime next week.

    I don't live "IN" St. Louis, but I do live in the St. Louis Metro area. I actually reside in Jefferson County and I drive 22 miles to work at an inner city high school. Sorry I don't know where Wilmore Park is, but I'll bet my wife (she's lived here her whole life) does. I grew up in Tennessee and moved here after the Navy in 2001.

    I'm hoping to ride my new motor-bicycle to work and back when the weather is nice.

    Thanks,
    Charlie
     
  8. Ibedayank

    Ibedayank New Member

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    Welcome to the madness and wallet draining hobby.
    only thing I can add is the use of locktite on the bolts of the fenders of your bike
     
  9. robbomberbomyea

    robbomberbomyea New Member

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    pirate cycles offer sprocket adapters and they show size and what it fits also offer one to mill to your own specks , i have bought two well worth the cash. good luck
     
  10. Greengabbard

    Greengabbard New Member

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    Good point on the Lock-Tight (or is it locktite?). I failed to mention that we had been using that on EVERY bolt and nut on the build so far. A couple times we forgot and went back to put it on. That is one of the first things that I learned from the forum.*
     
  11. Greengabbard

    Greengabbard New Member

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    I've been to Pirate Cycles website many times looking at that adapter. I'm not sure how I've missed the fact that try will mill it to my own specs. I'll look again. Thanks for the info.*
     
  12. TGM2054

    TGM2054 New Member

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    Sounds just about like what I'm plannig to do, I have a Micargi Mustang with the same hub. I'll follow this along to see how it turns out. Good luck.
     
  13. thxcuz

    thxcuz Member

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    What part of St. Louis are you from? I'm in south city. I'll be getting my friction drive up and running here in a week or two.
     
  14. Thugbar

    Thugbar New Member

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    Definitely Loctite (I used red) on every bolt/nut. I failed to heed this warning and woke up in the SLU hospital when one the bolts rattled loose and locked up my clutch.

    I also recommend the sprocket adapter from pirate cycle.
    http://www.piratecycles1.com/picycbspad.html

    It takes a lot of wear and tear off of your rear wheel & spokes. I had to get my original sprocket machined to fit it though. I used Brewer Machine & Gears in Soulard, I brought them the specs and they took care of the rest.

    I also recommend upgrading your rear wheel to something a little more heavy duty. 12 ga spoke and HD bearings if you plan on doing a lot of riding.

    I work & play in St. Louis in the Soulard area. You can find me buzzing around town on my bike on most nice days. Any questions or help just let me know. Happy riding!

    -Nate
     
  15. Harold_B

    Harold_B Active Member

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    We use a lot of Loctite in our lab. Well not a lot in volume since a little goes a long way and most of the hardware is 4-40 or smaller. To get to the point though:
    Loctite Blue 242 is typically used where you want to be able to remove the fastener at some point.
    Loctite Red 271 is for a fastener that is installed and not intended to be removed.
    Also handy is Loctite 609 which is for slip or light press fit assist. It can be applied after assembly and will seep into the gap. Also not intended for dis-assembly.

    If you apply Loctite and then remove the screw, then he screw and the hole should be cleaned of all the old dried adhesive or the new adhesive will not cure properly.

    I use these plus a product called Vibratite on threads for the applications where you want a tighter engagement but not a fixed position. Clutch and throttle adjusters for example. I've had my bottle for a while so I'd have to search for the source link.
     

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