Silverbear's sidecar

Discussion in 'Motorized Bicycle General Discussion' started by silverbear, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I realized that the American can't be used with the front mount I have in mind due to the built in kick stand setup. If you look at the photo of the gray bike kickstand area you'll see the center double stand which I added and would be removed, but there is a diagonal tube under which is welded in place and houses the factory kick stand. It is in the way of the handlebar section I would use as a mount. So that would need to be cut off, but then there is the additional problem that would create in that the tube is also where the rear fender mount attaches. Hassles. And I would need to come up with a rear stand if I wanted to detach the sidecar. Instead I'll work with the Elgin. I went to the hardware and found that 3/4" copper pipe fittings will fit over the 7/8" handlebar, since they are designed to go over the 3/4" pipe before soldering into place. The T I had envisioned won't work because the central part of the T is a smaller diameter, that of the 3/4" pipe, so the handlebar will not fit all the way through. Instead I am using an elbow with an extension on one end made from a sleeve union. I fit the union on the handlebar and the elbow next to it as a kind of butt joint. I figured I could solder them together and the solder would not bond to the chrome handlebar inside, which it didn't. Before soldering I cleaned up the copper with steel wool and the inside of the sleeve with the little sanding drum of the dremel tool. It is snug, but pivots freely. The idea is to first fit the extended elbow section onto the handlebar front mount... slide it back and then attach the rear mount which will make it impossible for the elbow to come off the front mount. I don't know if I've described this clearly, but it will work. I don't have an appropriate length of handlebar at present for an arm to go from the short end of the elbow to the sidecar, so will use 3/4 copper pipe. The handlebar would be much stronger, but I think the copper pipe will do. The end of the front mount arm which attaches to the sidecar will go to a... ( don't know yet and will figure that out tomorrow).
    The handlebar mount has been drilled for the horizontal bolt going through the fender mounting point and drilled vertically for a bolt to go through a kick stand plate I found in my stuff today. Once those are in place the mount will be affixed and I can make the arm. I can also determine if I need to further secure the handlebar mount forward of the pedal crank. I'm a little concerned with the pedal running in to the front arm going to the sidecar and may need to do a bit of a dogleg for clearance. I'll figure it out as I go and hope to have some time for tinkering tomorrow.
    SB
    Pictures will follow in the next post... spotty internet connection tonight, so two installments.
     
  2. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    First photo shows the little piece of stock mounting hardware that instep uses. The small hole goes on to the axle and the large hole is where the arm of the trailer fits in and gets pinned. Other pictures are self explanatory along with the comments in the previous post.
    SB
     

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  3. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I made some progress today. I attached the handlebar version of the front mount and found it to be very solid and also too short. In order to use it I would need to make a dogleg in the front attachment arm in order for the pedal to clear, so I made up another one out of 3/4" thick wall copper pipe. It feels solid and while I'd prefer steel, I think it will be strong enough for this light weight 'sidecar'. I have not yet figured out how I will finally attach it to the front of the sidecar, but at least the bike side of things is done. I'd like for there to be some way to adjust the distance between front mount and front of the sidecar so that I can make it parallel. I have an idea on how to do that and will also need to figure out how to make the height correct so the front of the sidecar is level with the back.
    SB
     

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  4. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    I got some more done on the sidecar today. The first photo shows the arm which slides onto the front mount of the bicycle. From left to right is a sleeve butt joint soldered to an elbow, then a short piece of ¾ heavy wall copper pie, then a female union and a male union (the idea of the threaded section is to give a way adjust the distance between the bike and the sidecar at the front for tweaking as close as I can get to parallel). The male side of the union won’t get soldered, but will be bolted so that the bole can come out and I can give it a turn or two either in or out. It isn’t much, but it’s something anyway. After the male union fitting is another section of straight pipe, then a 45 degree elbow and another straight section followed by another 45 degree elbow, a very short straight section which is really just to be able to join the elbow to the T fitting. Coming off the T to the south (bottom of the photo) is a longer straight section.
    The second photo shows what you need to do the soldering work. The felt tip pen is for marking the straight pipe for where it gets cut. The pipe cutter is next to the pen and is the best way to cut the pipe, not very expensive and much better than using a hacksaw. The are two basic kinds of solder. One uses a combination of lead and tin and the other kind is silver and is used for jewelry making and plumbing since lead is toxic. The lead/tin is good for doing stained glass work. Use the silver solder for this and for anything else you might be doing for bike work. Each kind of solder requires it’s own kind of flux. So get the right kind. The torch is propane. Any spot which is going to be soldered must be cleaned first with steel wool, even new fittings should be cleaned and shined up. I used old pipe for the straight pieces and it works fine as long as you clean it up to a shine.
    Once the pieces are clean, give a bitof flux to the area to be soldered. The flux is a paste and I just use a wooden match stick to dab it where it is needed. Apply heat to the joint and then stick the solder against the copper. If the copper has been pre heated enough then like magic the solder will flow into the joint… into the copper. Wow! Once you do this you’ll see how neat soldering is.
    I have marked the unions with either an x or a – to remind myself that I want to solder the – marks right away and leave the x pieces until the arm is in place and adjustments for height and for parallel are as close as I can get them… then do the X unions. One has an O and that is to remind me that it is the one which will be drilled and gets no solder.
    The last photo was taken after I moved the bike and sidecar onto level concrete for getting things as true and level as I can.
    SB
     

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  5. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    And this is what things look like after the – pieces have been soldered and the bike is sitting parallel and level front to back. The nice thing about the copper fittings is that the ones I had marked with an x allow the arm to adjust for height before getting solder. I’ll mark each side of those unions with a scratch mark so that I can align it for the same configuration when I solder them solid. The threaded piece is two turns out from tight. At the sidecar where the T butts up against the sidecar frame it is held fast with two stainless steel hose clamps. No permanent alterations have been made to the sidecar so it can be converted back to a trailer in maybe ten minutes. No permanent changes have been made to the bike, either.

    For clarification… in case you were wondering in the previous post what the chrome handlebar section was for… I wanted to be sure that the sleeve to 90 degree elbow butt joint would not heat up enough to come apart while heating the other end of the elbow near by, so I put the handlebar inside in case it did get loose and also to dissipate the heat some. It didn’t come loose.

    So, I’m going to let it sit as is and stare at things before doing the last soldering. Measuring as well as I can… and then call it good enough. I imagine that tomorrow I’ll try rolling it around some, but no riding yet until I can fix the clutch. (Puller is on the way.) The dog is getting impatient and so am I. I sure hope this thing works.
    SB
     

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  6. fasteddy

    fasteddy Well-Known Member

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    That Sir is first rate. I personally can hear the hum of happiness now as you and the Wonder Puppy travel down the road.
    Thinking now I should have found a trailer.

    Steve.
     
  7. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Thanks, Steve. I think it's going to work OK. A couple things I want to do before running it are first to move the wheel forward so that it is midway on the sidecar. I should have thought of that before. It is simple enough to re drill holes and move the axle mounts forward. I'm also going to beef up the connection between the long pipe section coming off the T fitting which runs parallel to the frame of the trailer. It will get bolted directly to the frame. I don't like just using the hose clamps and it will also keep it from rotating under any condition. I walked it around and found that the bike leans either way as far as you want it to while the trailer seems to stay pretty level. This is going to work better than I had thought it might. At least I think so. Final judgments come with putting some miles on it. It may take some getting used to.
    SB
     
  8. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Just about the last tweaks are done on the trailer to sidecar transformation. I moved the wheel forward so that it is midway on the sidecar frame and have bolted the front arm to the sidecar frame instead of just relying on stainless steel clamps. I think the last thing I may do is raise the front end a bit by heating up a couple of the solder joints and then letting them cool in the new position. I had forgotten that the dog likes to sit with her snoot sticking out for a good hit of fresh air and unimpeded view of whats coming. Even with the screen in place her nose manages to stick out. So, I'll raise the front end a little high so it sits level under load. The dog was disappointed that we didn't actually go anywhere since I'm still waiting for the clutch tool to come, but seemed to settle in nicely. It may be awhile before I can test things out since everything is downhill on this mountain and it is a long push back up or I would take it for a pedal ride. Within the confines of the yard here it seems to turn fine.
    I've included a photo from a link on furball's sidecar question thread of a watsonian sidecar from back when in England... very much in line with what I've been picturing for the next sidecar, but a bit more like a square stern canoe shorty which will get fasteddy's much superior mount. I hope this thread has been helpful to somebody and I'd be real interested to hear about and see your trailer to sidecar experiments if anybody does one. Thanks in advance. Once I can do a road test I'll let you all know how it goes. Comments are welcome...
    SB
     

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  9. pj-pirate

    pj-pirate New Member

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    SB-- on all of my "hacks" that I have had --they have a third attatchment point going from the seat post to the reat attachment point on the sidecar as a triangulated stabiliser. That way the leaning of the bike is kept to a minimum and parallel to the "hack" On my motorcycles we just use the upper shock mount. I have no dog to take for rides anymore so Ill stick with the trailer for the MB.
     
  10. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    pj-pirate,
    Thanks for the suggestion. Would that third arm make it so that the the sidecar to bike couldn't pivot or flex a bit on curves? I thought it would be better if it could pivot to keep the wheel of the sidecar on the ground and not restrict right turns by not being able to lean into the turn or have the sidecar wheel go air born on left turns (my sidecar is on the right). I guess I don't understand this side car business very well. You mentioned in an earlier post on this thread that at one time you had a Watsonian sidecar. Below are a couple of pictures of the mounting setup from a link on furballs sidecar questions thread. Did the Watsonian also have a third arm? Itlooks to me like there are just two mounting points which pivot.
    SB
     

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  11. pj-pirate

    pj-pirate New Member

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    The Watsonian Hack had a stay brace that ran from the front frame member to the front and also one from the upper shock mount in the back to the hack....The bicycle hacks look like they were leaners meaning the bike could lean to some extent in turns. I would look into going from the seat post to the rear mount on the hack for stability of the mount and the safety of "wonder Dog"!!
     
  12. civlized

    civlized New Member

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    That's pretty freakin' awesome, SB. I love it. I wonder if my Mastiff would ride in something like that? I've been talking myself out of buying a trailer for a while, but you may have just cost me some cash. Thanks for sharing, that's great.
     
  13. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    Must be a big dog. Whatever happened to the milk crate on the rear rack for towing dogs? Looks like fun though.
     
  14. civlized

    civlized New Member

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    This is my little pooch. 160lbs of pure lazy love.
     

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  15. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate New Member

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    That looks scary! At least he likes bikes and not just to chew on!
     
  16. curtisfox

    curtisfox Well-Known Member

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    Now I see why you want to do a canoe style. Thats KOOOOOL
     
  17. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    PJ,
    That Watsonian you had was made for a motorcycle, is that right? I'm wondering if the old ones made for bicycles had that stabilizing third arm. Is that to keep the front end from dipping or something that comes with greater speeds? What is it's purpose? The last thing I want to do is harm this little friend of mine who trusts me and life in general. And while she is the main rider, I also have grandchildren who will want rides and perhaps neighbor children. Nobody gets harmed is the rule of the day. So, I don't want to bother and have to figure this third arm out if it isn't really necessary, but if it is then I want to make it safe. In the summer months I have the good fortune to have little traveled and very well maintained paved roads right where I live leading to the Bearhead Lake State Park in northeastern Minnesota. I don't think I'd want to use this thing in any kind of traffic or anyplace where I felt uncomfortable taking up a good bit of roadway, which it does. And I don't expect to be going more than 20 mph.. maybe 25 goosing it before an incline. Still, something coming loose at 20 mph can still spell disaster. I wear a helmet, and so will little people, but the dog goes without. Some people might be thinking... "ah come on, it's just a dog!" But that's my business. This little friend of mine saw me through some dark times when I was crippled following a lightning strike. We've spent a lot of time together and a bike trailer was for her in the first place. She's my fishing buddy and rides shotgun in the truck. My brother observed that dogs are like toddlers who get old but never become 'adults'. They are always toddlers, which is maybe why four leggeds make such good friends.
    I do appreciate your comments, PJ, and realize you have a lot more experience using a sidecar than I have pushing one around the yard. Many thanks.
    SB
     
  18. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Civilized,
    160 pounds is a lotta dog! I'm sure your dog would love going for trailer or sidecar rides, but I'd want to be sure that the trailer or sidecar was up to the weight. The instep trailers I have are rated at 100 pounds, but no doubt that is to avoid law suits and there may be a good bit of extra maximum weight capacity. Also, I would think that with a sidecar the bike is taking on some of the weight that a trailer by itself would have. I think it depends on how well the trailer is made. The Instep model (Ride N Stride) I used for this sidecar is less sturdy than the lightning model which is square aluminum tubing and has well made wheels. The 100 pound rating may also have to do with the floor and seat of the trailer being just fabric. Beefing that up would make a real difference I would think. Something like strapping going back and forth under the fabric would do the trick and weigh very little. If you pull this thing off you have to promise to post some pictures!
    I've had a few big dogs through the years and one in particular comes to mind. Krosivi was a Borzoi (Russian wolf hound) who didn't weigh in like your mastiff, but stood tall and could run like a big greyhound. He was a good buddy who never barked, had a lot of dignity... never begged. Those log legs made for a lousy canoe dog and he wasn't much better in a fishing boat. I took him camping one time only even though he had a great time. In the middle of the night he was running in his sleep (you know how dogs dream a lot) and he stretched those long legs out... I woke up to the sound of the tent ripping as his legs went through the tent wall.
    Aaniimoosh The Wonder Dog makes for a more manageable size. I do know that very often big dogs are the most gentle and most want to be lap dogs... just overgrown puppies. It is the little chiwawas (can't spell that one) that are ankle biters. Tell your dog that Aaniimoosh says hi and that I'm wagging my tail.
    SB
     
  19. silverbear

    silverbear The Boy Who Never Grew Up

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    Hey Curtis,
    Yes, I thought maybe a canoe end would work. I'll have to stare at and measure the beam of my canoe once I get home in less than two weeks (can't wait!) If it seems possible then I'll be on the lookout for a wrecked one. My nearby town of Ely is right next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area wilderness and has a number of outfitters. I'm sure they each get a canoe or two every summer which has been folded in a rapids by boy scouts or other tourists. I'll be looking for one which is not repairable but has at least one good end to work with. Also a cheaper make canoe would be fine since it would also be lighter. As a boy we had a Grumman 17 footer made right after WWII when Grumman went from making aircraft to boats and canoes, so this one was made from aircraft aluminum and was virtually indestructible, but also a bear to portage. So, a lighter one. It should be pretty strong, too, so shouldn't require a real heavy duty frame underneath, especially if the undercarriage is bolted directly to the canoe bottom and through to plates above, so the skin is sandwiched. It would make a really strong sidecar. I have an electric pancake wheel motor (36 volt) which I never much liked on a bike, but which would make that canoe into a great push sidecar with plenty of room for the batteries. That's the kind of loose plan anyway. Fasteddy's sidecar is what gave me the idea for that. I'm thinking that if the bike has a gas motor then the pusher sidecar could just kick in when you either wanted to run silent or needed a little help on steep hills. I'd like for that sidecar to be beefy enough for an adult rider, give it a nice leather seat and maybe a dashboard with electrical gauge and speedometer... a windshield... boat light up front and a stern light in the back with little led lights inside. Koooool, as you say. Ha!
    SB
     
  20. dag_29307

    dag_29307 New Member

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    Hey Silverbear I have been following this post with some serious interest. I also would love to create a side car for my bike. I have a different donor if you will. Instead of a canoe have you thought of utilizing a Kayak? The Shape is pretty similar and it might be a little more aerodynamic.

    Just a thought and if I will be monitoring your progress diligently. By the way the knowledge you have provided to the noobs like me =) is a major contribution to the MB community. So don't think you owe anyone anything. That doesn't mean stop just don't feel like you haven't contributed. Hopefully I can provide some redneck engineering for all the broke folks out there.

    Don't forget that with knowledge comes power. You my friend could be considered one of the HE-MEN of the MB world. You just have a dog instead of a cat but that's OK.;)
     

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