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Mudflap Girl FXR, Part 5

The details fall into place, from carburetor to kickstand

By Bandit, with photos by Sin Wu and Ray C. Wheeler
9/28/2011


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Life is nuts, but we are scrambling on the Mudflap Girl FXRs, at least mine. Us old farts constantly have discussions about how unmotivated kids are. I want to work on my bike constantly. Every waking minute I'm thinking about it, about new ideas, innovations, and who I can reach out to for resources. My son just complains: "I'd have to drive over there…"

My son being interveiwed in the shop for a potential TV series--the Ball Wars.
My son being interveiwed in the shop for a potential TV series--the Ball Wars.




I constantly come up with Plan B, another connection, or build it myself. We crawled out of the Sunday sack at 6:00 a.m. to haul ass to the Long Beach Swap Meet, just to scour rows of vendors for parts, to find a handful of pieces, and we scored. If it wasn't for the Sunday Post, I'd comb the isles once a month, at least.

Our Progressive shocks arrived so the rear end of the bike is mostly complete.
Our Progressive shocks arrived so the rear end of the bike is mostly complete.




Whatever, I'm about to wire and fire-up the first Mudflap Girl creation with Spitfire, H-D, and JIMS.
But let's back up to installing the Trock-modified CV carburetor. I ran over to Branch O'Keefe next to Bennett's Performance on Signal Hill to discuss an intake manifold. I don't have anything against most dealers, but I like to work with the talented independent shops, owned by guys with history, who go the extra mile for performance, quality, and their customers.









I feel Bennett's and Branch O'Keefe work hard to keep guys on the road, with high performance motorcycles. John O’Keefe dug around and came up with a very rare H.E.S./Branch Evo intake manifold. I helped Andy Hansen get Harley Engine Specialties off the ground in the '70s. Andy passed, as did Trock a few years ago. He was a great guy with veins full of 60-weight. John told me he still has a few of these rare, tested, flowed performance intakes and wanted me to try one.




This intake lifts the carb ¼ inch, which came into play during the mounting process, but I was proud to give it a shot. Plus my frame was stretched up, so I didn't have a tank clearance issue. I mounted the polished intake manifold and I was hoping to use some proprietary intake manifold clamps John designed with his Sundance Japanese customers.
 

With John's assistance, these guys are building hot rod twin cams with some very special confidential products. I'm hoping to bring you the story and access to some of these secret products in the near future. I mounted his intake with stock clamps.

I let my 1948 61-inch Panhead go to Australia this summer. It's now owned by Doc Robinson, the Tech Editor of Heavy Duty Magazine.
I let my 1948 61-inch Panhead go to Australia this summer. It's now owned by Doc Robinson, the Tech Editor of Heavy Duty Magazine.




After installing the rear wheel, we discovered the oil tank could not be installed from the front with the engine and trans in place, and we had to remove the rear wheel. It wouldn't install from the rear without removal of the wind guard and one frame-mounted rubbermount. We made it work without removing the engine and trans.







At this point, we jumped around the bike looking for any project affording completion, without trips to suppliers, missing fasteners, or parts orders. We took a hard look at Spyke's new BDL starter jackshaft fix. I've used BDL systems for ten years without a problem, and no starting hassles. It took us a while to understand this system. Basically, it allows the starter gear to bounce, not jam into the ring gear. Once we understood how the Spyke fix operated and the lack of spring travel in the BDL system, we came face to face with the benefits. We moved on to fitting the fender.









This tough 9-inch fender fit perfectly with some slight modification grinding on the Spitfire fender rail tabs, but the bottom front of the fender smacked the oil bag and prevented perfect alignment. With some heat and our shop press, we pushed a buffing groove in the fender. Then we cut the massive notch for the chain and the fender was getting damn close. Ray took up the grinding duties after I cut the notch with the plasma cutter.







Then we turned back to the oil bag, which we had grown nervous about some characteristics. This was a one-off, first attempt by the Spitfire motorcycle crew. They did a helluva job, but we noticed that the return and vent oil bungs were down the face of the bag, restricting oil capacity. We stopped by Gard Hollinger's LA Chop Rods facility and asked for a couple of 1/8-inch pipe threaded bungs. Gard doesn't manufacture that size, but he does make ¼-inch pipe thread bungs, which seemed foreign to me, but we stepped up.

This photo is soft, but it shows how we pilot drilled the massive holes. Make sure you have enough space to twist the fittings into position.
This photo is soft, but it shows how we pilot drilled the massive holes. Make sure you have enough space to twist the fittings into position.




This was a tough, and scary operation. I didn't want to risk drilling and dropping metal shavings in the tank. Jim Murillo recently sealed the tanks and coated the interior. The alternative was a 2.2-quart oil bag over a 4-quart oil bag. We swallowed hard and started the operation of drilling the holes in the top of the tank. I turned the bungs down slightly so I didn’t have to drill ¾-inch holes in the tank.




Ah, but for every obstacle, there's an opportunity. We discovered a perfect exterior clear oil gauge, fucking beautiful. We started to drill the holes in the top of the tank for the return lines.




We also had a squirrelly obstacle with the top motormount. The frame came with a chunk of tubing protruding directly down from the backbone under the tank. In the end of the tubing, the Spitfire crew welded a hearty bung, and it was drilled and tapped to 7/16 fine threads. I went on the hunt for some 7/16 hiem joints and McMaster Carr had a couple in stock. That was my initial direction, but it had its drawbacks.

With the fender fully installed, Ray started to drill it for the Donkey Dick taillight from Biker's Choice.
With the fender fully installed, Ray started to drill it for the Donkey Dick taillight from Biker's Choice.







I kept looking for alternatives and discovered a tab that was part of the Biker's Choice top motormount kit. The slot in one end was 7/16-inch, and it pushed the hiem joint anchor spot out far enough for the pivot point to reach the stock hole in the top motormount. I went to work welding it, but Dr. Willie didn't like my fix. I want to give it a shot.







We also ran into a return line problem with the stock Softail engine configuration. The return oil line from the filter pointed directly at the transmission. We straightened it and ran the line, then thought about running an oil filter. We went on a search for an old Cadillac power steering oil cooler. This turned into an afternoon excursion, hitting junkyards in our ghetto area and all the auto parts stores. At the last Auto Zone, we scored this Cadillac power steering oil cooler and made a mad dash back to the shop.




We discovered stainless Heim joints through McMaster Carr.
We discovered stainless Heim joints through McMaster Carr.




We considered running one of those front motor-mount regulator brackets, but I didn't like the way it interfered with the mount and the engine fasteners. Since the frame was built perfectly for this application, we cut and fitted a chunk of rectangular tubing stock between the frame rails to house the Spyke regulator.




We drilled it, installed fasteners from the back, and welded them into place, forming studs on the front. It was good to go once we tacked it into the frame. This project has a devilish twist, since we plan to build it, then test ride for a month or two before a paintwork teardown. I'm not using nylock fasteners this time around, just lock washers. Some items will be TIG welded, whereas some will be MIG spot welded for the tryout period.




When I grappled with the Biker's choice CV carb mounting system, including breathers, I discovered the Branch/H.E.S. intake difference. I was forced to slice and weld the bracket in an alternate position. That puppy will need to be ground and reshaped before powder coating. We moved ahead and I discovered my Goodsen Fantasy in Iron air cleaner was built for a Mikuni, so I traded with my son for his Roger Goldammer, hand-pounded, stainless steel unit.

This shot is seriously out of focus, but it shows were we cut this bracket apart and planned to weld it again.
This shot is seriously out of focus, but it shows were we cut this bracket apart and planned to weld it again.












What a sharp, well-thought-out chunk of artistic workmanship. Everything about his air cleaner was well configured, from the backing plate to the position of the fasteners. It came with all the necessary fasteners and two foam sock-like filter elements.




I have never liked the single bolt rear axle adjuster. It allowed the axle to float and shift from its required setting, which can be downright dangerous. I ordered some special fasteners and set to drilling and tapping the stern of the swingarm bosses. They were massive, solid chunks of Spitfire steel. It took some time, but now the axle is locked into position.







Then we started to grapple with the kickstand. The obvious choice was a weld-on unit from Mr. Lucky, but he didn't have any in stock.



I needed to install the 3-inch BDL belt system, to see where the kickstand would hit. Some kickstands can be a bear to reach, or take up much needed ground clearance. The more I looked at the Spitfire forward controls, the more I didn't want to mess with that area. The only kickstands available that might fit this configuration were pricey jobs, and I suspected they wouldn't fit. I started to dig around.









This new BDL belt drive fell into place after I drove the pins into the engine pulley. The clutch slipped right into place, and then I carefully selected washers and shims behind the engine pulley until both pulleys were aligned.






This new system has just two big, tough, 3/8-inch stud fasteners and stand-offs. One has a step in it, and it took very little time to determine which position it was machined for. The rear stud hung over the ring gear and needed additional clearance, but I goofed. I used red Loctite on the stud, and I should’ve stuck with blue. I'll have to remove the aluminum stud anytime I remove the clutch.













Then inspiration surfaced with the notion to run a rear kickstand. In searching my parts bins, I came across a wild kickstand base. Unlike the old ones from the '30s to the '70s, this one worked the same, but was heavy and cast. With Ray's assistance, we came up with the materials and the notion to bolt it to the swingarm cap, which is held with two 7/16 fine bolts. I went to work while Ray peeled out for Cook's Shootout in Bonneville.







I tacked and tested it until I was convinced I hadn't completely fucked up. Then I cut off the tabs, and ground and shaped the massive chunk of steel. I TIG welded this puppy together, mounted it, and made a cool stop threaded into the frame.

We ended up cutting 2 inches out of the height of these bars.
We ended up cutting 2 inches out of the height of these bars.


Next, I'll start wiring with Wire Plus products and the bike should run within a week or two. Then it's off to Saddlemen for a seat. Hang on, the Mudflap Girl will live.

The tight Wire Plus speedo.
The tight Wire Plus speedo.



But wait, I forgot that we installed the Spyke Push-Button solenoid starter. It eliminates weak connections, starter relays, and starter button wiring. It's a breeze to install, but it's important to make sure, once the button is released, it's fully clear of contact.






 




Sources:

Spitfire


Biker's Choice


JIMS Machine
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MetalSport
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BDL/GMA


Wire Plus
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Branch O'Keefe
Click the image for more info.
Click the image for more info.



Bennett's Performance


Custom Cycle Engineering
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Saddlemen

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Reader Comments


Thoughts on the motormount. Why not forgo the hiem turnbuckle mount? Go with a simple solid steel mount isolated at the engine and frame mount with rubber studded engine mount bushings. I doubt you will need to adjust the heim mount at any future point in time. The rubber bushings would allow for engine movement in the frame and absorb vibration.

--Anson

Anson
NOLA, LA
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Editor Response I need to see one of these rubber bushings.
--Bandit

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