Monday, February 23, 2015

Head & Tail light Brackets

The Hornet had no lights so I needed to make a set of mounting brackets for them. I am finishing them before I tackle the wiring system which will be detailed in another post. The tail light bracket is the easiest to draw so I decided to start with it. Both brackets will be made for quick removal so the Hornet can be shown in its stock configuration.

I started by downloading a free 2D CAD software called Q CAD. I spent eight years as a CAD designer and CNC machine programmer although I have not done this work for many years. I found it easy to pick it back up, at least for the simple work I am doing. The files were drawn to have laser cut. This is a process I am familiar with from my work and we have a good laser cutting source a few miles from my house. Once the design was sketched by hand I entered it into the CAD system. 

I printed off my initial CAD file and made a paper cutout which was held in location to see how well it would work. After several iterations I made a cardboard template and mounted my light & license plate to it. This confirmed my design but also called out one small adjustment that needed to be made.  I repeated the process to develop the headlight bracket
My paper prototypes and print outs. 

My "final" cardboard prototype. 

The headlight prototype with Bates headlight in place. 

After the cardboard prototypes were proven out .dxf files were taken to the laser shop and the parts were cut from mild steel. I used 14 gauge for the tail light bracket and 11 gauge for the headlight. 

Laser cut and ready to heat and bend. 

Head and tail light brackets ready to paint. I am finishing gloss black as I think the 
contrast will make the chrome stand out. 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Front End Rebuild

This really can’t be called a rebuild since I did not use any of the original parts for the forks. The original forks had been severely abused and were beyond repair. A set of fork lowers were purchased from a source found on Craig’s list while damper rods and seal holders were found on ebay. The bushings, seals, and tubes were purchased from a local dealer. 

Original condition & needing help. 

The "part set" ready to go. The hone with extender is on the right. 

The fork lowers I purchased were rusty and needed to be cleaned up. I sand blasted them and followed this up with a hone.  I made an extender for it to reach the bottom of the lower legs.  I had never assembled a set of forks without the drive holes for the seal holder removal tool. I used a plumber’s belt wrench to accomplish this task. The wrench slipped until I wrapped the seal holders with duct & double sided tape.

Mounting the seal holders. 

I have a slide hammer fork puller which I made many years ago. I am not too fond of this tool since it is hard on the threads. I purchased a puller set from “The Bonneville Shop” which worked very well.

Pulling the new forks into place. 

After the forks were installed I was able to finish assembly of the front end. The next step is to lower the Hornet off its hoist which it has been sitting happily upon since last summer. The forks will be cycled to align everything and then tightened down to spec.   

Here we are to date...time to learn how to install gaitor straps.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Polishing Aluminum

The side covers were in pretty rough shape. I filled a pit on the timing side case and replaced the primary cover. The replacement primary had a dent which was removed. This is detailed in an earlier post. I cleaned parts up with engine de-greaser and soda blasted them to get all of the gasket sealer off.

Parts were sanded with a rubber block and 120 grit paper to remove heavy scratches and gouges. After getting everything roughed out I went through a succession of increasingly finer papers. Grits used were; 220, 320, 400, 600, 1000 & 1200. Each grit was applied 90 degrees to the grit before it making sure all scratches from the previous grit were removed before progressing to the next step. Kerosene was used to keep the paper from loading. After the parts were sanded to 1200 grit I finished them with aluminum polishing abrasive on a pedestal mounted buffing wheel. The final gloss was obtained using Semichrome aluminum polish applied by a 3 inch right angle air tool and finally by hand. Mother's Billet also works well for the final gloss.

A tedious process....sanding cases. 

Polishing the timing side inner cover in a rubber jaw vice. 

Blocking to keep things flat. 

The final result.