Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Luxor Rack - New Front Strut and Reassembly

Finished polishing the headlight shells and lenses. One lens has some spiderweb cracks from a previous impact, but luckily they're all below the surface and the lens is intact.

The original front strut has been bent, battered, and damaged over the years. It's soft aluminum and would be easy to straighten, but I didn't want to risk damaging it further. Also, the original fenders were wider than those I'm using, and I need to be able to place the front mounting bolts closer together, so I decided to make a new one from a piece of 6061 aluminum rod.

(No special tools or intelligence required.)

Here you can see the multiple bends of the front strut.

I haven't bought a tube bender (yet), but the aluminum is so soft, I was pretty certain I could bend it by hand. I dug through the junk pile until i found a piece of wooded dowel the right size for the bends. I started at ehe center and worked out from there.

First bends - I had to loop the strut beneath the vise screw to get the right length.

Next came the "S" curve which takes the strut around the fender. I need a narrower location for the bolts, so I deviated slightly from the original strut.

Using the dowel as a guide, I pulled the aluminum into a curve.

So far, so good... now the reverse bend.

Original (left) and hand-made copy (right)... not a perfect match, but close. I'll probably end up buying a tube bender and making another version, but this one will work fine for fitting the rack to the front fender and bike.

Here are all the parts layed-out.

The strut passes through a hole in the head of the the mounting bolts. The thick spacers fit over the bolt head and push against the strut to lock it when tightened. Clearance was a problem until I realized I could lean the strut forward to push the bolts through the holes in the rack.

Everything bolted-up fine. Note how the squarish bend of the strut helps support the center of the rack deck.

I'm a bit disappointed in how the rack looks with the long front fender, which clashes with the lines of the rack and lights. Not sure what I'd change... maybe an emblem bolted to the fender would interrupt that long curve?

Next time: drilling holes and bolting it all together.


Gunnar Berg said...

Me and Cicero took two years of Latin 50 years ago, so I am more or less clueless. More importantly, the rack is incredible. I thought old Aldo was sick or out of town - no postings? But no! he was in the basement doing GOOD WORK. That rack is really beautiful.

Jonny Hamachi said...

Diligo ut torqueo.

Aldo said...

Gunnar and Jonny are refering to the dummy text I used while I was arranging the pictures. "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam nonumy eirmod tempor invidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat...". Aldo Ross

Gunnar Berg said...

I really like the curtain dowel jig you used. I envision Aldo walking through the house looking for something with the proper radius...and leaving the drapes in a plie beneath the front room window.

The deleted verbage that is traditionally used as print filler is from Cicero's commentary.It begins:
"There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain..."
Old Cic obviously never met a bicycle racer.

jusvelos said...

think your idea for a mounted emblem is good but for me its the red color that is so dominate..beautiful work aldo. richard