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Discussion Starter #1
I decided to try another mod for the hell of it. I did not want to use the Progressive balance kit so I chose to do it my way...lol. I'll mount it on the right side swingarm sometime after Christmas. Funny thing is I don't even carry a passenger or anything heavy. I did this because it is fun to try a little challange now and then. The not so expensive ones. Should work well.



 

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That is what the two elbow fittings are for...one for each shock.
Oh, they must be threaded so they will screw onto the air fittings on the shock, I just didn't see that. Where did you get them? Also how did you attach the fittings to the mounting bracket? Great job!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Oh, they must be threaded so they will screw onto the air fittings on the shock, I just didn't see that. Where did you get them? Also how did you attach the fittings to the mounting bracket? Great job!
I was not able to buy what I needed so I had to make the fittings that attach to the shocks. Not complicated but took some time. Fitting is two parts: 1/8" MIP X 1/8" Compression elbow, and a small valve stem extension that a tire place gave to me (I don't know what else to call them). I don't see a need to explain that process here now.

Fittings are brazed onto the bracket.

After brazing was done the last two fittings were added and then all 4 thread joints were soldered to prevent leakage.

Of course the guage was added last and red loctite will take care of that seal.
 

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I was not able to buy what I needed so I had to make the fittings that attach to the shocks. Not complicated but took some time. Fitting is two parts: 1/8" MIP X 1/8" Compression elbow, and a small valve stem extension that a tire place gave to me (I don't know what else to call them). I don't see a need to explain that process here now.

Fittings are brazed onto the bracket.

After brazing was done the last two fittings were added and then all 4 thread joints were soldered to prevent leakage.

Of course the guage was added last and red loctite will take care of that seal.
Great job, I really like what you've done and was hoping that I could copy the idea but I can tell that this job is a little over my skill level and the equipment that I have access to. I bought the kit from Progressive but I didn't like it. I could never get it to hold pressure for the long haul and it really didn’t make it much easier to fill and check. It looks like you have a one of a kind. Again "Great job".

 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great job, I really like what you've done and was hoping that I could copy the idea but I can tell that this job is a little over my skill level and the equipment that I have access to. I bought the kit from Progressive but I didn't like it. I could never get it to hold pressure for the long haul and it really didn’t make it much easier to fill and check. It looks like you have a one of a kind. Again "Great job".

Thank you and nice pic of your ride by the way.

Don't underestimate your skill level. It takes some patience just like any other job. I learned a few things and would do some of it differently. If you don't have access to a drill press or oxy/acetylene torch etc., then there are probably ways around that as well. Ideas are endless, give it some thought and I am sure you will come up with come up with something unique for yourself.
 

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The air pressure in the shocks will go considerably over 60 psi when the shocks compress. Should turn that gauge to junk pretty quick.
Have you actually checked this? The failure pressure for the shock itself is about 72psi, so I can't imagine that under compression when inflated to the max SERVICE pressure of 42psi, the shocks would even come close to the failure pressure.

The pressure gauge most often used with similar mods like this one only goes to 60psi, and nobody has reported failure of the gauge.

I run mine at 42psi, and with my wife on the back, we are over 100 pounds over the MOM's 400 pound limit for passengers and cargo. I've bottomed the rear suspension on many occasions, yet my shocks have not failed and hold pressure for months.


Idaho: Actually, some more info on the valve stem extensions and how they fit the elbow would be appreciated. I've been wanting to do a similar mod myself, and the Progressive kit just hasn't worked out... I can't get the stupid thing to seal. There are a lot of creative ways to make up a similar system, but the key to making it work is getting the proper fitting to thread onto the stems, which are an oddball thread. The other problem I have with the Progressive kit is their fill fitting doesn't work well with the new shocks that Kawi started putting on the 1600/Nomad... if you have a Mustang seat, you can't use it with the seat installed, and even without the Progressive kit, it's a major PITA.

If your tire shop has an adapter that'll go from the Schraeder valve to a standard hardware-store thread, I'd appreciate a source and part number!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Idaho: Actually, some more info on the valve stem extensions and how they fit the elbow would be appreciated. I've been wanting to do a similar mod myself, and the Progressive kit just hasn't worked out... I can't get the stupid thing to seal. There are a lot of creative ways to make up a similar system, but the key to making it work is getting the proper fitting to thread onto the stems, which are an oddball thread. The other problem I have with the Progressive kit is their fill fitting doesn't work well with the new shocks that Kawi started putting on the 1600/Nomad... if you have a Mustang seat, you can't use it with the seat installed, and even without the Progressive kit, it's a major PITA.

If your tire shop has an adapter that'll go from the Schraeder valve to a standard hardware-store thread, I'd appreciate a source and part number!
__________________
- Rich
2006 1600 Classic
Member CORVA, BRC
Patriot Guard Rider


Hi Rich, I will put that info together for you after dinner and then taking the dog for a run. Might be tomorrow before you have it. As for finding an adapter from Schraeder to standard...it might be out there somewhere, but I could not find anything. The adapter I made I believe will work well and it is not ugly big imo.
 

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Good deal... no rush, my time right now is occupied with repairing/modifying a fairing, so it'll be quite a while before I take on another project, but it's good to know there are options other than the Progressive kit.
 

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Rich i hope you are taking pictures of your current project? what kind of fairing is it? where did you find a damaged fairing at?
SDbrit68 bought a couple of old FLH batwings from a guy at a swap meet a few years ago. These are the kind that the shield mounts to the brackets, not the fairing, and had no "inners".

He got one fixed up pretty well, still needs to finish it. He gave me the other one. It's BAAAD. Whoever worked on it before should not be allowed to touch fiberglass. The left side had been repaired once, and it was done pretty well. The other side was what this guy tried to fix. He slapped a single layer of glass on the outside, soaked it with resin, and then in an attempt to "reinforce" the remaining stock glass, PAINTED resin over the whole freaking thing! Dummy... the strength is from the glass, not the resin... Anyways, the whole thing was covered with drips and runs.
To see how bad it really was, I shot it with black primer and started sanding with 80.

It took me nearly 2 weeks of evenings and about 15 sheets of 3M's new "green/white" 80 grit to get it smoothed out and reveal what the guy was trying to repair.
The right grip "pocket" had 3 spots that looked like they had been sanded with a belt sander... PERFECTLY flat, and all the way through in 2 places... plus of course the original break that the repair was an attempt to fix.

I bought a flat 9" tinted shield on eBay for $40, and welded up a mount for it... used thin sheet steel, drilled it and welded in 1/4-20 bolts, then welded on 6 hardware store corner braces... bent the braces to the right angle, and epoxied them to the inside of the top edge.

Today, I started glassing... I think I've got enough buildup now over the flattened areas to get it back to a reasonable shape, if not, I'll glass it again until it's good enough for a thin layer of Bondo. Also glassed the top edge of the inside, locking in the brackets that hold the windshield mount.
Next step is to continue to build that up on the inside to keep the shield mount from flexing and cracking the outer glass/paint, then comes the hard part... glassing what will show. I've got to build it up thick enough to cover the two exposed 1/4-20 bolt heads. Once that's done, the outer will be ready for paint.

Then comes the really fun part.... building my own inner to hold a stereo and 4 speakers. The Quadzilla and stock Harley parts won't work... combination of my apes and my tach, plus my desire to use the National Cycle Switchblade style quick release so I can pull the fairing and go naked or back to the shield.
So the brackets will be mounted to the inner, which will be clearanced over the headlight enough to tilt forward to release the brackets, then AFTER the inner is mounted to the bike, the outer will be bolted to the inner.

I'll make the inner from an aircraft ply frame, and use florists foam blocks to get the basic contours, then when ready to glass, I'll stretch thin fabric over it to smooth the surface.... couple of layers of fine-weave glass on the outside, then break the foam out of the inside and reinforce the whole thing on the inside with heavy glass matting.



Wow... what a hijack!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Rich, I hope this info will be of some help to you.

ADAPTERS

There are no doubt better ways, but the following is what worked for me:

These adapters will fit onto the Schrader valve stem for the air shocks. The completed fitting will be a female Schrader X 1/8” compression 90 degree elbow.

You’ll need:
2 – 1/8”MIP X 1/8” compression 90’s (all fittings I used are brass) The Weatherhead
brand is very popular and easy to find.
2 – Valve stem extensions (I think that is what they are called) , they are brass but nickel
plated which is fine. Get the short ones – I believe they were 7/8” long but finished
length will be 13/16” or close to that. Any tire place probably has them.
Drill press with secured table vise (it will be critical to hold that piece very securely when
drilling)
7/32” drill bit (I did not have one of these fittings left over, so I am pretty sure of the drill
bit size, but not positive. But you’ll understand the idea.
19/64” drill bit
Emory cloth
Plumbers torch (easier to not overheat it)
Little bit of solder and flux. Or small diameter resin core solder might be easier.
Whatever works best for you.
Dremel with a cut off wheel is handy

Take the compression nut off and set it and the ferrule aside. With the 7/32” bit in the press, clamp the fitting in the vise loosely with the MIP end up. Make the fine adjustments to the vise in order to assure a perfect line up with the hole in the fitting by using the drill bit as a guide.- Do this part WITHOUT having the press running. Tighten the vise and then do this check again as it will probably move things slightly. Change the bit to the 19/64”. A sharp bit drills the brass nicely and without grabbing. Drill slowly. It seemed clear to me when I bottomed the bit out in the fitting, but if you are not sure about it then measure so you don’t drill through the fitting. The end of the elbow wall will be VERY thin but it will work fine. The first one I did worked fine…second one I got in a hurry and I did not have it lined up perfectly and the bit came through the end wall. It took 3 fittings for me to get the job done.

Use a Dremel with a cut off wheel or whatever you choose and cut off all of the thread you just drilled through leaving about 3/16”. Make sure you cut off the correct end. Then use a file or other means to finish that 3/16” down to 1/8” max. maybe less nice, flat and even. (I tried to make this fitting as compact as possible). I used emory cloth laid on a good surface and just worked it back and forth. If it burrs the inside of the hole a little it cuts out easily, then blow out the dust/fillings and set it aside.

Set the valve stem extension thread side down over an opening in a vise or something. Using a round flat punch the size of the end opening, knock out the valve core. Try not to damage the threads. Again for me the first one was better than the second one. Perhaps there is a better way to do this part of the job. I found that the 19/64” hole in the fitting was not quite large enough to accept this extension piece. So I just chucked up the threaded end into the press and with it running put some emory cloth to it. A little goes a long ways and it is easy to check when the right amount has been sanded away. Even if a little much is sanded away it is no big deal as it will be soldered into place anyway. This little extension piece was a little longer than I wanted it to be so I sanded the end off until it was almost flush with the base of the threaded end, leaving just enough room for a nice solder joint. Don’t solder yet.

Screw both Schrader pieces onto the shock valve stems hand tight. Treat each side separately as they will almost certainly not be the same. Then put the brass fitting onto the end of that Schrader piece and face it in whatever final direction you want it to be…and then back it off just a LITTLE bit to allow for tightening. Then mark it so you can put it back into that exact position for soldering. We have all heard how easily those brass fittings on the shocks can be easily over tightened and break off. This completed fitting with some red loctite can probably be installed by hand tightly enough.

Solder them and I hope they will work well for you.

I took some pics during this process, but they are embarrassingly out of focus. If you need some I will send them, but I doubt you will need them.

NOTE:
I am not accustomed to giving this sort of instruction. I apologize that it is probably more lengthy than necessary. Most of all I do not mean to insult anyone’s intelligence in my ramblings. I hope my ideas will be of some help to those interested and I would welcome suggestions from the many more talented than I members on here.
 

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PERFECT!

After looking closely at the photos, I had a feeling that's what you had done, but I wasn't 100% sure.
 
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