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Discussion Starter #1
I posted this on Shadders thread yesterday and he suggested I start a new thread......

"Well after spending all day (and many times before) reading these great posts, I thought I should join and ask a couple q’s and possibly impart any knowledge I’ve acquired along my path of righteousness. OK, maybe just my path of bobberness. This is my 3rd bobber and by far the most aggressive attempt. I left the others somewhat “safe” and mostly reversible, but there’s no going back with this one. This one’s a ‘98 VN800 Classic that I've been cutting, grinding and otherwise stripping for a few months now, off and on. I’ve picked up some great pointers and ideas here and solidified several ideas / theories I had on my own. In keeping with my minimalist approach to this project I am removing everything this thing doesn’t have to have. To quickly sum my progress so far I’ve .....

-removed fenders, seat, tank, forks, triple tree clamps, all lights, turn signals, air box, side covers, all plastic storage boxes, etc.
-cut and ground a lot of the frame
-removed the front brake system, including shaved the brake and fender mounts from the fork tubes
-figured out the mounting for the solo seat
-completely disassembled the wire harness and removed unwanted items such as horn, fan, fan switch, warning lights, high/low beam switch, speedo lights, turn signal switch, front brake switch, etc.
-ordered 3.3 gal mustang tank
-removed the emissions mess (CA model)
-powder coated fork tubes, installed fork boots
-powder coated triple tree clamps
-etc., etc.

I should also mention I have never ridden this bike and I’ve heard it run all of ten seconds. It had taken a short jaunt rubber side up, when I bought it.

So here are my first couple questions......

1. Many people have eluded to completely bypassing the thermostat housing, which I would love to do. I know I can live without the tstat itself, but I have yet to come up with a clear answer as to what to do about the overflow reservoir tube. I know the tstat filler cap controls the flow of coolant into and back out of, the reservoir (overflow) tank, by way of pressure valves in the cap. Without this, the system has no way of relieving pressure when its hot, or pulling needed coolant in, when its low. What have you guys done about this?

2. Fans rarely kick in and for a short time if they do, so I have yanked mine. Like is said, minimalist. What say you about this decision? This is a bar hopper. If I want to go any further I’ll jump on my VTX1800 and load up ole saddlebags....I mean, my girlfriend!"

His reply.....

"OK I have removed the stat housing and had no problems with over heating or anything like that. I have connected the tube directly from the engine back into the top of the rad. Filling is just a fast reaction, when the coolent starts to flow out of the top of the engine quickly bang the hose on!

As you say, these thing just never run hot, but it does take a lot longer to get warm and run right off the choke!

I have just done a charity toy run, which involved an hour of travelling in first gear with no wind passing the rad, it went fine with no problems. The fan didn't kick in once, nor did i have any over heating problems. I believe Dave has run his for longer then me without having a fan connected anyway and still no problems. So strip away, but get some pictures done and start a thread so we can see this being done. We have all got threads running to help eachother with ideas and encouragement when it goes good or bad.

hope this helps

Shad"
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One of the best things that I've gathered from all of the other great threads is that it seems everyone has one of those "CRAP, why did i even start this?" days! Me too, but you walk away, glance at it the next day and think "oh yeah, it's gonna be worth it!" So here's a catch-up of what's been done so for....

From the beginning....


The initial teardown....


Cutting the fender tabs off the front forks....


Ground down....


Then I used a belt off my belt sander and worked it like a shoe-shine boy by hand and finished off with a 6" dia. wire brush on the bench grinder. Once i got this look I cut off the break caliper tabs and repeated as necessary....


Fork tubes being powder coated. I used the axle for two reasons here. 1. To carry the ground from the wire attached to the one side. 2. To block the powder from going in to the axle hole. Then i just wiped what little powder entered, off the inside of those holes before I baked them. Note, I did not powder coat the axle. When I removed it to bake the fork tubes, I simply wiped it off....


Goof note: I did not wipe the old fork oil completely dry from the inside of the fork tube before doing this, so it baked on and now i have to hone them out!

A wise man on this forum said everyone does something stupid!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
In keeping with the minimalist approach I’m taking to this project, all of the rear section has been removed. As with any build there are a thousand ways to do it and some will agree and some will cringe at the choices we make. But, just like frank Sinatra and Burger King, I did it my way!....

Rear section cut off. Getting through the solid steel on the tops was a nightmare....


After also removing the gusset at the seat down tube and the bracket where the rectifier was mounted, I did a lot of grinding to smooth the transition areas of what was left....


The holes where the rectangular tube was cut at the bottom will get a plate welded on to them.
 

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2000 Vulcan 800A
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Man you are doing a lot of work to this bike! Cool!

I have removed the thermostat on mine, but I did not remove my coolant overflow tank. I had the same fears that you have about that. However, Dave has removed his from his bike. You should check with him and see if he has had any issues yet.

Keep us posted on your build!
 

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Pump Hopper
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Welcome. love to see you cuttin metal away.
when I put the mustang tank on,got rid of the thermo,( Alley Rats wisdom) i cut the overflow hose off short out of site, but recently I took the swing arm, shock, tie rod off and could see the overflow tank was just sittin there hooked up to nothing. which I mounted my coils in, I have run w/o a thermo,fan, overflow hose for 8800 miles in hot tennessee summers no problem. does fine in winter too, TN winters aren't that bad, Rat had been running his bikes w/o thermo/fan in Louisianna for a long time Glad you are here, we all are glad to help. keep posting,
Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My goal is to keep the under seat area open and uncluttered, so I will be mounting the battery on the side. Below are the brackets I just made to mount the Fuse box, IC unit, and rear coil up under the seat. The brackets will be powder coated....


Not much shows from the side view....


My initial thought is to put the rectifier inside the chrome front sprocket cover, but the webbing has to be cut out for anything to fit in there....


First I applied masking tape to the entire front surface to protect the chrome as I worked. I used a 3” cutting wheel to SLOWLY cut away the metal....


Something like this....


I still have to smooth it a bit and weld in some mounting points.....



The chain clears by a couple of inches but I know if it ever breaks I’ll be buying a new rectifier!

Does anyone have any thoughts as to how much heat the rectifier puts out and if the air space/flow will be enough to keep it cool? I’m thinking the chain movement will actually create quite a bit of air flow.
 

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2000 Vulcan 800A
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Dude, you are rockin'! I love the under seat brackets. I currently have my coils mounted under my seat, also. However, this is only temperary for me. I want to put a spring seat on one of these days, and the coils would be in the way then. I have an Accel SuperCoil that I am going to mount soon. If it works, it will eliminate the need for two seperate coils. It will be mounted in plain sight because its not nearly as unsightly as the stock vulcan coils!

Very interesting idea on the rectifier relocation. I would've never thought of that. I don't know how much heat it puts out, but I bet the chain will generate some air flow. I don't know if it will be enough or not. Time willl tell! Great ideas! Keep up the good work!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
For those of you that are not using the big ugly fan switch in the radiator and would like to clean this area up....


KTM Oil pan plugs are the same size M16x1.5 thread and make a nice low profile replacement plug....


I bought mine on eBay for five bucks. Make sure to pop the o-ring off of your old fan switch and put it on the new plug. I'm going to pull the radiator and paint it all together so it will completely blend in.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
My K&N Filter should come in in the next few days. I temporarily put the front coil under where the filter will go, on that little bracket that the air box connected to. If it fits and looks ok, I'll leave it there and shave the original front coil mount off the frame and let a little more light shine through. If i do that i think I'll remove the triangular filler metal in the front neck area at the same time, but I’ll leave the short cross tube.
 

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My VN800A fan turned on enough during the summer here in Florida that I'd never take it off. On the highway it's fine, but get caught in one traffic jam in mid-summer, or an area of stop-light hell, and it won't be good if my fan's turning on was any indication. It's your bike, so I've got no problem with it, but I'd also suggest future buyers not pay fair market value for a V-twin cruiser motorcycle (with the rear cylinder already running hotter behind the front, and cruiser owners' tendency to ride slow around populated places as opposed to open highways) that someone D/C'd the fan on. Used motors are about $800, so I'd take that off of the price I'd be willing to pay guess.
 

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Living in Florida as well, I don't think i would take mine off either. That little fan runs all the time at stop lights and in traffic during the summer months. To each his own though.
 

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2000 Vulcan 800A
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I don't think its fair to automatically reduce the price of a perfectly modified Vulcan 800 just because the fan is removed. If a seller is honest, he or she will tell the buyer of all modifications. And, the seller should ask what climate the buyer is living in, and advise him accordingly. If the buyer is uncomfortable with the mods, he should walk away. There are a butt load of other bikes out there that have fans in good operating condition. Besides, a modified Vulcan is not going to bring much, anyway.

Mambo, you should run for office. You sound like some guh'ment bureaucrat trying to take money outa other people's pockets while telling them where and when they can take a poop.

Merry Christmas!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks everyone for their DIVERSE responses on the fan question!!! Since this build.....or “unbuild” is for a bar hopper and my approach is minimalist, the fan is outta here. So is the thermostat and overflow. That said and done, I did decide to keep the water temp sensor and idiot light. That way I can be aware of the temp. and make necessary adjustments.....like pull over or speed up. If I find it’s a consistent problem I can always put the fan back on. I can always jump on the VTX 1800 on hot days and since I do have the other bike I can take a few chances in the name of science on this one!!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well i don't see any more on eBay but i contacted the seller and asked if they had more so i'll let you know. When i found it i searched for "M16x1.5 oil plug". I also contacted a place that makes billet aluminum ones for 9.95 to see which are M16x1.5 thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
The current state of affairs. Front end done, tank mocked up, seat on. Oh also, my new invisi-radiator. Looks sweet huh? JK, it’s off for paint! I know SOMEONE was going whoa, where do I get one of those!

BTW, I'm thinking of calling it Mulciber, another name for the Roman God of fire, Vulcan. Any thoughts?

 
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