Custom 1800 VTX Redux - Getting Started

After a coupe of weeks of “getting ready” to get into the bike - cleaning the shop, ordering parts - looking at the bike… - Sunday we finally spent an hour getting into things. This build is from 2008 and things are in rough shape after the last 50,000 miles. Also - looks like I used PLENTY of red lock-tight back when we first built this bike… . Nothing is coming apart easily and things are in worse shape than I thought…

Before (well - after I already pulled the seat and the sissy bar)

Before (well - after I already pulled the seat and the sissy bar)

2004 Honda VTX 1800 C - Rebuild Redux Getting Started

2004 Honda VTX 1800 C - Rebuild Redux Getting Started

This will be the end of the car tire - new Avons Cobras already here.

This will be the end of the car tire - new Avons Cobras already here.

Avon Cobra's - Front and Back

Avon Cobra's - Front and Back

Now I know why the ride had gotten so soft… Very Broken Progressive Shocks. Do they rebuild these?

Now I know why the ride had gotten so soft… Very Broken Progressive Shocks. Do they rebuild these?

Honda VTX 1800 - Fender and Shocks Off

Honda VTX 1800 - Fender and Shocks Off

Parts starting to pile up

Parts starting to pile up

Honda VTX 1800 - 22 Inch Fat Aps

Honda VTX 1800 - 22 Inch Fat Aps

“Custom” thin-walled 14mm socket for the rear fender supports

“Custom” thin-walled 14mm socket for the rear fender supports

A good afternoon in the workshop

A good afternoon in the workshop

Good-night VTX after day 1 of the rebuild

Good-night VTX after day 1 of the rebuild

Fenders, Frames and Motors, Oh My!

Lots been going on over the last week or so. Here are some pics!

The rear fender after filling the old rear tail light and the old mounting holes for the side markers.

The rear fender after filling the old rear tail light and the old mounting holes for the side markers.

Honda VTX 1800 - Custom Fender Taillight Filled

Honda VTX 1800 - Custom Fender Taillight Filled

The tank, rear fender and the motor ready for paint.

The tank, rear fender and the motor ready for paint.

Some molding and sanding work on the frame after finishing all the welding.

Some molding and sanding work on the frame after finishing all the welding.

Frame back from the painters

Frame back from the painters

Engine getting ready for paint - all the chrome off

Engine getting ready for paint - all the chrome off

Taped up and ready for paint. We are going black with polished lower fins

Taped up and ready for paint. We are going black with polished lower fins

Engine painted! This is a bad pic but it looks great in person. Need to touch up one or two fins when it all dries, but it looks mean!

Engine painted! This is a bad pic but it looks great in person. Need to touch up one or two fins when it all dries, but it looks mean!

Rear Fender

Even after running out of oxygen for the torch and blowing the motor up on the compressor, I managed to get a lot done.

I spend most of Saturday working on a few little things (tacked in motor mounts) and then filling in a patch for the rear oem fender where the old tail light was.

Old stock hole for the tail light.

Old stock hole for the tail light.

Old Taillight Hole Closeup

Old Taillight Hole Closeup

Paper template for the piece needed

Paper template for the piece needed

Template Traced

Template Traced

Template Cutout.  Cut close to size and then finished afterwards on the grinder.

Template Cutout. Cut close to size and then finished afterwards on the grinder.

Test Fitting

Test Fitting

Welded into place - ready for blending

Welded into place - ready for blending

Motor Mounts (and a little help)

I spent the morning messing around on the tank again. A little more sanding and some more feeling around for high and lows. We are getting closer each time. If i can get over my mess-ups on the bottom lines of the tanks and allow someone else to see them before its painted, I will just take the tank on over to Kenny’s next week to get some help getting it back to "perfect".

This afternoon Phil stopped by and we got the engine moved from the floor back to the bike stand and in the frame. I needed to get the engine back in there to start working on the mounts for the radiator and the new forward motor mounts.

Honda VTX 1800 - Stretched Frame - Fitting new motor mounts.

Honda VTX 1800 - Stretched Frame - Fitting new motor mounts.

For once it went smooth. I was able to get the motor into its 2 rear mount in around an hour. It would have been faster, but I had a little help from my little man.

Me and Nate in the shop - working on the bike.

Me and Nate in the shop - working on the bike.

Nate Maes helping out in the shop with Dad

Nate Maes helping out in the shop with Dad

Since we cut and stretched the frame, I had to cut off the forward motor mounts. The 110" engine has four large rubber mounts holding it to the frame. The forward lower mount isn't too much of an issue. The upper one is looking like a bitch. Once I have the lower done we will figure out if we can get by with skipping the upper one or if we are going to have to fab up something for it.

Old and New Motor Mount Locations

Old and New Motor Mount Locations

For the left side lower mount we just cut some 1/4" x 1" flat stock, drilled out some plug wholes for two 11/16" bolts and welded the bolts flush. (see below) Once we have the right side figured out, the flat stock + bolts mount will be welded to the inside of the frame and bolted to the extension that was used for the stock mounts.

New Mount Setup

New Mount Setup

New Mounts

New Mounts

Next with a little help from Dewey we will figure out the right side and post some pics of the first finished motor mount.

Dewey

Dewey

Tank - 90% done!

Well it’s been a long time since I starting this tank project by cutting it in half.

We spent a couple of hours last night doing some more body work and I think we are around 90% of the way there. It LOOKS like a tank now and it has been a while since it has done that.

I sprayed a light coat of cheap Walmart black paint over the top coat of bondo. When dry I'll go back out and block sand it down to get the high and low points. The high points will get sanded and the low points will still show the black paint.

After one or two more round of this I'll take the tank to my buddy Kenny for the finish. He's a body man around here and should have no problem getting everything back to "perfect".

Honda VTX Tank

I'll post some more pics of the tank after a couple of rounds of block sanding.

I also managed to make a quick stop over to Rick's shop to grab some flat stock. I picked up 19 feet of 1/8" x 1.5". I'll only need a foot or so, but its better to have some stock around the shop when you need it since its a little tough to get to him or PMS to get steel on the weekends.

Gas cap in!

Little bit of a slow down (other projects) but finally got the welding on the tank done. Flush mounted the new gas cap and started a little bondo work to get ready for paint. There is a lot of sanding left to do here, but we will get it back to perfect in the next week or so. 


Tank Closed

Spent another 7 hours working on the tank last night. I now have the whole thing closed back up. Everything is tacked and now I have a TON of grinding and welding and grinding and welding and metal fill to do, etc.. 

Figure another 10 hours or so and I might have it back to looking "great" and ready for paint. 

There is a little issue right now. Looks like I got things a little too hot last night and now have one corner of the tank (bottom right) unlevel from the rest (by about 1/4" or so). Monday I'll have to figure out a way to "Square" it back up. 


Longer Tank!

Well we got some more done last night. 

The tank is now 5"s longer! I cut the damn thing in half last night. HA!

It took around an hour to strip it down and around another hour to get up the courage to really cut it in half. I was thinking about just skinning it, but in the end, I really wanted that bottom part to meet up with the corbin seat I already have. 

In the end my welding is better than my metal forming, so this was the right path for me. That plus I am going with 16 ga cold rolled for the tank, and that doesn't bend "easy"

Now I just ALOT of welding to seal this thing up. Maybe a couple of more nights and the tank will be done. 

Here are the pics from last night

Frame Mostly Done

Okay. I managed not to scrap my frame and build a whole new one!

I have the frame mostly done. The 4 1/2" extensions are all welded and cleaned up. The sleeves and shell work great for the bottom bars and the inserted sleeve + gusset worked well for the back bone. 

Here are the pics from last nights work. 

I have the frame about 70% sand blasted. Since I am waiting on the neck and springer front end I will start on the new mounting for the radiator and stretching the tank. 


Too Late Now

Well it's too late to change my mind now! The bike is all apart and the frame is cut in half!

I am stretching the frame 4" (I'm 6'8" and even with the 5" extensions for the forward controls, my legs are always up in my chest).

Then we are cutting the neck and welding in a 1" standard Harley neck for a springer front end. I haven't settled on how much we are racking it out, but it will end up out there a little bit at least!

Plans also include remounting the radiator on the inside of the frame, black out the engine, stretch the tank to fit the new longer frame and a new seat pan.

After all of that, its just bars, brake lines, paint and then putting it all back together!

Bikers for Babies - 2004 (I Think)

Bikers for Babies Pics from 2004 (i think). I found these at work and figured I should put them some place. If I remember right, this is the night that I ended up running from a Perry County Cop on the way home...... It was cold and dark and I was the better part of drunk.....

Most of these pics are of Jenn and Jeff and Diana and Mark.