sansthelight

Project Ruckus – Part 3, I’m too tired for a catchy chapter title

In project truck, ruckus, scooter on March 13, 2015 at 5:34 am

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Some things have changed since last we spoke.  First of all the color.  I thought it was little more olive green than what it turned out to be.  I’m not sure what I would call this color exactly.  I thought about ditching it and getting a true olive drab but this color kind of grew on me and I’ve decided to keep it.  It does all need to be taken apart again, touched up, and then clear coated.  I thought I had a can of flat clear coat when I started painting everything but that doesn’t actually appear to be the case.  Hopefully this weekend I will pick up some clear coat.  At which point I will disassemble everything again and touch up the green as well as paint some accents that will be done in white and then clear coat it all and reassemble it.

The second big change is the seat frame.  I’ve enclosed it so that I can actually use the under-seat storage and not have everything fall out.  I’ve left the back open so that I can just drop stuff in there without having to open the seat.  (it hinges open.)  I may enclose the back at some point but for now I will live with it as-is and see how I like it.  Besides enclosing the back will be much harder than the sides and front were.  The shape is a bit more complex and includes a couple of curves that would need to be rolled exactly the same.  I managed the curve on the front plate but I think the back plate will be harder.  Also there are some rear LED light kits that mount under the seat and replace the big light cluster thing that is mounted on the back of the frame right now.

Anyway, I started this project by sketching out some mounts on 14 gauge steel and then cutting them out with the plasma cutter.  I removed the seat frame from the Ruckus and ground off the rubberized coating so that I would have some bare steel to weld too.  (I need to pick up some rubber dip spray paint this weekend as well so I can reapply the rubberized finish.)  Then I welded the tabs to frame and drilled some mounting holes in them.  Then I used some cardboard to trim out templates for each panel.  I transfered the pattern to 22 gauge sheet metal and cut them out using the shear and some hand snips and sanded the edges.  I painted everything up (just using gloss black on the frame for the moment) and then bolted the panels to the tabs.  They just connect to the seat frame so that I can still remove it as one assembly without adding a bunch of bolts to the process.  I could add some tabs to the rear frame and bolt them to that as well.  It would add some stiffness to the frame but I don’t think it is needed or is worth the extra work when removal of the seat frame is required..

I’ve got a package waiting for me at the post office that includes a new K&N intake as well as high performance oil, and new spark plugs and wires.  Essentially it is just upgraded maintenance stuff.  The air filter on there now is really dirty and the stock air box is pretty bad (and ugly, really the ugly is the important part).  I’m guessing the oil was never changed (it only has 2600 miles on it) but it is probably time to do that as well.  The plug and wire change is just for some (hopefully) improved performance and fuel economy.  I can hit a top speed of 37 mph right now.  We will see if I get any more speed out of this general maintenance.   I probably won’t be able to tell if I am getting any better gas mileage though.  I did fill up yesterday but I doubt I will have used enough gas to figure out how much mileage I am getting before doing the work this weekend.  I am still trying to decide if I will fabricate the frame extensions I need make the cockpit a happier place for tall people to live in.  I have found some nice billet ones that are about $100.  I can make them for free, but I’m not sure how I will do it yet as I don’t have chunks of aluminum billet laying around or the machining skills necessary for that sort of fabrication.  If I make them, they will be created using square tube.  I will have to get a new throttle cable, brake cable, extend the fuel line, and possible extend the electrical harness as well when I do the extension.  If I get lowered handle bars I might free up enough slack to get away with the current cables and wires.  Essentially I need to the handle bars first I guess and see what that gets me.  Anyway, that is all for the future, have a good weekend everyone.

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