Thursday, December 4, 2008

It's a Start

It has been too cold here to ride lately so I've been doing a little work on Nixon. I'm in the process of repairing the damage I did to the stock exhaust system I did when I tried to take it apart to clean it. I had to cut off a broken bolt and drill it out. I will have to get a new one welded in. I also tried to get one of the heat shield bolts out but have not yet succeeded.

When I bought the bike, the starter button that should have been in the right hand control housing was missing. A previous owner had wired up a cheap radio shack switch under the seat to activate the electric starter. I bought a new button and spring, but when I took the control apart, I realized that there was also a bracket in the housing that was missing. They don't sell that part separately, so I would have to buy a whole new control. Instead, I figured I would put my engineering talents to use and make one. When I was putting the new handlebars on, I took the bracket from the horn button on the left hand control and used it to figure out what the one for the starter button would have to look like. I made a paper template. Last night I used some aluminum sheet I got from a friend who is building an airplane to make a new bracket. I used my dremel tool to cut out the shape and then bent it into the proper form. I actually had to make three because the first two broke when I tried to bend them.

I got the button and bracket installed and reconnected the correct wires at the battery and tried it out. It worked! However, when I tried to put the control housing back on the bars, it wouldn't go on. I realized that all of the wires come out of the bars right where the bracket was. When it wasn't there, they had room. Now they hit the bracket. As I tried moving the wires around the wire to the starter button contact broke off.

I ended up grinding a good amount off of the bracket to try and clear the wires. I also had to solder the wire back onto the contact. After a lot of pushing and twisting, I managed to get the control back on and tightened down. I think the bracket is pushing on the wires, but there isn't much I can do about it. The new starter button works so I removed the old one from under the seat. Woohoo! That only took 2 1/2 hours.

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