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Old 01-14-2021, 08:46 PM   #1
txpitdog
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Default Drift trike build

Alright, who was lucky enough to have a Big Wheel as a kid? Remember pedaling as hard as you could then pulling the handbrake and spinning out? The boy and I decided to make one, but that pedaling business sounds like a lot of work, so decided to go with a 6hp Predator engine. We havent started on the frame yet, but I imagine well get the box section done this weekend. Ill post pics as we go, and hopefully this will all come together in a video of us peeling out and drifting like maniacs. Here goes nothing!


First we got a live axle kit from BMI Karts. Axle, bearing, drive gear, chain, and clutch.


Next we bought the Predator engine from Harbor Freight. These are Honda copies, and they have a great reputation for reliability at a cheap price.


Then we had to find a donor bike. Couple different ways to approach this part. Either go cheap and get one free or at a pawn shop, or buy a new bike simply to destroy it. When I looked at the cost of the project I decided I didnt want everything else to be new and shiny and then have some crappy old front end on it. So I bit the bullet and spent a little extra on a new bike. I did get it on a Christmas sale, but it went out of stock and didnt come in until today. I picked this one because of the steel frame for welding and front disk brake. These scooters can go over 35-40, and stopping is....important. The fat tire I think will give a nicer ride and hopefully more traction for when we turn sharp to whip the back end around. Were going to keep the forks, handle bars, and down tube. The rest is getting chopped. Kind of a waste, but I am not a good enough fabricator to build my own forks and headset.



Youngn getting ready to roll it out of the shop for a test drive.



We still need a rear brake disc and caliper, kill switch for the engine, throttle and linkage, and the back two wheels, tires, and plastic sleeves for the tires to let them drift. Itll be an adventure, but it should be cool.



And speaking of cool, I naturally had to show the boy hes got a long ways to go to be as cool as his old man.



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Old 01-14-2021, 08:59 PM   #2
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Oh yeah, let it roll!! Or should I say drift??


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Old 01-14-2021, 09:02 PM   #3
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Going to be cool.
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:08 PM   #4
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Gooooooood luck - sounds like some fun!
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Old 01-14-2021, 11:15 PM   #5
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This is going to be awesome.
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Old 01-15-2021, 07:47 AM   #6
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In to follow. Cant wait to see it


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Old 01-15-2021, 07:52 AM   #7
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The big wheel brought up many great memories. This build should be as slick as the tires.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:24 AM   #8
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My boy got a big wheel for Christmas this year . I wore many of them out as a kid .
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:28 AM   #9
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been wanting one of these for a while now
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:31 AM   #10
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Following this for sure......


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Old 01-15-2021, 08:44 AM   #11
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Thats gonna be a lot of fun !! Cool build
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:50 AM   #12
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Following.



I hope you get it all finished and all the kinks worked out in time to build us some to buy for summer.
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Old 01-15-2021, 08:58 AM   #13
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Going to be a fun project!!
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Old 01-31-2021, 11:51 AM   #14
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Finally got started yesterday. Weather, chores, and honestly other fun things got in the way of making those first cuts. Also wanting to make precise angle cuts but not having the right saw was a little bit of inertia to overcome. But we got the frame rails done yesterday. I just put in the end caps on the square tubing with what I would like to call some rather shameful welding. Lets just say it was good enough to be strong and and good enough that Ill probably need a new flap disc.



Ive got measurements to confirm first, but were about to start on what were calling the wings. These will be 45 degree supports coming off the back bumper and going out to a short section of tubing that will serve as the axle support then a 45 back in. One on each side, hence they will look like wings.

We considered bending the tubing, but the critical thing about this project is that it has to be symmetrical on the left and right to keep the axle perpendicular to the frame. Having never done a project with round tubing (and quite frankly were cheating and treating it as square tubing), I wasnt confident I could get the repeatability needed from a crappy HF tube bender. So, were cutting and welding it.

Were using 1.25 tubing with 1/8 thickness. I think probably overkill, but as I always say, overbuilding it will make up for the poor craftsmanship, lol.

Heres the general layout. Not exactly it, I thing everything will probably be scooted forward a bit, but you get the general idea. Hopefully today well get the wings installed and the axle hangers mounted. Were running the axle over the frame instead of under it, hopefully to help it drift better...and reduce the chance of a rollover.




This thing aint ever gonna run anywhere other than a parking lot or neighborhood street, so ground clearance isnt a concern. Now, the 54 tooth rear sprocket is gonna be awfully close to the ground, so I may either increase the tire size or run a closed chain guard just in case. Still a ways to go, but it should go quick once the frame is finished.


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Old 01-31-2021, 07:04 PM   #15
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Looks like it’s going to be a fun ride!!!
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Old 01-31-2021, 07:09 PM   #16
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In for this awesomeness!
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Old 02-01-2021, 02:48 PM   #17
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Kind of a double post from my other thread, but here goes anyway. Just wanting to make sure our plan of attack for finishing the frame and getting the axle set is a good approach. Im mainly worried about the axle getting bonded because the frame comes out of square due to heat distortion during the welding.

I plan to set the hangers right on the centerline of the frame rails and then do all kinds of measuring and cross measuring to make sure the axle will drive the trike straight. Instead of tacking the hangers on the left and right sides of the plates, I will tack them on the front and back edge, along the direction of travel. Im hoping this will prevent any possible heat distortion from pulling the hangers one way or the other that might cause the axle to bind.

We would then go back and finish out all the welding on the frame and then weld the hangers in fully. My strategy is to slowly increase the rigidity of the frame and the support for the axle by tacking everything then adding small welds all over, eventually welding the thing solid. Hopefully we can get this thing built without introducing any distortion.

So, heres my question: am I doing this right? Lol. Any warnings or other things to look out for when finishing out the welding or frame? We try to go slow and move to different corners and sides to let the metal cool and to weld the project evenly, but we are definitely in uncharted waters with this trike. Appreciate any guidance or recommendations.


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Old 02-01-2021, 03:06 PM   #18
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If youre not already on it, there is a facebook group strictly about Motorized Drift Trikes with over 13k people. Probably lots of useful knowledge in there. Im looking forward to the build!
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Old 02-01-2021, 09:06 PM   #19
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Alright! We got the wings cut. Had two helpers tonight. My daughter held a second light, and my son kept the workpiece square to the miter as we pushed it through the portaband. The SWAG table is definitely useful, though I would say the semi-one size fits all design leaves some of the cut angle accuracy left to be desired. I could shim it and get it dead on, but Im currently too lazy for all that. Id really like to get a dry cut saw, but weve done fine with the portaband. Now, lets not go into asking any questions about the fit up, mkay? Lets just be happy that its recognizable. It isnt so bad that several hours of grinding and possibly some re-welding cant fix, lol.

I watched a video yesterday where someone made a drift trike using the same crappy harbor freight tubing bender that I didnt trust for this project. Definitely wouldve been easier, but ours will be heavy duty and wont ding if one of us loses control and careens into a stop sign.

So, tomorrow we will tack it up and get it to hold. Then well flip it over to mount the axle hangers. I hope to provide a pic with the axle in place tomorrow, but well see how homework and housework goes.




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Old 02-02-2021, 10:08 PM   #20
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Were going slow but trying to do a little each night. About a half hour of shop time after homework. Little more progress tonight. Got the wings tacked in. Some of our angles are slightly off, and the fact that we skipped the whole how to scallop the end of a pipe thats been cut to a 45 issue, means that weve got some welding to do. I may try to cut some shims to fill the gaps then just really lay into it with the wire. I dunno, well have to see how it goes.

My original thought was to tack the wings on then tack the axle hangers on with the axle and bearings installed. But that axle is pretty heavy, and I didnt the the tack welds would support the weight. We did a good job of keeping the frame from potato chipping, so I think well just weld it out then deal with the axle.




I need to go ahead and order the wheels, tires, and sleeves. Weve got plenty to do, but I need to get all that so that we can set the front end at the right angle to keep the frame parallel to the ground. I think it will ride about 3 off the ground, hopefully perfect for throwing your weight into a turn and breaking the back end loose.

I am curious about how the gear ratio and horsepower will work. 3600rpm, 5.4:1, and a 11 rear tire puts it at about 21mph top end but geared low. Im not so worried about hauling *** as I am being able to hit the throttle and cause it to spin. We can always change the sprocket to another tooth count if we need more top end.


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Old 02-04-2021, 09:50 PM   #21
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Finished the frame tonight! Ok, we still have a bit of cleanup to do. One or two small correction spot welds, and yes more time with the flap disc. Weve done good though. We got about 1/8 distortion in the wings, meaning both pulled up about 1/8 despite having gone slow and made even tack welds to hold them in place. Its all good though, its an even amount of distortion on both sides, and all it really means is that our butts will sit 1/8 lower than perfect. But both cheeks will be evenly 1/8 low, so its all good.

I assembled the axle, I think I did it correctly. Gotta check before tightening it down. Were going to use the axle and bearing plates to hold the axle hangers perfectly perpendicular to the frame. We just need to be super careful about making sure its lined up evenly with the front of the frame, and it should weld in just right.

Ordered the wheels, tires, and sleeves. Once we get the axle hangers in, well be at a stopping point until the wheels arrive. Well use the height of the frame with the wheels mounted to set the front end angle. Then it should finish up quick...except for paint. Man, I hate painting.







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Old 02-15-2021, 02:27 PM   #22
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Any updates?
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Old 02-15-2021, 02:48 PM   #23
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Any updates?
Turned into a snow trike!!!
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Old 02-15-2021, 04:03 PM   #24
txpitdog
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Any updates?
Weve got the throttle, rear wheels, tires, and sleeves held up in Houston waiting for delivery due to the weather. Ive done all my research on wiring a kill switch, throttle and governor adjustment, and am fully prepared for the volume of profanity that will be required to get the tires on the wheels.

The axle is mounted in the bearing hangers and is waiting for final welding. There will be a number of small tasks that will take a little time, but it should go pretty quick once we get the rear wheels.

...and then theres the dang paint. Man I hate painting.
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Old 02-22-2021, 10:25 PM   #25
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Wheels, tires, and sleeves arrived. Im a little concerned that the sleeves wont go on, and boy will I be ****** if they dont. Well see. First I gotta get the dang beads to set on the wheels. Got one side on each wheel but man that thing doesnt want to set on the top side. Its the long side of the rim so it has more resistance, but I ran both tires up to 70 psi and still nothin. Might just take them to a kart place and have them use a strap.

Hangers are welded in. 5 good welds, one unforgivable one. I guess Ill grind it down and redo it. Got throttle grips but they came in broke. As soon as I get these back wheels set up, well cut the bike and weld the front end in. Then well have a rolling chassis.
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:03 AM   #26
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Try using silicone spray instead of windex. I think it will help the beads to set. Looking forward to seeing the progress on this!
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:15 AM   #27
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I'm in, looking good so far!
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Old 02-23-2021, 09:45 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpitdog View Post
Wheels, tires, and sleeves arrived. Im a little concerned that the sleeves wont go on, and boy will I be ****** if they dont. Well see. First I gotta get the dang beads to set on the wheels. Got one side on each wheel but man that thing doesnt want to set on the top side. Its the long side of the rim so it has more resistance, but I ran both tires up to 70 psi and still nothin. Might just take them to a kart place and have them use a strap.

Hangers are welded in. 5 good welds, one unforgivable one. I guess Ill grind it down and redo it. Got throttle grips but they came in broke. As soon as I get these back wheels set up, well cut the bike and weld the front end in. Then well have a rolling chassis.
Cool build! I've used a ratchet strap to get the bead to set.
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Old 02-23-2021, 10:18 AM   #29
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Well yeehaw, I found a kart track nearby that said they will set the beads for me. Ill try again tonight, but at least I have a backup plan.


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Old 02-23-2021, 10:46 AM   #30
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pretty stinking cool! keep us updated
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Old 02-26-2021, 08:21 AM   #31
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Hope to have the tire set on the bead tonight. The boy and I have tried to compress them with straps, inflate/deflate, soapy water, nada. Still cannot get one side to finish setting. Got a go kart shop that will help us out, so well tuck our tails and go there this evening.

Big progress on one thing though. The dang sleeves. I was stressing out about the sleeves, because the place I ordered them and the wheeels/tires from said to get 6x7.25 wheels, 11x6x6 tires, and 10 sleeves. I asked, are you sure 10 sleeves will fit on 11 tires? They said yes, thats why you go with wider rims, to pull the sidewall down a bit. Well, Ill tell you, we couldnt get them on for nuthin. I was stressed, because if the shop had made an error, it meant expensive shipping, reordering, returns, and delays. I called em back yesterday after spending the past two nights fighting with the tire beads and trying to figure out how these sleeves were magically going to fit, and they confirmed that 10 sleeves are what they use for 11 and 12 tires. Well, at least there isnt an error, so this is now a knowledge, skill, or tool issue. Those I can handle.

So, it turns out the magic bullet is a hammer! Lol. The boy and I soaked the tires and inside wall of the sleeves with winded and start smacking them with a hammer. Slid right on. Perfect! Took us 20 mins to get it off, but were over that hump. Once the beads are set, well have the axle done and the frame ready for the front end. Goal is to have a rolling chassis by the end of the weekend.

Just for future reference, if you had built one of these before (I.e., experience) and already had all the parts, you could easily build one of these start to finish inside of a weekend. Were just slow because we have no idea what were doing and have other hobbies.


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Old 02-26-2021, 06:45 PM   #32
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Progress!
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Old 02-26-2021, 06:52 PM   #33
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Ok I give up. Tapatalk is a pile of crap, and Safari likes stuff sideways. Whatever
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Old 02-26-2021, 09:16 PM   #34
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Both are on. Windex and a hammer. No sweat. Tomorrow we’ll get the axle set and then we’ll be ready to cut the bike and weld the front end on.
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Old 02-26-2021, 10:55 PM   #35
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I am thoroughly confused

Why are you putting the sleeves on an engine powered drift trike?

I thought that was for pedal powered version?

Looks like they would get eat off of the tires in one session?

Been following this and hoping to see some test runs soon
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Old 02-26-2021, 11:09 PM   #36
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I am thoroughly confused

Why are you putting the sleeves on an engine powered drift trike?

I thought that was for pedal powered version?

Looks like they would get eat off of the tires in one session?

Been following this and hoping to see some test runs soon

First, its a live axle, so it wont turn unless one of the wheels loses traction. Second, once it gets going, it runs like a go kart. It only loses traction when you slide around a turn or when you throw your weight side to side to side. ...or thats how its supposed to work!


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Old 02-26-2021, 11:12 PM   #37
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I've been wanting to build one. Is 52, too old to want one.
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:48 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txpitdog View Post
First, its a live axle, so it wont turn unless one of the wheels loses traction. Second, once it gets going, it runs like a go kart. It only loses traction when you slide around a turn or when you throw your weight side to side to side. ...or thats how its supposed to work!


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Makes sense
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:58 AM   #39
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I've been wanting to build one. Is 52, too old to want one.

I dont think so, because Im 51 and wanting to build one also!! Im wanting a bigger motor. Im not a little guy either.
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Old 02-27-2021, 10:23 AM   #40
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I dont think so, because Im 51 and wanting to build one also!! Im wanting a bigger motor. Im not a little guy either.

One fun thing you can do with the Predator 212cc is hop it up. Lots of aftermarket parts for it that arent as available for the larger Predator engines. There are tons of videos for removing the governor, Stage 1 and 2 kits, and one YouTube channel has a video on putting a small turbo on theirs.

Were going to test ours out all stock first then decide whether to do a Stage 1 kit. With a 54 tooth gear, I think the best well get top end is 18mph, but it should work pretty good for breaking the back end loose. I think with a Stage 1 we could do a 44 or 46 tooth gear, go faster, and still have enough low end power to drift.

It would be fun to build a trike for top end though!


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Old 02-27-2021, 01:45 PM   #41
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search youtube for widowmaker drift trike, turn volume down because they drop several F bombs

I think the tires stayed "broke loose" constantly
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:51 PM   #42
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Quote:
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search youtube for widowmaker drift trike, turn volume down because they drop several F bombs

I think the tires stayed "broke loose" constantly

Dang after watching that I feel like ours sucks, lol. That thing is crazy! The kart place in New Caney that helped us with our tire beads has the shifter karts that do 70+mph. It was pretty cool watching a few folks run them on the track.


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Old 02-27-2021, 05:56 PM   #43
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Booyah! Finally. Man, talk about learning as you go. We learned where the collars go after a piece of key stock on the hub slipped out. Re-did a couple things. Then, do I have a 1.25 socket? No I do not, so improvise with channel-loks and a crouch that surely took years off my knees. But its set, the axle is done, and were looking at a 2 mean inches of ground clearance. Little more than 1 in on the main gear, so well have to be careful with the chain tightness. I may fab up a chain guard. Well see.

Tomorrow were cutting the bike. The plasma cutter will be perfect for this job. Hope to have the front end welded by the end of the day and a quick vid of its first roll down the driveway. Then well tackle the engine.
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:25 PM   #44
Philip-TX
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Cool build.

Are those vertical plates that hold the axel bearing going to stay put?
Seems to me they might need some help.
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Old 02-27-2021, 07:02 PM   #45
bobby314
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Man this is awesome. Great job!
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Old 02-27-2021, 08:03 PM   #46
txpitdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip-TX View Post
Cool build.

Are those vertical plates that hold the axel bearing going to stay put?
Seems to me they might need some help.

They came with the axle kit, so I assume theyll work. We welded them completely and on both sides. I suppose they could bend. Well find out.


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Old 03-02-2021, 09:51 PM   #47
txpitdog
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Chop shop tonight. Had hoped to get this done over the weekend, but my younger son and I did the euro mount of his first buck. We cut the Mongoose down with the plasma. Pretty clean job on the cutting, but Im not sure Im happy with the angle of the front end. The Dow tube is about 3 shorter than perfect, which causes the rake of the front wheel to be too long. Im concerned this might affect the handling and reduce the drift capability.

So we have a choice. With the bike made of 1/16 and the trike made of 1/8, the downtube is the weak point. We can use it as is and spend fabrication time making gussets and side supports to strengthen the downtube to frame joint. Or we can cut the downtube off and fabricate our own stronger one. As much as I hate to see my original idea not work, and to admit, more of the Mongoose was a waste, I really think we should accept the delay and fab our own downtube. Were gonna sleep on it and look at it again tomorrow.
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:20 PM   #48
Mofo
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That sprocket looks to be really close to his back and seat.... hope you put a guard on there
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Old 03-02-2021, 10:39 PM   #49
txpitdog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mofo View Post
That sprocket looks to be really close to his back and seat.... hope you put a guard on there

Were gonna do a bucket seat with a seat back and a chain guard. The bigger issue is the 1 of ground clearance between the sprocket and the ground. Its all good though. If its too low, we can cut the hangers and use pillow blocks instead. That will raise the frame about an inch.


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Old 03-03-2021, 05:54 AM   #50
TxHamJello
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Have you thought about going a combo route on the downtube? Fabricate your own, that could sleeve with the Mongoose? Would that allow you to adjust the angle and length while adding the strength you need?
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