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  1. #1
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    Default Total Noob Question On Swapping Tanks

    Okay guys I want to start off by apologizing for my ignorance on this but I guess that's why we all join these forums...... to learn from others. Anyway, I've got a 1980 FXWG with stock fat bob tanks (unfortunately not the original flame job). I want to replace it with a smaller chopper-style tank like what Lowbrow sells. Haven't settled on the exact one yet (suggestions welcome).

    My question is...... for you that have done something similar, what do you do with all the dash electronics? Ignition switch, speedo, indicator lights?

    I assume that most just relocate the key switch and fuck the rest. If so, do you just snip the remaining wires and tape them up?

    Any suggestions on parts that you've used like new ignition switches, small guages, etc. would be appreciated. Thanks.

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    This is where things start to get custom. You'll end up having to figure out how to mount the new tank as well as gauge, ignition relocation or removing them all together. All the indicator lights can be redone in a different type of setup, but it all depends on how you decide to make it all work for you.

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    There are many different ways it could be approached. So you are not asking a question that can be answered by posting. Be more specific.

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    Thanks for the info guys. I know that there is an infinite number of different ways to do what I'm asking about. So I guess I didn't ask my question clearly.......I wasn't asking what I should do necessarily but looking for some examples (photos are nice) of what others have done.

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    The internet is full of photos of bikes..... Get busy and when you see one you like then get to work.....

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    If you are stripping it of gauges, lights, etc. then just pull all the wiring and run a simple harness, only a few wires and much simpler than you probably think and you will know it all when a problem comes up.

    I put a frisco sporty tank on my shovel, will try to remember to take a pic of the backbone tomorrow to show how I mounted it. Basically just cut everything off the backbone, smoothed it out and welded some bungs into it.

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    my sportster had a fat bob when I bought it, when I got my frisco tank I rewired the bike and deleted all the gauges and lights except for tail light and headlight, I used a car ignition switch I bought at autozone, to mount the tank I just made threads directly to the backbone so I didn't have to weld anything and its been holding up fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 904Punk View Post
    If you are stripping it of gauges, lights, etc. then just pull all the wiring and run a simple harness, only a few wires and much simpler than you probably think and you will know it all when a problem comes up.

    I put a frisco sporty tank on my shovel, will try to remember to take a pic of the backbone tomorrow to show how I mounted it. Basically just cut everything off the backbone, smoothed it out and welded some bungs into it.
    Never thought of redoing the whole harness but that makes things a lot cleaner for sure. Think I'll go that route, keep the headlight, taillight/brake and ditch the rest. Maybe mount a small GPS-type speedo if I feel the need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShovelsNeverDie View Post
    Never thought of redoing the whole harness but that makes things a lot cleaner for sure. Think I'll go that route, keep the headlight, taillight/brake and ditch the rest. Maybe mount a small GPS-type speedo if I feel the need.
    Personal opinion: We do tank swaps on our bikes every couple months it feels like and that's definitely the way I would recommend. Especially if you plan on ditching all of the other components (turn signals, tach/speedo, pointless lights, etc). Be careful and pull all the current wiring and harness, please don't just start chopping wires, it makes my stomach churn when I see that because it's just a lazy way to work, get or make a small, discreet wiring harness and rock and roll.
    Best of luck man, and post pics if you can.

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    +1 on pulling the whole thing and re-doing. If it's a 1980 and is original wiring, it likely needs to be re-done anyway and you'll save yourself some headaches down the road.

    Since you're cleaning up wiring, throw a magneto on and really simplify things.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StinkyPete View Post
    +1 on pulling the whole thing and re-doing. If it's a 1980 and is original wiring, it likely needs to be re-done anyway and you'll save yourself some headaches down the road.

    Since you're cleaning up wiring, throw a magneto on and really simplify things.
    Would love to put on a mag but just put on a new Daytona Twin Tech ignition last year and couldn't swing the price of a mag right now anyway...... maybe someday. It's definitely the stock harness so it's gotta go.

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    Do you have a wiring diagram for the bike? You're gonna shit when you crack open the headlight bucket!

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    Quote Originally Posted by StinkyPete View Post
    Do you have a wiring diagram for the bike? You're gonna shit when you crack open the headlight bucket!
    Yeah I've got a Clymer manual with the wiring diagram. Have already had to use it a few times. Also I've already replaced the stock headlight with a dual triangle Aris style setup. I don't remember anything complicated in the headlight bucket but that terminal block thing under the seat is a bitch! It's gotta go.

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