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  1. #1
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    Default Not Another Evo Sportster Hardtail Build

    Are you saying right now: "We need another Evo Sportster build like a hole in the head"? Well, too bad because I am tearing into my perfectly good swingarm Sportster and making it into a hardtail.

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    I purchased this bike a few years back and was totally burned by the previous owner. It had a chunk missing from the front piston the size of a quarter, had hacked up wiring, bad brakes, and looked too much like a bike from the 80's. After rebuilding the top end and having a tenant hit my bike while it was parked, I got a bug up my ass last year to try and fabricate a Crazy Frank style fender for it. After having installed the light housing from BNC, painting, and making a new seat for it, I rode it for a summer. I liked it, but I wasn't happy with it.

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    When I first joined Chopcult, I was lucky enough to meet a member who took me under his wing and started mentoring me in everything Harley. He had been pushing me for a long time to do the chop on the bike myself and I finally felt it was time. I researched the hardtail swap all winter long. It was neck and neck with Haifley and TC Bros for a long time. The one issue I kept coming across with the Haifley kit was trying to get a rear brake caliper for a decent price to use. I ended up going with the TC Bros hardtail. I slowly started saving everything I had to put toward the build. At Born Free, I stopped off at the TC Bros booth and eyeballed every piece of theirs I could find. After having spoken with everyone in the booth, I felt confident in my choice and pulled the trigger. While waiting for the parts to arrive, I took it to Sierra Stakeout in July and realized that I needed a sissy bar to pack all of my shit while riding.

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    Flash forward to October 1, 2019. My bike and parts are stored at my mentor's home because I can't chop my bike in my apartment. I'm sweating, this is huge. I don't want to ruin a perfectly good bike. Fuck it, too late now. I started tearing into it. I figure I will build a new harness using a few great threads here as a guideline. I did notice there are not many threads here where the TC Bros hardtail is used for a sportster. I want to document as much of this build as I can, but let me know if I am boring you to tears.

    I plan to get as much in on this bike before the wet weather takes over. Luckily, the Norcal Swap is next weekend and I am looking for some parts. I'm probably ambitious or very naive in how much I am hoping to accomplish by 1/1/20, but we will soon see. So far tonight, I have gutted the wiring, removed the seat, fender, and tanks. Baby steps, but I want to be thorough. I will update with more pictures as they come along.

  2. #2
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    Sweet man, I built this bike last year with a tc bros hard tail. Just make sure you get someone that knows what they're doing to cut and weld your frame. I like the look of a horseshoe oil tank so I think the hailfey set up looks better. Regardless it's a lot of fun so enjoy it!

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by james69 View Post
    Sweet man, I built this bike last year with a tc bros hard tail. Just make sure you get someone that knows what they're doing to cut and weld your frame. I like the look of a horseshoe oil tank so I think the hailfey set up looks better. Regardless it's a lot of fun so enjoy it!

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    That looks good. I guess what was tripping me up on tearing down the bike was having to do the wiring all over again as it had been hacked apart over the years. So far I just have to remove the engine and I can start cutting. That should happen this week. I'm looking forward to learning as I go and I'm hoping I won't bugger anything up too much.

  4. #4
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    When running harness leave plenty of extra wire then trim to fit. Electrical tape is mostly shit.

    Heat shrink tubing is good
    Dielectric grease is good.
    Inspect your starter solenoid contacts while the bike is apart.
    Pushbutton starter solenoid end covers are wonderful things.
    Buy decent crimpers.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    When running harness leave plenty of extra wire then trim to fit. Electrical tape is mostly shit.

    Heat shrink tubing is good
    Dielectric grease is good.
    Inspect your starter solenoid contacts while the bike is apart.
    Pushbutton starter solenoid end covers are wonderful things.
    Buy decent crimpers.
    Actually, your post in the Basic Evo 80" Wiring thread is what I followed while buying my supplies. I have more color wiring than I'll ever need, picked up some great crimpers, lots of heat tubing plus heat connectors, and enough dielectric grease to cover 2 builds.

    I guess it is just the idea of wiring it myself which makes me uncomfortable. Slow and steady, you know.

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    When running wires leave plenty of extra and trim to fit, leaving a bit of slack for flex and future repairs.

    Sketching bolt patterns in heavy cardboard using a Sharpie (when there's a gasket or cover etc I trace around it for a silhouette) then poke hardware through appropriate holes. Do not rely on diagrams or books to get all the little shit back where little shit goes.

    Take stoopid amounts of digital pics from all angles, even ones you cannot directly see.

    I replace most flat washers with stainless for corrosion resistance which is cheap online. Cosmetic hardware like acorn nuts is cheap in stainless online.

    Do not use generic fuel and oil hose. Gates Barricade fuel injection hose is fine for both and the best prices I've found are on Ebay. "fuel injection" style hose clamps work very well and look sexier than worm gear clamps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sircharlesofsacto View Post
    I guess it is just the idea of wiring it myself which makes me uncomfortable. Slow and steady, you know.
    Yes that's the best way to do wiring...... Take your time, Wiring is very easy as long as you pay attention to what your doing and do it right the first time............

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    Keenan Tatro has a number of videos where he does wiring. Do a search on YouTube for:

    1970 xlch #128 bobber new build repair rigid chopper xl ironhead Tatro

    And follow along the next few videos, where Tatro does a bunch of wiring work on a new-build (along with busting his volunteer camera man's balls every 2 minutes). Not terribly fast-paced, his videos are shot in real time, and he doesn't edit anything out of them. But, the guy races at places like El Mirage and Bonneville. It's a brutal environment, and he's learned what it takes to make his wiring & plumbing live there.

  9. #9

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    I would encourage you to take pencil and paper in hand, along with a ruler, and draw YOUR wiring diagram for YOUR bike. Whatever you use for reference, each project is unique, and in doing the exercise of drawing up YOUR harness, you should think it through, and correct most issues on paper, BEFORE you start cutting up your new wire.
    Ground wire to each lamp is a good idea, in modern HD practice. Older HDs relied on mounting fasteners for grounds, and the older those bikes get, the more trouble it causes.

    Jim

  10. #10
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    Thank you for all of your advice. You're giving me a lot of great tips in something that I was uncomfortable to do. It is helping to keep it all in perspective for me.

    Last night I was able to remove the engine from the frame and give everything a good looking over. I accidentally bought a big twin CV carb mount over the weekend from the swap and need to sell or trade it for the right one. Mine was hacked apart and welded in the worst way. The frame is sitting on its own at the moment and will need a good degreasing before I start cutting into it. I'm hoping to have the frame cleaned and cut by the end of this week or start of next. I'm also looking forward to cleaning and polishing my engine while it sits in my living room over the next few months. It'll give me more to do in the evenings.

  11. #11
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    It has been a little slow going but the bike is mostly down to the frame now. The rear shocks and swingarm are all that’s attached now. Once those are off it is time to cut. I’m going to take the forks and triple tree home along with all my parts to sort, clean, and polish everything. I’m looking forward to replacing a lot of the fork Allen bolts with new. I’m also thinking about swapping the lower triple tree out for a good used polished one. Most I’m finding online have their stops damaged or large gouges. If anyone is holding, let’s talk.

    My parts manual arrived so that’s been a major blessing and my service manual is coming soon. I’ve also printed out a wiring diagram per Farmall’s recommendation and I’ve been studying it at work and at home. The harness seems easier now that when I started. But, one step at a time.
    Last edited by Sircharlesofsacto; 10-31-2019 at 5:53 PM. Reason: grammar

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