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  1. #1

    Default First chop: 93 Sportster

    Hey yall. Long time lurker first time poster...

    With falll winter finally approaching im getting ready to call it and start the chop on my
    93 1200.

    Im sure ill be in here askin tons of questions along the way but to start off i wanted to propose my order of operations and see what you think.

    First was tearing down, documenting everything along the way. Next step chop frame and weld in Lowbrow hardtail. Next i was thinking based on time of the day, weld in horseshoe oil tank and fender/sissybar if theres time in the day left. If not, hit those the next weekend.

    I dont have a welder so i am doing weldin at a friends house so i am trying to consolidate welding tasks. The rest i can do in my garage.

    Thanks yall!Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by LisaBallard; 10-13-2021 at 8:52 AM.

  2. #2
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    Welcome aboard, looking forward to seeing your progress.

  3. #3

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    Welcome!
    Order of business sounds about right, there really isn't a right or wrong. Have fun, that's the most important part of building a bike that many people forget.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks down. Im super stoked to get to it. Been accumulating parts all summer and im excited to have a creative project to work on

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawhammercycle View Post
    Thanks down. Im super stoked to get to it. Been accumulating parts all summer and im excited to have a creative project to work on
    My honest advice is to keep it safe and road worthy. I have seen so many builds that ended up unreliable and unsafe on the road due to short cuts, (ability or money), and sometimes the rider ends up hurt, killed, or does it to someone else. Or the owner gets so wore out on breakdowns he just gives up on it and sells it

    The pic you posted is pretty much a solid and reliable bike. Basic and regular maintainance will keep that evo sporty going for miles

    That being said, your gonna do what you wanna do

    All I can advise is:

    Run a front brake: Some might think they can handle the road w/o one, but its the other folks I would be worried about.

    Myself, I'd stay away from some of the tail lights and headlights I have seen. Very small, very poor output, no dimmer. Again, I dont trust the other people out on the road to see me

    If possible, get another bike for your project, keep the one you posted as your rider

    Tires: I hate buying tires, and most go cheap when they do. Understand, the cheaper tires are VERY hard, get more milegae than the softer ones, and have a poor grip on the road, especially on gravel, rain, etc. The more exp tires are soft, grip better, but tend to wear sooner

    Take on your build ONE STEP AT A TIME. Sometimes a build can get away from you, you want it on the road so bad, and that's what causes sloppy and unsafe builds

    Electrical: EVERY builder has been guilty at one time or another using cheap connectors and wire splices. Solder your connections where appropriate, have good solid grounds and USE A CIRCUIT BREAKER

    Stay away from used sprockets and chains

    Good luck, keep us in the know!

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by docmel View Post
    My honest advice is to keep it safe and road worthy. I have seen so many builds that ended up unreliable and unsafe on the road due to short cuts, (ability or money), and sometimes the rider ends up hurt, killed, or does it to someone else. Or the owner gets so wore out on breakdowns he just gives up on it and sells it

    The pic you posted is pretty much a solid and reliable bike. Basic and regular maintainance will keep that evo sporty going for miles

    That being said, your gonna do what you wanna do

    All I can advise is:

    Run a front brake: Some might think they can handle the road w/o one, but its the other folks I would be worried about.

    Myself, I'd stay away from some of the tail lights and headlights I have seen. Very small, very poor output, no dimmer. Again, I dont trust the other people out on the road to see me

    If possible, get another bike for your project, keep the one you posted as your rider

    Tires: I hate buying tires, and most go cheap when they do. Understand, the cheaper tires are VERY hard, get more milegae than the softer ones, and have a poor grip on the road, especially on gravel, rain, etc. The more exp tires are soft, grip better, but tend to wear sooner

    Take on your build ONE STEP AT A TIME. Sometimes a build can get away from you, you want it on the road so bad, and that's what causes sloppy and unsafe builds

    Electrical: EVERY builder has been guilty at one time or another using cheap connectors and wire splices. Solder your connections where appropriate, have good solid grounds and USE A CIRCUIT BREAKER

    Stay away from used sprockets and chains

    Good luck, keep us in the know!

    Appreciate the tips. Its gonna be a hardtail no way around that.... but as far as safety goes, i have a friend who is a professional welder helping me with all the structural welds.

    Definitely plan on running a front brake. I have a super bright as fuck prism taillight. My
    Headlight is super visible but has a horrible throw. I plan on changing it over the winter.

    All in all im basically just hardtailing what you see in the photo. Nothing crazy...

  7. #7
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    The low tunnel tanks expose the (ugly) stock backbone but the gussets can be carefully removed without messing up the VIN. I'd suggest a high tunnel tank to hide it instead since the low tunnel tanks were designed for older classic frames with much cleaner lines but the later frames are much stiffer hence the gussets. You do you but there are many kool tank choices (like 3.5 gallon split tanks) that are unusual and classic.

    Wise move getting a pro to help out with the welds. Measure often since checking is free!

    Study minimalist wiring harnesses if needed but it's not hard to adapt what's there and thin it to suit if the main harness is in good shape. Heat shrink, bare crimp connectors, good crimpers, liquid flux for all soldering because flux core wire doesn't hold much, a Soldapullt style solder sucker (I fucking love those since the Air Force enlightened me) and patience helps greatly. Piss on auto store parts and their terrible crimpers. Electrical and local industrial suppliers are good if you need stuff immediately but you'll save much money buying online. HD circuit breakers work great and you can order the spring loaded mounting clips online.

    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12086

    Get an effective seat. The mongtarded recent fashion of seats thinner than a Kotex is absurd unless you never leave town or hate your own spine (spinal damage is forever and it can ruin yer life like it ruined mine) Seats are easy to swap if you run the sprung style and you could even use an aircraft ball lock pin to QD them. A clean bitch bar is great for tying on bags.

    When you say "weld in horseshoe tank" be sure to fab maintenance-friendly mounting brackets that let you easily replace rubber shock mounts or grommets or whatever you use for cushioning and easily remove and install the tank. Slide it in and out and play around so your end result isn't a pain in the ass due to a bracket becoming a removal obstacle. The end result should be quick and easy to field strip.

    Take your time since time is cheap but not getting exactly what you want isn't worth rushing. Bungs of all sorts are so cheap on Ebay it's not worth me firing up my lathe to make them so if a mount would benefit use them for a strong clean result.
    Last edited by farmall; 10-17-2021 at 12:20 AM.

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by farmall View Post
    The low tunnel tanks expose the (ugly) stock backbone but the gussets can be carefully removed without messing up the VIN. I'd suggest a high tunnel tank to hide it instead since the low tunnel tanks were designed for older classic frames with much cleaner lines but the later frames are much stiffer hence the gussets. You do you but there are many kool tank choices (like 3.5 gallon split tanks) that are unusual and classic.

    Wise move getting a pro to help out with the welds. Measure often since checking is free!

    Study minimalist wiring harnesses if needed but it's not hard to adapt what's there and thin it to suit if the main harness is in good shape. Heat shrink, bare crimp connectors, good crimpers, liquid flux for all soldering because flux core wire doesn't hold much, a Soldapullt style solder sucker (I fucking love those since the Air Force enlightened me) and patience helps greatly. Piss on auto store parts and their terrible crimpers. Electrical and local industrial suppliers are good if you need stuff immediately but you'll save much money buying online. HD circuit breakers work great and you can order the spring loaded mounting clips online.

    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12086

    Get an effective seat. The mongtarded recent fashion of seats thinner than a Kotex is absurd unless you never leave town or hate your own spine (spinal damage is forever and it can ruin yer life like it ruined mine) Seats are easy to swap if you run the sprung style and you could even use an aircraft ball lock pin to QD them. A clean bitch bar is great for tying on bags.

    When you say "weld in horseshoe tank" be sure to fab maintenance-friendly mounting brackets that let you easily replace rubber shock mounts or grommets or whatever you use for cushioning and easily remove and install the tank. Slide it in and out and play around so your end result isn't a pain in the ass due to a bracket becoming a removal obstacle. The end result should be quick and easy to field strip.

    Take your time since time is cheap but not getting exactly what you want isn't worth rushing. Bungs of all sorts are so cheap on Ebay it's not worth me firing up my lathe to make them so if a mount would benefit use them for a strong clean result.

    Hell yeah! Appreciate all that! I got a wilder factory seat thats super thick and soft. Its a hell of a lot better feeling than my current pancake...

    By weld in oil tank, i did mean weld in tabs. Itll definitely be removable.

    As far as electrical, the previous owner stripped it down pretty dang good so theres not much left besides the necessities. Im switching to a dyna 2000i ignition module so i can get rid of my stock brick.

    One question i did have was i just got some new shinkos put on. I love them aside from when i hit a section of road thats got the rain grooves. Its almost as if the tread marches the grooves and i get crazy wobble... my question is how difficult is it to swap tires after youve welded up your fender since its been radiused and fitted to the previous tire...

    Thanks again!

  9. #9

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    Yeah those road grooves do that to almost any MC tire. Dont fully undertand your last question, but if you are talking width or heigth, yes, if you made the fender very close to begin with, you might have an issue with fitting a wider or taller tire. And making a tire like that fit on the width side w/o getting a new fender is a ball ton of work (sheet metal work)

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by docmel View Post
    Yeah those road grooves do that to almost any MC tire. Dont fully undertand your last question, but if you are talking width or heigth, yes, if you made the fender very close to begin with, you might have an issue with fitting a wider or taller tire. And making a tire like that fit on the width side w/o getting a new fender is a ball ton of work (sheet metal work)

    Yep that answers it. I know all MC tires get affected to some extent, these new shinkos are just worse than anything else ive had.

    You answered my question though i think. Switching tires could potentially lead to having to switch fenders. Im thinking of switching to a bates baja from the shinko 270. Guess ill just have to see.

  11. #11

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    Well i got it chopped up today!! Welder
    Bailed but i got everything jogged up with the motor. Everything looked good until i tightened it all down. Now the top tube has a slight dip and no space in between the tubing for a weld. I plan on taking off an 1/8” from the top tube to leave space to throw a bead. What do you think about the dip on the top tube though? Pics attached . Thanks yall!Click image for larger version. 

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  12. #12

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    still waiting to weld the frame up. I did some research and it looks like a lot of the weld on hardtail from lowbrow do that very, very slight dip. you can even see it in their install video.

    anyway, got an 1/8" gap on the top tube now so just waiting on welding friend to zap it up.

    decided to throw a couple things on just to see it all mocked up. I think I like it. Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawhammercycle View Post
    still waiting to weld the frame up. I did some research and it looks like a lot of the weld on hardtail from lowbrow do that very, very slight dip. you can even see it in their install video.
    Seems like that little 'dip' is common. Mine has it too, but the tank covers it up no problem. You probably know this, but just make sure your motor is bolted up tight according to the manual directions before you weld. Rear mounts first, then fronts if I recall correctly.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawhammercycle View Post
    ...decided to throw a couple things on just to see it all mocked up. I think I like it.
    Looks Good!! Almost ready to roll.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce View Post
    Seems like that little 'dip' is common. Mine has it too, but the tank covers it up no problem. You probably know this, but just make sure your motor is bolted up tight according to the manual directions before you weld. Rear mounts first, then fronts if I recall correctly.
    hey thanks bruce. yep I knew I gotta have it all torqued down. my only thing is, in order for me to get the top motor mount to line up, I gotta keep the other fronts loose, and then tighten down the top, then return back to fronts... wondering how much the order matters...it just docent seem possible to even get the top otherwise

    Sportsterpedia kind of addresses this also. that the factory manual kind of leaves things out... but basically loosely tighten everything then go around and do factory torque tightening... make sense?


    *edit. so I am looking at the PDF version of my manual and maybe I was looking at a different section, but the PDF version seems to have more detailed instructions. Ill go back and loosening everything up and retorque in order
    Last edited by Clawhammercycle; 3 Weeks Ago at 4:46 PM.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clawhammercycle View Post
    Sportsterpedia kind of addresses this also. that the factory manual kind of leaves things out... but basically loosely tighten everything then go around and do factory torque tightening... make sense?

    *edit. so I am looking at the PDF version of my manual and maybe I was looking at a different section, but the PDF version seems to have more detailed instructions. Ill go back and loosening everything up and retorque in order
    Do you have this PDF manual? >> Harley-Davidson Sportster 1986-2003 Service Manual
    It's pretty easy to find online, but I can also send you a download link no problem.

    The engine installation section starts on page 202. Just for fun here is the section and the associated pics.

    9. To install the rear engine mount assembly (Figure 26), perform the following:

    a. Install a flat washer on the two upper engine mount bolts and install the bolts through the frame and engine. Install the locknut and washer on the right bolt. Install the hex nut and washer on the left bolt. Do not install the battery ground cable at this time.

    b. Install a lockwasher and flat washer on the two lower engine mount bolts and install the bolts through the frame and thread into the engine hand-tight.

    10. Install the left and right lower front engine mount plates, bolts, washers and nuts as shown in Figure 22.
    Tighten the bolts hand-tight.

    11. Tighten the rear engine mounting bolts and nuts (Figure 26) to 25-30 ft.-lb. (34-41 Nm).

    12. Tighten the lower front engine bolts (A, Figure 30) to 25-30 ft.-lb. (34-41 Nm).
    Tighten the lower front frame bolts (B, Figure 30) to 25-30 ft.-lb. (34-41 Nm).

    13. Install the top center engine mount assembly (Figure 31) as follows:

    a. Install the top center engine mount bolts and washers through the engine mount.

    b. Place the shim (if used) onto the top center engine mount bolts.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  17. #17

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    yep, that's the one I have. I have no idea what page I was looking at in my original manual but it didn't have all those details... IDK! its at home at the moment. but anyway, good lookin out. ill Go ahead and re-torque in order to be safe.

  18. #18

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    Got the chain conversion done today. Easy peasy. Had to change put the transmission sprocket seal and spacer as well to make it line up proper.

    Got the sissy bar in the place i want it. Fender is pretty much there too. Tank is in place. Drilling holes for top hat bungs this week.

    Next weekend we weld the frame, sissybar/fender, oil tank tabs (if they come in time), and top hat bungs for gas tank. Things are movin along! Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19
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    Looking good man. Love a clean sporty chop

  20. #20

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    Most welds are all done! All i can think of off the top of my head is brake tab and exhaust hanger eventually. Frame just rattle can primed/painted. Im going to have it powder coated eventually but i didnt want to ride it around raw.

    Next is wiring, oil lines, brake lines/bleed, and side project of painting the tins. Im happy to have that to work on. Going pale yellow and black flame outlines.Click image for larger version. 

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