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Discussion Starter #1
I figured I'd share my winter build since the weather is STILL for crap and I have more time on my hands... Most of the things I have done I had stored in my ever changing vision of my ride and from the ideas and visions of others here on this forum....

My winter idea was mostly body so late last summer I began assembling my parts.... CVO style saddlebags and a chopped tour pack was the goal and these are the steps I went through to get where I am today...

MODs B4 the winter included Mutazu Lowers, denim black cow bells, stereo upgrade (outlined in my Audio Odyssey thread, RC Components slip-ons, misc. visual parts, LED lighting, Daymaker headlights, and other add-ons I could slip past the house authority.... :roll eyes:

It doesn't seem like a lot but all the little things that go into the winter changes I've made added up to a logistics mountain at times but the result is well worth the effort.

So to go back to the beginning of summer 2013 we have a 'clean' look at the bike when purchased and then Tarantino forward to Jan 2014 for the complete look as it sits (lonely and cold) today......
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Sometime in late summer I saw a post about Eastern Performance getting in some CVO style saddlebags so I ordered a set and they sat until november when I had most of my other pieces together.

I searched long and hard for a chopped tour pack until I found www.Powerproductsparts.com and their tour pack with whales tail fin on the back of the lid. I thought this would really style out the plain dull tour pack and make my ride different. When this decision was made I also began formulating the idea if putting an LED light in the tail of the led and HD 'spoiler' LED lights on the back of the saddlebag lids.

So I am putting this thread together not so much for the basic build (many others have already done this) but because of the install of the LED tail light for the tour pack.
 

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Shark of the Month October 13
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Lookin' good! I really like the whale tail spoiler on the TP.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for the comments! I am pretty happy with the look. Of course, the whole thing is evolving! I am now looking for something to put on the rear bottom of the TP since it is a large expanse of black just crying for a HD sign or something similar, as is the indent on the top of the pack...but I get ahead of myself...

I spent a LOT of time searching the web for a suitable LED for the tail. I had several requirements...
It had to be flush mount. No border or frame to hide rough cut marks.
It had to be thin to fit up as high as possible
It had to be more than one row of LEDs.
It had to be long.

I satisfied two of the three as all the LED Lights I found were pretty thick on the mount side (relative to the space available!). At one point I thought about giving up the idea as the hollow whale tail fin naturally decreases in available space toward the tip and I wanted the LED up in there pretty tight! But the idea haunted me.... I was driven to find a solution! So when I finally decided on an LED I made these templets to tape on the top and get some measurements.

I choose HiTech as my LED supplier as many of the custom builders who advertise products on the web seemed to be using them as a source. I figured, go to the source! And their light appealed to me. http://www.hitechledproducts.com
And I chose this LED as it fit all my requirements except the mounting depth. At one point I had a thought to remove the LED from the mount to get it where I wanted it but the epoxy they use to glue the circuit board in is pretty tough and I found it would mount high enough to make me happy. (AND it would have been a load more work to accomplish if I removed the mounting box!)
http://www.hitechledproducts.com/product_info.php?cPath=27_47_70&products_id=97&osCsid=962fe5a4ce1a3629da2525f0205ac03f

I also made several LED lens templets to check where I wanted the light on the back od=f the fin.
 

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Setting out my measurements and checking configurations....
 

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Mock-ups of light mount and placement
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I called HiTech and got the measurements and made the mock-ups in photoshop. At the same time I was in the process of getting cataract surgery which turned out to be a 2 month affair so I had a lot of time off work to work on this project. Glad I did as it took lots of time in planning! AND I could not always see well enough to do anything! Very frustrating!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
After my measurements and a fair amount of eye-balling I came up with the location of the lens. In retrospect it is the best placement as I think the contour of the rear of the tail flows nicely.
 

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Looking good. I have looked at a similar tour pack, but don't think it was by the company you listed........Couple questions........
1) How well is the seal & are you confident you won't have any rain issues?
2) How well was the finish? I know they need to be painted, but is it ready for primer & paint or is it going need a lot of sanding and filler first?
3) how did it bolt up to he newer detachable racks? You have to re-drill ?
4) lastly, did you have to install the bottom support plate like in the older versions or is this pretty stable with just the detachable plate?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The next phase gave me the most grief! Remember, I was not seeing as well as I would have liked so I thought long and hard on how to center the LED on the multi-curved surface of the tail.
I decided to use large paper, draw some graph lines then put a laser level on it.
The graph would allow me to find the center and the laser level would allow the LED to be mounted level as long as my cuts were good.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I used automotive masking tape to cover the rear and get more definition for the laser. It also protected the surface while cutting and, in the end, was a perfect leveling device itself as you will see....

The laser level was a pretty good idea if I do say so myself! (insert pat on back here....) But while measuring I realized the table was not level !! I messed with this for some time and finally decided to shim the TP lid so the level would fall across the lower lip.
BUT, being that the lower lip is curved, when the laser lit it the line would roll off the lip somewhere on either end edge. Eye-ball time to line up the level to roll equally off either end....
Somewhere in there I decided to tape the rear so I got out the yellow tape and covered the tail. Looking at it I realized the blue tape I had on hand was just about exactly the width required to the bottom cut! So I laid out the blue tape on the lower lip being careful to keep it straight and then checked my measurements with the laser level.
The vertical blue tape marked the center of the tail as measured with the graph paper and the laser level brought the vertical center line from the graph up onto the lid.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The LED lens was covered with a protective tape so I pealed it off and folded it in half to find its center, then mounted it to the cut area. The hard part at this point was centering the paddle bit so its edge would cut exactly on the outer arc of each rounded end.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I cannot stress enough....measure twice...then again...then again....then look at it from another angle...measure again...

You get the idea and in retrospect I worried WAY too much about too many things but that is how I work.... Idea, trash idea to hell and back.... Plan, plan, plan...then on Go Day, sit there and confirm what I'm doing until I work up my nerve.... :eek:

I would make a lousy craftsman... I would never earn any $$ !

To this point I looked at many options for cutting the hole. Dremel, sawzall, razor saw (a modeling saw with very fine teeth), hacksaw, small drill bits moving to larger as I went for the ends, etc...
In the end these were my tools of choice... Drill with paddle bit the same size as the hole needed and a fine blade hacksaw.
I just drilled slowly and evenly checking the hole as I went so I would not punch through the back side and blow the fiberglass all to hell. and hacksawed slowly to protect the jell coat under the tape.
HiTech's recommended (as did most installers) cutting the hole slightly smaller all around and filing for final fit. I figured I would cut for the final size and epoxy fill what I needed to fill for fit. It worked out pretty well as my hacksaw cuts ended up slightly smaller so I needed to file anyway and I get extremely lucky eyeballing the end holes as the lens fit perfectly lengthwise!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
After getting my hole cut I filed as needed all the while checking the fit of the lens. I kept thinking, no wonder these custom installers get so much for their creations ! This is a long and delicate process!

After I got the lens to fit I realized my next fear....The curved surface of the lid did not allow enough room for the lens to protrude fully through the opening. The ends were good but the middle of the lens sat slightly inside the cut. My options... Bend the lens, epoxy and clamp... Add a layer of colored resin on top of the lens (if you saw my Audio Odyssey thread you would have seen the mount I made for the iPhone out of resin so I was not hesitant to try this option).... or to sand the inside of the TP lid to set the lens in further.
I decided to sand the interior of the TP lid as this seemed the easiest option. THEN my concern was the thickness of the fiberglass! The removed piece from the lens cut showed a variance in the thickness so I would have to be careful...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Also, there were some chips in the jell coat that would need to be filled and sanded after the lens was epoxied in. I had some marine epoxy in the cabinet from a couple years back when I had built a balcony off our master BR and used it to glue plastic wood (Trex) to posts and other plastic wood for the finishing touches. I researched its stability, flexibility, and paintability and decided to use it for gluing the lens and filling the holes. There was also a chip on the TP that I filled with the epoxy and then sanded to contour. It was under the TP hinge and would not have been visible but thats just me....wanted it gone!
I used West Systems G-Flex Epoxy. http://www.westsystem.com/ss/g-flex-epoxy/
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The pack was going to be denim black with black hardware. Steve at Power Products worked with me when I placed my initial order. He had the powdercoater make some flat black hardware for the pack, he didn't final buff the gelcoat since I was going to paint it anyway (this saved me some $$ and it is also the reason the pack does not look 'finished' in the pictures, the gelcoat was smooth but dull on arrival)
I purchased a lock cover as that was the only part that would have been chrome on the pack. I had to test fit and clearance the cover along the way....
 

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So as I said, I filed the inside of the lid to allow the lens to stick out far enough on the back of the lid for flush sanding. Then I epoxied the lens in and waited for the epoxy to set. The only disadvantage to G-Flex Epoxy is its setup time is like 24 hours! So I did a lot of waiting over the next few days as I mounted the lens and figured out how to mount the LED inside.
 

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