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Everything posted by Ulu

  1. I bought a lightly used longbed, 4dr 2012 Tacoma pickup in 2016. 32k on it & I paid $33k cash. With tax and 13 mos license. So far I have changed battery, brake pads, rotors and tires, oil and filters. I put my used bed cover on it from the old truck which got smashed. I put airbags and an anti-sway bar on the back axle, and premium shock absorbers all the way around. Those were also from the smashed truck. I also put better front springs on it and shimmed up the rear springs. I changed all the ball joints and tie rod ends myself, because I can. Also the wheelbearings which were expensive. I think the bearing design on these trucks could be better. Anyhow I have good spares now for most of those parts, because only two of the tie rod ends were getting worn. and one ball joint was loose. Everything else is serviceable. Except for the tires and genuine Toyota brake parts, None of those things were desperately needed. I just wanted the truck to be Tip-Top, and I had the money and time to do it. I might’ve spent $100 on new tools. It now has 52,000 miles on it. I’m going for my third smog inspection next month. That’s about $50 each time. I changed the differential oil one time. I’ve had it in for alignment three times. I keep changing the shocks, springs, etc looking for better handling. (It was the sway bar and the spring shims that made all the difference.) Nothing has gone wrong otherwise. So I’ve spent about $38,000 including tax, lic, insurance and gasoline. And my labor. That means if it disintegrated today my total cost of ownership would be $6166/year. My labor not included. But on the basis of mileage, it would be a horrific $1.90+ per mile. This truck is still so nice, and prices have gone up so high, that I think I could sell it for $30,000 today. That brings it down to a more reasonable $.40 per mile or $1334/yr. (plus my labor)
  2. The shifter really works well now. I buffed out the ugly black chain tensioner. I Reforged my kickstand and straightened it all out. Now it is the right length for the lowered bike.
  3. I needed to tighten u the shifter spring a little more, so I made this cover plate that sucks the spring together tighter. It started life as an ordinary flat washer. It needs to be a little longer to cover that spring completely, just for looks. I may make another one that is more attractive.
  4. I changed the week steering neck for one that was shorter and much stouter. I had to do a little trimming to make it fit, but it was worth the effort. I did have to trim off my stem with a pipe cutter. I decided to polish those black rings since they were aluminum.
  5. Well my shifter spring was a bust. I finally created this new double leaf, and it works much better. It also doesn’t put any side load on the spindle. This one was putting a lot of sideload on and causing a lot of friction. This is the new double spring. It took me about four hours to develop this little booger.
  6. I’ve been working on this tail light for the bike. It’s built from a automotive vacuum test pump that could not hold vacuum. Most of the shaping was done with hand files & sandpaper. The rough form was done on the bench grinder. That little clamp at the top came from a Shimano twist grip shifter. There’s no wiring yet. Also I haven’t buffed it or clearcoated.
  7. The voting is almost over, and it looks like I only took 8th place. I feel I would have done better if I had time for an elaborate paint job. Personally, I like this more than any bike I have ever ridden. I improved the shifter spring, removing the extra clamp on the handlebar. Also I raised the headlights one inch, and mounted the Tokyo bell. Except for a tail light, I think it’s finished for now.
  8. That was my back porch today at 2:30. That was my back porch today at 2:30. This is at the welding shed, same time. Outdoor aquariums holding about 88, Because the water circulates to the indoor aquarium which is in the air conditioned house.
  9. IT LIVES! But I painted it without any filler over the welds, and it needs it. I’ve been putting in ridiculous hours working on this bike and it has been well over 100° every day. Fortunately I’m used to living in the desert after all of these years. Not that it’s enjoyable, Working in such heat, but for me it is possible. I am 100% glad that the contest is over and I’m not worried about the deadline. I never wanna have another job with a deadline and my entire life. LOL Anyhow I went for a ride and did some wheelies and bopped over some curbs and this bike rides pretty well with little danger of pedal strikes because I didn’t lower it too much. Steering stability improved because it has 3° more rake, and some actual positive trail!
  10. Well, you finally got the shop cleaned up. Did you ever get everything lined up to put that engine in?
  11. It’s 6 AM on the West Coast. I had a good nights sleep but I am still sore from yesterday. It took me eight hours to grind and sand and sculpt the new welding. I spent four hours just with the Dremel Moto tool sculpting the welds. To make it go faster I did a lot of hogging with the 5 1/2 inch grinder and that is a white knuckle experience: Trying to shave hundredths of an inch away in tight locations. Today I’m going to get this thing painted and I will assemble it tomorrow morning before 10 AM, and take photographs for the contest, as that is the deadline. There are still a lot of scratches but I buffed it down with the flapper just after I took this photo. It’s almost ready to paint. I need to do a little hand sanding and mask off.
  12. More tacking up. Squaring up the sissy bar. Prelim assembly after tacking up the sissy bar sockets. Everything clears. Setting up to finish weld. There was a bit of porosity but everything’s welded from both sides, and I think it’s going to be plenty strong.
  13. I got sick Thursday night and my work went on hold, but I did get back on the bicycle yesterday. These are the handlebars from the Huffy Sea Star 12” French princess bicycle (found in someone’s junk pile.) It’s Grinder Time. Tubing cutter keeps it square. These should “handle” the sissy bar. But more gussetry is needed before welding! A bit of metal from a broken wood lathe and a cardboard pattern. It’s gonna look very laid-back. I don’t know how it will ride yet.
  14. I got the filler plates shaped and drilled and I should be welding them in this morning. It was 110 Fahrenheit in the boat yard yesterday, and I couldn’t finish the welding. I didn’t like the black stem, so I started sanding it down to shiny aluminum.
  15. And the mighty Sturmey SX-RK3, heavy duty, no internal brakes. Disk lugs.
  16. I have the later AWC 36h which has the coaster brake inside.
  17. Still no welding. Life called and needed a push. I did get some fillers shaped up and ready to drill and do the final fitting before welding. I flipped that photo, so the derailleur lug appears to be on the wrong side.
  18. I painted this old tire with white Plasti-dip spray. It says on the can you can use it on rubber, but I was amazed that it worked. It smells just like Testors model paint. I tried to paint rubber with that one time and it turned to goo and never dried. But this dried quickly, and I did a second coat, and it dried quickly as well. If I was trying to make blinding whitewalls on a black tire, this would probably work with a third coat. I’m trying to make an antique looking whitewall to match my rear tire, and I’m going to start with a gumwall front tire and apply this in a hope to come out with something that looks like the rear tire.
  19. Well no actual welding today. I did several mock ups with steel plates to try and decide how I wanted it to look. I think I’m going to do this.
  20. I set up a jig for my bike and cut the frame today. Tomorrow I weld. Tonight I have to make the parts, first. Otherwise I have nothing to weld. I had to cover up part of this because the jig is attached to my stock rack and it is extremely confusing to look at. Here you can see the bicycle is bolted to the jig upside down. I have some telescoping tubes as leverage to bend the frame. I have dropped it about 1.5” there. I kept going until I dropped it 2.5”. In the next photograph you can see that I strung the jig out with monofilament, so I had site lines to keep everything straight as I was bending. On the tail end, the lines spread apart to this frame which is centered on the jig. On the head end, the lines come to this bolt. I did not have any machined cones to center the head stock in the jig, but I found a couple of large aircraft locknuts that fit in exactly right. The frame is clamped down at the seat post. I stabilized the whole assembly by bolting the crank arms to this stanchion. It was all rocksolid and stable and the bending went very easy because I had plenty of leverage.
  21. I think it’s a silly system. I will not likely buy a car that does this. And I probably will never have to, as they are going to make gasoline cars illegal here.
  22. You can get all kinds of dice: chrome plated dice, any color, down at the Lowrider store. But nobody had any of these Dungeons and Dragons dice.
  23. Well you are making some progress then. It’s been August hot and almost impossible to work during the day. I get everything done in the mornings before 10 and then after 9 o’clock at night. By the way, if you ever run into another skip tooth bicycle don’t sell it so cheap. I just saw a chain and sprockets go for what you sold the whole bike for.
  24. I guess you got to work with whatever God gave you.
  25. I took a test ride into town today. I love the new shifter, but the golf ball is temporary. This bike is a tail sliding dreamboat, but it needs more rake. Also to be lowered. That's next.
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