New guy building XS400 Softail Bobbers

Hey CaptChrome, for the price of an incandescent BA9 bulb I'll live with it being for the sig indicator while the other lights are LED. I've built sig light systems on my cars that use a single wire side running light. I can wire it to blink opposite the sig light.

So while waiting for my carb seals and for the fender paint to cure a couple days I decided to replace the head gaskets on my 5.7 GMC truck, looks like I had a lower head bolt on the DS leaking a bit of antifreeze. $100 gasket kit later I'll have it fixed.

Got the engine back together yesterday, took it for a test drive all good, no more coolant steam coming from the rear of the DS head. This morning I hauled 5 cubes of water (1 cube at a time) with it to top up our house water cistern.

Then it was back to building bobbers!!!!!!!!!!
Wet sanded the rear fender base coat with 2000 grit sand paper, rinsed, wiped with degreaser, rinsed, dried, tack cloth, and shot it with clear coat. The clear coat I'm using on the rear fender is advertised as "1K clear coat, gives 2K performance", but it is not gas proof. I'm ok with this as the rear fender should never see gasoline.

Then I build a stand for the gas tank, mounted it on a workmate, sanded 400 grit, spot puttied, sanded again, primed, more spot putty, more primer, final sanding with 600 grit, wipe clean, tack cloth, then shot it with base coat.


I will be shooting the tank with 2K clear coat which is gas proof.
Wet sanded the tank with 2000 grit, rinsed, wiped, degreased, rinsed, wiped, dried, tack cloth, and the shot the tank with Spray Max 2K Clear Coat, 3 mist coats and 7 wet coats. Will let cure, then wet sand with 2000 grit, power polish with rubbing compound, then power polish with polishing compound. We will see how it turns out.

IMG_2812.jpg we say in the car building forum, provide video or it didn't happen:laugh:. The above video is proof that I received my carb shaft seals today. Put everything together and bench tested the carbs with gas.......the left one failed. It flooded badly, removed bowl, checked float height at 26mm, removed needle and seat to inspect and clean. There must have been some debris there, put it together, bench tested with gas and was good. Installed carb assembly, H pipe, filters, and my test gas tank. Choke, crank, and it fired up, half choke after 30 seconds, choke off after a minute, ran engine about 10 minutes using my 32oz test gas tank.
The video is a warm start with no choke. Up next is to check dynamic timing, balance carbs, set idle rpm. I did manage to check the charging system.

Low idle

Hi idle

Nice to hear the bike bark after putting it together:cheers:
That works for me! Sounds really good Buddha!
Thanks CaptChrome! It is very rewarding to see a project come together from a vision.

Made it out to the shop for a bit today. Put some bits and pieces together and done made myself a home made Hg slack tube manometer just like the one I had in my work truck as a compressor mech. Not as fancy as a bought one but pretty darn accurate. All in all, sounds good, only a highway test drive and spark plug view will tell the truth.

After the carb balance, idle speed adjustment I had to put things together for a visual.

Installed inline filter.

Couple 3 money shots.



So wifey and I had a discussion about the forward control idea I had for these bikes. At our age we think we better stay with the OEM shift and rear brake control like we grew up with, instead of forward controls I will build forward highway pegs and keep the OEM shift and brake arms.
Reached a milestone the bike down off the build table. Rolled it outside for some vitamin C.



Then noodled around fabbing up the highway foot rests. Here's what I ended up with today, still more to do on this.



Then I drove around the yard a bit, put 3km (2 mi) on the bike. I have a unique rattle on the arse end when going over lumps and bumps, after troubleshooting the rattle it seems that the rear brake caliper is the culprit. I can grab the caliper and rattle it in the caliper holder.
Any thoughts???
Spent today working on the 1980 Bobber. Welded refer plates on the rear fender, just like the first one;)

Then wet sanded the '80 tank with 2000 grit. Degreased, rinsed, wiped, dried, tack clothed, and shot with 2K Clear coat.
Couple 3 pics.



Once cured I'll wet sand with 2000 then polish in steps with McGuiars (I'll do both tanks at this time).
Today I worked on the 16" rear rim of the '80 build. Glass beaded, masked, and shot the rim with wheel paint.


Great job on the wheels and other paint. Are you clear coating the wheels after painting? Just wondering with all of that nice, clean alloy exposed to the elements.
Ha ha ha JP, just about spit my coffee out reading your reply this morning! Good one.

Hey CaptChrome! Thanks for the kudos. No clear coat on the wheels just spray wax.

Spent a relaxing afternoon bead blasting the front wheel, masking, and shooting the wheel paint. Couple pics


Then I walked around the shop and scratched, then I scratched some more, then I had a hard lemonade. Then I said to myself 'Self, it's time to try some badges on the '78 tank!' After that was done I had another hard lemonade.

Not a bobber guy, yet…but I have to say, your craftsmanship is awesome.
A real benefit to this site for an overall knowledge standpoint.
Nice to know there’s another NG Compressor guy nearby. I spent a few year as a Product Support rep calling on NG customers out in the Edson/Hinton area with 3600 series Cat engines.
Nice to know there’s another NG Compressor guy nearby. I spent a few year as a Product Support rep calling on NG customers out in the Edson/Hinton area with 3600 series Cat engines.

LOL, never had the pleasure of pulling apart a 3600. Cut my teeth in the '80's on G379 and G398 engines, then later I can't count the number of overhauls I did on CAT hotrod 3516's and a 3512
Paint looks great but thought the clear needed to go on before the paint hardens ? wondering as you said you were sanding the color then clear it.

I am no pro and have used the 2K clear love it.......... but have always let the paint flash for a little then cleared it then sanded......... last one I did was blackj and had some dust in it but it came out with the buffer....... surprised myself on that one it looked great.......