The Big Knock 2014

Last week was the The big knock 2014. At the bat and ball pub it was an excellent 4 days or so camping, and a large variety of diesel bikes turned up, a fair few of them too!

The ride out was also a great experience, especially good to see a couple of trikes and, of course, the sprocket!

Here are some pictures of the Diesel bike rally.

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XJ600 Diesel bike – Electric decompression release

I do a lot of riding in traffic, and especially during rush hour, I can sit at traffic lights for 2 minutes at a time. As a result, I thought of turning the engine off whilst sitting at these lights to save fuel, as thats what these bikes are all about!

On my L100, I have a remote compression release in the form of a choke cable attached to my fairing. This arrangement is fine when getting going, pull the lever, press starter, release lever off you go. This arrangment is cumbersome if you are at a traffic light and its starting to change so I had the idea of rigging up some sort of electric release so that I could actuate it from a button on the handlebars.

Initially I looked at solenoids, servos and motors but they where either too expensive on their own, or too complicated to control. I then stumbled upon a couple of door lock actuators on ebay. These are essentially 2 wire motors with a gear reduction and a nice hook on the end, apply 12v one way the rod moves in, apply it the other way it moves out. Heres what it looks like:

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Its a pretty simple design, and at £5.80 ridiculously cheap. Great for a gamble in case it didnt work.

After I tested it to ensure there was enough movement and force produced I set to work installing it.

I bolted it to the bracing peice that holds my air filter in place, it puts it right in line for the decompression lever. There is enough space for it there and its pretty well hidden. I swapped out my “passing” switch for one that can handle 5 amps current and wired the output to the actuator.

I used a zip tie to attach it to the decompression lever which allows for some fine tuning and is strong enough.

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Here is the manual decompression release:

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All in all works pretty well and the engine can be restarted without taking my hands off the handlebars


Diesel bike – Injector line heater

As most of you know, I run my Xj600 diesel bike purely on WVO (Waste Veg oil). I mix it with 5% Petrol, but during the winter its still very hard to start. This is mainly down to the thickness of the vegetable oil at low temperatures.

To counteract this, I have installed an injector line heater. I used Kapton tape and nichrome heating wire. Kapton tape  a thermal limit of about 250 degrees C and is very thin so aids heat transfer better. I wrapped 2 sections of nichrome wire after wrapping the injector line in kapton tape. Each coil draws around 4 amps.

The temperature aim is around 75 degrees c, to measure how long I would have to run the coils for, I crimped one end of a copper pipe and wrapped it with kapton tape, then the heating coils. I filled it with WVO and inserted a temperature probe. It took approximately 1 minute and 50 seconds to reach 80 degrees C.

As a result, I have coupled the heating elements with a 12v timer circuit and a relay. The timer is set for aproximately 1 minute 45 seconds. The output of the relay also triggers the oil pressure light on the dashboard so I can see when the coils are energised, when the light goes out I can start the engine.

With pre-heating, the engine now starts within 3 cranks rather than 10-15 as before. Even at 0 degrees c.

Some pictures below:

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XJ 600 Diesel bike – L100 injector cleaner

Recent issues with a dodgy fuel pump on my L100 engined Diesel bike has been causing problems!

 

I had some sediment go past my primary fuel filter and get stuck in my injector which was a pain!
A new injection pump was fitted and some injector cleaner ran through the system but I still had issues, mainly really bad diesel knock and very hard starting.

I initially suspected a blocked/faulty fuel injector, considering it has had WVO running through it, so I pulled it from the engine.

This is what it looked like before cleaning:

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A quick trip in the ultrasonic bath:

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and after:

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Turns out, that didnt help at all! It was the injection pump causing the problem, as a second replacement injection pump sorted the problem! Happy days.


XJ 600 Diesel bike – Water injection

Right, so part of the quest to keep the bike running well, I have fitted a water injection system to ensure that ring gumming is kept to a minimum.

This system is very simple and is made entirely from a very cheap 1.2L windscreen washer kit (this one to be specific: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111091290718?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2648)

First step was to modify one of the washer jets so that it produced a mist rather than a stream. This was carried out using a old soldering iron tip, and melting the the front face of the jet so that it was completely blocked, then using a very small heated nail to make a very small pin hole. Its hard to see in the picture:
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The next step was to insert the jet into the intake. I had created an intake extension out of plastic for my K+N air filter, so this bit was quite easy as its plastic.

I cut out the shape for the jet and inserted into the hole, it was then glued in place from the outside (so to ensure no glue would be sucked into the engine if it fell off). Its at an odd angle as the jet does not exit in a straight line from the jet.

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The remainder is easy, fit the tank, run the wiring and check the flow rate.

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Getting the flow right was the most difficult. I ended up using a hairpin shaped peice of metal over the delivery pipe, and held the revs at 3500rpm. I then ran the pump and kept compressing the clip over the pipe until the engine stopped bogging down. I confirmed that water was still flowing by looking through the intake. Happy days!

I will run 1.2 liters through the engine on each tank full, I will also be keeping a close eye on engine oil for signs of polymerisation.


XJ 600 Diesel bike

Good news, its passed its mot with an advisory for noise, but thats it.

I have now ridden about 250 miles without any issues, currently using the bike for commuting and running errands.

So far so good, I have implemented some fixes to the shafts that stick out of the right hand side to try and stem the oil leak from there. I must keep a close eye on the geabox level!.

Some pictures:
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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

I recently managed to get the XJ600 out of the garden and onto the street to give it a propert test run!

Everything went fine! Gearbox and clutch worked correctly, clutch was a bit snatchy but we will see if that disappears!

The rear break needs work as well, the lever is in the wrong place and doesnt give the correct levereage. Apart from that, all seems well.

Video below:

 

 


XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

A brief update.

Not much has been going on. I spend a lot of time re-jigging the engine and gearbox moutning holes, and I noticed the drivetrain was out of line (engine and gearbox pulley out of line, then the gearbox and rear wheel chain where out of line).

 

This has been sorted. Most of the electrics are done including the forced cooling. I need to make a shroud out of ali at some point to cover up the old flywheel casing etc.

 

I spent a bit of time making a spacer out of old drain pipe for the air filter, as the fuel tank would have blocked it otherwise, some pics below:

 

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

Some more work recently, the fun bit, wiring :)

I was keen to avoid the space ship clocks I had on the old diesel bike :

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So, I ordered an ammeter, volt meter and temperate sensor all in one and set to work modified the clocks to accept it.

After a bit of cutting and squeezing, im left with:

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Granted, it doesnt look that good, as the screen frame is slightly too big for the whole it needs to go in (and keep the fuel gauge readable), but its a lot better.

I couldnt get the XJ600 regulator to charge the battery from the rewound coil, so I wired up the regulator I used on the old diesel bike, as this has a feedback loop to prevent overcharging etc.

The starter motor works works from the starter button, and the fuel solenoid runs of the run switch.

Some pictures of wiring testing and me figuring out where everything goes:

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Additionally the fan forced cooling has been fitted to the engine, these will be wired to a digital thermostat and will come on and off depending on demand. I will be burying the sensor deep in the back of the engine out of the air flow, so as to get the hottest temperature.

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and an overview of the clocks now:

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

 

 

 

Got a lot done over the weekend. I ended up using Nu T link belting as I couldnt find a belt length in the right size for me!

I also added another front engine brace on the left hand side, built up the clutch using motorbike springs, which are lighter and give a much better lever action and no slippage. The rear chain has been installer and the rear brake caliper mount and chain tensioning thingys installed. The new throttle cable and idle/throttle cable adjuster has been installed along with the clutch cable.

I also worked on the left hand brake lever mount, I started with 5mm plate, and drilled a 15mm hole and used the end of a wheel spindle  which has the OD of the brake pedal. I then welded around the bolt on both sides and then welded the plate onto the frame. I then drilled and tapped a whole in the middle of the bolt. I will bend the brake lever so that it clears the foot peg and then screw a bolt with a washer on to the end to keep it in place. (I also need to sort out the caliper mounts, which I think I will just nick from the other side. )

 

A nice video of the belt drive, and some pictures:

 

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

Some more work  on the bike today. Got the flywheel balanced using a modified wheel balancer, happy that that is blalanced now. Sorted out of the fuel system, just waiting on a t piece for the injector return. Test ran the engine, (yup it still works :P ).  Modified the intake cover for the electric fan cooler. Thats about it so far :) The original throttle cable is too short which is annoying, so I need to get another throttle cable. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit more productive.

Some pics:

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

I have been doing some more work recently. The gearbox is now mounted, I have aligned the rear sprocket with the gearbox sprocket, finished off the bracketry and sorted out the tachometer in the dash :) Its taken me a long time to get to this stage, its very slow going. The gearbox has also been rebuilt internally, new o rings all round, new sealed bearings! Its probably still going to leak but I will try my best to keep the oil in it!

Also, there does not appear to be a SPA section belt in the length I need (525mm), which is slightly annoying. So I have ordered NuT link belting which should mean I can adjust the tesnsion realtively easy as my gearbox is fixed in place with the engine (I was going to go with a tensioner, but if I can avoid it, then good! :)

I have also started the paperwork crap that needs to happen with the DVLA.

Some pictures :)

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

A lovely day out was had at Tim’s in Somerset on Friday. He, very kindly, taught me how to use a lathe and helped me sort out the pulleys and the rear sprocket. It was thoroughly entertaining! Thanks again Tim!

The pulley going into the lathe:

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The initial layer removed from the inside of the pulley, mainly for weight savings:

 

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Swapped around now, and removing the main part of the pulley, where the clutch basket will sit:

 

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAAfter a lot more turning:

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Shiny shiny!:

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Drilled the holes and wacked the back plate of the clutch basket inside:

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And with the basket in place:

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All I need is the correct size bolts and all will be done for that!

Now time for the sprocket, it needed to fit over a 12cm wide sprocket hub:

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After lots of turning (The rim and the center boss) and we drill the holes and mount it to the hub center:

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Lovely Jublies!

 

All sorted, and today I did some test fitting of the engine and the gearbox with the pulley on it, Turns out, the engine needs to go forward another 2 inches! Argh, teaches me to weld and not measure things, after some cutting and re-welding I had extended the engine mount a further 2 inches:

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I was worried about clearance with the front wheel (it looks closer than it is), so I compressed the front forks using wratchet straps and checked throughout the steering movement! All ok! :)

A view from the other side with the pulley on top of the crank, this is as far forward as I can get the engine:

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Some close ups of the individual welds, I ran out out of gas halfway through and had to switch to flux cored wire (thats a lot more work! Grr):

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I ended up re-doing a lot of these as I didnt have the power up high enough and the weld was just sitting on top of the frame :(

 

My new toy :)

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Slowly getting there.


XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

Lots of hard work going on recently. This is the slow bit, welding and metal working bit of the build.

The frame has been extended on the flywheel side of things, as much as the engine needs at least. The new downtube has been fitted, the plate the engine will sit has also been welded into place.

Its taken about 6 hours to get the frame modded to this state and I still have to:

Swap the brake pivot to the left hand side (As the gear lever will be on the right)
Fabricate and make up a gearbox mount (wont happen until the pulley machining is completed, which is being done on Friday)
All wiring
Slotted holes for the engine to bolt throught (to allow for pulley tension etc)
and lots of other things I have forgotten about no doubt.

Some pictures (no comments on my welds! First time im geting used to a mig welder :) ) :

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

Right, a bit more work on the old gearbox mounts and its free. I have now had the chance to test fit the lot (gearbox etc).

Its very close, but I will need more length in the frame.

I can do 3 things, 1) stretch the frame to acomodate the length 2) add extensions to the front of the frame to clear the startermotor/flywheel 3) create a new lower basket/subframe to support the engine.

I havent decided which I will do, It depends on what tools are available and what can be obtained. I also test fitted the pulley, it should be doable but the gearbox will need to move closer to the front of the bike so that it clears the swing arm bearings. Hmmm. Have a look below:

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XJ 600 Diesel bike build update

Just a little update on the diesel bike build.

I managed to get the carbs, air box, and engine + elecrics out today.

It was getting pretty dark by the time I finished, however, I managed to get the engine into the frame for a test fit and to see what sort of space I have.

Pictures below:
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Now, I think I wont be able to get away with this build without modfying the frame. However, the gearbox should fit with the engine in its current location. Of course the flywheel wont fit with the engine in its current location as its goes where the frame down tube is.


XJ 600 Diesel bike build update.

Just a quick update on the diesel bike buid.

 

The engine and gearbox is out of the old bike:IMG_20130311_181321

 

The fairing and lights/engine elctrical have been removed from the xj600:

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I ran out of light, but the next stuff is the exhaust and then engine out.

The pulleys for the belt drive have arrived, I will pop round to the metal place to see how much to turn it down, depending on whether Tim gets back to me :)

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New Diesel bike build starts

After removing some fencing and some seriously damp bike moving, I have the bikes in the garden and a wooden platform built, ready for the transformation!

This will be a move of the running gear from the superdream to the xj initially, so a 400cc Yanmar clone, one fuel tank this time and simple is the name of the game. It should be reliable and work well. When I have the funds, I will switch to a kubota engine. :)

It was a tight fit!

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New Diesel bike project

Recently I have been thinking that the current diesel bike is a bit of an odd bike. Its a bit too small for me to ride around comfortably, and as its was my first real bike build, its full of problems.

As such, I have bought a new bike for the future diesel project.

A 1991 Yamaha XJ600 Pre Diversion:

 

 

This will serve as the basis for my Kubota conversion, it will have an (OIL TIGHT!) villiers box with a kubota Z482 engine in it eventually. Running gear wise its pretty good. The front brakes need rebuilding, so I have master cylinder seals, caliper seals and new brake lines on their way, other than that its pretty tidy, new battery, new fuse box, heated grips. 42,000 miles and it runs pretty well. All from eBay for just over 400.

The plan is to ride it around for 3-4 months until I can get a Fazer as my daily rider, then swap out the 400cc Diesel from the superdream and the running gear into this. It will give me an opportunity to do the wiring correctly this time as the frame much bigger, I should be able to fit the engine and gearbox into this without any problems.

All in all a pretty good choice im hoping! :) Stay subscribed for updates on this project in the near future :) (dont worry, the vespa is coming along nicely, im not getting much time to work on it due to work comittments and Christmas)