Saturday, April 4, 2015

My Stampede Bike for 2015, Paint

     I decided that I wanted to paint the bike myself and I wanted a high quality paint job, a high quality "rattle can" paint job. I don't have a paint gun or compressor and I've never done any automotive quality painting. So I started...
     I know a few of the basics. First get the metal as straight as possible and as clean as possible. I used a self etching primer and a sanding primer over that. For the fender I sanded the primer until any imperfections were filled. I wet sanded with 500 grit and 1200 grit, on the theory that the better the primer coat finish the better the final coat finish.

      I decided not to pull the engine to paint the frame so I masked it off and primed. I used a chassis paint for the frame, fender struts, seat mountings and other hardware. It has a good semi-gloss finish and, I hope, is extra tough. 
     For the fender I used Rust-Oleum gloss black automotive enamel. I had a couple of ideas about how to do a good rattle can paint job that were wrong, but after a couple of restarts, I got the paint on the fender and after 48 hours curing time, I wet sanded, very lightly, with 1200 grit just to knock off any orange peal. 
     I used Turtle Wax Polishing Compound and a small random orbital polisher, which brought the paint to a high gloss. 

     I sent the oil tank to Custom Coating in Ukiah. They used a chrome powder coat with a clear top coat. I am very  pleased with the finish.

     I put everything back together, I think it looks pretty good and I'm a lot more comfortable with what it takes to do a good paint job.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Famous Road Signs

     Brown Material Road is a 5.2 mile stretch of unremarkable roadway between Highway 33 and Highway 46 in Kern County California. While it's a name that invites speculation as to why it would be called Brown Material, I could find no real reason for the name.
     However, the area around Brown Material Road is very interesting. Highway 46 about 30 miles west of Brown Material Road is where James Dean was killed while driving is Porsche Spyder. 
     The State of California designated Highway 33 through Kern County as "The Petroleum Highway." Highway 33 passes through the Midway-Sunset Oil Field. Which is the largest oil field in California and 3rd largest in the United States.
     The Midway-Sunset Oil Field is about 4 miles wide and 20 miles long and Highway 33 passes through the most heavily developed part of the oil field. The oil field has been in production since 1894 and has produced 3 billion barrels of oil. 
     I find the southern part of Highway 5 in the San Joaquin Valley, to be deadly dull. So I usually take Highway 33 at Coalinga. It's a lot more interesting and it's got Brown Material Road.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

My Stampede Bike for 2015, Fabrication

     After tearing the bike apart, I took it to Paul Arvin at J.F.R. to weld on the hard tail section. 

Paul also fabbed the brake mount between the frame rails, seat mount, fender struts and oil tank mounts. In other words just about all the fab was Paul's work. I wanted it done right.

                             I know the seat looks a little out of scale it's the Mustang seat I used I used last year. It is large but proven comfortable. I'll change it for something more chopperish after the Stampede.

     The hard tail section is T.C. Bros, the fender and oil tank are Ledsled. I got the air bag for the seat from McMaster Carr. I used the same air bag for the 2013 Stampede and it worked well. Paul's contact info is J.F.R. Chopper Shop, 40 Maxwell Ct., Santa Rosa, California (707) 548-1839 
     Next comes paint.