Saturday, May 31, 2008
Floor rail install slideshow
After installing my floor rails, I feel well prepared to give you the break down in a digest format, which I believe will provide you with the critical information needed so that you can confidently install your own floor rails with ease (or as easy as it can be for a newbie). Please leave a comment if I have left anything out.
Here's what I did:
1) Do your research. Start by reading and looking at the pictures on these two posts: research post and step-by-step install post. Make sure you read the comments left too.
2) Before your scooter goes to the paint shop you MUST buy and dry install your floor rail kit. Everything must line up perfectly before the body goes to paint.
If you buy a new floor rail kit, I highly recommend searching for a kit that has no holes punched in it and will also require you to cut it to length. Such a kit was made at one point in Canada and the Brit scoot shops sold it. There have to be more of these out there.
Through extensive research I have learned that the Pascoli floor rail kit is no easier than the Rally kit to install so therefore I kept my Rally kit. My holes did not line up and if I could do it all over again I would have had the holes in body filled before having the bike painted and I would drill new holes to ensure everything fit (mark the new holes for the painter). When you hog out the holes in your rail they become much more oval shaped and this allows them to move during install.
3) If you floor rails do not line up flush with the floor board, use a hair dryer on the lowest setting to warm them. Now use a hook with rubber on it and screw it into a piece of wood for leverage and roll your floor rail to shape. Only apply pressure to the base, not the lip, of your floor rails or you will crush it If a gap still exists, leave the floor rails on so your body/paint guy can straighten your frame.
4) For the arch on the front of the floor rails put a propane camping bottle in your vice and clamp down. Now put a sock over your warm floor rail and GENTLY roll in the shape a tiny bit at a time; frequently checking so you don't curve it too much.
5) Make sure the end caps fit properly and that the rivet will not be at too much of an angle. Mine were and this cause the end caps to move slightly so a couple of them did not sit perfectly flush with the floor rail end.
6) File the mold off your end cap and polish it with Mother's Chrome Polish.
7) Examine each end cap and select each of the 12 ends in order to hide the blemishes of the file on the end cap. Number each end cap and end rail 1-12 so you remember which one goes where.
8) You will need to make two punches. Go to your local Harbor Freight Tools and spend a $1.67 for a 3-piece nail punch set on sale. Cut them back so the diameter is huge. For the "waffle" make a three cuts across in each direction with a hack saw. Then file them. Leave it waffle tips square -- don't angle them -- it won't look good. With the other punch (or bolt like I used) drill out a cone shape to slip into the end cap head to hold the rivet head it place while hand peening.
9) When the bike is back from the painter put a nice thick protective paper cover over your floor board. Double check all the holes line up. Now file out -- do NOT drill out -- the holes in your frame. Once they are cleaned out enough for the rivets to fit through seal the holes with an epoxy-based paint to protect your frame from rust. Let dry.
10) I opted to pop rivet my rails and to hand peen the 12 end caps only. I purchased all aluminum pop rivets. Pop rivet guns are cheap. Pop rivet the floor rails, but do NOT tighten them all the way or you will bend the rails. Only tighten them all the way after you have every hole pop riveted. Also, make sure the out rail rivets are flush against the body and not hung up on the outer lip. Many people prefer to use washers with pop rivets.
11) With a heavy flat weight press up against the bottom of the pop rivets and use a punch and a ball peen hammer (need a friend for this) to flatten the buttons left in the floor rails so the rubber will fit.
12) Fill up a big pot with warm water and soak your rubber. It will be more pliable and lubricated by the water to slide it it. Slide the rubber in place and leave about 1/2 inch on each side (you can get away with a little less). Over time your rubber will shrink and the excess will come in handy.
13) Start on the inner back end cap first in case you mess up. Put the end cap on and the rivet through. Cut the rivet just shy of a 1/2 inch. If you leave too much and you wack too much and too hard it will leave a dimple in your frame. Sadly, I have two.
14) Drill out a refridgerator magnet for the rivet end to go through.
15) Read up on "hand peening rivets", then practice, and watch this hand peening video.
16) After you hand peen the rivets come back with the waffle punch and have a friend hold the anchor against the rivet button and use a ball peen hammer (flat side) and give two good wacks. But be CAREFUL not to wack too hard or you will leave a dimple in your frame. I will need to take a macro shot of the waffled rivet(s) and post it. You can see it on the slide show at the top on the back bottom of the scoot.
ALTERNATIVE IDEA:If I did not have a rare bike, I would pop rivet the entire floor rail. I wonder if I use my yellow coned out punch, which fits inside of the end cap, that if I gently punched the head of the rivet if I could shape it into a button. I think I could, but it may not look perfect on every button . The secret would be to make a very tight little cone so it uses all of the excess aluminum in the head. I like how uniform pop rivets look, but I don't like the hole left in the donut. In a perfect world, all bikes would be blind riveted.
As usual, if you would like a specific photo posted please leave a comments and ask.
If I were to this all over again I would use the pneumatic air chisel approach that Self Preservation Society posted on BBS and use rivets on everything. No pop rivets.