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That particular article refers to "Polyester resins," which are clearly non-starters. Epoxy resins come in many variations. Some are impervious to alcohol. The actual fabric is not bothered. It is the resin that fails.
True, but I still would line it. I am pretty sure he is using West Systems resin. Like I said earlier, in the research I did for my build that resin will last for a while, but over time will still soften due to the ethanol. The only epoxy I read about that will resist it long term is Phenol Novalac, which is the epoxy used in Caswell's.

I don't know about you, but if I put this much work into a project of this magnitude I wouldn't take any chances. It would be $50 well spent in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter #363
Hey KnifeMaker, I continue to be impressed by your work and courage !
If you have said in a past post, I apologize. But what are you using for epoxy ? Are you going to coat the inside of the gas tank to fend off the alcohol in today's fuel ?
thanks! I might have mentioned the resin but it was a good ways back i think. I am using West Systems epoxy resin. And no, i dont plan to test if it will stand up to gas i will be using a tank sealer.

I wouldn't run the Zenith carb. There's a reason Harley (and everybody else in the free world) went to CV carbs: They're just better and easier to use.

What do you do at NASA? I didn't know you worked there. I've been furloughed, too, but I sadly don't have the skills or materials on hand to play with my project as much as you are!

Since the carb *was* free, it won't hurt to mount it up and give it a try. But I'm betting you'd get better results if you were to find a mid-90's era CV carb from an Evo Harley. I bought one from a seller on eBay several years ago for $65 that I'm running on my project bike.
I kinda figured that i had never heard of it therefore.... I will most likley bolt it up to see if it works. it is crazy simple, but i have a CV carb off a 2001 sportster that i am planning on running.

I am a machinist at NASA, but thank the lord, i am back at work today. Now i can get some od the hardware made for the tank and tail! oh yeah.. and get paid.

Wow, that's clean work. Serious props dude, I'm loving this build.

Question RE the tank: Will the CF / Kevlar hold up to gasoline nude? Or will there be a liner to go in?
I was planning to use a tank sealer all along, so i will not be taking the chances of it eariting into all the work i did.

True, but I still would line it. I am pretty sure he is using West Systems resin. Like I said earlier, in the research I did for my build that resin will last for a while, but over time will still soften due to the ethanol. The only epoxy I read about that will resist it long term is Phenol Novalac, which is the epoxy used in Caswell's.

I don't know about you, but if I put this much work into a project of this magnitude I wouldn't take any chances. It would be $50 well spent in my book.
I am planning on using POR-15 tank sealer. i have had great results with it on steel tanks that were really rotted, so i will coat the whole inside of both halves (minus the mating surfaces) then once the whole thing is together i will coat it again, just to be safe.

I agree with you. I've even been eyeballing some of the marine fuel bladders of neoprene.
i didnt even know that these existed. do you have more info on them?


Okay,
so... i got some more work done on the tank.
i pulled the bottom part off the mold, and cleaned it up. then threw it on the frame along with the throat.


then i set one side on, (this is very rough placement. i just got it to sit upright in the approximate position.


and then the other side


then, in order to fit the side and the throat (the bottom and throat are already lined up) i lined the throat up i the side/top molds and scribed a line around it, trimmed the tank to the lines, and then with the parts in the mold used the mold to scribe a line onto the parts.


so now, the parts fit together like so:


Then i took a break to work on a couple other people's bikes. Honestly i needed a break from the carbon fiber, i was so itchy from the carbon fiber dust that i needed a respite. So, i did some work for Ben (bengone1) to get his bike ready to sell (let me know if you are interested). It didnt run and had been "tipped over" on the track.
here is as i got it


got a new rear fairing on, new tank, pulled the fuel filter and cleaned it thouroly before putting it in the new tank, cleaned the airbox (a lot of oil build-up from the crankcase) cleaned the plugs and checked the coils, and i also installed new clocks. all the parts were provided by Ben. heres how it looked at the end of the day, oh yeah.. and now it runs strong)


and now.. i am back at work, so the bike stuff will go back to being on the back burner and i can get some work done at work.
thanks for looking!
~Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #366
Alrighty then!

I was unhappy with how the fabric on the tank matched at the centerline, so i laid up one more layer of fabric and pressed the parts back into the mold, pressing the resin and new layer tight to the mold. When they had cured, everything lined up beautifully, and other than a few bubbles that can be fixed easily it was a great success.


and now.. according to my wife, it is dinner time, so i will post this to not loose my place and then come back and finish the post.

okay, i'm back.. and dinner was delicious.

I made the support for the tank cap (aftermarket for a Ducati 749/999) so i will mount the aluminum base in the carbon fiber after the two havles are permanently joined so that the gas cap will mount flush and seal will allowing for venting


Then, i put the two halves into the mold, bolted them together and with them lined up duck-taped them together. I could then do the final fitting on the bottom and the throat. here is the result:


and to prove it is carbon fiber... here's a shot in the sun


so that was friday's work. My dog was out "helping" me and was quite tired after all the effort, and decided to take a well earned lounge


on saturday i got a good pit of work done. i made a battery box for my ballistic battery.


it fits very nicely and will keep it secure.


however... after the work i did later, i decided to scrap the idea. i was going to mount it under the tail section right behind the shock. however this totally screwed up the lines, and i am going to sell the 12 cell and get an 8 cell as it will fit inside the tail. so if anyone wants an unused 12 cell ballistic battery, let me know.

Then i got working on the hard points for joining the undertail and the tail, and trimmed the undertail to fit the subframe.


all aligned and fit up:


i also finished the hard mount that will support the undertail and the upper tail will rest on it, and it will allow all of the electronics to be supported.


all put together...




more to come soon!
thanks
~Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #368
Well so much for keeping this build up to date.

the one problem with composite work is it is messy and hard to get pictures of, however i will try and show you what i have been doing.

I got my new 8-cell Ballistic battery. it fit up inside the tail perfectly. i will make some slightly more permanent mounts for it... but you get the idea. now i dont have to try and mount it underneath the tail.


I got the flange made for the throat, i havent trimmed it yet, and will wait to do so till i finish the side flanges so i know the match here you can see it fit on flush


and it pulls off like so:


with some of the extra resin from the throat flange, i made the fly-screen twill.


here you can see one of the side flanges laid up... sorry for the darkness. i masked and released the bottom so the flange didnt stick to it, but roughed up the side part with some 80 grip paper anbd cleaned it really well.


here you can see the flange all set up after i removed it from the bottom. I used the bottom mold to line everything up and laid up the flange strip on a flat plate (five layers of carbon) then laid it in so as to get the proper amount of resin in the fiber without the mess inside the tank.


here it is sitting together by itself.



Now i just need to do the other side, before joining the two side. then i will connect the two side to the throat, before i make the gas cap recess, and put in the petcock mount and the equalizing mounts.

also there was some confusion on the exhaust routing, as the previous pictures all but hid it. here is one that shows the exhaust exiting behind the left rearset.


more soon!
thanks
~Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #371
knifemaker, are you doing wet lay-up? Or resin infusion?
All of the parts I have made at home have been wet lay-ups. With the last build I had access to a vacuum pump so I did some vacuum bagging, but not this time around.

For those of you wondering what that is; a wet lay-up is where you wet each layer or two with resin as you lay them in the mold, and then use a roller or squeegee to compress the layers and get out the excess resin. If you have a vacuum you can use it to compress the layers and hold them tight to the mold.

Resin infusion is where you lay up all the cloth dry and then pull the resin through the cloth using a vacuum and resin system to catch the excess resin.
 

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All of the parts I have made at home have been wet lay-ups. With the last build I had access to a vacuum pump so I did some vacuum bagging, but not this time around.

For those of you wondering what that is; a wet lay-up is where you wet each layer or two with resin as you lay them in the mold, and then use a roller or squeegee to compress the layers and get out the excess resin. If you have a vacuum you can use it to compress the layers and hold them tight to the mold.

Resin infusion is where you lay up all the cloth dry and then pull the resin through the cloth using a vacuum and resin system to catch the excess resin.
very interesting. are there any tutorials you'd recommend for learning to do this stuff?
 

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All of the parts I have made at home have been wet lay-ups. With the last build I had access to a vacuum pump so I did some vacuum bagging, but not this time around.

For those of you wondering what that is; a wet lay-up is where you wet each layer or two with resin as you lay them in the mold, and then use a roller or squeegee to compress the layers and get out the excess resin. If you have a vacuum you can use it to compress the layers and hold them tight to the mold.

Resin infusion is where you lay up all the cloth dry and then pull the resin through the cloth using a vacuum and resin system to catch the excess resin.

Your weave turned out good! Think I'm going then infusion route for belly pans, too many curves to work the carbon around, the weave would get distorted.
 

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Discussion Starter #375
Your weave turned out good! Think I'm going then infusion route for belly pans, too many curves to work the carbon around, the weave would get distorted.
Or you could do pre-preg. That keeps the fibers from getting too distorted. But you need to vacuum bag it if there are a lot of curves. Resin infusion is just too expensive and wasteful for what I am doing
 

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Discussion Starter #380
Hey everybody,
My heater died, so while waiting for the repair-man to fix my quickly cooling house, i did get some work done.

I got the other side flange done, and got this picture with the part all lined up before i put the flange in.


With both side flanges done, i put the halves back into their prospective molds, and bolted it down, lining both sides up. This is why you make a two part mold that will go back together just perfectly.


Carbon seam all laid up. With the weather being so cold (in the 30's and we got some flurries) i laid everything up outside and then brought the parts in and popped them in the oven for a little bit at 150 degrees.


Now it's hard to see with my terrible picture taking, but with both halves finally together i lined up the throat and laid up the support on that too.


It doesnt line up perfectly, but it is pretty darn close. also, you can see what happens when you let humidity get into your resin and hardener; it hardens opaque. good thing this part will be covered with paint.


This is with the bottom just laid on, but you get the idea. all matchy matchy


So now, the top three parts are one, and fit seamlessly onto the bottom half so it will be a gas-tight fit. now i just need to fit the gas-cap, the spigot and fixtures before i can seal it up and bond it together.


thanks for looking! more soon, and you wont have to look at the tank anymore
 
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