09 Nov Hell On (Two) Wheels 18 – Getting Cooler
This probably isn’t the best day to post this blog title, seeing as how Chicago’s going to be hitting the mid-60’s tomorrow afternoon. Oh well.
We’re down to the last “big thing” of the Vulcan build. After finishing up the exhaust and the majority of the rest of the bike (seat included), we realized that the left side of the bike seemed awfully lean compared to the right side. With most of the action taking place on the right, there needed to be something to even it out, so to speak. After some discussion, we settled on the construction of a custom oil cooler that would mount to the lean side of the swing arm. The cooler itself is a long cylindrical cooler with spike-like fins coming off it (to aid in the cooling process). Here’s the best shot we have of it prior to mounting it; it gives you a good idea of the shape.
Now, we wanted to mount it in such a way that air is channeled directly towards the oil cooler, so instead of leaving it out in the open for air to rush over it whatever which way, we’ve devised a system of tubes (much like the internet!) that will funnel air through a bellmouth/velocity stack, directly over the oil cooler. The laminar flow produced by the velocity stack should aid cooling by a bit, rather than letting turbulent air flap about wildly. The above welding shot is us welding mounts to the oil cooler. The shot below is that oil cooler mounted to the inside of the steel tube, with both the inlet and outlet ports visible.
Off that tube, we devised a mounting system that would connect at both the front and rear ends of the oil cooler, helping to keep it stable during the bike’s operation. We also fabricated a “guard rail” of sorts, which is really an aesthetic steel bracing that helps keep the mounts rigid while still maintaining the angles of the swing arm.
Now, you might be saying, “How exactly does that mount to the bike?” Well, let’s tell you. We created two brackets that are bent specifically to form themselves around the swing arm, held in place with screws. There would be a larger one in the rear (as it holds the brunt of the weight), and a smaller one up front. We’ve lined the two up close together to make it easier to shoot.
The cooler itself will bolt directly through these brackets and into the actual swing arm itself, allowing for a solid connection that won’t be subject to movement during operation. By fashioning a set of mounts and welding them directly to the bracket, the bolts will go through the oil cooler’s mount and directly into the bike’s frame.
Finally, we had one more piece to connect to the oil cooler tubing. Instead of letting the air leave after floating over the cooler, we decided to put it to additional use. With the help of a piece of steel piping angled towards the bike’s rear brake rotor/chain sprocket, the air will also help to keep the rotor cool under any sort of heavy braking. More often than not, a motorcyclist will have to make some sort of evasive maneuver to avoid an otherwise oblivious driver, so in that event, it’s never bad to have as much air flowing over the brakes as possible.
And that’s all she wrote — well, sort of.
We’re currently polishing the bellmouth in order to get it ready for installation, and the entire cooler assembly will be painted alongside the myriad other parts heading for the booth. Along with that, if you notice the last two pictures above, the oil lines are connected to both the inlet and outlet. Where are they going, and what will they connect to? That’s the question we’ll be answering in the next installment of Hell On (Two) Wheels. Until then, have a great weekend! If you’re in Chicago, enjoy this last bout of autumnal warmth while you can!