AZ inspired trike build starts!

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I was just discussing the paint, as we're getting That Close. I'm not too worried about it though. Things have been busy elsewhere in life and it's been cold and dark. So I've been indoors hanging out with the family. I also was getting cranky from not being out in my shop working on the Tri-Meridian!

This afternoon I went out for a couple of hours and got the rear brakes installed, and then got the right side hooked up to the lever. The left side.... not so much. Going to have to order another "rear" setup, as the brake kit of course came with one long and one short. But, it brakes and it goes! Later this week will be the setup of the jackshaft and rear wheel derailers. I'm not worrying about the front derailer at the moment.

I also adjusted the bottom seat by putting a piece of angle iron between it and the mount on the front side, angling it up quite a bit. That really helped, and the seat is in a much more comfortable position. I think it'll need more padding and might need to be longer, perhaps a smidge wider. We'll see.

No pictures to share as it got dark at 4:30 :-/
 
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Got some work done yesterday. I still only have the one brake but it's rideable. I hooked up both rear derailers, and can now shift. I went for about a half mile ride and have a chain skipping issue on the rear chain, which could be due to my jackshaft not being as straight as I want it to be :-/

Nevertheless:



The front chain is either too long (likely) or needs something to pick up the lower chain. Right now it's on the 28t chainring, too, which doesn't help.
 

SirJoey

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My cozy little nook in the corner!
Yeah, either way, a mid-chain idler on the return side will help
tremendously.
It's an essential, IMO. Lookin' good, though! (y)
***
 
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The build is on hold right now while the weather is just so cold. I'm spending more time indoors with my family as it's not just warmer, but my wifes health has taken a few turns for the worse, and so I'm trying to spend my time wisely. Hopefully I'll be able to iron out the small issues and get it into some paint soon, but I really need it to warm up for that to happen. For now the project is in hibernation however!
 
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Sorry to hear about the wife's health, hope she feel's better in time. And I,m sure it will eventually warm up and you will be able to refine your trike.
 
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It's been six months since I posted last, and I haven't touched the Tri-Meridian. Today I finally pulled it out of the little workshop and decided that I needed to figure out the chain skipping issue so that I could continue with the build. I had suspected that my jackshaft being wobbly was the cause, and so I put the left rear corner on a jack stand and started spinning things until I was sure. Yep, that's it. Time to pull the jack shaft and descend directly into shaft straightening purgatory.

It wasn't too bad to fix, but it the wobbliness was worse than I realized. I had to grind down some weld so that the thing could move, and then beat on it pretty good. I could re-weld it, but then it'll be out of round again, and I think it's strong enough. If this doesn't work, then I'll have to just rethink the whole jack shaft and go with something machined, probably. It was out of round in these two spots:



Like I said, I had to beat on it pretty good! But it's much straighter now and there's not near as much runout. The best part? It fixed the problem. Yay! Here it is as it currently sits:



There's rust in a couple of spots because this area has eleventy-thousand percent humidity pretty much all the time. I need to get it finished enough to get paint. We've got enough warm days without rain now that I think I can make it happen soon. I'd have test ridden it today, but it's raining. Shocking.

I am going to make some changes to the seat bottom too- it's gotta be wider and have some structure to it so I don't slide off of it. Then it'll be time for a front shifter, something to pick up the chain, and a box for the back. Then, the electronics. I've got some ideas that I haven't touched for a while that I will need to explore, but it should be fun. I'll try to post again soon.
 
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Today I took the Tri-Meridian for a test ride. Because I ground down the welds to straighten the jack shaft, it now spun in place again. I got out the welder, and tried 3/32 rod instead of 1/16 rod, and set my welder to about 45 amps. Four quick welds around the circumference where the slippage happened, and it's still in true. Yay! This is where I went wrong last time. Too much heat for too long because of using 1/16" rod. Not bad for my first welds in 6 months or so.

Then I rode about a half mile, and there's an uphill section that had me in my lowest low gear. With a jackshaft, that low gear is somewhere around 15 gear inches, maybe 20. The whole thing was creaking, hauling my 350lb butt up the hill as I spun away. It survived. That's a bit of a milestone. After that I decided to work on the droopy chain. A skateboard wheel and a temporary bracket clamped on:


I sharpened a piece of steel and chucked the wheel in my drill. It worked nicely without TOO much mess.



Another test ride around a couple of blocks and she performed nicely. I still need to work on limiting the gears, because not all of them work well. This is definitely a sub-optimal transmission assembly- but it works! I could do a lot newer/better parts, but considering that most of this is old 10 speed junk that I got for free, I'm very happy. Next is teardown, weld on a permanent chain catcher bracket, and then paint. Then, the final build up! There's a lot of things that need to happen still- other irons in the fire- but this is going to get some priority in the next month.
 
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I am still learning what I can do better on my bike my first test rides showed some small things, but where easy to solve.
2 days ago I made that the chain couldn't come off anymore and I made a trip from 65km and 0 problems ad the rear. Only need yo do the same ad the front. I have it ready, only need to mount it. I will do that tomorrow and test it also tomorrow. this time with a ride from about 70km
 
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Today I took the Tri-Meridian for a test ride. Because I ground down the welds to straighten the jack shaft, it now spun in place again. I got out the welder, and tried 3/32 rod instead of 1/16 rod, and set my welder to about 45 amps. Four quick welds around the circumference where the slippage happened, and it's still in true. Yay! This is where I went wrong last time. Too much heat for too long because of using 1/16" rod. Not bad for my first welds in 6 months or so.

Then I rode about a half mile, and there's an uphill section that had me in my lowest low gear. With a jackshaft, that low gear is somewhere around 15 gear inches, maybe 20
My Python runs a 19 gi with a 20" wheel as it is very hilly where I live. You can probably go bit lower as you will have more traction than my FWD set up.

The whole thing was creaking, hauling my 350lb butt up the hill as I spun away. It survived. That's a bit of a milestone. After that I decided to work on the droopy chain. A skateboard wheel and a temporary bracket clamped on:


I sharpened a piece of steel and chucked the wheel in my drill. It worked nicely without TOO much mess.
You need to either put a keeper over the chain to stop it bouncing off the wheel or better still change the wheel for a short length of tubing hung from the bracket.
 
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vk3ckc: Thank you! It's good to be wrenching on my trike again.

Emiel: I hope it went well.

Stormbird: It's hilly here too, depending on which direction you go. I was re-reading this thread, and at some point I calculated as low as 10 gear inches. Wow. That's low! Also, I did not put a keeper on this yet, but doing so would be almost trivially easy to do as a bolt-on bracket under the skateboard wheel.

Popshot: That's definitely me. Poor man everything lol. I am determined to spend as little as possible on this build, because I know it's an intermediate step to a bike after I drop 50lbs or more.

I did go on a short ride tonight (about 1/4 mile round trip) and found that there are some things that annoy me. The seat squeaks on its mounts. It also shifts terribly, I'll need to clean that up.

I also have drill bits that are duller than watching paint dry on slo-mo. Speaking of paint, we're almost there. Here's the bracket I got done tonight:



With Tony Hawk on my side, I should be able to really shred on this thing 😜
 
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I'm getting closer to paint, but not quite there. See, it needs a cargo box, and I don't want to paint until it has at least the beginnings of one. So this evening I spent some time putting together a frame for a flat bed. Very appropriately, the bed frame is made from a bed frame! I didn't have long enough pieces so I had to butt weld two pieces together, and at first I did the two wrong ones. Oh no lol. Thankfully, my weld was terrible and it came right apart! :p

Once welded together correctly I decided to make it narrower in the front so I'd have room to work on the brakes, but plenty of width in the back go give passing cars something to look at once there's a box about 18" tall. So, 25" wide in the front, 31" wide in the back, 33" long, and 18" tall. Lets see, that's (does some head math, gives up) big enough to hold a couple of nights camping equipment and some groceries. Actually, it's about 9 cubit feet, since the front wall of whatever box I build will have to slant backwards to match the angle of the seat back. Yeah, great job thinking ahead!

 
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As you are still hacking/grinding etc etc

If you move the brakes underneath the frame you can have a square load bed ?

Now initially that seems like a dumb idea ? whoever you will have far more access to work on them by tipping the trike on it's side placing the one you want to work on upper most ?

Also in that position you can spin the wheel and operate the brake lever for testing them ?

Do it a lot on the Python :D
 
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Hey there @stormbird when I had installed the brake mounts, I considered putting them on the bottom, but then I thought about having to turn it on its side to work on the brakes, and didn't want to have to do that. I was also remembering some of the chainstay mounted brakes on early mountain bikes and how they would get fouled by mud, ice, etc. I'm not going to be riding this in any specifically horrid conditions, but it soured me on the idea of bottom mounted brakes.

The other side of this is that it gives the box an unusual shape, which I'm really okay with. The whole thing is unusual, and it only adds to the appeal :p
 
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I forgot to add the pic of the frame from the front. Because of the seat mount not being simply 1/2" more forward (everything's clearer in hindsight) I had to offset the front mounds just slightly:



Everything is just sitting there loosely in the picture. The frame will bolt to the mounts, and the mounts will be welded to the frame, which is what necessitates doing it before paint. The next job will be to clean up the mounts and then weld them to the frame.

I also made an interesting observation. I haven't welded in 6 months, and when I started welding again, I clearly have preferred the 3/32" 6013, and have become far less afraid of turning up the heat. I am hoping that when I build my next project, whatever it is, I have a much easier time of welding. The re-learning curve on this one has been steep.
 
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I added 7 parts so the chain can't come off any more. I would ad that to the wheels on your bike. On a bumb, they will come off as you don't have the chain under tention.

Looking good BTW.
 
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