Since there's little likelihood I'll be able to get any vacation from work for at least another couple of months at the rate things are going, I decided to use my day off today to change out the headset and do a small part of the tiller/steering stuff I had planned to wait for vacation to do (since there isn't time to do all of it in one day).
I got the FSA "the pig" headset new, based on recommendations over here:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 1#p1342147
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 1#p1342254
as a holiday present, because the existing headset is getting looser and looser, and tightening it via the stem clamp and cap bolt doesn't really help, but the headtube isn't deformed or cracked, so it's probably the bearings or races, and I don't have any other used stuff that's any better to fit a threadless steerer.
It's a heavy headset, all-steel except for the "cone" portions to center it on the steerer at the top, which are aluminum and very tall (lots of surface area to spread load). Big 1/4" bearings on the bottom, which is good for this kind of load.
The headset part actually took about 3x as long as I expected, because either I'm a lot weaker than I should be, or it was just a lot harder to do than expected.
Taking everything apart was about as easy as I figured, though I had trouble with the long bolts clamping the headlight assembly to the tiller sides, because I loosened those *after* I cut the welds securing the 1/2" square tube "temporary braces" (from like a year ago
) across the broken tiller to the back of the headlight assembly tubes, so the weight was all shifted and bound up the threads of the bolts.
The problem with the old headset was fairly apparent once I got it apart--it's mostly the crown race, which not only has a bite out of it, it's very worn. I wouldn't have expected that, especially with a steel race. I probably have other races, but if this one's this bad off, it's probably chewed up some of the bearing surfaces too, even if I can't see the damage, and that may just damage the new race (or eat into the cup race, etc).
This is the whole headset, then pics of the crown race, then crown bearing, crown cup, top race. top bearign, top cup
I'll save this headset to put back on CrazyBike2 (with a different crown race) if I ever get the chance to recommision that bike.
And I already have The Pig headset, so no reason not to use it.
I knocked out the old cups using a piece of old junk fork tube cut in quarters partway along it's length, as suggested by Buk__ in the same thread:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 1#p1342635
I couldn't use that fork's threaded steerer as the cup installer, though, because it's too short. So I used a whole fork/steerer off an old Schwinn Traveller that has a super-long headtube/steerer (probalby a frame for someone nearly 7 feet tall!), and then some stacked old cups and races out of the bin to fill the unthreaded space between it and the washers pressing onto the lips of the new cups. (forgot to get a pic of that, but here's one of the fork itself, plus a bmx fork I used part of for another rpeiar later in this post)
This was almost the hardest part, because even with all the moving bits (and the headtube and cups) greased, it was very hard to turn the wrench holding the threaded cap pushing down on the stack; I kept slipping and losing grip of the wrench or the claw hammer I was using to hold the fork legs with (too little leverage to just hold the legs or crown myself), and having to let go of everything, get down on the ground (a process, sometimes), grab whatever I'd dropped, then get back up and setup a grip on everything again, then try wrenching again. I think this took over an hour to finally do. Most of the time this would take about ten minutes including setting up. :/
Getting the new crown race onto the steerer was about as hard, because even though I had a tube (the headtube of the Schwinn frame, since it was handy) that was exactly the right diameter to perfectly fit the steerer tube, and longer than the steerer by just enough, I couldn't tap the crown on beause they're suspension forks and they just absorb almost all of every tap (the wood block protecting the headtube would absorb the rest). So first I had to use a cargo strap between the wheel hub and the fork crown to crank down and compress the suspension fully. It only took me about 20 mnutes of fiddling around to figure out I needed to do this, which is dumb because I've done this exact thing almost every other time I've installed a new crown race on a suspension fork.
ONce that was done it was easier but still not as easy as it should've been, as again I kept dropping the hammer or the wood block....
Finally, I got the whole thing assembled, then I just needed to add teh tiller/stem clamp, and tighten it all down with the cap/bolt, etc.
Here's what it looks like installed:
But before that, since I'd had to cut the supports anyway, I wanted to do the *real* repair on the tiller I'd planned nearly a year ago and haven't done beause the temporary repair still worked, even if it was fugly.
So I cut away the entire temporary supports off the back of the headlight support arms, as well as the rear 3 inches or so of the arms (not needed).
Then I cutoff about 2" forward of the break in the tiller (at the bend where I"d also drilled a wire exit hole), and about 3" rearward of the break. This removes just the curved area, and leaves the straight parts.
Then I took a BMX U-fork, and cut one entire leg off the fork, icnluding the curve--this would become the replacement curved area, as I don't have a bender and we used Dogman's to bend the tiller originally while he was here helping me start this trike nearly three years ago. This is a steeper curve than the orignal, so the tiller is going to be higher at the bars end by at least a couple of inches, maybe 4+, so I might have to flip the bar-tiller clamp over the other way, and have the bars below the tiller rather than above. Will see after riding it once it's all done.
This fork's tubing is exactly the same ID as the OD of the old toptube (downtube? don't rmeember) of the old tenspeed that became the tiller, so it *just* slips onto it (with a little encouragement on the rough spots), after the paint was removed from the overlapping areas of the tiller tube.
I notched the forward (straight) end of hte fork tube so it would overlap the stem-end area of teh tiller tube welded to teh stem clamp, rather than simply replacing that whole end of the tube, for a bit of extra stiffness and strength by the doubled up tubing.
I cut the forward end of the old bars-end of the tiller at an angle so it would fit correctly down into the curved area of the fork tube, and still overlap as much as possible.
Then I welded all that together, and it's pretty stiff. Not perfectly so, and it's not torsionally or laterally quite as stiff as it was when supported by the "temporary" braces off the headlight brackets. After I test ride it around a bit, if I find it's any handling issue, I'll use some thin rod (rather than tube) to triangulate the tiller with the headlight brackets--but I'll have to build a clamp (maybe weld the rods to a seatpost clamp to slip over the tiller tube) to allow the rods to be removable from the tiller with the headlight assembly, so I can easily take that off for servicing either the lights or the steerer/headset/etc area--when the stuff was welded together, it made for a number of difficult repairs that I couldn't do roadside during the various experiments and stuff as I've worked thru changes on the trike.
After I got all this welded together, I retied the cabling to the tiller tube, neatening it up a lot. Some of it used to run between the tiller and the headlight brackets and/or the "temporary" braces, and some was on one side of the tiller, some on the toher. Now it's all on the left side, except for the cable for the front-front brakes, which is on the right side. I was also able to shorten the speedo sensor wire by a couple of feet; the way I'd had it routed was crazy and wierd, and I dont' know why I ran it that way.
This is what the assembly looks like now:
I did have to repair the lefthand throttle cable--somehow I cut partway thru ti while cutting the broken sections off the tiller, even though I'd had all the wires held away from the tiller at the time. Easy fix, just annoying to have to do.
I almost ran myself over with the trike though, because I'd had the trike powered on when I started the repair (becuase I found the problem due to that motor not repsonding to throttle after tying the wiring down). After Id' cut and stripped the wires, forgetting I stil had it powered on, I connected the signal first, then the 5v power wire, and without the ground connected that gave full throttle to the system, which without me on there is quite a bit more than with me (as I probably weigh about half what the trike does, at a guess). Since I was on my knees beside the trike, I was able to fall backwards out of the way (barely) as it shot forward, and since that pulled the wires apart it stopped accelerating, but it still moved a couple of trike lengths before it stopped.
I've read about that problem before with wiring issues, but I don't think I've ever done that to myself before. Definitely gotta remember never to do taht again.
I didn't have time to do any of hte headlight-housing/mounting changes I wanted to do, like bulding an adjsutable-aim frame/support for the Kia headlight, and a cover around it that makes it look like part of the trike, rather than a piece of junk found on the roadside and ziptied on (which is actually what it is, of course).
Someday I'd like to try building remote-steering setup for the trike, borrowing the necessary parts from CrazyBike2 for the test, and see how it works on teh trike since I've used the tiller steering since it was built almost 3 years ago, and am used to it. Teh tiller creates a couple of problems, such as having to swing the bars out really wide when turning very sharply, but this is really only an issue at low speeds like turning around inside a parking space (so I don't have to back out or back in), or similar situaitons. But when it does come up, it means basically letting go of the outboard grip or else leaning way out and forward on that side (uncomfortable at best, impossible sometimes), and being able to only easily use the throttle for the motor that's on the inboard side, which means turning under power is difficult.
On the road it's rarely an issue, as it doesn't take much steering input to change directions, and I can also use more power on the outboard side to push myself into the turn, since there's indpeendent left/right throttles.
I forget ATM what the other big issue was.
To setup remote steering, I'd need ot add a vertical pivot tube/bearing at the top of the front triangel, mounted at it's rear edge, but on a tube extending rearward and up a bit so the bars would end up in the same place they are now, with a "steerer" tube for the bars to clamp to, and build a steerer tube clamp for it and for the fork's steerer that have brackets on them for the tie rod bearings to bolt to. (I'd just unclamp the tiller from the bars and steerer to swap the existing bars over to the remote steering stuff).
One of these days, if I get to use my vacation time, I might get around to this (there's so *many* things I want to build, and never enough time for even a tenth of them--I forget about most of the ideas long before I get time to try them out).
But enough of that...even Kirin is tired of it and coming after me...