Are you losing your trunk?

Your 1983-85 Venture could become a trunkless bike.

"No", you say, "I like the trunk".

In that case, you'll want to make sure that you don't lose it.

There is a potential part failure that might cause your trunk to fall off The part I am re­ferring to is a small piece of aluminum that works as the back stop for the locking mech­anism. After miles of driving, this piece of metal begins to weaken, enough so that the trunk can slide forward while still in the locked position. In my case, this happened after 100,000 miles.

While westbound on Highway 401, it blew off and then was struck by a transport truck, leaving me with the locks, two de­stroyed shells, and one damaged backrest. I was able to replace the shell for $200, but this money I could have spent on chrome.

After replacing the trunk, I inspected the lock and reinstalled it as it looked fully oper­ational. All that had to be done was to adjust the sliding tabs to eliminate the shakes. It still wiggled. Looking at it very closely, I discovered the problem. Using a pair of pli­ers to reset the back stop to the proper shape seems to work fine for about 1500km.

It's either this or spend $100 for a new lock, because it comes as one piece and not as parts. This is hopefully something that other club members will not have to experi­ence.

Mark D. Robinson, #06748

Fairing Vibration Sept. '92

Reprinted from Florida IV newsletter.

Lately I have noticed a vibration coming from my front fairing when the engine is at 3000 to 3500 RPM's and under load. After pulling most of the fairing off and not finding the problem, I took off the cover to the steering head bolt and nut. This is the cover that has the cruise control lights in it. As I removed it, something fell onto the ground. It was a large nut. Well, I put this nut back on after I checked the steering head. I tightened everything I could see, put the cover back on and now the vibration is gone.

More On Trunks Oct 1989, page 12,26

Is your trunk cracking? If you own a 1983-1985 Venture it may be! The trunk on my '84 started cracking around the support brackets after 75K miles, but I have heard of other trunks developing this problem much sooner and some have never developed any cracking. If your trunk is cracking you have two choices: (1)Buy a new one at a cost of over $400, or (2)Repair the old one for about $35 to $50.

I would choose the second option. The process is not complicated but should be done with care. You will need the following supplies from your neighborhood boat shop or paint store: One quart of fiberglass resin, one yard of fiberglass cloth, one pint of ace­tone, a small wire brush and one pair of rub­ber gloves.

To prepare the trunk, remove it from the bike. If you have lost pieces from the bottomyou will need to put masking tape on the un­derside to cover the hole and then tape a piece of cardboard over the masking tape for support. Now that the bottom is prepared we need to do some work with the inside to make sure that the resin will stick to the plas­tic. Remove the foam-rubber pad and the six nuts holding each of the two small support brackets at the hinge end of the trunk and re­move the brackets. Now, cut the glass cloth so that it fits into the bottom and extends up the side at least one-half inch (Note! Long is better than short).

After you are satisfied with the pattern, put it aside. With an 8mm socket wrench, make sure that all the hardware still attached to the bottom is tight because it will be cov­ered. At this time it would be a good idea to put some paper under the trunk and around the edge to protect the painted surfaces from the "oops" syndrome. Next, find a small can that the wire brush will fit into and fill it half­way with acetone. Then, wet the brush and scrub the plastic until the surface is rough looking. Remember safety first! Acetone is highly volatile so use it only in a well-venti­lated area.

Now it's time to put the pattern into place. As you put the pattern into the trunk, start by pushing the glass under one of the brackets still attached to the hinge, then straighten it along one side while pushing the glass over the four small screws that held the small bracket you removed. You can now replace the bracket on that side. Tighten only the two nuts nearest the hinge, leaving the other side pushing the glass into the lower areas as you move, then do the same to this side as you did to the other and do the final trimming if nec­essary. You know that glass you have left? Well, cut at least six four-by-two inch strips to be used at stress points for added strength. Or, use two strips for each place the trunk is cracking.

Next, follow the instructions printed on the back of the resin can very carefully be­cause the amount of hardener used is in­versely proportional to the temperature. In fact, if you live in an area like Las Vegas you might think of waiting until September to do this project. After putting on the gloves you bought, mix the resin and hardener in a suit­able container, then pour a thin coat of resin over the glass near the two brackets you left loose. Using your free hand, push some resin under the bracket and tighten the four nuts on each bracket.

Moving right along, pour the rest of the resin over the glass pushing it and the glass into all the compartments and around the sides to remove any air pockets. Then, take the strips you cut, laying them across the cracks and in areas of stress pushing them down until they are covered by resin. Now,

smooth out any high spots with your hand and clean up. If you have the right mixture you will have 30 minutes to an hour before the resin starts to jell, and the thinner it is the longer it will take. After the resin has hard­ened it will give off an odor for a couple of weeks but will soon disappear.

Now that you have your trunk repaired I will give you something else to think about. You know the acetone you have left? Well, don't throw it away because it can be used to repair any of the plastic parts on your bike since acetone will dissolve plastic. So, go to your dealer and ask him for a small piece of broken fairing, bag or any painted plastic. Add small pieces of the plastic to the acetone until you have a very thin paste. You can now use this mixture as a glue.

Fred J. Vogt, #01037

It's Only a Matter of Time

When I first heard of trunks cracking behind the rider's backrest (probably sometime in 1988), my first thought was it was probably caused by the weight of larger riders. Now don't get offended girls, because I discovered I was wrong when I disassembled my '86 Royale getting it ready to paint (after a couple of years and 30,000 miles). I was appalled as my trunk was cracked up pretty good also. Now my wife Linda only weighs 100 lbs, so I knew it wasn't caused from abuse.

I started to really study the cracks and what appeared to cause the problem. My first observation was that the cracks were covered up by the mirror, so I never would have known I had a problem until it was probably too late. Nina, I noted that the butt welds of the aluminum trim were cracked on both the top and bottom of the trunk. This caused a misalignment of the sealing points and popping sound when the trunk was closed. When I observed how the backrest was mounted to the trunk, I found a 1" by 6" mounting point with 2 studs from the backrest and the same size strap on the opposite side where the nuts were placed, also under the mirror. I immediately realized this was not a large enough mounting surface to support the pressure received from this point that is located right at the lower lumbar of the rider's back. It allowed gradual flexing which caused the crack in the weld that joined the ends of the aluminum trim. Once this weld broke, it allowed more flexing to occur which let the plastic crack and spread further.

I realized what was needed was a reinforcement plate to cover this mounting point, large enough to stop any possible flexing and one that should be located on the outside of the trunk. A key factor was that this plate should extend coverage over the aluminum trim and it would be best to attach to it to provide the maximum strength possible. Just placing a fiberglass patch on each side would be short- lived and it would end up cracking again. I ended up at my favorite hardware store trying to decide on the material to use and ended up with an aluminum kick plate which I cut to 4" X 8" and bent it to fit the contour of the trunk surface. The plate wasn't as heavy as I wanted, but I figured it would do as it wouldn't rust and wouldn't need painting. To attach it to the aluminum trim, I drilled halfway through the rail and into the slot that contained the rubber seal. Four short sheet metal screws worked perfectly and, when finished, resulted in a solid area that resisted any possible flexing.

Once I installed this plate and mounted the backrest, I left it undisturbed for over a year and another 23,000 miles (mostly with my trusted passenger). It was unfortunate that 13 had to repaint the bike, but it gave me a chance to observe how the plate had performed. Since my original cracks were pretty long, I had put a single layer fiberglass patch on each side. Upon removing the plate, no further cracks or stress points were found. Now it was also about this time that Dave Henderson and I were returning from our 1st V-Daze at Taos, New Mexico, after forming up Tri-Star 13ndustries. We were looking to enhance our product line and this plate surely seemed to resolve a problem that all '86 through '89 Venture riders with passengers would face at some point in time.

When we decided to produce these plates, we chose to use a heavier gauge aluminum than my original test model. We also had to start with a 4' X 8' sheet of aluminum which yielded over 140 plates. Well, we sold these plates in a couple of years and now are on our second set. And we've heard some real interesting stories. I think the best one was one Dave and I experienced at the '91 V-Daze in St. Ste. Marie, Michigan. One couple carefully looked over the plate we had on our demo bike and listened to Dave describe how the problem started and how the plate resolved the situation. The husband thanked him, but stated that they didn't have a problem with their backrest or trunk. It wasn't 5 minutes later that they were back, with the wife chuckling at her husband who had a sheepish look on his face. They had left the show and when the wife went to get on the bike, the backrest (which she used as support when getting on) came off in her hand. The trunk was completely busted out where the backrest mounted to the trunk. Yes, they purchased one of our plates. I advised them to see about getting the trunk replaced under warranty.

Fortunately Yamaha has been great about replacing trunks that have cracked or busted out from the backrest. However, it works best to have a dealer that will support your claim but sometimes you have to get pushy to get them to turn it in. I have lost count of the calls we have received for plates from riders that have gotten a new trunk from Yamaha, who want to stop the problem from happening again. I have determined from viewing trunks at shows and from talking to customers that it is not a matter of whether the trunk will crack from the backrest mounting as to when it will crack.

For those folks with a 1990 or later model, Yamaha has revised the mounting surface to extend to the top bolts in the mirror which appears to resolve the problem. This is a rather expensive piece and I guess they decided not to retrofit '86 - '89 models with the update but to replace entire trunks instead. I say this with tongue in cheek as Yamaha has done sillier things in respect to warranties.

The main reason I wrote this article was to let everyone that we had not already reached through our ads and word of mouth know about the problem looming behind the trunk mirror of '86 through '89 models. Dave and I are members of Texas Chapter 6, a pretty large chapter and most all of our Ventures are fitted with one of our backrest plates, many of which were installed during one of our many chapter work days (where we get together and work on each other's bikes). It was my thought that we could make other chapters or groups a special deal on multiple orders to help resolve this evident problem of cracking trunks.

Each plate kit contains mounting screws, a drill bit painted to form a depth gauge and detailed instructions.

Rick Butler #00007
Tri-Star Industries
130 N Briscoe
Dallas, Tx. 75211

Painting Chrome — Jan. 1990, page 20,21

I realize that most motorcyclists buy chrome-plated parts to dress up their bike rather than paint over them, but there are some who like more paint than chrome. Af¬ter Wayne Hart and I discussed building a "Midnight Venture" earlier this year, I real¬ized that there is a need for more informa¬tion on this procedure. To ensure proper paint adhesion and life there are certain steps that must be taken. Last year when I painted our XS1100/Watsonian rig, the chromed front fender looked terrible, so it was painted the same color as the rig. It has now lasted two riding seasons, so I feel con¬fident enough to let others know the tricks of this procedure.

In this article, I'll be using RM and Ditzler product numbers. This is not to say Dupont and other companies do not make suitable products, it's just that I'm more fa¬miliar with their products because that's what I use in our shop. I'll be going through this step-by-step and it's important to stress not to skip or short-cut any of the steps. Re¬member that any mistakes you make in the preparation of the metal or undercoats will show up in the final coats as well, ruining your paint work.

The first step in paint work or repair is to wash the pieces thoroughly with a mild de¬tergent, such as dish liquid or a car soap. This removes dirt, tree sap, acids, etc., that accumulate on the paint or chrome.

Second, clean the piece with a wax and silicone remover such as part #900 Pre-Kleano or Dupont Prep-Sol 3919S. This removes all waxes, silicones or polishes. Believe it or not, without doing this you can actually sand wax and silicones right into the pores of the metal or plastic. Then when you paint these pieces, fish eyes could oc¬cur.

Third, and this is an important part in get¬ting paint to stick to chrome, sandblast through the shiny layer to the nickel layer underneath. Or you can take them to an in¬dustrial plating firm and have them chemically stripped. I usually sandblast them because the plating firms charge a large amount to do this and you can get someone to sandblast them cheaper and at your con¬venience--but not the platers. Sometimes they will make you wait months until they get enough small pieces to make it worth their while.

Fourth, within an hour after sandblasting if possible, treat the piece with one of the available metal conditioners. This is a mild acid which chemically cleans the metal piece and prepares it to accept a primer surfacer. Usually you mix this two or three parts conditioner to one part water. Do not let this dry on the piece. Rinse it with water or clean it with Pre-Kleano #900. I prefer to clean it with Pre-Kleano although the product label says to rinse with water. Blow dry the piece afterwards to remove any remain¬ing Pre-Kleano and/or dirt.
Now it's time to start spraying. Most primes must be sanded after they dry. On a piece such as this chrome, which was sand¬blasted, I prefer to use a non-sanding primer. If you recoat this primer with the paint of your choice within a certain time period you don't have to sand it. That time period is usually one hour to a few days with this type of primer. I use Ditzler DP-40 Ep-oxy primer. This is an epoxy chromate primer which has excellent adhesion prop¬erties on prepared metals and plastics, is very flexible and is corrosion resistant. It must be mixed in a one-to-one ration with DP-40 catalyst, no thinner or reducer.

Before you spray, tack rag the piece to re¬move any dirt you have missed. I won't go into how to spray as this is a large topic it¬self, so if you want to know this, buy some books on the topic, read them and practice like hell. Or, hang out with an experienced painter for awhile. Anyway, apply a me¬dium wet coat of DP-40 to the piece and let dry for 10-15 minutes. If the piece looks good, let it dry for about an hour more. If it doesn't look like the coat was uniform or some imperfections show up, give it a sec¬ond coat and let it dry for an hour.

After it has set an hour or so, look it over. Do you see any dirt or marks? If so, let it set a few days and wet sand it with 600 to 1000 grit sandpaper. If it looks good with no flaws, you're ready to apply your color coats and/or clear coats.

For my color coats, I use Ditzler Radi-ance II Acrylic Lacquer. I can get this in a lot of colors or have a special color mixed to my approval. Mix this according to the label and use the thinner best suited to your shop temperature. Yes, they have different thin¬ners for different temperature ranges. Be¬fore applying your color coat, tack rag the piece once again to remove any dirt that might have settled on it. Apply one me-dium-wet coat and wait about five minutes or until it gets tacky. Apply a second color coat wetter than the first to hide any primer spots showing through the first coat. After this tacks, apply a third full wet coat to achieve a uniform color and to get a deep¬ness to the color, especially with dark metallics.

Now, you could let this dry overnight and buff this out to gloss, but I go one step fur¬ther to achieve a richer gloss and a more du¬rable finish. After this lacquer dries about an hour, tack rag it again and apply one or two coats of R-M RV-86 Polyurethane clear. This RV-86 is an extremely durable and glossy polyurethane that protects and en¬hances the color coats. Mix two parts of RV-86 clear with one part of RV-87 cata¬lyst. Apply one medium coat and let set for 10 to 15 minutes. If necessary, apply a sec¬ond coat and let it sit for about 24 hours. Af¬ter it has set, there's no need to buff or polish unless you have some dirt in the clear or you need to sand out a run or two. In that case, wet sand it with 1200 grit or finer paper and buff back to its original shine.

I've used this RV-86 on a sprint car and it has held up beautifully. These cars abuse paint terribly, but RV-86 seems to hold up against the rigors of racing. I like this stuff so much I use it on every trailer and sidecar we paint!

If you follow these instructions and have some painting experience, your chrome pieces should look great painted.

Maple Leaf Carriage Works