Misc upgrades to the FatBagger with some questions

Discussion in 'Softail Models' started by Dan.1977P, Apr 17, 2015.

  1. Dan.1977P

    Dan.1977P Active Member

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    Sorry, I got kind of long winded.

    I had a chance to do some upgrades to the Fatty before riding season really sets in. I'm really happy with most of the things, but I didn't get the enhanced braking I was expecting and when slowing down now, I feel like there is a rub on one of the tires' sidewall.

    Changed stock front brake line to a Russel stainless since it has a smoked look and I'm trying to not add any more chrome up there as the reflections kill me. Looks great but it didn't firm up the lever pull any.

    New Lyndall Z-Plus Brake Pads for the front. After 40 miles, they don't feel any different than the stock pads that were on the bike that had very little wear after about 8k miles. I was really hoping they would grab the disc better.

    Obviously had to change out the brake fluid. I put a whole bottle through it to fill the line and flush the caliper just to make sure it was as fresh as possible. I doubt very seriously there is any air in there at all. Braking just isn't any better from the lever feel to the pad traction on the disc.

    Changed fork oil and it was horrible. I'm at 19k miles so it was time anyway. Went with 7w Belray fork oil and it works great. Fork is still softer than I want but it was my fault for not getting heavier weight. Wanted to see how well the new stuff worked before messing with drastic changes in weight.

    Added Mutazu HL series 'hard' bags. Made of molded plastic, look great and are already more useful than the hacked throwovers I had mounted but durability is questionable. Will have to add some reinforcement and probably different mounting brackets entirely if I want to get rid of the wobble.

    Swapped the OE Dunlops for Mich. Commander II's. HOLY CRAP what a difference. It's like my bike wants to corner now. They do look to be a bit bigger and have a smaller tolerance with the fenders but on the stand and rolling in and out of the garage, they don't rub.

    The guy I had mount the tires only charged me $30 for mounting both front and rear and the purchase of 16oz of dyna beads. Great deal so I didn't have to wrestle with the mounting myself. Seems like a huge amount of beads, though. I'm wondering if he used that much because of the disc wheels or he is of the more is more camp. I'm also wondering if it's the beads settling when slowing that is causing me to think there is a rubbing that I can only feel at low speed on or off the brakes.

    Changed to an Easy Brackets Chrome Laid Down License Plate / Turnsignal Relocation Kit and it does look better than before. At some point I will want to redo all the lighting but this is a good stand-in that allowed me to mount the hardbags. Bit pricey for what it ended up being but it saved me time trying to get someone to fab one up for me.

    Installed some Smartpartz Hard Kore Quiet Baffles for Vance & Hines Big Radius and they make a tremendous difference in volume. They didn't come with instructions so I actually pulled out my stock baffles and installed these in their place and it wasn't as harsh but they didn't feel right. Read the website and saw you needed to install them with the stock baffles and they sound way better (a bit quiet now) and the bike feels (probably psychological) like it's pulling a bit harder than before. They don't really fit well with only one mounting boss so I'm going to end up taking both baffles out and welding them together to seal up the gap between the new and old baffles so all gasses run out the back. If they stay too quiet after that, I'll start poking holes in the end until I get the sound I want. At least now I can run highway speeds without ear plugs. The other thing I was trying to solve was the decel popping. I was adding about 20 points to 0% throttle above 2k rpm in the PCIII as that was the only adjustment I could do and at least I can now go -10 but it's still backfiring. At least now the baffles are keeping it from actually popping but it's still not right. I'm sure a proper tune will fix it but I don't want to waste $400 on a dyno run for pipes I'm going to get rid of in the next year anyway.

    I think that's it. If anyone has any ideas on the issues I'm seeing, I'd be up for suggestions.

    Now that all that's done, I can do some small time things like moving my horn to the left swingarm and coil back to the horn spot and think about the next steps. Probably low profile recurved windshield, progressive shocks and a 2:1 exhaust. After the exhaust I'll see if the indy guy who did my tires can talk me into the race download he has for his 06 RoadGlide or take the bike to Salt Lake and get it dyno'd since I have a PCIII already.

    Then real good hardbags, quality seat, paint, new handlebars and controls, LED's, etc... A boy can dream, right?
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2015
  2. bcortani

    bcortani Active Member

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    wow, you definitely put some time and thought into your project. If you get the chance you should drop some pics so we can see your work.
    good job so far!!:D
     
  3. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    The Z+ is a step less than the Gold+, good candidate for the rear IMO as I don't like an overly powerful rear brake. If you want more "grab" up front, the Extreme (new) offers 40% more stopping power than the Z+.

    The brake line upgrade was a good move but if you really want to upgrade the front brakes, pick up a set of the HD "Brembo" wannabe calipers, install a set of HD wannabe "floating" rotors with a set of Z+ or Extreme pads. You will have tall lever and a more progressive application of the front brake before lock up; safer and a relatively inexpensive upgrade with good cost/benefit ratio.

    A fork oil change won't really help the front end much. What you really need is a set of Race Teck progressive springs, gold valve emulators along with a fork oil change. Set up with the right pre-load, very limited brake dive and much more pliable suspension. The Progressive monotube kits are also an option, more money and less work but not as good a result as R/T springs and emulators.

    Each to his own but I hate dyna beads and would never run them. JMHO but Ride On is a much better product.

    You really should be taking fuel out at 0% throttle instead of adding. As you know, decal popping at closed throttle, assuming that the tune is correct and there are no exhaust/intake leaks, is an indication of uncombusted fuel in the exhaust that is being ignited by the hot exhaust as it travels through the baffles. You are correct though, a proper tune will eliminate the decal pop, again assuming there are no exhaust/intake leaks.

    Just say NO to any downloaded maps; no substitute for a proper dyno tune. The PCIII is old technology, much better systems like the Powervison and TTS Mastertune available now but you can still get a decent tune with the PCIII if the tuner knows what he is doing. I often hang out at a local tuner that puts on a "dyno day" every second Saturday of the month and have an opportunity to see how various pipes perform. The better performing 2:1 systems are the V&H Propipe, D&D Fatcat and the Bassani RR or the Bassani Pro Street (actually a 2:1:2 system); all of the above have been high producers.

    You asked for suggestions; those are mine.:coffee
     
  4. fin_676

    fin_676 Experienced Member Staff Member Moderator Contributor

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    I don't know how you bled the brakes but most of the one man systems allow air to be drawn in past the threads of the bleeder unless you have sealed the threads with ptfe past or tape
    The method of brake bleeding that works for me is apply pressure to the brake leaver, open the bleeder brake leaver will move to handlebars, close bleeder, release leaver
    repeat until no air comes out of bleeder braked should be good after that

    Brian
     
  5. Dan.1977P

    Dan.1977P Active Member

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    Thanks dolt. Only reason I added fuel was because it didn't matter how much I took away, it always popped. The pc folks said add fuel to cool the exhaust but I hate having to do that.

    One of the baffles fell out yesterday on the road but the bolt was still snug in the pipe. I'll be looking for some of those pipes used, Dolt, now so I don't need to keep messing with these big radius and more. Will any of the newer tuners be helpful for me since I have no O2 sensors?

    Fin, that's how I've always bled brakes too. I didn't put the ptfe back on the threads and there's a small leak so I'll be replacing the tape and bleed again.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    Are you sure that you don't have any exhaust or intake leaks? Loose header nuts; leaking exhaust gaskets, intake manifold seals not sealing, etc.

    Short answer to the tuner question is a qualified yes as it will boil done to the tuner's capability. Regardless of the system, the AFR readings will be read from the O2 sensor the tuner will stick up the exhaust pipe. Unless you have cams, head work, more compression, etc. I would not spend the money on an upgraded fuel system; I don't know your motor configuration.:s
     
  7. Dan.1977P

    Dan.1977P Active Member

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    I haven't done any engine mods and don't plan to until something starts showing signs of wear and needs replacement.

    No, im not certain there are no leaks. It honestly didn't occur to me to check with less than 20k miles and nothing but the exhaust and air cleaner done before I bought it.

    Thanks for all your input, Dolt.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. dolt

    dolt Senior Member Contributor

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    No motor mods; keep the PCIII. With the exhaust being changed, I would remove the head pipes and change the exhaust gaskets; use the SE SS replacements. If any of the head pipe nuts is loose when you remove them, that would cause the decal pop.

    That will rule out an exhaust leak. Spray some WD40 at the intake manifold seal while the motor is idling and if the idle speed changes, the intake is leaking. If all that is OK, a good tune is going to be the solution. Good luck.:s
     
  9. Dan.1977P

    Dan.1977P Active Member

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    Here you go. Needed to finish up the coil and horn relocation and then find somewhere worthy to take some pics. And now that I look at them, I need to replace a zip tie with a real hose clamp on that brake cable.
     

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