Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trunk Rack Reinforcement and Oil Drain Plug

Ed here, sorry it has been awhile.  We are continuing to work towards our adventure, but just have not had much time to post.

With the trip less than seven months away, my focus is now shifting toward preparation of the bike.

Our Goldwing has a rack on the trunk.  You would think this would be a great place to stow some gear; however, these racks are mostly decorative for the Wing.  They are only rated for a load of three pounds.  Why you ask?  It really has to do with the plastic of the trunk lid.  What happens in the weight in conjunction with bumps and wind can make the plastic under the rack legs crack.  This is very disheartening when it happens.  Our lid was cracked when we bought the bike, so I repaired the crack from the back side with some epoxy and vowed never to use the rack.  This trip had me thinking of a way to make it so we can gain some additional storage space.  I was able to find the solution on one of the forums I frequent.

The dreaded crack!  You can see it as the base of the star washer moving to the left.
What I went with is the Rudy's Trunk Lid Reinforcement Kit. These are heavy, large 1/4" thick plates that have been pre-formed to fit the interior of the trunk lid for a quick and easy installation. If you will follow me into the garage, I'll show you the kit and how to install it.

Some information about the kit.
This photo shows the top of the kit.  The kit comes with two pre-formed plastic reinforcements backed with super high strength 3M adhesive strips.  The kit also comes with two 3M adhesion promoter packs.
Here is the back side of the panels.  Note the super high strength 3M strips.
Step 1:  Remove the rack.  I had some difficulty with this step as the screws holding the rack to the lid were severely rusted.  When putting this back together, I will use some anti-seize.
Step 2:  I sanded down the epoxy repair I completed a few years back when I bought the bike.  I next completely cleaned the area to get rid of the dust and any oils.  I then wiped it down with some rubbing alcohol.
Step 3:  Hold the reinforcement to the trunk lid, take a pencil and make an outline of it.  Take one of the adhesion promoter packages and open the top of it.  Pull the sponge out slightly and rub the promoter all over the outlined area.  Once the promoter is on, let it dry.  The next part of step 3 was a tad intimidating because it is a one shot deal and is pretty much permanent if you mess it up, but don't let that fool you.  If you take your time and be careful it is not a big deal.  You peel the backing off the adhesion strips, line up the reinforcement up in the tracing and stick it to the lid.  It is best to start at the back and kind of roll it towards the front as you install it.  Man oh man, the adhesion strips are extremely strong, there is no way you will be able to pull the reinforcement off to reposition it so be careful.
Here is the first side done.  Step 4:  The steps are repeated for the second side.
Here is the lid with both sides complete. 
Step 5:  Drill holes through your existing holes and remount your rack.  I had to purchase new screws which were longer than the original screws for my rack.
This was an extremely easy and well worth wild upgrade to the bike.  It took me about thirty minutes to complete the upgrade.  I have read on the forms that this kit increases your load capacity considerably.  I will report back on this upgrade during our adventure.

The second upgrade I did on the bike was to add a Dimple Oil Drain Plug.  I heard about this product on my favorite motorcycle talk show, Side Stand Up.  This is an extremely powerful magnetic drain plug.  The object of this plug is to pull tiny metal shavings out of the oil.  The OE Goldwing drain plug is not magnetized.  I have had vehicles with magnetic drain plugs in the past and it is amazing what they pick up.  I figured this would be a good upgrade to help protect my Wing and would have probably done it sooner had I knew they existed.

Anyway, I ordered mine on a Saturday and it was here on a Tuesday.  Let's go back to the garage and I can show you the plug.

Here is a side by side comparison between the OE plug and the Dimple plug.  The Dimple plug is on the left while the OE plug is on the right.  The dimple is a little smaller than the OE plug, but is threaded the same size as the OE plug.  The OE plug has a 17mm head on it while the Dimple plug is a 13mm.  You will note the magnet in the center of the Dimple plug.  This is a very powerful magnet, it is more powerful than I expected.
Again, the Dimple plug is on the left and the OE is on the right.
Here is the plug installed.  I will report back about how it worked at my next oil change which should be just before the trip.

One other thing that I did was I switched brands of oil when I changed out the plug.  I have been running Rotella Synthetic oil for years in all of my bikes.  I recently read on one of the forums I frequent about Delo 400 LE oil and decided to try it.  Rotella is a 5w 40 oil while Delo is a 15w 40 oil.  

The difference in weights was apparent when I changed the oil out.  It was 27 degrees out when I changed the oil.  The Rotella came out and was thin and runny just like the bike had been running for a bit even though the bike was stone cold.  This is due to the 5w rating (the lower the w rating, the thinner the oil is when cold).  When I put the Delo in the bike it was considerably thicker which did cause me some concern since I am a year round rider and do have at least two cold starts every day.  Here in Oklahoma, it does not get extremely cold, most mornings in the winter are in the twenties but it can get into the teens or single digits at times.  I did some reading on the forums about the difference in the oil weights and if it would be OK for my situation.  The general consensus seems to be that the 15w oil would be OK for my situation.

Right after changing the oil, Devon and I went on a 130 mile ride.  I will let her tell you about that since it was her first sub freezing ride.  The one thing I will tell you is that the Delo oil was simply unbelievable.  My Wing shifts smoother than it ever has.  With the Rotella, shifts were a little on the clunky side, but with the Delo it was like riding an entirely different machine.  The difference was so drastic and so remarkable I really don't know if I will ever use Rotella again.

I have a few days off this upcoming week and am planning to change the brake an clutch fluid on the bike, clean and repack the bearings on the trailer, and do some work on Devon's car.  I will try to post about the brake and clutch fluid change and bearing service prior to Christmas, but it may be after Christmas as it has been a zoo here lately.

Thanks for stopping by and visiting.  It was sure nice talking to you today.  If I don't see you before the holiday, I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas.


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