The Prowler

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Maybe more sanding between coats? That's is a little disappointing, "dull chrome... and metallic silver" really don't cut it, especially when compared to the lid.
Well, that was after applying a clear coat. If you look at each spoon on the right, those are what the paints look like without clear. Still, it is disappointing how these chrome paints never look even half as good as the lids.
 

metalchewy

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Well, that was after applying a clear coat. If you look at each spoon on the right, those are what the paints look like without clear. Still, it is disappointing how these chrome paints never look even half as good as the lids.
With 3 coats of Duplicolor 1K clear extreme gloss sprayed over top 30 minutes of the last color coat, I have gotten good results.

Black chrome looks better than the cap here.
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With 3 coats of Duplicolor 1K clear extreme gloss sprayed over top 30 minutes of the last color coat, I have gotten good results.

Black chrome looks better than the cap here.
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Maybe it's just how it looks in this photo, but I don't really see the "chrome" here. It just looks like dark metallic silver paint. Looks great, but I fail to see the chrome effect.
 
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Have you tried that with the Rustoleum silver chrome?
No, not yet. I still need to look at some other stores to see what other chrome paint there is, but it's been kind of hard to justify getting more paint when the weather's usually too cold to test it out. We are getting some warm weather here over the weekend, so maybe I could shop around and see what's available.
 
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No hurry, I have the same problem and I am not ready. I am thinking about trying the 1K Clear.
I worked at a body shop in the early 1980s, we used 2K clear on motorcycle tanks, it was excellent rock chip and chemical protection.
 
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Okay, I finally, FINALLY made some progress on The Prowler earlier this week. Took a while to time everything right, but on Sunday, I met with my good friend Allan once again to make some progress on my bike.

Before we began working on the bike though, Allan wanted to take me for a ride in his Cessna 150! (I edited out the call sign on the side, per his request.) I have never flown in such a small plane before, and after getting inside of, and then later climbing out of the cockpit, I've come to the conclusion that my dad's 1931 Ford Model A has more passenger room by comparison! In fact, I actually stand about as tall as the top of the wings. I was a little nervous flying in such a small plane, especially since I was trying to avoid getting in the way of the controls on my side, but it turned out to be a really fun experience! We only flew about 2,300-2,600 feet above the ground, which is super low compared to all the passenger jets I've flown in before. We were still high above the ground, but I could still see everything down below us. I shot a handful of pictures on my Nikon, and I shot some videos on my phone, but half the time, I was just looking around and enjoying the ride. The only scary part was when we began our landing approach. In a plane this small, you can feel the wind pushing against the plane, and combined with Allan cutting back engine power and decreasing altitude as we came back down, there was definitely a moment where I regretted watching all those "Air Crash Investigation" shows. Thankfully, the landing was nice and smooth, and I could breathe a sigh of relief.
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After our thrilling flight over Lake Eufaula, Allan showed me his latest motorized bike he built out of a frame and some wheels I had helped him find a few months ago. I got to say, I think it's his best one yet! He even let me test ride it around the complex, and this bike has a KICK to it! I give it any gas, and I can feel myself begin to slide off the seat! I had tried to take more photos of this bike, but I didn't realize until I got home that half the photos were overexposed; I had forgotten how difficult it is to shoot photos of anything painted black. Still, I at least got some good photos of it.
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The progress we made on Sunday was subtle, but critical.
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First, Allan and I straightened the right rear dropout as best as we could, so now the rear wheel axle should seat properly.
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The thing that we spent most of Sunday's time fixing was the repop Monark springer fork, as we found that pretty much everything was bent or twisted in some form or another. Allan and I spent hours using his vice and a magnetic bubble level getting this fork straightened out. We also solved the lock nut/spoke clearance issue by adding a couple thin washers to either side of the axle in-between the rockers. I still don't know why the springer's not springing, but I figure it just needs grease on all the pivot points. Either way, the front wheel rolls now, and it rolls in the right direction at that!
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After Allan and I wrapped things up on Sunday, I stopped by one of my old college campuses and rode both The Prowler and my AMFLITE Falcon on the trail surrounding the campus. Mom met up with me soon after, and we rode both bikes together for a few laps. She rode The Prowler, and I rode the Falcon.
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After we got done riding the bikes, Mom went home while I ran by a couple hardware stores looking for tools and hardware for the current project. What's funny is that while I was at Lowe's, I struck up an hour-long conversation with one of the cashiers when he commented on my Rat Rod Bikes shirt and JEGS ball cap. He asked if I knew anything about this VW shop in town, and we ended up chatting about classic cars and bicycles all the way into closing time! So, I might've just made a new friend thanks to my choice of shirt that night! All in all, Sunday turned out great. But I'm not done with the updates yet! There's even more progress to report, and that's coming up next!
 
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I met up with Allan the next day, Monday, and we began work on the signature pice that would help my Murray Eliminator-style bike stand out from the rest: the custom coffin tank. But first, we needed to figure out how we'd mount the tank to the frame. Allan was thinking we'd just weld a couple flat plates to the top of the frame, underneath the top tubes. I wanted the tank mounting plates to have a unique design though, like a diamond shape or something. Turns out Allan had this Bendix coaster brake arm he was going to throw away. I saw it sitting on his work bench, and couldn't help but notice the taper of it looked close to the spacing of the top tubes...
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I marked the arm, Allan made the initial cut, and I used the "soft wheel" sander to shape the coaster brake arm into a custom tank mount. Inspired, Allan dug through a box of "junk" parts, and pulled out a bunch of bicycle gears to use for the second tank mount. I wasn't sure at first, but I fiddled with the idea, trying to decide where and how to place one of these gears on the frame. I came up with a way to place one of the smaller gears on the frame, and we both instantly loved the idea. Some cutting and welding and cutting again and welding again, the tank mounts were installed!
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One the tank mounts were in place, it was time to start on the tank itself. We started with the top of the tank, so we could line everything up with the mounts. Allan used my foam core tank mockup as a template, which is most likely why we had to redo most of the tank. I honestly should've warned him that that foam tank was just a quick and dirty test piece, and that my measurements and cuts weren't perfect. Oops.
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I also had to run into town to grab a few nuts and bolts to mount the tank. Glad I did, for reasons I'll explain later. After lining up the top panel of the tank to the frame, we drilled holes into the panel that matched the mounts on the frame. I then bolted the top panel down, and Allan tacked the nuts to the underside of the panel.
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Allan had the right idea to add some reinforcements to the inside of the tank, so he made those next.
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After the reinforcements were added, and the sides were remeasured, cut, trimmed, and tack welded in place, we finally had a tank! It's not done quite yet, but the foundation work is complete! I was so amped up I had to get a video of the bike rolling with the tank on it!
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I'm really happy with the progress Allan and I (though honestly, mostly Allan) made on Monday. Not only does The Prowler have the beginnings of a cool coffin tank now, but it's even got some really cool tank mounts made out of repurposed bicycle parts that were otherwise destined for the trash bin. I have to admit, part of me really loves just how rough and rowdy the bike looks right now, but I really want to take this bike all the way. Chrome fork, dark candy metallic purple paint or powder coat, exhaust pipe chain guard, cool graphics, the whole deal. I'm getting to build one of my "bucket list bikes," and it's turning out great! I can hardly wait to see the end result!

Still more to come; I'm not done just yet!
 
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After I wrapped things up with Allan on Monday, I decided to check out downtown Eufaula, partly to just explore and check out the old buildings, and to find some new photo shoot locations for my bikes. I saw this wild 3D mural that would be fun to play with... but there's a "no bike riding on the mural" sign. I don't know if it'd be okay if I just took pictures of the bikes on the mural, but I doubt it would be. Still, it's a cool mural.
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I also came across this spot that is like 5+ backdrops in one! I might have to use this after I get the bike done. There were a few other neat old buildings downtown (one was even dated 1899!) but since it was so late in the day when I looked at everything, my photos didn't turn out that great. I'd have to be here in the morning or early afternoon to get the best shots for most everything. Still, it was fun checking out downtown Eufaula.
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I took some more shots of The Prowler today, as I wanted to better show what was done to the bike these past couple days before the weather turns ugly. We're supposed to get a bunch of snow over the next day or so, so I won't be able to make much progress again until the snow melts.

I also wanted to mock up this fender I pulled from one of the freebie girl bikes. I didn't want a fender at first, but I really like how this one looks on this bike. It's the right length, it hugs the tire nicely, and it's got that little tail at the end. The only issue is that it's got some small dents that I don't think can be smoothed out enough to be unnoticeable after getting it powder coated. If I had enough time and warm enough weather to paint this bike, I would, but for the sake of trying to get this bike done on time, powder coating is really the only way to go, and that means no body filler, unless someone here knows of some product I'm unfamiliar with.
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The dent I mentioned earlier is that dark circle. It's not as bad as it was before, but it's still noticeable enough to drive me nuts.
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I love how the bicycle gear tank mount turned out, but seeing that V-shaped grove on the back of the tank doesn't look right. I feel like material needs to be added to the tank to fill that gap, or I need to cut out the part of the tank that's visible through the inside radius of the gear. I've got some ideas of how to fix it, but that's going to have to wait a bit.
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Of course, I really love my custom Bendix coaster brake arm tank mount. It just felt like something I would've seen on "Full Custom Garage"; taking some part that would've been thrown away by someone else, and repurposing it in a way no one would expect. It's that little "ah-HA!" easter egg, hidden in plain sight!
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I unbolted the tank from the bike, 1 so I could scan the sides for me to get the proper dimensions for whatever graphics I choose to put on it, and 2 to show off the details a little better than in my previous post.
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The sides of the tank actually extend past the back edge of the top panel. I don't know yet wether I want to trim those corners off or not.
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The front edge had to be rounded slightly so I could remove the tank for whatever reason without scraping against the frame.
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That groove that was meant to help the tank clear the seat tube didn't turn out as nice as I'd hoped, especially after we came up with the gear mount. I'll have to figure out whether I'll want to add to it, subtract from it, or just leave it.
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Here you can see the inner structure of the tank. Allan added these 2 internal gussets to help keep the tank from warping, especially after we finish welding it together.
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That's all for now. I'm all charged up and ready to get this bike done. I don't know whether or not I'll be able to get this bike done by the March 1st deadline, but I'm darn well going to try! I've got some ideas brewing for the chain guard, as well as a few other parts, but time will tell whether or not I'll be able to pull any of it off.
 
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Was it Lake Eufala, or Eufala Lake you were flying over? Trying to figure out if you went to Alabama to work on your bike.
Lake Eufaula Lake. Haha, in all seriousness, it's the one in Oklahoma. Everyone here just calls it Lake Eufaula, but Google might say something else.
 
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I've been trying to figure out how Allan and I could make the custom chain guard I have in mind. I thought for a while that using a conduit bender wouldn't work, as the ones I knew Dad had wouldn't bend tubing tight enough for what I wanted. However, a trip to Home Depot revealed that there is a conduit bender that would work perfectly for what I have in mind! The only issue is that it'd cost $42 for a tool I doubt I'd use enough to justify the cost. Unless I can find one of these 1/2" EMT conduit benders at a tool rental place, I'll have to buy one of these used in order to save some cash. Still, it's a step in the right direction.
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I also decided that I want to have a rear fender on this bike. Unfortunately, all the fenders I had were dented, either to make room for a caliper brake, or due to damage. Since I'll be powder coating this bike, I need the fender to be as straight as possible, since I can't rely on body filler to cover any imperfections. I searched Craigslist and Marketplace for any cheap donor bikes with a fender I could use, and I learned something in the process: most modern-day kids' bikes don't have fenders. Took a couple hours to find a good cheap donor, but I managed to buy one for $25 that had the perfect donor fender. Did I spend more than I wanted to for this one part? Yes. Can I resell the rest of the bike later? Yes. Could I part out this whole bike for future use? Pretty sure. In fact, the handlebars were surprisingly bigger than expected. These are wide enough for an adult cruiser! They look really wide on this little 20" bike! They might look good on one of my other bikes...
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That's all for now. I'll be trying to figure out the chain guard and other details in the meantime.
 
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Hey man, I have a friend that had a powder coating shop for years. He told me to use used a filler with metal in it. I think it may have been called Real Metal and it could be powder coated.

It may be economical enough for little jobs but it would've required a second mortgage for me to use it

I was doing a custom motorcycle frame that I had already spent a bunch of hours and like 2 gallons of filler smoothingsoand cured for about a year. So of course I had him sandblast off all that work.

Then I found out it was about $40 a pint! Let's see, 8 pints to a gallon x 2 gallons = about $640 + tax. So I got busy redoing all the work I just had blasted off and letting it cure again
.
Lesson? Find out if the cost is worth the effort.
For you it may be sometime.
 
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Hey man, I have a friend that had a powder coating shop for years. He told me to use used a filler with metal in it. I think it may have been called Real Metal and it could be powder coated.

It may be economical enough for little jobs but it would've required a second mortgage for me to use it

I was doing a custom motorcycle frame that I had already spent a bunch of hours and like 2 gallons of filler smoothingsoand cured for about a year. So of course I had him sandblast off all that work.

Then I found out it was about $40 a pint! Let's see, 8 pints to a gallon x 2 gallons = about $640 + tax. So I got busy redoing all the work I just had blasted off and letting it cure again
.
Lesson? Find out if the cost is worth the effort.
For you it may be sometime.
I might explore that option later. Thanks for sharing!
 

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