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Discussion Starter #201
Getting close. With any luck I'll start it tomorrow.
12 Nov 2018.jpg

Note the saddlebags on the table where the fairing used to be. This summer I acquired a set of GL1100 bags and the ones from the parts GL500. The ones from the 500 would be the easiest to mount (maybe) but they would need a lot of work and they open sideways so putting stuff into them in bad weather wouldn't be great, not to mention that the right one would hit the sidecar. The 1100 ones are the nicest looking but they are a bit tall for the space; With 2 inches of space above the mufflers (not really enough) the tops of their lids would be higher than the top of the seat and there isn't enough room to move them back far enough not to feel them :p

These ones were given to me by forum member Greycat several years ago but I never got around to mounting them. They are from a Yamaha but they were last mounted on a CX500. When bolted up to the frame that separates/supports them at the rear the distance between their mounts is just wider than Eccles' frame and the height is close to perfect. The problem is that in order to mount them I'll need to unmount the trunk to get at the frame to attach them and relocate the turn signal and the tail light/license plate (the bars of that support would be right in front of the plate). They will require a bit of repair first and while the box is off I'd want to paint that part of the frame so Eccles will be off the road for several days while I do that and figure out what to do with the lights; I will be leaving for Labrador in a couple of weeks and I want to get a few other things done before then (including Xmas shopping) so it will have to wait until after I get back, probably after Xmas (maybe not until spring).
 

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Discussion Starter #203
If you look back a few pages you will see that I used to have the regular type of fairing mounted mirrors but they are known to sag as their stems wear out if you drive on bumpy roads and they really took a beating on a sidecar outfit on the dirt/gravel roads I drove to work on so I had to replace at least one every few years. Since I had the tall top for the sidecar made, the right one was pretty much useless for telling me what was on that side, which wasn't too bad most of the time in small towns or 2 lane rural roads/highways where there shouldn't be any vehicles that weren't either oncoming or in my lane but I found it pretty scary to drive where there was a lane of traffic to my right, especially when wearing a full helmet (believe it or not I can see the edge of the helmet in my peripheral vision).

The problem was even worse on Mr.H but with no fairing to mount the mirrors on I had figured out that I could reverse the stalks of the Krator mirrors (from Kapscomoto.com) so that the short parts screwed into the mirrors and the long parts into the master cylinder & clutch perch, which helped a bit. I didn't like driving it in traffic much either but at least in warm weather I could wear an open helmet so my peripheral vision wasn't blocked.

In the fall of 2012 I got the idea that a handlebar mount mirror on Eccles' right side might be better; It would have hit the sidecar top when the handlebars turned but it started me thinking about mounting the handlebar mirror on the fairing. I found a deep nut with the right thread, cut a piece of 1/8" stainless plate to fit in to the little plastic protector from the original mirror, ground the nut to a suitable angle so the mirror's stem would be vertical and brazed them together. I drove around with a handlebar type mirror on the right and a fairing type on the left for a few weeks until I decided I really liked the higher one but it looked silly like that and then brazed another nut to a piece of stainless so I could have matching mirrors (this pic is from Dec. 2012)
BTW: I later learned that when you subject stainless to the temperatures involved in torch welding/brazing it turns into plain steel - after I cleaned the rust off I sprayed them with stainless epoxy appliance paint, which has held up well.


The cloth part of the sidecar top was lost when the upholsterer's shop burned down while it was in for repair in 2014 and I had to revert to the original (cracked) windshield and lower top for the winter of 2014/5 until he could make me a new cover. I can't remember why but pics from then show that I moved the right mirror to the handlebar while I had the original top on but I changed back to both on the fairing before the new (black) top was made.

In 2014 I got mirror risers for Mr.H which, combined with reversing the stalks, brought the mirrors about as high as I could want. In 2016 I decided I wanted to be able to reverse the stalks on Eccles' mirrors too but that wasn't possible with the old set I was using. The ones I had on Mr.H were NLA but Kapsco had some nice oval ones that I liked even better so I got them for Mr.H and Eccles got the "hand me downs".
Fairing closeup Nov 12.jpg

Here's a pic of it taken last week after I installed hand guards.
Hand guards.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #204
Remember this from Oct 17 (post #184)?
While I was working on that I touched the end of the rear brake light switch's spring and it broke off. I figured this would be a good time to replace the switch and spring so I went to get the one I removed from the parts bike but I couldn't find it. So I went to get the one I took from the GL1100 parts bike and couldn't find it either. I remember sitting the one from the 500 somewhere carefully so the spring and switch would stay together and I don't imagine the one from the 'Wing could have gone very far either but I searched everywhere with no luck. It was getting late so I packed it in for the night.

I started today looking for those switches but I must have put them somewhere really safe... Eventually I gave up and figured out a way to make spring from the spring assortment I bought a few years ago work (this is only the 2nd spring I've used from that set)
As I was typing yesterday's entry I happened to turn my head and there was the brake light switch and spring from the 500 hanging right next to me on the shelf the shop computer is on :whistling: So I spent a bunch of time today removing the makeshift spring and the old switch and messing around with the Stop Switch Arm so that it would line up right to pull the spring. Man, was it ever easier to adjust the switch that hadn't been on Eccles for a dozen winters :D

Then I connected my hanging gas tank, connected it to the vacuum valve and cranked it for a minute or so until the carbs filled and it tried to fire. I ended up giving it a squirt of ether and only then noticed that I hadn't put the choke on :icon_redface: After that it fired up and ran nicely so after it warmed up enough to open the choke I shut it down, connected the tank, put some fuel in that and fired it up again. This time I left it running until the rad started to warm while checking for leaks &c. You can't tell but it was running when I took today's pic. What you ca n see in the pic is why I am anxious to get Eccles on the road soon.
13 Nov 2018.JPG

The rest of today's shop time was spent on fiddly stuff like swapping the boots that cover the spark plug wells with the ones from the 500 (the 650 ones are square so they don't meet the rocker covers right), digging out a current insurance slip to put in the trunk, putting the current renewal sticker on the license plate, draining Mr.H's main fuel tank (if you have ever removed the tank from a GoldWing you'll understand why I leave the auxiliary tank full & stabilized but not the bike's tank) and filling Eccles' tank from that.

If it doesn't snow tomorrow I'll test drive it but I might wait until Thursday.
 

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Discussion Starter #205
The day after I test ran the engine I ran it again. It was hard to start, as if the carbs were dry and I had to crank it long enough for them to fill and when I shut it off it peed gas. A blast of air into the fuel inlet seemed to fix the leak (again) but it has still been very hard to start the first time each day. After thinking about it I decided to see if the vacuum valve was causing that so Friday I removed it and put a fuel filter in its place. I don't like using fuel filters on these bikes because if they aren't oriented correctly they can cause more problems than they solve but I wanted to be able to see if fuel is flowing plus I'll know for sure where the crap that is preventing the float valve from closing is coming from. So far I have tried starting it twice and it started easily both times.

Other than that and the fact that I need a day when it is above freezing so I can balance the carbs, it seems to be running pretty well so far but I have driven it less than 10 Km so far.

One more progress pic (sort of) for now. When I re-did the sidecar a few years ago I replaced the very worn original seat with a boat seat. Since Matt was my most frequent passenger and he needed the legroom we mounted it as far back as possible. These days Kay is the only one that ever rides in it and when I mentioned last winter that I was thinking about moving the seat forward a couple of inches so my bag of shopping bags would fit behind it better she said it would make it easier for her to get in & out too. That would be easier before I moved Eccles into my parking space (with the snow blower, shovels &c it is pretty cramped) and I needed Kay to help because I can't reach the heads of the bolts and the nuts at the same time so Friday evening I moved it around so we could work on the it
15 Nov 2018.JPG

We unbolted the seat and she got in so we could figure out how much to move it. It is now 3" closer to the front than it was before, the bags fit perfectly and Kay says it really is easier for her to get in now
Seat moved forward.JPG
 

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Hey sidecarbob. Was checking out your 650 w/sidecar in build thread. Pretty sweet. My gl650i silverwing has same fairing but windscreen seems to be about a foot taller. Been interested in finding one like yours . Are they available in different sizes or did you cut that one down ? I noticed it's not quite as wide at the bottom too. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #207
Sorry I didn't reply to you sooner but I didn't receive an email from the forum to tell me you had posted here (that happens sometimes).

Honda used the same fairing on the GL1100I, GL500I and GL650I and also sold them as a dealer installed option for other models. Your windshield is an after market "wraparound" type. I'm afraid you won't find one exactly like mine. Mine started out as a standard (exact copy of what Honda supplied originally) but I am a firm believer that you should be able to see over the windshield (this becomes important if you drive in bad weather and critical when you encounter wet, sticky snow that prevents you from seeing through it) so when I raised the fairing and moved it forward slightly (part of the rad relocation project) I cut a couple of inches off of the top of the windshield, making the shape of the top edge flatter in the process so it would be easier to see over.

Windshields for these fairings are fairly easy to find but you have to look for one for a GL1100 (the same goes for anything else fairing related like the pocket covers and the mirrors). I'm sure there other manufacturers still make them but Slipstreamer is a good brand and they are always the first one I find when I search for these windshields when someone asks. They make 6 variants including clear and smoke versions of the standard, tall and wraparound
https://slipstreamer.com/replacements/ (scroll down) and you should be able to get what you need at any local bike dealer that has aftermarket catalogues.

Now back to Eccles:
There's not really much to report these days. Eccles has been running well but it still doesn't like to start after sitting for 20+ hours. Removing the vacuum valve has made no difference and the fuel filter is always full and shows no debris so once I figure this out I will change back. I am sure it is a fuel problem because it starts immediately if I give it a small puff of Quick Start and I am still hoping that balancing the carbs will fix it. I was planning to wait until we returned from Labrador to deal with that (we should have been half way there yesterday) but the government has thrown us another curve and the trip has been delayed, probably until spring. So I really should make myself spend an hour or so in the garage with the door open to do that some time soon.
BTW: I'm not worried about getting stranded if I go somewhere on it because it will start easily up to 6 or 7 hours after it has been run.
 

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Discussion Starter #208
I still haven't made myself go out and work in the garage with the door open but it is still starting easily with just a puff of ether.

I've been experimenting with the cheap dashcam I bought last year. Here is part of today's drive
 

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Interesting effect how the washboarding of the road or snow surface makes the ground look like it is flexing!
 

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Discussion Starter #210
That isn't particularly rough roads causing that. It seems to happen when I roll the throttle on or off less gently so I think the windshield is vibrating & flexing and moving the camera. It was even worse when I mounted the camera on the sidecar windshield, probably because of the way the sidecar's body flexes & bounces.
 

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Discussion Starter #211
I still haven't made myself spend an hour or 2 in the garage with the door open to balance Eccles' carbs and it was getting harder to start. One day I wondered if a bit more choke would help; The right side cover was already off so I could squirt in the Quick Start so I put my hand over the air intake and it started much more easily :idea: So Saturday I put the heat on and took the seat, left side cover and tank off and saw that the choke cable had moved in the clamp so it wasn't closing the chokes very far. I tweaked the clamp so it would hold the cable properly, adjusted the cable, threw the lever all the way, hit the Start button and it started instantly when I touched the button :cool:

The fuel filter had no signs of dirt/debris in it so I removed it, re-installed the tank and vacuum valve and ran it for a couple of minutes while I bolted the side covers and seat back on in order to make sure the valve, lines and carbs were full. Then I let it sit for 2 days before starting it today. It didn't start instantly like it did on Saturday but after I remembered to whack the throttle open a couple of times (makes the accelerator pump squirt a bit of fuel into the carb throats, sort of like tickling vintage carbs), it fired up reluctantly but with no ether or other assistance. It was around freezing in my parking space and -8c outside today and it was above freezing on Saturday and now that I think about it my previous GL500 probably would have started about the same under the same conditions. And that it started best if I whacked the throttle before I touched the Start button so next time I'll try to remember to do it that way.

It still needs to have the carbs properly balanced but it is a bit less urgent now.
 

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Discussion Starter #212
Yep, Eccles' starting problem is definitely fixed. Because we picked up the mail when were already out in the car and we were away for a couple of days I didn't drive Eccles since the 14th. While I was out there shovelling white stuff yesterday I got wondering it would start after sitting 10 days, well into the time when people have trouble starting them with vacuum petcocks. I won't say I just brushed the button with my thumb and it jumped to life but I will say that I didn't have to take any more "heroic measure" than whacking the throttle a bunch of times and cracking the throttle open slightly while cranking a bunch. And today it did start easily when I went to pick up the junk mail and a 10 Km run to get it properly warmed up.

I've started thinking about those saddlebags again but I really don't want to spend a lot on electricity heating the shop if I don't need to and there are enough jobs to keep me busy in the house where it is already warm so I think they will wait until I stop seeing daily highs below -15c in the forecast...
 

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I was starting to wonder if Eccles was going to start today. At first I thought it was just because I hadn't driven it in 6 days but then I remembered that I hadn't filled the tank since just after the Polar Bear and with about 180 Km on the trip meter I had thought last week that I might need to fill it up the next time out . I switched to reserve and it fired almost immediately and when I stopped for gas it took almost exactly the 15L it normally needs to switch to reserve at.

Its been a few years since I've had a vacuum petcock but I'm pretty sure I would have had to crank it a lot longer to get it started under similar conditions with one. I think I need to temporarily change to a piece of clear tubing between the petcock and the carbs so I can see when fuel is flowing so I can tell if the separate vacuum valve really does let fuel flow that quickly (I would have change back to the original vacuum petcock for a real comparison but that isn't going to happen).

BTW: 180 Km to reserve sounds pretty crappy until you remember that 1) My petcock has a slightly longer straw than stock so reserve is deeper, 2) Cold weather mileage is always lower than normal because of increased pre-drive idling and increased use of the choke, 3) I loose a lot of fuel to evaporation when I don't drive much and 4) A couple of years ago I was switching to reserve at 160 Km in this part of winter with the 650 engine & carbs (& transmission = slightly higher gearing).
 

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Discussion Starter #215
Not much new. I have re-learned how to start one of these bikes with a vacuum fuel shutoff when it has been sitting for a few days so Eccles is starting & still running well, in fact probably better than ever. Even though I can really feel the decrease in power from the 650 on a few of the hills around here I am really happy with the decision to go with the 500 engine. Both of the 650 engines needed to have the oil topped up at least every second time I filled the fuel tank and I always had to keep an eye on the coolant. The 500 hasn't used a significant amount of either in over 700 Km and that's a trade off I'm happy to live with.

The mileage seems to be improving slightly too. I filled up yesterday at a bit over 188 Km and it only took 15L. I wonder if the vacuum valve is making a difference in how much fuel evaporates from the bowls? Or maybe it was because half of that tank was trips longer than 10 Km.....
 

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Discussion Starter #216
This is more like maintenance than customization but someone asked so I figured this was as good a place as any to put it:

In the spring of 2013 I decided it was time I went through Eccles' forks and set the preload properly while eliminating the need for air pressure. I went through the Fork Spring Work Sheet and came up with spacers that would increase the preload enough to allow sufficient suspension travel in both directions with my weight plus the sidecar and no added air pressure. The valve stems screwed into the fork caps with M8 fine thread and I didn't have any suitable bolts at the time so I just left the valve stems (with valves and valve caps) and didn't add pressure.

It was time to change the fork oil this year so I took pics of how to do it without removing the caps. Draining the forks is pretty much normal, open the drain screw (at the bottom) and unscrew the valve stem from the cap and the oil will drain almost as fast as if the cap was removed.
Re-filling them is another matter. The end of the funnel that goes into the opening has to be big enough to let the new fork oil flow in but small enough that the air it displaces can get out between the funnel and the opening. The valve stems are at about a 45 degree angle to the forks too so the end of the funnel needs to be bent to accommodate that too.
Here is what I came up with. There is a small piece of plastic tubing inside the end of the funnel that is a snug fit inside the funnel ans on the outside of the blue tube and the yellow tube (which is stiffer) is a good fit inside the blue one but loose in an M8 threaded hole. (Sorry, I don't know what the sizes are off hand - I just dug around in the odds & ends and found something that would fit).
Funnel.JPG

Here it is in place
Filling Fork.JPG

Since I had to remove the valve stems to re-fill the forks I decided it would be a good time to replace them but I still didn't have any suitable screws. But I do have a lot of 5/16-18x1.75" bolts and a metric tap & die set so I cut the threaded parts off of a couple of the 5/16" bolts, dressed the ends in the vertical lathe and cut M8x1.0 threads in them to match the valve stems, then installed them with copper sealing washers
Bolts for fork caps.JPG

That's about all there is to say other than I did them one at a time, flushed each one by pouring a bit of mineral spirits in and letting it drain out before re-filling with a 50:50 mix of ATF and engine oil in the quantity recommended by the FSM.

BTW: A couple of weeks before I put Eccles into storage for the summer I noticed that it had started marking its territory. The camchain tensioner adjuster bolt o-ring was leaking so I checked the valve clearances, adjusted the tensioner, cleaned the area around the bolt well and applied some clear silicone sealant around the bolt. You can hardly see it and it should keep the oil inside until I need to do the clearances & tensioner again.
 

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Discussion Starter #217
Eccles has been back in the garage for about a week. The list of jobs I have to do this fall before I start driving it again is short so I decided to start with the ones inside the sidecar.

Several years ago I installed cheap outlet boxes (3 lighter plug + 1 USB) for charging/powering electronic devices in the sidecars. They always seemed cheap (even for me) so almost as soon as I had the one installed in Mr.H's sidecar I was planning to replace them with something better (good thing too because I ended up removing the one in Eccles when the insides rusted).

I found some really nice plain lighter plugs and ones with USB charger adapters, both with nice covers to keep dirt out and ordered enough for the job
From eBay.jpg

But there was always something more important that needed doing (like replacing the engines in both bikes last year). Until last winter when I wanted somewhere to plug it in the dashcam in Eccles' sidecar and had to hook up something temporary. One of the biggest problems was that the new plugs wouldn't fit in the old boxes and I couldn't find any boxes they would fit in. Until my neighbour Lee said he was looking for projects to do on his 3D printer...
Plug box 2.jpg

He even designed & printed a wrench to fit the special nuts
Plug, nut, tool.jpg

To get a finer finish on the final prints he used a plastic that is translucent. With the texture from the printer it is almost like the whole box is a reflector so I knew right away that I would have to install LEDs inside them to shine out through the front. After playing around with a few types (I have over 20 types in stock) I settled on some 5mm 525 nm (green) ones that looked really nice shining through the blue plastic. I started by drilling holes that the LEDs would fit into from the inside and then decided to cut the domed ends off and darken the new ends so that the light would shine sideways into the plastic. (This pic is actually the box I mounted in Mr.H's sidecar but the one for Eccles is very similar)
Plug box 5.jpg

I can't take a pic of the one in Eccles with the LEDs lit yet because I converted Mr.H to take the same U1 battery as Eccles last spring and the battery is still in Mr.H so here's a pic of the one in Mr.H's sidecar. The LEDs are bright enough to help find it in the dark but not bright enough to be distracting.
Plug box installed.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #218
What the inside of Eccles' sidecar looks like is sort of like what is under a kilt; Everyone wants to know but you are too polite to ask :rolleyes: Actually, I've just never gotten around to taking any pics of it but since I had the cover off of the sidecar while I was working on it and I wanted a pic of the box installed I figured this was a good time to take some

Here it is opened up for me to work on. The wire on the left comes from the fairing, down the front strut and into the sidecar near where the strut meets the sidecar frame. It powers the nose headlight, marker light and turn signal. The wire on the right comes from the back of the sidecar where it connects to the wire from the back of the bike (runs down the rear strut and enters near where it connects to the frame); It is what I replaced the sidecar's original wiring with and originally powered the front turn signal &c too but now the wires to the front mostly just power the courtesy light (an LED license plate light ahead of the outlet box where you can't see it) and the outlets I just installed.
Inside sidecar (spaghetti).jpg

This is what it looks like with the panel over the wiring and the floor mat in place, ready for someone to climb in
Inside sidecar (assembled).jpg

And here it is after someone climbed in (this is our grand dog Melody who is visiting for a few weeks).
Inside sidecar (occupied).jpg

Kay & I both have arthritis but Kay's is worse and she has trouble getting in & out of the sidecars. She has been asking for a handles to help her get in & out for a while. I finally got around to installing one in Mr.H's sidecar last month so I figured I should do something in Eccles' sidecar too. These ones are pretty plain, just pieces of 1/2" square aluminum bolted to the bars that support the cover, one above the front edge of the seat and the other held in place by the bolts that hold the windshield on. The 1/2" square aluminum I have was salvaged from something so it has holes that were for bolting it on; After going through a few of the pieces I chose one that had holes that were very close to the spacing of the windshield bolts and another that I could use one existing hole and wouldn't have any other holes in the part I used. I drilled out the holes in the first one and tapped them to accept the windshield's 1/4-20 bolts and drilled & tapped the other one for M5 so I could use some of the same M5 flat head bolts I used for the separator panel (keeps the bars from being pulled inward when the cover is on - I could probably remove it with these grab bars added), then screwed them in place temporarily to mark where to cut the grabs to length. Finally, I sanded the ends to a slight angle, smoothed them over, buffed the ends a bit, and installed them.
New grabs 1.jpg

With the cover on you can see why I didn't add any grips or anything like that because there is just enough room to get your hand around them.
New grabs 2.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #219
2 projects this week. The first isn't bike related but it is the holiday season so why not?

I saw beard lights last year and wanted a set but not enough to pay what they are selling for online. This year I decided there had to be something cheap that I could adapt so I started looking in the dollar stores. The strings of tiny LED lights looked good but the wires between the lights were way to long to hide in a beard. The sets made for inside empty wine bottles were just about right except the cork shaped battery holder was too big to hide in a beard and they only come in white.
So I bought a set for $1.25 to see what I could do with them and both answers turned out to be simple. Adding a bit of wire between the lights and the "cork" let me fish the wire through my shirt and put it in my pants pocket and while sorting through Matt's stuff (my winter project) I came across some markers intended for writing on CDs & DVDs (if they don't rub off of the discs they just might work on the LEDs).
Home made beard lights.jpg
Lights in beard.jpg

The other project is replacing Eccles' coolant tank. Aside from being in the way if you need to get at the back of the engine and requiring removal of either the engine or the swingarm if the tank leaks, I don't like about having the tank in the original location because it can be hard to see the level in it (especially on a winter bike that has been sprayed with anti-rust oil and then driven on dirt roads) so about 10 years ago I "temporarily" hung Eccles' original tank on the side of the sidecar (near the fairing & relocated rad) so I could see it better. The convoluted shape looked dumb hanging out in the open like that but it worked and there was always something more important that needed to be done... I even bought an RC aircraft fuel tank thinking I could hang it on the fairing but I never could figure out how I wanted to mount it so I always ended up looking in eBay for something else instead.
Old tank.jpg

This year I decided I had to finally get around to it but I still couldn't figure out how to mount the RC tank plus now I decided its cap was too small too. I had another look on eBay, found this https://www.ebay.ca/itm/382927963831 and took a chance on ordering one. When it came I filled a spare original tank to the upper line and drained it into a measuring cup (100ml from upper line to lower, 350 ml total), then poured 250 ml into the new tank, marked it, added 100ml more and marked that
new & old tanks.jpg

I'll break this in 2 now because the forum never lets me put more than 4 pics in a post.
 

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The new tank's overflow is a small hole in the cap but I prefer to have a hose so I bought a 3/8" vacuum line elbow and found a grommet that fit it in my assortment. The home made washer is there to block off the overflow hole in the cap.
parts for new tank.jpg

Ready to install (I used the step drill to make the hole). You would normally remove the cap any time I need to fill it but since I would have to remove the hose to do that anyway I figured it would be easier to leave the cap on and use a piece of clear tubing to adapt a funnel.
Ready to install.jpg

That looks a bit tidier, doesn't it? (Yes, I know the level should be closer to the low mark but it is easier to add coolant to it than to remove it so I'll keep an eye on it and worry if the level gets too close to the top).
New tank.jpg

That's all for now. Don't forget the Polar Bear Ride tomorrow & Wednesday....
 
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