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Old 01-24-2013, 11:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Welding steel to stock shift lever

Good day, All,
I have a plan to essentially cut off the pad portion of my brake lever, and tap a hole for a peg (to match the shift peg).
Then I want to make a shift lever out of flat steel so it (hopefully) matches the brake pedal lever more than the stock shift lever. I'm thinking I'd take just the splined bottom part of the stock lever, then weld the new one to that. Then it's all getting black paint.
I can't think of any other way to attach the new shift lever to the splined shaft. I've searched the aftermarket and don't like the options, and would rather have a 1 off setup anyways.
Now the question: does anyone know if the stock shift lever is cast, and will it be ok to weld mild steel to it? Don't worry I'll prep it right.

Any additional ideas are welcome

Thanks!
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It'll be OK to try - many have. And many have failed.
Take your aluminum lever to a machine shop and have them machine a steel copy of the splined portion that you can weld your flat steel shift lever to.

Last edited by RogerDodger; 01-24-2013 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 01:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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if you're going to the trouble to make your own lever,why not powdercoat it? get a durable finish that way.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Aluminum huh? Won't be trying to weld that, thought it would be steel. I'll call some machine shops, thanks.

I thought of powder coat, might look into it, but I've used a black brake caliper paint in the past on other parts that you bake on in an oven, and it's really durable, gas proof, less than $10/can, that's what i was planning on.
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2006 Night Train
95"
SE Cast Flat Tops
Big Boyz street heads
V&H Hi Lo Straightshots, black heat wrapped
Ness Big Sucker
PC3
07 style camplate and oil pump
Andrews 26N conversion cams
Hippo VPC
Progressive fork springs
SE quick install adjustables
Homemade paint (flat/gloss flame job)
100 TQ, 89 HP, tuned by R&L Motorcycles
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonny oz View Post
Aluminum huh? Won't be trying to weld that, thought it would be steel. I'll call some machine shops, thanks.

I thought of powder coat, might look into it, but I've used a black brake caliper paint in the past on other parts that you bake on in an oven, and it's really durable, gas proof, less than $10/can, that's what i was planning on.
do you have a link to that paint? I've been planning to powdercoat a lot of things on my bike,but not looking forward to the downtime or the expense.A durable baked paint might be just the ticket for some items.
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Old 01-24-2013, 03:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDodger View Post
It'll be OK to try - many have. And many have failed.
Take your aluminum lever to a machine shop and have them machine a steel copy of the splined portion that you can weld your flat steel shift lever to.
None of my levers are aluminum.

If you are going to have to take it to a machine shop you'll end up with an expensive lever.

~Pete

Last edited by BigPeet; 01-24-2013 at 03:36 PM.
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Old 01-24-2013, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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cutting internal splines on a one off would be expensive
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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http://www.vhtpaint.com/products/caliperpaint/

That's the link to the VHT site for this paint. I got mine at Canadian Tire, I know that doesn't help you Americans but I'd assume they'd carry it at any big auto parts store. I have it on my exhaust mounts and tank...paint job is about 4 yrs old, still looks good.

I called a couple machine shops, sounds like just a splined hole in a chunk of steel will run $300 and up...no thanks. I'm just going to try sticking a magnet to the shift lever, that'll tell me pretty quick if it's aluminum.
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V&H Hi Lo Straightshots, black heat wrapped
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07 style camplate and oil pump
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SE quick install adjustables
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Dude, it's either aluminum or pot metal (Big Peet must not own a Harley). Either way you're screwed as far as the welding thing goes.
One-off customizing can be spendy, particularly if you don't do your own machining or have a bud that does.

Last edited by RogerDodger; 01-25-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RogerDodger View Post
Dude, it's either aluminum or pot metal (Big Peet must not own a Harley). Either way you're screwed as far as the welding thing goes.
One-off customizing can be spendy, particularly if you don't do your own machining or have a bud that does.
RodgerDodger, It's always a good idea to know what you are talking about before posting. It can save the OP a little more time with his project.

I would think you would at least go put a magnet on your lever after my post questioning your aluminum lever.

But if it was aluminum, which it's not, why would you say you can't weld it?

And yes I have a FXR and a Road King. Both with steel levers.

~Pete
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
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It is steel, remove the chrome, weld away, use stainless if you want to polish it later.
Better yet why not just cut off the old lever and leave a inch or so and then just bolt the new one to it.
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Old 01-25-2013, 07:17 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Join date

Did anyone notice the join date (2001) and post count (2) ?????
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Old 01-25-2013, 10:00 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Welding steel to stock shift lever

Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIPMAKER View Post
Did anyone notice the join date (2001) and post count (2) ?????
At a loss why that matters.
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHIPMAKER View Post
Did anyone notice the join date (2001) and post count (2) ?????
I joined a long long time ago, used to post a lot, don't know why it just says two post, guess I don't get credit if I am not a regular;-)
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Old 01-26-2013, 12:30 AM   #15 (permalink)
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...getting back on track...
magnets stick to the shift lever so I'm assuming it's cast steel. I've checked a few welding forums and by the sounds of it, cast steel MIG welds fine. There's not much stress on the shift lever so I'm not too worried. I did buy an extra shift lever off ebay just in case.

It's been -30 Celsius here this week and my detached garage isn't heated, so if we get some nice weather I'll get at it. If it goes well I'll post some pics.
__________________
2006 Night Train
95"
SE Cast Flat Tops
Big Boyz street heads
V&H Hi Lo Straightshots, black heat wrapped
Ness Big Sucker
PC3
07 style camplate and oil pump
Andrews 26N conversion cams
Hippo VPC
Progressive fork springs
SE quick install adjustables
Homemade paint (flat/gloss flame job)
100 TQ, 89 HP, tuned by R&L Motorcycles
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