Finished the 440cc Swap on my first Tri-Rod!

#1
Hey fellow trikers!

I just finished mounting the Duromax 440cc, 18HP electric start engine on my BGW TR-351. I had originally put a Predator 212 on it, but it just didn't have the right kick. It would pull me around alright, but it took some time to get there and always seemed under powered. I caught the 440 on sale for $249 this summer. The roll bar doesn't fit and I had to build a new motor mount for this one because of the size. In order for the driven pulley to clear the shock mounts, I had to lift the motor about 2 1/2 inches up. I work for a metal fab company and got a mount made for almost nothing. I scrapped the factory wiring box/start switch and wired up a universal key switch from AutoZone in the body. For now it is a stock engine, but I would eventually like to build it up with all the nice billet go-fasters that are available for these.

I still need to get the remote choke kit for this motor, but I can reach the choke lever from the seat for now. Once that is in place, I need to figure out a charging system so I can add some lights. The Duromax only has a 3A coil and honda 18A parts would cost me more than I paid for this engine. I'm thinking about a 20A tractor alternator with a generic rectifier, but I'm not sure how to drive it since the 40 series drive pulley took up the whole shaft. My motor mount is basically a hollow rectangle tube with a 5 x 2 1/2 cross section. I can mount most of the electrics inside that to protect and hide them.

There are still some bugs to work out on this trike, though. In addition to the remote choke and electrics, the suspension has two 11" shocks on each side and it still sags quite a bit. With the rounded knobby ATV tires, there is no problem, but street tires will be. I might try some heavy shocks to see if I can level it out. After that it's on to paint and body work. This trike will fit perfectly in the bed of my 1973 Ford Ranchero and I think I will paint them to match so I can take this to car shows with the truck.. I'm not sure if I still want to put the effort into streeting this one, since I just picked up an original BGW RL-20 Mini-Pickup (see my other post for pics).
 

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#2
very cool bike and I have eyeballed those 440 duromaxes myself, anxious to see if you mod it how it responds. Lets see the ranchero too, what engine in that? I am into 73 torinos, have 2 base models ,one with the 351cj and 4spd, also have 2 fastbacks that will eventually be one very nice fastback with a 460 or larger stroker. I plan to take the drivetrain out of the VERY crusty 4spd base model and swap into my clean 38k mile base model, then run it at the pure stock drags in mich.
 
#4
very cool bike and I have eyeballed those 440 duromaxes myself, anxious to see if you mod it how it responds. Lets see the ranchero too, what engine in that? I am into 73 torinos, have 2 base models ,one with the 351cj and 4spd, also have 2 fastbacks that will eventually be one very nice fastback with a 460 or larger stroker. I plan to take the drivetrain out of the VERY crusty 4spd base model and swap into my clean 38k mile base model, then run it at the pure stock drags in mich.
Here's the Ranchero. This is an old picture from when I repainted it several years ago. It is currently in pieces at the moment. I started life as an unmarked pursuit car for the CHP with a 351 Cobra Jet. I am in the process of building a 460 for it. We started with a 429 CobraJet block and put in the rotating assembly from a 460. I don't have all the numbers in front of me but we are aiming for around 500HP to the crank when it is done. I am also completely resto-modding the interior. I have low-back bucket seats, a custom built console, etc. We'll see what the budget is like when I get the motor done, I might get it professionally painted or might have to do it myself again.

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#5
Very nice.

I love the shape of the fiberglass.

That engine fills that space to capacity doesn't it...!

Enjoy it.
I just had the trike out for a test drive and it is fun! That duromax 440 made all the difference. I'm 6'3 and 290 pounds and it will ALMOST wheelie with me on it. I have a 15 tooth sprocket on the jack shaft and a 72 on the axle and it just goes. I was originally worried about gearing it so tall, but that combo turned out to be a good balance for both speed and acceleration. Even with the stock goverened engine, it will put you back into the seat. Next up is the brakes. The front wheel has an internal drum and the rears are only go kart style band brakes. It will stop...eventually... maybe... if you ask nicely.
 
#6
For anyone that is interested in what the Duromax 440 will do on a trike, I took the Tri-Rod out for a top speed run yesterday. The motor is straight out of the box with no mods at this point. According to the DigiHUD speedometer app on my phone it maxed out at 45 MPH when the governor kicked in. According to a go-kart top speed calculator I found on line, it is theoretically capable of 49 MPH. That assumes a .9:1 overdrive advantage from the TC and all else being perfect, so I think a real-life reading of 45MPH is pretty darn good for a fresh out of the box motor. Now I can't wait to see what happens with street tires and a modded engine!

I need to get the front wheel balanced or true up the spokes. It has a pretty pronounced wobble starting around 35 MPH. It's not terrible at 45MPH, but it will get scary going much faster than that.
 

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