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  1. #1

    Custom tour Pack for my Softail Bagger

    Iím new here but know a lot of you guys from other forums so wanted to show what I have been doing for the last couple of months.
    I want a custom tour pack for my Softail, I want the basic shape of a HD pack, but want to chop it, hide the hinges, hide the latch, loose the flange, and the gasket.
    I also want to reinforce it with carbon fiber, and be able to use the HD touring back rest, but most important I want it to look like the styling on my Softail Bagger.
    So I picked this up on E-bay, it looks like it did a little slide down the road.

    Iím just mocking it up here on the solo rack that was a project here a couple of years ago.
    The tape shows where I want to chop it.
    I want it big enough to fit a couple of half helmets and maybe a jacket or two but donít need it huge.
    This is just for day trips, for touring I have a different set up.
    First thing to do is grind off the rivets to take off the hinges.
    You can see there is a nasty crack from someone opening the lid with a heavy weight on it. The fiberglass is very thin and in all honesty pretty flimsy, guess they want to keep the weight down.

    Then start cutting off the flanges.

    Here is what it looks like without the flanges.

    Cut off the bottom, in order to mold the top to the bottom you need access from the bottom.

    Where the crack is I am putting this temporary brace to hold it together.
    All the edges have been sanded with a grinder so that the new resin will bond.

    The top is smaller than the bottom so it needs a space so that when you start filling the gap it will match up. The braces are to keep the top in place, they are temporary there are also two in the front.

    Turn it upside down. Next comes the glass and resin.

    Iím just putting 1-2 layers to get it started. A side note, there are two types of polyester resin used mostly with fiberglass, waxed and un-waxed, the un-waxed is used mostly for layup in big molds where there are multiply layers. It is cheaper and sold in large containers, the waxed version is considered a premium resin and is used mostly for repairs, it has a wax that seals the resin as it dries and keep the resin from being sticky when dry. This is what I like to use for small jobs like this.

  2. #2
    After it had set up I was able to give the inside another coat of glass to build it up a little, until it sets you don’t want to push it out of the gap so you let it cure first.
    So now you can remove the supports.

    Now to start on the outside, first grind down where it was cracked to the inside where you just put the inside layer.
    You want to eliminate as much damage as possible.

    Then I need to get rid if the rest of the lower flange on the bottom of the pack.

    I’m also beveling the bottom edge so my new glass will be smooth, and adhere.

    Then need to roughen up the gel coat so the new resin will adhere.
    And yes that is pretty aggressive paper, think 50.

    Then ready to start building up on the outside with glass.

    That is probably four to six coats of glass, I use a combination of mat and woven depending on what I am doing, before I used the woven because I was stretching between the two parts, today I am using the mat because it builds quicker and is cheaper.
    You give it a good sanding, it is very straight and symmetrical, It had a few low spots, so those got filled in, and a final layer of woven mat. At this point you don’t need to worry about making it perfect, you just want to make it as symmetrical as possible, that is hard to correct later.

    I’m not sure what I want to do where the logo goes, I don’t know if I want to fill it in or make a custom name tag for it.

    It needs another sanding then it will be ready to cut the lid open, and start making the new hidden lip to keep water out.
    I picked up this back rest on Ebay, it is the main reason for the tour pack, yes Mrs Cruiser’s comfort, you know happy wife happy life. It will also help hide the big wide seat that looks so out of place on my bike when she rides along. Ten fifteen years ago, I made up a set for her out of an old FLH seat. In all honesty it looks hideous on my bike, but it is so comfortable for her that she won’t ride on anything else. I bought her a Corbin, she hates it. I am trying to buy a Sundowner but I know she won’t like it either.
    In all honesty I can’t figure out how we feel the driver deserves a seat sixteen inches wide but the passenger only deserves a seat ten inches or even twelve.
    So that is the main reason for the tour pack to help hide the big seat.
    This back rest needs some work, it is broken on one side where it bolts on, so will need to pull off the cover and fix that, it also needs to be altered some to clear where the lid is going to open, will talk about that later.

    I was able to get the rough glass sanded down it is very smooth, it still needs some work but at this time it is fine. There is no need to get it perfect because fiberglass has a built in stress that when it is cut it will warp. Kind of like wood when it is cut from a log, it bends with the grain. So we want to do all the cutting before we finish the final body work. There is also going to be a lot of work on the seams of the lid, so lets leave the finish work for last.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Pittsburgh, Pa
    Interesting. be following this walkthru. Have a small part that needs fixed I fiberglass, so I will be looking for info. Pretty interesting so far.

    Sent from my Note 4 using Tapatalk

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by DanHappy View Post
    Interesting. be following this walkthru. Have a small part that needs fixed I fiberglass, so I will be looking for info. Pretty interesting so far.

    Sent from my Note 4 using Tapatalk
    Dan, fiberglass is fun to work with, although most people hate the itch, once you learn to tolerate that I find it a great medium.
    Moving on, here is where the lid is going to be cut out.

    Fiber glass does not like square corners, just like aluminum and steel it causes stress points so use anything handy for the radius.

    You need to drill a small hole to get your blade in so did that in the back, if will be fixed when the final body work. (you can see that in a couple of photos down.) Then you just start cutting, fiberglass is horrible on saw blades so start with a new blade so that you are not fighting it. When you fight it you start pushing too hard and that is when you get crooked. Decide which side of the line you are going to cut and stay on that side.

    I want the lid to be hinged from the back, I don’t want the back rest to be fastened to the lid, I want it to be fastened to the base. I want the lid to be flat where it closes so I cut it a half inch from the recessed part even though the back rest covers this slightly. You can see that in the above photo. I will have to modify the back rest so that it does not come that far back on the tour pack.
    The inside needs to be cleaned up rough up so the resin adheres

    Then the top needs to be taped off so the resin does not stick, I’m using clear shipping tape..

    Then glass in where the new lip goes.

  5. #5
    When it cures you need to pry out the lid, GENTLY.

    Trim it a little.

    And there is your lip for your lip to close on.

    More Later
    Last edited by HarleyCruiser; 01-16-2018 at 08:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    West MI
    Great idea and nice work so far on the fiberglass!

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Torch View Post
    Great idea and nice work so far on the fiberglass!
    Hey Torch thanks.
    I am now starting on the hidden hinges.

    Mounting the hinges is the most challenging part, the lid needs to move back and up at the same time, a normal hinge would have to have the pivot point an inch above and behind the lid, not practical.
    These are 165 degree hinges. They open like a scissor jack with one leg longer than the other so that when it expands it moves out and back at the same time. I don’t need that much opening but will limit it with some sort of a damper or electronic linear actuator.
    It is hard enough getting the hinges figured out even harder getting them lined up evenly. If the hinges are not aligned then they bind when they open so the best way to figure everything out is to tie them together with metal. I’m using 1/8 x2 flat aluminum.
    So here us how they are tied together.

    This way you get a real good idea how they work and where the best place to mount them.

    I have a couple of screws holding them on for a trial fit, at this point you don’t worry about drilling holes for temporary mounting they will be filled during the last body work.

    And I have to fill in the voids between the metal and the lid and between the metal and base. I am doing this by building up the fiberglass then clamping the metal to the lid with the screws this forces out the extra resin and contours the area behind the metal.

    I need to do a little more filling, and then mount anchors in the filled area to have the hinge assembly bolt to it.

  8. #8
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Elizabeth, NJ
    badass man. what i hate most about fiberglass is the dust when sanding or cutting...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by jerzee_tek View Post
    badass man. what i hate most about fiberglass is the dust when sanding or cutting...
    Thanks, yea the dust, itching can be a pain. I read that you are supposed to grind glass instead of sanding it. I'm not sure of the difference.
    I did have a friend tell me of a itch cure, Listerine, yea good wash then pour it on, let it sit, dry wash it off. I think it numbs the skin.
    Even with that I can't stand working with it for more than three days in a row, however sometimes you have no choice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Somewhere in N.E. Pa.
    For Sale
    Nice project and great job with the pics showing us what you are up to.


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