Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Starting to clean up the Rear Wheel

Here is a shot of the studs that hold the rear sprocket in place. I keep forgetting how old this bike is and how much things have changed. The studs are inserted into rubber inserts that are pressed into the wheel. The nuts hold the studs to the rear sprocket and the rear sprocket is held in place with a very large washer and very large snap ring. (I'll post a picture of these later since I forgot to take one). Naturally I've got just about every tool one could need to work on something modern but my wimpy little snap ring pliers are not match for this large one so I had to remove it (for cleaning) the old fashion way.....two flat screwdrivers and lots of muscle.

My plans for the rear wheel include:
  • Sending rear wheel out for re-chrome
  • Polishing rear hub
  • Removing spokes and either cleaning them up or replacing them with Stainless Steel
  • New tire
The brake shoes are in good condition and the bikes stops well with the rear brake. The front brake is another story.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Initial Powder Coating

I decided to take some parts off and have them powder coated. I'm always concerned when I take things, like the swing arm, off for the first time..you never know what you'll find or what parts will be bad that are not available any longer. In this case, the only parts that I was concerned about was the rubber seals on the swing arm. I think they're designed to keep the swing arm grease from getting all over everything especially when it's warm. These were in pretty good shape and had not hardened up or cracked so they were good for re-use.

The swing arm and rear foot peg bracket turned out nice. It sure is a lot less work to just take the dirty old corroded piece down to the powder coater and let him blast and coat it than it is to mess around with stripping the paint, sanding the part, primering it and painting it. Lots more money too. In this case the swing arm and bracket was $85 but they turned out very nice.

Additionally, another part arrived in the mail. I won a brand new NOS tank on eBay. I calculated that repairing the old tank that was damaged in transport (previous pictures) would probably cost me a couple of hundred dollars. That's too bad because the old tank is basically rust free and the paint on it is outstanding. I bought the new tank for $100 so I figured I would end up ahead in the end. My goal will be to replicate, as accurately as possible, the original paint job. That should not be too tough since it's pretty basic.

Believe it or not, I was actually able to order the tiny little plastic inserts that go into the holes on the tank and hold the badge emblems. When I pulled the badges off the left side of the tank they were damaged so this was a big deal, for me anyway.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Chain Install/Start of Frame prep

I bought a new chain off eBay and it came in a couple of days. It's a 96 link 'O' ring chain which is different from the stock non-'O' ring chain . It uses a master link like the stock chain so I was pleased with that. It's quite a bit heavier than the stock one but, with only 30 hp or so from the stock motor, it should last a long, long time.

The old chain, as seen in this picture was in pretty poor shape.

I'm somewhat torn as to how I should proceed with the frame clean up. I'd like to have everything powder coated but that would mean taking the whole bike apart and getting it all done at once. My other option is to have the frame blasted and use an epoxy based primer and paint and do it myself. Although I don't like it, I've done enough primering with epoxy based products that I think I could do a job that would look as good as powdercoat and, for my use, would probably hold up just as well.

I'm going to start with this small piece (shifter mount/rear foot peg bracket) and use a good stripper, rattle can primer and laquer paint and see how it turns out.

It was late when I finished up and probably put the part back together to soon and the paint might not have been dry enough. There was a little chipping around the bolt head where the socket scratched the part.
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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Front Brake Hub

After removing the original factory clear coat, the hub was very clean and looked good...no more polishing was necessary.

I reassembled the brake components after polishing the brake control linkage on the wire wheel.

Here is the finished assembly ready to be installed.

The tires are the original tires from 1968. They are Bridgestone "Safety 10" which I've never heard of before. The tires on my dads bike had been replaced with Universal Trials tires. These current tires are very hard with lots of cracking on the side walls. I will be replacing them as soon as the new chain arrives.
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Front End Detail (cont.)

The head light ear is finished and ready for installation.

The brake shoes are in good condition. I used some 150 grit sand paper to scuff up the brake drum as well as the brake shoes. I also took the time to re-grease the speedometer drive gear.

Here is the brake hub after removing the brake hardware. There is a factory clear coat on the hub that needs to be removed.
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Front End Detail

After removing the forks I figured I would see what I could do to improve the triple clamp. The rubber inserts are for the instrument bracket. The rubber has become hard to I did not try to remove it for fear of damaging it and replacements would be hard to find.

I decided not to polish it due to all the intricate passages. Instead I tried using an aluminum casting paint after priming. This is the same paint I was going to use on the engine cases but I did not like the results you see here. In the end, I remove the paint and just cleaned it up with 600 grit sand paper.

I removed and stripped the head light shell and both of the mounting "ear" (one of them was damaged). The mounting ears turned out very well using Duplicolor "Chevrolet Orange" and a clear coat. I painted the head light shell in Duplicolor White and it looks OK.

Here is the head light shell after painting.
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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Cleaning the fork legs

Here is a sequence showing the fork leg cleanup. Notice the yellowing of the clear coat and the remenants of an old inspection sticker

Here is the stripper doing it's thing. I left it on for about 5 minutes or so.

After wiping off the stripper I was left with a very clean and somewhat shiny for leg.

The next step was to polish the fork legs up. They actually turned out a little too shiny so I'll have to use something to dull them up a bit. I'd like to have them look more like the original factory finish than some type of show finish.

Here is there "legless" bike all by itself Next to come off is the headlight ears and shell.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Starting the front fork cleanup and rear brake parts

I got some advice that aircraft stripper might be a good way to save some time when trying to clean up the yellowing on the fork leg. The yellowing is from oxidation and discoloration of the top coat the Honda factory used in those days to protect the aluminum parts. This picture is about 3 minutes into the process. It's bubbling up nicely showing that it's working

The stripper is very toxic so I was sure to use it in an open area with gloves. After about 5 minutes I used a wet towel and wiped it off. I purposely did not do the whole fork leg in order to see the before/after difference. Additionally, I want to remove the forks before doing the whole fork leg. The result was outstanding. There is some mild surface discoloration that will be easily removed with the buffing wheel.

This is an example of how the rear wheel parts came out. This is one of the wheel spaces that the axle goes through.

This is a before/after shot of the rear axle nut & washer. There is some serious pitting on the nut and it will need to be replace or zinc plated. There is still some rust on the washer but I need to pull the wheel again to paint the swing arm and I'll clean it up then. I will do that in a week or so when I replace the chain and clean up the sprocket.

Here is the rear brake up after spending some time on the buffing wheel. There are some crevices that still need some work but my goal was to clean it up without making it so bright it looked like chrome. You can see the wheel spacer and brake arm as wheel. I still need to clean up the brake rod and the torque rod that's attached to the hub.

I will eventually have to paint the tank and one of the head light ears so I've been looking for some paint that will match. I tried some Duplicolor that I found at the local auto parts store and it matches up pretty well. The white is just a basic white and the orange is called "Chevrolet Orange".

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some easy practice with the Buffing Wheel

I bought a new buffing wheel and some buffing compounds this evening and decided to try them out. These valve cover caps cleaned up very nicely with some "grey" compound. I spent about 3 or 4 minutes on each one and here is the difference
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Initial Cleaning 6 (end of the day)

The shift lever was the last item to be cleaned today. The linkage (not shown) also needed a bunch of cleaning.

The finished shift lever turned out well. It's funny to look at the construction of these old bikes. The welds on these old parts is actually pretty bad there is a lot of weld splatter on the weld joints and would not be acceptable on modern bikes.

The installed linkage looks pretty good. I also cleaned up the large nut in the picture that holds an exhaust bracket.

One of the next projects will be to remove the case covers and put them on the buffing wheel.
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Initial Cleaning 5

This is the partially cleaned chain guard. It's in very good condition overall with only minor pitting in the chrome.

Here are a bunch of parts that we cleaned up and are ready for installation. The shocks, handlebars heat shield and chain guard all turned out well.

Here is Beth removing the tail light to gain access to the rear fender. The rear fender has significant pitting and will have to be re-chromed. We did not remove the rear fend during this session to clean up the areas that are not visible but we will do that in the near future.

Sorry for the crappy picture. It looks like the camera focused on the Neon instead of the bike.
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Initial Cleaning 4

We removed the exhaust system which had significant corrosion. While Beth worked on the pipes I tackled the exhaust mounting collars with the wire wheel. I thought these were useless but they turned out pretty nice.

Here is front part of the exhaust pipe. Beth spent at least 2 hours working on these pipes.

After the collars, I attacked the exhaust heat shield. In addition to the corrosion I attempted to repair some of the damage to the shied caused by the tip over during transport. While it's not perfect, you have to look closely or know what you're looking for to really notice the damage.

Beth working diligently on the exhaust system. The muffler portion of the exhaust system has two "weep holes" to allow condensation to drain out. The metal around these holes is pretty badly damaged about the size of a quarter. Fortunately it's not obvious when looking at the bike.
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Here is a close up of the finished exhaust installed on the bike. Beth did a nice job and it turned out very good. There is very little pitting in the chrome. The right side header has some yellowing near the cylinder but this was common on these types of late '60's early '70's bikes.

Voila! The finished product. I've still got to sand and paint the black heat shield but even now it looks pretty good.