Dirty, rusty, greasy, depressing, junky-ass 'project bike'...

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by John Backlund, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. John Backlund

    John Backlund Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I've started doing the dirty work on this old Suzuki 750 I bought last fall, but damn! what a mess.

    I'm trying to clean it up as much as I can without tearing it completely apart, but the temptation to dig further into it than I want to go is hard to resist, and If I do, I know that the bike will still be in boxes a year from now, and I NEED to have this thing back on the road early this summer.

    So there I am, slathering paint brushes full of kerosene on globs of gritty decades old grease, and spraying 'crop duster volumes' of Simple Green on the rest in my effort to make this bike into at least a good 'twenty-footer' in the appearance category.

    If I had the money to do it, I'd just drop the whole thing off at the door of a reputable restorer and say, (as I handed over a metric ****-tonne of currency)..."Here ya go, Bub, make it NEW, see ya in six months"

    IMG_20200330_180221234.jpg

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    This doesn't look too bad now, after an hour or two cleaning the black sludge out of the area...
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    I've seen guys take a bike that was MUCH worse than this one and make it virtually new again, but I'm not nearly as adept at this kind of thing some are, so it's very difficult for me to keep my momentum, and enthusiasm moving on this, but I'll slug along on it as best as I can.... probably.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2020
  2. Jakedog

    Jakedog Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I feel ya. I had a guy last fall offer me an ‘81 Yamaha XS1100 special for FREE. All there, low miles. The kicker was it had been sitting in his shed for 18 years. After taking a peek at it I decided it was more project than I wanted to tackle. A friend of mine took it instead, and I’m confident he’ll still be working on it next winter.
     
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  3. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    I had a chain-drive Suzuki GS750 for a few years. FUN bike! The only real issue I had was worn swing-arm bushings, and I replaced them. They were already a bit gone when I got the bike second hand.

    That's not in bad shape at all, really. Looks like it would be a fun project--even it you don't do a complete frame-off resto.

    If you're into resurrecting old/dead mechanical contrivances from toasters to chain saws to generators and vehicles, there's a YouToob channel called Mustie1; it's a guy who fearlessly tackles neglected junk and gets it going again for pennies on the dollar. He's a dab hand at sheet metal, welding, and a bunch of other stuff. He makes funky/cool bicycles from old parts; he's also a VW freak and frequently features VW fun. You might pick up a few useful pointers along the way.
     
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  4. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I rebuilt a 85 Yamaha Maxim 700(had a transverse 4 cylinder motor and 4 carbs - shaft drive) and rode it for about 4 years til my back problems started affecting my legs.
    The absolute worst part was the carbs. They were the Constant Velocity types that require an airbox and don't like any intake or exhaust mods. That bike also had a "YICS" system that linked all the combustion chambers to use any leftover fuel mix which made carb syncing a total nightmare. I ended up plugging that YICS channel, making 2 - 2 into 1 custom intakes and installing 2 large roundslide carbs with a custom made synchronized throttle and choke. Took some work to make it all, but it simplified things and the bike ran great.
     
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  5. Allan Allan

    Allan Allan Tele-Holic

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    Just change the oil and fire it up. Looks fine to me.

    I ride and maintain a 1978 Yamaha XS1100.
     

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  6. Chipss36

    Chipss36 Tele-Meister

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    Been their...
    And will be again...
     

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  7. Wallo Tweed

    Wallo Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Does the bus company you work for have a steam cleaner in the shop?

    Would they let you trailer the bike there and use it?

    I have a parts washer in my garage, and it has paid for itself many times.

    Super hot water and dawn dish soap can be a decent grease remover.
     
  8. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Like I said when you bought it, looks pretty good to me.

    I've dragged bikes home that are an insult to the term,

    "Basket Case"


    "Debris Field"

    would be an honest and accurate description.

    Take my '65 Bonneville that's still in a million pieces. No regrets! I'll trade a running XS650 for a numbers match '65 Bonny any day.

    The guy who owned it was very good at taking things apart. Putting them back together... not so much.

    Got the motor in a couple five gallon buckets. Turns out it's a mix of '65 650 Bonneville and '62 500 Tiger 100.

    Two of most parts, none of others...


    :cool: :cool: :cool:

    It's a two stroke. You could get away with never changing the oil.

    It gets a shot of fresh oil every time the engine turns over.
     
  9. Pete Baker

    Pete Baker Tele-Meister

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    Like mentioned earlier in the post, a portable steam jenny would do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Heat, moisture and pressure are a good combination for getting in the nooks and crannies, and very thoroughly . Maybe a few heat lamps to make it dry off quickly. Good luck!
     
  10. stxrus

    stxrus Friend of Leo's

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    Have fun. See you when it’s complete or you’ve reached your saturation point
     
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  11. Peegoo

    Peegoo Friend of Leo's

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    "Maybe a few heat lamps to make it dry off quickly."

    Some folks use compressed air. I prefer an electric leaf blower. Super fast.
     
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  12. Preacher

    Preacher Friend of Leo's

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    Reminds me of my old '82 Magna. 7 years in a barn, barely ran on ether shot into the carbs when I first got it. Cost me all of $450.

    And I shined aluminum until all my fingers had this black patina on them. I still have fond memories of that bike but most of my memories are of bad things that happened to it.

    I was sitting in my office when a shop guy who was in break in the parking lot (we parked the bikes right outside the shop entrance under an overhang) runs in and says, "your bike is pissing gasoline all over the parking lot!"
    I jump up and follow him out to the lot where there are four or five guys standing around my bike, one with a jug catching the gas that is shooting out of a gas line under the tank. The guys are all grinning and telling me how out of nowhere the bike just starts spraying gas at them. Sure enough I have a gas line that apparently chose to die at that moment. The guys caught about a 3/4 gallon of gas, one guy went home at lunch and came back with a pair of hose clamps and some gas tubing and the three of us spent my lunch hour repairing my bike.

    And then there was the time I am on my way to work, cruising down the highway and all of the sudden the bike just dies. I coast to the side of the road. I had plenty of gas, everything was fine and then nothing. I check the tank, I have at least a half a tank there. I then check my fuel filter and it is full of gas and no clogs. I then pop the seat off and grab some tools to see if I can trouble shoot and poke around some. I spent at least ten minutes checking connections and such and then tried to start it. The bike fires up right off the back and is sitting there idling as I put the tools and the seat back on. I jump on and head to work only to have it do the same thing fifteen minutes later. However I realized this time that I had shifted in the seat when the bike died, when that happened I turned and looked at the left side of the bike to see if I could see anything which shifted my weight to the right side of the bike. The bike ran normal with my weight on the right side of the seat. When I shifted my weight to the left side of the seat I could cause the bike to die. I finished riding to work with my weight on the right side of the seat. Before I left for home that night I pulled the seat and investigated and found that there was an electrical line that was being pinched between the seat and the frame rails. That line gave power to the plugs and when I put all my weight on the left side of the seat it pinched the electrical line apart. Once the weight was lifted the line made a slight connection allowing electricity to pass through.

    @Zepfan This bike had four carbs as well, which all had to be synced to work properly, such a pain!

    But I learned so much on that bike that has been useful later in life.
     
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  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    I had a 81 Honda CB750 that would die on me and could never find the problem. Didn't think to look under the seat though.
     
  14. cenz

    cenz TDPRI Member

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    Get it as clean as you can and mechanically sound. A little dirt don’t hurt. Hot Rod red primer paint, no logos. Clip-ons, bum stop seat, upsweep megaphones. Trim down or can the front fender completely. You can always tie a bandana around the front forks if you get caught in the rain.

    Instant Kool and would be a blast to ride. Don’t forget the pudding basin helmet, and cuff your jeans properly.

    And don’t forget a “59” patch for your leathers.
     
  15. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought it was about old bicycles, not old motorcycles, but the principle is likely the same. On old beater bicycles I do just enough to get them running and do not do any more than that because it is a deep rabbit hole that isn't worth the effort. Lube the chain, true the worst wobbles in the wheels, take play out of the headset, adjust the brakes, adjust shifting if it has shifting...done.
     
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  16. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    It's A 70's Suzuki.
    It'll be worth $1750 when you're done.
    Just ride it.
     
  17. muchxs

    muchxs Doctor of Teleocity

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    With an afternoon of welding or even better, some PVC pipe, rubber hose and a few hose clamps it could be converted to a single relatively trouble free carbon dater.

    I suggest a Solex 28PCI off an old 36hp VW Bug.

    Or... the brass carbon dater off a 10hp Tecumseh snow blower motor.

    Or... if fuel mileage isn't an issue graft on an S&S Super intended for a Hardly Ableson.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

    While it might seem like I'm joking I ride with the most talented and creative steam punk rat bikers on Planet Dirt. If anyone needs extras for their next post- Apocalyptic movie we're all set for bikes and we don't need costumes.

    :cool: :cool: :cool:
     
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  18. telleutelleme

    telleutelleme Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Lot to be said for pressure washing before tear down.
     
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  19. richbike

    richbike Tele-Meister

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    Yep. Block up any holes into the engine, chuck some detergent over it and blitz with the jet.
    Stick it Infront of a big fan over night to dry off
     
  20. stratoman1

    stratoman1 Friend of Leo's

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    I miss my old Sporty but I really dont have anywhere to keep a bike now anyway. I live in a condo with no storage and there's no way I'd keep a bike outside
     
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