Carbs ‘n paint week

This week has been a lot of work getting everything together so the bike is running well.

 

I got new carb diaphragms from JBM industries. They are really nice quality and a huge improvement over the old stock ones. You can see the new one from JBM on the left and the old crumpled one on the right that is 35 years old.

IMG_0595

New JBM diaphragm on the left. Old one on the right.

 

IMG_0596

The JBM ones have a definitive roll to them to aid in use.

 

IMG_0598

The stock ones are a little worn. Not the worst I have seen but not great.

 

IMG_0599

I also had the opportunity to polish some of the aluminium covers. I didn’t want to go for a mirror shine but just enough to make the bike look like it was made out of higher quality materials.

IMG_0602

IMG_0603

IMG_0605

IMG_0607

 

 

IMG_0609

The chrome cleaned up well too. Just some Nevr Dull and steel wool shined it right up.

 

 

I installed a new tail light and turn signals in the rear. They are both LED and super bright. I made some simple L brackets and came off the back of the license plate mount to hold the signals on.

IMG_0616

I also upgraded the the top triple with a polish job and Aluminium solid riser bushings from Hugh’s Handbuilt. They are much sturdier than the stock rubber ones. The handlebars do not move at all anymore. Goodbye flexing every time I try and turn the bike. IMG_0651

 

While the tank and side covers were away being painted I wanted to prep a temporary tank so I could still ride the bike around. I had an old late model tank lying around but never used it because of the peeling away tank liner. It was really bad. And I really didn’t want to just fill it with nuts and bolts and shake it for hours at a time. So I decided (against my better judgement) to cut it upen and use my hands to remove the old gunk.

IMG_0656

IMG_0657

IMG_0659

The old liner was just coming off in sheets. It was easy to remove most of it but the rest I had to use chemical solvents.

IMG_0663

Most of the liner on the table after scraping away.

I found some Emgo Reverse Cone mufflers online for about $100 for the pair. IT was a little tricky installing them. The stock headers are double walled so I had to use an adapter to connect the upper pipe to the muffler directly to prevent exhaust leaks. They have a removable baffle which you can wrap more insulation around to lessen the noise. Very cool for the price and they give a great sporty sound to the bike.

IMG_0665

IMG_0666

IMG_0669

I managed to get all of the tank liner out and started to prep for welding. It was very thin sheet metal with many compound curves so welding would be very tricky. Plus there was a large 1/8″ gap to fill as well.

IMG_0673

 

IMG_0674

A little rusty but much better than before.

IMG_0682

IMG_0683

tacked into place.

IMG_0685

IMG_0688

Fully TIG welded. There was a little warpage. But nothing too bad. I kinda like the look of the welds. It is very Mad Max.

IMG_0693

As luck would have it I got my tank and side covers back from paint the day after I finished welding the gas tank. It was painted in House of Kolor Lapis Blue. Then covered in clear coat. It looks a little purple in the dark but has a nice brilliant blue in the sunlight.

IMG_0694

IMG_0695

IMG_0696

I got the seat back from the upholsterer. He did a great job and did exactly what I asked. I threw it on the bike and loosely put on the side covers and paint for a photo. The wheels are not back from the tire guy so I have an old front wheel as a stand in.

 

IMG_0698

IMG_0699

IMG_0700

Motor work and Bondo dust don’t mix

IMG_0562

Aligning the cam at TDC

When putting the camshaft back in the bike you have to align an index marking on the sprocket with the cylinders at TDC. It is a little tricky if you don’t break the camchain but this time it was a breeze.

IMG_0563

You can see the indexing mark at the top of the sprocket.

 

 

IMG_0564

IMG_0566

 

 

I spent some time on the forks as well. I wanted to replace the fork seals as they were leaking.

IMG_0568

The old fork oil was black and gross and less than it should have been.

 

IMG_0569

All laid out and ready for re-assembly

 

IMG_0570

Spent some time with Bondo and sandpaper. I really hate the body work part.

 

IMG_0572

The motor after putting it all together again.

 

IMG_0579

Some new shocks from MikesXS. Not great suspension but clean and as good as the stock ones. So for now they will stay.

 

IMG_0580

 

I used too much force getting on of the fork seals out and put a gouge in the mating surface. It would probably have been fine but I wanted piece of mind so I added a little dab of JB weld and smoothed it over so the surface would be free of holes.

IMG_0582

You can see the small grey line at the bottom of the cup. This was the gouge I put in the fork lower with a big screwdriver.

 

 

IMG_0583

Prepping a new rotor on the front wheel.

 

Some rough shots of the bike after the bondo and fork rebuild. Just to get a better look at how its turning out. It is still very rough around the edges.

IMG_0586

IMG_0587

IMG_0591

IMG_0594

Nice looking front rotor.

 

IMG_3449

First ride after bringing the bike home. Still needs a little tuning and some more work.

 

Carburetor Rebuild

I spent some time rebuilding the carbs. They are always a little tricky as they have so many parts and they all have very tight tolerances. First step is strip ’em down. Then dunk them in the cleaning tank overnight. Then clean everything with compressed air and carb cleaner.

 

IMG_3389

Rubber seal replacement is a must in this stage. Old rubber gets hard and cracks, leading to vacuum leaks and bad things. This is my 5th set of BS34 carbs I have rebuilt. I think I have it down this time.

IMG_3390

IMG_3397

 

IMG_3402

IMG_3413

 

And the finished product. It looks really good after a little cleaning and paint. The paint is just to prevent rust on the 2 steel brackets that are exposed to the elements. I didn’t do this to my chopper and it rusted right away left bare.

IMG_3421

IMG_3422

IMG_3424

IMG_3425

New bike. 1980 xs650 Special II

I picked up a new motorcycle over the weekend. I drove out to Modesto for it. I think picking up bikes in the Central Valley might be the best for 2 reasons:

1. Bikes are not overpriced because there are no mustachioed hipsters driving the demand (and price) up.

2. the dry climate means minimal rust and oxidation.

Here it is in the back of the minivan headed back into San Francisco.

IMG_3317

IMG_3319

IMG_3320

IMG_3321

IMG_3322

IMG_3324

IMG_3325

The bike had a few issues. It didn’t charge. The brakes didn’t work. There was a little rust on the frame behind the motor. The head gasket was leaking. The list was fairly short but a substantial amount of work. First thing I had to do was strip it down and pull the motor. IMG_3339

IMG_3340

IMG_3341

IMG_3352

IMG_3353

IMG_3354

IMG_3357

I cut the foam down on a spare seat I had. I want a low and flat seat. I’m thinking brown leather in a tuck and roll pattern. IMG_3365

IMG_3366

IMG_3367

IMG_3374

IMG_3375

IMG_3376

IMG_3377

IMG_3378

IMG_3379

IMG_3380

IMG_3381

And I decided to christen her Lucille. I kinda like the ring of the name Lucy. IMG_3383