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CBR600 F3 1998 - amateur restoration

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Following some gentle encouragement from someone, I thought I’d start a modest restoration thread. Apologies for the long first post.


Before I start, let me explain that I am not an experienced restorer. This is a hobby for me and the project was simply inspired by having some success with my improving my current bike after I bought it. I’m going to make mistakes - maybe others can benefit from that. Or get some amusement. Please though - be nice!


My goals for the restoration are:


1) To bring something mechanical back to life - I hate seeing things not working.

2) To learn, develop some skills and maybe in the future do another one. Or maybe realise that this sort of project is something that isn’t for me.

3) To not lose money. This may be a fairly optimistic goal but it means that this is VERY MUCH a budget restoration. I don’t want to bodge anything but this is going to be the kind of restoration that leaves a good bike but not a perfect one. I foresee comments on this thread telling me that I shouldn’t cut corners but I just don’t have the funds for perfection.


My background is that I stopped riding bikes in 1987 when I switched to cars (there's your clue to my age) but decided to come back to two wheels last year. I bought a CBR600F4i that was in OK condition but hadn't been as loved as I wanted. I gave it the TLC that I felt it deserved. It's now looking great and is bang up to date on every service job in the book. I found the process really satisfying and decided that I should get myself a project bike for the winter.


So, before Christmas I picked up a 1998 CBR600 F3. It was a non runner and the chap I bought it from seemed a thoroughly decent chap. It was 'as described' on eBay but I've learned some lessons from the experience and the job is a little larger than I'd expected. In hindsight, I should have gone to have a look at the bike before bidding on eBay but, as I say, there was nothing incorrect in the eBay description so here I am.


The obvious first job is to get it running. Compression seems good and there's a healthy spark. It hadn't run for some years and, unsurprisingly, the carbs were in a dreadful state. So dreadful that my initial efforts at strip down led to broken jets and my efforts with extractors couldn’t strip the first carb I attempted. I decided to replace them with a set from a recently known running bike.


I’ve now received those replacement carbs and they are MUCH better. I've given them a quick check over and cleaned the sliders and choke mechanisms that were slightly sticky. I plan to see how the bike runs before deciding whether they need a full service. The reason for this is that a quality rebuild kit is going to cost more than the carbs themselves. There are cheap kits on eBay but I don’t trust them with the sort of tolerances that are needed for carbs. If anyone has positive experiences with cheap kits though, please tell me! I’ll do the full carb rebuild if I have to but I was assured by the seller that these replacement carbs were on a well running bike 2 months ago - and they certainly seem reasonable.


Yesterday I attempted to reinstall the carbs but the rubber boots are really hard and I can’t get the carbs back into them. The job wasn’t helped by the fact that I’ve current got Covid and am really tired - but I hate being in bed so had to do something! However, I didn’t persevere with the job for long because impatience isn’t going to help me do a decent job.


I’m left with a few options for these rubbers. The first thing I’ll try is cleaning up the carb and boot surfaces and applying a little grease and see if I can get them in. If that doesn't work then I would have hoped to buy a new set of boots but, although they’re available for the F3 for only £10, the boots changed for the 1997/1998 model and I can’t find the correct ones. Originals from Honda will cost £60. So, if I’m not successful with the grease, then I think I’m going to have to try reconditioning the current boots with wintergreen oil.


Once all that’s done, I’ll hopefully be able to see how the bike runs and determine whether the carbs need more work. Or whether there’s another problem causing the non-running. I’ve already drained the tank and it’s very clean inside - my main success so far!


And then when the bike is running OK, I'll then need to sort out brakes, chain & sprockets, bearing checks, etc. They're all dirty and horrible but, from initial inspection I believe they're all in serviceable condition underneath the grime. Time will tell.


And then finally, there is the frame (which some of you are already aware of). There's some surface corrosion on the frame. It really is only light cosmetic surface corrosion but it isn’t pretty. Very little of the frame is visible when the fairings are in place so I could leave it as-is - it's not a new bike after all. However I do think that, by the time I've prepared it, it will be really nice. There are some small repairs to the fairings and I had to replace the tail cowl but I think that once it’s all together, it’s going to look quite nice.


Which means that I think the frame corrosion will spoil the look of the bike and so I want to do something about it. I can't justify a full stripdown and re-powdercoat of the frame. I'd do that if it was a keeper and held a place in my heart - but that's not really the case.


So my choices are ...


1) Take off the surface rust and leave it at that, perhaps with a healthy dose of ACF50 or similar. This would improve the look but it doesn't feel quite enough to me - and rubbing down rust and doing nothing doesn't sit comfortably with me.

2) Do a very basic cosmetic improvement - perhaps some silver hammerite, maybe just to the areas that are visible when the fairings are on (which isn't much). This of course assumes that I can get something even close to a match with a hammerite-like product

3) My preference - take off all the visible surface rust, put a decent rust-converter / primer type product on there, and then rattle can spray with a decent matching colour


I’ve had some suggestions on the paint match but nothing absolute. The paint codes on the bike are for bodywork not frame. A mainly US forum seems to think that the frame colour is NH-211M but I can’t seem to find anything definite and can’t find that paint available in the UK. Someone on here has suggested NH-460M which it seems I could get hold of. This seems to be a VFR800 colour and there’s a good chance that it's close enough - I’d be happy with a close match. As with all parts of this project though, I need to watch the spend and trialling paints could get expensive!


And I’m left with one other niggling thing which is insurance. It’s not today’s problem but I’ll need to take the bike for MoT as some point and I’d really like to be able to take it out to test work I’ve done. I don’t want to ride without insurance. I will call my insurance company at some point to see if they have any suggestions but they’re a bog standard off-the-shelf insurer so I don’t really expect that they’ll have much experience of the type of cover I need. I can get single day insurance for around £35 which is my current option but it’s a bit expensive for a quick test ride from time to time.


Anyway, as I said at the start, this isn’t your classic restoration but hopefully it will be of interest to some. And if anyone wishes to offer advice then please do.


A few pictures below including the original carb that I attempted to strip down and gave up on and the corrosion that I want to address.







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Posted (edited)

Small update following an hour's covid boredom relief in my garage ...


I managed to fit the carbs to the old rubbers. Which was pleasing. I have some Autoglym trim and bumper gel and I remembered that it leaves rubber parts very clean, shiny and slippery. I applied a little to the boots and then cleaned up the faces of the carbs - and with a little persuasion the carbs seated correctly.


I then had 10 minutes of panic as I realised that I'd forgotten to connect the choke cable and wasn't sure whether it could be connected with the carbs in situ. Turns out it can so I didn't need to remove them again.


Next was to quickly make sure the petcock was working fine. Only it wasn't that quick. It turns out that when the petcock is in the middle 'off' position, it allows fuel to drop out at around a drop per second. The petcock seems to be riveted together and I can't see any easy way to get inside it. I'd really appreciate any thoughts on how critical a gently dripping petcock would actually be. If the float needles are working as required, is this actually going to leave me with a problem? 


For now, I've re-drained the fuel from the tank and then fitted the tank in place.


So when I'm next working on it (maybe tomorrow), I'll put some fuel back in, check for any immediate fuel leaks around the carbs and then have my first attempt at starting. I was tempted to do it today but don't really have the energy to deal with any urgent problems like major leaks that might arise. The uncertainty of a bike that I know almost nothing about!

Edited by Hairsy
Corrected typo
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ACF50 can reverse rust build up too. Obviously it depends how bad it is in the first place. 
I would definitely clean it off as best you can then apply the ACF and give it another clean after a week or so. A couple of repeats and I think that should sort it from what I’ve seen. 


Edited by fullscreenaging
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Budgets are good.  It makes you get creative.  It is easier to throw money at something than to figure out a way around the problem.


Budgets should be spent in strict order.


1.  Safety.  No point restorng a bike that is unsafe to ride.

2. Reliability.  You do not need a safe bike if it breaks down before reaching the end of the street.

3.  Cosmetically.  No bike looks good if it is getting pushed home with bent forks or a blown engine.


Part of the fun of restos is researching parts from other models that may be identical.  The NOS scalpers will look at a part from a CBR600, think it is a sexy bike and price accordingly.  The same part may be fitted to a CD200 commuter bike with a slightly different part number and therefore perceived as not particularly valuable in the scalpers eyes.  Also, parts may be discontinued for the original bike.  Scalpers generally do not do their homework and advertise a part as from a honda benly for a tenner, not knowing it will fit a CBR600 that had they known, would have advertised it as such and charged £40.


It helps to get to know the manufacturers part numbering system. For instance the Yamaha system is:


1T92633501.  Wire - Clutch.


1T9 is the VIN prefix of the model it was first fitted to.  In this case the US market DT100D.


26335 tells us it is a clutch cable.


01 tells us it has been modified from the original design once.  The original will have ended 00.


Wire - Clutch.   A Brief description.


The same cable may be fitted for many years on subsequent models of DT100 and different models, maybe some small road bike and part number will always be 1T926335 + mod 1 or 2 or 3.


Yamaha cancel production of the DT100 but still want to use the same cable on another model.  DT100 is no longer in play, so the new model vin prefix takes over.

3M12633500 - Wire - Clutch.


3M1.  VIN prefix of a Yamaha RT100.

26335 tells us it is a clutch cable.

00.  The cable has not been modified since it became prefixed to the RT100.


This is exactly the same cable with different part numbers. 

If you are on a budget or looking for new but obsolete parts, knowing the part number system of the manufacturer in question can save you hundeds of pounds over buying from dealers or the price scalpers on ebay.

You need a keen eye for detail and a wiilingness to do your homework.


I probably spent 10x more time looking for parts than restoring the bike, but that is part of the fun.


Edited by Tinkicker
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Posted (edited)

Thank you Tinkicker. That's really helpful. I had looked a little in Honda part numbering but my thinking hadn't gone as far as that, particularly in regard to the same part being used for later bikes.


Another small update for today. Added some fuel, turned on the petcock and no immediate leaks. Good news.


So I prepared myself for that incredible feeling of elation as I achieved the first start of the bike since owning ... and nothing.


Then remembered the choke. Sadly still nothing.


Paused and had a quick check and there was some fuel leaking from the fuel pump. Quite demotivating to find a new problem. I couldn't see quite where the leak was coming from so removed the fuel pump. I was hoping to find a dodgy fuel connection or perhaps cracked fuel pipe but that all looked fine. The main body of the pump is sealed so it doesn't appear possible to strip it down. It's possible I could break into it but the chances of it sealing back up afterwards seem low.


Before proceeding further with solving the leak though, I thought I'd check that the thing works. Bridged the fuel pump relay, turned on the ignition and nothing. Checked the supply to the relay and the pump itself and that's all good. Connected the pump to a 12v battery - and nothing. It's dead.


There's a switch mechanism on top of the pump, underneath a plastic cap. I had a look at that and the electrical contacts (like on an old set of points) on the switch are shot to pieces. A quick look online and this is a common problem. It's just possible that I could file down and clean the contacts enough but there wouldn't be much left of them. Checked online and the switch mechanism is available from the US but a new pump can be had for £11 which is much cheaper than the switch alone.


So that's now ordered and hopefully by the end of the week I'll be able to have another go at starting.


I've put the petcock problem on hold. Provided I keep the fuel level low enough to only supply fuel set to reserve, I can effectively turn off the petcock by setting it to the normal 'run' position.


And, finally, to make myself feel better about the whole thing I went out for a ride on my working bike in the glorious sunshine. Lots of bikes out and definitely helped the mood.


Edited by Hairsy
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Good call on the pump.  They fail after about 20,000 miles usually.  As you said, no point fitting new contacts when a chinese clone pump is very inexpensive.


In case you did not realise.. When your new pump arrives and you fit it, if it is the same system as my VFR, it will only start cycling the pump when the ecm detects that the crank is turning.  That is when cranking the motor over and it actually running.  It will not cycle just by turning on the ignition.

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1 hour ago, Tinkicker said:

Good call on the pump.  They fail after about 20,000 miles usually.  As you said, no point fitting new contacts when a chinese clone pump is very inexpensive.


In case you did not realise.. When your new pump arrives and you fit it, if it is the same system as my VFR, it will only start cycling the pump when the ecm detects that the crank is turning.  That is when cranking the motor over and it actually running.  It will not cycle just by turning on the ignition.


Thanks - yes, I was aware that it needs to see crank movement.


I'll report back ...

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Posted (edited)

After saying that the original pump contacts were too shot to be worth trying ... I decided to try anyway.


The alternative was to sit around waiting for a few days for the new pump to arrive. While there are other jobs that I could be doing, I know that my motivation for those will come when the bike is running. That's the point at which I'll know that there's life in there and therefore all the other work becomes worthwhile.


So I took the contact switch mechanism off the pump, broke it down to its parts, cleaned it and hit the contacts with some emery paper. After only a few minutes of work, I was left with two nice flat contact surfaces - certainly enough to be worth trying. So I put the mechanism back together. This took considerably longer than a few minutes. I really needed at least three hands, all of which needed fingers a lot smaller than mine. However, I got there eventually and connected the pump to a 12v battery - and there was life.


I refitted the pump to the bike and checked that it was functioning in situ. Sure enough, as soon as the bike started cranking I could feel the pump in action. So I fitted the fuel tank again. This exercise is teaching me that a small auxiliary fuel tank with a bit of hose would be a really nice tool to have. But I don't have one right now so it was back on with the proper tank.


I then left the bike overnight. I wanted a night's sleep where I could dream that when I turned the key everything would be good. But I knew that every step so far has involved solving one problem only to lead to discovering the next.


But this afternoon I decided that the time had come. I hit the starter for 10 seconds or so. No life from the engine yet but, most importantly, no fuel leak from the pump (which, you may remember, was the original problem I'd found with the pump). I think that it had probably just not been connected properly - the previous owner having made some efforts of their own to get it running.


So, with new confidence, I hit the starter again and ... she sprang into life. A really nice purr. The feeling of elation was huge. And fairly short lived. I glanced down and saw a steady flow of fuel coming out of the bottom of one of the carbs. At first glance, it appeared to be coming from the fuel drain so I assumed that must have been left loose (although I thought I'd checked). Sadly, it wasn't this. So I started her up again to see if I could find the source and realised there was too much leaking to be just the drain hole. I couldn't see the source of the problem but the rough location and quantity suggested to me that it could be from the hose that delivers fuel to carbs 1 and 2. I tried to reseat the relevant hose while the carbs were still in place but it didn't make a difference.


I did get a bit of video of the leak but, being new to this game, I've now realised that I can't upload it. Just imagine a load of fuel leaking out of the bottom of a carb - that's what it looked like!


So I whipped the carbs off again (I'm getting pretty quick at that), removed the suspect bit of a hose and examined it. It was in good condition with no splits. In a moment of complete faith, I decided to just put it all back together, taking particular care to ensure the hose was fully pushed into place and well clamped.


Carbs went back on, including the now familiar fight with the manifold rubbers. Connected everything up, put tank back in place and hit the starter.


Fired up straight away, settling to the nice purr again.


And, in a moment of true joy, NO LEAKS!


So I end the day feeling so much happier with my little project. There's still so much to do but knowing that the bike is running makes the whole thing worthwhile.


P.S. I'm conscious that this is a very long winded way of saying "got the engine running, found a fuel leak and fixed it". However, I'm hoping that it's useful for any other amateurs to share the highs and lows that come with taking on a project without any true technical background.

Edited by Hairsy
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I did a light resto one one of these last year, although it was a 1996 model. Generally speaking they are good to work on!


You've got the best bodywork colours in my view, so that will really help sell it when it comes to that time. Another good thing is they come apart quite easily, you don't get the same fight with crusty bolts that I've had on some Kawasaki's and Suzuki's that I do with Honda's. So you could drop the engine and get the frame properly treated, and powder coated perhaps? Or you could probably treat the rust and paint yourself and get a good result, especially if keeping it the same colour. 

The only issue with these old steel frames are they do corrode quite badly if just left. From memory as well the swingarms are really prone to corrosion, which can make them a bugger to remove. 

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Thanks - that's encouraging.


Small update for today. I filled with coolant ready to do a run up to temperature to check for any leaks of oil / coolant / fuel. Started on the button but, annoyingly, died after about 5 minutes. Upon investigation, it seems that my repair of the fuel pump was short lived. New one arrives later this week so the run up to temperature is on hold.


Did notice that the rev counter wasn't working. Will need to investigate that.


So a classic one step forward, two steps back day!

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7 hours ago, Hairsy said:

Thanks - that's encouraging.


Small update for today. I filled with coolant ready to do a run up to temperature to check for any leaks of oil / coolant / fuel. Started on the button but, annoyingly, died after about 5 minutes. Upon investigation, it seems that my repair of the fuel pump was short lived. New one arrives later this week so the run up to temperature is on hold.


Did notice that the rev counter wasn't working. Will need to investigate that.


So a classic one step forward, two steps back day!

Welcome to the world of restoring old neglected vehicles.  Sometimes it feels as if nothing is going right.  It is the small stuff that is the worst.

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Oh this bike is driving me nuts!


New fuel pump arrived and was fitted. Bike started immediately with a smooth tickover and would rev happily. I took the opportunity to check the charging voltage as I understand that these sometimes have reg/rec issues - 14.8v. Feeling happy.


Plan was to just let the bike make its way up to temperature so I can check for any fluid leaks. After about 3-4 minutes at idle I tried revving a bit - revs briefly increased a little but then bogged down. Releasing the throttle would get it back to tickover. After a couple of attempts at this, the bike stalled and then wouldn't start. Tried choke on and off and it didn't make any difference. Tried with a little throttle and also didn't make any difference.


Felt really fed up. Put the bike away to teach it a lesson. Not in the mood to do any more today.


I'd welcome any suggestion but my thoughts are as follows:


1) Re-try the same exercise but open the tank cap just in case there's a vent issue. I really doubt it's this as so little fuel would have been used in a few minutes of idle but got to be worth a try.


2) Check each of the spark plugs in case they tell any stories


3) Strip the carbs down and give them a thorough clean - I didn't previously do this, hoping (optimistically) that I could leave well alone as they'd come off a running bike


Incidentally, the rev counter did burst into life after a few seconds of running. At a later stage I'll be going through every electrical connector and clean them with contact cleaner - hoping that's my issue.


I'm really looking forward to having a good day on this project.

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16 hours ago, Tinkicker said:

Did you replace the fuel filter?

No I didn’t. My logic was that the fuel flow seems strong (based on the early leak I experienced) but I think you’re right. Not worth skimping on this now that I’m finding the problems are more extensive than I’d first thought. I’ll get one.


Thank you.

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50 minutes ago, Hairsy said:

No I didn’t. My logic was that the fuel flow seems strong (based on the early leak I experienced) but I think you’re right. Not worth skimping on this now that I’m finding the problems are more extensive than I’d first thought. I’ll get one.


Thank you.


Welcome to the world of restoration.  Every one I ever did ended up with more stuff in pieces and replaced than anticipated.  

The DT175 was supposed to have been restored by a motor vehicle lecturer, but was a death trap.  Looked pretty enough, but there is absolutely nothing on it that has not been had to be replaced or readdressed.  It is now to all intents and purposes, a brand new bike.  When I bought it, I thought all I needed to do was put fuel and oil in it. 

Two years later, I am replacing stuff in the motor that should have been done by the lecturer, then had another bite of the apple by me, that I failed to do and now I am having to readdress it again.



Problem is everyone has false expectations from all the you tube vids out there.  Most of the vids are not restorations, they are lipstick slapped on a pig.

There is a vast world of difference between getting something running and moving under its own power and building something that will be  safe, durable and reliable for years to come.


The devil really is in the detail.


You are in the depressing stage at the moment, taking things apart.  Seems like it will never go back together and run.


It does get better.  

Edited by Tinkicker
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You’re so right Tinkicker - and thank you. I spent a couple of decades maintaining my cars and bikes but then paid someone else to do it. I’m now at a stage of life where I have a little more time and little less money and wanted to take on a project. YouTube made it look easy so I thought I’d give it a go. But it’s tough!


But I’m not giving up yet. And your advice previously was great - don’t be too ambitious. So I’m planning to take small steps at a time. 

My positive thought is that the frustration will make the victory sweeter. So long as it does happen!

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It will happen.  The trick is not to look at it as a whole.

Assess which is most important, take that unit, strip it, and rebuild it to the best of your ability.  Put it aside and look to the next item.

50 items later and you are putting them together to make a complete bike that is the very best of your determination to make it right.

No bike is better than the sum of its parts.

It is not a race to the finish.


My personal rule is one job a day.  It may take an hour. It may take 5 mins.



Top yoke. Day 1. Remove paint and prep.


Day 2. Primer and prep.


Day 3.  Spray top coat.


Day 4.  Top coat cured, put aside and start on bottom yoke.


That way you will not hit the burn out point.  Too many people try to do too much at once and end up walking away.

Edited by Tinkicker
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A very important lesson for me today - question everything.


Today's job was to just make sure there wasn't any obvious non carb problem before I strip the carbs down. In an ideal world I'd be doing a carb rebuild anyway but my budget for the bike is very tight and even just replacement rubber parts would eat significantly into what I have left if I'm going to avoid this project becoming a major loss.


First thing was to remove the fuel filter to check it out. Again, in an ideal world I'd replace this by default but I need to check things before throwing money at them. The filter looked visibly clear and I could easily blow through it. I connected it to the petcock and fuel flowed easily through it. So reinstalled it.


Second thing was to open the tank cap, just in case there was a vacuum issue. I really didn't believe this was the issue because the vent hose is clear but always worth trying.


I then tried to start the bike. Turned over fine but no hint of starting. I actually saw this as good news - finally the problem doesn't seem to be intermittent. Perhaps a chance for proper diagnosis.


I've been focussed on fuelling but before moving on, I thought I'd check for spark once again - just in case anything I've done has disturbed a connection. However, plugs looked to be in good condition and were sparking fine. Checked the gap while they were out, just in case. Again, all in spec so put them back in.


So back to the fuelling theory. I did what one does - tried 2 or 3 more times to start the bike in case something has changed by magic. Nothing. Again, this is good news and I really don't want the problem to be intermittent.


So I removed the tank again to look for visual clues. I noticed a hose at the front of the engine that I didn't remember previously disconnecting but, on inspection, it was just a vent from the head and will connect up to the airbox when I put that back in place.


By this stage, I'm fairly resigned to the idea of a carb rebuild but I thought I'd have one more go at turning the bike over but this time without the tank in place - there should be some fuel in the bowls and maybe I'll see something odd while it's turning over. I have no idea what I was expecting to see but I'm desperate and what's the harm?


Turned it over and noticed a small dribble briefly coming out of the fuel hose that would normally be connected to the fuel tank. That seemed a little odd - the pump should be pumping fuel away from there and that hose is now the highest point in the system and so gravity should be taking fuel away from there. Don't think that should be happening. Turned it over once more and got another little burp of fuel.


And then the light bulb moment - the pump is pumping fuel into the tank not away from it. Maybe I've fitted it the wrong way round or the chinese clone pump is wired differently to the original. I check and the pump is definitely fitted exactly as the previous one was - there's a vent that points down and the electrical connection is in the right place. I remove it to test it and, sure enough, the pump is pumping the wrong way. Looking at the body of the pump, the inlet is correctly marked 'IN' but, on this pump, it's in the location of the OUT on the original pump.


So now I'm feeling good! I reinstalled the pump, re-routing the vent and the electrical connection so that I can now connect In and Out to the right hoses.


Then quickly throw the tank back on, hit the starter and ... she starts. Not only that, she runs nicely and revs well. I wait while she warms up and everything remains good. No leaks and running smoothly. I took the opportunity to check the temperatures of the headers to make sure all cylinders are pulling their weight and the outer two are a little cooler than the inner two, as I'd expect due to airflow, but all in the same ballpark.


So ... unless something new presents itself, I seem to have finally sorted out the running issues and can move on to other mechanicals and then, in due course, cosmetics.

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Some positive progress today, but not without little challenges.


First thing was to actually run the bike briefly. I haven't known this bike to run so I had no idea whether getting the engine running was just going to be the start of mechanical work. I only rode for a mile or so but everything behaved exactly as it should with good brakes, clutch, gear change, etc.


So on with the work. I took the tank off again and gave the petcock another test. It's now working a little better than it was - in the 'off' position there is now only a very slow dribble of fuel where it was previously pouring through. It may be that the movement of the mechanism as I operate it is allowing it to seal itself better. So I'm not going to do anything immediate on that and will see how it goes.


Next step was to remove the front fairing. This went relatively smoothly once I'd figured which electrical and intake hose connections needed to be removed. Unlike the side fairings, all the fixings were there which means nothing new added to the shopping list today. I'll give the old fixings a clean to remove surface rust but they're all fine. Someone has changed the left indicator in the past and the wire colours didn't match and were confusing. Using different colours of electrical tape, I  marked the cables so that they can now be easily reconnected correctly. The connectors themselves were sound. As mentioned previously, I will apply contact cleaner to every connection when I remake all the connections later.


Once the front fairing was off, I gave it a quick once over. It's not perfect but it's perfectly serviceable with no significant cracks or marks. I'll do the clean up later but I had a go at a scuff mark with some polish and was able to remove it. I think that with some later elbow grease, it should look fine.


Then onto the mudguard. This has 4 fixings. First two at the front were easy but the other two go through a bracket and then through the mudguard into some sort of captive fixing that's held in place by mouldings inside the mudguard itself. Those fixings are now spinning so I can't remove them. It's almost impossible to even see up into the mouldings with the wheel in place, let along get a tool onto them. So I'll get back to these once the wheel is off.


The brake caliper bolts, pinch bolts for the wheels and axle nuts all look quite corroded so, rather than attempt to remove them today, I took Tinkicker's advice and went for the patient option - I applied some penetrating fluid to them all (and the rears as well) and will now wait 24 hours. I've always used Plusgas in the past but read recently that a 50/50 mixture of auto transmission fluid and acetone is the most effective thing to use. So I've made some up and will see tomorrow how it's worked.


Not the most exciting of pictures but, just to show some progress ...





Edited by Hairsy
Correcting typos
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A fairly successful day today. 


First job was to remove the front pads and then calipers. As soon as I started trying to remove the pins holding the pads in place, they felt very tight. Yet more corrosion of course so I applied some penetrating fluid. Left them a few minutes and then used my manual impact driver on them - which was perfect for this job. I love this tool. I'd really like an electric impact driver and will treat myself one day but I think I'll always love the control that I have with the manual driver. I had one for 30 odd years and replaced it recently with another. I wouldn't be without it.


Pads then came out fine. I already knew they had plenty of material left on them but looking at pads out of the caliper often reveals previously unseen crumbling etc. These look fine though. I removed some very light surface corrosion from the back of them, cleaned them up with brake cleaner and ran some emery paper both over the friction surfaces. I also cleaned up the pins that had proved tricky to remove. I then cleaned the calipers themselves with brake cleaner and a soft brass brush. They are two pot calipers with both pots on the same side and so the caliper slides. The sliding action wasn't smooth at all but the two parts were easily separated and cleaned and they now operate as they should.


Pins before and after cleaning. These are actually the same size - weird angle with the camera!



And before and after pictures of the left caliper. More than anything, this is to show that when you're doing this kind of restoration where you're not taking it back to 'as new' condition, your hard work cleaning and improving things doesn't always lead to much of a cosmetic difference. But the brakes will definitely benefit from having been freed up.






That grey lump on the right is the side of the radiator which has lost all its paint. Looks awful. A job for later ...


Next was to remove the wheel. Yesterday's penetrating fluid had done its job and although there was corrosion on the fixings, everything came off nicely and then cleaned up well. All this cleaning of fixings is time consuming but it's saving me a small fortune. I'm applying XCP Rust Blocker to everything that I've cleaned up and will advise the new buyer to do the same from time to time (unless they feel inclined to replace all the fixings). I think it's great stuff.






Finally, with the wheel removed I was now able to get to the inside of the mudguard to see the fixings that I hadn't been able to remove yesterday. The plastic mouldings that hold the 'square nuts' in place had broken. The design of these fixings puts them in the direct line of every bit of mud, grime, salt, etc from the road so it's inevitable that they will become super corroded and then the mouldings won't be able to take the torque. With the wheel out, I was able to get penetrating fluid onto them and then a pair of mole grips onto the back of the fixings. This allowed me to remove the through bolts but they were super tight all the way out. Almost felt that they were going to break (they're small with only 8mm heads). When I saw the state of them, it came as no surprise that they'd been so hard to remove.




Once again though, they cleaned up well and now screw together really nicely. Tomorrow I plan to clean up the inside of the mudguard and work out how I'm going to sort these fixings out. I think I'll probably just epoxy them in place but the bolts will definitely be getting some copper grease in the hope that this might help out the next person who tries to remove it.


Front end now looking quite sad.





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After a good day yesterday, today's experience was a little more varied.


First job was to attach the captive nuts to the mudguard. I got rid of many years of grime from the mudguard, keyed the surface, cleaned the nuts and mudguard with isopropyl alcohol and epoxied the nuts in place. They're clamped on with bolts while the glue cures.




Then on to the forks. I had hopes that a good clean and scotchbrite might do enough but, although they're better, I'm not really happy with them. I think I'm probably going to need to paint them. Maybe the forks can be a test of whatever paint I select for the frame later. Anyway, this has now dropped down the job list while I do other things.










I found a few fairing fixings missing when I first took the fairings off and so need to order a few bits. I don't want to order them until all the plastics are off in case I find more missing. The last remaining bit of plastic to remove is the rear hugger - which I'd already seen has one missing fixing. So I thought I'd get this removed today so I can put my order in.


The hugger seems to be held in place with two small bolts with Phillips (JIS) heads. At first attempt they felt absolutely solid - yet another corrosion issue. I'm used to this. Or so I thought.


So I applied my ATF/Acetone penetrating fluid and gave them an hour. I then gave the first one a go with my impact driver and it wouldn't budge. I decided to try a heavier hammer on it. This gave me a little more nervousness over my fingers so I tried standing at a different angle. Idiot that I am, this led to me not holding the impact driver square on and caused the impact driver to strip the head. One of those moments were a second of not thinking properly leads to potentially hours of problem. This is amateur restoration in all its glory.


So I'm now left with the challenge of removing a stripped screw that is corroded solid in place.




I could probably grind the head off it, although I'll have to be very careful not to melt the plastic hugger. But then I'll still be left with the problem of removing the remains of the bolt. It may be that I can get more penetrating fluid on it and then some mole grips.


I've got very limited experience of removing stripped bolts and most of it is bad experience!


Is there a better approach to this? I can't get to the back of it because it's screwed into the box section of the swing arm. I don't have skills or equipment to weld onto it. And I'm dead nervous about drilling it out without making the problem worse.


I'll be googling this evening but all suggestions would be appreciated ...

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