I wish I could have taken crazydrummerdude up on his offer to come down for a tech day when he offered shortly after I bought the bike. Unfortunately, my fabrication business is "feast or famine" and I was really busy for months about that time and had to ignore the bike until just recently. I agree, an experienced guide would have sped the project. Oh well, I'm learning a lot along the way. I'm quite mechanically inclined, but even with the almost 800 pages in the Clymer manual they can't address every little aspect of what happens to a almost 40 year old bike when it's been sitting for a few years. Complete disassemby and reassembly would be ideal, but then I'd be tempted to re-do everything and it would take a really long time and cost a lot of $$. I don't have any desire for a "restored" bike; I love the character the "patina" gives the bike. As I look at it I'm just catching up on years of neglected maintenance. Nothing like the lessons learned from the school of experience and that's why I appreciate everyone taking the time to post helpful hints here!
I had the brushes out of the holders. I seem to recall a minimum length of about .32" in the manual. I didn't get out my caliper, but per a tape measure at hand they were over 3/8" (.375"), so they should be good, although are probably candidates for replacement soon. The "watch springs" have plenty of room before they even get close to bottoming out, and the length of the brushes would seem adequate to keep them from "cocking" and hanging up in their holders. The bike has just under 112xxx miles on it as best I can figure. The PO bought it with 20K-ish miles and it's now showing 11,xxx so I'm figuring he rode it the ~90K over his long ownership. I'll get into the instrument cluster plug to clean-up and tune-up as needed and see what happens. Another thread here recently had to do with a non-charging issue and several posters went into detail about the current "flow" on the way to the brushes. I'll refer back to that thread for more info as I might need it. I try to avoid posting every niggling question here so I don't make a pest of myself or get too lazy to learn on my own.
IBA Member #49541