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Old 12-26-2012, 01:36 AM   #16
redprimo OP
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Location: central coast of California
Oddometer: 513
Progress has slowed a bit around the holidays, but Im still making a bit of progress. I had to have a de-comp cable custom made but the good news was that they had a clutch, front brake, and speedo cable in stock and the pice was pretty reasonable. The guys at Motion Pro do top notch work, there was a spot on the de-comp cable that had rubbed on the header and melted the insulation off the stock cable. They noticed it and put a spring on the outside of the cable to keep it from doing the same thing. Unfortunately I forgot to order a throttle cable, I suppose thats just as well until I resolve the intake manifold and the angle of the carb. If I fix the angle I may need a longer cable but the end could be straight where as if I leve things as they are I think Iwill need a j bend on the end. I would love tho hear from anyone running a Mikuni on one of these and find out how others do this.
I still need to finish up the last of the wiring but Im starting to work on the tank and plan for some trick plastics as well as thinking about what I need to order to fab up a custom SS exhaust system. This is where she sits now.
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Old 01-05-2013, 03:58 PM   #17
cyclewizard
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Lookin good mate.......
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:23 PM   #18
kubiak
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super nice honda. looking great!
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Old 01-05-2013, 06:37 PM   #19
Rot Box
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Looks great! Can't wait to see more
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Old 01-06-2013, 10:08 AM   #20
redprimo OP
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Thanks for the encouragement. Right now the tank is soaking with some evaporust in it to clear up a bit of an acne problem. This coming week I hope to repair the hand full of pin holes in the tank. I posted over in the garage section asking for advice on how to repair the tank and the overwhelming opinion is to use lead solder. I'm still considering silver solder only because I have a lot of experiace with it and very little with lead. from what I can see inside the rust is somewhat localized in a relatively small area around each pin hole.

Next on the to do list is a custom stainless exhaust system. I couldn't find very many threads about fabing up an exhaust so I will be sure to post up lots of pics once I get started.
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Old 02-03-2015, 06:40 PM   #21
redprimo OP
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lot has happened in the last year. I finished the bike, put 1,200 miles on it and siezed it. its currently torn apart with parts expected to show up any minute. While looking for some parts and info regarding some mods I want to make I kept finding this thread and some of my pictures so I decided to finish it up. It will take me a few posts to ketch up so bear with me.

I left off with the tank soaking in some resolve rust remover. good stuff, it removes the rust without harming the paint. Although the paint on my tank was toast. After soaking and rinsing with some acetone I Had a tank ready to be bead blasted and welded up. Unfortunately the blasting revealed a lot of pin holes besides the one that I had a known about before blasting.


I actually silver soldered all the pinholes and pressure tested it and then moved on to pulling this dent out using a stud welder. I was almost ready to start with body putty when a really clean tank showed up on my local clist for $100. This is the nasty dent on my original tank, almost had it out.


was hot to paint the body work now but before I could move forward with that I needed to address the front fender. 30+ years of sun had not been kind to the plastic. Here is a close up to what the surface looked like.


There was no way I was going to be able to restore this. This is an odd fender and there are no aftermarket fenders available. there are some that will fit but they look like crap, remember this beast has a 23" front wheel so it really needs that OEM diving board of a front fender. having a back ground as a pattern and mold maker I decided to make a fiberglass fender. Ill cover that in my next post, it turned out really sweet.
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Old 02-03-2015, 08:57 PM   #22
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I chose what many would think an unusual approach to making a fiberglass fender. I decided to make a plug from the inside of the fender and then do my layup over my form which would then require me to finish the top with bondo. I chose this route for several reasons, not the least of which was the really bad condition of the top surface of my stock fender and I could either smooth it or a fiberglass part but either way I was going to be smoothing the top of that finder. It also had two really bad kinks and by making the plug the kinks would become high spots that could be ground/sanded off which would be easier than filling and sanding on the inside of a mold. The underside also was in perfect condition so I know it would release with no problem. To start the process I cut a bunch of blocks of sugar pine, Its nearly as stable as mahogany and I happened to have some scraps on hand. I cut the blocks to allow for about 1/16 - 3/32" of bondo.


I waxed the fender and buffed it back then buttered up the blocks and pressed them in, careful to also butter the inside of the fender and press the blocks in a way that eliminated any trapped air pockets. I would get 6 or 8 blocks per mix and then clean and trim as the bondo became green. when I was done I mixed a batch and spread it on the bottom to even things out and make sure I was even with the edges of the fender. I was a bit past in a couple of areas, but a grinder made quick work of that. I let everything cool and cure overnight before de-molding and ended up with this:


I cut a scrap of plywood to match the curve of the bottom and glued it on with some bondo and some angle blocks, then screwed that to a base so it was easy to work on. The plug actually came out really nice. A bit of sanding between each batch and a filled a few holes along with repairing where my kinks were and I think I had about three hours into the plug before it was ready to uses as a mold.


I had started priming the other body work so I shot some left over primer on my plug but it would have worked as a mold just as well in bondo. I waxed it and buffed it out then sprayed it with some PVA. I always wax all my tools before I start which makes clean up a lot easier. I used epoxy resin and layed up two layers of either 3 or 6oz E cloth (can't remember which) followed by two layers of 32oz twill and finished with two more layers of E cloth. Here is a picture of the finished layup before it was trimmed.


I let everything set up for about a bit over an hour and then trimmed it then walked away till the next day and came back and popped it off and washed the PVA off the part and the plug. From here on out I used the plug as a stand while finishing the fender and for painting. here is a picture of the fender and the plug. the underside of the fender came out so nice it even had the part numbers from the original plastic that were picked up in the plug . the top would need a couple coats of bondo followed by several coats of primer.


I had painted a few cars in high school, but that was back when this bike was new and well, the EPA has been screwing with paint formulas since then. Back then you had one primer and it worked for everything. I had a rude introduction as to why etching primers are now necessary for bare metal- the brand I picked had two choices for bare metal and I opted for their epoxy primer. I should have also purchased a high fill primer as well but I cheaped out and used the epoxy primer for everything, which made it take more coats and more sanding. In the end it all worked out just fine. I found a very good deal on some Urekem paint at thecoatingstore.com - some two stage automotive paint, A quart of color, clear reducer and hardener all delivered for change over a C note including an up charge for red. I painted in my wood shop with dust everywhere and without a filter or drier on my compressor. I knew I was going to get a bunch of nibs but with what I was planning for graphics that was not really a problem because I was already planning a second application of clear after I color sanded and applied my graphics. Here is a teaser shot after the initial color and clear and taped off for graphics.
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Old 02-04-2015, 07:06 AM   #23
brucifer
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Cool! Great job with that fender.
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Old 02-05-2015, 03:54 PM   #24
redprimo OP
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I'm going to back up a bit from the body work and post up the muffler repair I did. I live in an area with extreme fire danger during the summer months and knowing I had a hole in my muffler I was going to have to do something about it. I had been thinking I might have to have a highway patrol vin verification done on this bike to get it registered so I was strongly leaning to restoring the stock muffler rather than fabricating a copy of a Mugen exhaust which is what I would much rather do. So here is the before picture after I had sand blasted it.


My plan was to cut the cylinder portion out at the welds and roll up a new piece and weld it back up easy peasy.


Problem is once I opened things up and sand blasted the inside to make it easier to weld I found this.


This threw me for a loop for a bit on how to repair things. It may not show up in the pick but the metal is tissue paper thin and I knew I would have problems if I tried to just repair it with welding rod. I didn't want to lay a scrap of sheet metal over the cancer because then it would look like it was repaired which I didn't want. The next couple of pics are just to show what the ends of the inner muffler tube look like as well as the end from the outside.




At this point I set things aside for a couple of weeks until I hit on a simple solution. I cut the round disc out of the tail end but left the weld to make it easier to weld in an new metal disc, well actually more of a donut. I then rolled a short piece of sheet metal to make a collar that I welded to the inner muffler tube and could tack that to the disc. I also was able to weld the tube to the disc from the outside so it looked somewhat stock.


It may not be quite as pretty as OEM but It will pass muster.



I don't have a picture if it painted before I bolted it to the bike but I thought I would share a picture of what the inside of that Ginormous can. Pretty interesting actually as the vanes direct the spinning exhaust to the outside where it continue until it hits the end where any cinders settle out and the gasses bounce back and enter the front of the inner tube and then exit. Too bad it weighs so much.
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Old 02-05-2015, 06:20 PM   #25
redprimo OP
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Every vintage bike seems to have its unobtainable parts and this beast is no different. One of those impossible to find parts is the speedometer. I mean it's not hard its downright impossible to find a working speedo. I found broken ones going for a $100 or more on ebay. so with nothing to lose I decided to try repairing the one I had. I needed to open it up because the lenses for the indicator lights had come loose and the inside was dirty due to the hole in the back. Add in a bent indicator needle, how that happened I'd love to know. I had the broken mounting bolt and had been a clean brake so the hard part was figuring out how to open it up. Sorry but no pictures of that part, but here is a picture of the back before I cut it open. The broken mounting point is the hole on the right. also notice how oxidized the black plastic is.


So i I'll try my best to explain it without visual aids. The case is molded ABS plastic with a seam around the perimeter where the two halves are glued together. fortunately there is a flange and I discovered that you can safely cut the housing in half using a small saw blade on a dremel. The blade I have looks like a miniature Circular saw blade made by Gyro and bought it at either Orchard Supply Hardware or Ace can't remember which. I carefully cut flush to the flange and holding the saw blade in such a way that if it were larger I would have filleted the speedo, I hope that explains it. Once I had it open repairing was pretty simple. I made sure the broken piece fit cleanly in the hole and just buttered both parts with ABS cement used in plumbing. Bonus is that it is black so perfect color match. I cut up an end cap fitting and shaped it to fit on the inside and glued it in for reinforcement, clamping it overnight just to be sure.


While I had things open I decided to reset the odometer, seemed fair since I was doing a complete restoration. and before gluing the parts back together I restored the finish on the ABS housing by glass bead blasting. You would be surprised at how long it takes and it does not eat the surface away. It is more like blasting rust only you are blasting off the white oxidation. I had to mask the lens because it is held in by a ring that is glued in place. Sorry no info on how to replace a broken lens but I have serious doubts about it being possible. So here is a picture of the finished speedo , Ye, I know I skipped over the mount and headlight that are under the speedo, but that was just standard cleaning and painting.
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Old 02-07-2015, 04:07 PM   #26
redprimo OP
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Back in the middle of September 2014 I had my truck all loaded up with the wife and dogs and 40 miles away from home when I blew an 'O' ring on the back side of the high pressure oil pump on my truck. Besides the mess that 10 quarts of oil makes as it is blown out over the top of an engine it left me with no suitable alternate transportation for my commute to work, Even my ct90 was out of commission with a blown engine. My commute crises was solved with a quick trip to the Mazda dealer for a long overdue new car for the wife and gave me her vehicle to use until my truck was up and running, which fortunately was only a week thanks to the HPOP only being used to send oil to the injectors and the regular oil pump still having almost 5 quarts to lubricate all the vitals. So what does this all have to do with restoring my XL500s? well it put me into high gear to get it on the road and taking pictures of some of the minor details just didn't happen. But rest assured that I did replace all the wheel bearing, cables, rubber grommets, and pulled all the electrical controls apart and cleaned all the switches. I also cleaned all the electrical components including all the connectors and re-wrapped the harness. So now we are picking up with just the seat and body work left to go.

I posted earlier about the paint I would be using and about painting in less than Ideal conditions but I thought a couple of pictures might be in order. I threw some plastic over my table saw and it became my staging area. I had to make a stand for the tank to allow me to shoot up at the bottom edge. the stand for the tank and the one for the finder came in handy as it made it easier to move the parts back and forth from my staging area to my painting area AKA my drill press.








I know I posted this next picture as part of the post on fabricating the front fender but I thought I would use it her to show the process of applying the graphics. so At this point all the body parts have been painted with color and clear coat and then wet sanded with 600 grit paper and masked off with fine line tape and blue masking tape.




So for the graphics I decided to do some water transfer printing. I bought a one square meter kit from mydipkit.com and watched a bunch of videos. I should have practiced on something first because I ended up doing my gas cap 3 times before I got it right. Luckily I had a heavy coat of clear and was able to sand it and not burn through. For those not familiar with water transfer printing it uses a PVA film with a printed graphic on it. You paint a base color on your part that you want for the non printed areas of the graphic. the film is floated on the surface of a bucket of water and allowed to hydrate for a few seconds before you spray an activator on it, after a few more seconds you slowly immerse your part and the graphic stretches and wraps around the 3 dimensional surface of your part. After you pull it out and let it sit for a minute you rinse it under warm water to remove the PVA film which leaves only the ink of the printed graphic pattern on your part. So in this picture the graphic has been applied and the masking removed. It now needs a another coat of clear to seal and protect the graphic.




And here is the finished fender along with pictures of the other body work. Sorry for the fuzzy pictures, the details in the finished parts are actually very crisp.








For anyone curious about my drill press it is an early 60's Delta Unidrill, a rare radial arm drill press. I don't often use it to drill angled holes but it is really handy to drill extra tall objects and with the table and legs weighing in at 240 lbs it makes nice solid work table. Here is a picture of me drilling the mounting holes in the fender. I located the holes by placing the original fender on my mold plug and locating the hole, then clamping the plug to the table, switching the new fender onto the plug and drilling that hole. Rinse and repeat three more times and it mounted up like it was OEM.

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Old 02-07-2015, 04:11 PM   #27
redprimo OP
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I had never done a seat before but why let a little detail like inexperience stop me, it never has before. So after looking at all the youtube videos I could find on the topic and more than one not on that topic I made my way to my local upholstery supply shop and bought some supplies. I had enough to make a mistake or three and still do a seat or two. So this is what I started with, A seat pan that was in great shape and the foam that was less so. the top of the original seat had long sense disintegrated and the foam had weathered and eroded where it wasn't covered by vinyl. That left the bottom and sides more or less intact.




Due to the bottom of the foam being molded to fit the seat pan I decided to try my hand at repairing the original foam. I build furniture and one of the tools in my shop is an 18" bandsaw with a 12" re-saw capacity, Bingo, instant seat foam fillet.




I missed a few pictures in the sequence but what I did was slice 1" off the top. this got rid of the majority of the eroded foam. There was an area right about where I would spend the most time sitting that was further eroded on one side so I decided to cut another 1" of thickness out of the middle part of the seat which would also give me a larger area of new firm foam to support my weight. In this picture this area has had its new piece of foam glued in place. I got a bit off in my cutting as you can see. So at this point I just smoothed that area out with a 60 grit sanding disc on my 4 1/2"grinder, I initially tried a 36 Grit disk but that was too grabby and I think 120grit probably would have worked better but I didn't have one on hand.




So then it was just a matter of gluing the top piece of foam on and rough trimming both pieces at the same time and then trimming flush with the grinder. here you can see an area of eroded foam. I decided that the easiest way to deal with this was to grind/sand the eroded area into a flat and then glue a scrap of the original foam in place.




So now I had something that was starting to look like it might turn into a seat. Due to that error in the one cut where I had to smooth the foam between the two layers the seat was slightly sloped to one side. This actually turned out to be a good thing as I opted to fix it by sanding the other side but leaving a crown in the middle, which the original seal likely had anyway. so in this picture all I have left to do is round over the edges. I wanted a 1" radius so I made a guide mark .56" from the corner onto both edges. I would then grind a flat between these two points and then proceed to further shaping, In this picture I've stopped half way through grinding that flat and drawn a line in the middle of it to make it show better in a picture.




And here is the finished foam with the radius on the corner. The top looks worse than it is because of the angle of the light but did have some grinding marks. This wouldn't be a problem because there would be an additional 1/2" layer of foam covering that area as part of the channel detail I was planning




. but for now I threw the seat on the bike for a couple of shake down rides and then a long ride to test out the seat to make sure I hadn't created a red monkey butt maker.

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Old 02-12-2015, 03:54 PM   #28
BikerRoni
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The bike is looking GREAT!! Impressive rebuild and pics . I picked up an '81 basket case and ,little by little, I'm getting together all the parts that were missing. I'd really appreciate it, if you open to emails about your build. There are certain "things" I've come across that another fellow bike owner's knowledge would be quite helpful in the rebuild process. For example: I realized that the rear wheel is off a CM250 and not an XL500s( Larger drum and different brake panel= I'm gong to have to figure out a modified brake cable set-up).
Looking forward to more pics of your progress.
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Old 02-12-2015, 04:21 PM   #29
redprimo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikerRoni View Post
The bike is looking GREAT!! Impressive rebuild and pics . I picked up an '81 basket case and ,little by little, I'm getting together all the parts that were missing. I'd really appreciate it, if you open to emails about your build. There are certain "things" I've come across that another fellow bike owner's knowledge would be quite helpful in the rebuild process. For example: I realized that the rear wheel is off a CM250 and not an XL500s( Larger drum and different brake panel= I'm gong to have to figure out a modified brake cable set-up).
Looking forward to more pics of your progress.
Thanks,
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Old 02-13-2015, 11:11 AM   #30
redprimo OP
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With no cover over the foam I decided to do a few shake down rides. First a short 30 mile rode it like I stole it ride followed by a oil change to take care of the initial ring seating. checked everything else and swapped in my other headlight bulb because I the high was blown on the one I was running. I then suited up for a 100 mile loop to see how comfortable my foam work was before committing to a cover. The bike ran flawlessly other than a stall a few miles from home which I later traced to the ground wire for the coil being attached to location with a rubber issolator bushing and occasionally breaking contact. But when I got home I had blown the headlight again. Best price I could find for a replacement 6v sealed beam was $49 delivered to my door. I guess its just basic math: Odd size + obsolete voltage = $$$

Fortunately I have a CT90 that I keep in running condition and they use the same 6v sealed beam bulb and there is an aftermarket fix available from http://dratv.com/ct90k2thru19.html It comes in hilarious box proudly labeled "Not China part" unfortunately I don't have a picture of the box or the headlight before I disassembled it but here is a picture of all the pieces.




This headlight is a bit bigger than the stock bulb and lacks the tabs to attach to the stock headlight rim which means the loss of lateral adjustment of the beam. I figured I could compensate for that with the mounting bolts for the headlight Bucket and the mounting bracket and That worked out just fine. It takes a bit of force to slightly flex the stock rim to get this bulb where it goes and it is not a perfect fit but the retaining clips that come with it work just fine to hold it in the stock rim. Here is a picture of the lens from the aftermarket assembly held against the stock sealed beam for a size comparison.




The reflector on the aftermarket unit is not as deep so it throws a wider beam and not quite as far. I think the best solution would be to use a Dremel to cut and shape the back of a stock bulb to accept the bulb holder from unit I used. It would still be a cheaper fix and would then use the stock mounting set up and you would have cheap bulb replacements. Unfortunately both of my stock sealed beams have reflectors with pealing chrome. Anyone have a burned out one they would give me for the cost of postage?
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