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Old 10-29-2009, 06:53 AM   #16
wpbarlow
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Excellent! The world needs more running bevels
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:42 AM   #17
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More please...
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Old 10-29-2009, 07:58 AM   #18
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Subscribed. Great hands-on restoration post.
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Old 10-29-2009, 08:01 AM   #19
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Yup!

GIMME MOOOOOOOOOOORE!

Really, really nice reading!

Cheers,
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:03 AM   #20
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See, here's the problem. Guys like you post threads where:

a.) You find a mostly complete bike like this for a relatively low up front price.
b.) You post pictures where the bike becomes just dead sexy seeming overnight.
c.) I start thinking I have a chance in hell of finding one of the aforementioned bikes.
d.) I start thinking I could somehow afford and or finish the aforementioned bike without my wife divorcing me.

You are cruel man indeed and clearly I am a masochist. I can't wait to see more.
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Old 10-29-2009, 09:45 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drhach
See, here's the problem. Guys like you post threads where:

a.) You find a mostly complete bike like this for a relatively low up front price.
b.) You post pictures where the bike becomes just dead sexy seeming overnight.
c.) I start thinking I have a chance in hell of finding one of the aforementioned bikes.
d.) I start thinking I could somehow afford and or finish the aforementioned bike without my wife divorcing me.

You are cruel man indeed and clearly I am a masochist. I can't wait to see more.
a) I spent about $350 in shipping alone on all the parts I bought. That's half what I paid for the bike to begin with. FWIW I know someone who just bought a 750GT, in better condition, for $1000, so they're still out there. Yes, I hate him too.

b) Yeah, there is that. The pics of the "before" front wheel/brake and the "after" front wheel/brake were taken at least a year apart. On that note, there was a moment during the process when I was working on/thinking about something else when I noticed the bike and thought "holy crap, it looks like a bike again!". I was maybe three years into it when this happened? Forest through the trees kind of thing I guess. In all seriousness I think that was when I decided that I should concentrate on making it rideable rather than "finishing" it. The "temporary" exhaust has been on there for three years now.

c) It took about five years to buy the bike after I first heard of it. I chased a KHK Harley project for about ten years. When I had the money, my buddy didn't want to sell, when he was considering selling, I didn't have the money. I finally lost it to someone else who got the timing right. Or maybe the number right...

d) I have a "toy fund" set aside that is immune from spousal control. A small percentage of each paycheck goes into this fund. Many a discussion has been shortened with the phrase "I paid for it out of my toy fund". I'm not sure she knows what the total cost so far is... don't ask, don't tell.

Time seems to be at least as much as an obstacle as money these days. I haven't figured out a way to save it up yet.

Hmm.. who was it? Nick Lowe? You've got to be cruel to be kind?
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:23 AM   #22
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congrats. DesmoDog.....Keep on...looks fantastic...

I am also a Duc fanatic, original (number 027 of the first 200 ) 750ss 1974 Greenframe owner and in the midlle of her restoration....

Here are some pics of our project...We painted the frame and polyester parts last week and will start the engine rebuild sometime next month...Of course I will start a normal thread upon finish....with best quality photos and info...

we are too far away...would be great to have the two Italian ladies sometime next to each other.....





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Old 10-29-2009, 10:38 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SVARTH
congrats. DesmoDog.....Keep on...looks fantastic...

I am also a Duc fanatic, original (number 027 of the first 200 ) 750ss 1974 Greenframe owner and in the midlle of her restoration....

Here are some pics of our project...We painted the frame and polyester parts last week and will start the engine rebuild sometime next month...Of course I will start a normal thread upon finish....with best quality photos and info...

we are too far away...would be great to have the two Italian ladies sometime next to each other.....

http://s786.photobucket.com/albums/y...=IMAGE_057.jpg

http://s786.photobucket.com/albums/y...=IMAGE_059.jpg

http://s786.photobucket.com/albums/y...=IMAGE_069.jpg
I looked and looked but no fly in the glass . I only had the 900GTS and a few more modern Ducks (F1B and the white Passo)
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:00 AM   #24
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:02 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scudman
I looked and looked but no fly in the glass . I only had the 900GTS and a few more modern Ducks (F1B and the white Passo)
I ve been searching for months.....No italian fly in my tank....for sure...
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:14 AM   #26
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Sweet! I had a GT750, mine was the later golden-orange and black version. One of the biggest headaches on the bike was the crappy Lucas electrical system. (I never could figure out why anyone would use the worst the British had to offer on anything). The rocker style switches on the bars were always breaking. I ended up swapping over to Honda switches and re-wiring the whole mess.
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Old 10-29-2009, 11:16 AM   #27
Anorak
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This is a great thread. I didn't really appreciate the bevel drive Ducatis until I started working at a shop in S.F. that sees a fair number of them. Do any of you remember this article? I read it when it was originally published in Cycle World. Then a couple years ago, they hired a guy for the parts department where I worked. After I found out he had a high mile 750SS something clicked and I realized he is the subject of the article. The article was a sidebar to a story about the most pristine 750SS.

Thanks again DesmoDog.
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Old 10-29-2009, 03:48 PM   #28
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Nice thread

Well done on starting this one, I particularly like the toy fund idea - I shall commence negotiations forthwith! Anyway, here's a low grade photo of mine at the moment - 1974 GT which I've owned since '84, rebuilt twice (I think) and can never part with.

Various bits off it at the moment plus I'll get some decent photos sorted if you like.
Good luck with it!
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Old 10-29-2009, 04:14 PM   #29
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Bodywork - first the gas tank

The tank was pretty beat up so I sourced another tank that also had a few issues, but was still better off than this tank.




The "new" tank had been stripped by the previous owner to prove how solid it was to a new buyer, who backed out of the deal. When I got it rust had set in and there were some pinholes in the bottom of it but it looked easer to fix than the original tank.

Then I started taking auto restoration classes at Washtenaw Community College again. Sidenote - local community colleges and technical schools are great resources. They are typically very well equipped with both tools and talent. If you want to learn how to paint, weld, use machine tools, or whatever you should check out what's available in your area, you may be surprised.

One of the instructors at WCC was Tom Rose, an ex-motorcycle racer who had a day job at a local high-end restoration shop. Tom was a talented metal worker who took the tank and showed me how it's done. The before pics show most of the damage on the tank. The after pics were taken midway through the process so there are areas that haven't been finished yet. Bottom line, Tom did a great job knocking this thing back into shape.

We (ok, he) started out by welding a tab on the tank and pulling out the dent on top of the tank, but I wasn't all that thrilled with the idea of doing so much welding and grinding, so I bit the bullet and cut some access holes in the base of the tank. The next step was to work the metal out by hitting a wooden stick with a hammer. This got it into rough form, which Tom then finished with a body dolly and hammer. The pictures don't do his work justice, it's amazingly smooth. He did later admit to me thought hat if it were for a customer, he would have stopped half an hour agao and used a thin layer of filler. "I was really just showing off" he told me. It seems no one will pay for that final touch if it's going to be painted anyway. Unless it's polished aluminum, there will be flaws. Before anyone cries foul, let me add the "flaws" he was talking about were hard for me to detect with my bare hands. "You can't feel that dip? It's a mile deep!"











Sharp readers will by now have identified yet another "Do as I say and not as I do" moment...

Those of you who have done this before saw those photos and thought "you should strip ALL the paint before doing any work on the tank." Oh how right you are. I put a bunch of time into welding the tank back together, only to strip the rest of the paint and find some major bondo work on the front section. I gave up on this tank and went back to the replacement I had bought earlier!

Lesson: Strip ALL the paint on the tank before you dive in to the repairs. I knew I should have but I was in a hurry so I only stripped the "problem" areas. Yeah, right... and yes, Tom told me I should have too. "Nah, we'll be fine" I told him...

Postcript; The restoration program at WCC ceased to exist not long after I was there, due to politics mainly. I stayed in touch with Tom but am sorry to say he passed away last spring after a battle with cancer. In the fall of '08 I ran into him at a local bike meet and we got to talk, which I'm very happy about. He had given up on treatment by then and was "riding it out" he told me. I knew he was very sick so wasn't too surprised, but still. I was on my '97 900ss that day, a new to me bike that I thought was too loud. I punished it a little on my way home and have to admit for the mood I was in it sounded pretty damn good. A big F U to the world I suppose.

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Old 10-29-2009, 06:03 PM   #30
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I'm pretty sure this tank was chemically stripped and the chemicals either damaged the tank or at least removed some bad metal. I cleaned the tank up with "Must for Rust" from TinmanTech.com, then brazed up the area with the holes. (Obviously I cleaned the entire tank, this is just to show the contrast). After that I cleaned the inside of the tank with some metal prep from a POR tank lining kit.



Then I lined the tank with the POR liner. I've used Kreeme (sp?), and I've used the POR stuff. POR is SO much nicer. It also comes with some cloth to do repairs, I put that over the brazed section just as an added measure of protection. So far so good.

The rest of the bodywork was in pretty good shape so aside from a few dents to bump out and a little rust damage on the rear fender, it was time for paint.

Judging by what I found when stripping the old paint, I think this is what my bike looked like when new:


I'm not big on orange but I do like the two tone scheme. I REALLY wanted to go with maroon and black, but decided it was too much work. Instead I went for a fine metallic "Meteor Maroon" from House of Kolor. I used a Finex 100 gun (a small touch up gun, gravity feed, HVLP) and built a makeshift spray booth with a bunch of plastic sheets and a zipper section I had sitting around.


I already had a regulator and water separator but still added a mini regulator and dessicant filter at the gun.

Here's the tank in the "sealer" stage. I didn't try to fix the flaws in the stamping for the tank, the waves in the metal are factory issue. Again, I wasn't building a show bike.


I find painting to be very rewarding. Especially sanding that first coat of primer all nice and smooth. But even better than that is that first coat of clear over the dull base. POW! The drab finish suddenly jumps out at you all shiny and nice.





That black blob is the stock headlight shell. It was done with a waterbased paint and then cleared with the HOK clear. I have yet to actually mount this headlight on the bike though... I'm still running the "temporary" Suzuki light I bought to hold me over until I bought anew gasket for the old one.

The pictures above are pre-buffing so don't look all that great. That's one of the cool things about painting. So you get a run or orange peel in the clear. All it takes is time to fix it. Well... time, sandpaper, and a couple different buffing compounds. Or you can cheat and sand it, then do a flow coat. If you're good/lucky/not too picky you can skip the buffing step then.

Here are the parts after buffing (I'm not that good/lucky apparently)



Gee, all these shiny parts, what are the chances he did another mock up? Funny you should ask! I even pushed the bike outside to take the pics. It was the first time it had left the house in about three years.







The "Made In Italy" graphic is buried in the clear coat. DON'T buy the cheap graphics you see, there is a reason the good stuff is more expensive. I get most of them from Bevel Heaven. Yes, they're expensive. But they are diecut mylar and well worth it. The cheap stuff is printed out on a clear sheet and you have to cut it out yourself. Don't do it...

Disregard the seat and wiring and bars and so on, I'll cover that later. I told you this would be out of order...
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