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Old 05-09-2011, 07:46 PM   #1
Finally OP
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Frame swap on a V65 Magna

I'd like to share a little story with you, the frame broke on my 1985 Honda VF1100C (V65 Magna). And with only around 115k on the odometer too. Discovered it a little over two months ago while sitting in the garage. "Hey, that right foot peg never felt loose before.." Nope, wasn't the foot peg!


Turns out, this wasn't how Honda designed or built it. My guess is that underneath that square sandwich patch, with all the bolts cross drilled through the frame, is another break that was there when I bought it. I haven't looked. This is my first bike and it was pretty rough when I got it. I've fixed a few things, replaced a few things, added a few things, made a few things and generally kept it running for about 5 years+40k miles now. After years of effort, it's still pretty rough!


So I got on another forum, one dedicated to these bikes, and did a search for "frame".

Sure enough, I found a one week old post that basically said "just finished parting out a V65, anyone need a frame?" Oh yeah, I need a frame! But the internet is a big place, where is this guy located? Clicked on his profile - about 5 miles from my house! How much? "If you'll strip the remaining parts and return them, you can just have it." Sweet, it was already on a trailer too. I told him I'd borrow a buddies truck to come get his trailer, strip the parts and return them on the trailer in a week. "Well, I don't really want to be without my trailer for a week. How about I just bring it over?" Doesn't get any better than that!!

Which explains why I had a third Maggie in the garage - the "donor" bike.


I'll post this up in pieces, just like the bike was. It's not a "how to", just some photos (mild carnage) taken along the way with a couple things I learned during the process. Because this is my first bike, it was also my first frame swap!

Without giving away too much of the ending, I'm a pretty happy guy right now and have the free time to post photos!

But since I'm new around Old's Cool - is this the right place to share this tale?
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"Slavish dedication to salvage a bike that would normally be considered parts." - Brad Felmey
Maggies on vacation, a ride report from fall 2010.
Frame swap, what I did the spring of 2011.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:45 PM   #2
bdjuju
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Gorgeous! Glad to hear about anything that isn't a BMW.

IN that Honda V4-vein, if anybody wants a VF500 frame or engine in 95006, pls PM me.. You never know, it might work out for the both of us!

-Chris
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #3
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Wow, that is a lot of work for a V4. And to think I am putting off steering head bearings on my Sabre.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:53 PM   #4
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I'm not a huge fan of these bikes, but I've ridden a bunch of them, and man do they go! From stoplight to stoplight, they are hard to beat! Keep up the good work!
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:36 AM   #5
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I dig the V4's. One of my best day-long rides was on a buddy's V45 Magna back in the mid-80's. Kudos to you for taking one past 100k, THEN deciding to do a frame swap!

And BTW, I dig the V4's enough that I bought a VFR800 last weekend -- almost solely for that motor.Sounds awesome.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:39 AM   #6
Finally OP
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Thanks guys, I'll get busy writing then!


Quote:
Originally Posted by bdjuju View Post
IN that Honda V4-vein, if anybody wants a VF500 frame or engine in 95006, pls PM me.. You never know, it might work out for the both of us!

-Chris
bdjuju - That's how this started...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Highside>Lowside View Post
Wow, that is a lot of work for a V4. And to think I am putting off steering head bearings on my Sabre.
Highside>Lowside - The bearings themselves are not so bad, but they sure are underneath/behind a lot of stuff!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Houseoffubar View Post
I'm not a huge fan of these bikes, but I've ridden a bunch of them, and man do they go! From stoplight to stoplight, they are hard to beat! Keep up the good work!
Houseoffubar - Yes, they do move!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guano11 View Post
I dig the V4's. One of my best day-long rides was on a buddy's V45 Magna back in the mid-80's. Kudos to you for taking one past 100k, THEN deciding to do a frame swap!

And BTW, I dig the V4's enough that I bought a VFR800 last weekend -- almost solely for that motor.Sounds awesome.
Guano11 - I've got a ride report, Maggies on Vacation, posted over in Day Trippin'. These things were a blast! As my first bike, this motor will probably always be what a motorcycle should sound like to me.
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"Slavish dedication to salvage a bike that would normally be considered parts." - Brad Felmey
Maggies on vacation, a ride report from fall 2010.
Frame swap, what I did the spring of 2011.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:23 AM   #7
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Time to strip down the donor bike! I borrowed my neighbors jack and got it up to a reasonable working height. For almost 5 years I've been working on this thing at ground level. But this was going to take a little more effort. Oh yeah, that Honda shop manual comes in handy!



I suppose that's number one for my lessons learned - get a good shop manual.

Pulling the tires and front end wasn't anything new for me. My photographer skipped the pictures on this step. But getting the swingarm out was another story. I needed a tool to get the locknut off. Excellent, a chance to hit the grinder!



This is why I love Harbor Freight tools. Never have to feel guilty about putting them to a grinder!

That looks about right...



Sure enough, fits just perfect. I used a pair of 14" channel pliers and just spun it right out.



But I've got hours into getting those 17mm hex bolts spun out of there! (other side was the trouble side) Tried the trick with a bolt head and two jam nuts - wrung two bolts in half. Tried a bolt head, four nuts stacked up behind and all brazed together with brass. Wrung the brass clean in two!

So finally broke down and got the right sized tools from HF.



Meanwhile, my lovely photographer asks "you've said heat works good for stuck bolts, how come you don't use it on this?".

So just to humor her, I put some heat on it... Yep, it just dropped out of there like it'd been wanting to all evening!

Now we're getting somewhere though...



My donor friend really wanted the stock exhaust saved too. Only had to cut off one bolt in the tear down process!



A little heat on some shield screws and they came out just fine.



But I couldn't get the pipes to drop down around the jack and had to come up with a way to suspend the frame. This looks like a good idea, doesn't it?



Can you believe it actually worked?! No troubles at all.



I didn't waste a lot of time getting the jack back under it though.



Next step, get that frame off of there..
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"Slavish dedication to salvage a bike that would normally be considered parts." - Brad Felmey
Maggies on vacation, a ride report from fall 2010.
Frame swap, what I did the spring of 2011.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:55 AM   #8
Highside>Lowside
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally View Post
Thanks guys, I'll get busy writing then!








Highside>Lowside - The bearings themselves are not so bad, but they sure are underneath/behind a lot of stuff!

Yeah, especially since I have the Hondaline fairing with full lowers. But now I really have no excuse to put it off, after seeing your adventure.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:03 AM   #9
caponerd
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Please don't forget to post up some good detail pictures of the knackered frame and bodge repairs when you get it stripped down.

I love train wrecks.

Oh, speaking of train wrecks, how are you going to handle the title/vin# issue resulting from swapping your frame? Does the donor bike come with a signed-over title?
Some states make it difficult.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:06 AM   #10
Tbone
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Cool ! I had a 84' V65 Sabre (same motor)..loved the bike till the top end ate it self due to the oil starvation issue. How's you get that many miles out of yours?!
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:12 PM   #11
Finally OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caponerd View Post
Oh, speaking of train wrecks, how are you going to handle the title/vin# issue resulting from swapping your frame? Does the donor bike come with a signed-over title?
Some states make it difficult.
That is part of the current adventure. Florida DMV has been great to work with, both the state and county. Turns out I'm a custom bike builder assembling a new bike from parts.

I was worried about the frame VIN having been totaled. Stolen is possible I suppose, but not a concern with this one. When I talked with the state office to run a check on it, they told me they weren't worried about the old VIN. I'll be issued a new VIN and the title will read "2011 model ASPT". ASPT=Assembled from parts. Mileage becomes non-existent, the title basically will state that whatever the odometer reads - that's wrong.

So the DMV has my paperwork with all the information of where I got my major parts. There are 8 or 9 major parts that they want to know where and how I got them: frame, motor, tank, wheels, fenders, etc.. All parts came off of my currently titled bike of course, except the frame for which I have a good Bill of Sale showing the VIN of the donor frame and $0. Because that is actually what I paid...

They want the sales tax on any of the major items purchased at swap meets, garage sales, places where they wouldn't have collected it already. But I don't have any money in this, so no sales taxes to pay.

Once they go through the paperwork, I'll be called down for an inspection. After the inspection, I'll get the new VIN, title and plates.

Called my insurance company too. Since I only carry liability for running into other people, they didn't think it would change. (1985 Magna -> 2011 ASPT) But they need the new VIN to be sure...
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"Slavish dedication to salvage a bike that would normally be considered parts." - Brad Felmey
Maggies on vacation, a ride report from fall 2010.
Frame swap, what I did the spring of 2011.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:24 PM   #12
caponerd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally View Post
That is part of the current adventure. Florida DMV has been great to work with, both the state and county. Turns out I'm a custom bike builder assembling a new bike from parts.

I was worried about the frame VIN having been totaled. Stolen is possible I suppose, but not a concern with this one. When I talked with the state office to run a check on it, they told me they weren't worried about the old VIN. I'll be issued a new VIN and the title will read "2011 model ASPT". ASPT=Assembled from parts. Mileage becomes non-existent, the title basically will state that whatever the odometer reads - that's wrong.

So the DMV has my paperwork with all the information of where I got my major parts. There are 8 or 9 major parts that they want to know where and how I got them: frame, motor, tank, wheels, fenders, etc.. All parts came off of my currently titled bike of course, except the frame for which I have a good Bill of Sale showing the VIN of the donor frame and $0. Because that is actually what I paid...

They want the sales tax on any of the major items purchased at swap meets, garage sales, places where they wouldn't have collected it already. But I don't have any money in this, so no sales taxes to pay.

Once they go through the paperwork, I'll be called down for an inspection. After the inspection, I'll get the new VIN, title and plates.

Called my insurance company too. Since I only carry liability for running into other people, they didn't think it would change. (1985 Magna -> 2011 ASPT) But they need the new VIN to be sure...
Some states allow you to use the engine number for the vin. Any chance you could get Florida to do that, so you can continue to have it titled as a Honda?

And don't forget, I really want to see detail pictures of the damaged part of the old frame!
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:33 PM   #13
Finally OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbone View Post
Cool ! I had a 84' V65 Sabre (same motor)..loved the bike till the top end ate it self due to the oil starvation issue. How's you get that many miles out of yours?!
Mine does have an oil mod on it. There is a 1 inch spacer plate between the oil filter and the block. Two lines tapped into the spacer plate carrying oil to the top heads. Top heads are tapped too. But that was all done when I got it with 74k on the odometer.

Read somewhere once that the original oil issue was due to folks running them like the cruisers of the day at idle. 2000 rpm isn't a happy place for these bikes and just didn't pump enough oil. So I run around 3500 rpm's when cruising, nothing higher than 6-7k when pulling. Pretty low stress on this motor... No racing with the kids though either...

But what do I know? 40k miles or so in the last 5 yrs on my very first bike? I'm not really much of an expert...
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"Slavish dedication to salvage a bike that would normally be considered parts." - Brad Felmey
Maggies on vacation, a ride report from fall 2010.
Frame swap, what I did the spring of 2011.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #14
Brad Felmey
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Slavish dedication to salvage a bike that would normally be considered parts.

I had to double-check to see if your nym was "El Guero".
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:25 PM   #15
Highside>Lowside
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tbone View Post
Cool ! I had a 84' V65 Sabre (same motor)..loved the bike till the top end ate it self due to the oil starvation issue. How's you get that many miles out of yours?!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finally View Post
Mine does have an oil mod on it. There is a 1 inch spacer plate between the oil filter and the block. Two lines tapped into the spacer plate carrying oil to the top heads. Top heads are tapped too. But that was all done when I got it with 74k on the odometer.

Read somewhere once that the original oil issue was due to folks running them like the cruisers of the day at idle. 2000 rpm isn't a happy place for these bikes and just didn't pump enough oil. So I run around 3500 rpm's when cruising, nothing higher than 6-7k when pulling. Pretty low stress on this motor... No racing with the kids though either...

But what do I know? 40k miles or so in the last 5 yrs on my very first bike? I'm not really much of an expert...
Mine has 65Kmi and no issues nor Oil Mod.

Keep 'em over 3500 RpM and they last a looong time.

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