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Old 09-25-2012, 11:17 AM   #31
itinerant OP
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That makes sense - along the lines of what Mark said about rebuilding his transmission. Doesn't matter how low the miles are if the gears/bearings are rusty. I'm willing to do a certain amount of work on it, but not sure I'm up to a transmission rebuild. I do have access to a complete machine shop, however, so maybe if I can talk him down, it'll be worth it.

Water and oil would separate (unless they emulsified), whereas gas and oil would mix, correct? So if whatever came out of the crankcase was separated, it must've been water? Crapola.
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:04 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post
He did say he was mystified as to how water would've gotten in there...
tell him: hot/cold cycles + humid air = condensation
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Old 09-25-2012, 12:45 PM   #33
subagon
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Here's a tip, take a foot or two piece of clear tubing, the type they use for aquariums. You can find it a Walmart for about a $1. Open the fill plug on the gearbox, stick in the tubing and suck up some the the gear oil. I did this to the ST I bought last year and found the dreaded "mocha milkshake". I showed the seller and offered him $1300 less than the asking price. He took it.
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subagon screwed with this post 09-25-2012 at 06:34 PM
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Old 09-25-2012, 02:40 PM   #34
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Nice

Ooh, like that idea. I'll definitely siphon out some of whatever's in the transmission. I was trying to think of a way that I could see what's in there without draining. Thanks, subagon!
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:42 PM   #35
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Subagon's idea is a good one - I have to tuck that away for future use.

I'll add that the perfect tool for withdrawing liquid like that is a big syringe from a medical supply or drug store. Ask for a 50 or 60 cc catheter tipped syringe. 1/4" tubing slips right on.
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Old 09-25-2012, 07:09 PM   #36
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If you can, bring along a fully charged auto battery and a set of jumper cables. That should allow you to crank it sufficiently. (maybe borrow the battery from a friend's car).

Before you crank it over, take the plugs out for the first cranks. That way you will be certain to expel any fuel or other fluid in the cylinders. Do ground the plugs before cranking. I took a g/s to a dealership years ago and noticed when I picked it up the petcocks were open. I used the kick starter instead of the button and couldn't turn the bike over--the cylinders were hydrolocked (petrolocked) with gasoline. Took out the plugs, hit the starter, and blasted fuel throughout the shop. I am glad I avoided damaging a conrod or worse.

good luck.
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Old 09-28-2012, 06:02 AM   #37
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Water

So I prodded the owner for more details about the water, and here's what he said:

"There was a lot of water in there, maybe 2 quarts. () About the same amount as there was oil, separated. The oil level was about 3 inches too high on the dipstick."

Is that even possible? If so, that would pretty much mean that the crankshaft was sitting in water, even if oil is less dense. He hasn't checked the transmission, so that'll be the first thing I do when I get there on Sunday. I can't say I'm feeling all that optimistic, though! Depending on how long the water has been in there, it seems to me that things could be pretty ugly.
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:22 AM   #38
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Wow, that is a lot of water! It sounds like you'll have to rebuild the engine and maybe (probably) the transmission too if that is any indication of the weather it was exposed to over the years. I would try to get him as low as he will go based on what you find during your inspection. Between your own labor and a buddy with a machine shop you could rebuild it fairly cheaply (for an airhead). I guess it depends on what you want to spend for a sweet rare bike that needs serious rehab.

Not too many STs still around. It would be cool to see another one brought back from the brink.

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Old 09-28-2012, 09:26 AM   #39
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Time and labor are no problem - I even have free access to a machine shop (and machinist!). But isn't it somewhat likely that if there's water in the transmission, the gears will be pitted, and therefore need to replaced?
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Old 09-28-2012, 09:51 AM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itinerant View Post
Time and labor are no problem - I even have free access to a machine shop (and machinist!). But isn't it somewhat likely that if there's water in the transmission, the gears will be pitted, and therefore need to replaced?
Yes!!! bearings and all!!! You may be better off getting a donor trans and rebuild that.. Trans parts are really pricey, no point in repairing the box if it's mush inside.
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Old 09-28-2012, 10:24 AM   #41
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Right step back and take a breather.

let us not jump to any conclusions here, wait until you get the old girl home. I can tell you this, if you don't want it, there are plenty who will. So why not take things one step at a time, in a glass half full kind of way.

You never know, you may have found a little peach


These things are pretty robust, so there may be a little water, maybe even a little rust, so what, this will all wear off with use, why worry about something that aint broke? get it home, drain the oils, then get some real cheap oil, and fill the gearbox to the top, so the oil covers everything, leave it a day, and then drain it all out again, I would overfill the motor too, and drain it all out again. Me, well I would try to get it running, and worry about other things when they, or if they go wrong. These old bike used to live out doors summer and winter all over the world, only now we ger all precious with them, Why?

My St still lives life on the street, I have shown pictures on here of it covered in snow for days on end, I never worry about it, just get the thing running and ride the hell out of it, it will tell you if anything needs fixing.

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Old 09-28-2012, 10:30 AM   #42
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You're right, of course. It's just that I've now read a few threads on here by people who've had to rebuild/replace their transmissions because of rust pitting. Anyway, I'll find out soon enough!
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:39 PM   #43
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Kevin makes a good point - if everything is wiped out by water and rust already, then running it 'til it complains to you shouldn't raise the $$ repair ante much if any. And if the damage is superficial you might get some miles out of it.

That's one of those gambles worth considering, which ever way you go in the end. Tough choice - but there's logic in either one.
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Old 09-28-2012, 02:49 PM   #44
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Didn't mean to be an alarmist....just wanted to answer the specific question. It's worth repairing the bike....and you should be able to get it pretty cheap if the guy is willing to deal. Good luck, can't wait to see pics.
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:36 PM   #45
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Cool2 you better gewt there and offer $1,500 to $1,600.....settle for more.

Get a donor engine and transmission....Bolt them in and run it....Rebuild the rest at your convenience.
Is there and ECHO here!?!?!

That bike is a KEEPER....even for $2,000

Keep us in the loop.

See 'ya,
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