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Old 11-11-2004, 09:24 AM   #1
matey peeps OP
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Joined: Dec 2003
Location: Laramie, Wyo
Oddometer: 3,302
Laugh My OSR, and a polishing/cleaning Q

Hi, I'm Mark and I am an old bike addict. My garage has become the home for several lost and wayward bikes over the years, and I just can't seem to learn.

Anyway, to make a long story short: stumbling home from the bar this last spring, what to my wondering eyes would appear, but a nearly complete 85 Kawasaki ZN1100. Big motor, shaft drive, a little battered and wrecked, but all there. After some wrangling I got it for a little bit of nothing. I figure it would be a great father's day present for my pappy, who is responsible for my interest in bikes and wrenching (and most of my other bad habits) in the first place.

Nearly complete on initial inspection really ended up meaning 'nearly complete but missing some rare-like-chicken-lips parts and they're gonna be spendy.'

After a summer of tinkering and sourcing parts from every drunk junkyard owner I could find and of course fleaBay, I'm in a position where it's running and I can do some final assembly and finishing.

My question today: the engine cases are a dull gray with darker mottling on them, and I wonder what to use to get them cleaned up. Not necessarily shiny, just presentable. I've used a red scotchbrite with limited success, and thought about 0000 steel wool. Someone even mentioned hydrochloric acid. I have access the full line of chemicals from mothers, 3m, dupont and others, and would like to keep the elbow grease to a minimum and results to a maximum. I know, but hey, I'm fat and lazy.

Pics to come once I cough up for a smugmug account.
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Old 11-15-2004, 06:42 AM   #2
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Just an update, I took Project Big Zed (hereafter referred to as PBZ) for it's inaugural trip around the block. The last time I rode a UJM it was an early 80s XJ600 and it was a bit wheezy. PBZ pulls like a truck however. I'm quite pleased. I got home just in time to realize I should have bolted one of the rear shocks on better.

My thoughts for the week: What say ye in regards to a bedliner paintjob?
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Old 11-15-2004, 07:30 AM   #3
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Location: Eastern Chaingolia
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god no don't do the bedliner on that bike.


Hell if the tank is in decent shape get it powdercoated if you want a really durable finish.

Cost about 25% less than paint and a hell of a lot less work. You can get a 90% gloss finish that will look great.

I thinking about coating the fram on mine R100 Red wih the tank to match. Get me some chrome fanders and make purists bonkers.

Check here for some polishing ideas on the engine

www.caswellplating.com

lot's of cool stuff there.
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Old 11-15-2004, 08:29 AM   #4
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the tank isn't pretty. it's got lots of oxidation and a flat/rusty spot where it hit the ground when it got t-boned and rolled. i had thought about a nice paintjob (we sell dupont paint where i work and our paint guy will paint it for a case of beer) but the rest will still be funky, ie rust in places, oxidized engine cases. and it'll sit outside all day since it'll be a commuter for my pappy. i thought cost/return of bedliner would be pretty attractive. and it'll look all mad max ratty.
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Old 11-22-2004, 12:02 PM   #5
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A little update. Saturday I yanked the valve cover and proceeded to check the valves. 3 were tight (clearance is .05 to .15mm) so I yanked the cams and started checking shims. While 5 of the 8 were .05, I wanted to loosen em up to the middle of the range to .10 so after shuffling shims I ended up needing 5. I ordered them Saturday and I hope like hell they'll be here by Wednesday. With the holidays coming up, it's anybody's guess when they'll arrive. Hindsight being what it is, I shouldn't have given the shims I had away with the sale of my KLR, as both bikes take the same shims.
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Old 11-22-2004, 12:02 PM   #6
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So how about some pics!


This is me and my kitty. My white trash neighbor abandoned her so I adopted her. She's soooooo sweet. Has nothing to do with the Zed rebuild but I thought it was cute.

This is my shop. Where the magic happens.

I know it's messy but it works. My XX is winterized and sleeping up in the corner. Poor thing. Hardly got used this summer.

This is my toolbox.

It was a bonus from work so I can't complain about it not matching. Can you say FREEBIE!?!

This is an APE racing manual CCT.

It and other tasty goodies will go on the Zed once I get the valves set. I just spoke with Fred at Arrowhead Motorsports and I'll have shims by Wednesday. While Kawasaki only made the ZN1100 for 2 years, it shares a lot of parts with the GPZ1100 and KZ1100B family, so getting parts hasn't been nearly the struggle I expected.

This is new rubber on the Zed.

Dunlop 404's at $100 a set. Good deal from DMTA. Arrived in 4 days.

This is my tire changer.

I stole a wheel from my aforementioned WT neighbor, and after I removed the old car tire, I bolted it to the base of an old Pizza Hut table I had. I glued some fuel line around the lip and viola, you've got a tire changer. It really makes tire changing a breeze, and I've got all of $10 in it.

I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour of my shop. It's cold out and I was bored.
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Old 11-26-2004, 08:04 AM   #7
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After gorging myself on turkey, I returned to the shop. I installed a new speedo cable (I did the valves and put in a new clutch cable on Wednesday nite) and re-mounting the headlight, I took a step back and looked. Aside from some cleaning and synching the carbs, it's finally done!

I then took it out for it's inaugural blast on the highway. Pulls 80 just fine, with more to spare. And self-cancelling turnsignals are downright creepy. I gotta run a couple tanks with carb cleaner in it, as it seems the pilot circuit is a bit clogged and I will NOT take those damn carbs off again. Took me 2 hours to get them remounted after their initial cleaning.

Of course there's a few niggly things to fix and then there's the issue of paint, but she's good to go. I talked to my pappy last nite and he's all a flutter over the prospects of finally having another bike.
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