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Old 01-19-2011, 06:43 PM   #1
Captain Beardylocks OP
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Toasted EX500 rebuildÖ itís gonna get ugly

Best Case Scenario: Pile of garbage transforms into apocalypse-ready personal transportation system

Worst Case Scenario: Pile of garbage remains a pile of garbage, and I get to semi-rationalize getting a lot of fun tools in the process


So I got this gorgeous beast two years ago for $300:



It was just barely functional enough to ride, but the engine was in decent shape with low mileage. Unfortunately, the engine does not remain in decent shape if you insist on redlining it for several hours with low oil and no coolant in the middle of the broiling desert. Turns out that causes connecting rod bearings to melt. Who knew?

So I end up trucking this pile of motorcycle bones and viscera around for two fucking years. Oh well. The time has come to learn something from this mess. A salvage engine in perfect shape is about $500, but I figure if Iím a mechanical engineer I should be able to get the engine back together in fairly short order. I notÖ.. thatís kind of pathetic, but hopefully I can get a lot of practice and skill development in the process. I see this project as my Frankenstein-esque practice round for restoring/customizing future bikes. Iím going to try to do everything there is to do and make all my ridiculous mistakes on this first project where thereís very little cash involved and then at least sort of know what Iím doing on the next one.

Hereís one piece of inspiration:



Iíd consider something like that a resounding success. What it will actually look like when itís done and when it will be done is a complete mystery. The game is afoot.


First question: Whatís the best practice of determining the bearing clearances (for the crank and balancer) with plastigauge: should I put down a bead of silicone gasket sealer around the edge of the crankcase while gauging the clearances, or leave the surfaces clean? The silicone gasket will be there when the thing is finally put together, but will it affect the bearing clearances enough so that it should be there when Iím measuring them? If that was unclear, let me know and I can take a picture.


Much, much, much more to come...... this is gonna take a while.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #2
LuciferMutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Beardylocks View Post
but I figure if I’m a mechanical engineer I should be able to get the engine back together in fairly short order. .
Just get that degree?
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Old 01-20-2011, 05:12 AM   #3
concours
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Beardylocks View Post
Best Case Scenario: Pile of garbage transforms into apocalypse-ready personal transportation system

Worst Case Scenario: Pile of garbage remains a pile of garbage, and I get to semi-rationalize getting a lot of fun tools in the process


So I got this gorgeous beast two years ago for $300:



It was just barely functional enough to ride, but the engine was in decent shape with low mileage. Unfortunately, the engine does not remain in decent shape if you insist on redlining it for several hours with low oil and no coolant in the middle of the broiling desert. Turns out that causes connecting rod bearings to melt. Who knew?

So I end up trucking this pile of motorcycle bones and viscera around for two fucking years. Oh well. The time has come to learn something from this mess. A salvage engine in perfect shape is about $500, but I figure if Iím a mechanical engineer I should be able to get the engine back together in fairly short order. I notÖ.. thatís kind of pathetic, but hopefully I can get a lot of practice and skill development in the process. I see this project as my Frankenstein-esque practice round for restoring/customizing future bikes. Iím going to try to do everything there is to do and make all my ridiculous mistakes on this first project where thereís very little cash involved and then at least sort of know what Iím doing on the next one.

Hereís one piece of inspiration:



Iíd consider something like that a resounding success. What it will actually look like when itís done and when it will be done is a complete mystery. The game is afoot.


First question: Whatís the best practice of determining the bearing clearances (for the crank and balancer) with plastigauge: should I put down a bead of silicone gasket sealer around the edge of the crankcase while gauging the clearances, or leave the surfaces clean? The silicone gasket will be there when the thing is finally put together, but will it affect the bearing clearances enough so that it should be there when Iím measuring them? If that was unclear, let me know and I can take a picture.


Much, much, much more to come...... this is gonna take a while.
I recognized the USMade Leathers before I read you sig. Nice hooligan bike!
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:17 PM   #4
booger1
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I use to race these little bikes, alot of fun.
To answer your first ?
Don't use silcone until your finally ready to button it up, you'll most likely be pulling it apart a few times.
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Old 01-21-2011, 11:47 AM   #5
groundrules
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gonna get ugly? looks like it already got.

good luck, i am waiting for more photos!
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Old 01-21-2011, 05:09 PM   #6
ttpete
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booger1 View Post
I use to race these little bikes, alot of fun.
To answer your first ?
Don't use silcone until your finally ready to button it up, you'll most likely be pulling it apart a few times.
You're better off not using silicone EVER. Yamabond or Loctite 515 is much better and won't clog oil passages.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:54 PM   #7
booger1
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ttpete, your right. I use honda bond, but I still call it silicon. I know it's not the same.
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Old 01-21-2011, 07:55 PM   #8
Captain Beardylocks OP
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Thanks for the tip!


Quote:
Originally Posted by concours
I recognized the USMade Leathers before I read you sig. Nice hooligan bike!
wait.... did we meet up at the skibum soiree?


so, here's the culprit:



It doesn't show up great in the picture, but the connecting rod on the right was noticeably discolored when I got it off the crank. The bearing had melted and been squeezed out the side of the journal, which seized the engine, fortunately at a reasonable speed. The lower portion of the connecting rod is misshapen, and the top is seized onto the piston pin, so it must have gotten pretty hot. The Crank was also discolored and the surface of the journal was marred, so I picked up a whole new crankshaft assembly with two new connecting rods ($70..... not bad)

Here's the opened crankcase and my makeshift workspace. Hooray for plywood from the garbage:



I've spent the last couple days cleaning the lower end inside and out. there was plenty of mud and grime caked on the thing, and metal shards all over the inside of the engine. The oil pan looked like I was panning for gold.... or, you know, shards of a bearing. The case had a couple scars around where the bearing failed, but not serious. You'll also notice that I'm preventing dust contamination by keeping the various assemblies in garbage bags, which is kind of appropriate, really.

While avoiding engine work, I chopped apart the subframe to turn the bike into a one-seater. here's the result:



And here's one of the welds before it got the angle-grinder treatment:



oh yeah..... you know what that is right there? that is CRAFTSMANSHIP gentlemen!!!!!

There's going to have to be a bit more work on the frame to make a mounting point for the exhaust, sine the footpeg it was on previously is now gone, but that's a worry for another day. Anyway, the rest of today was spent scrubbing and then wrestling with the transmission when the rockers got jammed. Should be a fun weekend.


Thanks for tuning in! I'm sure I'll be along tomorrow begging for help.
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Captain Beardylocks screwed with this post 01-21-2011 at 08:22 PM
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Old 01-21-2011, 08:13 PM   #9
Captain Beardylocks OP
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The sexy action shot:

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Old 01-22-2011, 02:51 PM   #10
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Old 01-22-2011, 04:58 PM   #11
YamaGeek
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Subscribed! More inspiration to get me doing something with my old EX.
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Old 01-23-2011, 10:53 AM   #12
Captain Beardylocks OP
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the crankcase is back together now, though not permanently. I spent a lot of time cleaning and identifying fasteners and also realizing that my previous problems with the rockers was actually do to an improper re-assembly of one of the transmission shafts. all better now.

Once that was all sorted out, I torqued the crankcase bots down with plastigauge on all the new bearings. Took it apart and all the clearances were spot on. Whew! It's back together finger-tight now so that I don't mix up fasteners.



yeah, yeah, I know the other cam chain guide is missing. don't worry, I've got it somewhere...

To celebrate, I cooked up a batch of delicious adventure-food. Couscous and sardines in oil:



This is about the most delicious meal you can make for two dollars on the road or camping. also convenient for keeping at the shop when you want to stay late and don't have a fridge to keep actual food.

another kernel of beardylocks wisdom: the best ever cleaning tool is a sharpened toothbrush:



That's it for today. It's inching closer, one step at a time.....
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Captain Beardylocks screwed with this post 01-25-2011 at 01:53 PM
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Old 01-24-2011, 04:59 AM   #13
mitch
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The Webber Bros were making a nice bike based on the ES500, it may be worth a chat with them
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Old 01-24-2011, 03:46 PM   #14
Cogswell
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Beardylocks View Post
To celebrate, I cooked up a batch of delicious adventure-food. Couscous and sardines in oil:



This is about the most delicious meal you can make for two dollars on the road or camping. also convenient for keeping at the shop when you want to stay late and don't have a fridge to keep actual food.

How could I not be in with a rebuild and food.



Mike
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The good thing is, your damn motor can't read. If it says oil on the container, it's pretty much OK to dump in there.... ED.
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Old 01-24-2011, 05:39 PM   #15
Wuwei
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The folks over at http://www.ex-500.com/ can be lots of help, if you need or want it. FOG is the guy to ask for engine technical stuff.
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