1978 Yamaha TT500 Flattrack Project

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by Valleyrider, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    It's been a little over two years since my last project. The 1968 Yamaha DT1 was a fun build. I raced it, but I put too much money and work into it just to get it sandblasted on a cushion track.
    Found this pre-moistened 1978 TT500 on Craigslist. Photos looked good, price was right, in fact the seller said he'd take $500. for it! Should have seen what was coming.
    Another "Resurrection From Rust"!!

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    #1
  2. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    The CL ad stated, "Just needs a coil to run".....:lol3

    First I need to tell you, I live in the GREAT WHITE NORTH of Idaho in the snow belt. No heat in the garage, so frostbite is always a possibility. The pace of work on this bike is slowed by sub-freezing temps in the garage.

    Started looking into why it might have needed a coil...

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    PO was not a detail oriented sort...
    Wires were missing connectors and crusty to the point of... well you can see.

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    It looks like the TT has been in a lot of damp areas. Wondering what is lurking inside..?

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    #2
  3. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Out of the truck, it looked pretty good sitting among fully functional motorcycles.

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    Motor out of the frame. Not really very exciting. Did a compression test before pulling the motor. I got almost 90 lbs. Not real good. Poured a bit of oil in the sparkplug hole and tested again, almost 130 lbs. Top end time.
    When I drained the oil from the frame, the first thing out was several ounces of water!

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    Easy to see why the compression was so low. The rings were all stuck solid in the piston. Not a lot of wear and the clearance was within spec.
    No photos of the head and cylinder coming off, but there was water on top of the piston! New rings and a little clean up and back together.

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    Wish rebuilding the motor was as easy a writing this.

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    #3
  4. brucifer

    brucifer Long timer

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    Cool! :lurk
    #4
  5. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Tried pulling the rear wheel so I could send the hub out to Buchanan's for a new Sun rim and some stainless spokes. Tried the remove the axle.... Frozen solid!! Outside with it (remember it well below freezing here in February when this photo was taken). Found more water. This time coming out of the frame!!

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    So, a little help is needed to remove the axle.

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    Not really surprised to find this inside the rear hub....

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    #5
  6. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Rust gallery....

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    My best friend!

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    #6
  7. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    Yikes! Hard to find non rust buckets out in that part of the country I guess?

    I once won an expert main even short track race on one of those,stock frame,slid the front end at every chance,heavy. But nobody could push it off the narrow blue groove. And it would dragrace off the corners pretty hard.



    The water in the frame worries me,there must be a good way to get it all clean in there,hate to worry about crap in the oil in the future.
    #7
  8. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Timeline, this is now Feb. 20. I picked the bike up in Vancouver WA. on Dec.21

    I'm not going to pretty this one up like the DT1. Not paint, no powdercoating or plating. Just a functional race bike.
    Punched the steering head bearings out and replacing with tapered bearings.

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    Yamaha YX600 forks and a wheel my buddy gave me.
    A step in the right direction!

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    #8
  9. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Got most of the water out. It was in everything! Went into the clutch and replace the rusted clutch plates. Lower end seemed and looked good. Plan to run fresh oil thru the motor for a few minutes and then drain everything and refill. Lots of WD40 going in the frame.
    #9
  10. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

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    Willie you are nuts man :clap

    Cant wait to see it done.
    #10
  11. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Did I mention how cold it is in my garage....? Most days the temp. in the garage is 28 f. With the "Mr Heater", it gets up to about 38 after an hour with the doors closed. Carbon Monoxide becomes a problem...:eek1
    Short work sessions and doors open... Can't get to much done till it warms up.

    Feb. 26 2013

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    The rear hub has to go to Buchanans in Azusa California, but Angel wouldn't want it with the petrified tire on it. The bead was set so solid, I couldn't break it loose with my bead breaker. So...

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    Once the tire was out of the way, I tried to loosen the spokes. None of them would turn. In fact, several threw sparks as I tried to break them loose!. So...

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    #11
  12. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Thanks Jeff!!

    I'm Willie... It's what I do! :D
    #12
  13. Foot dragger

    Foot dragger singletracker

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    That IS a labor of love,maybe try some of those electric/oil heaters in the garage? They look like a radiator. At least no fumes but would have to be on a long time to get the temp up much.

    Im sure you hunt on there already but TT/XT parts can be had kinda cheap on ebay currently,chassis parts and what not,the alu tanks are still going up in price.

    I sold a rear TT hub a while ago,if I still had it Id send it your way.

    Im cleaning/polishing a 76 Montesa I just found,it runs like new,neat old rig.
    #13
  14. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Fast forward to yesterday March 21 2013

    I've had the valve seats cut and the head is back on the motor. Just sitting on the bench waiting for the frame and rolling gear to be done.
    Found a Knight seat on VFT.ORG, bought a Jemco pipe.
    Pulled the swingarm to de-bracket it to make room for a 27.5-7.5x19
    It warmed to the mid 40's, so some outdoor work is great!

    The rear frame loop had to go. Brackets for the Knight seat are going to be fabricated in the next couple days.

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    Mocked up the seat and tank to determine where the front mounting bracket is going to be placed.
    Getting a little chubby!!! It's taking shape!!

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    And then.... I found a box of parts I bought way back in 2001 for an SR500 project that I need to finish someday. There are a lot of things that I need such as cables, gaskets and other good stuff.

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    #14
  15. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    Yeah, I always get the wet ones!
    It's late enough in the season that I can now work afternoons with temps in the 40's outside. Heater is in the plans before next winter for sure!
    The hub cleaned up nice. New bearings and seals are going in after it returns fro Buchanans. I have most of the parts I need right now. Looking at the Golden Tyre that Chris Carr is selling. They seem to be having good results with them.
    #15
  16. JeffS77

    JeffS77 cheap bastard

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    The Golden tires are interesting . Front looks just like a dunlop and the rear a maxxis . but they are suppose to be pretty good.
    #16
  17. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

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    And they are readily available and reasonably price!!
    #17
  18. Pigford

    Pigford British

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    Yep - I'm in :D


    Hope you remembered to check the "Hub:Rim" off-set, before chopping them spokes out :lol3
    #18
  19. Xcuvator

    Xcuvator Justa Venturer

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    This is a great thread. I can't remember what year mine was, but it was an orange one. And I never won an expert main with it, but I did doze out a short track here on the farm and had a lot of fun with it.
    #19
  20. bk brkr baker

    bk brkr baker Long timer

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    Are you going to mod the steering angle ?
    #20