In memory of Jim Adams - an R60/5 build diary

Discussion in 'Airheads' started by backdrifter, Aug 8, 2010.

  1. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Out to the garage for some more progress. You may or may not remember (it was 6 months ago, after all!), that I had a slight self imposed electrical issue that occurred when I grounded my my positive lead against the frame while trying to start the bike. With some help from friends, I narrowed the issue down to either a fried voltage regulator or starter relay. I decided to replace both and move on. So, I went out tonight and did so. Shiny new pieces:

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    I (very carefully) hooked the bike up to the car battery again and was able to get the bike fired up. It's still puking oil from every gasket and seal, but I was happy to prove that the electrical gremlin had been solved.

    Next I took the valve covers off. Some oil poured out - is that normal? It seems it should be try above the head. Here are some pics. I appreciate any input or comments. Off-hand, I thought everything looked pretty good, but I'd love input from the experts.

    Right side:

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    Left side:

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    I was worried that the pushrods were bent when I looked at them from above and saw this:

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    But after kicking the bike over a few times and watching the pushrods, it appears to be normal. Can anyone explain to me how the ends bend or swivel like that? Sorry for all the questions, I've really only torn down two strokes to this point.

    Next I decided to take the exhaust off so I can start taking the cylinders apart. No issues, everything came apart nicely.

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    Old silencers off. Keep an eye out in the Flea Market if you need a cheap but functional set of pipes.

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    Old and new side by side:

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    Looks like the Dunstall style pipes should be a bit louder than the stockers. Next came the headers.

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    They look a bit dirty (and are), but overall they're in good shape without any major dings, and very few small dings. I plan to send them off to Jet Hot to get their polished coating applied to them.

    By this time it was starting to get dark and lighting was suffering, so I decided to call it a night. Here's how she sits now:

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    I have most of tomorrow to work on it more. I'm hoping to have the cylinders apart and take a look inside. I'm anxious to see the pistons and cylinders. With 43,000 miles and everything turning over very easily and smoothly, I have no reason to believe anything will be wrong, but you never know!

    More soon....
    #81
  2. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Continued breaking down the cylinders today. The right looked pretty good, all in all, and everything came apart easily.

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    I was in good spirits when I started into the left cyclnder. That's when I came across this.

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    Pretty severe pitting at the head and cylinder where they meet. Doesn't look good. I started another thread to see if there is some kind of fix or if I'll need a new head and cylinder.

    It was enough to take some wind out of my sails, and with the Indianapolis MotoGP starting in 15 minutes, I figured it was a good time for a break.

    As always, any input is greatly appreciated!
    #82
  3. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    Looks to me like you just had a blown head gasket. Can happen for various reasons. Sometimes a fault in the gasket itself. Check the two surfaces, the head and the cylinder for any imperfections. If none then put back together after cleaning and keep an eye on it. If there is a problem that caused the gasket to blow you should be able to see and/or feel it.

    Are you having the heads refurbished? You should have them checked for flatness at the same time. Also have cylinders checked for same.

    Should clean up. Clean them before you decide. May have to mill a bit.
    #83
  4. Bobmws

    Bobmws Curmudgeon At Large

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    "In memory of Jim Adams - an R60/5 build diary"

    I knew a Jim Adams back in the late 80's here in Florida. At the time he was running a GoldWing with an EML sidecar setup. Used to meet up with him at Beemer rallies, he was quite a nice guy. Any chance this was the same gentleman?
    #84
  5. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks disston. I'm going to try to get some better pictures when I get home on Wednesday because the photos don't show how pitted the metal is. It's not just deposits that will wipe away, there are pits up to 1/8" deep. I'll have to put the new head gasket in place and see if it looks like it will seal, but I don't think it will. I think too much material would need to be milled off to make it solid again, so I think it will have to be filled with something.

    More soon....
    #85
  6. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    I'd have to ask my wife, but I don't think that was him. To the best of my knowledge he never owned a Goldwing or a hack. I'll let you know if I find out otherwise.
    #86
  7. disston

    disston ShadeTreeExpert

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    You'll have to clean it to see how deep. Maybe you can tell it's not as lite as I see it but you cann't really tell how bad. I've cleaned stuff like this, heads, with Oven Cleaner. Others have used a soak in Simple Green. Either one will discolor the metal if allowed to dry. Just look at my cylinder heads and see.

    The proper fix I suppose is to have it welded up, filled with Aluminum, and then milled. I don't know anything about something like that except I take it to someone else. I do know about epoxy and such things I have done but in this instance and this machine I don't think the shadetree quicky is called for.
    #87
  8. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Time for another quick update.

    So, the cylinder and head did indeed need to be repaired. The good news is that I took it to our local vintage BMW fanatic shop (Dave Clark's Forever Endeavor Cycles in Eureka, MO) and he said he could fix it. I dropped it off yesterday and got a call saying that he would probably have it back to me by the weekend. Fantastic! I went ahead and gave him both cylinders and heads. Might as well get a clean bill of health on both all at once!

    So, I've suddenly mustered up more motivation than I've had the entire project thus far. I have the bike on it's way to being stripped to the frame. I should have it completely stripped by this weekend or early next week. Once it is, the frame, sub frame, and swing arm will go to the powder coater. Unless I first send the swing arm to San Jose BMW to be reinforced, which I'm considering. I'm also considering powder coating the fork lowers. I'm not sure why, but I just think they look better black and matching the frame.

    The speedo should be sent of to Wirespokes soon for reconditioning, and then I'll start working on chroming what needs to be re-chromed, and collecting the body parts for paint.

    Here's how she currently sits. More to follow soon.

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    #88
  9. Detroit Steve

    Detroit Steve Homely Adventurer

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    Although it won't look as cool, a used 1981 and later swingarm is very strong and is a lot cheaper than reinforcing the current swingarm.
    #89
  10. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks Steve, I appreciate the idea. I'd prefer to keep the stock swing arm, just because I'm trying to keep as many of the original parts as possible (even if they're then modified). I'm not really an originality fanatic, but I do want to be riding the same bike that Papa did when it's all done.

    I've received some other input from inmates suggesting that the reinforcement probably isn't worth it unless I'd be racing. I don't plan on racing, but I did have my race license at one time, so I guess you never know. Regardless, and this point, I'll go without the reinforcement.

    This morning I got the engine out. I'm almost down to the bare frame - just need to go to the store to buy whatever size socket it is that I need to take off the top triple clamp nut. I'll measure it before I go.

    Then, with any luck, I'll get the parts to the powder coater tomorrow (if they're open).

    We're moving right along now! :clap
    #90
  11. mykill

    mykill odd

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    36mm socket for the fork tubes. You need to grind away the face of the socket to be rid of the taper. The tool from the toolkit works well.
    #91
  12. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks mykill, I appreciate your input. I forgot about the tool kit - went to go check it, and unfortunately, I don't have that tool. No worries, I just bought a 36mm socket and kept moving.

    Here's how she looks now:

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    Out of curiosity, I tried using a hand drill and wire attachment to clean the front engine cover. It works, as shown below, but I'm assuming this isn't the best or right way to do this. It seemed a bit tough on the aluminum and I would imagine I should stick to bead-blasting, but I'd appreciate any thoughts or input on this.

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    Waiting to get the cylinders and heads back, and hopefully everything will be off to the powder coater in the next day or two.
    #92
  13. Houseoffubar

    Houseoffubar HoFmetalworks.com

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    There are some acid based boat hull cleaners, that will remove the corrosion, then hit it with steel wool, and hot soapy water. After that you can try a little polish, or go with some "Rub n Buff" in silver
    #93
  14. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks Houseoffubar. I just read about the rub n' buff stuff. Sounds interesting. Does it come off easily? It seems like it would wear away if it is wax based.
    #94
  15. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Quick question, while I'm waiting for the powder coater to be open early this week. Can anyone identify the seat on my bike? I used to think it was stock, but I've seen a lot of airheads now and can't say I've seen the same seat anywhere else. I like it quite a bit - I like that the rider's seat is cut a little lower, and I like the slope of the hump behind the passenger seat - it makes it look sporty to me. I'm thinking of having it re-upholstered in some quality black leather.

    Can anyone tell me where this seat came from?

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    #95
  16. elite-less

    elite-less Been here awhile

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    You have the stock Denfeld seat. Someone just carved the foam and reupholstered with a replacement cover.

    Just for reference, here's the original/stock seat on my LWB /5. Also, I have two spare grab rails in my parts collection if you want one....

    <img src="http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6049/6226561573_ee436f637a_z.jpg" width="640" height="479" alt="IMG_4516">
    #96
  17. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Thanks elite-less, I appreciate the info! I guess I hadn't thought of the possibility that it was just reshaped.

    Beautiful bike! I took a look at your "/5 revive" thread too - gorgeous work you're doing there! I love this place - it's threads like yours that keep me motivated in my own project.

    PM me and let me know what you would like for the grab rail. Unfortunately, I don't have one of those in my box of parts.

    Thanks!
    #97
  18. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    The frame, subframe, swingarm have been dropped off at HP Powdercoating for a coat of "wet black". I should have them back by next weekend.

    And a HUGE thanks to Dave Clark of Forever Endeavor Cycles (www.abcbmw.com) for saving my left cylinder and head. I took the pitted/damaged head and cylinder to him to take a look at. He was optimistic that he could save it. You can see some pitting is still there, but he cleaned it up enough around the compression ring area that he is confident that it will seal up and will run without any problems.

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    He also said the valve stems were bent and the seats were worn. He said he had never seen anything like the trauma that this particular head and cylinder were subjected to. He even suggested that the left cylinder may have been involved in a fire. He fixed it all, and gave them a shiny new bead-blasted finish for about the same price that it would have cost to buy a used cylinder and head. I was quite happy with this - as I've said before, my main goal is to be riding Papa's bike as it was when he rode it. So, new cylinders were not my first choice.

    The cylinders look beautiful now:

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    I still need to bead blast the rest of the engine - I'll probably start on that sometime this week while the frame is at the powder coater. And I bought some Rub N' Buff to ensure that the cylinders look good for quite a while!

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    #98
  19. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    Before:

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    After:

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    Nice improvement!
    #99
  20. backdrifter

    backdrifter Wannabe rider

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    With some free time while I'm waiting to get parts back from the powder coater, I decided it was time to resign myself to my fate of hours upon hours of cleaning up 40 years worth of aluminum oxide on every cast aluminum part of the old girl.

    As shown above, I got some help on the cylinders and heads, so I decided to start on the fork bottoms. This is a good representation of what I was working against:

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    I decided to go this route on the fork tubes:

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    You may remember that I tried this a bit on the front engine cover and was worried that it was taking too much finish off. It seemed to do much better on the forks and I was happy with the results. After a light test session to see how it would work out:

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    Then a little more:

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    Satisfied, I decided to go for it and came up with this:

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    Cleaned (bottom) versus dirty:

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    It was a bit shinier than I was hoping for, but it was head and shoulders above what it had looked like, so I decided I was willing to live with it. So then I took the forks outside, scrubbed them down and got them really clean. Then it was back to the vice grip to try my first experience with Rub N' Buff.

    Wow. This stuff is possibly the most impressive product ever. I can't believe there isn't an entire thread devoted to the stuff with before and after photos. It goes on like a dream, spreads forever, and covers extremely easily. The pores of the cast aluminum just suck it up and you can tell that it will make a huge difference in keeping the dirt and grime out.

    You can see the difference of where I had applied it (on the left) and where I hadn't (on the right) in this photo:

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    The Rub N' Buff brought back the perfect finish - not too shiny, it looks almost exactly like brand new cast aluminum. One tube down:

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    And a comparsion, Rub N' Buff (top) versus no Rub N' Buff (bottom):

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    Both fork tubes done:

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    I was all excited, so I tried a carb float bowl. It worked well too, but the float bowl is much smoother than the cast iron parts, so I decided to let it dry to see how well it's going to work before doing more of the carbs:

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    All of this took just over an hour and I am extremely happy with the results. The lower triple clamp is next, and then just about every other aluminum part on the bike, but most of them need to be blasted first.

    Not bad for an hour's work! :clap

    Oh, and HUGE thanks to Houseoffubar for introducing me to Rub N' Buff!