Leaf's New Lawn Ornament...

Discussion in 'Hacks' started by Leaf, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Back to work! Nothing but some pictures today, but I am hoping I can get a bunch of work knocked out over the long weekend.

    I was briefly considering just putting it back together, getting it running, and not painting the frame, but I got to looking closer, and some of the motor mounts down under the battery tray are rusted pretty bad. I am not sure if I want to leave it like that all winter, and I don't want to drop the engine twice....

    So I still think I'll drop the engine once, paint the frame, polish the engine, and then leave the rest of it ratty until I make sure the motor is ok.

    I'll either have to chop the sidecar frame and put heim joints on it, or chop the subframe and put balls on it. Since I already have some balls off a CJ750, I'll probably do the latter, as much as I hate the idea of cutting on that fine piece of DMC kit.

    The front subframe goes on the motor mounts, like so (this is just the lower mount; the upper eyebolt clamps 'round the downtube with an improved DMC version of the frame-crusher):

    [​IMG]

    That one fits pretty good.

    However, the crappy rusted out aftermarket exhaust is smack dab in the way of the rear subframe. It goes between the shock and centerstand mounts.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the rear subframe where you can see it a little better.

    [​IMG]

    So, I think I am going to have to make some kind of left-side exhaust. Seems to me that most aftermarket 4-1 exhausts for these things hang on the right, but I think if I could get an old ratty one on the cheap, I could cut it past the 4-joint, rotate it whole ass-end 180 degrees, and weld it back together, and maybe relocate a bracket somewhere. Voila, a left-side exhaust.

    Anyone have a ratty old 900C 4-1 that isn't /too/ rusted out that they want to sell me on the cheap? :p
    #81
  2. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    Call Dean. he may even have the stock exhaust. That subframe was probably engineered for use with stock pipes anyway.
    #82
  3. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    I'll do that, but maybe after I make sure the motor is ok. :3

    It looks like good condition OEM 4-into-4 exhausts for these things are ridiculously expensive. I might have to get a ratty OEM 4-4 and patch it up and put some cheap Harley take-offs on it or something, then paint/wrap the pipes.

    Although it appears that 4/4 SOHC CB750/four exhaust will fit on it, with some of the tabs relocated, and is almost identical to the 900's stock exhaust. Those had a much longer production run, so maybe they are cheaper....
    #83
  4. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Grumble. The weather report is calling for rain all weekend, so I guess I shouldn't paint.

    I really need a building.
    #84
  5. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    I swear I haven't forgotten about this project, lol.

    It's been a combination of work being awfully busy and trying to figure out how to build a bike barn before I continue, that's been eating my time lately. D:=
    #85
  6. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    I was just wondering. The thread wasn't even on the first page anymore!
    #86
  7. nanno

    nanno Been here awhile

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    We keep an eye on you... BigBrother (from the other end of the world) is watching you.

    ;-)

    Nice builds, I just love your cheap 'n' simple approach.

    Cheers,
    Greg
    #87
  8. kshansen

    kshansen kshansen

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    I've heard tell that if you have time to hold down a full time job you are in need of more projects!
    #88
  9. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    I think I got a line on a running '82 900C with a pristine stock exhaust and little if any rust for around $1000.

    Since it's getting so close to winter and I don't seem to have enough time for a big painting project right now, I think I might just get the 82, swap the triple trees from the 80 (while keeping the leading axle forks from the 82) to reduce trail for sidecar use, and ride it.

    Then I can either use the 80 for parts, part it out, or fix it up and have a solo whenever I have the time....

    If I get the '82, I'll just give the tub a quick wire brushing and a shot of cheap implement paint to hold it over until spring....

    Edit: Still need a seat for the tub, though. Anyone have a Ural hack seat pan and back they want to get rid of? I don't care what condition the cover or foam is in. Or maybe I can cut something out of plywood....
    #89
  10. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    So, I went and saw a guy about another CB900 Custom today, an '81 (although it was advertised as an '82). We ended up settling on $1200, which was probably $400 too much, but it's the best one I've seen on the local craigslists, and he was a really nice guy. His wife even invited me to dinner, and the food was amazing. Then we went down to his workshop and looked over his ZX10 project. I ended up inviting him over for a tour of the local twisties in the spring.

    I geared up like I was expecting to get run off the road by the Lone Biker of the Apocalypse (questionable bikes scare me at high speeds, but on the other hand I don't want to throw down money unless I am sure that they run decently), and took the bike out for a test drive.

    I'd never been on a running DOHC-4 before this, so I wasn't sure what to expect.

    The guy lives up a long dirt road with deep gravel, so I was taking it pretty easy and puttering along with the throttle barely open out to the hardtop, because I didn't want to risk losing the thing in the gravel before deciding if I wanted it or not. :p The bike was pop-pop-popping on deceleration like a piece of crap all the way there, and I was starting to mentally kick myself in the hiney for driving all the way down there for something with burned valves.

    Then I got it out onto the hardtop and cracked the throttle open about 3/4. It bogged for a second, but as soon as it got off the idle circuits, that thing let out a roar/scream the likes of which shook the foundations of the heavens themselves, the back tire shifted sideways a good 6 inches, and it took off down the road like a rocketship and pulled my eyeballs down my throat. I didn't get it past 3rd in low range. The speedometer cable is broken, so I don't know how fast the thing was going, but I'd guesstimate somewhere in the 90 MPH range. o_O I got scared and backed off, put it in 4th and cruised around at moderate RPMs. Never made it into 5th or high-5th. Gobs of torque everywhere, as long as I stayed up in the mid or main jets.

    Same color as the parts bike. I think that between the two of them, I can put together a pretty nice machine.

    [​IMG]

    ... which is good, because the left sidecover is missing. I am pretty sure there is one in the parts bike box.

    [​IMG]

    There is some rust on the starter cover. The one on the '80 has some rust too, but not as much. I think I'll clean the '80's up and swap them.

    [​IMG]

    There is an oil leak around the tach drive. At first, I was afraid that it was the dreaded inner seal, but at second glance it looks like the outer seal is just missing and someone tried to stuff some RTV or something in there instead of fixing it proper-like. That'll be much easier to fix!

    [​IMG]

    Stock 4-into-4 exhaust, which pleases me. They are hard to find nowadays.

    [​IMG]

    But some bozo removed the baffles. The PO says it was the previous PO... Possibly this is the reason for the farting around at low RPMs, maybe in conjunction with partially clogged idle circuits (he said he hadn't started it for like 10 months before I got there). The internet says I can get baffles for $50/each. Ouch. But needed. I don't like loud bikes.

    [​IMG]

    There is also an exhaust mount bolt missing! D:

    [​IMG]

    Might have to paint the headers. I am not sure if that will buff out. If I have to paint them, I might wrap them, if I can find out whether wrap really does make them rust out again faster or not.

    [​IMG]

    Someone cut the 2-3 crossover pipe off and welded a patch in, too. -_-' Also, oil leak around the filter cap, apparently. Not so big a deal with the filter cap, but I am not sure if I should leave the crossover off or try to make one. Might be able to cut the one off my junky aftermarket 4-into-2 and weld it in there, if I can get everything lined up right....

    [​IMG]

    Crack in the fuse cover. I have one on the other bike that should fit.

    [​IMG]

    Non-OEM bars. Much, much pullback, and very uncomfortable. I guess the OEM 900 bars will be coming back off the 400 and going on this bike instead. A shame, they make the 400 so much easier to steer! :<

    [​IMG]

    The tank looks very good for being 31 years old. This is good, because the other tank is nothing but a rust farm!

    [​IMG]

    Looks like someone spraypainted the engine cases without proper surface prep (there is overspray on one of the carb insulators). Hopefully it will buff off decently. If not, I guess I will swap covers from the other engine.

    [​IMG]

    This shock cover is nasty, but the boots on both are still good. I'll probably rebuild the ones from the other bike and put the boots from this one on them. He says they hold air, but leak down slowly, so I guess it's a rebuild no matter which ones I use!

    [​IMG]

    The rear brake locked up solid while I was unloading it at the Leaf Shack. Good thing that didn't happen while I was test-riding! D:= I broke open the banjo bolt and that loosened them up, so I reckon the rear MC must just be full of dirt. Hopefully a good cleaning will fix that and it won't need a rebuild. All the MCs and calipers on the other bike are locked up solid.

    [​IMG]

    It also needs fork seals, but I didn't get a picture of that. The tubes are wonderfully smooth, though, unlike the pitted crap that is with the other bike.

    So yeah, I think I paid too much for it, but it's the best 900 I've found. Time to stop fooling around with the box of junk and get something roadworthy before the snow hits. The 400 doesn't have a beefy enough charging system to run any heated gear....
    #90
  11. WVhillbilly

    WVhillbilly Long timer

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    If you are going to run that this winter, I wouldn't wrap those pipes. They will rust.
    Looks like a pretty decent bike tho.
    #91
  12. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    Nice score! Yeah, a little pricey, but if it's what you wanted, so what?
    That crossover will help the mid-range and the bike will run a little smoother with some relief for the gases trying to escape down each pipe. The baffles will help too, like you say.

    Popping on decel could be leaned out carbs, but probably has to do with the exhaust mods. Is the air cleaner still in there?

    i agree about the wrapping too- it will make the pipes rust out quicker.
    #92
  13. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    (Crossposted from the DOHC/4 forums)

    Farted around with the rear brake. Took the caliper off but couldn't compress it (with the bleeder loose), so I decided it musta been the caliper jammed up instead of the MC.

    Disconnected caliper. Removed reservoir and cleaned it up good. Pumped fluid through the system until it ran clear.

    PB blastered and pounded on the MC off the other bike (it looks like it's in better shape) until the piston broke loose. Pumped the piston out and cleaned everything up good and took some emery cloth to the bore and the piston and smoothed it all up. Put it back together and pumped up the brake.

    Jammed.

    Damn, it was the MC after all.

    Screwed around for a while trying to get the MC plate off without unmounting the exhaust, because I don't have any crush rings. Then it started raining harder and it became too uncomfortable so I came inside to eat this tasty sandwich. Mmmmm, sammich.

    Those allen bolts sure turn hard. Makes me think they're not supposed to come out, so I turned 'em back where they were and left 'em alone. I think if I took them out and turned that plate out of the way, I might be able to get at the banjo bolt from the back, though.....

    ----

    Also:

    Was a good 3/4 quart low on oil. Must have puked more out around the tach drive than I thought? Hm!

    Topped it off and fired it up to see if I could spin the rear wheel with the motor rather than by hand. Couldn't, of course, but....

    Fair bit of smoke out the left side. Valve seals? Might 'splain the lack of oil, too. Grumble!

    Ain't sure I'll feel safe on this thing unless I tear into it good and check everything out. Hrm... At least it's safe to hitchhike around here.

    I really want that shed, dammit. $2200, but it's past time I had a dry, warm place to work on my junk.

    ----

    Took the exhaust loose but didn't mess with the clamps on the head. Was able to flex it enough to get the bottom bolt the rest of the way out.

    Gee, I wonder if this could be why the brake isn't working!

    [​IMG]

    That's off the '80, actually. The hex bolts are turning stupidly hard in the '81, so I am letting it bathe in PB Blaster for the night.
    #93
  14. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Kinda sorta cleaned up at the kitchen sink. That thing sure was hard to get apart. Solid mass of semi-hard greasy goo inside.

    Some rust, but the bore looks ok and the return hole was cleanable. The metal bits are taking a bath in the parts cleaner bucket for the rest of the night.

    See, if I had my shed with some lights and such and some insulation to keep the hammering and cussing from waking the neighbors, I could have probably had the other MC tore apart now, too, and then could mix-n-match the best parts tomorrow evening!

    [​IMG]
    #94
  15. MotoJ

    MotoJ Mobtown Hacker

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    I think the Seller and his wife owe you a couple months worth of home-cooked dinners to make things fair!
    #95
  16. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    If I knew what I was doing, I'd be dangerous!

    Rubbed a little wintergreen oil into the rubber parts to soften them up, polished out the rusty parts, painted the caliper, reassembled, and put it on the bike.

    Then the caliper locked up again. Broke open the bleeder, didn't release. Broke open the banjo bolt, didn't release. Grumble!

    Switched back to the other caliper. Farted around trying to bleed a bubble out of the brake line somewhere. Then the return hole plugged up again. Argh.

    I think I'm going to have to tear it all apart again and boil everything again and flush out the lines. D:
    #96
  17. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    Got the valve covers off yesterday without too awful much prying. Didn't take any pictures, though.

    Someone gooped a bunch of gasket sealer in the '81. I very carefully removed all of it that I could from the inside. At one point I dropped a blob down under the cam, but was able to spear it with a dental pick and get it back out. Phew. I hope none of that crap is lurking somewhere getting ready to plug up oil passages.

    The valve cover gasket from the '80 is in much better shape, so I am going to put it on the '81.

    The valve cover from the '81 has some gold-colored splotches on it, after degreasing it. I wonder if that is from overheating... Hmmmmmm...

    Swapped the outer tach drive seal from the '80 to the '81. It's a little flattish, but the one from the '81 has a big crack all the way through it.

    Then it started getting dark/cold, and I was weak and covered everything up and came inside. :3

    Overall, I think the '80 engine is in better shape. Lower miles, generally seems to have been better cared for without as much PO half-assery, but has been sitting too long instead of running. Once I got the dirt off of the '81, it seems like the '80 is less pitted, too. I paid too damn much for that '81, lol.

    I think my plan now is to get the '81 tuned up but not really put much into it, swap the bars, attach the sidecar, and ride the piss out of it this winter and hope it doesn't fall apart, while I rebuild the '80 from the frame up in my cozy warm workshop/shed that is supposed to arrive on Monday. Then I'll move the sidecar to the '80 and store away the '81 while I fool with a '74 CL360 that I picked up for $20, and then drag the '81 back out and do something with it after that. Assuming I don't find more beautiful junk to distract me in the meantime. I /do/ need to weld some body panels into the $300 Wonder Truck and paint it, someday..... :3
    #97
  18. Leaf

    Leaf Been here awhile

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    I wasn't able to push the buckets down with any of my small screwdrivers, and I'm afraid to pry on stuff too hard! I think I'll have to get one of those bucket tools after all. :3

    Interesting results checking the valve clearances, though. The '80 is a little tight, but all in spec except for one valve. The '81 on the other hand has 8 of the 16 valves too tight, and the others are really close to the bottom end despite being in spec. More proof in my mind that the '80 was well cared for before it became a bike-in-a-box. I'm half afraid that the '81 may have burned valves. My thinnest feeler gauge is .0015", and I couldn't even fit it under 6 of the 15 valves!!!

    There is some very minor rust on the cams of the '80. I figure it'll wear off when the engine is running and be just fine. Hopefully that's not a bad assumption to make......

    By the time I get all the shims to get the '81 in spec, I think I might be better off just tearing the '81 down for parts and using the its shims in the '80 motor. -_-'
    #98