Custom Honda Z50 Build & Garage Happenings

Discussion in 'Some Assembly Required' started by pancholasvegas, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Ozarkroadrunner

    Ozarkroadrunner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Georgia and Arkansas
    I was stationed in Cleveland, OH in the early 80s. We went back to Arkansas on leave and a dealer I knew gave my boys a QA50. I didn't have room for it in our Bronco so I took it apart and put the frame, forks & wheels in a box shipped to Ohio via USPS for $10. I had room for the tank, seat and engine. It gave all three boys a ton of fun.
    #41
  2. Ozarkroadrunner

    Ozarkroadrunner Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2014
    Oddometer:
    157
    Location:
    Georgia and Arkansas
    A friend of mine raids my garage gathering 1" stainless Harley bars. He uses them for headers on Honda and Lifan motors. They offer a lot of bends and straight sections. Blemished bars go cheap at swap meets.
    #42
    greasyfatman and Fast Idle like this.
  3. MiteyF

    MiteyF Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2010
    Oddometer:
    2,690
    Location:
    Bay Area
    Fucking clever. I'm putting that one in the back of the ol' thinkin' bowl.
    #43
    Ozarkroadrunner likes this.
  4. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa

    Jesus Christ... this is the kind of ingenuity I wish I was blessed with.
    #44
    Ozarkroadrunner likes this.
  5. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Some small updates - got a few parts in the mail. New fork bolts/washers, tank hold-down and rubber mount. New front and rear fenders as well. Unfortunately, they had a few blemishes and one had a tiny dent in it.. hoping I can get them exchanged for a getter set. Gonna give them a call tomorrow. Frame is with my buddy at the welding shop to finalize the relocation of axle mounts. I trust his welding much more than mine. Found a small crack in the frame he’s gonna weld up for me as well. Hoping to have the frame back by the end of the week so that we can get everything moving along still.
    #45
    Ozarkroadrunner likes this.
  6. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Been a while since there were any project updates, but life has been very busy lately between planning a wedding, building a pole barn, an inland hurricane coming through my hometown and various other excuses.

    Here’s where we pick up:
    The frame is with my friend at his fabrication shop. He’s handling the final welds on the axle plates for me as my welding skills leave much to desire, he’ll be able to make it much prettier than I.

    We’ve received fenders for the front and rear, some very minor imperfections in them, but compared to the cost of getting originals, it’ll be something I have to live with.

    I failed to notice that the repop tank I ordered didn’t come with the little nubbin at the rear mount of the tank to affix the gas tank strap. I ordered a weld on replacement for a stock tank on eBay, but unfortunately it won’t fit the repop tank, so I’ll need to fabricate something to get past that point. Really wishing I bought the mini-lathe at harbor freight last time it was on sale now... FC57A267-AC7B-4A1E-A062-4681538ACA9D.jpeg

    No build would be complete without a new set of tires, so I treated myself a bit and picked out these cool Shinko street style whitewalls. They should look pretty trick compared to the old knobbies 3409629E-4E3E-4753-9778-CD8D79DD3821.jpeg

    I went and broke down the wheel assemblies and swapped over the new rubber. Examining the hardware holding the wheels together, looks like someone in its past life has already been here. Wrong hardware all over. 2B5EC8D0-01B6-4A4B-89F9-DF67928F5D59.jpeg

    For those who haven’t broken down these old Honda split rims, they can be horrible as they rust in between the split and basically fuse themselves to the bead. I’ve done enough of these now to where I’ve got it down pretty well using some auto body panel removal tools. 057A6946-8F79-4859-A853-E7D1DF3C01AD.jpeg

    With the new tires mounted and wheels reassembled, when I receive the frame, I’ll be able to test fit all the fenders and wheels.

    I ended up finding a pretty good shape GMC in the area to purchase after selling my Tacoma. Yes, a bit of rust around the rear fender wheels, but a friend at the body shop and I will be able to address that. Sure beats having a truck payment. Only 80,xxx miles and plenty more to go. My friends have now started calling me gramps, as I apparently own an old man truck now.

    While waiting for the frame to get finished up, I pulled one of the old CT70s I had in the basement out so that I’ve got a little run around bike for the neighbor and beer/cigar runs at the gas station. I’ve had this bike in the basement for the past 4 years. Pulling it out of hibernation only required a fresh spark plug, some gas, and an old battery plugged back in. These bikes will run without a battery with some wiring switched around, but that can blow out the bulbs due to excess voltage. My understanding is that even an old battery will work, as the battery essentially acts as a capacitor. I did pull the carb and run it through the ultrasonic cleaner, because I do recall the bike having some carburation issues before being put into storage. Now it runs well enough to get me in trouble with the local PD after an attempt to ride up to the local racetrack with no plates. I did notice that the rear brake was sticking after application, and would only free up by grabbing the linkage by hand, or would break free at speed - eventually. Pulled the rear wheel and swapped out the shoes with another verified good set that I had in the garage, pulled the brake actuator out of the housing and cleaned/greased, and we are back in business. This is one of my favorite bikes and the one that got me really interested in mechanics. A9720298-59E9-4961-BF44-858B9F2C8EDE.jpeg

    I did take some time this weekend to go ahead and pop off the muffler from the donor exhaust pipe I plan on using to leave me with just the header to start up the building of the custom pipe that will be required. 80651B1A-5EBD-4EC9-A014-2C6C744E49E3.jpeg
    I plan to make an attempt to stop at the steel supply shop to find some appropriate sized pipe to get started on the layout and bends for this pipe to come together this week. I’m very interested in putting a fishtail style exhaust tip on this build, but everything for sale is obviously for a full size application. A friend of mine has some experience in small parts metal stamping, so he’s proposed getting together to see if we can form something from sheet metal - but that is a ways off from this point. My other idea was to buy a full size fishtail and cut/weld it down to a more manageable size. We shall see.

    More to come, the ideas don’t stop.
    #46
  7. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Bonus picture of the white walls mounted. 516F645A-4E79-4AAA-BF83-FF9F54EFD2BE.jpeg
    Now, obviously the wheels will not stay two separate colors. I’m debating between powder coat, paint, or picking up a fancy new set of polished aluminum rims. Leaning towards the polished aluminum...
    #47
  8. pancholasvegas

    pancholasvegas Adventurer

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Oddometer:
    40
    Location:
    Iowa
    Well here’s a bit of a status update.

    Frame is back in the shop with a 1.25” drop on the rear. I’m not quite sure if the drop is dramatic enough for me, so may end up going a bit lower, but here’s a picture at ride height for at least some views. AFCAECCB-3436-4B5C-B47D-C72523028597.jpeg
    Obviously the front still needs to go down some.

    I ended up scoring a bench top lathe for a hell of a deal on Facebook marketplace. 42896CD8-77E3-4D6E-B83F-A83B2C86957A.jpeg

    Far from being the baddest machine around, but I picked up some indexable tooling and it seems to work pretty good!

    You may recall that I mentioned the pin for the gas tank I ordered wasn’t going to work. What better way to get familiar with machinery I’ve never used before! To have some fun, and maintain some semblance of “Mostly Honda Parts,” I used an old Honda CT70 axle, and turned that down to make a new nubbin/pin to weld to the tank for the tank strap.

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    6F905781-B5FC-44D3-AAD0-98564C10E0A1.jpeg

    Above you can see the new pin compared to the old for reference.

    As some of you may know, the forks and springs are held together with a pin on the Z50s - I didn’t have any spare pins around, so used what was left of the axle to make a couple pins to use as placeholders in the meantime for mockup purposes. I don’t have a cut off tool for the lathe yet, so I had to use the cutting wheel to cut these into sizeable pieces after turning them down to the correct size. They got hit with the grinder to remove the poor cuts, of course. For mock up, they’ll do.

    D7198F3D-AD59-4872-9E7A-F8B8A6A97FFB.jpeg

    Yes, probably not very exciting to all of you, but I’ve never used a lathe before I bought one and have no experience with them other than a copy of Machinery’s Handbook that I picked up at a book store for $10.00. I can say now though, the mind doesn’t stop thinking of what we can build instead of buy - next.
    #48