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Old Yamaha dirt bike restoration

Discussion in '2 smokers' started by Cat Daddy, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    I collect empty beer bottles from beer drinking buddies and powdercoat them to use as color sample display pieces. They're free and show off colors well with their shape.
    #21
  2. CoyoteCowboy

    CoyoteCowboy Easily Distracted

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    330
    Location:
    Medicine Lodge, Ks (Gyp Hills)
    Good Lord man!! Stop it! I'm getting waaaay too inspired!:rofl
    #22
  3. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    After a bit of slow time covering the little details, this thread should get better. The big picture is turning out pretty neat.

    Okay, today's installment. The enduro had chrome steel rims, 18 inch front and rear. My vision of the completed bike had deep shouldered aluminum rims in 18 and 21 inch sizes. Initially, I was ready to fess up to Buchanans for new rims and spokes. Good lord, that's 600 dollars for the parts alone. Better back off a few minutes and re-think that.

    I wound up buying a set of pretty beat up wheels off eBay. I paid probably more than they were worth (about 160 dollars for the pair delivered through two different auctions). But, that got me the shouldered Takasago rims and the spokes I needed.

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    I cut the crusty tires off the wheels and then took everything apart. The rims were so bad I had to start with a file to dress out the gouges, then glass bead them to remove the oxidation. After that, it got hard. On the front rim alone, I spent 6 hours sitting in the floor of the living room with a big tub of water and sandpaper. Thankfully my wife is a sport about such matters, although I did take great pains to not splash a single drop of water anywhere.
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    I put the spokes and nipples into the box to be re-plated. I'm sure some of you guys think I'm a Rockafeller or something for doing this, but the entire plating bill for this whole bike was 50 bucks. I couldn't buy a single set of spokes for that. In the end, every nut, bolt, bracket, clip and widget came back looking as good as new or better for cheap. I do not believe in re-using anything without new plating or protection of some kind. Yes, you can use a wire wheel and make stuff look new, but the plating will be worn off and the exposed metal will corrode shortly. Then you're left with a nice bike with little rusty bits all over it.

    Soda blasted and powdercoated the hubs.
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    Brake plate stuck in there to get and idea of the finished look.
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    #23
  4. awshouse

    awshouse Downwardly mobile

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    445
    Location:
    Seattle
    subscribed and inspired. Amazing work. thanks for sharing. Andy
    #24
  5. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    My original brake actuator levers were chrome plated steel and very heavy, so I got a pair of aluminum ones to replace them with. To the old hand scale, they weight about a third what the steel ones do and didn't need expensive re-chroming.

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    Bead blasted them polished on the sides and edges to give them a little contrast.
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    Hubs reassembled. The bearings were in tip top shape so I just cleaned and re-greased them. New seals too. Just a note, I have replaced every single rubber item on this bike. The original stuff is always too crusty after this many years and new stuff isn't a real budget buster. All rubber bits are OEM Yamaha parts.
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    Junky fork brace that I got off ebay. I spent a lot of time bead blasting it then sanding to remove all the damaged areas. Here it is in sanded form, pictures of full polish in a later installment.
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    #25
  6. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    Here is where I piss off every Yamaha purist.

    The enduros had low mount front fenders with little chrome braces. The MX bikes that's I'm copying had high mount front fenders. The original AT1MX fender and mount are impossible to find nowadays so I made do with what I had to work with.

    Original front fender.
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    Grind off spot welds and remove all fender mounting tabs.
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    A piece of .125 aluminum about 14 inches long and some quality time with the sheetmetal tools.
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    Test fit onto fenders. New Yamaha fender grommets for a rear fender application.
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    Drill holes, Powdercoat front fender to match the rear. Mount with grommets, spacers and replated bolts.
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    Clean and rebuild forks. I used the same silver powder with clear that I used on the engine cases and hubs. New seals, wipers, o ring, etc.
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    #26
  7. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    I wanted to fit up the hubs to the bike before lacing the wheels. Since I'm using hubs and brakes from a later model MX175 bike I wasn't totally sure if they would work properly and space out correctly. The Yamaha parts fiche showed the same axle bolts and bearings so I thought I was on the right track. Better to find out any fitment issues now than later when the wheel is laced and heavy and bulky.

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    Fortunately everything fit fine and spaced out correctly.
    #27
  8. Valleyrider

    Valleyrider I Survived The '60s

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,952
    Location:
    Valley Dweller
    AWESOME work!!
    One thing I saw might be a concern... Will the forkbrace hit the fender at full travel??

    My work isn't even in the same league as yours! You have taken this to a much higher level.
    #28
  9. pvangel

    pvangel Team AARP

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,942
    Location:
    South Salem, NY
    CAT DADDY!!! Nice work, I'm embbaresed of my restoration project after seeing this. The powder coating is just great, I have priced it out around here and it is way to much to justify doing but it really looks great on your bike.
    I'll try harder next time:baldy:baldy
    #29
  10. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    Willie, with the fork springs out and the forks completely compressed, there is enough room to slip your hand between the fork brace and the fender.

    I didn't get any pictures of the refurbish process, but I slicked up the shock absorbers. I really wanted some trick shocks but on a whim I decided to see what I could do with the originals.

    Once disassembled, the shocks were leak free, shafts rust free, and what feels to my hands at least, to have reasonable dampening. Cool deal is, the shock bodies are stainless steel. I polished them as best I could and they really look great now. The springs are coated in yellow. That was just a whim on my part. I had the yellow in the gun from another job and thought it would give the shocks a bit of a trick look.

    I am really sorry that I didn't get before pictures. They looked awful. These pics are before I reassembled them. I had to wait for my wife to get home so I could compress the springs while she dropped the upper retainers back in place.

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    Another little detail that I fussed over was the foot pegs. The enduro had big rubber ones and I wanted MX type steel ones. I asked around and the hot trick was to use early YZ dirt bike pegs. Searching the eBay, I found anyone who was parting an old YZ out wanted stupid big money for the parts. Using the parts fiche at Powersport Plus, I found out that 81 model IT125 bikes used the exact same part number foot pegs as the early 70s YZ bikes did. I found a pair on eBay for 5 bucks total, shipping included.

    Originals.
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    5 dollar eBay find.
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    Restored.
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    #30
  11. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    Tires and tubes arrived from Dennis Kirk. I've had real good service from that place. I went with Dunlop MX51 tires.

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    After that I got busy lacing wheels and mounting tires. It took me an hour to lace the first wheel and about 10 minutes to do the second one. It's dead easy when you figure it out finally. Truing takes longer of course.

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    #31
  12. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    I looked everywhere for some vintage decals and kept coming up short. Had to take matters into my own hands.

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    The homemade front fender mount worked out real well.
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    #32
  13. Euromad

    Euromad Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2010
    Oddometer:
    519
    Location:
    Lower Slobbovia
    Hey Cat Daddy, looking nice! Will you actually ride it off road?
    You mention soda blasting-Where do you get media and can you use it in a regular sand blaster?
    Presently working on a old Kawasaki F5 and a Rickman 125 and need to get rid of some age.
    #33
  14. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    Euromad,

    I hate to admit where I get my blast media.

    Harbor Freight.

    I hate that store and all it stands for but ordering hundreds of pounds of media and having it shipped cuts the profit margin by a lot. Blasting media is all I buy from there, but inexpensive, they are.

    You will need a dedicated soda blaster. The bright side is, you can buy one for as little as 100 dollars and it will work quite well. There are some threads on the interwebs on how to make one for a few bucks, but they don't work near as well as buying a commerical made one.
    #34
  15. Cat Daddy

    Cat Daddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    991
    Location:
    Azle Texas
    Still plugging away on this thing.

    I boiled the carburetor in my crock pot of special sauce for an hour or so to get the goop out of it.
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    Then soda blast to restore the appearance.
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    I had the choke hardware and all of the little springs and widgets re-plated along with the rest of the bike's harware. It sure spruces up the final look and didn't cost me any extra since my job fell way under the shop's 25 dollar minimum job charge. Might as well throw everything you can into the pile at the same time.
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    #35
  16. exoff-roadgoat

    exoff-roadgoat Will ride for food

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Oddometer:
    4,783
    Location:
    West Mitten
    I couldn't agree more. Same for Wallyworld........Very nice, very well done restro. Almost too pretty to get dirty. A early mx hub would have looked good in the front.
    #36
  17. Cycletech

    Cycletech Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,001
    Location:
    North Side RVA
    I would drive that emulsion tube out and clean it - if you haven't already.

    Great build thread! :clap
    #37
  18. Reverend12

    Reverend12 Well there it is..

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2008
    Oddometer:
    1,527
    Location:
    Classified
    Man this is gonna be sweet!:clap
    #38
  19. RABBIT170

    RABBIT170 CB750 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    111
    Location:
    Ft. Wayne, IN
    Awesome thread, keep up the good work!
    #39
  20. FloridaSteve

    FloridaSteve Long timer

    Joined:
    May 24, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,100
    Location:
    Jacksonville Florida
    I'm IN! Now THAT'S how you restore an old bike! Nicely Done!
    #40