RD03 Africa Twin restoration

Discussion in 'Japanese polycylindered adventure bikes' started by MassiveLee, Feb 7, 2015.

  1. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    I removed the carbs last evening. Those rubber boots are indeed dry. They will be replaced by new ones. I also have a rebuild kit for the carbs. THose will be taken apart and completely redone. As of today, I am ready to drop the engine.

    Lee
    #21
  2. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    I made a small batch of rad grills test units. I needed some radiator grills as the original units on my bike were broken and bent. I tested two materials: alu and stainless. On the pictures, one side is aluminum, the other is stainless. The fit is perfect and if I produce them on a larger scale, I will only change a tiny detail that nobody will notice. BTW the guards are quite stiff, thanks to the full ledge on the outside, and the upper and lower "arches".

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    1,5mm aluminum - which I will consider for black anodizing. Slightly lighter than stainless.

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    0.8mm stainless. requires no treatment. Won't corrode.

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    That little tab was intended to be loose in the hole. But thinking about it, I may want it to be to the full width of the hole. Or maybe simply fit a thin rubber sleeve.
    May I mention that the grill is NOT touching the core. It is only an illusion. [​IMG]

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    #22
  3. eakins

    eakins Butler Maps

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    Cool bike.

    I've always wondered why guys don't do a full degreaser/cleaner and than wash before full bike restos? What's your theory on doing this dirty? If it was me I'd have a sparkling clean bike before I opened parts and brought in more dirt.
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  4. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    THe bike was fully "karcherized" to remove as much dirt and grease as I could.

    Lee
    #24
  5. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    The project is still progressing. Frame is bare. I have bagfulls of stripped fasteners that I have dipped in vinegar to remove previous plating and surface rust. Other small steel parts were also stripped. Everything will be sent on Monday for zinc plating. I have also started stripping front and rear subframe and other parts, ready for plating for rust protection, then going to powder coating.

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    Going tomorrow to carwash to pressure wash the frame. Then will rub it with solvant to remove grease.

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    As you can see, there's no rust

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    Just grease. 27 years of accumulated grease.

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    Subframes have been "spread" with paint stripper. Then when most of the paint will have bubbled up and turned crispy when drying, I will bead blast the parts. Stripping reduces bead blasting times by at least 4 times. Once paint has bubbled and dried, it gets very flaky and super easy to remove. The half hour spent stripping equals to 2 hours in the blasting booth.

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    #25
  6. WillRide

    WillRide Adventurer

    Joined:
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    22
    awesome project! :lurk

    keep the pics coming :)
    #26
  7. icelandmg066

    icelandmg066 Adventurer

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    34
    looking good there lee done a few jobs on mine will be doing more next winter keep the pics coming...regards:D
    #27
  8. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    On Sunday, I brought the frame to a carswash to remove the thick layer of accumulated grease and grim. That was easy. But at the same time, I found a rusty area near where the rear brake fluid reservoir is bolted. I am a bit disapointed. So, this morning I went to my supplier that does anything related to anodizing, zinc plating and powder coating to pick-up some parts for my business. THose guys are good. They even supply "surface finishing" for Bombardier and aeronautic clients. I asked the guy who's in charge of powder coating if it would do a bike frame in glossy white, and subframes in glossy black. SURE. NO PROBLEM. I smiled. ;-)

    So, I will chemically strip the frame and send it for nutshell basting to finish it off. Then I will send it for powder coating, with perhaps a complete zinc plating before to protect the metal if paint chipses...

    I also dropped some steel parts for zinc plating in gold to test. They will plate them along another job I dropped there.

    Oh, did I mention I shall receive today a spare se of front cowl and side covers? Better grab them now that they are still available on the used market.

    Lee
    #28
  9. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    This came in from the UK this afternoon. Spare parts. Not perfect but all original with all stickers in place. Even the warning stickers on the inside. Those are the show'n'shine fairing parts ;-)

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    #29
  10. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Not much progress. Some parts have been sent to zinc plating. Some were sent for nutshell blasting before plating then powder coating. About the frame, what I thought was rust ended up being gold coloured dirt. So, I may not have to paint it. It will "only" require a few days of rubbing with WD40 and white spirit. So, perhaps I will send the frame for blasting and powder coating after all [​IMG]

    After looking for days and days and days for some plastic headlamp grills, and seeing crazy prices at which they go when a set is made available, I have decided I will produce my own and they'll be aluminum, and therefore stronger and less prone to breaking. They won't be as sexy as the original grills, but they'll be stronger and cheaper.

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    #30
  11. Gian

    Gian dreamer

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    I made the same mistake with my Marathon that was still as returned from Dakar, some parts like footrests looked rusty but it was only the dirt!
    About the grid, have you seen the new one here? Could be a nice alternative! http://www.africatwinclub.org/public/forum/index.php?showtopic=22839&hl=
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    #31
  12. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Nice grill, but i am not sure it was designed for RD03s
    #32
  13. Gian

    Gian dreamer

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    Yes, absolutely :deal! I mean there is one available for each type of AT

    you apply the grid on the available protection
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    #33
  14. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Progress is slow. Cleaning up parts. Putting them in boxes. Waxing others. Waiting for elements to come back from plating or painting. Preparation is everything. [​IMG]

    But those take up a lot of room in my man cave.

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    H4 headlamps from a Greek RD07a have been fitted.

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    Then cleaned the fuel tank. The uderside was totally disgusting on the left half. I found strange that the right side waas dry and clean, while the left side was totally gunky. It was a messy job to clean -it up. Lots of rubbing with a smooth brush and some WD40, finishing of with carb cleaner. Still needed a bit more rubbing with a worn tooth brush. Not 100% finished yet, but enough clean to understand what the problem was. The thickest crust is around the fuel level senders. So, I concluded that all that gunk didn't come from the engine blowing oil thru a leak, but from the senders, allowing fuel to sip. Which would explain the constant fuel smell. I will finish off the area surrounding the fuel sender when I will remove them for changing the thermoresistors as both are dead.

    The right side is pretty clean. Outershell and underside.

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    The top of the tank has been slightly rubbed off as the sidepanel was missing the rubber pad. No problem really as I will have a friend who paints concours bikes do some touch-ups.

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    Small ding at the bottom of the left side. Grrr...

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    Showing remaining gunk. Definitely originating from the fuel level senders not properly sealing.

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    Hopefully, one day, I will have a larger Marathon tank.

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    #34
  15. RideDualSport.com

    RideDualSport.com Zut alors!

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    Congratulations on putting such loving tender care into restoring such a unique and interesting motorcycle! Its nice to see how much you appreciate keeping the motorcycle original! I am enjoying watching your progress. It is very satisfying work to bring a bike back to its factory original glory!
    #35
  16. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Thanks for the good word.

    One could notice some yellowish urethane primer underneath the left side tank. This tank was definitely repainted at some time. Which makes me wonder if the bike has been involved in a accident... I will check around how much it cost to put the frame on a machine to check if it's bent or straight.

    Lee
    #36
  17. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Progressing in the reproducition of the headlamp grill. The hardest part is now done. I am making them stronger than the original flimsy units ;-)

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    #37
  18. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    I sent 70lbs of black oxide coated fasteners to be zinc plated and baked for strength. I also included most of the bike's fasteners to be zinc plated at the same time. It will be clear zinc. Silver finish.

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    The surface rust came after I had acid stripped the fasteners. It wipes out easily. Bolts will be dipped in an acid bath anyway before being plated.

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    So, the plating above will be done next week. It is plated in a barrel. Not each piece on a hook.

    Then this afternoon, I picked a plating job from another supplier and had some bike parts yellow zinc plated at the same time. Sadly they managed to lose the small bracket that holds the two rear ignition coils. I returned and they said they don't have it. I suggested they look at the bottom of the bath bins...

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    #38
  19. Papa Pete

    Papa Pete RIDES RED

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    Sadly you should forget to pay them!

    I hope they find it.
    #39
  20. MassiveLee

    MassiveLee Banned

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    Not much development. Buying spares and getting stuff zinc plated before painting

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    Painted the fan frames at home with a rattle can, and baked them. [​IMG]

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    I actually did the same with the side stands and center stands.

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    This morning, I picked up the anodized grills and assembled my set w/ auxiliary fan. The two mounting tabs for the fan must be bent by hand.

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    Rebuilt the front and rear MCs.

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    Then "baked" some small parts after painting

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    Then assembled the left foot ped and sidestand. Don't forget the two 0.80mm shims to keep the sidestand straight.

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    #40