Friday, November 19, 2010

The XT Runs and some nice fall pics.

The XT is roadworthy!  It passed its safety on Monday.  Hopefully we will get it plated next week and its good to go.  I know once it gets on the road a couple gremlins will pop up.  Most importantly the mid throttle bog.  I bet that carb is coming off again for a bit of a re tune.  Here are a couple vids and some sweet pics.  Spot all those shiny new parts! 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Good Shit

I picked up a D.I.D. gold chain and some Progressive Suspension shocks from Burlington Cycle.  I love the graphic design on the D.I.D. box.  So Japanese, so cool.  I was happy the progressive shocks came with a sticker for my tool chest, but was real bummed that they didn't come with springs, so I had to order them separate.  Don't worry, I ordered "Heavy Duty" springs for the over 200lbs crowd of which I am a long standing member.

Big Box O Parts

So the day finally came and the big box o parts from Thumper Stuff arrived.  The big ticket item I was waiting for was a complete Super Trap exhaust system.  The swing arm rebuild kit was another biggie.  Oh and of course break pads, points and condenser, fork gators, throttle cables, break cable, side cover, K&N air filter, crankcase breather, and a new set of sprockets.  The sprockets are two teeth bigger on the rear and one smaller on the front.  I'm thinking this will make the XT more manageable in the woods.

   Over the last couple of evenings I have bolted on all these parts, set up the breaks, built the swing arm bearings up, and set up the ignition.  I was holding my breath a bit on that first kick to see if I would get spark, but no biggie.  Lots of spark!  First kick and there was a nice bright blue zap from the plug.  Good stuff.  I was a bit worried that coil was done, but I guess all my cleaning and soldering were appreciated by the electron gods.
   The swing arm rebuild kit from Thumper Stuff is great.  The end needle bearings have been replaced by a modern teflon type.  I was pleased to see the kit included an inner race.  I pressed the main needle bearings in the the swing arm with my bench vise.  No biggie.

The exhaust was a pain in the ass.  I really had to wrestle in into place.  And I'm sure due to that there is going to be a leak where the two pieces of pipe are clamped together.  However I'm hoping that once I get the bike up North we can call on a welder dude I know of and he can zap the pipe chunks together for good.

   The breaks are working great.  And its really nice to be able to operate the throttle.  Unfortunately there is a spacer missing from the front sprocket, and for some reason I didn't order a clutch cable.  I will get those next week from Burlington Cycle. This is what the XT is looking like these days.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Light, Fender, Puller, Stator

So I got a light from a tt175 from the 70s.  I like it, its black plastic so it looks kinda bad ass.  I think I am going to get a black handle bar to compliment it.  I also got a battery and installed it tonight.  Nothing lit up so I don't really want to talk about that.  The battery had a strong 6.2v and when the switch was on I was only measuring 4.2v at the fuse with no current.  I'm thinking the ignition switch is full of rust.  WD get in there.  I bought a brand new front fender for a 2006 YZF250, then with a little drill action managed to mount it to the XT rather nicely.  No alignment issues or anything.  Nice and shiny.  As well I bought a flywheel puller, pulled the flywheel, then took off the stator, cleaned everything and checked the coils.  I'm happy to report all is well in coil land.  I was sweating that a bit as stator asemblys are not cheap.  Here are some pics.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Tires and Forks

I picked up the new tires and rebuilt forks from Burlington Cycle on Saturday.  I think I can safely say I love all things Michelin.  These tires are awesome!  I can't believe how aggressive the tread pattern is and yet they are still DOT approved.  While the wheels were there I also had all new bearings pressed into the hubs.  There are three in the rear and two in the front.  Since the parts are only 3.99 a piece I figured get them.  Plus this way the seals are new too.  Burlington Cycle told me you don't need the dust seals anymore as the modern bearing seals are much better than in the past.  I like that because it will be easy to clean the bearings and watch the seals for deteriation when the wheels are mounted on the bike.

New Tires and Fresh Forks
Old Tires                                                                        

 Tread Pattern of Michelin Cross AC 10

Monday, March 8, 2010

Carb Is Rebuilt

The carb rebuild kit arrived today from Rusty Riders in Ohio.  The kit was sweet.  It took about an hour and half for me to install all the parts and adjust them just so.  I chased the threads with a 7mm tap for the part that holds the main jet assembly.  Besides that everything went together very nice.  The carb is now installed back in the bike.  I just need the new cables to arrive so I can set it up.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Upholstery Guy

Ok I got into it tonight and upholstered the seat.  I started by drilling out all the rivets that hold on the old style tooth crimps around the bottom of the seat.  Then I cleaned the plastic bottom and lined the edge of the plastic bottom with duct tape.  Then I busted out my trusty upholstery stapler and hit it.  I'm happy with the results.  I bought one of these Ebay seat covers for my 71cb500 and it didn't turn out as nice as this one.

And after

First Arrival

The first of the Ebay purchases made it through the post on Monday March 1st.  I was excited that the all important Clymer manual was one of those items.  The seat cover followed soon after.  The grips I bought at Burlington Cycle when I ordered the tires on Saturday.

Cleaning Scrubing Steal Wool and Oily Rags

I have put in three solid nights of cleaning with hot water and simple green. Great product that Simple Green. Things are starting to get exciting. I'm hoping the parts I have ordered will start to arrive soon.  I have ordered a set of Michelin Cross AC10 tires.  They arrived at Burlington Cycle yesterday.  I will have the new tires put on when the fork seals arrive as I will have those rebuilt by the shop too since I don't have a fork tool... However I'm starting to think I can make one out of a piece of copper or steal pipe.

I have cleaned a lot of the little things.  Cleaned the threads and polished off the rust.

Wrench Monkees

I was starting to consider painting the tank, fenders and frame so that the bike would look brand new. Then a client of mine showed me this awesome site called

They have lots of great photos. Including this one of an xt500 engine!  I didn't ask to use this photo.  Its not mine, you can tell because its not a shitty yellow colour.  This photo is the property of

These guys are restoring and modifying bikes the way I originally planned to for the XT 500. The idea is to clean everything, replace all worn, missing, and broken parts with new OEM or better parts. Use steel wool and sandpaper to remove all rust, then buff. That way the patina and pits gained over time will stand out against the brand new parts. I think its going to look really cool.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Clean Carb Barrel

Just look at it.

Carb Cleaning

This might have been the most stubborn part so far. The carb roundslide was completely glued in with old fuel. It took a few hours of chemicals, hot water and gentle coaxing with a tooth brush handle to free the slide. Then every removable part was removed, cleaned and polished and oiled with synthetic motor oil. The barrel and roundslide now have a mirror finish. I ordered a complete rebuild kit that includes, air screw, needle, both jets, float needle and seat, and all gaskets. Good times. I'm excited for that kit to arrive.

Torn Down Frame

I think this is as far as I am going to take the tear down this year. After I get it clean It will be time to bolt on lots of new shiny parts. I have ordered a swing arm bearing rebuild kit. The steering bearings feel fine. Right now its time to scrub scrub scrub and paint in the rusty spots with some gloss black Tremclad.

Front Shocks

I got the fork tubes out of the triple. The tops of the tubes had some rust pits, I cleaned them off with some 00 steal wool. There are slight pits left behind and I am a bit worried they may wear the new seals out quickly. There was about an ounce of water mixed in the oil of each tube. I drained both of them. I don't think I am going to be able to free the hex bolt at the bottom without a fork tool.

The Bike Arrives!

My Cousin's husband got this 1976 Yamaha XT 500 and asked if I would be interested in getting it running. As if! This is a classic enduro thumper, what a cool project. Its February 2010. That means I have until May to get it ready to take back up North. I think the biggest challenge will be getting all the proper MTO stuff done. I plan on retaining as much of the original finish as possible. Mostly I will be cleaning, chasing threads, lubricating everything, replacing bearings, chain, tires, cables, and any other broken or missing parts. I will paint rusting areas of the frame. For the most part these are areas you can not see. I will rebuild both brakes, all electrics, ignition, suspension, and the carburetor. I am not planning on cracking the head or engine cases at this time. I figure I can set up the valves and get some clean oil through it a couple times and assess from there. Hopefully the clutch plates are not seized. If it burns oil I will rebuild the engine.
It came missing a couple dirt bike classics. Right side panel, airbox, and the headlight w headlight trim. Ebay here I come.