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I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! I’m copying over a thread I started on some other sites regarding my daily rider project. So pardon any anomalies or misdirection, blah-blah-blah. If you do find any, grab a pencil and paper, write down your concerns, neatly fold the paper, put it in an envelope and stick it up your ass. ;)

Here goes.

Mid May 2013: Welp ... sold my Nissan 240SX. Not thrilled as it is an awesome car and was nowhere near stock, so yes it was fun to drive. It also had sentimental value as some of the money to build that car came from my mother's inheritance after her death in '99. Sigh.

But, my wife and I discussed many possibilities and since the 240 was pretty much a toy and I had WAY too many expensive dreams for it, we both decided that maybe I could have more fun in modding another bike. ...... I love her.

In any event, I hit Craigslist here locally and went to look at a few bikes knowing damn well that it's for a "project" and I'm not spending too much. I put a limit of $1500. May 24th, 2013 - Here's what I snagged for $750:

'91 Honda Shadow VLX 600

35,000 miles, new rear tire, front bald (so bald I'm trailering her home), starts up good, stock pipes gutted, pops a bit with blue flame from front cylinder (out exhaust), needs fork springs and new chain, and other minor imperfections ... I mean, check out the tank on the right side. In any event, it doesn't look to have been dropped while in "motion" and the dude's parents told me that he dropped it while loading it onto a trailer. Oh well. Guess it's time to put some amateur skills to the test here in Chappy's garage, lol!

Wish me luck fellars and gellars (?) ... I'll make sure to include you all along the way.

As for the plan, she’s going to bobberville. I don't particularly like the big plastic rear fender at all. The thing I like about this frame is the rear swingarm having the 'look' of a rigid frame and that it's chain drive not shaft. Nothing against shaft drive, I just prefer the look of chain.

I'll find ways to add my own flare and I do have a few ideas. Gonna work on some mechanical and safety issues first and then pursue the custom.

As usual, it probably won't be a fast process. But I will most likely be buying some needed tools along the way since many years ago I had major theft in my shop and never replenished some of the basics.

Coming home:

Take a look at some of the "surprises" I've come up with:

Nice, eh? Let some hacking begin:

And here's how she's looking today:

Parts I've ordered so far:
. Front tire (Kenda K673 Kruz to match the almost new rear tire)
. Front and rear wheel bearings/seals (All Balls)
. Front brake pads (BikeMaster)
. Fork springs (Progressive)
. Fork seals (BikeMaster)
. Fork oil (Maxima 10WT)
. Sprocket set, 40T rear/16T front (JT Sprockets)
. 525 BMOR Series O-Ring Chain (BikeMaster)
. Hardtail lowering kit (Scootworks)

I've got a lot to do still. I'm contemplating seats, and yes it will be a sprung seat because if you didn't catch it above, I'm going rigid. Why? Because I can get it lower. That also entails cutting the spacer in the front forks when I install the new springs. I have a lot to do, such as stripping the flat black rattle job off of nearly everything, yanking the stock intake, dismantling the carbs to see what's in'em (cleanliness and jet sizes), locating another stock exhaust system (the innards of the front pipe are broken ... yes broken. The inner pipe somehow separated itself from the top of the pipe at the flange area (leading into the head). Oh yeah, and fixing the tank.

Ah yes, fixing the tank ... I tried locating a replacement and they are not cheap, nor are they available in mass quantities. So I'm going to be experimenting with popping those dents and doing some bodywork. Yeaaaaaaahhhh ... we'll see how that goes.

I have come to realize that the bike was laid down, but not too bad. Even though I've thought about the whole 'flipping' idea, I don't know yet as it will be cutting a close edge between money spent and market value weighted against a unique piece. So this is my experimental bike as it stands now, and I'm just going to have fun making it mine.

I have a lead on an exhaust, and it really doesn't' matter the external shape nor the shape of the 'mufflers' as they'll be cut off. And, as a bonus to myself I'm also looking at welders.

Okay, got a bunch of parts in the mail the other day. Probably not using any of them any time soon as I've still got a lot to do with teardown, cleanup and details. Recap of stuff included:

. Front tire (Kenda K673 Kruz to match the almost new rear tire)
. Front and rear wheel bearings/seals (All Balls)
. Front brake pads (BikeMaster)
. Fork springs (Progressive)
. Fork seals (BikeMaster)
. Fork oil (Maxima 10WT)
. Sprocket set, 40T rear/16T front (JT Sprockets)
. Hardtail lowering kit (Scootworks)

The BikeMaster 525 BMOR Series O-Ring Chain will arrive Monday. I'm also awaiting a new (old) exhaust I picked up on Ebay. Hopefully the innards are in better shape.

So started the day with a few expectations, shot to hell as usual. Assembled my new HF tire changer, bolted it to the floor and went to begin dismount of tires. Crap. Forgot to get the motorcycle tire attachment. Come to find out HF discontinued the damn thing a while back. Grr. Packed it up; returning it Monday. Meanwhile, a few drops of sweat and some swearing later, I got the tires off the poor boy way.

The front rim had a nice bend in it, but the wheel seems to spin true. I'll double check it once the new bearings go in. But it's amazing what a hammer and a grinder will do. I am probably going to dismantle the spokes (front and rear) for some paintwork/powdercoat anyway ... we'll see ...


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
After removing the makeshift tire tube band (duct tape by the previous owner or before) I then proceeded to strip off the paint using Klean Strip (awesome stuff!) in a spray can. During this time I put some bolts in a bucket of Evaporust. I only had enough to do the one wheel and the tank. I then wrapped the inner rims with cloths soaked in Evaporust. I'm letting that sit over night ... I think you know where I'm headed with these tubed spoke wheels.

Moving on to the forks. Look at this. Obviously worked on before; eesh.

Finally, got to removing the carbs. Went to the local dealer and ordered a rebuild kit. Yesterday I had a nice phone call with TJ Styles and ordered some custom jets along with a couple of velocity stacks - TJ Brutal Customs ... the man is genius.

That's a day. Here's how she sits:

Yeah, that's a portable air conditioner box in the background. I splurged ... it's hot as balls in my garage and the mosquitoes are out of control! I'll chalk it up to shop expenditures.

Latest update ...

I visited a local paint shop today after doing some research. Discussed things with the counter rep; young guy, very knowledgeable. Looking at painting the bike myself, but not a rattle-can job this time. Metal flake and such ... stay tuned!

Interesting things during the disassemble. First, you don't need to have nor order special tools. Sometimes a broken shovel handle and simple leverage does the job:

Damn that fork oil was NASTY! Smelled gawd-awful and the consistency was just short of water.

Second, Kleen Strip is AWESOME!

Third, I don't know if this is right. These are the Progressive fork springs I received. The box indicates the right bike. However, maybe I'm confused but I guess I do not use the long tube spacer. Correct? It's the only thing that makes sense, haha! I'd like to lower the front end a bit, so cutting an inch or two off the springs might be necessary. I'll look into it. The stock springs are on top and way out of spec. One is even shorter than the other.

Note to self: I've gone seriously over budget. But then, that also includes a few items for the garage. I'm having some fun with this lil' scoot though. Haven't done anything with the tank yet. I stripped everything off her that is getting powder coated. Got a couple quotes from local 'companies', but ended up just down the road at a guy who's number I got off the back of a stop sign at the exit of the local Home Depot - haha! Let's see ... oh yeah ... HALF the price of the companies. Cool guy ... ends up he does a lot of coatings for some local motorcycle dealerships. He operates from his house, but no he's not using the Eastwood DIY powdercoating system. He's got professional stuff; all the powders and colors imaginable and uses an industrial oven, shown here behind the VW just over the car's roofline:

Anyway, here's what I gave him:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Lastly, I had to grind out the rear race section of that front wheel bearing that was in pieces. Apparently it was fused to the wheel. No problem, a few Dremel cuts and a pounding later and it came out ... in pieces. I smoothed out the inner bearing housing and installed the new bearings temporarily to spin up the wheel on my homemade wheel horse. Good news on that end, it spun nice and true.

Pretty much just waiting on parts and such. I've got a few things to weld up and experiment with. Slow going is approaching.

Poor baby. Yee shall ride again:

I sized up the front fender just for giggles last night and while a bit narrow for the rear tire, it may just work for the look I'm going for. I was going to sell it to make back a buck or two, but if I use it I then save the money on buying another. We’ll see.

So yesterday I took the damage fuel tank to a local body shop to get some ideas on how to go about fixing it. Popping them out from the inside wasn't working as there just wasn't enough leverage area. Some other methods didn't do so well either. Also, I don't have a stud welder, no one locally rents one and I'm not spending $100 or more on something I'll use once. And I'm NOT drilling holes into the tank. But, I figured I could slip the guy a bill or two just to put a few studs in the dents and I'll do the rest. We got to talking and for $80 he's going to pull the dents, fill and sand to perfection. I couldn't pass it up, since I'd be spending way more than that to do it myself. I should have it back Monday or Tuesday.

Picked up my paint today. Let's just say it's gonna be shiny!

No big excitement tonight. Ripped out the battery box and wiring harness for the most part. Found a couple frayed wires that I'll have to fix. Deciding if I'm pulling the engine or not in order to sand and paint the frame. Hell, I'm almost out of stuff to pull off at this point anyway, right? Ha! I also temporarily installed the Scootworks solid strut to get an idea of where the swingarm ends up when lowered.

Lastly, found out I can't run my air compressor and the portable air conditioner together ... tripped the electrical breaker at the panel. Grr.

Junk Pile:

Bucket O' Parts and harness:

Scootworks solid strut vs. OEM strut. Honestly you could make a strut out of mild steel or solid aluminum for less or free. But, I spent the money so you don't have to. Hehe. I may not even use it, we'll see:

And the boring 'how she sits':

It's gonna be while folks. Hang in there if you dare.

So look what fell out of the frame today ...

Hahaha ... well, it's just easier to unload the engine turning the frame on her side. Made a little mess with the oil that did not come out when originally draining, but no problem - That's what cat litter is for, right?

So the day was pretty much dedicated to complete removal of the engine and cleaning/de-greasing the frame and parts. Spend about 1/3 of it helping my son fabricate a simple flagpole mount for his truck. More stuff going to powder coater hopefully.

Here's a nice shot of the color of the coolant ... Hooboy:

The big black blob in the center is the engine under cover sitting on my creeper now doubling as a mobile engine facility:

Stopped by the powder coater with a few more small parts. I had to pick up the bottom of the triple-tree because I didn't remove the lower bearing race. Little heat, little Dremel and presto. Ha! Anyway, he had my previous stuff already blasted and prepped. Should have it all done by the end of the week. Believe me, I told him "no hurry".

Didn't get a pic of the wheels, but they look the same. But shiny, shiny black they shall be!

Hahaha ... well, it went pretty quickly from a budget flip to a personalized custom build.

So, what DO you get with $80 and a dented tank?

Well, with the right bodyman, this:

Remember before:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fixed properly with a stud welder (no holes), filled, sanded, primed ... Couldn't be happier!

Little Ebay observation (somewhat related): Ebay is weird when it comes to items like this. I bid on a tank that was lightly scratched and lost to $91, $30 to ship (losing only because I chose to have mine worked on, so I stopped bidding). Then I saw another tank sell for $370 with dents! Moral of Ebay is: It's not what you're selling, it's when you're selling it. There are some truly desperate people out there, and you just have to find them.

So I began working (I should say "experimenting") on a little something since I've got some time to kill waiting on parts and powdercoat .... It's not like the scoot is going anywhere anytime soon, haha! It's in a million pieces and I'm waiting on lots of stuff I've ordered and still haven't even got the items back from powdercoat. I need those because the wheels are part of the bunch, and I need the wheels to mount up the rear tire so I can mock the hardtail on the frame. Plus, before I mount the tires I am sealing the spokes like I did on the ACE, which takes about a week to cure. One thing leads to another - woohooooo!

First, there are reasons I keep cat litter buckets, haha! They come in handy for storage and as horses:

Mocking up:

Ooo, pretty:

Hope my welds are as pretty.

Ran into a complication last night. Realized my welds weren't penetrating sufficiently (shut up). Couple of reasons: First, my garage is only set up on 15A; I need 20A to run efficiently. Second, I was running an extension cord to my son's bathroom because it's running on a 20A breaker. Problem with that is the cord is over 75ft and the voltage was being reduced too much. I noticed in my breaker panel that there is a spare 20A not being used. So my neighbor is going to assist me tomorrow with installing a dedicated outlet in the garage next to the panel specifically for the welder to run on. Cool!

Now, on to even cooler things! I got my stuff back from powercoating today. Hot rod high gloss black. Man is it wet ... like a ... nevermind ... it's purdy! Some freshly restored parts porn for ya:

There is a lot of dust from my garage on them, but I can assure you they are like mirrors! There are also a few things missing that I'll be running back over to him (master cylinder, pedal brackets, etc). I'll work on that this week. Tomorrow hopefully I'm going to get to sealing those spokes! Some scuffing and such shall commence in preparation for the 3M sealant.

My neighbor is an ex-electrician now working as a field supervisor for commercial/residential installation and hook-up of natural gas lines. We verified I had proper wiring to handle the 20A. It really was a simple fix in that he believes that the previous home owner swapped a 15A in place of a 20A in the garage originally. So we simply put it back (he had an extra one in his truck). Job done; welder works fantastic now.

So today involved the above, also running back to Lowe's to once again exchange the A/C unit I bought for the garage. I ended up getting away from the 'portable' unit and going with a window one. It's rated at 12,000 BTU for up to 650sqft as compared to the portable one I had (that wasn't cutting it) at also 12,000 BTU but only rated for 450sqft. My garage is about 430sqft, so the additional cooling from the new window unit is a welcome addition.

Now, oh yeah, the bike! What did I do the the bike today? Well, I installed the front and rear wheel bearings and proceeded to scuff up the pretty powdercoat .... relax .... on the inside of the wheel surface in preparation for the 3M sealant. Some might see these pics as familiar, since I had done this to the ACE.

I also played with the welder a bit. My welds need a slight more artistry. It's been so long since I've done any welding, I need a bit more practice.

Okay, well first of all, the rims sealed up perfectly (as I knew they would). I was hoping to get the tires installed on the rims today. Didn't happen. Also disassembled the front brake caliper and master cylinder because I received my rebuild kit for the master cylinder and I am preparing it by thoroughly flushing.

Chassis Engineering, a major player in drag racing parts, chassis, suspension, driveline parts, etc. is located a few miles from my work, so during last week I picked up a 10 foot stick of 1"x.095 DOM mild steel for about $30. My welding skills needed refreshing after quite a few years of missing in action:

So after some screwing around with the welder and lots of practice pieces, I figured why buy handlebars when I can make them?

Overall dimensions measured at tubing centers are about 10" tall X 8" wide at the base. I also designed a 20deg pullback for added comfort (see pics). There's a few of these types of bars out there, but for me it's a personal touch in that I made them and after powdercoat for about the same or less than the cheapest bars out there.

Stress test? Believe me, the welds are strong ... I whacked every joint with a hammer and dropped it on the concrete floor several times before inspecting for any cracks. Gettin' ready for powdercoat:

Slow movin'. Too much work lately and just not enough time in the evenings. I did manage to get the new bearings and seals in place, along with mounting the tires on the rims:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
But, found a little problem. In my efforts to keep costs down I was going to reuse the rear tire since tread was still pretty good. However, the bead is not seating properly, and though I did not take a picture of the tire's bead it is pretty bent out of shape. I actually tried reshaping it by hand with tire irons and some contortion, but to really no avail. Based on that, I went and had the rims verified by a local wheel straightening shop (RimFX) so at least that's a go. I decided to order a new rear tire now simply based on my 'comfort' zone knowing the bike was neglected within the last rider's capability.

So anyway, new tire is on order. This weekend I am planning on mocking up the rear for hard-tailing since I've got at least a tire on a rim for a temporary install. I also am planning on assembling the front shocks using the Progressive lowering springs. We'll see how everything goes.

Project "restoration" is in effect.

After a little running around this morning (household duties) and realizing that somebody rebuilt these front forks POORLY, I picked up some new fork piston rings and slider bushings. What I found with the forks is that not only did somebody Mickey Mouse some spacers in a few pieces, but also used a dust seal as an oil seal in one fork (no joke) and used a homemade back-up ring. I have to order some new oil seals of which the dealer didn't have in stock. More waiting (yawn).

Meanwhile ... it has begun:

After evaluating the areas where I want to cut, I chose a straight run that will involve no bending of the new tubing:

I will also fab-in a new upright simply because it looks right and ties in the bottom part of the frame not only as additional structural support, but visually due to the mammoth blob area containing the swingarm pivot joint, etc. You can see I'm using the Scootworks solid strut in place of the stock strut to hold everything together as I modify the rear. I originally bought it thinking I'd just lower the rear. Obviously, things have changed. I'll end up selling that since I'm not going to use it.

Another day, another hurdle ... My pool pump took a crap this morning, so I ran around getting some PVC to hook up the extra one I had in the garage. Household duties ... never done. Ha!

However, looky what I picked up from powdercoating today:

They look AWESOME! I feel my welding skills are almost back to par; but that glossy black is just the cat's meow, eh? Hehe!

The tubing I bought for the frame is .095. I feel it's a bit too thick considering the frame is only .060 with the swingarm being .075. I'd like to see even weld penetration, so tomorrow I'm heading over to Chassis Engineering to get some thinner walled tubing before I continue with the hardtail.

Finally, a productive day despite the fact I don't have the new tubing yet.

Got the new rear tire installed; no issues there; holding air and ready to go! No pic; don't think you really need one, LOL!

I cut back the excess OEM tubing at the rear of the frame from my original cut so as to reuse the sleeve on the axle plate. I ground down the weld joint and cleaned it up:

As that was in process, UPS delivered the rest of the components I needed to rebuild the front struts. Now as I mentioned before, you don't need special tools as specified in a factory manual. The same wooden shovel handle I used to remove the seat pipe is also used to reinstall it. As well, I used a 1.5" PVC pipe as a makeshift slide hammer to install the new guide bushing, and then in combination with the old back-up ring I also used the PVC to seat the new oil seal:

So, new Progressive lowering springs dropped 2" and a load of all new components - and the finale ... aren't they purty? Yep, added boots.


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I was up and down about using the front fender on the rear. I decided against it for several reasons - First, it was already borderline too narrow leaving about an 1/8th of tread area showing on both sides of the tire as viewed from the top. Second, it was a bit damaged. Third, the bracket underneath it (aka: fork support) was spot welded on and it wasn't coming off to well without damaging the fender more. I could have just cut the edges off, but then leaving the rest of it under the fender took up unnecessary space that disabled closer fitment to the tire. And finally, when I fit it against the new tire, well, the previous measurements were all over. The old tire was a bit more flat in the center and a bit more worn, like a totally different shape, LOL! So with all that in mind I decided to breakdown and get a real rear fender. It should be here by Wednesday and its design will allow me more flexibility in my own design.

More pics on the front shock rebuild.

For record's sake, these are the Progressive lowering springs. I installed them as 2" lowering option, for which their instructions state to cut the 3" PVC spacer down 1". You can see also that there is a washer included to keep the spacer from binding with the spring. The springs themselves are installed with the tighter winding upward. I also show here how to measure your fluid using calipers. For the '91 VLX, you fill the fluid until it's 111mm (factory spec) from the top of the fully compressed shock tube.

Fully compress shock; fill fluid and measure:

Pull up shock tube (uncompress) and install spring w/tighter winding at top (stock spring seat on bottom of spring - not shown); drop in provided washer:

Place in the PVC spacer, in my case cut down to 2" from the 3" provided:

Install cap:

Here's some interesting tidbits:

Look at the difference between the stock steering stem bearings (circa '91) and the aftermarket All Balls bearings. Ball bearings vs. roller bearings. Nice! Also note the depth of the new races. Again with the "special tools", you don't need 'em. If you don't have a press, simply use a pipe that is the similar diameter of the inner bearing race and gently hammer them down using a flat piece of metal to spread out the blows. In my case, I used the OEM spacer that was in the front shocks since I am not reusing them. Nevermind my 'sanding' on the stem as I was removing the powdercoat in the areas where there shouldn't have been any. Pics:

Bearing comparison (Honda OEM right, All Balls installed):

Outer race comparison (Honda OEM left, All Balls installed - bottom view, topside similar):


I received my new frame tubing last night, but I'm going to hold up on welding them up until I get the new fender for fitment purposes. Should have it tomorrow!

Alright, couldn't help myself, I was going to hold off, but here's a sneak peak! Got my rear fender today. I temporarily assembled the front end and wheels so as to mock up my design. Tank will be raised in the front so the lines are clean down to the rear axle. Fender will be cut to my liking and sized appropriately. No, the 2x4's and duct tape are not part of the plan, although quite industrial in theme I must say, haha! Seat pan is just about where it will be, sprung of course and will be padded and clad in leather. But this weekend I am planning on welding up some frame modifications and then tearing it down again for paint. No luck tonight, to much family time, haha! I don't know about you, but that front end looks purdy sexy with those homemade bars and boots and ...... Uh, anyway, pardon the messy garage. :cool:

Actually found a couple hours to myself last night. Disassembled/reassembled the swingarm to double check proper installation and fitment of the collars prior to measuring and cutting the new frame tubing. You know the old saying, "Measure twice, cut once". Bent up a couple pieces of 7/8" DOM to use as upper slugs, then cut to size the main frame tubes. I need to pick up some 3/4" tubing to further sleeve down by the axle flanges ... the flanges have step-downs already, but I want more.

Then on to drilling a few holes for spot welds into the slugs.

VERY productive day!

First, USPS dropped off a package I've been waiting for for a month. Custom velocity stacks and jet kit from TJ Brutal Customs! Tommy is awesome, super knowledgeable and so very willing to help it makes me angry that we live on separate ends of the country. Anyway, can't wait to get all this installed:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I started by disassembling the front and rear down to the frame again. I measured and cut all sorts of tube ... main tubes, support tubes, rear extension sleeves and slugs. Beveled all the edges. Put the drill-press to work making holes for rosette welds. Tacked everything up and went to town welding. Pretty welds they are not, lol! But good penetration they had. Some grinding and flapping later:

This is how the rear axle flanges looked before. To me they were a bit too short, so I added some rosette welds, added in the slugs and a short sleeve in order to extend them under the new main tubes:

Continuing on ....

So this is how she's sitting as of now. Happy, happy, happy:

A lot of this time has been waiting on parts including the tubing. Things are rolling a bit more smoothly now though; and at this point I am only limited by my time, which when you have a family I don't need explain that.

What I did do last night though was to cut off a few unnecessary mounting tabs and such on the frame, fill in a few pits in the frame, smooth over some of the weld joints and sand in prep for primer. I still have to remount the rear wheel and fit the fender to chop to size, then figure how I'm mounting it. This will also include welding a cross bar for the seat mounting, and then I need to weld in some new fuel tank mounts to raise the tank in front. As for the weather, it has SUCKED big time down here ... every day, rain. I can only paint outdoors, so I have to wait for some decent weather for that.

I still gotta get down to Tandy Leather and get some tooling leather and other stuff for the seat and grips, etc. Hopefully do that this weekend, but since that's at mostly the end of my project I can still hold off a bit. I guess I'm the only one NOT in a hurry, eh?

I fully intended on welding in a crossbar for the seat tonight. However, after evaluating how the fender and seat will fit I chopped out that ugly mid upright from the swingarm. After grinding and filling that area, I hit it with some primer for protection. Then I got to welding in the new tank support that will effectively raise the front of the tank whereas the bottom lines will match up with the rear of the frame for more of a visual flow. Due to my son and father stopping by and also having to work on my step-daughter’s car, I did not get to the crossbar for the seat; only mocking it up with tape for position and measuring the bar itself. It’s late, so tomorrow will have to suffice. Pics:

Finding time, any time lately is just a complete battle. But you know what? That's the fun of a thread like this; the waiting and the continuation. Now I have more problems with my step-daughter's car to deal with and have to spend tomorrow morning with it ... damn thermostat housing cracked ... stupid FORD plastic. Also, my son is getting his first ink and wants me to go meet the guy that will do it. Great portrait artist that has done many of his coworkers and friends in the surf/skate industry. My son's a big fan of Johnny Cash, so this will be awesome! On top of this, my wife may have walking pneumonia and I've got to get her to the doctor for chest x-ray today, if not tomorrow; waiting for the call back. Eesh.

Okay, so NOT a lot done last night, but I managed to get in some cut/grind time for the seat support. Fish mouth done by hand because I didn't have a holesaw for the drillpress. No biggie, turned out great! Welded it in and ready to figure the fender mounting and shape now (this weekend).


Progress report: Good news is, wife does not have pneumonia! X-rays showed nothing worthy of worry. She’s still sick, but on a more powerful antibiotic.

Bad news is, I spend nearly the other half of the day swapping out coolant hoses and a thermostat housing, including running around to three different auto stores for the step-daughter’s car.

But amongst the hectic runaround, I got some stainless hardware from my favorite small town hardware store, Ace, and got to work setting up the seat. What I have is 3” springs … what I’m going to get is 2” because I don’t like the height. I also chose not to use the weld-on bungs and hinge that I purchased because they too also added height. So I drilled a couple of holes through the crossbar and also in the seat pan, one in front to mount with the fuel tank bolt, and two in the middle for the spring perch. Spot-welded on the carriage bolts that go through the seat. The future addition of foam and leather will cover them and pad them for comfort. You can also see in the photos that I will be shaving the seat pan on the sides to conform to the shape of the frame.

Hopefully tomorrow I will get to shaping the pan and maybe the fender for mounting.


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·

So it was brought to my attention that using the seat hinge might be a good idea after all. Stress on that one little bolt might cause it to fail. I honestly didn't consider it due to having not used a hinge on my ACE because it still uses the rear shocks, so I didn’t spring that seat. Hey, that’s what’s so good about forums and sharing!

The cool thing is, there is an indentation in a gusset on the factory frame. I filled the area just a bit by pooling the weld up. This was so the Allen screws could fit into the pivot joint of the hinge without being obstructed. I then welded on the pivot joint, finished and primed. Bummer though – during my dry fits, the front carriage bolt stripped and I was forced to cut it off. Didn’t have another, so that’s why you’ll see me holding down the front of the seat in one shot. Bah, too late to get to the hardware store. I’ll get another one tomorrow.

The other accomplishment today was shaving the seat pan. Below you can see the before and after.

Fabbing the hinge on:

Sensitive content, not recommended for those under 18 Show Content

Seat pan before:

Seat pan after:

So now, that hole in the front of the seat pan won’t be used. Oh, and in that last picture I staged the front carriage bolt in position. Yep, still broken. It’s just for visual effect. ;)


Quick drive-by update! I cut and shaped the rear fender tonight. This is about how it will look once mounted. Debating on whether or not to run a chain tensioner or keep the stock adjustment method. Difference is, it affects how I'm mounting the fender. I'll be fabbing up a simple rear fender support hopefully tomorrow, but I still gotta play around with the tolerances/play between solid mounting the fender and keeping the stock chain tension adjustment set-up. Hopefully you understand what I mean. Oh, and nevermind the chain; it's for spacing, haha!

How it looks with the lifted tank and shaped fender; nice smooth lines:

Got my 2” seat springs yesterday. Much nicer fit and overall sleeker look! I ordered them in black so they’ll blend in better once finished. They are more forgiving than the 3” ironically, and it puts the riding position another inch lower. Sweet! The bolts are not yet tightened down or cut to fit in the pics.

After researching online yesterday, I didn’t like the way some “kits” look. So last night I decided to just fab my own rear fender supports. Simple really. I used simple bar stock you might find at a local hardware store, a hammer, drill and grinder. All I did was cut to length, flatten the ends, drill the holes, bend a little for a good fit and grind to finish. Because the fender is so form-fit to the tire and relatively low profile, in order to keep the underside of the fender free from protrusions such as bolt heads and such I’m going to weld on the attachment nuts and cut the bolts down.

I didn’t get a chance to do that last night because my crazy neighbor got his lift kit for his truck and decided to start without me. I told him wait for the weekend, but noooooo. Mind you, this guy screws up everything he touches. So I had to keep running over there to make sure he didn’t kill himself … injured Vietnam veteran, 70 years old, massively overweight, lot’s of meds, currently broken ankle and 93 degree weather with no shade. Yeah, it was like supervising a child and I had to jump in at several points because he refuses to read instructions and has no suspension experience. Sheesh, what a night, haha!

Seat Springs

Fender Supports


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Obviously the length of the bolt will be cut down and won’t go through the fender. I think the button head will clean up the final design.


I’m trying not to bore you all with my personal life, but …

Thursday night I came home from work to find that my neighbor ended up PAYING somebody to finish his suspension lift! I told him that I was going to help him and as history proves, end up doing it anyway … for nothing! That’s how he is though; impatient little SOB, haha! Whatever.

Friday night I had to pack up the truck with all my tools and then some. My son lives with my father about 22 miles south of my home. His truck blew out the oil pan gasket AND the serpentine belt shredded due to a frozen smog pump pulley. Spent most of Saturday under the hood and under the truck getting everything fixed. Plus, the A/C compressor pulley froze on my dad’s car, so Sunday was dedicated to that. Both are Ford’s … go figure.

Bah … so I took today off. I needed it. I know it seems like forever I’m spending on this rear fender, but in reality I haven’t spent as much time as it appears. It’s all been scrambled up with tons of other obligations, such as above and thus my time has been stretched out. I managed to recoup my thoughts and came up with a few ideas that I put into motion today.

I wanted to widen the fender slightly. I didn’t take pictures of the process, just before and after. It’s basically using three 2x4 pieced of wood and prying along the edges. I managed an extra 3/16” overall. Not bad, works for me.

I was not happy with welding the nuts onto the outside of the fender for the rear supports. They ended up not very strong, and I feared that if they did break loose from a jolt or two, the fender would have nothing else to do but droop or drop. Not good. So I chopped them off and ground the surface for something else. Now, because of my decision to mount from the sides with relatively little room between the fender and the tire sidewall, I needed to develop something really low profile if I was to bolt ‘through’ the fender. I chose to use some T-nuts commonly used in woodworking, fiberglassing, etc. With a nice wide but thin backing, I cut off the teeth, drilled through the fender and bent the tabs ever so slightly to conform with the fender shape. Then I welded them to the back side. Perfection; successfully secured.

Then I proceeded to an idea I had for the front support. Using some 3/16” flatbar steel, a hammer, vice and drill-press, I shaped a little piece that will be welded onto one of the crossbars of the old swingarm. Then I’ll follow the same procedure for drilling and tapping through the fender as I did the rear supports. With spacers, I’ll be able to adjust backward and forward control of the fender, keeping in tune with the OEM design for chain tensioning using the rear axle. I didn’t get to welding in the support, again hoping for tomorrow.

Lots of pics, because you’ll ignore what I’m talking about, but the pics will speak on for me anyway, haha – pretty much in order.

Rear fender support:

Lower support:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Widened fender - Before:



My coworker made a sweet deal with me a few days ago. His wife has a sentimental planter that was her mothers. Not noteworthy by any means, but like I said it's meaningful to her. A couple areas have rusted through if not fallen off. He said if I can weld up a few pieces and clean it up, he'll give me his flat metal bender (see pic). I think he used it once. It's a Harbor Freight product and worth about $90 new. Not the best, but effective for my projects and a cool deal if you ask me!

My project has become so big I need a ladder!

Welded on my bracket last night after a few final measurements. You know the saying, "measure twice, cut once". Well, I tend to measure 10x or more, haha! Anyway, obviously when welding if I can get the weld zone horizontal it's much easier to to work with, thus flipping the frame. My workbench is so messy as well, and the ladder looked lonely. Shit I need to clean! The weld is a bit wide, but that’s because the bracket is sitting on top of the area that I cut the center frame off the swing-arm; so I tried to encompass the area. It didn’t need to be extraordinarily pretty anyway as it’s hardly a noticeable area once the bike is complete.

Next up is a temporary mount of the engine to ensure chain alignment to the new frame. I know there's going to be a slim amount of room between the chain and the new upper-rear down tube. I've done my best with measurements, but an actual fitment is needed for my own self assurance. Then on to paint, hopefully over the weekend weather permitting.


Coupled with the mayhem of the weekend (fender bender in wife’s car (other driver’s fault) and blew up the differential in the truck, ugh!), I got just a little accomplished. I wanted to get down to Tandy Leather on Saturday morning, but that didn't happen. I also wanted to get to painting the frame and tins, but that didn't happen.

Anyway, I managed to do a dry install of the engine to line up the chain and rear wheel. As I was already aware of, I was cutting it close with the chain being so close to the new part of the frame. It may have sufficed, but the top outer ridge of the chain was about 1/16th of an inch close to the frame tube. I expect no side-to-side movement being that close to the rear sprocket, but the vertical ups and downs would probably cause the chain to just nick the frame. However, I was and am determined to have my lines the way I want them, haha! So I cut and welded in a small relief to accommodate for any chain hop. Turned out great, and for the most part once the bike is painted and reassembled, it will barely be noticeable.

The tore down the bike again and primed. Weather got ugly today, no paint in the forecast.


That’ll work!

Saturday was productive in that I resurfaced the entire rear fender smoothing out all the extrusion ‘bumps’. It’s definitely not a purchase and bolt on type of fender, for those wondering. You can install it as is, or you can cut it and shape it to your taste, which is what I did. However, be aware that this fender requires resurfacing. It also had a ding in it which I don’t know if it was me, or how it came. Needless to day I had to fix it. So now it’s all finalized and primed and ready for paint.

I also thought that the latch for the battery cover looked pretty cool using a household door slide lock, and hinge. It’s brass, which should antique itself, and the color will go well with my painted theme. Funny part is, it literally says “ACE” on the bolt, which for me, is pretty cool, hehe. I’ll have to weld in a small support for the hinge, but no biggie. Tried getting to fitting it up today, but I had to help my son move some furniture over at my dad’s, so the day was pretty much shot.


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·

This week has been hectic. I had to double-up on work in order to take some time off because we’re entering the busy season. That and my wife was very ill for the later part of the week with strep throat, fever, etc. And my birthday was Friday … so busy, busy, busy. Just haven’t had time to login and hang out.

What I accomplished in-between the overtime and doctor visits was to get the battery cover complete. This involved cutting and shaping some spacers, and drilling and threading some holes. Also welded in the hinge bracket. It all works beautifully; just not too thrilled with the flat-head screws as they are a bit large, but not really a biggie. I also have to cut down the longer ones running through the spacers on the cover.

I also managed to put together a $40 paint booth in my garage. I used some eyelet bolts screwed into the ceiling truss work. Then using some rope tied through the eyelets, clothesline clips, a cheap bag of plastic drop cloths it all came together nicely. I also threw together a little wood frame to hold an A/C filter in place where I’ll run my shop fan to help evacuate and trap the paint fumes. All of this is reusable, so that’s a plus.

Tomorrow I may be going with my son to get his first tattoo and talk about some new ink for myself. Don’t know if I’ll get to the bike at all; but the good news is, I’ve got the whole week off.

Battery Cover:

The Booth:


Eh ... well that sucks.

Tearing down some of the engine to clean it up and check a few vitals. Pump itself seems fine. Damn things are over $160 new. I found a used one online for less than 1/3 the cost and hope to have it here by Monday. If anything, I can rebuild it using my current internals, or just pop the new (used) one in. I expect this kind of stuff ya know.


Yesterday (Saturday) I received my water pump. Fast ebay shipper! Pump is all good so I’m using it without need to rebuild nor scavenge from my current one. Friday at the local dealership I ordered a new gasket and oil o-ring seal for the pump, as well as all new coolant hoses; should see them by Wednesday; amazing difference in price even from an on-line dealer that has a policy of beating prices; unfortunately "on-line" prices, and then ya gotta pay shipping (under $100) which is not included in that $88 (see photo below). It pays to get to know the counter guys locally too; nice group.

Back to Saturday. A major faux pas I made was jumping ahead when I powder-coated the engine covers. I should have stripped the old rattle paint with the nasty covers on. As a result I had to temporarily re-install them and mask them off. I played with paint stripper, but whoa that was gonna get a bit messy. Media blasting is the way to go. I borrowed my neighbor’s sand blaster. It’s a cheap Harbor Freight gravity feed unit. I did not have a good time with it that day, plus I had an amazing headache, so I threw in the towel for the day.

So after reading about modifications that can be made to this sand blaster I disassembled the hopper and drilled out the ports. I also screened the play sand that my neighbor had, even though he said he’d done it. Sure. Bunch of crap in it, including the little rock I removed from the blaster’s port that couldn’t be seen unless disassembled. I then also attached a disposable in-line filter from my paint gun that blocks out water and/or oil. Anyway, post modifications this thing now works awesome!

I made it about ¾ the way through the block and then ran out of sand. Went and picked up some new play sand (about $3.50 for a 50lb bag). Wouldn’t you know it though, it was damp. So I spread some of it out on the garage floor to let it dry out. My day is over anyway, as the skies opened up. Anyway, it’s looking good/better. Thinking about leaving it bare, as the black covers will be a nice contrast.

BAH! Rain …


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·

We could not have had more rain in the passed few days, ugh. I got to finally completing the sandblasting of the engine tonight, battling between rain bands; it’s actually pouring as I type this. Took off all the tape and hoping to mount it in the frame tomorrow night. Things to follow will be clutch and clutch spring replacement, valve check/adjustment and maybe a timing advance. Obviously new oil/filter and coolant will follow later.

Remember this?

Now naked with only her black patent accessories:


Sorry I've been out of the loop for a bit. Way too many personal issues interfering; I won't bore you with the details.

Somehow since the last post, I managed to get the 4 degree timing modification complete along with the valve adjustment. Wow, the tolerance was tight on the valve adjustment. 35K miles and I'm sure they were never correctly adjusted, haha. Got 'em all good now.

Battened down valve covers and clutch side cover. Working on getting the stator back in and cover on. Can't work on the coolant hoses until the bottom hose gets to the dealer on the 11th ... backorder. Next up most likely the carbs.

A few progress pics ...

Valve adjustment reusing the little homemade box-wrench I made for the 750:

4 degree timing mod (same as the 750 I did, just double the fun):

[a href=""]More timing mod pics here.[/a]


Continuing to update.

Oh the dreaded carb rebuild. Okay, not so much dreaded as it’s really nothing new to me. However, I knew I’d be running into surprises simply based on the bikes neglect from prior owner(s). I opted not to soda blast the external as carb cleaner and paint thinner is performing fairly nicely.

I found that one of the choke cables was actually snapped; so that sucked because I had to order another from the local dealership. Then what really sucked was the vacuum piston diaphragms … both ripped and obviously previously repaired at some point … I actually expected that, haha. They are beyond help as for reusing them; brittle and such.

Now, I did not go spend exorbitant amounts of my hard earned cash on new ones. For about $100 a PIECE for the assemblies, that’s ridiculous. Instead, a company called JBM Industries manufactures just the ‘rubber’ part with a simple replacement procedure. Hey, at $20 a piece that seems a bit tastier. I’ll offer up feedback as I move forward with these.

Other than that, the carbs themselves were very clean inside with hardly any varnishing. I blasted them out with carb cleaner and still have to replace the jets which are still sitting in there respective baggies … courtesy of TJ Styles. Both the choke and diaphragms should be here by the end of the week, along with my long awaited bottom radiator hose.

I’ve also begun planning out the electronics box (vintage fuel can). I built a simple skeleton that I can weld attachments to in order to mount everything. I though a cool idea also would be to cut the rectifier into and through the bottom of the can, which I cut off and will be hinged with a latch. As I might have mentioned a while back, you can now see where the keyed ignition will be, in the fuel can’s cap.

And some sad news. After 20 years of constant abuse and torture my Dremel threw in the towel, calling it quits after the last cut I made for the rectifier. Time for a new one.

A few pics to date:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·

Little more work on the electronics can skeleton. Still have to mount up two relays and the main fuse. Then hinge/latch the door. Hopefully tonight.


By now you're probably sick of seeing the electronics can. Mind you, this project so far has been 90% thought, 10% do. However, because it's been really slow-going lately and yet I'm still managing to make progress ... deal with it. ;)

These pics show the finished skeleton (minus final paint) in the can with a couple of set screws to hold it secure and the electronics in place. I managed to use all of the OEM rubber isolating mounts for each piece and incorporated the design into the frame itself. I welded tabs onto the skeleton and used roller latches to attach the lid panel (where the rectifier is mounted) because I did not like the look of any hinges I had. The latches however didn't secure super well as bought, so I modified them with some weld puddles to tighten them up. Even so, I may add a set screw toward the top just for safe keeping. Around the lid I put some rubber weather stripping. I fabbed up a rear mount bracket for the rectifier as well. What I am not showing in the pics is the heat deflective material to be adhered to the back of the rectifier.

If you look closely you'll see four slits I cut into the body of the can at the rear and bottom, then pried them slightly to create a heat escape toward the top, and a moisture evac at the bottom. I strategically placed them so as to minimize the visual bastardization of the can.

I've got tons of corrosion clean-up to do on various connectors and plugs still. But the last part of the can design will be running the wire loom (wires to still be modified) through the spout, and ground/power wires through the front of the can.

Please pardon the can being installed a little crooked; it's only temporary haha.


Rebuilt the carburetor. This included complete disassembly, shooting carb cleaner through all ports, compressed air, etc. Not too shabby inside though. All jets and ports were free of any clogging; minimal if any varnish. Reassembly included the jet kit and velocity stacks from TJ Brutal Customs, OEM rebuild kits and choke cable assembly, and new diaphragms from JBM Industries. I also cleaned the exterior pretty well with just paint thinner (remember the pathetic rattle-can job). Let me tell you, this carburetor needed, no REQUIRED a total overall between rotted rubber o-rings and torn float needle screens and ripped diaphragms it’s a wonder this bike ran at all! I took massive pics which can be seen here, unfortunately forgot the one showing installed on the bike with the velocity stacks:

Here’s a few highlights though:

Also installed the new petcock filter and o-ring.

Then moved on to fabbing a simple bracket for the fuel pump which I welded to the front facing side of the battery box. It’s very protected in that area due to being sandwiched behind the engine (engine hangs lower) and above the underside cross-tube of the frame. I ran the new fuel line up the center frame support and wrapped it in DEI heat sleeves because it’s fairly close to the rear exhaust port. Also installed new forward and aft in-line fuel filters. Here’s a simple solution: An easy and inexpensive protection against abrasion for any hoses is to use some appropriately sized door springs which can be cut and stretched to fit.


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Then on to dumping the fugly radiator cover. It creates too much bulk for my viewing pleasure, haha! So I created a slim, low-profile protective screen that I bolted right through the fins (similar to adding aftermarket electric fan shrouds to cars). What a beautiful difference I will say.


This weekend I focused on a couple of things. First was to install the new thermostat. Didn’t bother testing the old one; no need, just out with the old and in with the new. Also installed completely new coolant hoses.

Next up was to reroute the rear upper coolant hose so that it doesn’t block the pretty velocity stack. I cut the bracket off and simply rotated it and tacked it back on.

Then the dilemma of how and where to mount the ignition coils. I had originally given thought to mounting them on the right side of the bike, hanging them from where the stock intake box bracket is. But … nah. I fabricated a bracket and welded in some bolts, also making use of the frame’s upper cross member as the front bolting area. These fit perfectly under the lifted tank.

I’m using those Accel 8mm wires that my neighbor had given me some time ago. Problem to overcome was that these are for cages, thus they use the larger terminal clips. I was going to cut and fit the new wires into the stock boots. Instead, since the new NGK’s don’t come with threaded terminal caps, I bought some cheapie Autolites that had the same threaded terminals and simply used those on the NGK’s. Now the Accel boots snap right on.

At the coil connection, I’m cutting the wires and using some rubber o-rings with heat shrink so the stock threaded connectors can be used. I’ll be doing that tomorrow.

You might be wondering because I finished the electronics can why I’ve not done any wiring yet. The reason is, I want to have all of the go-to places installed because it’s all custom. Then I can correctly map out and run the wire. The can is about 90% complete at this point, pending the wire routings.

So, pics for now:



Coolant bib bracket mod:

Coolant hose before:

Coolant hose after:

Coil bracket:

Under tank:

Preliminary wiring routing:


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Today I focused on getting the Accel 8mm wires tapped into the stock coils. Now why did I ‘upgrade’ from the stock 7mm wires? Ha, a couple reasons: One, they were given to me (free) and two, the stock wires had issues in that one boot was broken and another wire was sliced. That being said, a better and thicker jacket should further help to prevent nicks, rips, cuts, etc in jacket from getting down to the wire. Accel has a long proven history of quality and performance. I’m not talking about adding horsepower or torque, but a better quality wire can and will facilitate better voltage to the plug which in turn can mean a better burn. Of course, tuning comes into play in order to take advantage of that, but I’m not looking to nor am I here claiming that I’m making horsepower. A good clean running bike is the goal; that is all.

Okay, so how did I get these automotive 8mm’s to hook up? After routing where I thought the wires would be visually appealing, I started by cutting the terminals off the ends that meet at the coil (including boots) – these won’t be used. If you look at your stock plugs you’ll notice they stagger in length on each coil (one wire goes in further). Simply measure the distance and mark on the new wires. Cut your stock wires and remove the threaded lock caps; these are going to be used to attach the new wires. For the 8mm wires, I drilled out the opening of the caps to 3/8”. The 8mm jacket of the new wires being larger in diameter needs to be shaved a little in order to slip into the coil ports. I then used a couple of snug fitting rubber o-rings, encompassing them in Gorilla glue to keep them locked down and covered with heat shrink to mimic the stock locking system. Be sure to slip the stock thread lock cap on the wire first!

For supporting and keeping the wires organized as they go up the frame I used the clamps from the upper coolant lines at the neck to clip on the wire retainers. The final look is pretty good, but I’ll be cleaning it up a bit more once I’m near completion of the bike.

Also, I sand blasted the polished finish off the foot peg assemblies, based them with etching primer and finished them off using an “epoxy” spray paint. The pegs themselves I had powder coated, but somewhere along the line I forgot the rest of it, haha! No biggie.

Pics tell the story …

The plugs:

Retaining clips:

Connections and Routing:


I hit a stalemate this week with work and other household bullshit. Just trying to get some free time to dedicate to her. A couple of small things I did get to was to clean and paint the brake caliper/bracket and cut off the mirror stems from the lever mounts (even after painting them ... duh! ... REDO!). Painted a few odds and ends and assembled the footpegs, rear brake and shifter linkages. Didn't take pics of the linkage; figured you probably know what that stuff looks like, haha! Got a trick little idea for the tail light in the works ... we'll see how that pans out.


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·

I’m waiting on parts for the front caliper; piston rings and dust shields. I figured if I’m going to the extent of dismantling and scrutinizing everything at this point, replace it with new.

However, during assembly of the handlebar levers I noticed the front brake light switch was ‘broken’. The plastic plunger that sits up against the lever had no spring pressure and was just rattling around freely. New from the dealer the switch is about $20 give or take. Aftermarket ones are about $10 all day on Ebay. Not bad, but I figured if it’s broke anyway why not tear it apart and find out why. So I did. All that need be done is lightly drilling out the three molded plastic rivets on the belly side. Then it can be gently pried apart revealing the guts.

It seems all that happened was the spring set loose. It was all bone dry (no lube) and a little surface corrosion, which may have been what roughened the surface of the spring connecting points and helped hop it off. So while I was in there I cleaned all the contact points using 1000 grit sandpaper and some electronics cleaner. Assembly consisted of some brain play because during disassembly the parts pretty much fell out and I didn’t have anything to go on for re-assembling it all. No problem; I like puzzles.

After all said and done, I saturated the internals with some electronics lube, pushed the outer halves together and dabbed a drop of Gorilla Glue on the rivets. Good as new, and saved a little dough.

Pics (boring I know, but simply because maybe it will help you to be cheap too, haha) …

Album (lots more detailed pics):



Received my brake caliper piston rings and dust seals, and good that I did! The shape the old ones were in, well they didn’t have long to go. The dust seals were torn and there was lots of dried crud in the caliper grooves. The pistons themselves looked good aside from the crud which I polished off.

Before (note the rip in the dust seal):

Old (bottom) / New (top):

Caliper grooves cleaned (left) and new rings in (right):

You know those “Harley Davidson” single cable throttle housings you can get on Ebay all day for about 10 bucks? Yeah, well they’re very easily modified to fit the Honda. Simple drill and tap.

I also began wiring. This is going to take a while between deciding how/where to run/hide, switch relocating/types of switches to use and also the fact that some of the wires that I’m retaining are literally factory glued to other wires inside the looms. In separating those (even with a blade and a careful hand), the sheaths get ripped and I have to use heat shrink tubing to repair. Not hard work by any means, just time consuming. You’ll notice too that I had to grind down some of the powder coating on the handlebars. My powder coat dude went a bit thick between primer and coat, haha!


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·


Removing all the crappy factory tape/loom/shrink wrap revealing nothing but sticky, gooey wiring. Clean-up in progress, haha! Starting to layout in preparation for splicing and running. You can see I removed the electric can skeleton (upper left) for ease of run. Gonna take a while as I'm piece-mailing it every night as time permits.


Finalizing some options for running wire in/out of the can without cutting plugs for ease of future servicing as well. There's a certain look that I want, and by God I shall have it! ;)


After doing a brake job on my dad’s car this Saturday (pads, new rotors, new master cylinder, etc) I got balls deep in one sticky mess yesterday, haha!

When I cut the spout off the can I made it just large enough to get the biggest connector through without having to cut the wires. The largest of the bunch is the ‘red’ main fuse plug (not shown in this pic).

As you could see in the prior post’s picture, I modified the 90deg ENT fitting so that I could easily slip it over the wiring harness, instead of feeding wire through it, thus eliminating the need to cut wires. I also cut the nut and a couple of washers for the same purpose. Here’s how it’s done:

I did have to splice and shorten some wire:

Made up some custom battery and starter cables. The positive cable ended up a bit long, so I’ll have to cut and redo. Drilled a couple holes in the bottom of the can and ran them through using a couple of rubber grommets. Funny part is, I managed to waste a couple hours trying to locate some grommets because I didn’t have the right sizes. Went to ACE Hardware, but it was too early and they weren’t open yet. So I figured auto parts stores carry these, right? … Three different stores … Nothing. Ended up back at ACE Hardware (love that place):

In the end, here’s the inside of the can with all wiring run (except the stator wires to the rectifier; see pics after these). Still got a little clean up to do, but this is pretty much it for the internal part:

Yeaaaaaahhhhh … won’t be using the stator wiring connector anymore. Cut, splice, and reconnect in order. I still don’t know how the PO was riding this bike at all!

So I mentioned that the inside wiring is done … next up …


The wiring is complete! … aside from the brake lamp which will be incorporated into the side mount plate of which I still have to fabricate. I also ran wires through the rear tubes and looped them off for future signals if I choose to put them on; same goes for the front, though those wires are under the tank. All wiring connections are soldered and wrapped in marine grade heat shrink. I ended up using plastic split loom from the electric can; distressed it a bit just for the sake of it. It looks good, though to me it’s still temporary; but it works.

Under the seat looking forward:

In relocating the handlebar switches, I folded up a small piece of aluminum sheet to enclose the start switch and mounted it inside the frame under the tank (similar to how I did the ACE). The kill-switch has been eliminated. I installed an On/Off/On switch for the headlamp under the seat on the mid-frame; it’s nice to have the ability of killing the lamp when you’re working on the bike; I do that with all bikes I’ve had.


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Fluids are filled – coolant, oil and gas. No leaks. After priming the fuel pump with short bursts on the start button, and watching the fuel climb through the lines into the carb bowls (click pic for vid and make sure your sound is on) …

Not the greatest vid, but it was late and I was damn near falling asleep. Note: The exhaust is not finished. As you can see that’s only the stock pipes with the mufflers cut off. I am not a fan of how it’s sounding. The front pipe is tinny sounding as compared to the rear pipe – like an annoying *tap-tap-tap-tap* compared to a *thud-thud-thud-thud*. Also note the flame, most notable on the front pipe; likely caused by being rich (not a bad thing), and may have to play with the jet sizes a bit. I have not dialed in the pilot screws either, and there’s been no carb syncing as of yet. This was the initial start and I haven’t ruled out other possibilities such as my valve adjustments, etc. The best part is, it’s not lean (no exhaust pop) and there are no leaks.

Also because I’m a perfectionist, I went over the frame with a q-tip and black paint just touching up little nicks here and there. Most of that is not shown in the pics, but if it is rest assure that nick is not there anymore, haha!

Things that will need finalizing include tuning, install chain, bleed front brake, fab brake lamp/plate assembly, seat leather and grip leather, wet sanding, pinstripe detail and some other fancy ideas I have in mind. All in good time. Just happy to have her completely rewired and done right the first time, and here her come to life.


My step-daughter is dumb as nails … Don’t get me wrong, I love her to death, but drywall screws have a higher IQ. 20 years old and still acts like a sleepy 5 year old. So aside from having a rather shi++y week off last week (yes, I will spare you the details), I found a few hours to complete my custom exhaust; not just cut stock pipes. Mind you, this is my first attempt ever in creating an exhaust. But I wanted simple yet distinguishing. Did I do it?

Taking advice from a couple friends, I measured, cut and welded up some 1-3/4” mandrel bent tubing. I followed the rear of the frame shape from the side profile, then offset the angle of the pipes so as from the rear they sit on an angle about 45 degrees. I think it’s both subtle and sick! But that’s me. I finished them off in DEI Titanium Exhaust Heat Wrap. There is a rear bracket supporting the exhaust, however I did not capture it in the pics. I'll get it later; pretty simple and it's welded to the top pipe.

I plan to fab up some lollipops and baffles similar to that I did on the ACE. She’s obnoxiously loud, haha! But then, I haven’t had her out of the garage yet either. Then I have to tear down the carbs again and experiment with the jet sizing, etc. I think I went a bit large to start with. I also want to double check my valve adjustments especially in front. She bogs to a stall on throttle, so I’m also hoping it’s not the fuel pump, but I’m not ruling it out.

Oh yeah, and I also white lettered the tires *grin*.

More pics in the album:


So I'm waiting on another set of slow jets and figured I'd get my mind off the technical stuff and move onto the pretty stuff. More to come ...


I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Besides unwillingly taking the day off from work today due to some MASSIVE flooding from a frontal system that stalled over us overnight …

(see here for more pics throughout the neighborhood: 011014

I got some prettiness done today, after screwing up on the measurements earlier this week, haha (see first pic below)! This reduces the chrome on the forks and matches my radiator grill and battery cage. Anyway:

The tank is off in those pics because I also received my alternate set of slow jets from TJ Styles (TJ Brutal Customs). THANKS BRO! So I got the carbs back together and installed.

I then moved on to fabbing the first of two trial sets of baffles for my straight pipes. The second set (not shown because I haven’t built them yet, haha … again), will be a different design completely and based on old school hot rod technology … and again, haha.

Welp, we’ll see how these go.


The status as of today: I'm waiting for the new valve to get here. I ordered it along with a new guide, stem and seat, but there's a slight delay due to the weather conditions and the valve itself is being 'cross-shipped'. I HOPE to have them here by the weekend, but I'm not getting my hopes up. Meanwhile, I've disassembled the head to check the springs and clean up the intake valves. They cleaned up pretty good with a 3M scuff pad and have minor pitting, but nothing notable. Top of the piston is perfect with a little carbon that will scuff right off ...


Damaged Intake:

I also realized when setting up the chain this past weekend that there's a possibility of chain-slap on the battery box (side-to-side motion). Yeah, it's that close. So while I'm waiting for the valve, I'm going to carve out the battery box and slightly modify it.

As for pretty stuff, I've got my ideas for the seat leather and grips. Just need to get motivated to start on them. I am still up in the air about pin-striping or graphics of any sort on the tank and fender. My family and friends for the most part think that it looks great as is and that it might get to glitzy and/or busy with the heavy metallic paint and rose lace inlay.

I need a shower
55 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Some history the past month:


Ah, haha ha ha ha crap.

So, I'll stress this to anyone who builds, tears down and re-assembles or generally tinkers with any engine. Double check, no ... triple check, no ... STARE AT EVERY LITTLE COMPONENT UNTIL YOU'RE BLIND until you're satisfied all is well.

After receiving my new exhaust valve today I headed into the garage to begin the begin. I wanted to give the head a good wash so I pulled the valve seals on the intake side and looky what I found on one of the guides:

How the fook does that happen? Here's the funny part (yes there's a funny part): I ordered and received a new valve guide for the exhaust thinking it might come in handy.

Believe it or not, I'm considering hitting it with a spot weld and polishing it ... whilst in the head ... yeah, yeah and then wrapping it in duct tape for added strength and having it blessed by a priest and then knighted.

Ugh. More set-backs. :-(


If you've never replaced valve guides before, here's some tips for you.

Use the proper tools. Honda makes valve guide drifts/drivers with an attachment for both the intake and exhaust. These are easily had online, or from your dealership's parts department; most likely having to be ordered.

Intake part #07742-001010D (5.5mm) / Attachment part # 07943-MF50100
Exhaust part #07742-657010D (6.6mm) / Attachment part # 07943-MF50200

I invested in them to make life easier and it's much less expensive overall than sending your head to a machine shop. Plus, you get to keep the tools and add them to you collection. Never know when you'll use them again, especially me. What's really nice about the attachment is that it's precision measured so as when the new guide is installed it is already at the required height/projection. You'll want to double check with a caliper anyway.

Valve guide projections: Intake .76-.77in / Exhaust .70-.71in

Put your new guides into the freezer for about 30 minutes. This will help shrink the outer diameter slightly.

Make a stand out of 2x4 wood to place the head on when ready to tap out/in the guides. Wood being softer than aluminum will damage far before the aluminum, so it makes for a safe method to pound on. I simply recycled my homemade wheel stand and screwed on a lower horizontal piece.

The aluminum heads on Honda's need be heated in an oven between 275-290deg. If you're using your household oven, clean the head thoroughly with de-greaser. You don't want to piss off the wifey, lol! And make sure to remove the little rubber o-ring in the coolant journal(s). The heat causes the aluminum to expand quicker than the iron valve guides making them easier to tap out. Use an infrared thermometer or a temperature stick (available at welding shops) so the head doesn't exceed 300deg for a period of time. This will ensure you don't warp the head. I used an infrared thermometer because I only had a temp stick rated to 200deg. I also used my welding gloves to handle the head during removal from the oven and working with it on the stand.

Work quickly to place the head on the stand and pound out the guides with the proper tool from the cylinder side. Good, firm taps of the hammer, but not overly excessive; you don't want to damage the head. I worked one valve guide at a time systematically inserting the new guide in immediately after removing the old ... and so on. Insert the new guides from the top side. A good trick so as to avoid damaging the new guide is to hold the tool and the adapter snugly together and firmly on the top of the guide so it doesn't skew, causing possible damage to the new guide. A little WD40 on the new guide will help it slip in the port easier. When the audible pitch of your hammering changes, it's probably seated. Verify the measurement with your caliper; if it's in too far, simply flip the head over and gently tap the guide backwards until your measurement is to spec.

You may find yourself having to reheat the head a couple times, and/or refreezing the guides. That's okay as it probably relates to your being cautious ... that's a good thing.

Let the head air cool to room temperature. You'll then need to ream out the new guides to match the valve stems. I misplaced my reamer and awaiting a new one as of this post. Tore up my garage searching for it. Ho-hum, yet another delay.

Valve guide reamer: Intake #07984-2000001 / Exhaust #07984-ZE20001

When I get the valves installed, I'll check for leakage at the valve seats. If they are good, yey for me - no need to have the seats resurfaced.


Went to put on the head gasket and it was the wrong dern one! They sent me the lower gasket by mistake (my fault too, as I should have checked it). Hoping the right head gasket gets here today. And valve guides? Here's what I dealt with (see pic). Some previous owner had the front head off at some time, because these don't get this way by themselves. They were not installed properly. The exhaust guide had a hairline fracture that came apart when I hammered it out. Now by all accounts, it looks like the rear cylinder valve guides are in good shape and have not been tampered with; and if you recall compression held strong via my testing(s). This engine was never out of the bike prior to my removing it; and you can't do a valve job on the rear without removing the engine.

Man. I've got to find my motivation again.

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