Author Topic: tobyd '98 GS  (Read 1739 times)

Offline tobyd

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tobyd '98 GS
« on: July 02, 2017, 06:57:31 PM »
January this year I bought this 'fine' example of a '98 GS in Red. Apparently it was bought new in France and rehomed in the UK straight away. Desperation indeed...



In nearly 20 years no one has bought it a RHD headlamp...



which looks really good* and doesn't at all make night-riding blinder than it could be.

Only obvious signs of woe when I bought it was a leaky left front and rotten rear brake-reservoir screws. Was priced to clear and had a 11 months of MOT so I thought why not? Went out in early February for first motorbike ride in a few years at a tropical 0 (zero) degrees Celsius, repeatedly locked the back wheel (more on this) but generally had an ok time. Got very cold. Then came storm Doris but no one told me.



So the bike blew over and gouged up a cover and traumatised a horrible bar-end and lever. Oh well, nothing worse seemed to happen. Moved the bike to a better location.

After that I tried to work out why the back brake was exceptionally strong and even working overtime when I wasn't even pressing the brake lever (the scorch from grabbing the rear disc did eventually heal)... turned out the torque bar was a bit sketchy and giving that a refit and replacing the pads sorted that, rear brakes are a bit marginal now but the rear wheel spins freely so I'm happy.

By now its March / April time and riding around is alright



So I thought I'd address the still leaky front fork. This. The good news is the front end is a lot better and a lot more taught. The bad news is that the leaky fork is slightly leaky again, there were, and are, some screwdriver shaped gouges where the seal sits in the receiver which I expect contribute to this.

And now its July and with quite a few miles done I think I know what I want to get sorted so I thought I'd keep track of the progress.

The Good (and/or marginal):
    * Engine pulls well, happy to pull from 3k in any gear, happy to pull a lot harder from 6k through to 10k
    * Idles at a steady enough 1400rpm once warm
    * Has a fairly good MOT history, nothing beyond consumables.
    * Does between 50 and 70 mpg (4.54 litres in those there gallons)
    * At some point its lunched its electrics (RR i'm told) which has been replaced and rewired (but without much enthusiasm)

The Bad:
    * There is nearly no service history, what there is and how its been addressed isn't very reassuring
    * I'm its 15th registered owner, again, no history :o
    * LH cylinder looks like its thinking hard about blowing its gasket
    * The wrong-hand drive headlamp
    * Repeat offender fork leg

The Ugly:
    * Pockmarked with rust, all surface deep and all an eyesore
    * What is going on with those levers and bar ends ?!
    * The seat
    * The dials
    * Pre-96 front caliper (best not to know why, I suppose)
    * Mullered clutch-safety switch
    * Indicators. the originals were nasty but fake-carbon fibre?

So, the To-Do List!

Since the oil is fairly clean and its keeping its brake fluid in the lines and all the electrics work I'm starting on the notion its mostly, but not more than that, okay. I can't feel any draft from the manky looking LHS Head -> Barrel join but something isn't quite right there. The valves need looking at since its weeping from the half-moon sections anyway and a bit chattery too but I suspect that's a precursor to a top-end rebuild in any case.



I'm tempted to have the frame and swing arm powder coated black or matt gunmetal, it's a bit crusty and could do with a sandblast and re-skin but we'll see. Maybe over the winter I'll set about stripping the frame down and getting this done but its an embarrassment seeing that the rest of your bikes have perfect shiny/happy frames and mine looks like it was dredged out the sea...

Those cranes in the background of the 'blue sky' image? They are from Felixstowe docks, a bit up the road, and 6th busississiest (According to Wikipedia) in Europe, and all those 'easy-on-the-road' lorries mean the A-Roads are pretty grim. Except the bits that are concrete, and they are such a pleasure to ride on that I'm looking at an R6 shock swap for the GS unit to soak that 'smoothness' up a bit more, waiting on the right part to come up on eBay.

The plugs seem to be about the right colour and there is no bogging down through the throttle range so I'm going to leave the carbs alone for the time being. I'm toying with the idea of a K&N filter replacement but since the exhaust, a disgustingly rusty 'stainless' Nexxus creation needs redoing I might save the joy of rejetting all that for when I'm long dead...

So that's the project; light resto, maybe some gentle customisation and fair bit of anti-negligencing the last 20 years.

* By good I mean awful. honestly, 20 years!
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 03:43:09 PM by tobyd »

Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2017, 02:57:47 PM »
Notification on friday from black widow they'd made some more exhausts. On the door mat on saturday. Checked the header bolts, all rusted and shot so picked up a set of irwin bolt removers.



Rest of saturday spent on other stuff. Sunday! Set of brake pads for the front, exhaust system for the back surely only an hours work at most. Front brakes fitted without fuss, old ones weren't bad just not particularly good either so uprated to HH ones. These were EBC FA129HHs since my caliper is wrong for the year



Having already checked the header bolts weren't going to undo with an allan wrench I tapped on a bolt-remover, very tenatively started on off-side top. Seized; Not surprised. Applied a load more plus-gas (been applying plusgas every so often to all 4 for a few weeks now in anticipation). Slightest movement in it, expecting it to snap, kept going, eventually (20 minutes) it came out in one piece!



You are of course expecting this is going to be Perfect 4-for-4 then yes?

Access is bad for the inner ones so I removed the front forks / wheel. Rest of it looks like this



You can see here where the Nexxus system doesn't really fit properly and rubs in the center stand.



Applied some more plusgas, borrowed a thin 3/8th extension to fit the bolt-remover and clear the frame a little easier and got to work accomplishing the following resounding failures

  • off-side lower bolt, snapped almost straight away, at the bolthead leaving plenty of bolt sticking out
  • near-side top, teased for a while by behaving like its counterpart on the other side before shearing off about 3mm proud of the head
  • near-side bottom, teased by coming out a good 1mm before snapping off a little down the bolthead leaving some free



Oh and the exhaust bolt at the back is stuck pretty firm too. But I'll sort that out in a bit because I can always hacksaw that off in a rage.

So left with an unridable bike and I'm pretty certain that the near-side top bolt is definately not going to come loose without a trip off to the machine shop. All in all 3/10.

Not sure about the remnant stub of those bolts. If access was better drilling them out might be possible but I pretty sure there isn't a hope of getting it in straight without pulling the head. Might give the 2 that didn't snap so close a go with some vice-grips to see if they are more inclined to come out now but I may be leaving this one to a shop with better equipment.

It doesn't seem like the best idea to have not used studs on this arrangement?

Anyway, thats progress for this weekend: turned a bike into a doorstop.


Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2017, 03:40:28 PM »
Thought I'd complete the weekend by removing the exhaust completely. The bolt holding the system on at the back just sheared off. Imagine That...

Anyway, one Nexxus can of unknown age. I was going to put this up for free in case someone wanted to try and tidy it up but I think i might just not.

Can end with hole


Join


This is the worst of the broken bolt remnants - the other two are about twice as long.


I do like the look of the bike without an exhaust on the right-hand side though?
« Last Edit: July 09, 2017, 05:31:17 PM by tobyd »

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2017, 04:16:24 PM »
Very much enjoying your thread Toby :D

Super awful about those bolts!! >:( I agree with ya about studs... I recently did that swap.

That can is terrible!!! Your GS is gonna look super sharp with the new BW system :cool:
Superbike bars, '04 GSXR750 headlight w/LED H7, GSXR1000 signals, Chuck81 fork brace, '05 Busa fender, stainless exhaust & brake lines, LED dash & brake bulbs, 140/80 rear hoop, F tail lens, SV650 shock, Bandit400 hugger, aluminum heel guards & pegs, fork preload adjust caps, .75 Sonic Springs

Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2017, 05:40:35 PM »
More than a bit embarrassed to have posted that exhaust in that state...

I think there is enough thread on those bits to possibly enact a rescue, talking to a chap later about possible solutions before the machine shop route.

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2017, 05:55:18 PM »
Header bolts still seized after a week of gentle heating and plusgas. Tried a bolt remover tool, half of it snapped then rounded off the bolt. the sheared off another one.



Found a machine shop a bit down the road who are happy to do the work, drill out the old bolts, tap in some helicoils, should be better than new. Price on inspection. Oh well, best get started pulling the top end. Tank off, airbox out, carbs disconnected, cables uncoupled, and of course, the front-most valve cover bolt is jammed...



Tank in ok condition, bit crusty but nothing too bad.



Anyway, I'll have a think about that front bolt, although its off to a machine shop anyway I'd rather it would just let since I have no idea how long it would take to grind that off. The hex slot hasn't rounded off but I'm concerned about more leverage. Access i alsos terrible. Will have to price up the gaskets too - uneconomical repair is going through my mind a bit at the moment...

Offline ajensen

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2017, 12:10:49 AM »
Have you thought about rust neutralizer for the tank? Also, can you take the whole engine to the machine shop--would save your having to take apart the top end.

Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2017, 07:34:22 PM »
Its an engine out job, that front valve-cover bolt is stuck solid. Which sadly says no one has looked at the valve clearances for 100 years so I think pulling the lump, drilling the head off the valve bolt (it may as well get a helicoil too!) and having the holes sorted at the machine shop + rehoned (saves me bollarding it up) then I can redo the gaskets and rings and get the valves all nice + a clean up on the block and top-end. Its that or just change the engine...

Have a friend to give me a hand on Thursday pulling the engine, sprocket to come off and a few wires but as long as those frame bolts aren't rank shouldn't be too bad. We'll see.

Offline ajensen

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2017, 11:56:23 PM »
You have a good plan--I hope it works out for you. If so, you should have a good, strong engine.

Offline cbrfxr67

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #9 on: July 17, 2017, 01:51:01 PM »
This is a great thread!  subb'd! :bstar: :bstar: :bstar:
"Its something you take apart in 2-3 days and takes 10 years to go back together."
-buddha

Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #10 on: July 17, 2017, 06:40:38 PM »
Haha! cheers :)

@ajensen - I'll take a look at the tank after everything else is sorted - I'm hoping I can just smear on some anti-rust stuff and maybe a light wax or something to keep the worse of it off afterwards. Its not so bad though. Taking the entire lump down there is an option but if I think at this point a full top-end rebuild is probably for the best; I'm really hoping the top-end is salvageable - it ran pretty happily, if tappetty and bad-exhaust noisy so I'm hopeful the bottom end is still good.

Just disconnected the electrics and starter, sprayed some plusgas on the engine + cradle mounting bolts, removed the sprocket and cable tied the chain to the frame and checked a few other oddments:

oil filter - ok
cam-tensioner - ok
sump plug - didn't move but I wasn't putting much effort in, the oil is clean so I assume it undoes. The oil pan can always go off to the machine shop too if its threaded. I'll drop the oil tomorrow or Wednesday I guess.

Managed to lose a sprocket cover bolt, one of the smaller ones. absolutely no idea where its gone even rummaged through the bin, completely vanished, got everything else removed laid out and labelled and any bolts that would go back in there holes put back so a bit pissed off about that. Should probably start a parts listing though.

Been looking at the frame now its all exposed and I think there is a winter project to strip the bike and have it powder coated. Not sure what works with the Red tank, gun-metal or something perhaps?
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 06:45:13 PM by tobyd »

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #11 on: July 17, 2017, 06:42:40 PM »
UGH I hate when that happens!!! Thankfully not too often for me but I lost a dremel bit a while back with a cutting wheel on it... still to this day haven't found it :technical:
Superbike bars, '04 GSXR750 headlight w/LED H7, GSXR1000 signals, Chuck81 fork brace, '05 Busa fender, stainless exhaust & brake lines, LED dash & brake bulbs, 140/80 rear hoop, F tail lens, SV650 shock, Bandit400 hugger, aluminum heel guards & pegs, fork preload adjust caps, .75 Sonic Springs

Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2017, 08:06:10 PM »
So all the frame bolts cracked loose easy enough. WTF :mad: Guess steel-on-steel is a much happier interface than mixing metals...

looks ok to get the engine out. I think the plan is to pile up many soft things around there, support the engine on a small bottle jack (with some wood between) then remove all the mounts and cradle and lower as slowly as possible onto the padding or maybe cart. Then see if I can't snap both camshafts and round off all 8 head bolts...

I had another rake around for that bolt but its definitely been taken. If you ever saw the 'Sam-eee-ad' on CBBC I bet it was that.

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2017, 04:06:36 AM »
I am eager to see how everything turns out. One hint--use 6-point sockets.

Offline tobyd

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2017, 03:12:18 PM »
So far...


...badly.

Top and bottom mounts are free. bottom appears to bear no weight and top only a little.

Front and Back are seized solid. Looks like more steel vs aluminium rot. I think the front one could be sheared off and be ok but the back one has to come out since there is no way to get around it being stuck. Supporting the engine with a bottle jack to take the load off the bolts but nothing...



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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2017, 03:32:02 PM »
*There should be pictures but these seem to be empty at the moment

Set about with the drill earlier.

Can I drill through the middle of a bolt?



No. No, I cannot. It'll clear up though.

The bolt at the back was a sod to drill into.



Whats that? Its still in one piece? So that one just came free when I put the wrench on it to shear off the head. Honestly, who makes these bolts? It won't turn at all when its in one piece, but will happily turn with nearly all its head removed? Its not even as if the rot was at the head end and just heated up and freed off by the drilling?

Waiting to see if a friend is about for part two of engine removal now, he may have gone on holiday for a week instead though.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 01:26:18 PM by tobyd »

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #16 on: July 23, 2017, 01:58:44 PM »
Engine out. Snapped a frame bolt at the bottom, just sheared at the point between the cradle and frame, other one came free. The other 4 might not be original. they were 17mm heads with nylock nuts and appeared to be stainless. They came undone really easily...



Its a bit of a pig to remove with the valve cover still on (the only reason the engine is coming out) but with some back and forth (and noticing at the very last minute to remove the tacho drive :o), a pile of compost bags, kindling and a bottle jack and some assistance it eventually yielded. Its about to pour with rain though so put a tarp over the engine and called it a day.



Solved puzzle of suddenly free lower mount...



...Might see about a chemical metal cosmetic fix but it'll probably just have to stay like this. Any steel to aluminium interface on reassembly is going to be bathed in anti seize.

I'll drill out the stuck valve cover bolt one evening this week and see about removing the top end, since all that's mostly oily I hope its ok. Then it can go off to the shop to have the exhaust bolts removed and I'll see if it all goes back together. Not sure about the best way to get the engine back in, might lay it on its side and put the crankcase in through a bolt then lift it back up and do the other 3. Have to drill out the front mount anyway since that's rotten and I'm hoping it won't just fall to bits once the spacers are off, I've not idea how that would be repaired, not economically anyway.

Not sure about the frame yet, seems dumb not to strip the rest of the bike and have that sorted but at the same time there are enough things to need to sort on the engine that having that done, installed and working might be for the best and strip the thing down again over winter when its unlikely to be in use. I think sandblasting it and the swing arm to get it back to the bare metal is the best thing but I'm not sure what to do then. That stock silver colour isn't bad but something to go with the Red of the tank a bit better might be a better look. Probably get the fork lowers done it the same colour.

Current Count of snapped and lost bolts:
  • 1x Lower frame -> cradle bolt
  • 1x Sprocket cover bolt
  • 1x Valve cover bolt
  • 2x Engine mounting bolts

Things I've learned:
  • Drilling metal needs nearly no pressure, just run at a slow speed and let the bit cut at its own speed
  • A garage would be a wonderful thing
  • My next bike will be imported from the driest place on earth and will be boiled in diesel for a year.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2017, 03:30:49 PM by tobyd »

Offline cbrfxr67

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2017, 03:45:20 PM »
I'm sure you arent having the greatest time but this is a great thread.  thanks for posting and really enjoying your errr progress :thumb:
"Its something you take apart in 2-3 days and takes 10 years to go back together."
-buddha

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2017, 05:38:29 PM »
It's getting a bit depressing :( That said, it is prompting me to rip the thing right back to the frame and start from there, I mean at this stage I'd be stupid (and penniless) not to really. At least going that route I'll either end up with something I know every single bolt on and know its in good shape or a pile of spare parts and a mounting eBay fee...

I am dreading removing that front mount though, before I do anything else I think that has to come out. I really went at either end with a lump hammer and have this horrible feeling the moment that the spacers are removed (with a hacksaw, they are rotten, of course) the whole front mount is just going to disintegrate.

The swing arm doesn't look quite so horrific that it won't come apart and the headstock has had its bearings replaced sometime in the last few years so might come undone without too much of a struggle. That only leaves the wiring that I can at least examine and see if its not worth doing properly with decent sealed connectors, new cable and encase it all in decent tubing.

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Re: tobyd '98 GS
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2017, 07:38:04 PM »
Wasn't raining so removed some more bits. Engine will wait until the weekend when I'm not tired and angry from work.



Both bottom battery-tray bolts snapped, not really surprising, they were rank. The bolt through the mudguard (fender?) was stiff but did yield. I'm going to try to convert an old computer PSU into a 12v source for an electrolytic rust remover, been wanting to try it for ages and the battery tray is the victim. I'll write up how quickly it dissolved when I get the wires backwards...

Bagged and labelled up all the parts.

The fake-carbon-fibre-look fake-carbon-fibre indicators at the back were full of real water. Was some real pro work whoever fitted those with massive washers and 1g/m of torque, real pro... They'll likely make it as far as the landfill site.

I'll pull the electrics at the front tomorrow and apart from the back light which was easier to remove with its cables I have the entire loom complete. I'm not sure yet if I'll make a new one. Its not especially ratty but has been hacked about a bit and I'd much prefer neat electrics. So I'll see how it compares to the wiring diagram on the wiki and have a think.