Author Topic: mr72's '92 project - "Renegade"  (Read 16923 times)

Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #40 on: November 23, 2016, 12:36:25 PM »
Finished painting the wheels yesterday, and put the Katana 600 shock in. I plan to cut down the fork springs and change the fork oil soon, maybe this weekend, and if so I'll try to post pictures of the process.

One thing: I had read that you have to loosen the airbox to swap the shock... not absolutely true. I got the shock swapped with the airbox in place. It did help to have the rear wheel off though.

I'll post up pictures after I get the headlight painted and the new turn signals installed, if they ever arrive. Then the cosmetic work will be complete. Probably get that done over the holiday weekend.

Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #41 on: November 25, 2016, 03:43:41 PM »
Raining this morning, so instead of riding I repaired the faulty charging system (melted plug) and stiffened the front suspension. Still need to change the fork oil but I didn't have enough of the right weight oil here today.

Offline Endopotential

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #42 on: November 25, 2016, 06:45:58 PM »
If you cut your fork springs, wouldn't that make things more bouncy instead of stiffening it up?
http://gstwins.com/gsboard/index.php?topic=70953.0

2007 GS500F Cafe Fighter - cut off the tail, K&N lunchbox, short exhaust, 20/60/140 jets, R6 shock, all sorts of other random bits...

Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #43 on: November 25, 2016, 07:52:07 PM »
If you cut your fork springs, wouldn't that make things more bouncy instead of stiffening it up?

I guess it depends on what you mean by more bouncy. Cutting coils from a spring makes it stiffer. Too stiff springs with inadequate damping is often bouncy. That's why I need to change the fork oil.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2016, 08:41:40 PM by mr72 »

Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #44 on: November 26, 2016, 11:58:47 AM »
Rode around a little bit yesterday on the stiffened fork. Nothing to complain about. Very predictable and comfortable. It felt mostly the same only no more excessive dive or bottoming over speed bumps in parking lots. I didn't do this for high-speed handling, since I really don't do much high-speed handling.

The LED turn signals came in, and they're tiny! Which is probably cool. But they won't come on with the stock flasher so I am going to try a solid-state flasher and this morning I'll do the long-awaited cleanup of the wiring and I might paint the headlight while I am at it. While fiddling with the headlight yesterday I removed the tabs on the back of the headlight that seemed intended to align it but wound up forcing the headlight to be forever crooked, and now it is installed straight up and down.

Also got some silver header paint. But I want to ride this weekend rather than waiting for paint to dry so I'll probably wait until Sunday night or Monday morning to pull the exhaust and paint it.


Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #45 on: November 28, 2016, 08:05:40 PM »
Got a $12 flasher to work with the LED turn signals, easy peasy. Had to modify the stock connector and add a ground wire. Did some major wiring cleanup while I was in there, and also made a mod to the LED tail light circuit to make the tail lights dimmer (like a normal taillight) so now the brake light is much more noticeable. It was all but invisible before.

Found an oil leak on the clutch side engine cover, ordered a new gasket. Bike needs an oil change anyway. With any luck that part arrives on Saturday and I can swap it.

Speaking of oil changes, I got some 15W oil for the fork. Another 100 or so miles on the stiffened fork with the old oil in it confirms just how much better the bike rides with the uprated suspension. I can only imagine it will get even better with a fork oil change. No more bottoming when coming up my driveway!

I know I keep promising pictures but I still have paint work to do before I'm willing to take any more pictures. Forecast is for perfect weather all week and rain on the weekend so I may wait until the weekend to do the paint. Hate to miss a chance to ride because parts are off the bike with paint waiting to dry.

Offline mr72

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Closing in on "done"
« Reply #46 on: December 05, 2016, 07:36:23 PM »
Over the weekend I did some work on the GS. It was raining all weekend so I couldn't ride it at all.

Painted the fork brace and headlight bucket+bracket, cleaned up all of the wiring inside the headlight including new wiring looms and sorting it out so it wasn't too insane to cram back in the headlight. Painted the header with silver VHT flameproof paint.

Could not get the rear two fender bolts in with the front wheel on the bike. What a freakin' pain! Getting the front wheel on and off is no picnic.

I also changed the fork oil. That was unpleasant. Worst? I have to do it again, because I don't think I have the fork oil level right. I am pretty sure I have too little oil. I hate doing that job. But since I am going to have to do it again, I might as well hang the front end of the bike from the garage ceiling, pull the front wheel and do the fender bolts and then I can take both fork caps off and pull the spring/spacer setup out and compress each fork leg and verify the level. I'll just get it done. I just hate putting that front wheel back on. That's no picnic getting the spacer to stay on.

While I had the header off I drained the oil and changed the oil filter. Then I proceeded to the next project which is to replace the gasket on the clutch-engine crankcase (right side) since the old one was leaking quite a lot. So far I am probably three hours into that job and the bike is still apart. Getting the old gasket material off of the 25-year-old engine casing is being quite a challenge. I went through an entire $11 bottle of Permatex gasket remover which did absolutely nothing and wore out two razor blades so far. I also tried 91% isopropyl alcohol, acetone, MEK, Brakleen and every other solvent I could find in my garage to loosen that petrified paper gasket, all with basically no effect. Actually the alcohol and acetone are among the best. I don't want to resort to oven cleaner because I know that'll screw up the paint. I left it to sit all day with the last of the Permatex useless stuff on it in hopes it will be more inclined to be cleaned up later tonight. I hate leaving it apart. I am beginning to regret taking this job on. I should have just lived with the oil leak.

The good news is that once I get the bike back together from this current surgery, and re-check the fork oil level, it will basically be "done". I mean, all cosmetic/paint work done, all mechanical work done, all necessary repairs and mods done. Everything will be finished except for riding. One of these days I'll get a new/used left heel guard but from a project perspective, I really am closing in on complete.

And the bike is wholly transformed compared to the shape it was in when I got it.

Offline the_63

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #47 on: December 06, 2016, 01:36:21 AM »
Awesome! I'm a little jealous, I won't be riding for a while. Glad it's almost ready for you to enjoy man!  :thumb:

 O0

You got pictures sorted yet?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2016, 02:55:19 PM by the_63 »
'99 GS500ex (sookie)

Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #48 on: December 07, 2016, 03:01:46 PM »
Got the bike back together.

BTW, getting the nuts on the fender bolts with the wheel in place is totally doable and easy with the right tools: a pair of long hemostats, a pen light, and the necessary allen wrench. Wedge the pen light under the fender so you can see what you are doing under the fender. Put the screw through the hole in the fender brace so you an see it sticking out inside the fender. Clamp the nut in your hemostats and look up under the fender and you can position the nut on the end of the protruding bolt, with your other hand, hand-tighten the bolt into the nut and then tighten with an allen wrench. You get the idea. Works great. I wish I had done this first rather than the long 1/4" socket extension and 8mm socket and universal joint method which worked only for the front bolts with a ton of effort but totally didn't work for the rear.

Anyway, I got that done, also got the new clutch cover gasket installed. Getting the old gasket off was non-trivial. I first tried just using a razor blade scraping tool and whatever solvents I had around, including acetone and MEK and Goof Off (which I think is made of acetone and MEK, mostly) and even mineral spirits with pretty much zero success. So I went out and bought a can of the way overpriced Permatex gasket remover, and followed the instructions to a "T". Applied it, let sit 15-30 minutes, try to scrape off. No dice. I did this about ten times until I had used up nearly all of the Permatex stuff and finally decided to put one last coat, the very last bit of the stuff I had, and let it sit overnight. That did the trick. Gasket peeled right off with minimal effort after soaking in the Permatex solvent for >12 hours. Next up I cleaned up the cover and installed the new gasket with a thin film of Permatex ultra black on the cover side just to hold the gasket on it in the event I have to remove it ever again.

While torquing the bolts, you guessed it: one snapped off. Awesome! I'm going to ride it and see if it leaks, and if it doesn't (leak much), then I will leave the bolt extraction and replacement job for some future time when I am not so busy. But my guess is it's going to leak, and leak a lot, forcing me to deal with the bolt extraction sooner rather than later. I mean, has anything gone smoothly on this project?


Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #49 on: December 12, 2016, 04:01:17 PM »
Between weather and other schedule problems, for the past two weeks I hadn't been able to ride until yesterday. Since the last time I rode, I painted the headlight and fork hardware, cleaned up the wiring, replaced the clutch side crankcase gasket along with an oil change and changed the fork oil.

Good news: even though I snapped off a bolt when putting the crankcase back together after replacing the gasket, it doesn't leak. So I will put off the bolt extraction until the next oil change, when I can pull the cover back off. I am guessing that'll be a year from now.

One thing I noticed after the fork oil change is that for the first little while when I started riding, I initially kept thinking my front tire was low. I think the small bump sensitivity is hugely improved, and it feels like the fork is softer than before even though the springs didn't change. My suspicion is that the fork "oil" level was high before, due to one of two things: one I added a PVC spacer to take up the lost length of the spring after cutting it, so the air volume was probably somewhat less (the PVC spacer has more volume than the spring it replaces), and two the oil in the left fork was obviously contaminated with something, most likely water, which means the volume may have been higher than it should have been. In any case, the new fork oil, correctly set level, cut springs with spacers, etc. results in a firm, controlled, but still plush and comfortable ride.  :thumb:

Here are some pictures :)


Just parked on the street in front of my house. Gives an idea of how the wheel paint works in the overall look.


Fork brace, headlight bucket and brackets, wheels all painted with the same Rustoleum "Appliance Epoxy" stainless steel color.


Kinda shows the colors working together, plus you can see how the silver paint works on the exhaust. I was worried it would look awful, but I think it looks fine.

Everything is solid on the bike now. The cosmetics are mostly sorted, enough that it now looks like a well cared for but aging Japanese motorcycle, rather than kind of a basketcase as it started. And the functionality, performance and reliability are 100%. Everything works all the time without issues. I did 25 miles of short errand trips in suburban Christmas shopping traffic yesterday and it was a gem all the way, never a single hiccup and no remnant of any of the issues it had previously.

This is all thanks in large part to the input, advice, and gracious help I have been given on this forum.  :cheers:
« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 04:03:15 PM by mr72 »

Offline the_63

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #50 on: December 12, 2016, 04:46:46 PM »
Looks good!  :thumb: Congratulations on getting it this far  :cheers:

 O0
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Offline Endopotential

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #51 on: December 12, 2016, 08:15:25 PM »
Looks awesome Josh! 

So much more satisfying to ride a bike that you've nurtured back into shape yourself  :cheers:
http://gstwins.com/gsboard/index.php?topic=70953.0

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Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2016, 01:08:29 PM »
I knew it wouldn't last long.

After getting everything sorted and only getting to ride my bike a little, a giant winter storm blew in last night and my bike, parked on the curb, was BLOWN over.

So now I have to replace broken stuff. Brake lever, maybe the master cylinder, haven't checked the handlebar but it probably is straight, engine cover is likely scratched and beaten, and the Yoshimura muffler is crunched really bad. It was already dented but now it's pretty flat. Fortunately it took most of the abuse.


Offline the_63

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #53 on: December 18, 2016, 01:46:57 PM »
That is gutting dude. Sorry to hear man, I'm so disappointed for you!

 O0
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Offline ShowBizWolf

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #54 on: December 18, 2016, 10:38:59 PM »
Ahhh wtf mother nature, seriously!!! So sorry to hear  :icon_sad:  Lord knows I've replaced my share of levers, side covers and even the muffler...

...but on the bright side now you can go shopping and pick out an awesome muffler that you really want to have! Vehicles are never done  :icon_rolleyes:
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Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #55 on: December 19, 2016, 04:09:07 PM »
Thanks for the sentiment.

I had just a few minutes to go out and assess the damage, and I managed to fix the brake MC/lever/clamp with stuff I had onhand. The almost-brand-new brake lever now has a nice scuff on the end but it's not bent or broken.

The muffler was far from perfect before. This isn't the first time it's been on the ground. But the damage is much worse now than before. For the time being I'll just straighten the clamp and pull some dents out of the muffler so it's approximately round. Eventually, like after Christmas, I may consider either replacing it or maybe doing a chop, since I can cut off about 7-8" of the can and get rid of most of the damage. But I have too many other projects on my plate right now to do anything besides "make it work". The damage is basically cosmetic.

Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2016, 05:28:14 PM »
I "repaired" it, rode it around on errands yesterday and then rode to work today.

For whatever reason now the throttle plastic assy (switch housing) won't tighten onto the handlebar. I think the threads internally are stripped? Need to take it apart and examine. For now I blue-loctited it to the bar. I think some JB Weld and an M8 tap may be on the agenda.

The muffler looks bad but works fine. After riding it with the helmet screen down (tomorrow is the first day of winter, after all) it is clear that I can definitely stand for it to be louder, so I will go ahead with the chop and not worry with trying to straighten the can. After Christmas.

Offline the_63

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2016, 06:07:18 PM »
it might be cracked on the inside, but I'd assume it's stripped first. A helicoil might be an option?

Chris
 O0
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Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2016, 08:09:16 PM »
It's plastic ... not sure a helicoil is going to help or be worth it. But I can easily fill the hole with JB Weld and re-drill, use a sheet metal screw or re-tap it and it'll hold the original screw.

For now blue loctite is working. I have two more days I can ride and then three days of rain starting Friday thru Christmas. I'll probably try and make these repairs on Friday and then get it back together after Christmas.


Offline mr72

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Re: mr72's '92 "project"
« Reply #59 on: December 30, 2016, 01:00:41 PM »
Took a break from building my deck and chopped the yoshimura muffler to get rid of the dented portion. Turned out I needed to cut off 7.25 inches to make it just about 13 inches overall. It looks a lot better without the oversized muffler. I used a sawzall with a metal cutting blade and it worked well. Hardest part was getting the end cap back on since the shape of the can was somewhat deformed and had to be coaxed to fit.

I was worried it would be too loud, and it is. But it's not very much louder than before. Mostly you hear the crackling on deceleration much more, but otherwise its only slightly louder than before. It was borderline too loud before and now it's over the limit. I ordered a dB killer / silencer for it for $5 from China so sometime before mid-march I should get that and see how it does.