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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Soul Restoration (New Video: She Roars Back to Life)

As some of know I recently inherited my Dad's vintage Yamaha and have been working to, not only restore the bike, but to restore my soul after losing my Dad on Christmas. Anyway... I figured I'd give a bit of an update, so here is what I've been up to for the last couple of months (at least in between all of the honey do tasks). First I gave it a bath. Check out the video to see just how bad this bike looked up close before I went to work on it.

It looked decent from a few feet away after all of the grime was washed off... but it still had quite a bit of rust and aluminum corrosion to deal with.


The brakes were a basket case, which wasn't really a surprise given they still had the original brake fluid in the reservoirs. I completely disassembles the front a rear brake systems, thoroughly cleaned all parts, repainted and cured (baked at 200° for one hour) the master cylinders and calipers and then reassembled using OEM rebuild kits and new brake pads. The brake hoses will be flushed thoroughly before being hooked back up to the system.





I used a product called Metal Rescue to remove the rust on any parts that I couldn't sand and repaint (like chrome parts, etc.) This stuff works great and the best thing about it was that I could soak the parts in it without it hurting any paint, plastic, rubber or anything else that wasn't rust. Just check out the before and after in this next photo... all I did after a 12 hour soak was rinse with fresh water and wipe with a terrycloth towel.


Then Came the engine and frame. They both had a significant amount of corrosion to contend with and it took a LOT of hours of sanding, priming painting and polishing to make it all look like new. I even took the gauges apart so I could soak the bezels in the metal rescue to ensure no corrosion is left on this bike.


Next came the wheels. The cast aluminum alloy was dull and slightly pitted so I took the old tires off (replacing the old original tires with a new set of Michelin Commander II tires was something I intended to do anyway) and polished the bare metal using 400 to 1000 grit wet dry sandpaper and metal polish on a bench grinder with a series polishing wheels. After that the paint, which at first seemed fine, looked bad. So I spent six hours taping off the shiny bits and painting the rims with black caliper paint (durability and chemical resistance). These of course had to baked at 200° for an hour to cure as well.



I tried to find some original exhaust pipes that I could have re-plated with chrome or better yet some that wouldn't need it, but the only ones I could find were in worse shape than the ones I had. I got lucky and found a set of new old stock Jardine slip on exhaust that utilize the existing headers. The plan is to use these while I keep my eyes open for a good set of OEM pipes.


So... this is what she looks like right now. I've begun working on the tank and side covers (next photos).


The tank came out great after I took a clay bar and some Carnauba wax to it. In all of fifteen minutes that tank with the 34 year old original paint looks like new. I also took some Meguiar's Ultimate Compound after the side covers, you can see the before (bottom cover) and after (top cover) in the picture. Eventually I'll get the windjammer and saddle bags polished up as well and I'll update this thread.



The only major thing I have left to do is to disassemble, clean/polish and rebuild the bank of Mikuni MK2 carburetors I purchased that were on a 1979 XS750. These carbs are easier to work on, parts are readily available and they're easier to sync than the Hitachi carbs that came as OEM. This is crucial with the higher flow exhaust and the pod air cleaners that I'm going to be using. I can rejet the Mikuni carbs so I don't run lean and burn up the engine with that much more air being fed to the engine. I'll update this thread as I get things done and when she's complete I'll post another video showing her up close so y'all can see how great she looks.
 

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Good for You Parallel... My brother died a while back and his youngest son was 17. Luke left Elijah a 65 Panhead if I'm not mistaken, might have been a shovel head. It wasn't a basket case but Luke was the only one that could keep that scooter running. My nephew has now restored that bike to better than when my brother had it, even better than when he was taking good care of it. I know he things of his dad every time he worked on it and every time he throws his leg over it. God Bless Brother as you recover and learn to remember without the pain of loss. Takes a while!
 

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Nice work on that scooter! I know your dad would be proud and I know it brings back good memories for you. Enjoy the bike and take care, John.
 
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Good for You Parallel... My brother died a while back and his youngest son was 17. Luke left Elijah a 65 Panhead if I'm not mistaken, might have been a shovel head. It wasn't a basket case but Luke was the only one that could keep that scooter running. My nephew has now restored that bike to better than when my brother had it, even better than when he was taking good care of it. I know he things of his dad every time he worked on it and every time he throws his leg over it. God Bless Brother as you recover and learn to remember without the pain of loss. Takes a while!
The pic you posted was a shovel, but it could have had the updated heads and rocker boxes put on. Was a common upgrade for pans. Last year for the pan was 1965, which was also the first year for the electraglide.

You're doing a great job Parallel! You'll love those Michellin Commander 2's. Best set of tires I've ever put on a motorcycle, and from what I've read, they last a whole lot longer than most other tires on the market. I have about 4k miles on them and I'm extremely satisfied. The rear isn't even showing a lick of wear yet.
 

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Great job on the ol' Yamaha! Those are good looking bikes, and your father would be pleased.

A labor of love.

Guy
 

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Great lookin' restoration Parallel! As the others have said, your dad would be proud!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that these 35 year old Mikuni MK2 carburetors are fighting me every step of the way on getting them disassembled. They are old and obviously have never been serviced (and they STILL cost me $200). I've soaked them for DAYS in Marvel Mystery Oil and sprayed the Hell out of them with Blaster 16-PB Penetrating Catalyst and a host of other penetrating oil and the fasteners are STILL fighting me every step of the way.



I bought a good set of JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screw drivers before I even contemplated tackling this job and I have been as careful as I can possibly be and I STILL buggered up a few of the screws. The worst part is that I'm still not completely finished with dis-assembly so there could be even more issues (hopefully NOT with jets because THAT would be really bad). I've even spent well over $100 on even more tools designed to deal with stuck fasteners. At least thus far those tools have at least worked albeit very slowly.

It's not all bad news and bellyaching though as I did manage to avoid one of the common pitfalls. I've read the lots of dire warnings on the Yamaha Triples forum about snapping the float post off while trying to remove the float pins. I certainly did NOT want to do that so I went searching for solutions and I came across a stunningly simple one. An automatic (spring loaded) center punch. I got mine from Sears for about $10.00... worth every penny. At least SOMETHING has gone right with this part of the project.

 

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I guess I shouldn't be surprised that these 35 year old Mikuni MK2 carburetors are fighting me every step of the way on getting them disassembled. They are old and obviously have never been serviced (and they STILL cost me $200). I've soaked them for DAYS in Marvel Mystery Oil and sprayed the Hell out of them with Blaster 16-PB Penetrating Catalyst and a host of other penetrating oil and the fasteners are STILL fighting me every step of the way.



I bought a good set of JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) screw drivers before I even contemplated tackling this job and I have been as careful as I can possibly be and I STILL buggered up a few of the screws. The worst part is that I'm still not completely finished with dis-assembly so there could be even more issues (hopefully NOT with jets because THAT would be really bad). I've even spent well over $100 on even more tools designed to deal with stuck fasteners. At least thus far those tools have at least worked albeit very slowly.

It's not all bad news and bellyaching though as I did manage to avoid one of the common pitfalls. I've read the lots of dire warnings on the Yamaha Triples forum about snapping the float post off while trying to remove the float pins. I certainly did NOT want to do that so I went searching for solutions and I came across a stunningly simple one. An automatic (spring loaded) center punch. I got mine from Sears for about $10.00... worth every penny. At least SOMETHING has gone right with this part of the project.

Try some Kroil on the carbs.Let them sit on the screws overnight then heat up with a heat gun.Tap on screw driver a couple times with a hammer.Tap not hammering.This should break them free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had a breakthrough today when I discovered that the butterfly valve screws had been peened. I got a small file and filled the backs of them off and they came out fairly easily after that. I'm guessing all of the penetrating oil I've been spraying all over them made the rest come out fairly easily as well. They're all disassembled and two of three have been dipped for 30 minutes each in Berrymans. I'm considering taking them to a professional to soda blast them more out of expediency that anything else. I'd like for them to have that nice new aluminum satin finish before I assemble them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm just awaiting a quote and a turnaround estimate to have these Mikuni MK2 Carb bodies and float bowls soda blasted. It's my own fault I couldn't get that today, I waited too long to call IBS and get them the info they needed. This is too large a job for my homemade soda blaster and I really don't want to have to take these down again so I'm just going to have to be patient and do it right.



While I'm waiting I went ahead and installed my new braided stainless steel brake lines complete with all new banjo bolts and copper washers... so when I NEED to stop, I can. Of course that meant tearing the whole front end apart again to get to the joint that splits the one line into two. I'm just going to have to deal with the fact that this IS going to take me longer than I would have liked.


 

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You are likely deriving a lot of satisfaction from just working on the ol' bike at this point, and I suspect you're going to have one heck of a grin on your face when all is finished.

You'll be grinning from ear to ear when you fire her up and head out.
 

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Parallel that is a great job you are doing on a great old Yammie XS850. They were a tough bike,I know because my neighbour two doors up from me had one for 20 years and it was treated with nothing but neglect and he road it every day. A great old Packhorse, there is nothing like a TRIPLE with a SHAFT.

Enjoy your Dads old bike.

GUS
 

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You're doing a good job man. How ever long it takes you, it will be all worth it. It took me 6 months to get my Harley back running down the road.

I hope you don't mind, but I'm going to sticky your thread. I don't want it getting lost down at the bottom in case you have to take some time away from the project.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well... I had them all ready to go... but no place around here that dose soda blasting would take the job saying the parts are too small. So, I went and bought one of those Harbor Freight 15lb soda blasters and a 50lb bag of soda blasting media. The damned thing won't pick up the media so I've given up on the soda blasting... I'm just going to have to do this the hard way. A little metal polish and a LOT of elbow grease. I'm just going to polish the caps and bowls and leave the bodies alone. They aren't too bad anyway and I can just clean up the mating surfaces the old fashioned way. Here's the first set polished up (I could go further but I just want them clean not like chrome).

 

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A lot of sore fingers and elbow grease coming your way by the look of things, :biggrin:. I had reasonable results with Autosol Metal Polish and a tooth brush in the hard to get at places, but then ya gotta get the autosol rubbed of which takes a little time.

GUS
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I finished the polishing of the caps and bowls today all while not feeling well and combined with the drama of my wife's side of the family dealing with rough times. The family had multiple destroyed homes due to the hurricanes that hit Mississippi last night. Then... this morning her young cousin, our live in babysitter for the last four summers, crashed the car we gave her. She's in the hospital and is expected to be alright but she has internal bleeding and bleeding on the brain. Suddenly this motorcycle I've been obsessing over was no longer the most important thing on my mind. For those so inclined... prayers are definitely appreciated.


 

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Parallel isn't it just the way, when ya think everything is going good ya cop a curve ball and the wheels fall of ya life. hope your cousin gets over her injuries soon. those tonadoes must be frightening, they showed Nt. Carolina over here on the TV tonight, it looked like an atomic bomb went off.

GUS
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The MRIs she had this morning show that the bleeding both internally and on the brain has stopped. As she had no other serious injuries they've discharged her.


Thanks to all for the prayers and well wishes.
 
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