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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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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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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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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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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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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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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
It's FINALLY time to reassemble these Mikuni MK2 Carbs and get them ganged together and installed so I can see if this bike is even going to run. With luck I'll be posting a video of the first start up tomorrow night.

 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
Well... no video of the first start up tonight as I ended up having more work to do before I could even begin reassembling the carbs.

Add to that the fact that some of the parts from the parts kit didn't fit and needed to be modified... wish I had known before about that "known problem." Also, I had promised my Son that I'd take him to see Captain America The Winter Soldier so I had to cut the day short (in retrospect I'm glad I did as we had a pretty good night out just the two of us).
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Do those carbs need to be sync'd? Only reason I ask is because a year or so ago I was considering a carb'd ural and they had to have their carburetors sync'd, although I think it had something to do with them being an antiquated boxer.
Yep, they sure do need to be sync'd. Right now I have them "bench sync'd", but once I get the jetting right I'll sync them using a set of vacuum sync sticks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
I still have some work to do before it's running right as I have a float issue or something similar (gas ran out of the carb when the petcock was on without the motor running). Then I need to rejet these carbs to get the right fuel air mixture right and finally I'll need to synch them up. Before I can take it for a test ride I need to install the new throttle cable and the new clutch cable (here's to hoping there's nothing wrong with the transmission). Also, The choke lever needs a polymer bushing and the ball and springs for the detents. The rest is just a matter of spit and polish and bolting the parts back on

 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Thanks y'all. There is a concern that with the float not shutting down the flow of fuel and that fuel coming out of the air filter that there's a possibility of a gasoil condition. For those who do not know, gasoil occurs when gas gets past the piston and mixes with the engine oil in the crankcase thereby breaking down the lubricating properties and destroying the motor by seizing bearings. Yesterday morning I checked and I couldn't really tell if the level had risen nor could I definitively say I could smell gas in the oil. However, out of an abundance of caution I went ahead and did an oil and filter change. Better to be safe than sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
New Mission: Roar On The Shore 2014!

I grew up in Warren Pennsylvania which is about an hour East of Erie... AND sometime in July I need to travel to Warren to close my Dad's estate. Man... wouldn't it be cool if I could get his vintage Yamaha that I've been restoring finished in time to trailer it up there so I could attend Roar ON The Shore 2014? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm... particularly when his bike was purchased in Erie.



I think I have a new mission... I need to get this bike finished in time to trailer her back up there for this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I'm aware that many of you are probably growing weary of my public pity party. However, I believe that it's nearly over with this latest bit of inspiration. So... if you'd be so kind as to indulge me for just a bit longer we can wrap this up. :D

As most of you know my Sister and I lost our Dad this past Christmas. His passing brought back many emotions that I thought I had put behind me long ago. There was a time in which I had resentment in my heart for my Dad over some of the things that he did (or did NOT do) after he and our Mother got divorced. When I married Mrs Parallel she convinced me that nothing is more important than family and that led to my Dad and I repairing our once fractured relationship. My Dad and I would talk at least once a week and often we would talk for hours. Sometimes those conversations could be described as talking about nothing, but not always. We did have opportunities to discuss things of substance about many subjects and we did so often. Most importantly we discussed in an oblique manner the resentment that I felt and his reasons for his actions. I had determined that no matter his past mistakes he was my Dad and I Loved him no matter what.

In the days after his death I learned some things about my Dad that I didn't know, and that knowledge made me reexamine my criticism of him. For one thing, my own growth as a man and my acknowledgement of the flaws in my own character has allowed me to see things through his eyes more than when I was younger. For the past few months I've spend a LOT of time out in my garage restoring Dad's vintage Yamaha. This time has also allowed me to reflect upon all of those emotions that had returned and I am glad that they have. This time... I have truly found peace with the past and can fully Love and Respect my Dad in the manner he deserves. Last night I was up late reflecting upon this new found understanding and... I was inspired.


 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
I got a call from my Aunt all choked up and crying because I referenced her. As I've told her before; by instilling God's grace in me she has given me the capacity to understand and forgive, which is a gift I could never repay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I was having some trouble getting parts needed to fix the issues with the Mikuini MK2 carbs that I bought and rebuilt for this project. Then I came upon a solution that I wish I had known existed from the start. There is a company out there called Spec II that takes modern Mikuni carburetors and adapts them for vintage bikes. Then they tune the carbs specifically for those bikes for optimum performance. I pulled the trigger on a set of three of these and they have come in. I'm hoping to find time this holiday weekend to install them, so look for an update soon with a video of her running.

 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
It's ALIVE!

After months of frustration trying to find parts I finally have the SPEC II Mikuni VM34 round slide carburetors installed and plumbed with fuel line. There is still a lot of work to do not the least of which is to get the correct length 1-3 throttle cable and reinstall it. Hopefully then I'll be able to get the vacume leaks taken care of and the idle set. After that it's all just putting the parts back on her and taking her for a test ride.

 
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