Custom bike project - stripping

Junkyard Dog Part 18 – Rip It Up!

Work on the seat is still ongoing but the time has come to start taking it all apart for painting before final assembly. Every thing will be cleaned up as it comes off, there are a few parts that still need some finishing. Everything has it’s basic shape and form but some parts need some fettling and now’s the time to do that.

First job is to get the engine out, you may remember that I made the forward mount removable so once that is out the way the engine will lift slightly up – forwards and come out with the carbs still attached. Theory sounds good, doesn’t it?

Well actually in practice it proved to be perfect, so perfect that I had the entire bike stripped in a little over 2 hours. It ‘s all now in boxes or safely stashed, everything that was partly welded can now be fully welded, the frame fully cleaned up and then painting can commence. I think I have everything on hand to complete the job – I hope I do because with just £25 left in the budget I don’t have a lot of room for error.

It’s quite alarming that the vast majority of it fits in one box.

Loads of bits need finishing touches so it will probably be a week or so before it starts going back together, one job I must attend to is the seriously badly welded headstock tube – it is welded in soundly one side but only tacked the other – if I had been the MoT man I would have failed it.

Mrs Dave is still working on the seats, I had done the foam and test fitted everything so it’s just the covering – ie the most difficult bit left to do.

Junkyard dog custom bike frameI shall start with the frame, first job being to remove the down tube where the chain needs to pass and to weld the bypass piece in properly – it’s just tacked at the moment. I then have to cut off part of the old ignition coil mount, I only heed half of it. Every new bracket then needs to be fully welded and some need to be strengthened with gussets – mainly the two lower engine mounts which are just rather weak tabs at the moment. There is then much cleaning up needed where old brackets came off and the odd cock up or change of mind happened. It’s all part of life’s rich tapestry.

It has taken me about 2 days to clean up the frame and it’s still not finished – every tine I look a it I see more work that needs to be done, I don’t want to paint it until I am sure it is as good as I can get it. My big annoyance is that the bends at the bottom of the frame where the footpeg brackets go are not quite the same. The frame is strong and all the critical points seem to be in the right places but the bends are not the same radius so with the engine support bracket welded in place it looks a bit pissed. I am going to have a sleep on that and will decide what to do. You probably won’t notice it when the bike is all together but with the frame sat on the floor if you look down at it you can see it’s not right. That sort of thing upsets my equilibrium.

Anyway while I pontificate on that I have got on with lots of cleaning up, polishing, painting, perfecting, positioning and other words that begin with the letter “p”.

I have also had a bit of an accident with one of the engine covers, it had a dent in it and when I tried to knock it out I put a bloody great crack in it. Fortunately I  had a couple more identical engines so I stole one from one of those.

I had played with polishing the covers but was never 100% happy with the finish. I think I need a full polishing set to do the job properly which costs money I no longer have in the pathetic, paltry budget that I allegedly agreed to. In fact I am down to the last 12 quid now, which is my emergency fund. Instead I have decided to paint the covers in a metallic silver that I had left over from my outboard business. If it looks shit I can always strip it and try something else.

The outboard paint worked beautifully until I dropped the can and snapped the button off. Really pissing annoying as it’s expensive stuff and it was still ¾ full. I have had it before with this stuff and when the button snaps it always does it so you can’t get the broken bit out and use a different button. I searched through my part used tins and found a tin of Honda Sonic Silver so that’s what I have used and it looks pretty good in my opinion. It won’t need re-polishing every 5 minutes either so that’s what I am going with. It took 2 full days to clean and paint the engine and auxiliary bits but I think it was worth it.

Next time I will be finishing the painting of all the little knobbly nik naks and finishing fettling and painting the frame. I should be starting reassembly as well, which is nice. See you then.

Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.

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