But first the frame needs to be seriously tidied up and painted. I thought the tidying up wouldn’t take long but I could not have been more wrong. Two days it took in the end. I wasn’t happy with some of the welding, those of you with long memories may recall that the headstock was very badly welded, as were a few other bits. Some of the new brackets I had made were only tacked on as well. Once everything was done to my satisfaction I had to tidy it all up – I had cut off a lot of brackets that held the old engine and exhausts etc there was quite a bit needed doing. Also a lot of old paint needed removing, there were quite a few layers in places.
I also needed to attend to the front footpeg mounts that didn’t look right due to the bends in the framework being slightly different. I rectified that by cutting them off and rewelding, one of them had to have a 3mm spacer welded behind it at one end but it won’t really show unless you look for it. Wish I hadn’t told you now. Don’t say anything!
I am much happier now, it looks right from all angles and I know it’s right, it would have annoyed me if I hadn’t done anything about it.
With that done it was time for a good couple of layers of acrylic primer followed by a couple of coats of acrylic gloss black. I gave it a day to dry hard and then started painting a few other minor parts. It was then that I remembered the bike never had any wheel adjusters. I have a sprung tensioner for the chain but the adjusters stop the rear wheel moving forward which could cause the chain to come off. It could also theoretically twist in the frame and cause a nasty underpant ruining moment. I found a pair courtesy of a Suzuki GS250T rear wheel that has been languishing in my stock room for over a year. The holes needed opening out but apart from that they were perfect for the job. I have cleaned them up ready for painting. Sadly now the spacers are all wrong so 3mm has to come off each side – hey ho, nobody said it would be easy.
It all went back together fairly easily although I did have some bother getting the rear mudguard to fit properly, I don’t know why, these things are sent to try us. One of the wheel adjusters is a bit short, if you look down you can see that the frame is slightly shorter at the back on one side than the other. It’s no big deal and it’s a hell of a lot of work to put right so I shall keep that a secret.
While I was at it I fitted the rear footpegs and the brake stay – each job only taking a couple of minutes but it’s nice to see stuff going back on.
The front forks are cleaned up and the bottoms have been repainted, I can’t fit them yet though because the dust seals I ordered have not arrived yet. It’s Newark auto jumble tomorrow so I will probably pick some up there or I may just be patient for a change and wait for the ones I ordered – after all the budget is now virtually nothing. I think I have everything else I need paint and consumable wise but no doubt something will crop up.
I had another look at my tank, the two pack I put on there about 6 weeks ago still has not set hard so I have decided to take it all back off again. I was never happy with it and a tank is such a focal point that a bad job makes the whole bike look crap. I will do it again in the same colour and hope it comes out a whole lot better. Phase two will see it being redone anyway when my good friend Robert Cooper will be applying his artistic skill in spades – watch this space!
In the mean time it was time to put the engine back in – never a fun task. I knew I was doing it on my own so before I did anything I wrapped everything in several layers of thick corrugated cardboard – the engine was bound to touch the frame at some point and it would definitely mark it. I lifted it in without drama and set about fitting the 8 new bolts and nyloc nuts that hold it in place. When I had test assembled it I used any old hardware but now it’s in it’s final form decent brand new fasteners are the order of the day.
Apart from lots of grubby finger marks all over everything it has gone well, with 8 10mm bolts at various points it should stay put whatever gets thrown at it. I’m glad to say I didn’t damage any paintwork on reassembly, at least not yet!!
Next time I shall be carrying on with reassembly, I may get round to the electrical box which is quite a chunk of work, we shall have to see.
Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.