The Despair Shop Episode 3 – The world’s Cheapest Track Day Weapon
This week, for some strange reason that I haven’t yet fathomed, I came home with a really tired looking old CBR600FK – the FK was clearly an abbreviation for “fucked”. Honda’s foresight on this nomenclature was simply astonishing but here we are some 32 years later and yup, the name’s a good un.
I’m a huge fan of buying bikes in boxes – only half of this came that way but I soon got over my disappointment when I started looking at all the things that were wrong with it – more than enough material for this week’s article – that’s for sure. I think it may have already been used as a track tool but being a Honda the engine actually seemed ok ish.
It fired up but it soon became obvious that all was not well in the carburation department as the strong smell of petrol was accompanied by a rather large puddle that was increasing with some urgency. So I turned it off, whipped the tank off and saw that carb number one had lost interest in regulating it’s fuel supply. So the carbs were whipped off and cleaned, on reassembly the engine was started , the pump ran until the carbs were full then obligingly cut off without a hint of a leak. Marvelous.
It was obvious the carbs were well out of sync and the tickover adjuster didn’t work – the tickover being hung up by carb number 4 being a mile out of adjustment. No worries, I thought, I”ll get me carb gauges out and hook em up. These old Honda’s have tapped inlet ports to connect the gauges to – you use the brass tubes that come with the set, shame I have lost one then. So that left me 4 carbs and only three sodding gauges. Oh well, it’s easy enough, what you do is this:
Connect gauges to carbs 3 and 4, forget 1 and 2 for now. Set the vacuum to be the same on 3 and 4 by using the adjuster screw between these two carbs. The value doesn’t matter, you just want them the same. Having done that remove the gauge from carb 4, put the blanking screw back in the inlet and forget about it.
Now take the brass tube you just used on 4 and fit it to number 2, you can now compare the readings on numbers 2 and 3. Use the adjuster screw by the throttle cable quadrant to set 2 and 3 the same. You might need to tweak the tickover as you do this.
Once you have the same reading on 2 and 3 you can turn your attention to number 1. Use number 3 as the reference and use the screw next to carb 1 to make your adjustments, when all carbs read the same the job is done. Check your throttle response and your exhaust for obvious signs of unburnt fuel, blip your throttle and watch the venturi slides – they should all operate in perfect unison. Have a cuppa, admire your work, remove the gauges put the blanking screws back. Stick the airbox back on, go and tell everybody on the interweb what a clever , smug git you are.
Next job was to have a look at the tank, which looked like somebody had either played football with it or had an almighty strop and given it a good thrashing with an iron bar.
I wanted to get as much of the denting out as I could before slathering it with filler so I used the “stick a thingy to it and pull it out with a slide hammer” method. It works well, you use hot melt glue to stick the thingy to the tank and then the slide hammer or a claw hammer used as a lever pulls the dent out. You may have to do it several times and it doesn’t always end up perfect but if there is no creasing it’s usually pretty good.
Here’s the “thingy” stuck to the smaller of the two dents, it’s important to leave it fr a couple of minutes to stick really well before getting mediaeval with it.
Already a lot better but sadly in this shot you can clearly see that a lump of paint came off, which is naughty. It needs more work but rather than boring you with that I’ll jump ahead some time and show you it again when it’s fully done. If you are going to try this for yourself buy a bottle of Isopropyl alcohol first – you need it to remove the dried glue from the tank or panel and allso from your “thingy”. The one you stuck to the tank, that is. You can buy the “thingies” the glue, glue guns and slide hammer from paintless dent (PDR) removal suppliers. I don’t know what the “thingies” are really called and can’t be bothered to look it up. Sorry.
Anyway, The bike runs sweetly now, it’s already looking slightly less shit so I’m leaving it here for this week. Next week I will go back to the SV, get it through the MoT and then get back to the CBR.
I’ve also got this to play with, please don’t ask why:
Article provided by David Powell of Boston Bike Bits.