Best described as the ‘crap’ stage, the point where our little Yam is in a hundred corroding pieces, either dripping oil or crammed into boxes; from here things can only get better.
The frame turned out to be solid, certainly no welding required, just a tiny amount of filler around the tail area; where mud had collected for decades beneath the rusty seat. Sure, its only surface and who would bother to check? … well I didn’t, but I now know most Fizzy fans know exactly where to look. Much of the original paint was in place but in the areas where it had been chipped or worn away, a black aerosol had been employed to cover up and that had done its job. Predominately the surface enjoyed those little rust worms that sand away with a bit of effort and once treated with my anti-corrosion brush would disappear with the first coat of primer. Its early January and certainly the worst time to paint without an oven but a decent heavy-duty primer doesn’t seem to be affected too much by the weather; just don’t overdo it and allow plenty of drying time as there is nothing more tedious than rubbing back the drips you could have avoided.
With three electric heaters on ‘max’ no one is looking to swop electricity bills with me this year. Anyway, four healthy coats followed by a 500 grit flat offered a great surface but the final one with a gentle 1500 gave the result I was hoping for. Now my painting shed is actually that, just a shed and normally remains redundant until the summer but one day in mid Jan the current Michael Fish predicted a fine day; offering a sweltering mid-fifties and too good a chance to miss. By mid-morning inside the shed was positively tropical and three hours later the frame was dry enough to move and would sit for a couple of days in the relative comfort of a lukewarm garage to harden.
Artistry of the Rim
Planning is everything according to my mate Alan, and with that in mind I chopped the hubs from our rusty rims and shipped them off to Mopedland; then and into the hands of Neil Bowen. The noble, although somewhat ‘dark art’ of wheel building is a skilled and time-consuming process, so our ‘get in early’ philosophy makes sense. Neil, kindly sent a detailed description of how to unlace and then lace a rim correctly, pointing out that an angle grinder is not considered the perfect tool for de-construction; this arrived just after I chopped out the spokes with … you guessed it, an angle grinder. No matter, we supplied a pair of intact rusty spokes for his measurements and let him perform the magic. Mark from Mopedland sourced our rims and spokes and as mentioned in the previous instalment I cleaned and painted the old hubs.
Remarkably, with a 36 hole rim a skilled operator should be able to achieve a run out of just +/-1mm although patience and a mounting jig are essential, both of which are in short supply around these parts. We have learnt making the wheels a priority is part of any resto, it should be one of the first tasks as most wheel builders enjoy a long lead time and there is nothing worse than reaching reconstruction stage minus the rims. Ours came back looking resplendent and worth every penny of the £180 outlay but these are 1.2 & 1.4 rims of 17 inches; expect to pay considerably more for larger wheels. I had already placed an order for several sizes of tyre lever via a famous auction site in preparation for the return of our rims. Wemoto had supplied a pair of period style tyres with tubes (£46.86) to complete the transformation and an hour of bad language and getting Fairy liquid in my eyes followed. I could have waited for Alan to arrive and help out, but I do enjoy nicking the glory jobs (minimal effort, maximum effect) and surprisingly I slid on the new rubber without managing to puncture the inners.
Making a Stand
We had already noticed the centre stand pin had seized, thus wearing the frame fitting into an oval shape. We tried the gentle approach with pints of WD and a large hammer, this was followed by heat and a larger hammer, all of which made no impression; so, a new stand and pin would be on the parts list and the angle grinder took revenge for the hours wasted. Our frame would need repairing prior to top coat and thoughtfully Yamaha installed washers to secure the centre stand pin; it was those that were no longer round. Alan carefully drilled out the spot welds that held the washers and cleaned the area.
Then using a large threaded pole to secure new washers into exactly the right position he welded them into place; being slightly under size internals we can drill out to the exact diameter later. Our new stand and pin (£34.66) would be arriving from Wemoto, one of the many items I chose during my visit to their huge operation along the coast at Shoreham.
Wemoto – Backing Bikers since 78
From a SW London sanctuary aimed at keeping couriers on the move, to a global, multi – million £££ parts and accessory supplier. Plying the capital’s streets during those pre-laptop days when the ‘filofax’ was king most riders quickly learnt the fastest way to Worlds End Motorcycles; especially when your ‘plastic maggot’ or GT550 was about to expire. During the 90’s they were at the forefront of the grey import market, especially if a Bros or CB1 was your steed of choice. As the digital age took hold and those who rode in Derry boots with handlebar muffs got proper jobs, World’s End began to supply an ever-increasing amount of biker essentials; and they haven’t stopped growing since. History lesson complete, and it seems a relocation to the south coast under the banner Wemoto in 2007 brought our Fizzy parts requirements closer to home, so I took the liberty of asking for a visit.
This not only meant checking out the parts we desired but also investigate what else they do for the classic bike owner, after all the stats are impressive; 1.9 million applications listed for 13,782 … 1970’S to present day models with 35% specifically for machines manufactured in the 80s or earlier; it’s a huge operation. Luckily, I met up with John Younge who has remained with the company throughout its growth, a kindred spirit whom I may well have met in a previous life; the era when I dressed mainly in yellow water proofs, some three decades ago. He gave me a guided tour of the current four-unit establishment on the coast at Shoreham that stocks pattern parts from across the globe plus OE and own brand items. Next time, I will report on the how they test for fit and quality ‘in-house’ as part of a constant improvement programme and have a good ‘root through their racks’ which turned up a few surprises. Also, meet some of the 40 staff that ensure 24/48 delivery is maintained with six large collections from their despatch every day; that would also be the collection area for our Fizzy parts.
Our Fs1 engine is a sad looking example, sure it started and ran but we doubt it has enjoyed much attention in the hygiene department for years. A serving spoon could be employed to remove the years of grease and road filth from its underside so once drained of oil (which was remarkably clean) it was time to don the ‘Marigolds’. The cylinder head can be attacked with a tooth brush and a few hours labour but for the perfect finish we looked into vapour blasting. The definition of which is … ‘The Vapour Blasting machine mixes fine glass media with water, which is then sprayed onto the component being cleaned by high pressure compressed air’. This sounded the best solution and when Martin at VBS in Oldham said he could return a ‘like new’ cylinder head for ten quid; ours was immediately packaged up. Within the week it was back on my door step and what a transformation, it is like new. They offer the same process for most engine parts, obviously the cost varies as to the size of the item and we will definitely be using their services again. One thing that immediately became apparent when the head was removed was the piston size of 43 which means she’s a 60cc big bore kit in standard form; not sure if that’s a good thing or bad. I had a chat with another Martin, this one from YPV Spares who knows a thing or two about Fizzies. Like many, his first time on two wheels involved a 1975 DX which he restored in 89 and still enjoys today; as he mentioned to me; ‘at the time I bought everything for it apart from the frame, wheels and bottom end of the engine, and 85% of it was genuine parts’.
Those days are long gone but it was his passion for both Puch and Fizzie parts that encouraged an on-line shop that is run by Nikki with Martin offering technical support. With the head removed we found there was no play in the main bearings and minimal in the small ends, our piston was minus any unwanted damage; to be honest the motors internals look remarkably fresh. Obviously, this was a great relief but whilst it was apart we took the opportunity to fit a new set of rings and at £6.50 who wouldn’t. The engine did throw up one issue and it’s a common problem, seized studs, or to be more precise the nuts that hold the head down. Two of the four came out complete from the engine casing and one worked as it should by releasing the nut; the fourth would require some thinking outside the box. In the past, some unfortunate sole had managed to remove the stud along with the threads from the casing; the repair carried out was of a good standard with a 12mm insert fitted but this meant our plan to fit the uniform standard head bolts would be thwarted, with one odd size nut. Alan knows a bloke who is a bit tasty when it comes to precise engineering and just a week later the original bolt returned with the top half milled down to make a matched four head bolts; nice job. Once the motor was completed we refitted the loom into the frame and with the engine secured we could begin the rebuild in earnest… or so we thought.
For Forks Sake
A new pair of fork seals (£8.99 inc post) arrived courtesy of YVP Spares and we drained a liquid from the old legs which after being left for a few hours became a grey jelly; it was oil once. Anyway, our issue wasn’t the maintenance of the forks, it quickly became a question of how to remove the existing seals. The rusty clip gave up without a fight followed by a washer, but the seals are not for moving. The idea according to what I have been advised and read on the web is to use the stanchion as a slide hammer forcing the seal out. Some recommend a vice to secure the base, but this felt a little harsh, whilst the manual advises boiling water that allows for some expansion, but nothing worked; not even the hot air gun.
So, as we conclude the 2nd part of this Fizzy resto we are somewhat up against it and things got worse in the painters shed when one of the side panels took offence to the colour applied, and a series of cracks appeared. The other panel polished up perfectly, but one has gone ‘rogue’ and after flatting back, re-priming and adding the top coat, yes it happened again … as we stand at this moment the third attempt went the same way … it’s having none of it! To be fair this is the first paint issue we have encountered with most of the smaller items taking their new coats without fuss, but we decided the tank and seat panel needed to visit a professional for the Caribbean Blue and graphics. We hope they will be ready to collect in time for our unveiling on classic-motorbikes.net; then we can finally put the myth of the Fizzy to bed.
The final box of new parts arrives
Judgement day approaches and the bills keep coming
Reassembly is supposed to be the fun part
Road test and Alan becomes crash test dummy for the day
Useful FS1 Links;
Shopping page: https://www.wemoto.com/bikes/yamaha/fs1e-m/78-90
YPV Spares: www.ypvspares.com
Vapour Blasting: www.vapourblastingservices.com