Coming Along Nicely
Posted by dutchinterceptor, 24 June 2009 · 155 views
One year ago....one year and two months ago I picked up this sad looking VFR with the intention of doing something with it. What it would be I didn't know at the time but I had some spare cash to throw at it then. Somewhere along the way in this past year I sold the bike, got it back, went broke, got busy with work, busy with family, and certainly had to fit in several rides so this poor bike along with my front yard got neglected. Well, I finally took care of the yard and then got tired of looking at the misc. pieces-parts laying around my house. Thought I had moved in with Baileyrock for a moment.
Recently, my mom had some surgery and needed help recovering so what better time to rebuild that bike since I'd have plenty of free time plus her place has a cement pad and carport along with a small garage area. So I tossed it in the back of my truck and off to the country we went. All I had to do was mix in a few extra pain killers with her meals so she'd sleep all the time. Worked great because I certainly didn't want to be bothered with helping her all day when I could be getting greasy and covered in antifreeze.
I had already picked up forks from Darth Bling, a radiator from Seb, a mildly dented tank from a very generous Skrugs and I also kept the original tupperware from my bike when I replaced everything after it's fall. So with a little luck I'll have a second Asphalt VFR even if the panels are a bit chewed up in spots. Not being an expert mechanic or expert anything for that matter I was a bit lost on where to start so I just began by looking for broken stuff that I had missed on the first go around. I sorted through the wiring harness, drained the oil, and pulled the original tank. All the tank bits swapped over to the newer asphalt one without any problems. I wasn't sure the foam pad on the bottom of the tank was necessary but I replaced it anyway. The air filter was a bit dirty even after I cleaned it out so a new one went on the grocery list.
The radiators were next in line. Silver is a lame color for radiators so I immediately grabbed the Krylon Radiator paint to darken them up a bit. With those blacked out and the hoses cleaned and checked I started reassembling the coolant lines. All went well except that I realized the coolant bottle had a couple of cracks in it so I tried to do a little surgery with my soldering iron(Weller Portasol). Again, never done this before but how hard can it be melting plastic....should be easy right? I was pleased with the results and did a test with the air compressor and then let it sit for a couple hours filled with coolant. Much later I noticed a tiny leak so I figured I'd just hit it a couple times with the soldering tip. Once empty of coolant I again went to work on it, and then a hole opened up. Not being discouraged I kept sweeping plastic around, and then a bigger hole opened, and then a much bigger hole so then I added a coolant bottle to the grocery list. Words of warning: Don't drip molten platic on your bare leg! Sorry, no pics of that.
I couldn't wait on a new bottle so I put everything together anyway for a test start. As I was filling up the system the right radiator kept gurgling and gurgling. Thinking that something wasn't right I stood up and noticed a funny looking green puddle forming near the rear tire....Crap! Threw the bottle down and ran to the other side only to see this perfect green arc of coolant coming from one of the hoses near the water pump. It had a tiny slit that wasn't too obvious until I grabbed it to shut off the flow of green money/coolant. Just my luck though, I diverted the arc right into my arm and chest when I tried to pinch off the hose...man, that stuff sure is sticky. Sorry, no pics of that.
After shortening the cut hose and adding more coolant I manually turned the motor over a couple times to make sure nothing was frozen up. I replaced the oil cooler, filter, and put in some fresh oil and gas, along with a new battery, then started my pre start checklist. This will be the first time this bike has run since smashing into an antlered rat in '07. I was nervous. Switch on....check. Gauge on....check. Fuel Pump Priming....Fail. Crap! Figuring that I'd have to pull that pump and replace it, I decided to check the easy stuff first. Run switch was on, wiring harness is good, connector tests good, wait a minute.... no relay. Found the relay, plugged it in, turned the key on and voila....fuel pump whirrs, I thumb the starter and she roars to life like a good Honda should.
The only flaw is a noticeable exhaust leak....very noticeable. During the crash the front wheel obviously bent the headers and damaged the mounting gaskets. More items added to the grocery list I set about bending the headers into shape. My remaining parts should be in tomorrow and I can hopefully get this baby on the road for a real test. It's been fun so far and still have a lot to go.
More to come....
Oops...looks like HS stuck this on the home page before I could update it.
I last left the blog waiting on some parts. Everything showed up and I began notching together the last few items. The headers really weren't as bad as I initially thought. One tube was tweaked and the gasket was nicked enough to create an ugly "tick" when running. Putting the headers back together was a pain in the arse needing an extra set of hands. Those copper exhaust gaskets are supremely delicate and easily smashed so keep that in mind if you ever find yourself replacing yours.
The tupperware I used were the leftovers from my other bike after I tossed it in the ditch. I cleaned them up as best I could but figured they'll be a good base for a repaint or great for a beginner when I sell it. As nice as it would be to have a spare bike I really can't justify having two identical bikes.
A few accessories were added along the way. The Fuzeblock FZ-1 intrigued me so I picked up one to test out. Well constructed and designed especially with the optional switched vs. powered circuits that can be changed by just moving the mini-fuse.
One of the components off of my other bike was a Signal Minder Voltage LED so I went ahead and hooked it up complete with it's own switch.
Somewhere along the way I ran across a set of symtec grip-cookers for $10 at the local bike shop so figured I'd throw those on as well.
Lastly, I toyed around with an unused switch from my other bike and wired it to actuate a fake alarm light on the dash.
Once I was comfortable with everything I decided to give the bike a "good" test on the best roads E. Texas has to offer. 300 miles later I felt the bike was good but needed just a bit more....uhh, testing. So a three day Arkansas trip was planned and 1200 miles later I say the bike is definitely good to go. I flogged her pretty well even if it was a bit wet this past weekend.
So from this.....