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Trying To Revive A 1993 Vfr 750, Incomplete... And Flooded!


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Hi,
 
This is my first post here 😉 My name is Ben and I live on the French Riviera, South East of France. I'm 38 and have my motorcycling driving licence since 2010. Since that, I drive a Suzuki Bandit GSF 400. When I got it, it had not been running for the previous 2 years, and maintenance had been neglected by previous owner(s). So I learned how to maintain a bike with it and for the last 6 months, it became my daily driver. But this is not the point here 😉
 
Spending some free time on the equivalent of Craigslist here, I found that guy who was selling its Honda VFR 750 that had been flooded during early's october events here in France. There was 2 meters high of water (and mud, lots of mud) in his parking lot for 3 days (firemen were really busy pumping water out of caves everywhere) and he had no time nor the skills to put it back on the road. The price was 500 euros. The time I called, he told me someone already wanted all the fairings (and back light and turn signals), so I got the rest for 300 euros.
 
Here it is after the water was pumped out of the parling lot:
 
IMAG1804_1024.jpg.7b1d69c0875b137d119e9891083b9263.jpg
 
 
Note that fairings were missing at the time because the owner wanted to restore them (they were full of cracks). He dismantled the exhaust and carbs to try to remove as much water as possible so it was pretty dry when I got it. He also removed the oil and put some fresh inside. But there were still bubbles of water inside the dashboard (on the inner side of the window).
 
I accepted this challenge because it seemed pretty obvious to me that only a few parts should potentially suffer from the short period in the water. Most problem should have been there before (like electrical wires and connectors in used condition). The owner had the alternator and regulator changed not so long ago (I saw the bill but he forgot to give it the me) and the mechanics installed a Koso voltmeter on the upper triple clamp. Tyres and brake pads were supposed to be refreshed.
 
I have no special budget for this restoration but it was only 300 euros and checking everything will already take some time so I expect to be ok for the next few months. Also, I always have been a car guy, and only turned into motorcycle 7 or 8 years ago (but like really really hard) but when I was 16, the VFR 750 Carat (the commercial name in France, like Interceptor in the US) always raised on eyebrow for me.
 
So here it is the day when I picked it with help from a friend. It was one week ago.
 
DSC_0169_1024.JPG.6a6d40be2c64ca9b50c556deb3cb0295.JPG
 
I hope I (and you) will enjoy the journey.
Thanks in advance for your help and support 😉
 
Benoit.

 

 

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Yup ! Left it is. 

RC36Rider's pic is a little misleading, because the wire he circled looks like it is going the wrong way.  It goes down, directly to the neutral switch on the lower engine casing.  There is no missing

Clutch received and mounted last week-end:     I let clutch plates in fresh oil to wet them:     Now, engine is back in the garage. It left my balcony after alm

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Hi Benoit. Welcome aboard!

It is an exciting and fun journey. Since you don't have special budget allocated, don't track how much you have spent on the restoration. It will be more fun that way :wink:

You will get lots of help, advise and encouragement here, but the first thing I would suggest is to remove the plugs and expel all the water and mud from the cylinders.

And you will need to change the oil couple of times before all the water and dirt are out.

Post lots of pictures of your progress - we like pictures here.

Good luck!

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Put...... !!! :goofy:

You got your work cut out there.....

But,

welcome!! :beer:

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What is it with those 4th Gens recently... they have a tendency of getting themselves flooded! :goofy:

This is the third I've heard of in a couple of months!

Anyway, good luck with the restoration. And welcome! :smile:

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What is it with those 4th Gens recently... they have a tendency of getting themselves flooded! :goofy:

Did not mention it in my initial post but mine is from 1993 so 3rd gen. When I was 17, the 4th gen went on sale and I really was in love with it because it looked like the NR and it has the same air intakes on each side as there is on Ferrari F40 bonnet ;-)

But now that I'm older, I like the more discrete charm of the 3rd gen more.

For the moment, I have no final idea about what I'm going to do with the fairings. I really like the original look of the VFR. But I also found those topics where guys used more recent CBR fairings and the result is nice too. For the color also, the only remainder of the origin is the tank but the paint is cracked. But I really like this (British Racing?) green so I have no idea for the color either...

We'll see ;-)

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bdouvill,

if you like understated, stoic qualities of the 3rd gen... here's a pic for thought...

Repainted!

that's a take on the white on white theme that honda did in the factory..
its Cadillac mother of pearl paint, with ice white powdercoated wheels..
all other bits are done in gold, red and touches of blue..
two brothers racing left hand exhaust - which will be up for sale soon...
i've also sourced a Crobin with white piping since that pic...
just a thought... and maybe a vote for the desire to go with original fairings. there's something special with the way that the fairings are proportioned... fat tail and all. :)
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bdouvill,

if you like understated, stoic qualities of the 3rd gen... here's a pic for thought...

that's a take on the white on white theme that honda did in the factory..
its Cadillac mother of pearl paint, with ice white powdercoated wheels..
all other bits are done in gold, red and touches of blue..
two brothers racing left hand exhaust - which will be up for sale soon...
i've also sourced a Crobin with white piping since that pic...
just a thought... and maybe a vote for the desire to go with original fairings. there's something special with the way that the fairings are proportioned... fat tail and all. :)

Here's my take on that theme:

IMAG1620_zpssgl51yj9.jpg

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Now that, is a project! It will be interesting to see where you take it. Keep sending us pics!

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If you're very lucky, the engine won't have had much water inside, but the airbox isn't air tight, so chances are it got water in there too. I'd take the spark plugs out, disconnect the CDI, put on a new battery and try to crank it over to see what comes out...

Your gauges will be damaged beyond repair. I have a full spare set (km/h) if you find yourself in need, that you can have for cheap. You'll also need to take apart the carbs and clean them out well, check all the electrics, etc.
Your tank may also have had water inside, so that'll need cleaning.
If someone tried to crank it over with the CDI connected, it may have fried it. You'll find out later. Your wheel & swing arm bearings will also need attention and I'd service the forks & brakes too, before trying to ride it.

Essentially, mud & water will have seeped into most places.

It's possible to get it running again, but a lot of work. Big project to make a fully running bike with fairing, etc. Keep us posted.

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What is it with those 4th Gens recently... they have a tendency of getting themselves flooded! :goofy:

Did not mention it in my initial post but mine is from 1993 so 3rd gen. When I was 17, the 4th gen went on sale and I really was in love with it because it looked like the NR and it has the same air intakes on each side as there is on Ferrari F40 bonnet ;-)

But now that I'm older, I like the more discrete charm of the 3rd gen more.

For the moment, I have no final idea about what I'm going to do with the fairings. I really like the original look of the VFR. But I also found those topics where guys used more recent CBR fairings and the result is nice too. For the color also, the only remainder of the origin is the tank but the paint is cracked. But I really like this (British Racing?) green so I have no idea for the color either...

We'll see ;-)

Good Luck on the project! since I read your post I thought I would post up a picture of the best of both worlds :cool:

20140704 163835

IMG 0020

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You'll probably find a kindred spirit in this thread of a 1990 3rd gen that was also flooded and brought back to life.

http://www.vfrdiscussion.com/forum/index.php/topic/75528-1990-running-after-22-years/

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Thank you all for your comments and support 😉

I already started last week to make the inventory of all parts the previous owner removed for cleaning that I have to figure how to mount back on the bike.

I also removed the dashboard cluster, opened it and cleaned everything. Not a lot of pictures but there was a very thin layer of dry mud everywhere.

 

DSC_0185_1024.JPG.bc57d94c723327e747d359996ef12218.JPG

 

Thanks to my wife who patiently cleaned the different parts, we got this:

 

DSC_0192_1024.JPG.01f46d47179aea88cd81b4812eae5a54.JPG

 

And back on the bike with the battery connected and contact cleaner inside almost all connectors:

 

DSC_0196_1024.JPG.82bffda2db95bab972d6e9d0e61cf954.JPG

 

Next step is to determine whether there is still water inside the motor, and check valve timing.

I try to see that next week-end.

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A little bit of news 😉 and lots of questions too...

I am trying to launch the starter to rotate the motor and eject some water eventually. I started by removing the commands on both handlebars because I was not sure if contact were going well, especially when launching the starter.

Without surprise, they were both full of mud that dried out:

 
DSC_0203_1024.JPG.c41cc07daebc62ef575ff588f04df5c7.JPG

 

I dismantled everything:

DSC_0204_1024.JPG.b93eed503a7b23570a12ff14b5e09e39.JPG

 

And again with my wife help, we cleaned everything. I tested all contacts with my multimeter, everything seems fine on this side.

So I tried to launch the starter and... nothing, no clicks from the relay side. I have some serious doubts about it and the connector that goes to it.

DSC_0207_1024.JPG.78ab5c4a810299d0b66cca811f96521c.JPGDSC_0210_1024.JPG.953fda78673dad299f41e47f1bc92251.JPG

 

For the connector, image speaks for itself. For the relay, I am not able to separate the green part from it that is supposed to be removable. Plus the starter casing is broken and water enters inside, so no idea of its state nor how to test it.

So I have several questions I'd like to share with you:

1/ How can I test my starter relay?

2/ Shall I cut the connector and replace it with single connectors?

3/ Shall I pull the clutch lever to be able to ignite the starter? I noticed that there's a clutch relay too and I have no idea what it stands for nor how to test it. Also I intrigued because the neutral signal does not light on the dashboard. I tested continuity along the main harness and it's ok. But I don't know how the clutch relay interfers here.

4/ I did all my tests with the CDI removed because I believe it should not matter but I might be wrong. Am I?

Many thanks in advance for reading and helping me going on 😉

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Outstanding progress! The instrument cluster looks great (by the way - your wife's a keeper :smile2:)!

You can test the relay by grounding it and then applying power to the input - you should hear an audible click. While power is applied you could also check for continuity across the outputs (switch inside would be closed). If it were sealed sufficiently for no water to enter it's probably fine. If water did get in though, it may never work well and you may well destroy it to get it open. You'll just have to experiment and see what you can find. The clutch, neutral and sidestand switches should be known good before deciding the starter relay is bad. Since your neutral light is not working there's probably some diagnosis to do there as well. If you watch ebay you can probably find a wiring harness that could supply the electrical components you have that are beyond repair.

Keep us updated.

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Please don't crank the motor over with the starter.

Instead, pull the spark plugs and dump oil in the cylinders, then remove the right side cover and turn the motor over by hand, using a socket wrench.

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Please don't crank the motor over with the starter.

Instead, pull the spark plugs and dump oil in the cylinders, then remove the right side cover and turn the motor over by hand, using a socket wrench.

What Seb said.

If you have water in cylinders and crank with the starter, that will be the end of the motor.

If there is no water, you most probably have some rust. You want to soak that with oil before cranking.

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I'm just shuddering at the thought of having dirty, muddy water inside the engine. The only real fix for that is a complete disassembly and overhaul. Just a tiny bit of dirt is all it takes to score a cylinder wall or clog a vital port, or, or, or...

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Please don't crank the motor over with the starter.

Instead, pull the spark plugs and dump oil in the cylinders, then remove the right side cover and turn the motor over by hand, using a socket wrench.

What Seb said.

If you have water in cylinders and crank with the starter, that will be the end of the motor.

If there is no water, you most probably have some rust. You want to soak that with oil before cranking.

Understood, and thanks for the tip. In which direction should I rotate the crankshaft when I'm facing right side of the motor? Clockwise or counterclockwise?

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How much oil should I put inside the cylinder through the spark oil? One glass (like 20ml) per cylinder? I believe I should then wait before I rotate the engine manually (if mud has dried).

Exhaust is removed, so I believed I should expect oil + whatever will come out to come out via exhaust holes, right?

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Browse through here

http://www.vfroc.nl/forumVFR/index.php?showtopic=25895&p=406708

You may have to sign up to see and it is all in Dutch, but there are lots of pictures....

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I'd put 1-2 oz in each cylinder. Let it sit there for a few hours and then turn clockwise until the motor starts turning freely and w/o grinding. Do not replace the plugs. .

Then, you can use the starter to turn it faster and spit out the oil through the plug holes.

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WD40, fogging oil, or other aerosol oil should also be used, it will coat the walls better than pouring a liquid in.

I think in your situation, I might use ATF and a spray, instead of oil.

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