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1984 Miniceptor Refresh

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Here's something I've been working on for a few weeks now. The whole project isn't finished yet, but should be soon, so I thought I'd post a few installments of the rebuild here. 

 

I was asked to get this girl back up and running, she was last ridden 10 years ago. During early discussions the carbs were cited as the main issue that needed addressing, but after getting eyes on the bike, the issues went a little deeper than that. Still not bad overall, a good starting point for sure. 

 

Nowadays you can give just about anything 10 feet and an Instagram filter to make it look good:

 

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But, the closer I got the more I saw that needed attention. The whole bike was fairly original, and was put away just as some of the small "old bike stuff" stared cropping up. Tires were dated 2003, fork seals leaking, clutch slave leaking, gas had gone off, battery gone, mufflers packed full of whole kernel corn feed, etc. 

 

I made a list and settled in for the long haul, but not before getting the bike to start on the old gas with a fresh battery. It took full choke and a lot of cranking, and the bowls leaked, but it did start, run, and even took some throttle so I knew we had something to save here. 

 

First up, clear a space, pull some bodywork and the carbs

 

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Rut roh, first sign of trouble... someone's had that plenum off, and they chewed up the screws while they were at it. 

 

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When I saw that I figured it was time to go all in. Ordered a full rebuild kit from BillyC and tore the carbs down

 

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I got them to this point, then proceeded to tackle 1 carb at a time till all 4 were done

 

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Kit contents:

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All the rubber was hardened and splitting, this definitely needed doing

 

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Each carb body was soaked in Berryman's and thoroughly blown out/dried and rebuilt with the new rubber. The diaphragms and slides were in good shape and stock. The chrome on the slide hats was pitting and chipping/flaking and the hats were dirty, so I sent them on a quick trip through my blast cabinet to clean them up without dulling the chrome too badly, then installed the nicer ones on the outside carbs. Also blasted the plenum, and refined the body & bowl gasket surfaces. All in all, they look better now

 

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Sweet! Looking forward to seeing the completed project. The “Miniceptor” was a bike I wanted so bad back in its day, unfortunately never ended up getting one.

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With the carbs out of the way, the real fun begins. One design flaw on these bikes is the unfortunate exclusion of drain holes on the bottom frame rails. What this means is, water that makes its way into the frame collects in the bottom rails and has nowhere to go. Best case, in a hot dry climate, this evaporates without much issue. Most of the time though, it means rust. In colder climes, that water will freeze which bulges the thin steel tubing before/while making it rust. 

 

This frame was badly bulged on the right side, and the decision was made to tear the bike down entirely to address that.

 

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Pics of tear down, mostly for my reference

 

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Clutch fluid damage

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Straightened both turn signal mounts & the fairing stay, forgot to take before pic

 

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Rear valve cover gasket leaking

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Wire routing

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Fuse and radiator tank covers were faded, gave a coat of vaseline to rejuvenate the gloss in the plastic

 

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Started pulling wiring at the back, worked my way to the front pulling parts along the way

 

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Grunge-o-licious

 

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Almost ready to pull the frame

 

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And off

 

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After a few rounds of beating the bulges and heating to anneal, I filled the low spots by tig brazing with silicon bronze filler

 

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Here's the hole created by removing the rusted, paper thin section of steel. I had the tig torch in hand so I melted the thin stuff back till I got to thicker sections. 

 

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And the patch

 

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It's not perfect, but I felt safe laying a flat patch vs sectioning the tube and trying to fab/fit a section of curved tube. The patch retains the strength and shape of the original bend.

 

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Last pic of the old finish, here on the floor at the powdercoater shop stripped of all rubber bits and bearing races

 

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And here back home after a coat of "Galaxy Silver". 

 

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We also coated a handful of black parts as the original paint was badly worn or faded, or both. 

 

IMG_20181020_172045_815_zpsimmfljwk.jpg

 

Sample of some of the new parts including all the cooling system gaskets and o-rings, carb boots, footpeg rubber, etc. 

 

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For some reason, the stator gasket is NLA, so I made one. 

 

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Did a quick polish on the fins while the covers were off, need to clean gasket surfaces yet

 

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I dragged my son out to the shop for some cheap labor, had him go over some of the really grimy parts with an assortment of towels and rags, alternately using just water or WD40 or Simple Green to remove dust, dirt and grime

 

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All new SS lines for all 3 brakes and the clutch

 

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Yummy clutch master... not

 

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That's better

 

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New seals and line

 

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So much better!!

 

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C'mon Seb, can't you be a little more thorough?  😉

 

Like Duc I lusted after this bike also. Had to choose between a leftover '85 (in 1986) and a tariff VF700. Ended up getting the 700 because I didn't like the 500's red seat! Loved the 700--for 16 years--but always wondered what might have been. Therefore I will follow every post, keep it coming!

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Wow, this looks fantastic!  I'm so impressed by people who can just dive into rusted metal like that and come up with a fix.

 

What'd you use on the clutch slave?  Just cleaning with brake cleaner or something, or did it go into the blasting cabinet, too?

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11 minutes ago, blalor said:

Wow, this looks fantastic!  I'm so impressed by people who can just dive into rusted metal like that and come up with a fix.

 

What'd you use on the clutch slave?  Just cleaning with brake cleaner or something, or did it go into the blasting cabinet, too?

 

Thanks! 

 

No blasting on the slave. I used brake cleaner to flush and dislodge most of the goop, after that elbow grease with rags, scouring pads and sandpaper. On some areas, I was able to use surface conditioning discs and my pneumatic grinder to save some time. 

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That's one lucky 500!  Very impressive on the frame repair - I would love to have those kinds of fabrication skills.  Looking forward to more updates.  :lurk:

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Interesting about the rusted frame. There is a service bulletin about this. My Euro 85 frame has drain holes as does my 86. However there is rust up there too.

84-85VF500FFrameDrilling.jpg

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1 hour ago, jeremyr62 said:

Interesting about the rusted frame. There is a service bulletin about this. My Euro 85 frame has drain holes as does my 86. However there is rust up there too.

84-85VF500FFrameDrilling.jpg

 

Interesting! I didn't realize there was a bulletin for this. The bike falls under category "b", but it's obvious the service was never done. 

 

Also interesting that holes drilled per the bulletin would not have been an adequate fix for this bike - the worst of the damage was at the base of the downtube, not behind the seam. Wonder if this bike was parked on an incline? Or maybe prolonged centerstand use? 

 

I plan to drill (2) 1/8" holes in each tube, 1 fore 1 aft on each side, that should help a lot. 

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35 minutes ago, jeremyr62 said:

I wonder how the water gets in, in the first place.

 

On the left side, it can enter through the open top of the removable frame tube section. On the left AND right, water can enter a joint at the end of the upright tube under the seat/rear of tank which has a straight path to the lower tube due to the frame being comprised of a 3d stamping welded in halves vs tubing with closed joints. 

 

In this image, it is the "T" joint seen in the middle, top of pic:

 

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From the outside it appears the frame  and subframe tubes are separate, but they are in fact stamped inner and outer halves, welded together vertically on the fore and aft edge joints. The frame is hollow from the top of the "T" joint, all the way down and back up around to the headstock. 

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19 hours ago, St. Stephen said:

 because I didn't like the 500's red seat! 

 

 

 

What is not to like here???  :wub:

 

 

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:goofy:

 

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Just a little plaque buildup on the old thermostat...

 

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Discard and replace with new tstat & o ring

 

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In case you were wondering, or in denial, about your vintage bike needing rubber even though it has low miles - here's your evidence that yes, it does need replacing!

 

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Next up, forks. This was the worst set I've ever done. I've read other people's stories about bushings getting stuck, but never "had the pleasure" myself till this pair came along. 

 

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Started out normal, fluid had actually been changed at some point as it was blue/green rather than the original ATF red. 

 

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And, that's where the fun ended. Normally you just pull the fork halves apart with a slide hammer motion, and they come apart with a few tugs. I ended up having to get medieval on these by heating the bushing area of the lower to piping hot with my heat gun, then striking the lower with heavy hammer blows while supporting the other side with a gloved hand to eventually pull the fork tube bushing up through the slider bushing AND THE BACKING WASHER. 

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As you can see, the bushings are ruined, I had to order replacements. I was able to flatten and dress the washers so they could be reused. 

 

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Yes, that washer was flat before... 

 

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Other than being dirty, the lands of the fork lower didn't look bad. 

 

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After a thorough flush with brake cleaner I reassembled with the new bushings & filled with Honda fork oil. No pics, oily hands...

 

Originally hadn't planned to changed steering bearings, but found some rust so swapped them out for a set of All Balls tapered rollers. 

 

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My bearing drivers... simply an old set of races sliced with a cut off wheel & deburred. Makes for a cheap & quick way to seat new races. If the driver gets stuck, insert a flat head screwdriver and twist to expand & remove. 

 

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On 11/13/2018 at 1:55 PM, jeremyr62 said:

Interesting about the rusted frame. There is a service bulletin about this. My Euro 85 frame has drain holes as does my 86. However there is rust up there too.

 

 

 

Got on my knees during lunch...  Aye, there's a hole! (1986)

IMAG2180.thumb.jpg.7f236f511949bf8506b9524956d8fd41.jpg

 

 

Will see if the weekend gives me time to clean and inspect thoroughly.

Have the ACF-50 at the ready!

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I am sure you know this but there is a circlip holding the fork seals in. On a few sets of forks I have worked on the circlip has been very badly corroded and I suppose you could miss it. Once the circlip is out (easier said then done) the slide hammer method works without too much difficulty.

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@Dutchy. That collector box is suffering from your daily commute by the looks of it.

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42 minutes ago, jeremyr62 said:

I am sure you know this but there is a circlip holding the fork seals in. On a few sets of forks I have worked on the circlip has been very badly corroded and I suppose you could miss it. Once the circlip is out (easier said then done) the slide hammer method works without too much difficulty.

 

Haha wouldn't that be something! Sadly no. I've done dozens of fork jobs for myself and others, and went into this with 1000% confidence. These damper rod forks are about as simple as they get, (TRAC system aside).Yes, the snap rings were out. I have a pair of long handle 90º needlenose pliers that I bought and ground tips on just for taking those out, as they are sometimes rusty and hard to get to because of how far down in the lower they seat. I inspected the inside of the lower where the backing washer seats and found very minimal evidence of corrosion, so had to be the tube bushing binding in the lower bushing, basically created its own forcing cone. 

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3 hours ago, jeremyr62 said:

@Dutchy. That collector box is suffering from your daily commute by the looks of it.

Have another spare one in the attic :tongue:

I spray the box with black HT paint after clean/degrease now and then. ACF50 made an awful smoke..... I know it would so made straight for the motorway...

 

The brown stuff on the underside of the frame rail is some anti rust coating. Not tectyl but.... will look it up.

 

PS: Odometer showed 69696.9 today...

Go Nicky!! :wheel:

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Seb, how does the rear shock perform? Chances are that by now it is well past use by date...

 

And the s/s lines, are they HEL?

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Wow! Looks great. Very thorough going-over of the bike. 

I'd like to rebuild mine at some point. Looks like a lot of little bits that haven't aged well. Mine has been sitting since 2004, so I guess I'd have my work cut out for me.

I'm enjoying seeing how all the parts are removed and the rebuild.

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