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Everything posted by Stray

  1. Finally got round to replacing the clutch parts in the 5th gen Donkey. Fist (and hardest) job was to remove the old gasket. Took over an hour with a blade! Dipped the new friction plates into the old engine oil I’d just drained in the pan. Left them for a couple days. Whilst waiting, I treated the pushrod to a 3-stage polish. Swapped it round so the pristine end was pushed back into the engine and put a dab of Redline grease on the end. Here’s what it started out looking like…grim corrosion on the slave cylinder end. After a 1st stage polish… After a 2nd stage polish. Closeup of the polished end shows scars from corrosion but couldn’t snag a fingernail on it…smooth. Now for a bit of flash and dazzle - buffed it with Tungsten Disulphide powder to make the surface slick and rust proof. Hoping it will make for smoother clutch action going forward. Had a new set of steel and friction discs on hand, but not the smaller friction plate that goes over the judder spring. The old one was within spec so I just scuffed the gloss off it with some 800, as per @BusyLittleShop advice: “Just enough to bust the glaze”. See how it’s glossy everywhere except where my thumb is. Then fitted all friction and steel discs as per manual. Followed by the slightly stiffer EBC clutch springs, progressively wound in a cross-cross pattern and torqued to spec. Final job was fitting the gasket, and to avoid breaking it in future I smeared a little copper slip on one face, and engine oil (from the drain pan!) on the other face. Should come off in one piece next time I open the cover. Once finished, I idled her for 5 mins to ensure there were no leaks (there were none, thank God!) and promptly took her for a 600 mile tour of Wales. What a ride. And not a hint of clutch slip either! Other than a slightly heavier clutch lever, she’s a dream to ride now. Power goes straight to the back wheel and rolling acceleration is fantastic. Big thanks to all those like @Captain 80s who kept me honest and didn’t let me cut corners. Costs a bit more but happy I did it properly in the end.
  2. So I finally opened up the clutch cover (and broke the gasket of course), to investigate why the clutch is slipping. Swapped out the centre bearing as a blind stab at removing that squeak I hear when clutch is released. It just comes out with finger pressure - easy! Weird because everything works out within spec. The springs are slightly down on new but in the middle of spec. The fibre plates are almost up to new spec. Little glazing. Basket doesn’t have any pronounced notches. The steel plates are very slightly glazed, but not enough to explain the monumental slip (lasts a couple seconds) at 8,000rpm. Could this be an aftermarket clutch kit, maybe? The tabs on my new plates look different to the tabs on the old ones. Friction surface on the new ones looks more mottled than the old, but that could just be lack of oil. Steels look different too. New ones are smooth and old ones have dimples. Interesting aside: here are 3 x VFR 800 springs in order of firmness: 1. Old 5th gen springs slightly worn 2. New EBC 6th gen springs slightly longer and stiffer 3. New Barnett 100lb springs for a Harley racer. Stiffest of all and slightly shorter Going to deglaze the steel discs, install new fibre discs (although the old ones look great) and fit new EBC springs to see if they can stop the slip. What do you guys think of my discs, old and new?
  3. Quick update on the 5th gen Donkey: Dropped the oil after last month’s track day and to do three little jobs: - upgrade to VTR SP1 oil cooler (5 rows instead of 2) with slightly less corroded 5th gen tubes - investigate why the clutch is slipping - possibly fit a Factory Pro shift kit Cooler fitted with a new aluminium bracket I fabricated to move it a little more to the right (as you sit on the bike) and away from the fan. Hangs a bit skew but it seems to work so I’m calling it good. Couldn’t believe how corroded the lines on this 28k bike are. I swapped in the ones from my 70k bike because they were much better. Corroded one below. Then I decided to put a Samarium magnet on the sump plug to catch any swarf in the oil. Stupid - should have just bought one. But I did it anyway… It’s a 6mm magnet so I drilled a 6mm hole with no wiggle room. The magnet will attract strongly to the recess in the bolt, but for extra security, it’s an interference fit. Punched it in the centre but drill wandered. Never mind - the swarf doesn’t care where the magnet is. Break out the torch to heat up the bolt and expand the hole, just enough to squeeze the samarium magnet in so it hugs it tight when it cools. Once the magnet is placed, a few love taps with a wooden hammer (careful, magnets are very brittle) to drive it home. And now the magnet snugly ensconced in the bolt - done!
  4. Thank you gentlemen for your input. Gives some comfort and shows I should have just listened to Captain in the first place. Having said that, I've never noticed this on any of my other bikes (including another 5th gen a few years ago). Maybe I just missed it but does make me wonder... Will be changing the pressure plate bearing just in case anyway as it's only about £11 ($15). Let see...
  5. Captain’s reply above notwithstanding, noticed today with the clutch engaged (lever pulled in), the bike is quieter and smoother. When I let the clutch out (in neutral) it gets slightly rattlier. Do you think I need to change the clutch bearing too? Or something else? If I’m doing clutch plates and springs, what else should I do whilst in there? Bike has 27,500 miles.
  6. Thanks Captain - really appreciate the reply!
  7. Folks, the clutch on my bike makes a bit more noise when in neutral than when the clutch lever is pulled in. Is this normal? If not, what do I look at first?
  8. Had a bit of clutch slippage on the 5th gen Donkey and thought I’d ring EBC to see what the craic is as because the early 5th gen has a different clutch setup from the later 5th gen (and early 6th gen). EBC told me they do different spring kits for the two models: - 5th gen A: CSK135 - 44.7mm long with 19.57mm diameter (7 turns) - 5th gen B: 46.5mm long with 19.7mm diameter (7 turns) Of course these are EBC figures but it suggests the early bikes have shorter springs than the later bikes. Have just ordered a long set for my early model, hoping for more positive engagement. Will fit new Honda friction plates and scuff the old steel plates. Also will give the master, slave and pushrod some love whilst in there. Let’s see how we get on!
  9. Mine was the same. Twenty minutes tickling the cylinder pins as per the guide above and you’ll be laughing.
  10. Nice one mate - didn’t know about Electrex. Just sent them a message. Looks like they don’t permit use of lithium iron batteries though and that’s what I’m running. Plus, their kit is same price as a SH847 kit, which is apparently the best you can buy (unless the Ultimate Rectifier can be believed). Brilliant - thanks for this! Do you know if it is a series or mosfet or shunt type? Agreed. Connections and wire gauge seem to be the Achilles heel of these systems.
  11. Now you can re-key your tank using this guide. Takes less than 30 minutes! This is genius mate. Never thought of that - thank you for the tip!
  12. Back to the 5th gen Donkey: how to re-key your fuel cap if the key doesn’t match the ignition. First step is remove the cap from the tank. Undo the 3 bolts pointed at by the keys and Allen wrench. That’s the foremost one and rearmost two. The others are dummies. Unlock the cap to lift it off. Next you need to split the locking mechanism from the cap. First you remove the metal washer under the rubber rand. Don’t worry, the rubber is really thick and strong so no need to go easy. Washer has a cutout that slides over the lock if you orient it right. Sorry - no pics but you’ll be fine. Next, remove the three screws holding the lock to the flap. These are also under the rubber and below where the washer was. You’ll need a magnetic screwdriver or you’ll hate your life! Once separated, a quick twist of the key and the barrel slides right out. This pic shows the correct key inserted and the lock pins are (almost) flush. They stick up a bit because the key is old and worn. Next pic shows the incorrect (ignition) key inserted. The pins are no longer flush with the cylinder so it won’t turn in the housing. This is how the lock stays closed if the wrong key is used. Note how much longer the top key is to the one just above (5th gen regular ignition). I suspect the flap is from a HISS model with longer key. Their blade section is similar though - simply a longer shaft for HISS. WARNING 1: if you pull the key out of the barrel now you may end up with pins and springs and impossibly small ball bearings flying all over the place. Put a finger over the pins if you’re swapping keys round. WARNING 2: the rubber rand needs to be pressed down to release the locking tangs and let you take out the key. Imagine it’s pressing against the fuel tank when you close the flap. But when the barrel is removed the locking tangs (and their springs) can shoot out all the way so you need to hold them when doing this. Pins can be pulled out individually. From this point you have 4 options for a re-key job: 1. Pull out all the lock pins (along with the springs and tiny ball bearings. This will make the lock work with any key or a screwdriver. Don’t leave the springs and ball bearings in as they can jam it all up. Great for race bikes but not good for street 2. Get yourself a Honda rekey kit. They exist! Then pull out all the pins that don’t work and replace them with pins that stay flush with your key. Expensive and time consuming but there is a way to match pins to the serial number of keys 3. Pull out only the pins that aren’t flush and leave in the ones that are. You can also swap pins around to see if you can achieve a better fit. This works, even if you only have a few of the pins left in the barrel at the end 4. Lastly you can file down the keys that stick out until they are flush (provided there’s enough meat on the bones). Use light pressure as the pins are spring loaded I took a combination of 3 and 4. First I swapped a few pins around to get as close as possible, then tickled it with a fine stone on the bench grinder until it was flush. You can also use a Dremel or hand file but don’t press down as the pins are spring loaded Before: After: Clean out any swarf and lube the lock well. I used graphite lube but you can use anything good in your workshop. Reassembly is the reverse of the above. The lock tangs need to be retracted (pushed into the housing) for the barrel dowels to locate correctly. Unlock it a few times before buttoning everything up, just to be sure. All in, took me 25 minutes and I now have matching keys for the ignition and fuel flap. I’d imagine you could do the same with the seat lock but haven’t needed to so you’ll need to look into it yourselves. Have a good day!
  13. Hello All, In 2017 I upgraded my 5th gen with a Shindengen 847 rectifier from a Suzuki V Strom. Going great ever since. Was looking to do the same on my 2nd 5th gen and stumbled across this outfit from the Netherlands who offer a 60A unit (SH847 is 50A). Comes with 3 year warranty, which is unheard of as even Suzuki don’t warranty the SH847. Link: https://ultimaterectifier.com/shop/voltage-regulator-rectifier-honda-vfr800-1998-2001/ Options for 5, 6 and 8th gens available. If it’s any good I’ll go this route as much less hassle. Might crimp and shrink instead of using the connectors, but wiring is all there. What do the electrickery gurus think? Is it legit or a scam? Is this regulator as good/better than the SH847? Stray
  14. Now back to the 5th gen race bike project: making a plug to fill the mechanical water pump hole in preparation for an electric water pump. I had an old water pump in the parts bin and decided to use its stem as the body of the plug. It’s made from cast aluminium and has the correct taper/step for the hole. A piece of old Ducati 848 brake torque arm leftover from the rear wheel conversion would fill the centre. This is also cast aluminium but must have been a different grade as you can see the difference throughout the fabrication process. You can see the water pump hole we are trying to plug in the centre of this picture, just below the clutch slave mount. This pic shows the step in the hole, and the corresponding step in the water pump stem. Tickled it with a hacksaw and used a crowbar to prize it off the shaft. Now we have the rough shape of a plug. Incidentally, if anyone ever wanted to remove the impeller from their mechanical water pump, you can just hammer it out. It’s an interference fit. Plug piece removed. Coin shaped centre piece cut out from Ducati 848 rear brake caliper bracket and roughly shaped with grinder to fit tightly in the plug centre. Got some aluminium brazing rods ready to “solder” the two pieces together. What a chore that was! Heating up the part, not the rod. You can see the solder along the inside edge. What o didn’t realise is this stuff leaves pores, and when it’s heated it just runs through the cracks between the parts and drips down the vice. Looking OK and oil tight from the inside… …but not sure about the outside. Quick tickle with a file to see if it improves and you can see it’s not good enough. So back to apply a little more rod…but it just dribbles through the gaps and onto the vice again. So plan B: solder it facing down on a flat steel surface. Finally, it worked! Now we have a well filled plug with a flat surface to smooth. First phase is to file it flat, followed by a flap disc to smooth. Going for a domed shape. You can still discern the different grades of aluminium and the filler material. Smoothing with sandpaper. Followed by hard buffing wheel. And medium buffing wheel. Final polish with Autosol and a hard cloth (denim works great). Quite pleased with the dome shape and I even like that you can still make out the soldered bits. Plug inserted with Threebond and left to cure overnight. Made sure to wipe everything down with acetone beforehand. Also fitted PAIR block off plates while here (no Threebond needed as internal gaskets were still solid). Two steps closer to completing the race bike project!
  15. Despite my intentions to mistreat this machine as a winter donkey, I’m really enjoying her. Looking to start spending on a pair of pillion grips, seat cowl and maybe a new front fender as the old one is quite battered/cracked. Thinking about a new shock too. This wasn’t supposed to happen…
  16. Thanks for the suggestions, gents. How could I forget about the bobbins! Used an old centrestand nut and bolt with some brake cleaner and a few of them were a bit gristly. Well worth doing! Discs spin true and I can’t see any runout. No lip on them either. Pads are OEM Honda with 90% life left. Sliding pins were polished and greased just before going on track. Also checked headstock bearings and that’s spot on: handlebars fall to either side under their own weight with a nudge. Yoke/triple clamp bolts also properly torqued. This judder thing has me beat. It only happens at the end of a long, hard, emergency brake. If it was brake related it would happen from the start of the braking session, no? Good tip on setting a high idle for track - nice one mate. I’ll definitely do that next time! Bmart, this thing was being flogged HARD at Mallory Park race circuit. To give an idea, I was coming out of Gerard’s bend doing around 110-115 MPH (indicated) and accelerating towards Edwina’s after. No idea how fast as eyes glued to chicane thereafter. Braking hard on a downhill for the chicane make it rumble, just before turn in. After Edwina’s there’s a nice curvy back section where you can get up to triple digits again, followed by some really hard braking for the 1st gear hairpin. Here she shakes real hard at the end of the breaking section, just before turn in. Quite unnerving. Had to release the brakes and reapply. Knuckles white, butt clenched and eyes open wide…HA HA HA! I’m a very smooth rider and apply brakes, throttle or lean progressively. No sudden twitches or ham-fisted brutality. I’d be surprised if the judder was down to rider input. Tyres look shredded just like they should after a track day. No odd wear markings or discolouration that I can discern.
  17. Could use some advice on a few things: 1. The bike shudders at the end of a long hard braking straight. Not at the start, just at the end. I overcame this by releasing and re-applying the brakes. Any idea why this is? How can I fix it? 2. The combined brakes make the rear chirp and skip when braking hard (I THINK it’s the rear - hard to tell when hanging on for dear life). Sometimes the rear fishtails a bit as weight transfers forward. Does anyone have experience with CBS in track/race conditions? Anything I can do to stop this (other than ditch CBS)? 3. Exhaust pops and bangs on closing throttle. Is that because of the PAIR system? 4. Throttle response can be a bit snatchy at low RPMs. Can this be fixed (without a power commander)? All advice warmly received. Stray
  18. Last night I spent some time setting up suspension sag, which is tough because everyone seems to give different optimum numbers. In the end, for fast road riding I settled on: - 39mm front with rider (30mm static) - 27mm rear with rider (10mm static on highest shock setting) Bit of a compromise but best I could do with stock shock. Then took her out to Mallory Park for a shakedown! Bike was new to me and perhaps I shouldn’t have been doing a track day the very next day after building a bike, but I was really impressed with her handling. Could even tighten up my turn mid-corner! Started off gingerly feeling the bike out although we did manage to lean her some on the first session. Started scrubbing off the Michelin elephant in session 1… …by session 7 there was very little elephant left! In fact by the last session the VFR was unstoppable. Miles faster than my other bike and blowing away R1s and MV675s in the middle group. Couldn’t be happier. But the best thing by far: THAT NOISE at full throttle!!! Managed to snap a few pics with interesting machines, including this one of a beautiful VFR750 1988 model that belongs to a track instructor called John Chambers. This thing is FAST! Also interesting to see the old V4 parked alongside the new V4. I lusted after that Aprilia… On the way back there was a bike night with band (Wolfskin) in the sun-drenched beer garden. Bikes, burgers, beer and rock & roll. What a way to end the day! One interesting observation: I was advised to run 31psi front and 26psi in the rear (cold; 33 and 28 warm), which really helped the bike feel planted. In fact I ride it back from the track this way (forgot to revert before leaving) and I really like how it felt on the road. So is the whole 36 front and rear thing just a myth? I’m a heavy rider (around 100kg in gear) and the comparatively low psi felt great. Any thoughts?
  19. Stumbled across some crusty old VTR 1000 F forks (right way up model along with 9.0 linear springs and thought I’d try fit the VTR internals into the VFR forks. VTR forks needed medieval levels of blowtorch to separate. See how the bushings are chewed up from all the slide hammering! Bike hoisted up and old forks out. VFR fork stanchion (left) is 6mm shorter than VRY (right). This surprised me as I thought the VTR would be shorter. All other bits are virtually interchangeable as they’re both 31mm units from Showa, and from the same era. VFR cartridge (left) is 6mm shorter than the VTR cartridge (right). Note VFR has a longer spring. Cleaned up rusty putting in VFR fork with cola (Pepsi Max) and tinfoil. PO had sanded them badly at some point. Came out reasonably well. Next stage was a bit of polishing with a buffing wheel. Filled the worst pits with some superglue and left to cure overnight. Forms a blister over each pit. Next day cut the pits off with a blade. Came out decent enough but I wanted it as smooth as possible so got out the buffing wheels. Fist coarse cut… …followed by fine cut… And then some Autosol on a flap wheel (sorry, no photo). Came out well enough to last a couple seasons but stanchions will need replacing soon. Now for some low friction SKF seals (from a dirt bike shop) and a set of OEM bushings to bring it all together. Used an old plastic pipe and a hose clamp to drive in the inner bushing. On the next leg I tried duct taping the old bushing onto the stanchion and driving in the new one. This worked better. Used plastic bag to slide the new seals over the fork. This helps protect the lips from tearing. Lubed it all up and filled the gap between oil and dust seal with grease (all tips from Dave Moss - God bless YouTube!). Now compare the VFR cartridge (left) to VTR (right) in the fork. VTR sits about 6mm higher so spacer need to be cut down 6mm. Found a guide to improve VTR cartridge and took it all apart. Includes grinding the damper rod to a taper (it’s stepped from the factory) and drilling a relief hole above the rebound valve. If you’re doing this, search “Rogered VTR fork cartridge” for the guide. Took me 3 hours to complete. Now to fill up with Motul 7.5wt fork oil and 130mm air gap, using the syringe and hose method to suck out any excess. Must pump fork and cartridge before setting oil level. Then I set the fork cap distance using another online guide. The damper rod needs to be two turns out from fully seated, then fix the preload part distance with the locknut. Once it’s all buttoned up, I fitted some Proline neoprene fork gaiters over the exposed part to protect from further corrosion. These guys can make to measure but I bought 41mm x 220mm off the shelf and it fits fine. Forks all done and mounted! Now to book a track day and see what she’ll do…
  20. Now back to the rear hub. I decided to stop being frugal and just buy new bearings. Not cheap but at least I now have peace of mind that they won’t let me down. In the end I’ve conceded the advice given by airwalk and JZH not to reuse bearings that were pounded out by the inner race. Thanks for keeping me honest, chaps! Had to buy Honda OEM in the end as even specialist bearing suppliers couldn’t get hold of these. Bought a set from an eBay seller and they had to be returned as they were generic and didn’t have seals in the right places. See the generic IKO (front) compared to OEM (rear). OEM has a seal that’s missing from the IKO. Now with seal removed to show the groove in which it locates. The IKO cannot accommodate a seal of any sort so water ingress could ruin the bearing. Even with bearing and its codes in hand, I couldn’t get one of these at a specialist supplier. Honda had them made especially for this application. Hammer and sockets used to push bearing into one end… …whilst vice is used to push other bearings into the other end. Chose to seal the swingarm opening to stop water getting to the adjuster through the tunnel (swingarm is open near the front, where the shock mounts). Used a thin piece of PET plastic from a Pepsi Max bottle (other soft drinks are available but Max is the best). Lined the opening with sealer (the adjuster races are smeared with copper ease)… …and clamped it in place overnight. Bit more copper ease on the hub and she slipped in beautifully. Also changed sprocket carrier bearing. This one is also expensive and hard to source but I did find a heavy duty equivalent at the specialist supplier. Pushed out the old one with a socket mounted in reverse from the inside… …and drove in the new one with that same socket on its face. Sprocket looked good so I cleaned and flipped it. Easy peasy. Redline synthetic CV grease for the splines… …and new seals/o rings throughout. Now all back together and ready to take the wheels with new Michelin Pilot Road 5 tyres (can’t wait to scrub them in!). Then I got to bleeding the CBS. What a colossal pain in the ass that job was! I won’t lie, it took 3 days of pumping and clamping and leaving it all engaged overnight to get rid of the bubbles. Brakes are now good, although there’s very little travel on the front lever before it stops. Out with the old disgusting fluid… …and in with a Castrol SRF across what felt like 100 bleed points. Finally got it all done!
  21. Folks, I must apologise for confusing things by working on two 5th hens in this thread. Must be hard to follow. Last few posts have been about my bone stock scabby old winter donkey. She even has the PAIR system and stock exhaust, so no mods other than the open airbox. This one will eat a steady diet of road salt and abuse. The next few posts are about this same donkey, after which I’ll get back to the race bike. So I balanced the throttle bodies (thanks to the guide on here)… …and drilled the fairings for R&G crash bungs using the dent in the duct tape technique… …and using the spacer as a stencil to scribe a hole the correct size… …for a perfect fit. Now she can lie down without too much worry.
  22. Very good hint mate, thank you. Unfortunately I’ve plugged if full of Red Line fully synthetic grease with the highest temperature rating known to man and famous for staying put at all temperatures. It’s not going anywhere!
  23. Very good of you to venture out so far, mate. They say you should never meet your heroes but meeting Mohawk is a highlight of the year!
  24. Decided to have a go at repacking the bearings. Used the palm cupping technique: put a blob of grease in your palm and scoop bits of it with the open end of the bearing until it’s forced into every crevice. Then rolled the bearing to coat the balls and draw grease into the unseen recesses. Grease should fill about half way up as too much can cause churning and heat. Decided to repack the needle roller bearing (wheel side) too. Struggled to get the grease behind the rollers, to be honest. This bearing rolled nicely before cleaning. Probably should have just scraped old grease off the top and applied a new layer, rather than wash this one with petrol. Any advice on getting the grease behind the rollers? Also applied a light smear of copper ease onto the swingarm clamp sliding surfaces. It’s really light and you can see through it - hoping it will stave off corrosion. Now need to drive the repacked double ball bearing back into the hub. Wish me luck!
  25. Got to cleaning the bearings with some stale petrol (mixed with some used engine oil that was in the jug) and a toothbrush. They came out looking good. Started spinning freely again which is reassuring. All traces of old grease removed. Washed until the petrol came out Needle roller bearing (wheel side) also washed clean of old grease. Then used the same tub of petrol to wash the crud off the swingarm. Cut through it beautifully! Petrol is so effective I’ll be using it more in future.
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