Lighting has always been an issue in my current garage. I found some inexpensive LED tube lights that can be daisy-chained, and got them installed over the weekend. What a difference! I'm going to add two more and that should be perfect.
Let there be light!
My OEM o-rings finally arrived and I was able to squeeze in some time to rebuild the carbs (again). Realistically, these aren't terrible to break apart and reassemble.
I decided to roll the dice and not leak test them on the rack. We'll see if the moto-gods are on my side.
Front sprocket = good!
Rear sprocket = good!
Houston, we have a problem.
This poor bike has had a very rough life; which tends to be the case for old sport bikes. Especially when you find one with no fairings (or in my case, fairings, lights or signals). I'm going to try to pound out that dent but it may be time for an eBay swing arm. I also found the chain is way too short, not sure why that's the case unless it was someone counting links incorrectly or maybe just trying to be cheap. Either way, I have to cut it off and buy a new one. At least the sprockets are good.
Well... I set the carbs on the rack, hooked up my test tank and opened the valve. And the bowls didn't leak, but the overflows poured fuel all over the place.
So, I drained them and put them back on the bench to double check the float heights. During the reassembly, I stripped the threads on another body. Honestly, I'm not ham-fisted and I know how tight to make the bowl screws. So, I'm starting to wonder if the PO had these cranked down and weakened the aluminum threads. Hopefully I can use the same remedy as the other body.
I almost said "screw this whole project" and gave up, but I reassessed the situation and told the quitter voice to sod off. I found the (overpriced) o-ring sets online and they'll be shipping next week. I may need to break down both banks of carbs to make a complete set, whatever it takes.
Once it's roadworthy, I need to address the ergonomics. There is only so much I can do to modify to help open up the posture. Some mx bars, risers and dropped foot pegs should help out. My back and knee may not be tolerant of the sport crouch for very long.
I finally got time, no, finally made time to put hands to the carbs. A quick refresher, the carbs were cleaned and rebuilt but suffered severe leaks at the fuel T. I replaced those o-rings and then the bowls leaked. With new bowl gaskets in, I decided to just bite the bullet and replace the remaining 33 year old o-rings for the fuel overflow and the mystery silver tubes (vacuum?) while I had the carbs off again. This was all late last summer.
With the family having quiet time, I seized the moment and grabbed the the carbs and needed tools. I've never broken a part a bank of 4 carbs and I have heard horror stories and seen first hand, the frustration this can cause when my buddy rebuilt his CB750 bank. I laid out some cardboard, took a deep breath, found my moment of zen, and got to work.
There is so much linkage, so many tiny springs.
I removed the choke linkage and did my best to keep the two middle carbs in place. I was able to replace the o-rings on the mystery silver tube (vacuum related?) but the o-rings on the overflow port were still pliable and in relatively good condition.
When I replaced the o-rings on the fuel T, I bent one of the tiny throttle assembly springs, so I had to do my best to replace it with one from a set of donor carbs I received. It wasn't much fun.
I got the bank all back together and thought, "That wasn't so bad." Queue suspenseful music... I found a spring that got left over. Dammit. Eventually, everything was reassembled with no extra parts remaining.
A friend recommended placing the carbs output side down on a sheet of glass and using the level surface when tightening down the mounts. Worked liked a charm!
Now, to put them back on the PVC rack and hook up the test tank to check for leaks. Maybe that will happen next weekend.
On Saturday, it took some time to tackle the coolant leaks. I managed to drain the radiator without making a total mess but what did come out and make it into my bucket was pretty damn gross. I think this bike has been sitting much longer than the previous owner was led to believe. Looks like I may need to do a few frequent fluid changes for the coolant, brake fluids and engine oil.
Who likes dark roast radiator fluid?
I replaced the thin factory o-ring on the thermostatic switch with a beefier one and so far, she's holding water. I replaced the lower hose clamp as there was a slight weep from the hose.
In other news, my step father has returned from Japan and I am now the proud owner of a real JIS screwdriver. No more stripped "philips" screws for me.
I still need to leak test the carbs and fix the slight oil leak at the gen cover. Making progress.
A few weeks ago, I ordered a set of carb kits from eBay. They came here via the slow boat from Taiwan (they also came with an extra float needle). While my family was occupied, I brought in the carb bank and started gutting them.
The job was easy and I'm glad I got the kit, not just the gaskets as several of the float valves were in rough shape and barely finger tight; a few jets were the same. Speaking of tight, I may have over tightened one of the bowl screws and pulled the threads out. Aluminium threads vs steel bolts. I managed to find a longer bolt that I made work. Man, this thing is gonna be a total patch work.
There it is. Like a sore thumb.
I hope to be able to leak test them this weekend and maybe do a test start. Well, after I drain the radiator and fix that leak. I'm hitting the BMV this week to get the title processed. The bike won't run, but at least it's mine.
Project CBR needs to be fully ironed out and road worthy because I'm planning a trip next fall. If I hit any major road blocks before then, I might have to track down a newer bike and screw up my expenses by buying something that isn't a total basket case.
I sure would like a DR650se or even a CB500x, either would be a fine addition to the garage. Not that I'm shopping or anything...
With the fuel supply o-ring replaced (Harbor Freight metric o-rings!) and carb bank reassembled, I hooked up my fancy new test tank, turned that valve and....
It's weird that the other bowls didn't leak before but perhaps they weren't getting enough fuel due to the leak at the fuel supply T. So, having had enough of putting carbs on bikes, finding leaks, pulling them, fixing and repeating the process, I made this:
Now I can leak test and test the float levels more accurately. All without dealing with gasoline all over my bike. Hooray!
Time to find some bowl gaskets and try again. I did replace the petcock with one a scored from Amazon, it's like it was made for it, which it was!
In happier news, I did use some starting fluid and get to hear the bike fire up. That exhaust is mighty loud and raspy. Sounds good though.