Saturday, January 30, 2010

11. Some tear down photos

I am not going to go in to great detail on the tear down, but I will please the masses with photos of the process. Some of these will also be a glimpse into the general state in which I took ownership of the "KXproject".

A few people have seen these pics and grumbled in disgust, exclaiming how horrible the condition, yet, I thought it was in quite good shape. I guess I thought this way since most bikes I buy are already apart, or nearly, with assorted parts in boxes or missing. My very first bike had an unknown malady when my uncle passed it on to me twenty and some odd years ago. Before I could even think of riding, this engine gremlin needed to be dealt with. In the long run this was a good thing as it forced me to become knowledgeable in the workings of the internal combustion engine and all other motorcycle systems.

This was my very first bike. A 1972 XL 250 (Not this exact pictured one).

Now on with the show.

Just a view of the front, no the forks are not bent, only the fender has been readjusted.

Another view of the muck monster.

There could be an engine in there somewhere.

Seems like I will be a pro at sanding, stripping and cleaning. Check out the washer-bolt combo on the brake lever.

Notice (1) torn seat cover, (2) dented expansion chamber. I will be recovering the seat myself, the process will get an in depth report. I am also going to be ridding the pipe of dents, either by freezing or heat and compressed air, report and photos when the time comes.

The tank, which will be the only plastic retained, will be sanded and refinished.

Remember the dirty breather post.

Found: Gravel and dirt, call me if you lost any.

I truly wonder how much weight could have been saved with a wash.

It is a KIPS.

Absolutely disgusting.

Soon a few more of these gems shall be posted along with more project stories.

Monday, January 25, 2010

10. All shined up and no place to go.

It has been awhile since writing, mostly this stems from a lack of inspiration. Oh, I have been working on the bike, cleaning and refurbishing. I have plenty of time to work on the KX as I have now joined the ranks of the unemployed. But, as is the case, more time=less money, that is why I clean and refurbish. All those spicy goodies I was lusting after a month ago must now wait indefinitely for a new home at KXProject.

One of my latest clean ups, the front axle. It too, had the same disease as the rest of the 125, rust and 20 year old greasy oiled dirt lube. Obviously this is not an aesthetic I want to incorporate into the finished bike.

Scrub brush, check, paper towels, check, LA's Awesome one buck super cleaner, check, bathroom sink, check, drill with nylon rotary brush, check. Time to get dirty.

First, I ran a bit of hot water over the grimy axle, then a liberal spray of the LA cleaner. The directions state to let the cleaner soak for two minutes before scrubbing , so for those two minutes I just sat there and watched the process. I must say nothing happened, at least to the naked eye. Out came the scrub brush and I began to lather up. Drippy, dirty, black oil grease slopped all over the bathroom sink and vanity, good thing it is a dark brown counter top. A few minutes with the brush, a rinse and dry, viola, clean.

Some may settle for clean, not I. Clean is good, shiny is better. I wheeled my shop/office chair into the bathroom, plugged in the nylon brush tipped drill and set about descaling. How quickly the beauty from underneath surfaced. The hideous tarnish gave way to a wonderful brushed look. Reaching this stage the little kid in me comes out, when these pieces start to take shape and I can see the future project coming together. This is when I dash out of the bathroom or spare bedroom to dry fit the parts to the bike, wheel, handle bar, etc. and envision that first "bbraapp" off into the woods.

Another great idea popped into my head, Mothers metal polish on the plastic 'outta bring out a nice sheen. Sure enough, a few rubs of paste and like new plastic emerged, well except for a few deep scratches.

After thirty minutes, or so, from start to finish I have a nearly new looking axle. But, no matter of buffing was able to rid the nuts of rounded off edges that some over zealous, ham fisted mechanic so lovingly created. Time to move on to the wheels. Or perhaps the seat, back to the airbox, maybe a touch of painting again, we'll see.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

9. Back from the spray booth.

The bars have returned from the paint shop. You should see the setup I get to work with, an over sized shoe box and a length of old coax cable dangling from a support beam in my carport. At least I do not have to paint between the raindrops that fall here during a Northwest winter.

I ran the coax through the bars, and tied them off to the beam. Next, I began to shake a rattle can vigorously for two minutes before laying down the recommended coats of Duplicolor adhesion promoter. The bars turned out a dull, frosty "color" after applications, and it must be noted that I did not have to rough up my nice shiny bars before applying the primer. In fact it states it can be applied over "shiny metal", and since I am going for a somewhat anodized look, I hoped the mirrored aluminum underneath would come through.

Letting the primer dry gave me time to tackle a few other tasks on the bike, specifically the bar clamps, which I will expound upon at a later date.

Now that the primer had cured I could get out the Smoke top coat. Again, I found myself imitating the paint shaker at Home Despot, and after two minutes of spastic gyrations in the parking area paint was ready to be sprayed. No rain was falling on the day paint was being applied, but a bit of a breeze was blowing, so needless to say I was dashing to and fro trying to prevent stray leaves, bugs and dust from ruining my professional paint job. As soon as the last bit of pigment hit the bars I hurriedly untied the coax and dashed the bars indoors to dry, I wasn't looking for any bug track graphics on these.

I hovered over the drying bars, examining them from all angles, protecting them like a naked newborn in a snowstorm. While the paint was wet the aluminum looked a bit dark and dull, a bit disappointing. Crap, gonna have to strip these again. The color began to deepen and really started to improve as it dried. Hmm, once completely dry, I must say I was amazed. In my opinion, the handlebars turned out great, and really my opinion is the only one that matters, as this is my project.

All in all Duplicolor really came through on this product, and I can't wait to get these back on the bike. Oh, yeah, I have just begun the tear down and rebuild, seems I am a way out from seeing these back on the cycle.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

8. More piles- less bike

The piles are growing and the bike is shrinking. I think that anyone who is here knows how to take a bike apart, but putting it back together, right, and with no extra bits is what I really want to focus on. So, with that in mind I will not expend an abnormal amount of energy, time or space on the tear down. However, as it is applicable, I will delve into the dismantle and deconstruction, and certainly a few photos are in order.

Let's just say I dug in, and in two afternoons the KX was bagged and boxed.

Still looks like a KX (sorta').

More Rust, I've a good collection growin'.

Tails gone.

I do not have a garage, nor shed or shop.

Only carport and a tiny patio.

7. Dirty Breather Hole

Sometimes I have trouble breathing, while cutting the grass, my nose will get stopped up. Perhaps I will come down with a virus, the common cold, and my breathing passages like to cease working in their proper manner. In fact, I doubt anyone can say they haven't experienced problems, at one time or another, with good, clean air flow.

Well, what to do? Clean that sucker out, get a Kleenex, blow and dig. Maybe some spray flowed up the beak, an inhaler, something to get the air flowing free. Needless to say, I believe, most people want a clean and clear breather. I know I cannot function properly without an unobstructed airway.

Hmm, seems not Everyone holds to this thought though. All I can say is, if my nose looked like the following photos I would probably be dead.

Better get out a big hanky.

Try breathing through this.

Look closely, guess where else I found dirt and sand.

At least I won't have an "I'm bored" excuse for some time.

Dirty and uncared for. How this machine actually ran is anyones guess. And, yes, I did find sand and gravel inside the carb as I pulled away the airbox. Although, at this time I am not able to give an accurate prognoses as to the condition of the carb's internals. I have not dismantled it yet, but I can only assume some sort of surgery is in order.

Friday, January 1, 2010

6. Shiny and new

This is the state in which I found the aforementioned controls, if you take a close look you will notice that there is no front brake. No lever, master cylinder, or line. Ah, seems the absent parts pile begins its growing processes.

So, the bars made it into the refurbish pile along with the clutch perch, and bar clamps. The replace pile consists of kill switch, clutch lever, bar pad, grips, cables and assorted hardware.

The last post found me rounding up the necessary items to commence work on bringing the bars back to life. Now once all items were in hand I could begin. Powering up the hand sander I gave the bars a thorough once over to remove the layers of dirt and paint. Grabbing some 220 grit I hand sanded the roughed up bars down a bit to get rid of the harsh sanding marks left by the palm sander. Next came the steel wool and then a final once over with the metal polish. Oh no, seems the bars looked almost to good polished to throw any paint onto them. Of course, I already had the paint, and if it turned out bad I could always polish them a second time.

This is were it starts, the old and dirty.

After a once over with the power sander. Nice but a bit dull.

Tools of the trade.

Oooww, shiny.

I can see the difference.

All shined up.

Well it was off to prep and masking then into the spray booth.