Wednesday, February 24, 2010

14. Hubba, Hubba

One of the things I did this week was tear into the front wheel, actually it was in quite good shape, considering the rest of the machine. Though, as with most older bikes, the spokes have been neglected, dirty and rusted tight. The tire was also contaminated with the hideous dry rot disease.

Out came the tire irons, and in a matter of minutes I had that dry tire heaved into the "get rid of" pile, along with the tube. The rim tape was given a wash and is in condition to be reused, although the same cannot be said of the rim lock which split in two when I went to do a proper inspection, so new tube, and rim lock are needed. I did get three brand new tires thrown in when I purchased this project, a sand, a soft and an intermediate, at least I will only need to procure a rear tire.

To loosen the tight spokes a squirt of Blaster oil did the trick, and after pulling all thirty six, I decided they needed a bath and shine as I would be reusing them.
A dollar spent for some "CLR" was well worth it, all the nuts, bolts and spokes take a bath in this stuff to rid the rust.

This is not going to be fun, thirty six dirty spokes.

Everybody in the pool. By the way, remember there are two different lengths and bends, don't get them confused.

After spending about an hour in the chemical pool, a vigorous scrubbing with a wire brush is needed, then a dip into some rinse water then they must be dried promptly.

Here is what you can achieve with some steel wool and "Mothers" polish.

A close up of a before and after.

So, a few blisters and some arm pump, why? Well, 36 spokes times once with a wire brush, once with steel wool and once with polish, 36x3=108. And, each "once" was not one time, but a series of repeated, rapid, rubbing motions, thus a few blisters and some arm fatigue.

Next on the to do list was the hub, after carefully prying off the dust seals, which are in great shape, I pulled the inner snap ring and set out to remove the bearings. For this I used one of my old maple drumsticks that had been converted into a sort of punch or drift, one time use only. Inserted into the hub, I reached for a deadblow hammer and drove out the first side, flipped the hub over and wrapped out the second. Like I said, this wheel was in okay shape, and the bearings came out with no problem. As with any bearing one removes a new must take its place, and with a couple of hours research I found two for $5.25 with free shipping, you know what the dealer gets for those. A lot more.

All the bits, minus the bearings.

Time to get cleaned up.

You again.

I like photos, so I am including many of them, enjoy. The nylon brush made another appearance.

Much cleaner than before.

Another view.

In the spray booth ready for primer.


Painted and getting laced.

A rim that has been washed and steel wooled, laced with hand rubbed spokes and a freshly painted hub.

Ready to jam some bearings home.

In the next post, bearings installed and truing the wheel, should be a hoot.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

13. Take a seat.

Today finds the KXproject on it's seat. Unfortunately, I failed to record the 'before' photos that I really wanted. A bit to excited to get started tearing and stapling.

After spending a great deal of time in finding a seat cover for an '89 KX 125, I came to the conclusion that paying over fifty bucks for a piece of vinyl is ludicrous. I said to myself "Self, you can go and buy some vinyl, and make your own seat cover." And that is just what I did.

If you take some time and go back over the pre- tear down photos a few rips and tears can be seen on the seat. One nice open wound on the top rear and a slice along the lower right side. Tears and slices aside, the old cover was just that, old. Faded by the sun, seams letting go, and a dated color scheme all meant it had to go.

A pair of needle nose pliers made short work of yanking out the old rusty staples, once they where removed the cover basically fell off with a few foam crumbs. All in all the foam was in descent shape, no need to replace as of yet. At some point in time one of the rear seat mounts had been broken, I removed both of them and am now fabing up new ones out of some aluminum flat stock. After dismantling the seat it went to the tub for a quick soap and rinse, taking care not to dampen the foam. The foam may have looked to be in good shape, but I didn't want to risk dissolving it at the first sign of moisture.

As I let the cleaned seat dry I googled up some fabric dealers in the area, I was lead to a shop in east Portland where I was able to pick up three yards of black gripper vinyl for $7.00. How elated I was, I eyeballed the three yards, at least fours seat covers were possible, perhaps more. I rolled up my find and headed home. But, before reaching home I stopped off at a few of the local cycle shops and was pleased to find the same material on some of the bikes out on the showroom floors. Fifty dollars for one or seven bucks for four, no question as to which way to go here.

Rain was pouring down the next day, so working outside on the seat was out, into the kitchen I moved. Seat, scissors, staple gun and ammo, vinyl, all was on hand. I began by slicing out a generous swatch of fabric a few inches larger than the seat, the seat is not flat, so I allowed for the bit of rise at the front of the seat. I started tacking in the center of the right side, then pulled the material tight across the seat and tacked the left center. I worked out from the centers, pulling and tacking, tacking and pulling; my fingers started to feel the burn after reaching the slight upturn at the front of the seat. I felt like one of those rock climbers who ascend cliffs with just a few chalky fingertips, because of the upturn the material needed to be stretched even tighter so as not to bubble up.

Finishing the stretching of the canvas, I stepped back to admire my handy work. "Looks like factory to me."

That's a lot of staples.

Don't forget to trim off the excess material.

That's one nice lookin' back side.

Must be a young seat, no wrinkles.

I also built the stand under the seat.

Friday, February 5, 2010

12. Framed, well, partially anyway.

If you have been following my forum thread you know I have been on the hunt for a good KX green paint match. A few years back PJ1 quit making it, why? Surfing over to Color Rite I did a spit take when seeing the 30 some bucks for a spray bomb of just the paint, they do recommend the clear coat also. I didn't stick around to check out the price tag on the top coat; I will bargain the price lower for a car, but not on a can of green paint.

A few weeks back while at Skunks Auto Parts looking for the Duplicolor handlebar paint I noticed their engine paint in a similar shade to KX green. I filed this tidbit of info into the brain box. A Home Despot was not far away, so a quick run into the paint section for a hand full of green paint chip samples was in order. Back at home I sifted through the chips matching them up to the frame, not the faded sun bleached portion, but a nice hidden section so that I could get as true a reading as possible. After finding the right match, it was back to Skunks.

Now the difficult bit, someone had sprayed a bit of the Duplicolor Grabber Green on a nearby shelf, so out with the chip for a match up. It was close, not 100%, but 98%. The $7.00 price tag was a bit steep for the budget build, so more hunting was necessary. Quite fortunately there are five auto parts stores within one block of each other and a quick rounder of them found the Grabber Green at Hapa's for $5.25.

As can be seen from the first two photos of the sub frame there is a bit of oil and dirt, and even a touch of black paint overspray. So, as with all parts before and every part from hereafter a good scrubbing was needed. A closer look will also find a slight bend to the upper left stay (far lower left in the photo). A steel block and a four pound dead blow hammer made short work of straightening that problem.

After a couple of knocks with the hammer it was time to strip the old paint off and prep for the new green. From here on out, most, if not all painted parts on the bike will get a clean, strip, and paint. A number of other items will also receive paint as well, such as triple clamps, hubs, wheels, and any other bits I think can be tastefully incorporated into the finished project.

Out to the patio I headed with the palm sander, nylon bristle brush, and a clean straight sub frame. Some forty or fifty minutes of sanding and brushing gave way to a bare aluminum frame, which I then hit with dewaxer degreaser. While I let the frame dry I needed to prep my spay area, which I did by backing the car out of the carport. Digging up two lengths of bailing wire I had the frame suspended and ready to prime.

Ready for the first squirt of primer.

Hung and ready to go. Notice my custom spray booth.

Soon black then green.


Now only a few days to wait until the green is laid down.

Duplicolor Grabber Green.

Looks pretty close to me.

Came out very well.

I let the paint cure for a week and then four coats of clear were applied. So far I am pleased, now waiting for the clear to cure and then, a scratch test.