September 15, 2010 at 3:01 am #4232
Just started restoring my Honda FT500 Ascot and thought some might like to see what you can expect to find, when restoring a 1982 low milage motorcycle that has been parked for over a decade.
First off I had to remove the disk brake calipers as rust and corrosion on the brakes made it impossible to push the bike. Lots of cleaning and reassembly should be sufficient to put the brakes into good shape, I plan to replace all fluids as part of the re-assembly later. Both Pirelli Phantom tires pumped up fine and will stay for now, they are amazingly free of cracks and checks despite their vintage and plenty of tread remains to pass certification.
I power washed a mouse nest out from under the seat and this revealed rear signal and tail light wiring
was on the hungry rodent menu, a small issue as I plan to upgrade all the lights anyway with modern LED aftermarket units. The battery was long dead, but with replacements having only a 6 month warranty, I’ll wait until spring to source a replacement. The thin metal battery mounting brackets suffered the most from ravages of rust, so I will manufacture my own replacement battery cage later.
Front fork stanchion tubes were pitted with rust and I plan to do a complete tear down of both forks soon, but to avoid needless damage to the fork seals I cleaned off much of the rust with fine steel wool.
Note: only polish the fork tubes in a radial direction, never longitudinal as that would encourage oil leakage past the fork seals, at a microscopic level.
The original steering head bearings will be replaced with taper roller bearings as part of my planned upgrades, the original front suspension had a tendency to “head shake” on bumpy roads and while I can’t make the frame stronger, I think I can reduce the problem with better bearings.
The wheel bearings will get replaced also, just because they are so cheap and easy to purchase locally.
The FT500 is fitted with a CV type carb ( not my favorite ) but once the air box was removed, removing the carburetor became a simple task. This is the part I thought you might like to see;) inside a carburetor float bowl that has been ignored for over a decade, the bike was parked with fuel in the tank and the fuel tap on, so the carb was not dry inside, it just no longer contained anything that looks or smells like gasoline.
A little additional dismantling, thirty minutes effort and a half can of spray carb cleaner later, the unit cleaned up very nicely. Notice the brown tar like substance that had accumulated in the bottom of the float bowl with more of the same inside the main jet and air intake passage. Dismantle is the only effective way to clean a carb this badly gummed up, but it really was not a difficult service to perform.
Nothing will be touched inside the upper portion of the carb, which contains the vacuum diaphragm assembly and should require very little service, provided the rubber has not deteriorated
…more entries to come, I’ll be showing you dismantled front forks next.October 2, 2010 at 11:35 pm #28596
Working on my FT500 today I discovered a big problem, the exhaust pipe and muffler were completely full of mouse nest material, rust and water. I had to cut about 8 inches of tube and rusted baffle material out of the middle of the muffler, slide the tail part back onto the megaphone and fill all the gaps back up with muffler cement and sheet metal screws. Actually looks like a reasonable repair, as long as it doesn’t make her too loud.
The original brake light lens was cracked and since I need to re-certify the bike in the spring, I bought an inexpensive tail light assembly from a local dealer. It’s actually a NOS(New Old Stock) Kawasaki part, but should look fine tucked up under the tail section, once I build myself a fender eliminator / license plate bracket.
The front brake cleaned up easy and is working now but the rear brake needs some serious help, the rubber plunger boot on the brake amster cylinder was full of rusty water, so it comes completely apart very soon.
Lesson to be learned by all ! …When you store your motorcycle, plug the tail pipe. Motorcycle mufflers rust out fast enough without the help of mice building a nest inside them and the low parts fill with water.November 19, 2010 at 12:33 pm #28812
Does anyone have experience retro fitting LED signals? I’m looking for suggestions on where to obtain also, thx. …something that won’t look strange on this project bike.November 20, 2010 at 6:48 pm #28813Jeff in KentuckyParticipant
The JC Whitney motorcycle catalog is a good place to start for parts with a low price and maybe OK quality. For a much higher quality, this company has some nice parts:
There are companies that make kits to put new lights on a dirt bike that started with no lights, but they are expensive.
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