1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Photos and progress of your restorations, even bikes you had but no longer own.

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Olafskii
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Country: Canada
Suzuki 2-Strokes: 72 GT750, 74 GT750, 75 T500, 76T500, 09 DR650
Location: Northern British Columbia

1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Post by Olafskii »

This latest bike on the bench is the one I picked up in 100 Mile house in October of 2022. I live in Prince George British Columbia, which geographically sits 750 kilometers (450 miles) north of the US border in Canada's westernmost province. 100 Mile House is about halfway and is one of the towns on the old Cariboo gold rush route.

My goal this winter has been to get a couple of T500 crankshafts to Mongoose Machine in Vancouver for rebuild. Mongoose scaled back their operation a couple of years back because the owner wanted to work less. I want to get my cranks done as quickly as possible lest he decides to retire!

The thinking was that this will be a parts bike for the 1975 T500 and the 1977 GT500 that are in my resto queue. (The '77 was to be a parts bike too because it was seized and covered in moss when I got it. But, the moss cleaned up easily and the engine unseized after I left some diesel fuel sitting in it for a couple of weeks). Now it's in the restoration queue!

This newest bike was advertised as a 1974 T500 as indicated by old Saskatchewan registration papers. But, the steering head nameplate and serial numbers indicate that it's a 1971 model. It was probably bought in 1971 but not registered for road use until 1974. Then, some nitwit bureaucrat at Sask Government insurance couldn't remove his blinders to register it by the correct model year.

The bike is painted white (one color it did not come in), is missing the right side cover, no side stand, and the center stand rolls over to a much larger than normal angle. There is no ignition key and all the turn signals are missing, as are both handgrips. However, both fenders are intact and in good condition, there is no crash damage on either muffler, the seat and seat trim is original, it has an airbox that's in good shape, and a chainguard. It has the correct 1971 gauges and the correct headlight shell--which is unique to the 1971. Finally, the gas tank inside has never been 'lined', and there is very little rust
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As a first closer look, left side engine and points cover were taken off. Several of the screws were missing but good news, nobody has tried to substitute SAE screws for the correct 6mm metric ones. Part of the casing is broken away above the chain which is usually caused by when a chain breaks and piles up in the sprocket area. The pre-insulated electrical connectors under the points cover are almost always a sign of electrical bodgery, and someone has used the airbox as a mixing surface for 2-pack epoxy. Overall, not too bad.
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The left header pipe had a curious kink at the engine connection and a great big sloppy blob weld. Maybe this was to fix a dent? The good news is that Delkevic in the UK manufactures pattern replacement header pipes.
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Alan H
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Suzuki 2-Strokes: 4 x GT550s - J, M, A, B.
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Re: 1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Post by Alan H »

Looks like plenty of work to come. Good luck with the build.
Think of how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of them are more stupid than that.
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jabcb
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Suzuki 2-Strokes: 69 T350 thru 75 GT750
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Re: 1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Post by jabcb »

Have fun. Looks like a good mostly-complete project.
BAS (Bike Acquisition Syndrome) - too many bikes but have room for more

Suzuki:
GT750 2x75
GT550 72 & 75
GT380 72
T500 69 project & 73 project
T350 69 & 71
Honda 85 CB650SC & 86 CB700SC
09 Triumph Bonneville SE
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Olafskii
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Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:15 pm
Country: Canada
Suzuki 2-Strokes: 72 GT750, 74 GT750, 75 T500, 76T500, 09 DR650
Location: Northern British Columbia

Re: 1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Post by Olafskii »

Three engine bolts and the engine lifted out. T500 engines are heavy and I don't like to use my back as a hoist.
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The alternator rotor sits underneath the stator/points plate on the left side of the crankshaft. An M16x1.25 bolt, threaded into the alternator and tightened with a rattle gun, releases the rotor from the taper. But, where to get an M16x1.25 (fine thread) bolt? Amazon or Ebay offered small quantities at usurious shipping costs. So I went to a local industrial supply place (the kind that has a $100 minimum) and did a bit of snivelling--and it worked! They had one 16mm bolt in stock, 80mm long and the counterman apologetically said it's full length threaded. Cost: a donation to the countermen's pizza fund!
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Olafskii
On the street
Posts: 37
Joined: Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:15 pm
Country: Canada
Suzuki 2-Strokes: 72 GT750, 74 GT750, 75 T500, 76T500, 09 DR650
Location: Northern British Columbia

Re: 1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Post by Olafskii »

The cylinder barrels slid off quite easily so on this bike there was no need for the puller plate that I made for the '77 GT500. The clutch holding nut was mashed which was confusing given the overall excellent shape of all the other engine internals. I had to clean up the divots with my pencil grinder before I could get my 32mm socket onto the nut. At first I thought that this damage might have somehow occurred at the factory. But, based on some other damage I found, I've come around to thinking that the chain pile-up lead to this damage.
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The gears are all in excellent condition including the infamous 4th and 5th gears. This, even though the gearbox did not have the 'mission oil plate' installed on the oil overflow weir* to the clutch chamber. The shift forks are nice and straight, and within spec. The cases sealant was the older style black stuff, and not the grey Three-Bond sealant that Suzuki used in later years. My conclusion is that this engine has probably never been opened.
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However there was some curious damage that was not really obvious at first. The left side clutch shaft dowel pin was mashed into the gearcase. Normally this sort of damage occurs when some gorilla fails to line up the bearing locator hole with the dowel pin. But I think this could also have happened with a traumatic chain pile-up in the chain case. The clutch pushrod that passes through the clutch shaft looked like a pregnant banana. It would have prevented the clutch from operating and was maybe what caused the bike to be parked. as seen below
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Olaf

P.S. *Oil Overflow Wier: This was a design flaw that Suzuki corrected starting in 1974. With the earlier lower wier, the gearcase oil level runs too low to properly lubricate 4th and 5th gears. Suzuki developed a fix that is described in service bulletin T-3 (May 1, 1975) in which a small piece of elastomeric material (known as the 'Mission Oil plate') increases the wier height. Pattern versions of the Mission Oil Plate are still available
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Alan H
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:50 am
Country: England
Suzuki 2-Strokes: 4 x GT550s - J, M, A, B.
Location: The Republic of South Yorkshire

Re: 1971 (nee 1974) Suzuki T500 first look & engine strip

Post by Alan H »

That clutch centre nut has all the evidence of a 'gorilla' previous owner who didn't have a 32mm socket! It's hidden from sight behind clutch plates and the clutch pressure plate and I can't see an original builder on the production line doing it! I've seen similar when I've stripped 550 engines during restorations so I feel your pain.
Looks like it might be the only thing he butchered anyway (fingers crossed!) as the rest looks decent.
I see the chain damage and hopefully that can be alloy welded while the crank is out.
Have a look at the engine & clutch condition of the 1974/5 550M that I bought that had been in a damp shed for 30 some years. It looks a lot better now!
https://www.kettleclinic.co.uk/kcforum/ ... 8&start=40
Think of how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of them are more stupid than that.
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