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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 10:38 pm 
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On the street
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:12 pm
Posts: 23
Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
I spent most of my youth with a great interest in motorcycles and cars. Dirt bikes, muscle cars, street bikes, customs, hot rods. Anything with an engine. That interest has remained with me well into adulthood. Over the years my wife has patiently humored this interest to the point my sons have grown old enough to also enjoy this interest.

Since his early childhood my middle son has been very interested in motorcycles and his first bike was a little Honda Z50. He outgrew that and we bought him a Honda XR80 that was a bit rough, but ran well. Over the course of ownership we decided to tear it apart and restore it. After he outgrew that he wanted a bigger bike. We struck a deal that if he saved half the money I would chip in the balance and he could buy a bigger bike to restore and ride. After a bit of time, numerous odd jobs, and much searching he settled on a 1974 T500 found on Craigslist a few hours away.

We got the bike home and after some initial inspection, we felt we got a pretty decent bike for $600.00. The motor kicked over, appeared to have good compression, and it appeared to be complete. Some things were out of whack like a knobby tire on the rear and a kickstarter that didn't always engage properly, but we knew this would be a project.

For several weeks we agonized over what direction to take with the bike. Full restoration or café racer style. Ultimately, my son decided to go in the direction of café style. This post will document our efforts to bring this bike out of the barn and back to a new life on the road!


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File comment: First night at the house. Dirty, a little rough, but essentially everything was there.
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File comment: Note the sweet knobby tire!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2017 11:55 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:12 pm
Posts: 23
Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
Before we tore into it, we wanted to double check some of the systems and verify their condition and functionality. We started with the engine. While the kickstarter didn't always engage (my guess was the starter pawl), we could occasionally get it to engage just enough to get a nice spin on the motor. We opened up the ignition cover and pulled the spark plugs from the cylinder heads. After a few minutes verifying power was in the proper circuits we gave it a kick and saw a nice fat spark on the plugs. We gave it a snort of ether, re-installed the plugs, checked the oil, and with a couple kicks it burbled to life! Good enough.

Brakes were next. Front brakes, no dice. Cable is frozen. Rear drum operates, but the wheel moves significantly when the shoes engage the drum. Weird. Will have to dig into that later.

Hook up a battery and after a few minutes of jiggling connections we get all of the lights, blinkers, and horns to work.

Overall, not too bad.

After a lot of photographs, plastic bags, and WD-40 we had it stripped more or less down to the frame. Minor stuff still remained which included the forks, triple tree, and wiring harness, but we were able to get a good look at the backbone of the machine.

Next step will be to get into the motor.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 12:55 am 
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To the on ramp
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Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2014 7:55 pm
Posts: 242
Location: Greendale Vic, Australia
Country: Australia
Bikes owned: AS50, GS500, GT500, ex GSXR750 slabbie
I love that... you and the kid. Great!
Try to encourage him to do nothing that would stop it being reverted to original sometime in the future.
He can do LOTS of sexy 'caff' stuff with it -without angle grinding off frame parts or throwing away standard fittings.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:11 pm 
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Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
Once we got the bike stripped down to the frame, and all parts carefully stashed into various tubs, we set about taking a peek into the motor. Down to the car wash with some degreaser and quarters we went. Back at the house one of the first things we noticed was a broken oil line between the pump and the left cylinder. It was busted off right at the discharge port of the pump and was not visible until we removed the pump cover. After we removed the clutch cover it was obvious that PO's had been into the case because the primary sprocket hold down bolt was loose and the clutch basket was also missing a tab. The big surprise came when we pulled the cylinders. Heavy scoring and damage to both pistons and cylinders was evident. We also determined the engine had been bored once already to .030 over. After a bit of snooping we scored a set of .060 over pistons on eBay and shipped the cylinders off to John Tice in Oregon for the machine work.

Based upon the condition of the motor, we could tell it was going to take a bit more effort to get this motor back into shape. Next step...split the case.


Attachments:
File comment: Broken discharge port on oil injection pump.
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File comment: Missing tab on clutch basket.
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File comment: Deeply scored pistons.
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File comment: Deeply scored pistons.
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File comment: Washer tab on the primary crank sprocket all chewed up by someone who doesn't know what they're doing. This was finger loose with the washer on when we opened the case.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:26 pm 
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Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
After a fair amount of trial and error, we found all the bolts, plates, and fasteners hidden around the motor that secured the case halves. With a some taps of a mallet, the case finally split and we lifted off the top section to inspect the internals of our abused and neglected motor. In general it was clean and didn't have any metal shavings or debris in the bottom of the case. No rust or visible damage on the journals we could inspect.

In our reading before starting this step of the process, we learned that earlier models had issues with proper lubrication on 4th and 5th gear. Even though this model was not supposed to be affected by this issue, we figured we should would check anyway. 5th gear showed prominent signs of abnormal wear and tear. Looks like one of these will be needed, too.

The next step was to troubleshoot the kickstarter. After removing the kickstarter shaft the start pawl was inspected and you could see how the edge had been broken off which prohibited the pawl from engaging the shaft when you tried to kick the motor over. Quick look on eBay and a new pawl was soon installed in the motor, fixing the kickstarter problem.

Mating faces of the case halves were carefully cleaned along with the case bolts in preparation for putting the case back together after the new transmission gear is received.


Attachments:
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File comment: Broken starter pawl
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File comment: Chewed up gear set.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 5:10 am 
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On the main road
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Joined: Mon Apr 22, 2013 6:38 am
Posts: 118
Location: SW Pennsylvania
Country: USA
Bikes owned: 1974 GT185
Father/son project, something he'll remember forever. This is how I got my start back in the 80s and my first bike a 76 Kawi KM100. My dad and I rebuilt the motor and did various other repairs. The memories... 8) Keep the pics coming! :up:


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:50 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:12 pm
Posts: 23
Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
Like buzzards that are drawn to carrion, I believe those of us who restore old iron have a missing chromosome or some psychological anomaly that allows us to find pleasure in undoing the mistakes and creative “repairs” perpetuated by previous owners on their defenseless machines. While this Titan is, generally speaking, in pretty good shape, there was one of those moments where we went, “Hmm, that’s weird.”

The bike came with a knobby tire on the rear wheel, which, if you understand where it was located, would come as no surprise. Prior to the tear down, we performed some basic system function tests which included brakes. As I had mentioned in a previous post, actuation of the rear brake caused the entire rear hub assembly to shift when the pads engaged the drum. Hmm, that’s weird. As we loosened the rear axle we noticed there were several fender washers being used as spacers between the swingarm, the brake hub, and axle nut. After removal of the rear wheel we determined the brake hub and the wheel hub were not compatible and rubbed metal-to-metal when assembled. It appears the previous owner had a spare wheel and sprocket from an old dirt bike laying around that they slung into the swingarm.

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Missing a wheel? Just grab one from the pile!

Wheel way too narrow? Just add fender washers!

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This is what we sign up for, right? No matter how complete, or clean, or functional that bike appears, and despite your best efforts to do a realistic assessment of the bike before purchase, you cannot ever assume there are will not be some major (and sometimes expensive) revelations to occur during the process of rescuing that forgotten or neglected child.

A quick eBay search and we had a new wheel, sprocket, and rubber dampers on their way and balance was restored to the universe.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 12:04 am 
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Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
Shortly after we purchased the bike and stripped it down to its bits, I took a new job that resulted in us boxing up all of the parts and moving down to California. Issues with housing have meant the bike was put into storage and the project has been idled for a bit. Living out of hotels and AirBNB's does not provide for a lot of opportunity to tinker in the garage like before. We are now working on some of the smaller things and, as a result, the posts have slowed down a bit.

We tried our hand at polishing the aluminum side covers over the last couple weeks. My son did an excellent job of knocking off the big stuff and getting a good start on the finer grit sand paper then I finished it up with 2000 grit and some aluminum polish. Some of the cases had some damage from being dropped by PO's but overall I think they came out pretty well. We still have the primary sprocket cover to finish in the next couple weeks.

Tomorrow I will dig out the cylinders and heads for a trip to the car wash followed by some paint and detailing. I'll keep the photos coming as the work progresses!


Attachments:
File comment: Wet sanded with 1500 grit just prior to 2000 grit.
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File comment: Final product after 2000 grit and aluminum polish.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 10, 2017 1:12 pm
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Country: US
Bikes owned: T500
Just a quick update on how the bike is coming...

Took the cylinders down to the car wash and spent an hour scrubbing and cleaning the heads and cylinders with degreaser and the high pressure rinse. It helped, but they are not spotless. Ultimately, it doesn't matter anyway because they will receive a coat of paint in the end.

We have continued to polish the miscellaneous metals on the bike. On the weekends I bring up new, dirty pieces to my son in Utah for him to clean and hit with the first round of sand paper. I then take back his pieces and finish the final wetsand and polish during the week in California. Definitely not the most cost effective or efficient way to do this, but we're making it work and the parts are turning out nicely. Current items in rotation this week are brake hubs and primary sprocket cover.

When we brought the bike home the throttle cable was broken at the carbs and just attributed it to neglect of some kind. Last week I pulled the carbs out of storage to begin the teardown, inspection, and rebuild. The first carb came apart just fine and was in relatively good shape. Other than some black tar in the bottom of the bowl (I presume to be old mix oil sludge) it was in good shape. The other carb was another story. While the bowl was similar to the first carb, the slide was hung up inside its barrel. When I say stuck...I mean STUCK. First, I thought there was just some corrosion so I hit it with PB Blaster. No dice. Then I carefully tried to pull on the slide with the throttle cable. SNAP! Then I carefully tried to pry the slide up with a screwdriver wrapped in a rag. Gouged the slide. Maybe the needle valve is frozen in the jet so I pulled that next. It was perfectly clean.

I think someone lubed the slide with super glue and beach sand before they re-assembled it.

I continued working on it another 30 minutes, breaking a screwdriver and partially destroying the slide in the process. Does. Not. Budge. I do not want to buy a replacement carb so I have settled on an idea of drilling and tapping the slide, thread in a small piece of all-thread into the slide through the top, and run through a small piece of flat bar placed on top of the carb barrel, similar to a gear puller.

If this doesn't work, I am open for any ideas you gentlemen may have. I've never had an experience like this before, especially when these carbs are in relatively good shape.


Attachments:
File comment: Slide out of the first carb...clean and shiny...
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File comment: This is the frozen one...Pretty clean and no indication of the impending discouragement and destruction...
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IMG_1869.JPG [ 90.13 KiB | Viewed 5071 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:23 am 
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Location: Blythewood, SC, USA
It's a toss-up whether the carb body will be usable even if you get the slide out. I would bet somebody here has a spare carb that you could acquire.



Lane

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:47 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:50 am
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Location: The Republic of South Yorkshire
Country: England
Bikes owned: GT550s GT750 GSX1400 and lots of spares
If things don't pull apart, soak them id freeing oil or diesel for a few days.
Shouldn't be any oil in the carbs - these bikes don't run premix, they have a CCI pump to lubricate the engine.


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 6:40 am 
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Location: Lancaster Pa.
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Bikes owned: GT750 x2 97 -1200 Bandit 86 GSXR1100
My first thought would be to get the outside part of the carb to expand a bit to release its grip . Maybe dip the top of the carb in some boiling water to heat it up ?

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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 8:29 am 
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Location: The Republic of South Yorkshire
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Bikes owned: GT550s GT750 GSX1400 and lots of spares
Yes. Good idea. Give it a soak in WD40 or diesel or something similar for a day, then put it in a plastic bag and stick it in the freezer for a couple of hours, THEN dip the top in boiling water and try to turn it. The carb might shrink in the cold enough to make the boiling water more effective.
Hopefully someone there will know the right swear words. If not, just make some up. :lol:


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 9:01 am 
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Location: Brighton, MI USA
Country: US
Bikes owned: ts250m
You guys have got a great project going. Thanks for taking the time to take pics and share your progress. It looks like you're doing all the right things. Too bad about the surprises but that's the stuff you find when working on old bikes like these. Often times the previous owner modifications are worse than normal wear and tear. You find 'em, fix 'em and move on to the next one. Eventually you'll get things all sorted out. I can share a couple hints that might be worth a try. Before you re-assemble the crankcases it might be a good idea to lightly lap them with some 400-600 grit wet/dry sandpaper used wet on a surface plate (a.k.a. granite counter top). Also, you might be able to un-stick that slide by completely removing the idle stop screw and then tapping the slide downward. I realize you ultimately want to pull the slide up but if you can get it to move at all you're making progress. My guess is that the slide bore in the carb body is a little gunked-up and/or corroded. Once you get any movement of the slide at all then WD-40 or equivalent has a better chance to soak in and loosen stuff up. If you can get the slide out without further damage the slide and carb body might still be salvageable.

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Currently - 75 TS250, 02 Kaw ZX-6R
Previously - 70 T350, 71 TS250, 72 GT380, 72 TS125, 72 TS250, 75 Yam YZ360B, 72 GT380 diy cafe racer, 80 GS750, 73 TS185, 82 GS1100


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:41 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2012 8:01 pm
Posts: 930
Location: North of Albany, NY
Country: USA
Bikes owned: T500R (now), T500M (30 yrs ago)
Agree with all of the suggestions above. Do not under estimate the holding power of decade old fuel which has turned to varnish. The carbs on my T500, when I got it, were so frozen I needed to cut the throttle cable so I could remove them from the bike.

It will take some time, as the varnish fills any gap that the solvent used (my choice has always been kerosene) has difficulty contacting the most stubborn spots.

Soak, rinse, heat, and work it. Repeat. And repeat again.

It took a long time to get it to this state. You didn't think it would come apart quickly, did you? :P


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