POLISHING UP A FAT GIRL

Around June, I think, I got hold of a sweet old GSX750E.


Everything on it is bog stock, except for the 4 into 1 and O'Brien can.
I haven't been able to do much due to a slowly mending broken collar bone. But now I have enough movement and strength to start.

I've had a bit of a tinker and done some scrubbing.
The bodywork, which was fine except for the hazing and crackly tank, now looks like this.


That is coat #1. I'm pretty pleased with myself as I have never wielded a spray gun before. Only cans.

The new Progressive Suspension 1204 shocks are on their way from a mate in Vegas. The eBay bloke wouldn't post outside the US.


$19.99 USD. Yes, I gots me a bargain there. They are, allegedly, just old stock.

The frame is covered in dust and rubbish but most of it wiped off with a kero soaked rag. the small patches of surface rust I have attacked with a whire wheel and Killrust black. This is a before shot, obviously.


The exhaust is off to a mates tomorrow to be sandblasted, then VHT'd and wrapped in black wrap.
I have ordered new mirrors, tank protectors (belly and knee pads) off eBay.
Tomorrow, I will ring the brake line man and get a set of Goodridge sent to me.
The sizal wheels and compound await.

I have pulled the forks, they are off to a trusted mechanic to be checked and serviced.

All I need to source now is a rear indicator lens, the pinstripe kit and tyres.

The bin in my shed has a quite a few cans squashed into it.

 Oh, and for all you blokes with your roomy sheds and bike jigs?
I'm just a little envious.








Polish? Bah! I hate polish.
I've been a truck driver for the last 18 odd years.
I know about polishing crap.

2 hours in the shed tonight with a couple of cans.

The sizal wheels couldn't get into the real corners of the rim.

Out with the wet & dry, old nappies and the Autosol.

I really hate polishing.





The forks are back..
The report from the surgeo..erm.. mechanic says the springs are in really good nick and he reckons possibly heavier than stock.
Good.
He stripped and cleaned them and refilled them with chunky 15w.
Lovely.

I spent some of the weekend escaping the kids and hiding in the shed.
"No, don't come in. It's vitally important that the door stays shut."
I attacked the front of the motor with degreaser, 2 stiff brushes and a towel.
I managed to achieve about 1/15 of 3/8 of nothing.
The nylon wheel will be next! that stuff is determined to stay.

So I turned my attention to the body work and managed another couple of coats over three days.
It's starting to look nice and deep now.


I also took to the front wheel..



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I took the zorst down to the shop today to see what could be done about the holes.
It was pretty much as I expected. Unsalvageable.




It was off to the wreckers then. I got a reasonably clean set for $100 off a Z1000.
We measured them off against the original set and I came away convinced that they'd fit.
When I got home I dummied them up to the head and every looks good.


Into the vice they went and my super-new nylon wheel went into the drill.

Before..


10 minutes of this..


and after..




A little sand paper to finish off the squeezy bits and I was impressed with the outcome.
The first coat of VHT is soaking in tonight.

I put the new mirrors on for a look-see.
I like them. They are a bit different.




I also discovered where Suzuki hide all the wiring on their naked bikes..





Aargh, what a week.
I ran out of exhaust wrap about a foot shy of what I needed.
So I had to order another 10 metre roll. Ouch!

Anyways, I took the pipes down to the exhaust shop and asked them to cut the midpipe back a bit, flare it and clean up the end of the muffler where I had belted it off the old pipes.

"Can't flare that", he says "It'll split. I can weld a piece around it to fit the can if you like?"

"Fair enough" I said.
About 25 minutes later he hands me a still smoking set of headers with a nicely mig'd expansion pipe on it and a cleaned up can.
"How much do I owe you?" I cringed.
"Nothing. You'll be right mate"
I was pleased.





So the new roll of tape came in and I set to the shed this afternoon.
Pipes are wrapped all the way now. Lovely.
Zorst is fitted and bolted up. A bit of a bugger of a job but all done now.
Forks are in, wheel is on, calipers are bolted in place.
It's looking quite sharp.

All to easy, I thought. I shouldn't have.

The you-beaut new braided stainless lines. Pah!
They are about 5 inches too long on either side and that's with the forks at full extension.

I've emailed the Goodridge supplier to request a refund as they are useless to me.


Righto, photos as promised.
The pipes are wrapped and bolted in.


The front end is bolted up with the original brake lines for now. I haven't put the bracket for the lines back on yet.


These are the Goodrige lines dummied up from the master cylinder and plumbed neatly.





If I sit them at the caliper they either bow out passed the width of the engine or cross over the guard to the other fork leg.

I spoke to my mate from Pirtek and he said they won't touch them due to ADR compliance.
But he put me onto a joint nearby that makes them up.
About $50 a line and about $40 for the anti-dive lines.
$180 sure beats $265. I should have shopped around a bit more.

I spoke to Kevin at Stamnas and he said no problems, just post them back up for the refund.

Once I get the bike on the road, I will take it up to the other brake joint and get them to make them up with the bike there.


I meant to add that the tyres turned up today.
Metzeler Lasertec.
They look as though he has just scrubbed the wax off them.





 Basically today turned to crap.

The paint has gone to orange peel.
It looks like a fat chick's leg after the hypothermia set in.

I can live with that until next Winter, when a mate gets home, and I will send the bits up to him to remedy my attempts.

The mirror glass fell out of one of the flash new units. I have repaired that.

The master cylinder screws were rusted and crumbled under the head of the screwdriver.
I drilled them out successfully and replaced them with stainless items.
But now the brakes don't feel as though they have bled up correctly.

I fitted up the tank and re-plumbed the hose and wiring.
I even managed to balls up the spade connectors for the fuel sender.

I thought I might fire it up to set the exhaust wrap and see how the exhaust had settled in.
It hadn't. Leaks galore around the head.
Bugger.
The original Suzuki pipes have a wider flange at the head of the pipe than the Kawasaki ones.
This allows the pipes to seal better against the crush washer.
The Kwaka pipes don't.
Looks like I'll have to go hunting for a new set after all.

But I did get flames, so not all is lost.

video






Well, I just rang Megacycle Exhausts.
They are about the only local bike exhaust joint for me.

$500 for plain unpainted headers and possibly a month to get them done.

How can that be possible?
A month?
Do they have to wait for the steel to grow?

In the meantime, I have checked out the Kwaka pipes more closely.
I have a theory. The mid pipe is hitting on the underside of the frame.
This has possibly caused the flanges not to seat squarely at the ports.

Necessity being a mother, I used a tree in the front yard and the bullbar on the Nissan to bend the pipes away a bit.

I've just bolted the pipes back up and they do seem to be sitting a little better. Maybe.

I'll go back out in a few and fire it up again.
If it works, I'm in front.
If not, then it's back to hunting for a genuine GSX set of headers. 




Success!
I've had a win.

The reshaped pipes have seated beautifully.
Not a puff from around the ports.

Unfortunately the muffler sits oddly.
The centre stand hits it when it's up and it's really close to the rear axle nut.

This will the dilemma for this week.

I was on my way to the exhaust joint to see what they could do about making up a short hotdog type can for me when I rolled the dice and stopped in at a little bike workshop.

I explained the issue and the bloke said "Bring it in. We'll move the mounting tab for you. I have mig, tig, aluminium tig, whatever you need."

I explained how it was on the axle nut and centre stand. He said no worries, he will knock the end off, shorten the can by an inch or two and re-weld the cap on.

He showed me a couple of cans he had made up for customer bikes. Very slick work.

He reckoned $50 for the mods and linishing/polishing.

There will be photos after this.




Rightio, where were we?
Master cylinder, I think.
29 years of fresh country air is good for us. Not good for cheap little screws.


That rubbishy piece of rubbish was replaced with stainless, Allen headed goodness.

Yeah, I got the bling now!
I picked up 4 of these from the local bolt shop. How much? A shrug was the reply and he handed me the bag.








Onto the dilemma of the muffler..
I dropped it to the little workshop on Thursday arvo and told him I'd be back Monday.

After dropping a friend at the airport today I scurried back down to the shop to see how it looked.
Jeez, you can't tell where the bracket used to be.

I took it out to the shed for a dummy fit up. It's snug. The bracket was on a slightly wrong angle to clear the axle, so off it came again.
A couple of quick persuasions with the hammer and it fits like a glove.


It's tight up against the footpeg brace. So what? It's not going to do any harm there.


Plenty of clearance around the back end too.


I must add that the exhaust is nicely clear of the frame and centrestand now.


Yes, I know I still have to polish it more. But once it was on it was going to stay on.




What a top lazy day I had.
I wandered out to the shed just before lunch and tinkered around all day.
Polishing a little bit here, sanding a bit there.
Nothing definite, or defined, just a day to be had.

I bought myself a little brake bleeding kit and got the fronts up to spec. Maybe.
The lever still comes halfway back, but it's enough to get me to the bike shop and they can pressure bleed it properly for me.

Then it was off to the back end of the bike.
I managed to get it up onto the centre stand by myself today. A sure sign that the broken collarbone is on the mend. I didn't hear any clicks or cracks coming from within, so that was good.

With the front of the frame brushed and painted I got busy on the back half.
Again it was only light surface scaling and it fell to the nylon brush with ease. A couple of coats of the flat black and it was looking pretty cool.

I reassembled the tail light pieces and put the tail piece on.

I looked at the tank and the tail and figured I might as well put the other body pieces on too.

Then it was time for the wheel to come out.
The split pin through the cotter nut was new and shiny.
I took that as a sign of recent servicing. Good.
The axle was heavy with grease and slid out nicely.
That was followed by a the dual *ting* of metal hitting the floor.
Bloody spacers! I forget them every time I do a wheel.
So, a question for the brains trust..
From the left of the bike to the right, are these in the right order and the right way around?

I mean :
Swingarm-spacer-wheel-spacer-brake-spacer-swingarm?
The middle on is my main concern. Is that the right way around?
Anyway, the chain is in great condition. No signs of stretch and the thing is covered in chain wax. Good again.

The sprocket doesn't look that old either.


The wheel and cush drive rubbers are in good nick too.


A quick regrease of the wheel bearings and a check of the swingarm showed it all to be rather good.
I think the old girl has been looked after properly.
A lot of the electrical connections have been replaced by newer looking spades.

Anyway after that it was time to wander on in for the evening.
One last parting shot as she stands, with her bum in the air..



Please excuse the crap I am passing for photos. I only had the phone with me and it doesn't handle fluoro lighting too well. I'll take the big camera out tomorrow and get some in daylight.
I promise.




Pfft. It's been one of those weeks, ya know?

So this is how it's gone.
(shakes head sadly at this point)

The back end was stripped.
I took the wheel down to the shop and they swapped old Shooda Bin Hung tyre for the freshly buffed Metzeler.
One of a pair that a mate has kindly donated to the project.

I got back the next day to pick the wheel up and the mechanic grinned in that "I know something funny about your bike" kind of way.
"You know that Chinese piece of crap was a tubed tyre?"
"Yeah", says I.
"No tube" he grins back.
"Maybe he likes filling tyres a lot" I offered by way of explanation.
$22 later and I wandered out with a modern looking tyre on an ancient looking rim.
Plus I got to keep the old Chi Pee Shi Tah.
I wouldn't even use it to make a swing.

Fast forwarding a few days, well, to tonight exactly.
As a distraction from the iron fist of the last week, I toddled out to the shed with cans and a plan.

I had already removed, greased and replaced the swingarm.
It hardly needed it. There was plenty of good grease in there and no slack in the arm. A win!

Time for those beaut black shocks to go on.
The problem was the eyelets, they are a lot bigger than the mounting stud.
Great..
Thommo suggested punching the rubbers out of the old shocks. I had already thought about that.
The mechanic at the shop agreed too.
So that was the plan.
After banging away on a socket into the rubber for a while I realised the rubber was halfway out and not going further.
Did you know the inside of the mounting eyelet on a Showa shock is tapered from both sides into the centre?
I didn't.
A smaller socket, one tap and it fell out.
Eventually I found it and opened the Progressive box to compare eyelets.
Hmm. That wasn't going to work.
I checked in the box to find some instructions for a clue.
The paperwork was under a bag with some washers, spacers and small metal tubes.

This is where the rest of you can start shaking your heads too.

The final result?
Sexy blackness holding my bum off the floor.

Plus my first poser sticker for the bike.





I have a bike on 2 wheels again.
I am very happy. To say the least.
We had the 4 days off down here in Melbourne for Cup Day.
So it naturally poured down like Ragnarok was coming.
I swear the old bloke next door was herding a pair of each animal into his big boat.

Well, that meant the lawns and gutters were off the list. I set the kids to the housework and disappeared into the Bat Cave.
First up was the rear wheel with it's sexy Metzeler attached.
Polishing, greasing and painting.
Have I mentioned how much I hate polishing? I may have, once or twice.
The radio was cranked up on the oldies station. (It saves me from hearing the three brothers fight over who is washing, drying and putting away).

I tried buffing wheels, cotton wheels, sisal wheels.
The result was crap, to say the least.
Aaah well, back to the old ways.
An old t shirt and the Autosol.

It didn't come up too bad at all.
A lick of paint on the centre and flat black for the spokes.


I had to leave that sit for a while to dry.
I took to the tank with cut & polish and carnauba wax.
It proved just how bad I really am at prep & paint.
I don't care, it's going off to the pro painter mate next Winter. It will look prettier then.


I was dubious about the el cheapo tank pads I had scored off eBay but they surprised me.
Nice and flexible and stuck like a fat kid on a muffin.

Tank..


Knee..


I left it there for the day as I was waiting for the wheel to dry.
The next day was... fun.
I seem to have a springloaded swingarm.
Getting that wheel back into place was a mongrel job.
I figured out which way the spacers went and lined it all up.
Working from the left, I slipped the axle into the wheel and then lined up the hub to brake spacer.
Easy.
Then slipped the axle through that combination.
the remaining gap from brake to swingarm was less than half the width of the spacer. Hmm.
That took a while of levering, lifting, wiggling, cursing, smoking, walking away etc etc.
I'm sure you blokes know the drill..
But eventually, this..

Hooray for me!

I did a bit more polishing and tinkering around the bike for the day.

I went back on the Monday and stringlined the back wheel into position..

All i have left is a final polish on the side panels and to paint the headlight ring in the same blue as the body.

Since I still had a can or two left and the Canon was in the shed, I spent some time being a bit arty-farty.

So, please indulge me as I get all high-panted with some photos.












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