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My Road to 'Bob'
Old 07-16-2013, 02:53 PM   #1
Aced It
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My Road to 'Bob'

Hey all! Some of you might be familiar with my other thread "My Road to Rod" featuring a somewhat budget minded mod on my ACE 750. But at the request of a friend who’s also a member on this board (Martin, aka: Kingshead), I’m copying over a thread I started on some other sites regarding my latest project. So pardon any anomalies or misdirection, blah-blah-blah. If you do find any, grab a pencil and paper, write down your concerns, neatly fold the paper, put it in an envelope and stick it up your ass. ;)

Here goes.


Mid May 2013: Welp ... sold my Nissan 240SX. Not thrilled as it is an awesome car and was nowhere near stock, so yes it was fun to drive. It also had sentimental value as some of the money to build that car came from my mother's inheritance after her death in '99. Sigh.

But, my wife and I discussed many possibilities and since the 240 was pretty much a toy and I had WAY too many expensive dreams for it, we both decided that maybe I could have more fun in modding another bike. ...... I love her.

In any event, I hit Craigslist here locally and went to look at a few bikes knowing damn well that it's for a "project" and I'm not spending too much. I put a limit of $1500. May 24th, 2013 - Here's what I snagged for $750:

'91 Honda Shadow VLX 600






35,000 miles, new rear tire, front bald (so bald I'm trailering her home), starts up good, stock pipes gutted, pops a bit with blue flame from front cylinder (out exhaust), needs fork springs and new chain, and other minor imperfections ... I mean, check out the tank on the right side. In any event, it doesn't look to have been dropped while in "motion" and the dude's parents told me that he dropped it while loading it onto a trailer. Oh well. Guess it's time to put some amateur skills to the test here in Chappy's garage, lol!

Wish me luck fellars and gellars (?) ... I'll make sure to include you all along the way.

As for the plan, she’s going to bobberville. I don't particularly like the big plastic rear fender at all. The thing I like about this frame is the rear swingarm having the 'look' of a rigid frame and that it's chain drive not shaft. Nothing against shaft drive, I just prefer the look of chain.

I'll find ways to add my own flare and I do have a few ideas. Gonna work on some mechanical and safety issues first and then pursue the custom.

As usual, it probably won't be a fast process. But I will most likely be buying some needed tools along the way since many years ago I had major theft in my shop and never replenished some of the basics.

Coming home:



Take a look at some of the "surprises" I've come up with:










Nice, eh? Let some hacking begin:






Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:33 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:54 PM   #2
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And here's how she's looking today:



Parts I've ordered so far:
. Front tire (Kenda K673 Kruz to match the almost new rear tire)
. Front and rear wheel bearings/seals (All Balls)
. Front brake pads (BikeMaster)
. Fork springs (Progressive)
. Fork seals (BikeMaster)
. Fork oil (Maxima 10WT)
. Sprocket set, 40T rear/16T front (JT Sprockets)
. 525 BMOR Series O-Ring Chain (BikeMaster)
. Hardtail lowering kit (Scootworks)

I've got a lot to do still. I'm contemplating seats, and yes it will be a sprung seat because if you didn't catch it above, I'm going rigid. Why? Because I can get it lower. That also entails cutting the spacer in the front forks when I install the new springs. I have a lot to do, such as stripping the flat black rattle job off of nearly everything, yanking the stock intake, dismantling the carbs to see what's in'em (cleanliness and jet sizes), locating another stock exhaust system (the innards of the front pipe are broken ... yes broken. The inner pipe somehow separated itself from the top of the pipe at the flange area (leading into the head). Oh yeah, and fixing the tank.

Ah yes, fixing the tank ... I tried locating a replacement and they are not cheap, nor are they available in mass quantities. So I'm going to be experimenting with popping those dents and doing some bodywork. Yeaaaaaaahhhh ... we'll see how that goes.

I have come to realize that the bike was laid down, but not too bad. Even though I've thought about the whole 'flipping' idea, I don't know yet as it will be cutting a close edge between money spent and market value weighted against a unique piece. So this is my experimental bike as it stands now, and I'm just going to have fun making it mine.

I have a lead on an exhaust, and it really doesn't' matter the external shape nor the shape of the 'mufflers' as they'll be cut off. And, as a bonus to myself I'm also looking at welders.

Okay, got a bunch of parts in the mail the other day. Probably not using any of them any time soon as I've still got a lot to do with teardown, cleanup and details. Recap of stuff included:

. Front tire (Kenda K673 Kruz to match the almost new rear tire)
. Front and rear wheel bearings/seals (All Balls)
. Front brake pads (BikeMaster)
. Fork springs (Progressive)
. Fork seals (BikeMaster)
. Fork oil (Maxima 10WT)
. Sprocket set, 40T rear/16T front (JT Sprockets)
. Hardtail lowering kit (Scootworks)


The BikeMaster 525 BMOR Series O-Ring Chain will arrive Monday. I'm also awaiting a new (old) exhaust I picked up on Ebay. Hopefully the innards are in better shape.

So started the day with a few expectations, shot to hell as usual. Assembled my new HF tire changer, bolted it to the floor and went to begin dismount of tires. Crap. Forgot to get the motorcycle tire attachment. Come to find out HF discontinued the damn thing a while back. Grr. Packed it up; returning it Monday. Meanwhile, a few drops of sweat and some swearing later, I got the tires off the poor boy way.

The front rim had a nice bend in it, but the wheel seems to spin true. I'll double check it once the new bearings go in. But it's amazing what a hammer and a grinder will do. I am probably going to dismantle the spokes (front and rear) for some paintwork/powdercoat anyway ... we'll see ...









After removing the makeshift tire tube band (duct tape by the previous owner or before) I then proceeded to strip off the paint using Klean Strip (awesome stuff!) in a spray can. During this time I put some bolts in a bucket of Evaporust. I only had enough to do the one wheel and the tank. I then wrapped the inner rims with cloths soaked in Evaporust. I'm letting that sit over night ... I think you know where I'm headed with these tubed spoke wheels.







Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:18 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:56 PM   #3
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Moving on to the forks. Look at this. Obviously worked on before; eesh.



Finally, got to removing the carbs. Went to the local dealer and ordered a rebuild kit. Yesterday I had a nice phone call with TJ Styles and ordered some custom jets along with a couple of velocity stacks - TJ Brutal Customs ... the man is genius.



That's a day. Here's how she sits:





Yeah, that's a portable air conditioner box in the background. I splurged ... it's hot as balls in my garage and the mosquitoes are out of control! I'll chalk it up to shop expenditures.


Latest update ...

I visited a local paint shop today after doing some research. Discussed things with the counter rep; young guy, very knowledgeable. Looking at painting the bike myself, but not a rattle-can job this time. Metal flake and such ... stay tuned!

Interesting things during the disassemble. First, you don't need to have nor order special tools. Sometimes a broken shovel handle and simple leverage does the job:





Damn that fork oil was NASTY! Smelled gawd-awful and the consistency was just short of water.


Second, Kleen Strip is AWESOME!








Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:19 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:57 PM   #4
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Third, I don't know if this is right. These are the Progressive fork springs I received. The box indicates the right bike. However, maybe I'm confused but I guess I do not use the long tube spacer. Correct? It's the only thing that makes sense, haha! I'd like to lower the front end a bit, so cutting an inch or two off the springs might be necessary. I'll look into it. The stock springs are on top and way out of spec. One is even shorter than the other.




Note to self: I've gone seriously over budget. But then, that also includes a few items for the garage. I'm having some fun with this lil' scoot though. Haven't done anything with the tank yet. I stripped everything off her that is getting powder coated. Got a couple quotes from local 'companies', but ended up just down the road at a guy who's number I got off the back of a stop sign at the exit of the local Home Depot - haha! Let's see ... oh yeah ... HALF the price of the companies. Cool guy ... ends up he does a lot of coatings for some local motorcycle dealerships. He operates from his house, but no he's not using the Eastwood DIY powdercoating system. He's got professional stuff; all the powders and colors imaginable and uses an industrial oven, shown here behind the VW just over the car's roofline:




Anyway, here's what I gave him:






Lastly, I had to grind out the rear race section of that front wheel bearing that was in pieces. Apparently it was fused to the wheel. No problem, a few Dremel cuts and a pounding later and it came out ... in pieces. I smoothed out the inner bearing housing and installed the new bearings temporarily to spin up the wheel on my homemade wheel horse. Good news on that end, it spun nice and true.




Pretty much just waiting on parts and such. I've got a few things to weld up and experiment with. Slow going is approaching.


Poor baby. Yee shall ride again:



I sized up the front fender just for giggles last night and while a bit narrow for the rear tire, it may just work for the look I'm going for. I was going to sell it to make back a buck or two, but if I use it I then save the money on buying another. We’ll see.

So yesterday I took the damage fuel tank to a local body shop to get some ideas on how to go about fixing it. Popping them out from the inside wasn't working as there just wasn't enough leverage area. Some other methods didn't do so well either. Also, I don't have a stud welder, no one locally rents one and I'm not spending $100 or more on something I'll use once. And I'm NOT drilling holes into the tank. But, I figured I could slip the guy a bill or two just to put a few studs in the dents and I'll do the rest. We got to talking and for $80 he's going to pull the dents, fill and sand to perfection. I couldn't pass it up, since I'd be spending way more than that to do it myself. I should have it back Monday or Tuesday.

Picked up my paint today. Let's just say it's gonna be shiny!

No big excitement tonight. Ripped out the battery box and wiring harness for the most part. Found a couple frayed wires that I'll have to fix. Deciding if I'm pulling the engine or not in order to sand and paint the frame. Hell, I'm almost out of stuff to pull off at this point anyway, right? Ha! I also temporarily installed the Scootworks solid strut to get an idea of where the swingarm ends up when lowered.

Lastly, found out I can't run my air compressor and the portable air conditioner together ... tripped the electrical breaker at the panel. Grr.

Junk Pile:




Bucket O' Parts and harness:


Scootworks solid strut vs. OEM strut. Honestly you could make a strut out of mild steel or solid aluminum for less or free. But, I spent the money so you don't have to. Hehe. I may not even use it, we'll see:




And the boring 'how she sits':

[img]"http://i736.photobucket.com/albums/xx9/exit39/Motorcycle/VLX-600/20130607_220411.jpg[/img]

Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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So look what fell out of the frame today ...






Hahaha ... well, it's just easier to unload the engine turning the frame on her side. Made a little mess with the oil that did not come out when originally draining, but no problem - That's what cat litter is for, right?

So the day was pretty much dedicated to complete removal of the engine and cleaning/de-greasing the frame and parts. Spend about 1/3 of it helping my son fabricate a simple flagpole mount for his truck. More stuff going to powder coater hopefully.

Here's a nice shot of the color of the coolant ... Hooboy:



The big black blob in the center is the engine under cover sitting on my creeper now doubling as a mobile engine facility:




Stopped by the powder coater with a few more small parts. I had to pick up the bottom of the triple-tree because I didn't remove the lower bearing race. Little heat, little Dremel and presto. Ha! Anyway, he had my previous stuff already blasted and prepped. Should have it all done by the end of the week. Believe me, I told him "no hurry".





Didn't get a pic of the wheels, but they look the same. But shiny, shiny black they shall be!

Hahaha ... well, it went pretty quickly from a budget flip to a personalized custom build.


So, what DO you get with $80 and a dented tank?

Well, with the right bodyman, this:






Remember before:





Fixed properly with a stud welder (no holes), filled, sanded, primed ... Couldn't be happier!

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Old 07-16-2013, 02:59 PM   #6
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This should turn out interesting, some serious neglect from the previous owner.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgmotoman
This should turn out interesting, some serious neglect from the previous owner.
Bah! Ya got in before I got the chance to continue adding the information .... Continuing on ....

Little Ebay observation (somewhat related): Ebay is weird when it comes to items like this. I bid on a tank that was lightly scratched and lost to $91, $30 to ship (losing only because I chose to have mine worked on, so I stopped bidding). Then I saw another tank sell for $370 with dents! Moral of Ebay is: It's not what you're selling, it's when you're selling it. There are some truly desperate people out there, and you just have to find them.

So I began working (I should say "experimenting") on a little something since I've got some time to kill waiting on parts and powdercoat .... It's not like the scoot is going anywhere anytime soon, haha! It's in a million pieces and I'm waiting on lots of stuff I've ordered and still haven't even got the items back from powdercoat. I need those because the wheels are part of the bunch, and I need the wheels to mount up the rear tire so I can mock the hardtail on the frame. Plus, before I mount the tires I am sealing the spokes like I did on the ACE, which takes about a week to cure. One thing leads to another - woohooooo!

Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:05 PM   #8
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First, there are reasons I keep cat litter buckets, haha! They come in handy for storage and as horses:



Mocking up:



Ooo, pretty:


Hope my welds are as pretty.

Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:06 PM   #9
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Ran into a complication last night. Realized my welds weren't penetrating sufficiently (shut up). Couple of reasons: First, my garage is only set up on 15A; I need 20A to run efficiently. Second, I was running an extension cord to my son's bathroom because it's running on a 20A breaker. Problem with that is the cord is over 75ft and the voltage was being reduced too much. I noticed in my breaker panel that there is a spare 20A not being used. So my neighbor is going to assist me tomorrow with installing a dedicated outlet in the garage next to the panel specifically for the welder to run on. Cool!

Now, on to even cooler things! I got my stuff back from powercoating today. Hot rod high gloss black. Man is it wet ... like a ... nevermind ... it's purdy! Some freshly restored parts porn for ya:






Last edited by Aced It : 07-16-2013 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 07-16-2013, 03:07 PM   #10
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There is a lot of dust from my garage on them, but I can assure you they are like mirrors! There are also a few things missing that I'll be running back over to him (master cylinder, pedal brackets, etc). I'll work on that this week. Tomorrow hopefully I'm going to get to sealing those spokes! Some scuffing and such shall commence in preparation for the 3M sealant.

My neighbor is an ex-electrician now working as a field supervisor for commercial/residential installation and hook-up of natural gas lines. We verified I had proper wiring to handle the 20A. It really was a simple fix in that he believes that the previous home owner swapped a 15A in place of a 20A in the garage originally. So we simply put it back (he had an extra one in his truck). Job done; welder works fantastic now.

So today involved the above, also running back to Lowe's to once again exchange the A/C unit I bought for the garage. I ended up getting away from the 'portable' unit and going with a window one. It's rated at 12,000 BTU for up to 650sqft as compared to the portable one I had (that wasn't cutting it) at also 12,000 BTU but only rated for 450sqft. My garage is about 430sqft, so the additional cooling from the new window unit is a welcome addition.

Now, oh yeah, the bike! What did I do the the bike today? Well, I installed the front and rear wheel bearings and proceeded to scuff up the pretty powdercoat .... relax .... on the inside of the wheel surface in preparation for the 3M sealant. Some might see these pics as familiar, since I had done this to the ACE.














I also played with the welder a bit. My welds need a slight more artistry. It's been so long since I've done any welding, I need a bit more practice.

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