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  1. #1
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    New Project bike hits the stable - '90 VFR750

    So yesterday I went out and looked at a bike listed on Craigslist. A broken down 1990 VFR750. I'm not sure if it qualifies as a project bike yet. It's really more of a broken down jigsaw puzzle on two wheels. Ya know the puzzles where someone's toddler chewed on the pieces and you aren't sure if they're all there or of they're going to fit back together?

    I don't know, some people rescue puppies and kittens; I feel the need to rescue broken down bikes.

    The story is that the craigslister bought the bike from a coworker. Coworker had laid it down and the motor had a tick that C'lister thought was lower end. C'lister does body work so he planned on fixing up the plastics. Original owner decided to start tearing the motor apart while C'lister thought it was just a leaky exhaust. Original owner tore the cams out of it and that's where he stopped. C'lister bought it anyway and then lost interest in the project.

    The plastics are a little worse than I expected from my phone conversation with the C'lister. Cosmetics aren't my thing but I've wanted to learn - this may be my chance. Tank is in perfect condition. Corbin seat - cover is about wore out, no rear cowl. Brand spankin new michellins on white wheels front and back. The tires are so new it may explain why the bike went down. 46k miles on the clock. Headlights are good without any yellowing and same with the instrument cluster.

    All for $500. I figure the worst case is I'll get my money back out of parts.

    1st order of business - take photos and post (I'll have initial pics here in a couple minutes)
    2nd order factory service manual from ebay
    3rd cut my teeth on gear cams and put the top end back together
    4th perform cold compression test and get 1st clue as to how healthy the motor might be. As long as everythings w/in10% and near the low end of the spec (cold engine remember), I'll proceed to put it together and see if I can hear the noise they spoke of.

    The idea would be to get the engine running without putting any more than $50/100 into it until I see what I have and can re-evaluate the project. If I can get it running and looking good without the complete investment exceeding $1200 then I'll probably proceed with it.



    notice the pile of plastics, the rest of the motor and stuff is living in the tote:


    A peek into the tote:

    Last edited by tinkerinWstuff; 04-02-2010 at 07:59 AM. Reason: try to make elwray look stupid
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  2. #2
    Senior Member elwray's Avatar
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    Hopefully this post goes through before you post pics, otherwise I'll look like an idiot:


  3. #3
    Senior Member Kobe Diesel's Avatar
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    You waste no time!
    Mr. 90+ mph, now with 3 speeding tickets in 1 month, that's working out really good

  4. #4
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    Nice Tink, now hurry up, ti's the time to ride soon.
    I am nuttier than a squirrel turd "Nancy Pelosi"

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  5. #5
    Senior Member elwray's Avatar
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    Wow, looks like you've got a fun spring ahead of you!!

  6. #6
    Uber Guru Fazer1Sniper's Avatar
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    All we gotta do is convince Cundalini that his plastics are beyond repair, make him street fighter his bike & give you the mildly scuffed plastics.
    "The quickest way to change a persons mind on a subject is a 168 grain boat tail hollow point." 1*

  7. #7
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    i'd love to find a project like that. great find and good luck! keep us posted

  8. #8
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    Well, I'm 250 miles away from the project at the in-law's house for Easter so I haven't even been able to look at this thing since I took the photos posted above.

    Itching to take inventory of what I have. I did talk to my dad and he's sending me a good quality cup-gun and I bought a respirator for the cosmetic work I'm hoping will be ahead. Still not planning on wasting a moment of time or effort on the cosmetics until I know what I really have for an engine here.

    I would consider wasting some time reading and getting educated though. If anyone has any threads they'd recommend with info on painting plastics or any must reads on the 3rd gen in general, please give me links!

    Cundalini's cosmetic rework threads are as eventful as watching paint dry.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  9. #9
    Uber Guru squirrelman's Avatar
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    Not too many would dive into this project, but we know you can rescue it, Tinki !!

    And it's very rescue-worthy; only thing i'd worry about is the unidentified reported tick, but you've got the resources and smarts to sort it out.

    Get the engine running b4 putting time into the plastic, and remember what miracles duct tape can work and that you can buy red duct tape that closely matches Honda's red.



    " Goin' to Hell in a bucket, but at least I'm enjoyin' the ride. "


    FRACKING: kiss your aquifer good-bye !!

  10. #10
    Uber Guru Rollin_Again's Avatar
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    You've easily got over $500 worth of parts so you win either way. Good luck with the project and please keep us updated.

    Rollin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by squirrelman View Post
    Not too many would dive into this project, but we know you can rescue it, Tinki !!
    Thanks for the kind words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rollin_Again View Post
    You've easily got over $500 worth of parts so you win either way. Good luck with the project and please keep us updated.

    Rollin
    Thanks Rollin. I talked to TOE on the phone before committing to purchase just to make sure I hadn't lost my mind. He pretty well said the same thing, and when I saw it had brand new rubber on it and a great condition tank - done deal.

    So, I've found a few moments to take a little inventory of what I have here. I'm still disappointed when I look at the plastics but I keep telling vfrhubby that he and kristin are taking a vacation to the rockies this year to give me painting pointers. Found a K&N air filter. Found a clue from the PO matching up the cam caps and cast ID from the factory indicating where they belong. Just need to locate another clue as to WHICH set the PO took off WHICH head. So far it still looks like everything is here; carbs, airbox, airbox cover, cams, cam-caps, cam-cap bolts, valve covers, radiator, oil cooler blah blah blah....

    Found a set of used spark plugs in the box. 3 looked real good and consistent. The fourth plug had more carbon buildup but didn't look bad. Always a chance it's carboration but regardless I guess it's to be expected for the miles it has.

    Plan remains the same - get the cams installed to perform a cold compression test and evaluate next step from there based on results.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  12. #12
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    UPDATE:

    Found the "noise" I was warned about.

    Installed the cams and was verifying timing. I placed a long narrow screwdriver down the spark plug hole to track piston location while turning the motor over by hand and watching the cam lobes (intake, compression, combustion, exhaust). I discovered that when I turned the crank slightly and the piston was on the down stroke, I could stop, push on the screw driver and "CLUNK". The piston would move somewhere around .030-.060" and clunk when the slop was taken up. Move the crank a little more, push piston, clunk.

    Try the same thing on #3 and everything was good. So she's likely got a bad rod bearing or wrist pin.

    Not ready to throw in the towel on it though. If a runner fell in my lap for cheap I might consider that route but for the moment I'll pull the motor. As long as nothing's roasted then she might get a new set of bearings, rings, and valve job. In the end it could be ready for another 50k miles.

    This project may keep me busy all summer.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  13. #13
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    called local salvage yard Steeles Cycles for fun just to see if they had a motor. They'd want a pretty good price but thought it couldn't hurt to check. In some ways it would be nice to have a running motor to enjoy the season while having the builder motor on the bench.

    Salvage yard said he had a '97 that had burned but the motor mounts would be different for me. No good '90-'93 motors. All-well, worth a try.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  14. #14
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    I think I saw a 90-93 motor on ebay just the other day, and i believe it was fairly inexpensive.

  15. #15

  16. #16
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    I peeked at ebay. problem is that shipping runs around $200.

    There's no value in $200 worth of shipping. I can't resell $200 and $200 is probably what the engine parts would cost and I'd have a "like new" motor when done.

    I will conceed there's some value in being able to play today while the riding season is just about to get good..... I can watch that motor and if it stays under $100 + $200 shipped, I'd be doing alright.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  17. #17
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    Well, its your call on this. Just saw a few auctions and thought I'd let you decide.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bweiss View Post
    Well, its your call on this. Just saw a few auctions and thought I'd let you decide.
    Appreciate it. I posted a question to the Florida seller to see if he had any idea about miles on the motor and that I may want to talk to him about crate-n-freight. There's a washington motor (not sure if you linked it above) that's a '96 and may only have 20k miles and is willing to ship for a small fortune. I'm trying to find out for certian if the 4th gen will bolt up and then I'll see if they will get a better freight estimate.

    I also emailed a small shopping list of parts inquiry to my local Honda to find out about rod bearings/rings/head gaskets and a few others that would be necessary to have her ready for another 50k miles. Before everyone barages me with their favorite online site, I find my local shop to be competitive when I shop, I'll check around to keep them honest but I'll support them when I can.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  19. #19
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    I only posted 3rd gen motors. Let us know how they all turn out!

  20. #20
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    Did not get as far into the project as I would have liked to this weekend.

    The motor is out. I thought I had a runner lined up to throw in the bike while I rebuilt the current one. The guy was supposed to call me back yesterday and didn't so we'll see what happens.

    Rolled the frame out into the street and gave her a good pressure washing. Don't expect much to happen this week short of locating parts.


    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  21. #21
    Uber Guru Rollin_Again's Avatar
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    Your bike would look 100 times better with a 6th Gen rear wheel. Lucky for you I am willing to do an even swap.

    Rollin

  22. #22
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    I'm very lucky I have several offers to trade good parts for good parts but not many offers for the plastics or motor that I really need.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  23. #23
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    UPDATE:

    I thought I had a motor lined up but shipping costs made it pretty prohibitive. I started tearing down the old motor to get to the bottom of this bad bearing. VFR parts have now completely overtaken the garage. The heads are off and I almost have the case split so that the crank will come out HOWEVER, Honda was kind enough to use a special F'ing nut on the clutch basket. The tool is $40-$45 at the two local shops I called. There must be another sourse....

    Part #17 is the one that's holding up the show: Service Honda's 1990 Honda Street Bike VFR750F VFR Parts List

    Maybe a trip to sears to check their tooling selection is in order. I'll update later with photos of the progress - or distruction depending on how you look at it. I've had to shovel a lot of knowledge out the back of my brain like ballast in order to make room for the memories needed to reassemble this puppy. Not sure if I know how to tie my shoes any more or if that's one of the things tossed aside.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  24. #24
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    No luck looking at sears online for the tool. Think I have an idea to fabricate my own tool using a drill press, tap set, grinder, and welder.
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  25. #25
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    Small cup gun showed up from UPS yesterday. Gift from the ol' man to help me restore this beast.

    .....think of all the hell I can give Cundalini if I get this project running on the road with painted plastics before he finishes making a career out of his paint job....
    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Small cup gun showed up from UPS yesterday. Gift from the ol' man to help me restore this beast.

    .....think of all the hell I can give Cundalini if I get this project running on the road with painted plastics before he finishes making a career out of his paint job....
    I'd say that proposition is very doable given past performance...

  27. #27
    Uber Guru Bubba Zanetti's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tinkerinWstuff View Post
    Small cup gun showed up from UPS yesterday. Gift from the ol' man to help me restore this beast.

    .....think of all the hell I can give Cundalini if I get this project running on the road with painted plastics before he finishes making a career out of his paint job....
    Please don't finish first.

    Cundalini a.k.a Whine-da-lini will post up a thread on how you and VFRhusband get your projects done before him and how sad it makes him

    BZ
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  28. #28
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    well, he better get crackin.

    I picked up the painting supplies, fiberglass, and plastic weld today along with a moisture seperator for the compressor. Time to start scraping and sanding.

    The motor is in a holding pattern for a week. Might have a line on another used motor but trying to wear down a craigslister to a reasonable price. Otherwise I'll make the commitment to direct my minimal funds into rebuilding the old motor. I got an estimate from a local machinist to drill out a busted headbolt I broke last weekend.

    BTW, here is the look I'm going for. This photo I found in the 4th gen album so this bike belonged to someone here. I picked up this color from Sherwin Williams today. The difference will be that my bike has white wheels and I'll have white vinyl.

    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

  29. #29
    Senior Member elwray's Avatar
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    Lovely color. Good luck

  30. #30
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    Spoke with local dealer and got an estimate for parts on the engine rebuild. Around $750 includes gasket kit, rod/main bearings, rings, carb insulators, water pump.

    That's about $300 over the budget I had for this thing and I haven't measured the clutch disks for wear yet. Dealer was kind enough to break loose the special nut on the clutch basket for me. Only cost me $5 tip to the mechanic.

    5th Gen Resurrection - Rebirth and re-invention of a wrecked 5th Gen

    3rd Gen Resurrection - Craigslist project bike

    Dumped the California Cams - swapped 49 states cams into a Cali' motor

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