1986 VF500F - Post Restoration Touch Up (18 Years Later)

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by stewartj239, Jan 22, 2021.

  1. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    I bought this 500 back in 2003. It was truly a barn find with just 600 miles on it but it had sat uncovered with gas in the tank since 1987 (according to the original owner). Even though it was low mileage, the years of sitting and being uncovered took its toll on it. It took me 2 years to go through it and put it back to showroom condition. Doing this back then wasn't a problem as many needed parts were still available which included a new gas tank.

    The odometer now reads 7445 miles, but most of that was put on right after the restoration. Since then, this bike has mainly sat in storage in my heated basement. A few years back, I noticed that the clutch slave cylinder started leaking hydraulic clutch fluid which must have been festering undetected for years as it took the paint right off the left crankcase cover as well as the bottom of the Lockhart full fairings.

    I decided that this winter would be a good time to just go through it again and put it back to how I had it just following the restoration. The almost 7K miles put on it since then also created other (normal) issues, with road / stone / chip damage, dirt and wear & tear, that I also wanted to get cleaned up.

    First thing on my list was to fix the damage from the hydraulic fluid leak. The crankcase cover on the left shows the damage that was done from the leading fluid. Before paying to have this cover repainted, I got on eBay to see about finding a used replacement and I got very lucky. The one on the right is in EC and is a 9 out of 10 cosmetically. I just had to touch up a couple of spots and it looks nearly new now.

    VF500F-1.JPG

    As the hydraulic fluid was leaking over the years, it would drip off the crankcase cover and collect in the bottom of the Lockhart full fairing. You can see how it made its way out of the drain hole and spread its way across the bottom of the fairing eating the paint right off it. The fairing is now out getting repaired and repainted.

    VF500F-2.JPG

    I had it out this past summer and the pilot jets were plugged. Typical scenario where it would only run with the choke on. The carbs were totally rebuilt back in 2003 so I decided to have them done again. The shop I work with initially had trouble finding a rebuild kit, but finally acquired one out of CA. I took the carbs off for them and had a heck of a time as the boots were rock solid. Knowing that they would never go back on, I found a new set of boots online. The boots for the '84 / '85 are easy to find and inexpensive, but the '86 boots are not so easy. It took me a week to find a new set and cost me $100.

    VF500F-3.JPG

    Another thing on my list was to replace the left rear cowl decal. These decals are typically destroyed by the seat latches when trying the put the seat back on when it isn't aligned. I had replaced both of these decals back in 2003, but this one got damaged again a couple years later. I had been looking for that decal since this past summer and it is now pretty much unobtainable. I searched online and found a company that makes and sells the complete set of decals for the '86. I bought the kit and they made me extra decals for the rear and lower cowls for just a few dollars more. In this picture, I had just applied the new decal and am pulling the tape off of it. This company did a great job as the cut matches the other side and the color is spot on.

    https://cbdecals.afegraphics.com/view_product.php?adminshopping=&product=86vf500f-FullKit-CB00787

    VF500F-4.JPG

    Here are a bunch of misc parts and the chassis. I am hand cleaning literally everything right down to the nut and bolt. There is a little bit of touch up paint here and there, but not too terribly bad. Normal maintenance items such as spark plugs, coolant, oil, air / oil filters, hydraulic fluids, chain and sprockets are also being done. The tires are due to be replaced and the rims are out being powder coated white, which are the original OEM rims that haven't been on this bike since 2003.

    VF500F-5.JPG

    VF500F-6.JPG

    So that is where things currently are at the moment. I will update this thread as things start to come back together.
     
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  2. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Wow. Awesome.

    Im getting ready to go thru my 86 that needs the carbs gone thru (all original except for Honda float bowl gaskets in 1993). I may install some 84/85 carbs like I did on the 86 race bike tho. Ran gravity feed to the side fuel inlet on a low filled tank with zero issues at WOT.

    One thing I've been wondering lately is using the 86 fuel tubes with the 85 carbs to keep the stock hose routing. Don't know if it's even possible, haven't got that far yet. But I have plenty sets of extra carbs all years to play around with.

    Anyway, love your bike and your work.

    Cheers!
    -Mike
     
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  3. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Wow, just what I needed to see. Keep the pictures coming! What an awesome bike.
     
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  4. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    I considered doing the same thing as I believe that the '84/'85 carbs are slightly larger and add a little bit to the motor, but I ultimately decided to keep the bike stock.
     
  5. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    Thank you. I think that most of the parts that have been out getting work done are going to be coming back soon. I am anxious to get this bike back together so I will keep the pictures coming. My favorite lineup of all time was the 1986 models - VF500F, VFR750F and VF1000R. I have owned all three over the years, but the 500 is by far my favorite. My daily driver is a 2014 which I do like, but has a ways to go to be at the same "favorite" status as the 500.
     
  6. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Not trying to hijack your thread but can you all explain how you can tell the 86 carb set from the 84-85? The reason I am asking is I bought a set of carb intake boots for the 84-85 carb set and they seem to fit the my 86 carb set just fine. Unless I really don't have 86 carbs?
     
  7. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    You are not hijacking. Talking anything about the 500 is what this thread is about. My understanding is that the '84/'85 carbs have a 32 mm throttle bore and 6.2 mm float while the '86 has a 30mm throttle bore and 7.3 mm float, along with different jetting. That is why the carb boots are different sizes. The '84/'85 carb boots will definitely accommodate the '86 carbs since they are larger, but I would guess that they would not be as air tight as the 30 mm boots. Visually, I am not sure if there is a way to tell them apart. I bet that Mike would know!!
     
  8. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    If we are talking about the carbs, the 84/85 have the fuel inlet into the left rear carb on the side (originally with a fuel pump). 86, the fuel inlet is a splitter feeding the carbs in the rear center via gravity.

    If we are talking about the boots...

    Were they reasonably priced and not $100 or more for 4? And did the carbs go in super easy?

    Then they are the bigger 84/85 boots. One factor in my decision to fit 85 carbs is the price. The other being they will make a bit more power, but possibly at the slight expense of some mid-range. Next time I have some engines out I'll see if there are visual markings distinguishing the boots. Come to think of it, I may have actually shoe-horned 85 carbs into some 86 boots a couple decades ago.

    If I can mix and match the 85 carbs and the 86 fuel tubes, I will likely go that route as an experiment.

    Also the 84/85 air box has a larger volume and extends down around the fan shroud. I opted for the 86 air box on the race bike for better air flow thru the radiator.

    A couple beers down ramblings...
     
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  9. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    Mike, thanks for the response, I always learn something when you are involved!.
    I definitely have the 86 carbs then, And yes, the carbs went in pretty easily. I used Dow Corning Hi Vacuum grease to seal the boots and to help lubricate the carb throats to slide them in place.. I did notice I had to tighten the bands down more than I thought they should to get them tight.

    I don't think I have a vacuum leak but to be honest I have not put enough miles on the bike to have really broken it in. I hate riding it around with the UGLY fuel tank!
     
  10. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    Wow ... Does your vault of knowledge open up more as the beer count goes up :)
    Very good feedback as I forgot about the fuel pump versus gravity feed.
     
  11. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    Well at least if you do notice, you will have that problem solved knowing that the carb boots are different. Are you looking for a tank or are you going to get that one painted?
     
  12. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    For now I am going to paint the one I have. I am looking for a true 86 tank as mine is an 85 and has the smaller size petcock. Even with the smaller petcock It is still gravity feed and I have not had any fuel starvation issues as of yet. Although I have not done any WFO riding yet to really test it.
     
  13. stewartj239

    stewartj239 Insider

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    I got the rims back today from being powder coated. This set is the OEM set that I had kept off the bike and was hoping to keep them black, but finally decided to just get them coated white. The rims seen in my avatar were a used set that I bought back in 2003 and I got those powder coated to keep the originals. Well after those were done and put on the bike, I noticed that the rear rim had some play in it and assumed all those years that it was a bad bearing. Well once I finally replaced the bearing, the rim still wiggled, so it was bad from the beginning. Rather than rolling the dice again on a used set of rims, I just went with the originals. These rims only have maybe 2K miles on them.

    VF500F-7.JPG

    Before I took them to the shop, I got all of the raised lettering ground off, which you can see here. This is a past mistake where if you don't do this, you will forever have dirty raised white lettering that you will never be able to get clean.

    VF500F-8.JPG

    So here they are in white. I have a new set of the Bridgestone Battlax BT-46 tires on order so I took them to the shop for new bearings and tires. I hope to have them back in a week or so.

    VF500F-9.JPG
     
  14. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    I really like that look in white. I am probably going to do that mod at some point. Good call about grinding off the lettering.
     
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  15. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Nice job on the bike !!
     
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  16. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    I'm surprised they didn't mask the disc mount faces. And the sprocket face.
     
  17. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    Could be worse, if it was the powder-coater where I am, they'd have coated the bearing seats as well. They're useless up here. At least that job looks "smooth". Mine looked like it was applied with a stucco gun and then rubbed down with a wet sock.
     
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  18. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Agreed. Pretty crappy around here too. Not everything is a Kubota Power Take Off bracket.

    I don't know why I said "surprised". I'm anything but.

    Typically anything that has a "machined" surface should be masked. It's not that fucking hard.
     
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  19. straycat

    straycat New Member

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    The good news for stewartj239 is that it should be pretty easy to remove the paint from those surfaces, the rest of the job looks stellar.
     
  20. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Yeah I agree. Not trying to poo-poo the party here.
     
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