1994 RVF400R Build Project

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by NorcalBoy, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Another productive day, removed the swingarm and took it, the rear caliper, rear caliper hanger,and suspension linkage to Nils at Restocycle for vapor blasting and bearing and seal replacement in the swingarm pivot and linkage. Just like most other things on this bike, the bearings, seals and bushings were shot, no grease on anything, and the bolts were all loose and corroded. Just so happens that I had all of the stuff in stock........will be interested to see how it turns out. Nils (a member here) and his boys are top notch bike guys and the restorations they do are pretty cool. Funny thing, when I pulled the swingarm off I found a Proto 14mm long socket inside the swingarm....some mech in Tokyo is prolly still looking for it......

    The rear master cylinder was basically destroyed, the only thing salvagable was the casting itself. I had all of the parts for this in stock too, so I gutted it and threw all of the original stuff in the trash bin and dropped it off for vapor blasting as well.

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    Got the exhaust all checked out and marked to be dropped at the cerakote folks tomorrow.

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    After all the stuff was dropped for vapor blasting, got on with getting the frame off the engine, which went smooth as silk.

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    Frame is getting dropped at Restocycle tomorrow for vapor blasting and clean up, then I have to get going on the bits and pieces that get replated and powdercoated and start the process of cleaning the engine exterior. Once the engine exterior is cleaned up, I can pull all of the engine covers and get those blasted too, then they are off to get powdercoated. I'll update tomorrow at the end of the days efforts.
     
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  2. KarlR

    KarlR New Member

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    You are awesome! Nice shop to.
     
  3. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    Nothing like having all the ducks in a row. Nice.
     
  4. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Thanks guys, working on the front calipers right now.....pictures to come, pretty disgusting, hahahahahahahahaha
     
  5. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    On the first ride I took when the machine arrived, noticed the front brake lever was pulsing.....didn't worry too much about it, as I knew I was going to be working on the brakes anyway. So I started in on the front calipers this morning....

    It all started innocently enough:

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    Cracked open caliper 1 and.....WTF? Can't imagine why the brakes felt so funky...scary how bad things were....and I rode this thing, ROFL! Pistons were all seized up, seals shot, fluid passages choked off with junk.....

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    The spooge:

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    Went about cleaning it up and one can of Brakeleen later:

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    Cracked open #2....ugggh:

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    Even worse:

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    Both calipers split and cleaned up, heading to vapor blaster for a final scrub before coating:

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    Also got me a new tool...rivnut installer. Going to be working on making some repairs to the subframe this afternoon, then it will be on to getting some other stuff ready to hit the powdercoater tomorrow and hopefully get started on cleaning up the engine exterior.

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  6. scottbott

    scottbott Insider

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    that looks a fancy 'Rivnut' installer, never seen one like that before
     
  7. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    It loads the rivet by pulling back the center handle and pushing it back in, releases by pulling the center handle back...much more simple to operate, no hand threading the rivet nut onto it every time. Going to try it out tomorrow on a couple changes I'm making to the subframe.
     
  8. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Got a few things accomplished today after dealing with cleaning the calipers.

    Nils and the guys at Restocycle have already finished vapor blasting all of the parts, less than a day. They were working on pressing the new bearings and installing the seals into the swingarm and suspension rocker arm....those pieces turned out pretty awesome. I picked up these three bits, the rear caliper, caliper carrier and the sprocket carrier, they did a great job on these...hard to believe that caliper was coated the OEM black a day earlier. The silver looks much nicer, IMO. The vapor blasting seals the aluminum, and I'm just going to leave these bits the color they are, should look good with the swingarm and rocker. They also did the steel link arm and extracted the bearings for me.

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    I took the frame, the two front calipers, link arm, and the exhaust system to the coating folks. The zorst is getting coated with black, high temp, ceramic cerakote. The two front calipers and the link arm are getting powdercoated gloss black, and the frame is getting powdercoated a semi gloss black. The gloss black link arm should link decent as a subtle contrast to the silver of the rest of the rear suspension, brake system, and swingarm. Just waiting on a couple bits and I can rebuild the caliper and get that stuff ready for reassembly. I also did the frame in a semi gloss, as it won't show tiny scratches as readily as the full on gloss. The gloss black on the calipers should work good with the color scheme of the front ed when they are done...black hard coat anodizing on the upper tubes of the forks, DLC black stanchions, and gloss black axle carriers, with a black rim, carbon fender, and the red centers on the rotors.

    They are telling my 5-7 working days for all of the coating to get done, so I need to get the engine all cleaned up and ready to have the frame set back on it...hopefully, the ti bolts I ordered get shipped....ProBolt has been painfully slow lately. I'm also having my buddy spin up the engine mounting spacers in ti, so that should finish of the hardware, just need to get a couple of the freakishly long OEM engine bolts replated, trying to drop those off tomorrow. I have another set of bits going to the coating folks, just need to get the subframe modifications completed tomorrow morning so that it can go with everything else. Have to finish shaving the OEM peg hanger bolts off the subframe, the holes drilled for the rivet nuts for the exhaust hanger and the mosfet regulator, then give a good cleaning.

    I'm taking the rear axle to the plating folks to have them take a look at it tomorrow, might get it replated..as running the rear end with almost no grease has ruind the plating where the bearings ride and I have a bunch of hangers and mounts and stuff that I want to get plated with something nice.
     
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  9. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Found another ridiculous thing during the dismantling yesterday......the frauds, that called themselves mechanics, that worked on the machine prior to it's delivery did this:

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    When they "installed" the Chinese replacement radiators...they failed to realize, when mounting the fan and shroud, that they were driving the bolts through the radiator, as they were too long... :Nono: Reminded me of the guy that drilled through his ECU when he was installing his fender eliminator :Pound:. Hard to believe that these people are even allowed to work on customers machines. Luckily, they won't be touching it again......
     
  10. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Insider

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    Everything is looking really good. Except for that rad install obviously. Some people can't even afford to pay attention. Guess they were kinda lucky that the locations were over fins and not the passage.
     
  11. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Those are throw away rads. I have the set that I had made, so it was no big deal to me. I will throw these in the recycle bin at the landfill. The saddest part, is these people get paid for this shit. The top rad wasn't even mounted correctly...they failed to engage the frame pin with the mounting bushing and it was hanging off the one bolt and the garbage hoses that came with the radiators.
     
  12. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Did a little messing around with the subframe, getting it ready to go out to the powdercoater. The OEM exhaust mount is cast into the pilion peg holder, which doesn't work out so good for the new zorst...as you can see, the mount is into the new can.

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    At some point, somebody had replaced the through bolts on the subframe for mounting the pilion peg bracket. It did the trick, but was poorly executed and a classic hack job. As I never keep the pilion pegs....it was time for surgery.

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    Took Mr. Grinder and removed the pressed and spot welded RR mount bolts, measured up the new Mosfet RR mounting bolt centers and put my new rivnut installer to the test.

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    Next Mr. Grinder and I removed the OEM through bolts that usually hold the passenger pegs and installed a couple M8 rivnuts.

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    Mocked everything up to double check my measurements and clearances:

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    That did the trick, much better now....ready for powder and the exhaust hanger is headed to the plating folks with all of the little mounting brackets and a couple pieces of OEM hardware to get nickle plated.
     
  13. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I sourced a set of ceramic bearings from Boca Bearing for the front wheel. The RVF400 shares the same front wheel as the RVF750, so it was easy to find the bearings.

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    Got the bearings pressed in and added a set of SKF, low friction grease seals to finish it off:

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    I mentioned in a previous post that the front brake lever was pulsing when I took it for it's maiden run. I had suspected it could be more than one thing at the time. Obviously the front calipers were a complete trainwreck, but I also suspected it could be because they had powdercoated the disc mounting surfaces on the wheel and that the rotors weren't sitting flat, thus causing them to have enough runout to make it appear that there could be a bent disc. Well, I removed the old discs, which was easy, because the knuckleheads never torqued the rotor bolts.......and sure enough, they had oversprayed the mounting surfaces. I have a little trick for that, I make a scraper out of a piece of hacksaw blade. Snap a used hacksaw blade in half and use a grinder to grind an edge on the end of the blade. These little scrapers will remove most anything, get into tight places, and hold a very sharp edge for a long time.

    After about an hour, I had both disc flanges spotless and had chased all of the disc mounting holes with a thread chaser to remove any left over loctite or powder to get the wheel ready for new discs.

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    I pulled out one of the new EBC Vee Rotors and the DLC coated ti rotor bolts and mocked up the wheel on one side to see how it would look. Looks pretty decent, I believe:

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    Lost a little bit of weight with the ti and the rotors, and they should be a good match for the ti axle and spacers. I'll finish the wheel up today.

    Parts keep trickling in, the new coils and the ignition module suspension piece showed up.

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    Because Honda has a checkered history with electrical issues, I'm refurbishing all of the components that plug into the wiring harness. Don't want to have any future issues and I will save all of the bits that I remove, in case I need an emergency spare later.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
  14. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Got a little work done this afternoon, not a whole lot. Started addressing a few things with the electrical system. The Rad fan was in pretty bad shape visually, seemed to spin pretty smoothly, but the wires were a little brittle from being close to the engine. Went and grabbed a terminal tool to release the terminals from the connector to take a look....it wasn't too bad, but not great either. Decided to order up a bunch of spade and flag terminals with boots from Cycle Terminal and refurbish the terminals and clean up the connectors. The coil wires are going to require some cleanup, so I just ordered 10 of each.

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    In the meantime, I started cleaning up the fan motor and the blade. Took some scotchbrite wheels to it to clean off the corrosion and the zinc coating that had seen better days.

    Before,

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    After,

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    Sprayed on the first coat of metal etching primer,

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    Going to use a few coats of black engine paint to finish it off tomorrow. The fan shroud is at the powdercoater and that is being coated in white. I was thinking I might have tested the motor first......I'll double check it in the morning by connecting it up to a battery to test it. I hope it's good...you can't buy them, they are discontinued by Honda and I couldn't find one online.

    Went by Restocycle and picked up a few more of the bits that they had vapor blasted. It's an amazing process.

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    The rocker link is completely rebuilt with new bearings and seals. Turned out pretty decent. And I now have all of the parts for rebuilding the rear brake system, just waiting on a couple small bits for that. The thermo housing turned out great...it was a mess inside and out and now it looks new.

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    I have a complete set of rubber stoppers coming to plug up the engine....have an appointment with my media blasting folks on Monday to see if we can come up with a blast medium to clean it up, without having to scrub it by hand, once that's done the covers can get addressed. Once the covers go to wherever I decide to send them, I can start rebuilding the shifting mechanism and installing the Factory Pro shift star, detent arm and spring. Also need to extract the stator and send that out to be rewound. Tomorrow is another day.....start by cleaning up the fan blade and getting that polished up..then move on to finish the motor lipstick.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2019
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  15. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Been working on a few things while I wait for parts to arrive and powdercoating to get done.

    The left switchgear wasn't functioning all that good, the high beam button was stuck on and the horn didn't seem like it was making good contact. Decided to take the time to pull it apart and see what was going on....

    Opened it up and found a bit of a mess, 25 year old grease, a dead japenese spider, corrosion.

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    Disassembled the entire switchgear and went about trying to bring it back to life. It's a lot of tiny parts and takes a bit of patience. Used small brass cup and pencil brushes in a pneumatic rotary tool too clean all of the metal bits and broke all the switches down and cleaned them all up with electrical contact cleaner and lubed everything up with a good dialectric grease. Found it's poor operation was just due to neglect and none of the switches were bad.

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    Figured I may as well go ahead and do the same thing to the run/stop/starter switch. Got that all accomplished and back together.

    I had been trying to figure out a way to clean the engine block, tried stainless brushes, brass brushes, etc., nothing was doing the job and the nooks and crannies of the block were going to make this a miserable, life sucking, task. Didn't want to vapor blast it, due to the abrasiveness and the fact that it's a wet slurry. So I tootled on down to Harbor Freight to grab a 15 LB soda blaster and some soda....

    Got it all assembled and filled up...

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    I have the engine mostly plugged up with EPDM rubber stoppers, but I had to order a couple extra for the intakes, the front cylinder exhaust ports, and the two water pipes on the water pump housing. I pre-packed the openings with paper towels, before putting the plugs in, should be good for keeping the blasting media on the outside of the engine....where it belongs. When the stoppers arrive, I will test out the blaster and hope it does it's thing, the engine isn't that bad, just really dirty and suffering from very light surface corrosion. Once the block is all cleaned up, I have to pull the engine covers and have them sent out to be media blasted and coated. I also need to replace the exhaust studs, which are rusted pretty badly..ordered new studs, nuts, and zorst gaskets about a week ago from David Silver Spares. While I have the covers off, I hope to install the Factory Pro shift star and detent arm and most of the mechanical bits associated with that assembly. Still waiting for that kit to ship...Factory Pro is waiting on the gasket.

    In preparation for the soda show, I pulled off the countershaft sprocket cover, which also holds the clutch release mechanism. Found the seal to be compromised and that the bearing the release arm rides on in pretty bad shape too.

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    So I finally got the arm out and cleaned it all up and polished off all the corrosion. I already have new seal for it, so no big deal. The bearing doesn't show up as a part on the Honda parts fiche, so I used a magnifying lamp to figure out that the bearing was an NTN HK 1212. Went to my local bearing and seal supplier and got that ordered. I went to see my buddies at Restocycle and they extracted the old bearing and vapor blasted the cover....the swingarm and the cover are both waiting on bearings now....
     
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  16. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    If you haven't soda blasted before it's basically just like a flour bomb - it goes everywhere.... it works very well and cleans off with water, so do this outside, sheet up an area, and have fun... lol.
     
  17. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Got some bits coming in. My good friend Rob in Maine machined up some ti axle spacers to go with his ti axle and the ProBolt ti axle bolt. It's a noticeable weight savings, compared to the OEM steel stuff.

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    He also machined up a steering stem plug for my Tyga triples. It uses an o-ring in the groove to interference fit inside the stem.

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    Also got a call to come pick up some parts from the powdercoater today, all of the bits are coated in glacier white....I do like white on a moto....

    Rick Oliver aluminum upper cowl stay and Tyga wiring harness retainers

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    Tyga Performance aluminum upper meter stay

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    Rad fan shroud and sidestand, with mount

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    The repaired and modified subframe turned out pretty decent...IMHO

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    Although my powdercoater is excellent at masking and plugging, I still run a thread chaser through all the threaded bits and apply a a little copper anti sieze, just to make sure assembly goes smoothly.

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    The white will match well with the bodywork color scheme, and it will be a nice contrast to the color that the frame is being coated...hoping to see that by the end of the week.....
     
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  18. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    This was me doing the same thing on my bike - without stripping it lol

    [​IMG]P1070157 by Pete Smith, on Flickr
     
  19. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    The guys at Restocycle told me I was going to end up looking like a sugar cookie, ROFL. I cruised by the safety store and picked up a tyvek suit......Can't wait to try it out, waiting on the damn plugs, and it's been raining since last night......next few days are looking good, however.
     
  20. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    For second I thought I was gonna see Evil Knieval at the bottom of the photo.....
     
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