Another '99 5th gen restoration

Discussion in '5th Generation 1998-2001' started by w3bdevil, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Finally! The shift star kit arrived and I got it installed. There's a chance I'll have time to start putting other things together too in the near future but this was a good start.

    Old star and detent arm removed.
    [​IMG]

    New/old comparison for the sake of documentation.
    [​IMG]

    New parts installed.
    [​IMG]

    All put back together with a new gasket.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Slow but steady progress. Water pump and new hoses installed. Next up would be a pressure test (I don't want to put it all together just to find out there's a leak near the thermostat) but I don't have an adapter that would fit the radiator cap so I'll have to figure out something else.

    [​IMG]
     
    mello dude likes this.
  3. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Millgrove, ON
    Map
    Just replaced all the hoses with the AS3's using the OEM clamps. No leakies anywhere, they're sealed up pretty well, hard to screw that up as long as you have the hoses past the upsets on all the connections, then clamped behind them.
     
    mello dude likes this.
  4. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Good to hear. I went for the AS3 stainless clamps since the originals were partly in so poor condition. They are a bit wider but no problem getting them past the upsets.
     
  5. comradeQuestion

    comradeQuestion New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2018
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    14
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Oregon
    Map
    I also used AS3 hoses and didn't have access to a proper cooling system pressure tester. Here's what I did:

    - I used plain water in the system for the pressure test because I didn't want to have to clean up a bunch of coolant from the ground (and I was going to flush the system anyway).
    - Find a large enough rubber stopper to put where the radiator cap goes.
    - Attach a bicycle pump to the radiator overflow port on the filler neck.
    - Hold the stopper down while pumping the bike pump. You shouldn't go above 1.1 ATM's (~16psi). It only takes a few pumps from a floor pump because there is very little to compress (a tiny bit of air and the hoses are the only things that are compressible).
    - While still holding the stopper, lightly squeeze and wiggle some of the hoses a bit to see if any coolant dribbles out.
    - Beware of letting the stopper go as it will spray coolant/water on you. This is partly why I used water.

    I didn't find any leaks in my system during the test, but later on (~ 200 miles later) there was a small leak on the lower rad hose so I tightened all the clamps down there. Everything is dry under the throttle bodies, which is what I was most worried about.

    edit: Forgot to say that I'm loving this build thread. I love that feeling of making something old feel new again.
     
  6. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,968
    Likes Received:
    798
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Desert Southwest
  7. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
  8. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Swing arm stuff assembly today. Nothing much to write about really. Bearings were good so they were only cleaned and repacked with grease. New brake disc, new stub axle nut and new cush drive rubbers, that's it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    slowbird, OnlyVfr and VFRIRL like this.
  9. slowbird

    slowbird Member

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    Messages:
    2,439
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    51
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario.
    Map
    Great job so far! Loving the thread

    :Popcorn:
     
  10. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Note to self: measure every non-OEM part before installation. My new front brake discs are 0,5mm thicker than original and as a result the disc-to-caliper bracket clearance on the right side is too small (min 0,7mm specified). Luckily I got a friendly machinist make me a new slightly narrower spacer. Need to do a test fit next to see if it's ok.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    The new spacer is good, there is now enough clearance between the right rotor and caliper bracket. Pressure tested the cooling system and found out that the old radiator cap is leaking to the overflow pipe at very low pressure. Hardener rubber and/or dead spring I suppose, ordered a new one. Added fluid to clutch and front brake and bled both. Now for the dreaded long lines...
     
  12. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Brake lines bled. It was not as bad as I expected having read a few horror stories but it does take a bit of patience to get completely empty lines filled, especially with the speedbleeders in place. With these you really need a vacuum bleeder since using lever/pedal only compresses the air inside the line and it's not enough to open the speedbleeder valve. When you have most of the air out with a vacuum bleeder, then you can use the lever/pedal to do the final bleeding. I'm not sure if I got all the air out but lever and pedal feel firm, a lot better actually than before which should not come as a surprise considering the starting point... I used almost a full liter of fluid to fill and bleed it all.

    [​IMG]

    The new front axle spacer fits in nicely.

    [​IMG]

    The clutch slave. The old slave was binding too much even having been cleaned and fitted with new seals, so I decided to get a completely new one. Instead of OEM I went with Oberon which has slightly larger diameter resulting in a bit less force required at the expense of requiring a little more travel. I hope this will balance nicely with the new shorter lever and stiffer springs I have installed. The lever feel is really good already but I can only really tell once I get the bike running.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Millgrove, ON
    Map
    When I bled my system, I had traces of tiny bubbles at the rear and couldn't clear them completely... I hung the rear caliper up near the tail light and hooked a bungie cord to hold the brake pedal down overnight... this compresses the air and it should travel to the highest point in the system. Next day bled the proportioning valve again (no air, yay) and the rear caliper, didn't really see much air at all, and all is good.
    Same with the clutch, even though I had success there.... left the lever pulled all night, any air would have travelled to the reservoir. I am interested in the Oberon story.... on my FJR I swapped the Gen2 one for the Gen1 which has a larger bore. I did have to adjust the lever out a bit more and it was a further reach, but livable. Clutch pull was a bit less effort. I personally think the VFR's clutch does not need stronger springs unless you were having a slippage problem, and I'm not intending to go with stronger springs.
    Too bad we couldn't get a slipper clutch like on the FJR, it was a simple retrofit that reduced effort by roughly 20%. Weaker springs in that situation.
    Anyway, all interesting, I'm all ears.....
     
  14. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    I got the new radiator cap and having it installed the system held pressure nicely so ahead I went and installed the throttle body along with the airbox. No real difficulties although the throttle body was very tight even with the new rubbers so it took a bit of doing to get it in. Luckily I had pics of taking it apart so I believe I got the wires and hoses routed like they are supposed to. Today I filled the cooling system with new Honda type 2 premixed coolant, installed the tank and put some fresh fuel in, connected the battery and... it runs! Took only a few seconds to crank and on the second try the bike came alive with the familiar VFR rumble. Brought it up to operating temp and thermostat opened like it should warming the radiators. No leaks anywhere, no unusual sounds so I'm as happy as can be. As soon as I get the fairings cleaned and installed I'll take it for a spin and post some results with pics.
     
  15. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    The bike is now fully assembled. Here are a couple of quick pics. Got the voltmeter hooked up too and now the voltage is very stable at a little under 14V regardless of RPM which is nice. Old stator + RR combo produced lower voltage overall going very low on idle and randomly when heated up. I have only ridden it up the driveway so can't say much yet but at least the clutch and gear lever feel way better than before. Next up is some quality time on the bike, including the first track day for this summer. I'll write some kind of wrap-up for the project in a few days.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    5,968
    Likes Received:
    798
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Desert Southwest
    Gorgeous. Been following your thread in the background. Effort always pays off.
     
  17. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Millgrove, ON
    Map
    Been following this since the beginning, looks awesome. Did my own 5th Gen refurb, maybe should post up, but rather lame compared to the lengths you went to. Congrats, I'll bet it feels great to be finished. Beautious!
     
  18. w3bdevil

    w3bdevil New Member

    Country:
    Finland
    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2019
    Messages:
    94
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Hyvinkää, Finland
    Map
    Thanks guys! It feels more than great, I ended up going deeper than originally planned but I really feel it was worth it.

    So, 662km later (~170 or so on track and the rest on the road) I'll try to wrap this project up. Here's a short list of what was done and how it affected the performance of the bike. I intentionally left out purely visual / vanity mods like the 8-spoke rear wheel, everyone can make up their own opinion on those.

    DISCLAIMER: I have never ridden a new stock 5th gen VFR, so my observations and comparisons are based on a 20 years old one with some neglected maintenance. Also, what exactly is "good" or "worth it" is highly subjective so these are only my opinions on what these parts/mods did to this particular bike and how I personally feel about it.

    Engine
    - injectors cleaned and tested
    - new iridium spark plugs
    - valve clearances adjusted

    Not much to say here, no major changes to behavior, not that I was expecting any. Although it feels like it's revving up faster and easier but that's nothing I can measure in any way so I guess we can safely chalk this up as my imagination. Maintenance-wise definitely worth it though.

    Clutch
    - braided line (Goodridge Shadow)
    - new seals
    - new slave cylinder (Oberon, original was in too poor shape)
    - new discs and springs (Barnett kevlar)

    Since all the changes were made at once I can't really say which affected the most but the clutch is now a LOT better, I mean like night-and-day difference. It didn't have much of a friction zone and although it had the OEM long lever, it was still a bit hard to pull. Taking it apart the old discs were ok'ish but the steel plates were blued like they had heated up quite a bit and also the slave cylinder and piston were binding which wasn't fixed by good cleaning and new seals. Now, it has a nice wide friction zone and despite the stronger springs and shorter lever it's a lot easier to pull too. I've read reviews saying Barnett friction discs are 'grabby' abut I felt none of that. Sure, braided clutch line is probably overkill and the old OEM discs and springs would still have had some miles on them not to mention shoveling money on the Oberon slave but in the end I'm happy with a perfect clutch which will probably last another 20 years at this pace.

    Cooling
    - new aftermarket radiators (originals were badly corroded)
    - new silicone hoses (AS3 Performance)
    - new thermostat
    - new o-rings

    I wasn't originally planning to replace the radiators but there was so severe point corrosion that I just had to. Couldn't spend 400€ a piece on OEM since decent new aftermarket ones could be had for quarter of that. They were somewhat wider than OEM and I was a bit concerned about whether they would fit but no problems there, they fit nicely under the fairings. Not much to say functionally other than that they work as they are supposed to. With any airflow temps stayed under 82C (179F) even during track-torture.

    Brakes
    - everything cleaned
    - new seals everywhere
    - braided lines (Goodridge Shadow)
    - all new rotors + pads (Brembo / EBS)
    - speedbleeders

    When I got my VFR I wasn't really impressed with the brakes, I mean it stopped well enough but nothing to write home about. Also, pedal was quite stiff and rear brake a bit on the weak side. You can only imagine how the brakes feel after a complete overhaul. The bike stops on a dime now! And being properly broken in they are only getting better. Lever feel is much firmer and brakes a lot easier to modulate. It seems the rear caliper pistons were somewhat stuck because now the rear brake is actually usable. Again, can't say which part had the most effect but overall a huge improvement. Budget-wise I could of course have gone with OEM rotors and just new pads.

    Suspension
    - new fork cartridges (Andreani Misano EVO), oil, slide bushings and seals

    Holy crap what a difference did these cartridges make! The old front was ok on the street and touring but very sloppy and restless on track especially tight corners with no possibilities for adjustment either. I didn't even start tinkering with compression / rebound adjustments yet, just had them in the middle setting to get a feel how they behave. The front is now very stable even when pushed on track. It's absorbing bumps way better than the old one, well that or all the nearby roads have miraculously gotten smoother over the winter :D Also, I did not notice any of the high-speed compression harshness some have reported about the Misanos.

    Electrics
    - new stator
    - new RR

    The old ones were starting to show symptoms of a failing system. Low charging voltage, voltage dropping randomly, stator connector starting to get fried, stator discolored... Now the voltage stays quite solidly a hair under 14V or higher actually since old voltmeter leads and connectors likely cause some potential drop. Next winter project is to change all previous owner installed electrics and renew with proper gauge wire and good connectors.

    Extra
    - Factory Pro shift star kit
    - Helibars
    - short adjustable levers (ASV)

    Out of these the shift star kit really shines. It does exactly what Factory Pro promises. Gear changes are a lot 'sharper' for the lack of a better word. Along with the new clutch all the clunkiness is now gone. When a gear change is executed sharply with proper throttle control it's almost like using a quickshifter. Easier to find neutral too.

    I'm a bit on the fence with the Helibars. They are better than OEM for street/touring but on track I could use the lower position of the OEM bars. Oh well, I guess that's just a compromise I will have to live with since I'm using my VFR on both street and track. And if I ever decide (or find the time / money) to start riding more than a few track days per season I will probably get a dedicated track bike anyway.

    ASV levers are pricey, yes. I just could not make myself install cheap Chinese knockoffs. Not all Chinese stuff is crap but I don't want to take chances on security stuff like my brakes. So, maybe I paid for a peace of mind as well as the build quality? Their adjustability might not be needed for regular riding but for me they are worth the price on track.


    The VFR got its own stable in the middle of all the more serious racers with their paddock stands, tire warmers and stuff.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see from the rear tire, I was not pushing the bike very hard. It's an everyday street bike after all, not a track missile :)

    [​IMG]
     
  19. raYzerman

    raYzerman Insider

    Country:
    Canada
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2019
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    390
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Millgrove, ON
    Map
    Likely me that made the Barnett grabby comment..... however, you got the kevlar one, sounds like a plan. Eventually I need a clutch and want the Oberon too. I'm feeling mine is not as smooth as it could be after 65k miles. Thanks for the review.
     
  20. GreginDenver

    GreginDenver New Member

    Country:
    United States
    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2016
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    185
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado
    Map
    This has been an outstanding 5th Gen refurbishment, I'm a fan of your work, great attention to detail.
     
Related Topics

Share This Page