Jethro's 3rd Gen Rescue

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by jethro911, Aug 3, 2018.

  1. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    After taking a two year hiatus from VFR's and road riding in general, I stumbled across a 3rd gen VFR for sale in Montreal that for some reason I couldn't resist. It's actually no big mystery why I couldn't resist it, the asking price was ludicrous, even for an old VFR and it was like a sweet old Tom Cat sitting at the SPCA waiting to be put down. I just couldn't let that happen without at least trying to make him whole again.

    So I contacted the seller and on Wednesday evening I drove over to view the beast in the flesh. He was very sad looking! Lots of sun fading, evidence of a crash or crashes and some pretty sketchy repairs. The story goes that the bike was crashed many years ago and was simply parked at that point and has sat ever since. Not sure if that's what really happened but I guess it doesn't matter. Most of the bike was there including 90% of the plastic, albeit damaged of course. So I installed a battery (taken from my XR650L) that fit perfect and turned the key. To my surprise everything lit up and the engine even cranked like it had just been ridden yesterday. I didn't attempt to fire it with all that old fuel in the system, thinking it would be better to flush the fuel system and clean the carburetors as well as the other fluids before attempting to run it.

    So we cut a deal and I loaded it on my trailer for the trip back to the healing room. And with that, brace yourselves cause here she is....
    Oh wait...I can't upload images here and I forgot that they need to be web hosted first. Unfortunately I can't access photobucket from my work computer so the pictures will need to wait till this evening...sorry guys!

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    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  2. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Oh I figured out how to load an image so there ya go!
     
  3. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    Right on brother! Good luck with your restoration project.
     
  4. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Today I finally had a chance to open my present to see what was inside the dull rapper. So off came the seat and tank, which amazingly has no rust inside despite the sad exterior. Then to the heart of the matter. Removing the airbox top I discovered a K&N filter which of course needs a cleaning. Then came the fun, removal of the carbs....

    I found the manifold clamps were loose but at least nothing was stripped or seized. Getting the carbs free from the engine too some leverage and a bit of penetrating oil to loosen the grip. Once off, I proceeded to drain this green goo out of the float bowls which flowed out reluctantly as it was thick and very unpleasant. Removing the bowls revealed an epic mess!
    [​IMG]

    So the complete tear down started and still continues although there has been some progress. Check out my ultrasonic cleaner in action!
    [​IMG]

    and after...
    [​IMG]
     
  5. duccmann

    duccmann Insider

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    Excellent, looking forward to the reincarnation
     
  6. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    Mmmm, carbs
     
  7. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    After many hours of scrubbing, scraping, reaming out and cursing, the carbs are back on the beast. Flushed the tank and fuel lines as well as the fuel pump, changed the oil and drained / flushed the coolant. The moment of truth arrived as I stabbed the GO button and of course nothing happened. Checked fuses and battery connection, all good but no joy. I also have no oil light or neutral indication so there are some electrical gremlins lurking in there to be hunted down and dealt with. Anyway, I retracted the kickstand and pulled in the clutch and away it cranked. It seems to be thinking it's in gear obviously. There I was cranking away and it didn't so much as fart. I opened the float bowl drains to confirm that fuel had indeed arrived at the carbs and it had. Then the battery went foo foo so I had to get the charger out. After a while I went back at it and finally she caught but it was very weak and required half choke to keep running. Obviously still some fuel restriction in there to be cleaned out. I pulled and cleaned the plugs and verified strong spark on all the cylinders. Then I yanked the muffler! Well it liked that and I'm pretty sure the neighbors did too. So it was running better and sounding magnificent but still required some choke so I'm going back in to give the carbs another good cleaning. But before I put it away I did a huge smoky burnout in the driveway, just to let it make a statement and signify the rebirth of the animal withing. The engine sounds good with no rattles or knocks so I guess it's worth the energy, time and money to continue with the resurrection.

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    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  8. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    AWESOME

    :pass::wheelie:


    SkiMad.
     
  9. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Well thank you! I just need to figure out how to upload the video of the burnout and my life would be complete. Oh and I found the root of my electrical gremlins buried in a wire harness behind the cluster (broken wire) so now all the indicators function properly as does the side stand and neutral safety switch. Yay!!!
     
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  10. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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  11. skimad4x4

    skimad4x4 "Official" VFRWorld Greeter

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    That is one Smokin VFR Jethro

    Keep tinkering and have fun

    SkiMad
     
  12. Laker

    Laker New Member

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    Thats great Jethro. Is your wife holding the camera? Mine would call the Cops on me. Keep up the good work!
     
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  13. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Yes my lovely wife recorded that act of childish mischief with her phone. It started innocently enough with me chirping the tire in the garage and quickly escalated to the scene posted here. My wife's a pretty good sport and since we live out in the boonies it really doesn't hurt anyone. The rear tire wasn't safe to ride on anymore, being checked deeply and it was hard as a rock. Damn thing sounded good though eh?
     
  14. Laker

    Laker New Member

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    Yes that is quite a scene. That bike will be alot of fun
     
  15. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Just a little Saturday morning update;
    After the initial carburetor work, the bike ran but wasn't super happy and wouldn't idle without half choke so I knew the pilots were still compromised to some degree. So two nights ago I yanked them back off and had a gander at the float bowls. There was indeed some debris that had worked its way through the lines and arrived at the bowls and was plugging the pilots. So I pulled the pilots again, blasted them with cleaner and then ran a used guitar string through them as kind of a pipe cleaner to scrub out any remaining unwanted crud. I blasted the carbs as well and put the mess back together. Instant success! It now starts and idles as well as any 3rd gen I've owned. So now I'm happy and moving forward with making it whole again.

    The biggest challenge with this rebuild will be finding the obscure fairing parts and special fasteners that are missing. I have most of the fairings albeit they are damaged. I can and will repair what I have but I need the following items;
    1. Windscreen
    2. Trim pieces for the inside of the fairing where the mirrors attach
    3. The black trim pieces that go between the tank and the instrument cluster
    4. The LH cowl duct that directs air on the riders knees (black) looks like this https://www.ebay.com/itm/GENUINE-HO...w=vfr+duct&_from=R40&rt=nc&_trksid=m570.l1313

    but I need the LH one.

    5. Bar ends for the clip ons
    6. Fairing fasteners ( as many as I can get)
    7. A franken bolt ( I have one but need one more ) Actually I can still buy the bolt from Ron Ayres but not the sleeve that goes over it :(

    So that's it peoples. I'll put this list in the classifieds where it belongs.
     
  16. duccmann

    duccmann Insider

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    NOW THATS! How to do a burn out kids.
    Now get off my lawn


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Well this afternoon I actually rode the beast down the road and back just to say it could be done. Ran fine but with no lights or body work it made sense to keep it short and sweet. But it was a milestone.

    Something I did find was the front wheel is off a fourth gen and it appears that the disc brake rotors are offset differently, resulting in overly extended pistons in the calipers as well as uneven pad wear. They need a full overhaul so after that I'll be measuring the offset and shimming the carriers if it turns out to be necessary.
     
  18. jethro911

    jethro911 Member

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    Well the fate of the 3rd gen is hanging precariously in the wind today. Last night I found a very nice and complete 3rd gen for sale that we could actually ride this summer. The boss is all in and wants me to part out the rescued 3rd gen but I want to keep both. Does that make me a bad man?
     
  19. OOTV

    OOTV Member

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    Well, if you can keep both, do it!It be a shame to get the first bike only so far...
     
  20. Laker

    Laker New Member

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    Your a good man Jethro. Could you tell The General that you are going to part it out and then NEVER do it? She may forget...
     
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