Matt Tries – 1984 VF500F Overhaul

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by Colddevil, Feb 14, 2020.

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  1. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    The forks need to be black dude.

    But... I'm a very bad influence regarding the "while you're there" syndrome. But in the end it's worth it.
     
  2. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    I'm with you on that. It's partially about why I'm laughing about how long it's taking to reassemble when disassembly took a a few days--even with all the organizing and labelling. I just keep getting sidetracked. Despite learning the lesson quite a few times, it's easy to get into a rush sometimes, and it's usually not worth rushing. That being said... I do see a decent window of opportunity that if I can get all the old decrepit yellow paint off the fork lowers by tomorrow night, that would give me all winter to do the emulators correctly if the fork lowers were painted. It's supposed to be around 70°F Saturday whereas it's been in the 30s-40s the last few days.

    So one question I've got--the fork antidive plate(?) is aluminum (or something non-magnetic). I can tell it was originally painted since there was red remaining on it. Would aluminum accept a clear coat with nothing else? Or would I be okay to just polish it as well as possible? I just hit it with the wire wheel tonight to help remove the old yellow paint.
    qYh_X4_8.jpeg
    D4hTm9RU.jpeg

    I guess it was nice having a roller for a little while, hah.
    roller.PNG
     
  3. RogueRC24

    RogueRC24 New Member

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    I had one of my side case sand blasted and then returned without powder coating because it was going to be another month of waiting. So I just cleaned and sprayed engine clear on my side case. Looks good now, but I may see it yellow out with heat cycles. I also have numerous brackets sand blasted, cleaned, and sprayed clear. I like the look and it would be real easy to remove and start over with a real color.

    https://vfrworld.com/threads/the-vfr-that-wasnt-but-now-is.59845/page-20

    post 395
     
  4. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    TRAC plate is aluminum.

    I agree those should clear (or polish.. or both) just fine if that's what you want. On an engine cover, I would def use a 2K clear. It will be way less prone to yellowing over time.

    I don't clear my white wheels when I restore them because of yellowing.
     
  5. RogueRC24

    RogueRC24 New Member

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    My clear is more of a place holder for eventual paint, but it would be nice if it stayed the same color.
     
  6. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    Thanks for the explanation on the clear, Rogue and Captain.

    If I learned anything while removing the old paint off the forks, it's that doing the fuel tank is gonna suck. It's flaking off near the filler cap pretty bad, but besides that, it's actually adhering and holding up really well. It was just put on so damn thick that I'm not really sure how I'd even go about removing it. I'd need a paint stripper bath the size of the tank and several cycles of strip/remove. I'm thinking I can clean up the problem areas (filler cap) by sanding aggressively and then just scuff the old paint pretty good and use it as a primer. I've got plenty of time to think about how to do this right though.
    tank.PNG
    fork.PNG
    prime.PNG
    painted.PNG

    I'll wait a few weeks before trying to cut and buff the clear coat on the forks and EX500 stator cover. See if I can make it not completely obvious it was a rattlecan job done by me. Will be a good learning experience before the fuel tank and fairings, I suppose.
     
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  7. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    For anyone that has previously installed RaceTech emulators, I've got a question about the standard (non Anti-Dive) side.

    The instructions from RaceTech for Hondas with Anti-Dive is here: https://www.racetech.com/page/title/DRod 5-4 AntiDive

    I can't determine what to do with the standard (right fork) rod. I'm planning to run into the office to use the drill press to modify the damper rods tomorrow. Does anybody have a picture of a non-modified damper rod? The holes that I think I'm being told to drill already exist. They're 8mm.

    Do I drill additional holes? Do I overbore the existing holes? Has this already been done?

    For background, I bought this bike in 2007. The forks did not have emulators inside. The spacers inside were PVC, and the bike has many signs of being tracked/raced before, so I don't doubt that something was done. I cannot find a picture of a standard VF500F damper rod anywhere on the internet. I even have a spare fork--but it's the Anti-Dive side, so of no use.

    This is from the RaceTech instructions. It's a CBR in their instructions, but it's close.
    rodMod.PNG

    And here's a picture of the two rods I have. I understand what I need to do with the Anti-Dive (left) fork. But my right (standard) rod already looks like I interpret the end product should.
    rodNotMod.PNG

    I'll reach out to RaceTech again, but the emails I've sent them this year have been met with crickets.
     
  8. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Hold on. After I officially get up and get some coffee I'll post a couple pics. Basically you just want to add additional holes above the existing ones. Emulators cant have too much oil directed at them, but they can have too little.
     
  9. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    No rush Cap. I'm not drilling anything until I figure out what I actually have.

    This is what I've found in the manuals related to the rods.

    Left - AntiDive damper rod - picture from Factory Manual
    antidive.PNG

    Right - No AntiDive - Picture from Factory Manual
    noDive.PNG

    Picture from Clymer Manual -- this one makes it look like mine hasn't been modified and is the same.
    upload_2022-11-5_11-8-12.png

    If I was guessing based on trying to fill in some blanks... I need to remove the No Anti-Dive side's compression damping by adding additional 8mm holes above the existing (4) holes. If I add two new sets 10mm apart, I'll have (8) holes total on the No Anti-Dive side. That seems like too much.

    One more picture with the oil lock moved away so you can see the full rod.
    oilLockMoved.PNG
     
  10. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Short answer is you want 3 sets of EXPOSED thru holes (six total) on each rod. So for yours, one additional set on the standard side (above the existing holes) and 3 new sets on the TRAC side starting above the wear mark made by the oil lock piece.

    Race Tech instructions are NOTORIOUSLY bad and vague. But there were A LOT of variations of damper rod forks over the years too, just in Honda.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2022
  11. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Here's a couple shots of modded CBR-F2 and Hawk rods.

    Mod1.jpg
    Mod2.jpg
    (never mind how the parts are laid out, the Gold Valves are oriented backwards)

    I know it's not exactly the same, but the end result should look like this. Only difference is the TRAC side on VF forks has a set of lower holes that don't count.

    I don't have any shots of my VF500 Race Bike because I built it in the Before Times of interweb thread documentation.
     
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  12. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    Thank you thank you Captain!

    Only question I have left is--if I remove the oil lock on the TRAC side (I don't have one), do those lower holes still not count? The only thing I could see hurting by making 8 holes total is that it further weakens the damper rod. I'm not worried about not having the oil lock's function--I never get anywhere near bottoming out, and I'll run the oil lock on the standard leg.

    trac.JPG
     
  13. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Check the bottom of your fork leg. The Oil Lock almost always is stuck in the bottom. Report back.

    Assuming you have the oil lock piece, your holes need to start ABOVE the wear mark. Your fist set of holes will be the ones marked below your X?

    If you truly do not have the Oil Lock, and plan on running without it, your existing marks are good.

    You could drill 12 holes if you want. The damper rod is not really stressed and as the instructions state, you can't have too much oil directed to the valves. Not enough oil flow and you pretty much still have damper rod forks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2022
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  14. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    Well, wouldn't you know it, there's an oil lock in there! I read your last message when I got to the office, so I chose to just wait on doing the TRAC side drilling until I could check if I had an oil lock hiding in there. Glad I did. I can get it to come up about 4" in the fork lower, but then it just gets really stuck. I'll just leave it and use the wear marks as a guide like you mentioned.

    stuckOilLock.JPG

    Same thing on the spare. I didn't realize what I was looking for earlier when I checked and incorrectly thought there wasn't one in there.
    oldNew.JPG

    So I'll just do the standard leg for today. It'll take me a while to figure out how to cut the spacers anyway. Trying not to rush this one.
    rightDrilledRod.JPG
     
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  15. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    The RaceTech instructions for this bike make my head spin. It recommends running:
    • 3 bleed holes--but it didn't come with dimples, just 4 holes already bored.
    • 180mm fork oil height which sounds much higher than I'd expect (~130mm).
    • The blue 40lb emulator springs at 2.5 turns of preload. It also came with the 64lb yellows and 101lb reds. It did not come with the 26lb silvers.
    • 0.75kg/mm springs (I went with 0.85kg/mm Sonic Springs)
    • 15W Fork Oil
    • 20mm Front fork spring preload
    A couple of these things contradict other heuristics they post. Specifically the fork oil height and low speed compression holes. Since I really do like the feel of my SV's front end, and it's weight and geometry aren't that different than the VF, I think I'm going to do a little mix and match to find a starting point. I probably should have bought 0.80kg springs but whatever.

    Realistically I'm not a tuned-enough rider to feel small suspension differences. But I want to at least get into the ballpark. So I think the setup I'll start with is:
    • 4 bleed holes
    • 140mm fork oil height
    • Blue 40lb emulator springs 2.5 turns preload
    • 0.85kg/mm spring
    • 15W fork oil
    • 20mm front fork spring preload
    emulator.PNG

    May also commit a little heresy with some likely chinese metallurgy special blend pre-load adjusters. Haven't decided yet. It'll affect the spacer length though.
    heresy.PNG

    **Edit--Thank you, RaceTech, for making me find an 11/32 wrench and 9/64 allen. Even my F150 is all metric.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2022
  16. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    You are absolutely spot on on your starting points.

    Your spring rate is just fine.

    I tend to slightly adjust down from their oil height recommendation.

    I think the next set of damper forks I mod I'm gonna try YSS emulators. I just wanna compare quality but I'm sure they are pretty much the same.
     
  17. raYzerman

    raYzerman Member

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    Your springs are fine, a little heavy is not a bad thing.
    Set your chinesium fork caps to minimum preload and cut your spacers to have your 20mm of preload. After install, check your sag, and tweak preload as necesary. Use 15mm if you think your springs are too strong (but they aren't).
    180 is LOWER, not higher, so basically more air cushion in the forks. You can start there and always add oil later to have less cushion. However, play with your emulators first and see how it goes.
     
  18. straycat

    straycat Member

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    I just finished stripping the tank on my CBX750. Paint was thicker than a linebacker's neck

    used a chemical stripper, took off 8 or more layers of paint and found the OEM decals underneath too. Someone had filled and painted over the decals, then painted and decal'd it again.

    Id highly recommend stripping it, as the paint layers get too thick, bad things can happen when you put your new paint on, you may get checking and cracking etc.


    Your doing such a nice job on the VF500 Matt, its worth doing the tank !
     
  19. Colddevil

    Colddevil New Member

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    Thanks for the advice about the springs and emulators, rayzer. I'll go with the 20mm as you suggested. And oops--I probably shouldn't refer to fork oil height in absolute values of air gaps as higher/lower. That's a recipe for confusion.

    I'm sending a few emails out to to find out if anybody near me does one-off paint stripping at a decent cost. I just know from how much of a bear it was to remove the paint from the fork lowers that the tank is going to be a whopper. I've got two gallons of Acrastrip 600 I've got from work, but I'd need to actually submerge areas of the tank. Maybe they make giant turkey pans big enough that would hold it...

    If it comes to painting on/off layers of aircraft stripper from a quart can, I'll have to weigh the cost savings vs the VOC inhalation detriments, lol.

    **Edit - Adams Industries (Southeastern, WI) got back to me with an estimated price of not to exceed $150 and 2-3 weeks lead time (they're more of an industrial job shop, so priority to their OEM/industrial partners). I think I will take them up on it. http://www.adamsind.com/index.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
  20. straycat

    straycat Member

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    Takes me about an hour and a half to two hours to strip 8 layers of paint off a tank - one layer at a time. I use a generic hardware store gel paint stripper
     
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