The Adventure Begins (again)

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by deja vu, Feb 24, 2019.

  1. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Joined a while back. I've been looking for a 1986 VFR 750 for about 4 years. Why? Because I sold mine in 1994 when we were being transferred to Panama. She only had 6,800 miles and I got $2,300 from the local Honda dealer. I bought her brand new in 1987 - she was the one that got away. Very hard to explain - feel free to psychoanalyze: I've sold other vehicles and not felt this type of thing - after all, it's just an inanimate object, right? My son and I purchased a 1986 VFR 750 about 2 years ago as a project bike - didn't work out - sold it as a parts bike.

    About 2 months ago, I serendipituously found one on Craigslist, about 10 hours from here. Young kid and flakiness aside, finally sealed the deal and just got her home (pictures to come). My son and I spent this weekend bringing her to her "safe space." She has 8,789 miles and was kept in a climate controlled warehouse for most of her life. With anything that's 33 years old, there are some things to address, and thus it starts.
     
  2. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    As with any newly-purchased used bike, drain and flush the fuel tank before trying to start.
     
  3. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Good advice. Some additional notes: The bike actually runs and we've done that. She appears to have the customary R/R issue - have already ordered one from Roadstercycle. The stator (fortunately) checked out fine - I made sure, using two multimeters - illogical step for an old school electrical engineering. After addressing the R/R issue, plan on replacing the oil and plugs, though the seller said these had been replaced recently - trust and verify. The tires are 2013 vintage (based on DOT markings) and feel hard - next to be replaced. Chain was deflecting around 40mm; cleaned (kerosene), scrubbed, lubed and adjusted today - appears to be fine. Rear sprocket looks solid - will check front sprocket next.

    She was apparently laid down twice and the lower fairings are scraped - will see if I can get thse repairs or what options we have available. The strut on each side is broken off (the seller had one of them) in both cases the screw broke off on the frame. The other strut is gone, together with a section of the fairing.

    Some interesting stuff: She came with the elusive cowling, has two original keys (including one that appears to have never been used) - and the owner's manual, the full toolkit, and the Honda shop manual. The bike was apparently equipped with the center stand. When it was laid down, the right (clutch-side) lever was bent - the seller has one that came with the bike as a spare part.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2019
  4. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    Well, you have pulled up a chair and made yourself "at home" here already. Good for you and welcome. I, for one, look forward to seeing some photos of your warehouse queen.
     
  5. Brian Rodgers

    Brian Rodgers New Member

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    There is no need to explain, we the care-takers of '86 VFR's understand !
    I got mine 2nd-hand in 1988 and I doubt that I will ever part with it. Been with her longer than the wife (20 years) !
    Mine has also been in a long-term coma. Life gets in the way. Once the shop is set up, though, a resurrection is planned.
    Good luck. Please post inspiring updates !
    Brian
     
  6. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Ok - some pics...
     

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  7. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Some more...
     

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  8. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    And more...
     

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  9. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    One more...
     

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  10. RllwJoe

    RllwJoe Member

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    Looking good. Keep us updated with progress photos.
     
  11. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Some progress to report. On Tuesday, received two rubber spacers for the fuel tank (the spacers that go between the frame and the tank). One was missing and the other one had lost its rubbery properties. Today, the regulator/rectifier arrived, as well as an oil filter, reflectors (tag holders), and a new fuel filter. I installed the reflectors (though I haven't titled the bike yet - probably next week). I also installed the regulator/rectifier - kind of a quickie job with zip ties - the connections went off mostly without a hitch (the wiring on the bike is pristine).

    The one issue: After installing the r/r, I started the bike, having to really hit the starter for quite a while (I had charged the battery last night). The bike started then it died. Interestingly, the choke didn't seem to make much of a difference - perhaps it isn't connected on the carburetor end (project for another day). After I restarted the bike, it died again and went dark. I looked around and noticed some burning above the starter relay and also the fuse was apparently fried, though it wasn't blown in the customary place. I replaced the 30a starter relay fuse and restarted the bike, letting it run for about 3 or 4 minutes before taking it for a ride around the block (keep in mind it isn't titled yet and has no tag, so I didn't go far). All told, I ran it 2 miles and it was very smooth.

    Any thoughts on what could have happened to cause the fuse holder and terminals above the starter relay to get burned up? I checked it after running the bike and the brief ride and it didn't seem to have gotten worse. Is it worth replacing the starter relay or terminals? Any similar experiences?
     
  12. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    General pictures of the r/r installation; note: this is just a preliminary installation - I'll be replacing the tires over the next couple of days and not doing much riding.
     

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  13. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    The terminals above the starter relay and the fuse. Note the bubbled surface on the fuse - haven't seen this too many times. The salient question: What's causing this? Also, should I replace the terminals and the starter relay? Check the starter for an internal short? Maybe just from running the starter for too long?
     

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  14. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    that melting is not very uncommon.

    12-1-17 096.JPG
     
  15. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Wow - that looks ugly! Some significant progress today. Mounted a new front tire and reinstalled. Also, changed the oil/filter and also added clutch fluid. The clutch fluid was pretty nasty and not even 1/4 full; there were clumps on the bottom. The seller said he'd change the oil (as Ronnie said, trust and verify).
     

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  16. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Finally registered the bike and got plates.

    Couple of additional updates: fixed the seat - it wasn't staying down; I smoothed out the top part of the scissor mechanism that holds the seat in place with a dremel. Looks like someone in the past may have forcibly pushed the seat (and seat pin) down without the key inserted, bending the scissor mechanism. Now I can (finally) install the cowl with the retaining screws and not have to worry about stressing the tab in the back. Also, replaced the fuel filter - did this as a precaution since I have no idea when the current EMCO filter was installed. The clutch fluid got nasty again - I used a q-tip and the old turkey baster trick to stir up the muck from the bottom and filled/pumped out the reservoir contents 4 times to clean up the fluid (at least in the reservoir). Lastly, I trimmed up the cabling going from the battery to the new voltage regulator/rectifier, removing nearly all of the slack. Used new crimp connectors, soldered, double crimped and used heat shrink tubing as recommended by Roadstercycle in order to minimize any poor connection issues.

    Next steps: remove the rear wheel so I can replace the rear tire (which is 2013 vintage) with the new one that arrived on Friday (week31 2018 vintage). With the rear tire off, I'll look at the rear brakes and rear bearing condition. Also, I ordered cheap knockoffs of the four turn signal stems - a couple are sagging badly and one appears to be broken.

    While I had the tank raised today to replace the fuel filter, confirmed that the choke lever is actuating the choke mechanism on the carburetors. Also, I legally took the bike out for the first time on the roads today, putting about 12 miles on it. The shifting seems clunky and I checked the oil level - it was in the middle of the range and I topped it off. Not sure what other simple adjustments I can make to the clutch at this point (other than replacing the fluid in the reservoir). The acceleration strikes me as slightly fuzzy - hoping the fuel filter helps. I haven't checked the plugs yet (for indications on mixture) - that might be next. Hope to have the the new tire back on the bike on Monday before I have to travel.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2019
  17. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    you'll know the engine's running right when it tries to rip your hands off the bars while accelerating hard from about 35 mph ! :wheelie:
     
  18. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Some additional updates:
    • Installed the new rear tire; both tires (Pirellis) are now new and no longer 6+ years old (with hard rubber)
    • Replaced the starter solenoid; the plastic around the wiring harness plug was looking a bit rugged (the wiring harness plug is looking a bit rugged, though not as much as the picture posted by squirrelman
    • Picked up stems for the turn signals; the current stems are sagging and I'll be installing these this upcoming weekend (stay tuned for pictures)
    • Ordered an air filter; while I haven't taken a look at it, probably good to have a NOS air filter handy and after inspecting, may opt to replace
    • Ordered a set of spark plugs; same as the air filter - will check and replace as appropriate this weekend
    • Talked to a local shop about the rough looking fairings (bike was apparently laid down - on both sides); they think it would be more cost effective to replace the fairings and repaint instead of trying to repair the existing fairings
    Should have some pictures this weekend, especially with respect to the stems/turn signals, the spark plugs, and the air filter. Stay tuned...
     
  19. squirrelman

    squirrelman Member

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    use the shortest possible stalks (stems) on the indicators. ;)

    7-8-17 020.JPG

    7-8-17 026.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2019
  20. deja vu

    deja vu New Member

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    Good point on the stems - should be installing this weekend. Also, I replaced the two rear spark plugs - the ones the previous owner said were "just replaced." Here's what the 'just replaced' plugs look like - again, trust but verify. A couple of additional notes with the plugs. The left rear (I didn't get the cylinder number) was completely loose and that's the plug that looks oily Not totally sure what to make of this - hopefully no permanent damage to the engine, though I did notice some very light smoking. After replacing the two plugs, this was gone(?). The other plug was nominal. BTW, Squirrelman - while I don't share your politics (not sure this is even an appropriate venue for that), at least we agree on the bikes.
     

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