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VFR750 - Rolling Resto

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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 21:22 - 21 Sep 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Firestorm front end bolts right in. Bit shorter but I think that improves the handling.

Springs are a bit cack but that can be easily fixed by fitting a set of linear springs appropriate to your weight.

Damping is considered to be a bit "wooden". There's a well described modification where you regrind the taper on the damping rod so it's fully tapered (they have a step on them as standard) and drill a small relief hole in the damper body. I've done this* and there was a noticeable improvement.

https://www.ablett.jp/bikes/vtr/vtr_sus.htm

*I'm now running VTR internals in my VFR forks because I have a set of pretec 6-pots to fit VFR lowers. I did have a full VTR front end fitted for a while though.
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“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 23:17 - 21 Sep 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
Firestorm front end bolts right in. Bit shorter but I think that improves the handling.

I'll give it a go then. Find it strange though, because I'm riding the 750 and the 800 side by side a lot at the moment, and the 750 is much more nimble and happier to be thrown on it's ear already. And it's not like the 800 feels slow slow or lazy, it feels fine, the 750 is just better. That's with them both as standard in terms of their geometry. In reference to the damper rod mods (and thank you for that), a mate of mine years ago had a Firestorm and the feel from the front end was fantastic, properly like you had the front axle between your hands, really noticeably great. But then someone pulled out on him and wrote it off, so he bought a replacement, and the feel from the front wasn't anywhere near as good. There was nothing wrong with it, but it was only "OK", it just felt like a normal bike. Makes me wonder if that mod had been done to the first one and we didn't know.

I did want to ask you something though. In your "shed find" thread I came across this -
stinkwheel wrote:
I also stripped the thermostat housing and checked the 'stat is working in a pan of boiling water because it is the mother of all bastard jobs to get at once the carbs and airbox are on.

Since I think my thermostat is toast, I need to get to this, but at a casual glance, it looks like with the side fairing off it's basically right there. 2 bolts on the housing (and maybe the one on the hanger) and I'll have the thermostat out. What makes it such a bastard? What am I missing?

I'm going to be doing the boiling pan test on the old one AND the new one, because somewhere in the unreliable byways of my memory, I remember reading that new thermostats of this type quite often don't work and have to be replaced (sometimes multiple times) before you get a "good un". And there's no harm in trying it so why not.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 00:03 - 22 Sep 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zen Dog wrote:

Since I think my thermostat is toast, I need to get to this, but at a casual glance, it looks like with the side fairing off it's basically right there. 2 bolts on the housing (and maybe the one on the hanger) and I'll have the thermostat out. What makes it such a bastard? What am I missing?


It's just tight as hell as I recall. Maybe it's not as bad as I remember. I had it in my head access to the bolt nearest the middle was tight and it was something of a sod to get the lid up and off with the hose on but tricky to get onto the jubilee clip to get the hose off if you want to do it that way.

I think the hangar bolt needs to come off too. I'm sure it's do-able though.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AL9nZEWKkTs3Hn1owRlQTZ-7gPlALncVTlEnjPRxr_82CuPPA-8d79kQVGymeIEwEFHKguyDwWD8O7A58CT6-gb1uHezyhBQDC2P0R6xrS7epmZbRZtnpzPhpbNsaUipSX2YL8VPP7J_AmFbU4oKF5_4QE8i=w1576-h886-no
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 22:00 - 02 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Haven't posted for a bit, but I have been actively doing stuff, so I thought it was time for an update. Pics will be crap as usual because I only ever seem to remember to take them just when I'm getting started, and then when I'm finished...

Arrow Thermostat - WASN'T BROKEN. Getting the thermostat out, I would rate as a hassle but not a total bastard. And it's mostly a hassle because you can't get a ratchet in there so you have to do it all with a ring spanner. Both the new stat and the old one passed the boiling pan test. Both are fully closed when cold and start to open around 85C. If anything the old one was actually opening slightly late and not as wide as the new one (25 years of heat cycles I imagine) which should actually make the engine run hotter if anything I think. Regardless, when fitted, the new one shows the same behaviour on the gauge. After riding for 10 miles, temp is showing at the bottom end of the operating temp range on the gauge. If I then stop and let the bike idle for 10 minutes I can get it up to just below the middle of the range (see pic). The fan never kicks in. And as soon as I ride off, the temp comes straight back down to just above cold.

https://i.imgur.com/u1muP3Pl.jpg

As far as I can tell, there are basically 2 possibilities -
A) I now have a super efficient cooling system.
B) The temp gauge is displaying incorrectly.

Tempted to think it's the second one, the sensor is ancient and somewhat corroded, and the gauge had bad connections before I fixed it, so it's perfectly possible that there is resistance/dodgy earth etc. somewhere along the line (like the rev counter). Unless anyone has any good suggestions, I'm going to leave this one until I've next got the clocks off because it's basically working (as in registering change in temp), and I know the thermostat is operating so that's good enough for now.

Arrow Firestorm Brakes - SERVICED. Got the caliper pads/pins/spring etc apart. Gave all except the pads a scrubbing in gunk so I could see where they were at. Various bits and pieces needed a wire brushing, but all the pistons were pretty unmarked and they all moved freely. Put a dab of copper grease on the pad pin and put them back together. This type of design (the Street Triple was very similar) is so much simpler than the sliding calipers on the 750, but I bet it's a bastard if you have to split the calipers.

https://i.imgur.com/Lz7zcoll.jpg

Then it was time to do the master cylinder service. You can see how corroded the circlip had got once the dust seal had gone, but the seals inside were still intact. Only a matter of time though.

https://i.imgur.com/GtumSRNl.jpg

I was surprised how crude a thing a master cylinder actually is. Obviously the bore is precision machined, but I expected there to be intricate mechanisms or something. It's basically just a rod with a spring on the end and a couple of seals. Then there's just a circlip that fits in a groove in the bore to stop the whole thing pinging out, and a rubber dust seal. That's it. I put a smear of red rubber grease on all the seals but I didn't go mad, I can see how you could stodge up the whole thing if you put loads in there. The hardest part was getting the circlip back in, it's a proper bugger trying to hold the whole assembly, push the rod in and get the circlip seated properly, with your finger in the way the whole time. Got there in the end.

https://i.imgur.com/diLA0XSl.jpg

Speaking of it only being a matter of time though... the dust seal on the clutch master cylinder went years ago, and it finally went the other day. So...

Arrow Clutch Master Cylinder - SERVICED. This was basically just the same job again. The dust seal on this actually looks ok in the pic, but it wasn't, there were multiple splits which had been letting stuff in.

https://i.imgur.com/4aYRpdMl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/UgWwP0ul.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/AIgvcyxl.jpg

You can see how similar the design is to the Firestorm brake though, the only difference being that one of the seals is separate and there's an extra washer. I like seeing this kind of evolution, because the later Firestorm design is simpler AND easier. I took my time with this one, and took apart, cleaned and greased the (surprisingly complex) lever as well.

https://i.imgur.com/O1SirNpl.jpg

This lever is madly overengineered really, with all kinds of different materials, threaded bits, pivots and sleeves. In typical fashion I forgot to take any "after" shots. But my current greasing method is red rubber grease for rubber, copper grease for threads, and moly grease for surfaces that rub together like the brass sleeve on the brake lever pivot. We'll see how that works out. But taking your time doing this kind of stuff is very satisfying. The clutch lever is smooth as silk now too.

Arrow Firestorm Forks - STILL DECIDING. I need to decide what to do about these Firestorm forks. I know I want to get them serviced, and then probably just try them as standard before making any changes. I understand how forks work in principle, but somehow how they actually work in practice has always eluded me. When I look at a parts diagram it's just a load of stuff. So I need to do some reading and/or youtube watching. See if I can get hold of a Firestorm manual probably. But somehow, I have an impression I really need a large vice and a decent workbench for servicing them, and I have neither, nor the space for them. So we'll see. As ever, if I think I can do it, I'm going to have a go.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 23:36 - 02 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fan and temp gauge are two different switches so if it was underreading but overheating, the fan should kick in anyway, unless both senders are goosed.

Agreeed about the complexity of the clutch lever linkage. I'd lost the link rod and trunnion and it cost more than either a new lever or the service kit.

Although if you think the MC setup is crude, wait until you see the clutch slave. It's basically a rubber bucket and a big spring. Which incidentally was the only hydraulic seal I didn't replace on mine and it started leaking after a couple of hundred miles taking the fresh paint off the cover and leaving me to do another 80 miles with no clutch.

With regard to holding the MC steady when replacing the circlip. You do know it clamps to a bar right? Wink
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“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 09:58 - 03 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
Fan and temp gauge are two different switches so if it was underreading but overheating, the fan should kick in anyway, unless both senders are goosed.


Yep, I agree. It's the part that means I'm not 100% sure that it is underreading. But I still have the old rad and fan/switch setup, so I'll probably have a play around with that, and see if I can find the best way to test the one on the bike.

stinkwheel wrote:
With regard to holding the MC steady when replacing the circlip. You do know it clamps to a bar right? Wink


I do, but unfortunately the bar was in the garage about a mile from my house. Razz I ended up using an old set of mountain bike handlebars. Very Happy
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 10:53 - 03 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the temp gauge is it a sensor you can easily remove and dunk in pot of boing water, see what the gauge then says?
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 11:51 - 03 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
For the temp gauge is it a sensor you can easily remove and dunk in pot of boing water, see what the gauge then says?

Yes, in the sense that it's not that hard to get to. I think it's this you can see on Stinkwheel's pic below -

https://i.imgur.com/JfTkDWal.jpg

Mine is pretty skanky/furry/green though, so whether it'll come out without snapping something is a separate question.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 12:25 - 03 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resistance drops as temperature increases in that temperature sender. So furry connectors could make it under-read.

My manual says 90-120 ohm at 60 degrees and 14-18 ohm at 100 degrees.
____________________
“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 18:21 - 22 Oct 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of an update, I've had a play around with the cooling system.
Arrow Rad Fan - Directly powered it, it works fine.
Arrow Temp Gauge - Connected the lead from the sensor to the gauge direct to ground, flicks straight to the top, so I've excluded the wiring and the gauge, the problem can only be the sensor itself (or a bad connection to it).
Arrow Fan Switch - Bit inconclusive on this one. Set it up as below (with water obviously...) but I couldn't get it to show anything other than infinite resistance up to 100 degrees. Might be I'd set it up badly, I tried my best to get a good connection with a bare copper wire on the thread and a clip on the other side but maybe I didn't get a good connection. Or maybe I just didn't get it hot enough with just water but I thought it'd show *something*.

https://i.imgur.com/ZJEKFKyl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/abBdZhIl.jpg

Arrow Temp Sensor - Haven't had this out (yet), but after cleaning up the contacts I thought I'd give it a go (and see if I could get the fan switch to kick in). It seemed to warm up (according to the gauge) a little faster, got it up to temp as below, but just after I took the pic, coolant started pissing out of the expansion overflow. I switched the bike off because I didn't know where it was coming from initially, but I'm hoping that it just means I've overfilled it a bit. The fan didn't kick in either. Strange that it hadn't overflowed previously though. I've ridden the bike (and deliberately let it heat up) multiple times since I put it back together.

https://i.imgur.com/YK7aRIXl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ZKyS8Mkl.jpg

Arrow Firestorm Forks - I've decided after doing a load of reading I'm going to get someone else to do the service on these, partially in the interests of getting on with it, partially because I'm worried I need a decent vice and workbench, and partially because I want to have the bike off it's wheels for as short a time as possible. Instead I'm going to take apart the original forks once they're off so I can have a play around, and if I balls it up or I get stuck it doesn't matter.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 00:14 - 23 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Update time.

Arrow Road Legal Exhaust - After spending ages looking at crappy second hand cans for silly money, and getting to the point of just buying a new one, I saw this beautiful Motad Venom for sale on ebay and snapped it up. Genuinely looks better in the flesh than in the pic, it looks pretty much brand new, and even comes with a baffle. I've always liked motad systems, they dont look the best, but they're stainless, hard as nails and they don't change the fuelling. I'm pretty sure the front half of the exhaust system is motad already. Technically it may not be road legal (I think the Venom brand was as close as Motad got to making naughty systems) but the bike is already passing MOT and this one definitely has more inside it, and a baffle if needed, so I'm not worried.

https://i.imgur.com/Y1cvKHml.jpg

Arrow Exhaust Clamp - Took the old high level can off, which involved dealing with the exhaust clamp. The original threads in the clamp corroded away years ago, and I'd replaced them with nuts and bolts. And now the nuts and bolts have corroded to the point I had to snap one to get it off. I'll replace them with new ones but I thought I'd give the clamp itself a clean up with a wire brush and a couple of coats of random BBQ paint. It won't last, the powdery finish stuff never does on exhausts, the only stuff I ever found any good on exhausts was plastikote high temp paint which has a satin finish, but I didn't have any handy, so this will do. I'm going to copper slip the new clamp bolts heavily when I put it back together and see how it goes. But the new exhaust is staying off for now because I'm starting to have a look at the rear brake.

https://i.imgur.com/CzT6vXhl.jpg

Arrow Rear Brake - So I had a look, and the main problem seems to be play in the lever, and in the pin that connects it to the master cylinder. I think the pin is just worn. But the lever rotates on a bearing that fits over a cylinder on the bikeward side of the footpeg. I'm pretty sure that bearing has just collapsed long ago. None of this stuff seems to be available new. Rear brake/footpeg assemblies do come up on ebay, and they usually look better than mine, but it's hard to tell how bad the critical parts are in photos. There is also a guy selling a NOS lever, which is exactly what I need, but he's starting the auction at £40. If it was buy it now I might go for it, but I really don't want to spend even that much on one bloody lever, I'm not getting into a bidding war over it.

Arrow Firestorm Forks - They're with the suspension guy getting a service, should be back at the end of the week. I need a baseline so I'm not making any changes to them at the moment. Once I've got them fitted I'll take the bike over to him and get the right springs ordered. Then I'll just try it for a bit and see what they're like before making the mods.

Arrow Fairings (Again) - Took all the fairings off again as it's just going to make working on the front end easier. All the ABS repairs I made have held up really well, but putting them all back on I found a few more cracks on panels I thought were fine. It's the winter so a good time to work on them.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 01:31 - 28 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bit of an update on the the forks front. So when I took the forks to the suspension guy, I asked him, while he was servicing them to have a look at the proposed mods. Sent him this link (https://www.ablett.jp/bikes/vtr/vtr_sus.htm) and another one from the firestorm forums showing the whole process with nice pics. He got a lathe and a pillar drill so he could make them easily enough. He wasn't too bothered about the concept of smoothing the damper rode ends, when I mentioned drilling a hole in the cartridge body, he didn't look impressed.

He's been working on them this weekend, and he's obviously got around to reading the links, and this is what he sent me -

suspension guy wrote:
As promised I sat with a coffee and read the articles you sent before I attack these forks.

Now wearing my coffee after spitting it out. Can't get my head around the so called mods especially the drilled hole. To the point I messaged a friend who's been in the business 20 years. his reply, there are some fuckwits about don't drill the hole.


He's suggested just revalving them instead. I don't think he's doing this to charge me more, the revalve is only £30, it would cost more than that in machine time to make the mods, he genuinely doesn't understand what the hole is supposed to be achieving. And the problem is, I'm not really sure myself. So I've been trying to work it out. There's quite a good vid explaining the function of cartridge forks here -
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzI2IEns3WY&list=PLpiucsoH_ONlMTgRMKq4ZrW4wLGZdL2Zq&index=9&t=581s

About 4 minutes in, there's an animation showing what happens when the fork is being compressed. When this happens oil is pushed into the outer fork leg through the compression base valve. The hole in the mod seems to be drilled in the cartridge body just above the valve, so to me, it appears that the effect would be to increase the flow and reduce the compression damping, allowing more oil to flow into the outer fork leg faster. The rebound damping is determined by the oil flow rate between the upper and lower parts of the cartridge tube, so this shouldn't be effected. It's effectively just making the low speed compression channel bigger so it can flow more oil.

https://www.ablett.jp/bikes/vtr/vtr_pics/fork_diagram.jpg

With the damper rod mod also presumably decreasing turbulence and increasing the flow on the rebound side. The overall effect should be to decrease low speed damping, to give a more supple ride. But you really could achieve the same effect with a compression valve with a bigger low speed flow channel (and the same for the rebound valve). If that's the case, I wonder why the suspension guy isn't recognising what the intent is, even if he disagrees with the method.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011


Last edited by Zen Dog on 14:15 - 28 Nov 2022; edited 1 time in total
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 08:34 - 28 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

While I wouldn't be able to quantify what drilling a hole would do I'd prefer any mod to be reversible. If the man says "change the valve" I'm assuming it's possible to change it back?
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 09:42 - 28 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy-X wrote:
While I wouldn't be able to quantify what drilling a hole would do I'd prefer any mod to be reversible. If the man says "change the valve" I'm assuming it's possible to change it back?


I have to agree with you on that one at least, once you've drilled a hole in the cartridge tube, there's no going back later. And yes, you should be able to change and modify the valves as many times as you like really, and return it to standard if you wanted to.
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My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 12:39 - 28 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further discussion with the suspension guy, but I'm just going to get him to do a revalve. There doesn't seem to be a downside to this, as the revalve isn't expensive and it can be reversed.

https://i.imgur.com/0UVaw9G.png
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 16:01 - 28 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

I dimly recall finding a glacier or bronze bushing on ebay that fitted the brake lever pivot.

Although replacing the clevis joint with a new one took a large amount of the play out of the system.
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pw/AL9nZEV3Qo2fZjMmtJMq_9qHGn68Xn5atkZW32mwTryoJcmuy-xnElEqYA2OUwQIqoWwxuqdw78f2D-Qzm2H39KThyGLnussgsJMokrchvWJjBjFa23lYcQAEhs6NWaqUP9mDHnnEo3XiwR89NvsLEa6HDxV=w546-h969-no
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 13:13 - 29 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
I dimly recall finding a glacier or bronze bushing on ebay that fitted the brake lever pivot.

Although replacing the clevis joint with a new one took a large amount of the play out of the system.


I'll have a look at that, I hadn't considered a bronze bushing. Getting the whole rear brake assembly off is my next job, so when I get it apart I'll take some measurements. They do have lots listed on ebay, but I'll need to get something that's pretty much bang on, as I have no real ability to machine it if it needs to be cut down or modified with any kind of precision.

Also helps that I now know that that pivot is called a clevis joint, there are lots of options for those about too. Thumbs Up
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 14:03 - 29 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zen Dog wrote:


I'll have a look at that, I hadn't considered a bronze bushing. Getting the whole rear brake assembly off is my next job, so when I get it apart I'll take some measurements. They do have lots listed on ebay, but I'll need to get something that's pretty much bang on, as I have no real ability to machine it if it needs to be cut down or modified with any kind of precision.


If you fit a bronze one, it'll probably need the inside diameter reaming. You can get adjustable reaming tools quite inexpensively that'll go in a pillar drill or you can make a kind of flap wheel by cutting a slot in a bit of alloy tube and sticking a strip of wet and dry paper in it then whizzing it round in the hole. Not ideal because you can get abrasive embedded in the bronze but it's not like you're running the crank in it.

Hand files are a high precision way of adjusting the width, just a slow one.
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I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 16:36 - 29 Nov 2022    Post subject: Reply with quote

More fun on the forks. Suspension guy has been on the phone. He thinks both forks have been involved in an altercation at some point, there are clamp marks on them (presumably where they've been straightened). One of them the run out is within tolerance, and the other isn't. He's going to try to sort it but I may need to buy a new tube. Rolling Eyes

It was always a chance buying random forks from a breakers, but I thought I'd got lucky. I'm just glad I a) didn't just stick them on the bike, and b) got him to have a look at them, I probably wouldn't have noticed otherwise, not having a sheet of glass or anything to compare them against. Still, arse.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 03:53 - 02 Jan 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Time for a New Year update, it's been a while.

Arrow Firestorm Forks - Repaired, returned and fitted! The suspension guy took a while before he got to work on straightening the forks, but then he sent me this -

https://i.imgur.com/HwdK8jf.mp4

He managed to get them back within tolerance so at least the tubes were saveable. The forks now also have new bushes and seals, and they've been revalved. He talked me through the shim stack, but the basic idea is to replicate the intent of the originally proposed modifications.

So after getting them back I thought I'd better get on with fitting them. Step one is removing the old front end, and the rear wheel is already off because I'm messing with the rear brake, so time to get both ends off the ground with the Abba lift. I do like this thing, it's super stable, but I wish I'd spent the extra money and bought the skylift.

https://i.imgur.com/UtlYYOVl.jpg

Drained the front brakes and took them and the master cylinder off. The VFR has these weird tough metal hooks under the headstock that guide the brake hoses, and getting the old ones out and the new ones suitably routed was probably the hardest part of this whole operation.

https://i.imgur.com/4bAGjjvl.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ciW17SVl.jpg

Then mudguard, pinch bolts, wheel spindle etc.

https://i.imgur.com/gIojueFl.jpg

Comparing the two forks, they're, if not the same length, only a few milimeters different in length, at least off the bike. The pic actually makes them look more different than they are, in person I thought they were identical in length (from the very bottom of the fork leg to the fork cap).

https://i.imgur.com/1ILDU1Ml.jpg

I decided to replace the forks one at a time, on the theory that if I tightened the first new fork in place before removing the last old one, I'd be less likely to end up with the forks twisted in the yokes. Assuming they aren't already of course. So right fork out first, and then use the additional space to feed the new brake lines and master cylinder up to the lever.

https://i.imgur.com/FWUknt3l.jpg

Then insert the new fork (making sure it's the correct one...ahem) through the mess of cabling, get the handlebar back on (the forks are set at "just poking through the handlebar" height at the moment), the new master cylinder in approximate position fixed on the bar, and tighten everything to specified torque settings. Repeat for the left fork. I only had an hour or two, so I stuck the mudguard on as I was leaving for the day.

https://i.imgur.com/I8j5iZhl.jpg

The next day I finished it off. Stuck the front wheel back in with the firestorm spindle and spacers. The firestorm spacers looked exactly the same as the ones I took off to be honest, but I used the new ones anyway. After tightening the spindle and the right side pinch bolts, the manual says you need to apply the brakes and bounce the suspension a few times, so I needed to put the rear wheel back on and get it off the stand. So the suspension was bounced, it feels fine, and the pinch bolts tightened. As part of this I also had to fit the calipers and mudguard. I don't know if it's just me being used to the original mudguard, but the new one does look slightly odd, and it's definitely going to spray crap onto the front of the engine. More of a problem though, the brakes felt pretty spongy. I bled the calipers and it's improved it a bit. I've entended the lever a little in it's adjustment, but it does firm up, and it's honestly hard to tell how effective brakes are in a garage setting really, brakes should have some "squidge", that's where the feel comes from. They're good enough that I can try them, but it's fresh calipers and pads too, on old rotors, I need to remember to bed them in when I first go out. Still, definitely more travel at the brake lever than I was expecting.

https://i.imgur.com/KYCZIgdl.jpg

So that's the success, the other two bits of the bike have been more of a mixed bag.

Arrow Fairing Repairs - I've made a load more little repairs, and I'm continuing to be impressed with what you can do with ABS slurry. I might make a new post in Show and Tell just with some pics of one of the repairs I made as an example. One of the things I like about it is that you have the same material properties (roughly) in the repair as the original material, so it behaves the same way as the original fairing when it's flexed or under stress. This doesn't happen with glass fibre for example, which is much more rigid. And that's been a problem here. All the ABS repairs continue to hold up, but I went to put the top fairing back on the bike, and a bit of flex on the fairing panel has caused an old glass fibre repair to crack. So now I'm in the process of using a dremel to remove all the old repair so I can do it better in ABS. I'll get there though.

Arrow Rear Brake - This is the problem one really. Got the whole rear footpeg off the bike. Looks pretty dire to be honest.

https://i.imgur.com/zLq3CzSl.jpg

After a scrubbing with engine degreaser you could at least see what was going on.

https://i.imgur.com/31NzKYpl.jpg

After that I took the whole thing to bits. The outer seal of the master cylinder was full of brown gunk, so that'll need a service kit. The real issues are these two.

https://i.imgur.com/SW1ofocl.jpg

The top one is the rod that actuates the master cylinder. I can only get open ended ring spanners on the two nuts and they currently just will not budge, I've slightly rounded a couple of the faces on the smaller nut already. I need a better approach, because I need to get the old clevis joint(?) off so I can replace it (and adjust it when I put it all back together), but I need the rest of the rod to stay intact because they're unavailable and I couldn't make anything like it. I could try to heat it, but I'd probably damage the rubber boot thing on it. I could try to let it soak in something, but that might damage it too. I should check if that boot comes as part of the service kit though, because I can be a lot harsher with the old one if it is. Still, really not sure what to do.

The other one is the lever itself. The bushing(?) is still intact and solidly in place. It's clearly just worn (as is presumably the surface it rides on). I'm half tempted to just moly grease it and stick it back on. If I want to sort it properly I need to replace the bushing. But how do you get the old one out? Do you heat the lever? Do you use some kind of bearing puller? Do you have to dremel it? I really have no idea.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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stinkwheel
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PostPosted: 09:35 - 02 Jan 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

You seen these?
https://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk/VFR750FV-1997/part_160635/

Work fine and only a tenner more than a service kit and has a new bolt thingy. The reservoir was a poor fit so I used the original.
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“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 21:23 - 02 Jan 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

stinkwheel wrote:
You seen these?
https://www.davidsilverspares.co.uk/VFR750FV-1997/part_160635/

Work fine and only a tenner more than a service kit and has a new bolt thingy. The reservoir was a poor fit so I used the original.


Brilliant! I've been using David Silver's for about 15 years and I still fail to find useful items on there sometimes. Rolling Eyes Ordered. Thank you.
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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Zen Dog
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PostPosted: 23:05 - 12 Jan 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

Arrow Rear Brake - Got the replacement master cylinder. Should do the job. The only problems were that the old MC holes were threaded, and the new ones aren't. And also that the thread on the rod is 8mm.

https://i.imgur.com/BCYL3DEl.jpg

So, first problem is solved with nuts to hold the new MC in place on the bolts, which dictated a slightly longer bolt for one of them. Found one just the right length in a box though annoyingly it's phillips head not allen key. Ah well. The second problem was solved with an 8mm clevis joint, but the old clevis joint (and therefore the hole in the lever for it) was 7mm, so I had to carefully drill out the hole. Really wish I had a pillar drill for this sort of thing.

https://i.imgur.com/g8OXYdIl.jpg

Incidentally, M7 clevis joints must have committed some kind of crime against the metric system, they just don't seem to be a thing. M6 and M8, not a problem. M7, nothing. Also clevis joints always seem to be matched, i.e. an M8 thread and an M8 pin, an M6 thread and an M6 pin. If you want an M8 thread and an M7 pin, you're buggered. Maybe you can get them from specialist engineering places or something. Anyway, there was enough meat on the lever that I'm not worried about drilling it out by 1mm. Put a little shoulder on it with the dremel and I reckon that's good enough.

https://i.imgur.com/iID7CiYl.jpg

As for replacing the bushing on the lever, I did actually order a couple of oilite bushings (interesting material!) and started dremelling one to fit. But I've ultimately decided against it for now, for a couple of reasons.
1) The only way I can think to get the old one out is to hacksaw it into two pieces, and I'm not confident about doing that without damaging the lever. I'm also not confident about getting the new one in. Attempting to file the inside of a cylinder evenly by hand is definitely easier than the outside, and I dont have a press or anything to help get the new bushing in.
2) The actual wear on the old bushing and shaft is about 0.3mm at it's largest. There are times when precision is really needed, and this is, lets face it, not one of them. A slathering of moly grease on the inside of the bushing, careful positioning of the clevis joint height, and judicious use of washers on the joint has resulted in zero play in the lever before MC rod movement, and it's smooth. Good enough.

So that's going back on for now. I need to service the caliper too, but that's a later job, because I don't want to be bedding in pads at both ends of the bike at the same time. If it's even slightly better than it was before, that'll be good enough for testing the new front end. I'll come back to the brake lever when I do the caliper if needed.

https://i.imgur.com/jhvj4Mal.jpg

I oscillate between wanting to make the bike shinier as I fix things, and enjoying the patina like the wear on an old guitar. The rear wheel and the new end can will be shiny, but I'm leaving the original parts of this brake assembly untouched other than a clean and wire brushing. I wish I could tell you I had a logical method of deciding what gets tarted up and what doesn't, but I don't.

I'm just finishing off a final fairing repair, and then it's time to get the bike back together and get it out for a shakedown test. There's the new front end and brakes, and the temp sensor/coolant overflow/fan activation thing remains currently unresolved. I did also notice the last time I rode it that though it was fine in the bottom half of the rev range, it seemed to have lost its "zing" in the upper half. It revved cleanly, but it felt slightly "tight", a slight lack of freedom to spin up through the revs. Honestly the kind of thing you'd only notice when you've been riding the same bike for 15 years. But I've played around with the idle speed since then (no idea if that will change anything, but it was set badly), and it's possible the new can might actually improve the fuelling. But I'm not going to get any further with it without trying it.

Roll on spring. Smile
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Current - '94 VFR750FR, '00 VFR800FI Previous - '10 Street Triple R, '92 MZ ETZ301, '05 TTR250, NSR125R, KMX125, "Honda" Win (chinese copy of an old Honda design with a C90 engine)
My bike trip around S.E. Asia 2010/2011
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stinkwheel
Bovine Proctologist



Joined: 12 Jul 2004
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PostPosted: 00:45 - 13 Jan 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

You really need a reaming tool to set the correct ID for a bronze bush. If you did it with a dremmel it would not only not be round but would have bits of abrasive embedded in the surface of the bronze. Drills don't make round or accurate holes, you drill to slightly under diameter then ream to final diameter if you want a properly round and accurate hole.

I keep meaning to buy some hand reams. Mind you, I still have a bronze bush kicking about on my computer desk in its bag that I also decided wasn't worth the hassle of sweating into the brake lever and reaming when I found how little play there was with the new clevis fitted.

It was a good while back but now that I think on it, I drilled out the hole in my lever a good bit oversize and fitted a glacier bush for the clevis pin to run in. That was before the latest facelift because the pin was almost worn out.
____________________
“Rule one: Always stick around for one more drink. That's when things happen. That's when you find out everything you want to know.
I did the 2010 Round Britain Rally on my 350 Bullet. 89 landmarks, 3 months, 9,500 miles.
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Easy-X
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PostPosted: 08:48 - 13 Jan 2023    Post subject: Reply with quote

With regards to "shiny bits" I always go with getting the bike to a satisfactory state - which might be "it's rideable" or actually just the engine runs - and then strip it back down. It'll be much easier the second time around Wink By the time you get to put it back together those replacement bolts for the MC would have turned from up FleaBay...
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