Wednesday, October 17, 2012

XS750 Restoration, part 3 -- Removing the Tank, Carbs and Air Box

It all started with the clutch cable...

After breaking the ball-end on the OEM clutch cable, I decided to see if I could remove it so I could measure it and order a replacement cable. Unfortunately, I couldn't get the clutch cable out unless I first removed the gas tank. Well, okay...I need to repaint the tank anyway, so taking a deep breath, I grabbed my socket wrench and set to work.

There is a single bolt that holds the tank in place, just underneath the seat. Once that bolt is removed, it is simple to lift the rear of the tank to get access to the fuel line (the coil-wrapped hose near my thumb in the photo) and the vacuum line that regulates the flow of fuel from the tank to the carbs (the smaller hose near my finger in the photo). WARNING: when you remove these lines, the petcock will begin to drip gasoline, unless you have replaced the OEM petcock with a manually operated valve that has an "Off" position, like my CB550 had. I resolved this problem by running a piece of 1/4" hose from the outlet on one petcock to the outlet to the other.

Here's the bike, sans tank. I next removed the seat, since 1) the seat pan is rusting to pieces (grrr...I had planned to reuse the pan), 2) the seat needs to have the padding lowered by about ten feet :) and 3) once the extra padding has been removed, it needs new upholstery, too.

This didn't give me warm fuzzies at all. The high-tension wire from the coil to the spark plug on the left-most cylinder was routed between the frame and fuel tank. Am I just paranoid to be concerned about the insulation wearing out between the spark plug wire and the fuel tank?!?! I really wonder if this is the way Yamaha originally routed the cable, or if this was done by a backyard mechanic (like me, lol).

You can see that the wire has already been chafing on the frame enough to wear through the paint on the frame in a couple of places...

This is the wire bundle that goes to the turn-signal/high-beam/horn switch housing on the left handlebar. The wires appear to be in good shape, but the plastic protective sheath is dry, brittle, and cracked open in places. I'll be replacing the sheath with some spiral wrap, which I fortunately have lying around somewhere here in the garage.

The protective sheathing over the throttle cable is worn through, too. I don't know if I would replace the throttle cable for this alone -- I can see an argument going either way -- but the throttle cable is too long, now that I've installed the Clubman handlebars, so I'll order a brand new, shorter cable from Motion Pro.

The rubber hoses that connect the carburetors to the cylinders are starting to crumble around the edges. Fortunately, I found replacements at Mike's XS and Old Bike Barn. Prices at both sites are fairly reasonable, but Mike's was a little cheaper (and they took PayPal), so I bought a set from them.

At this point, I ran into a bit of a dilemma. I don't have the budget to rip and replace all the parts I want on the bike right now, so this build is going to occur in a series of stages, (hopefully!) keeping the bike in running condition between stages. However, if I am going to pull the carbs to clean them, it seems silly not pick up a carb rebuild kit and replace all of the gaskets, o-rings and other parts that deteriorate with age at the same time. Likewise, while I've got the carbs removed, it seems silly not to go ahead and replace the air filter with a pod-type filter, too. On the other hand, pod filters were kind of a low priority. The stock air box works as-is, so I had originally intended to leave it in place for now.

Decisions, decisions...

Finally, I decided to rip the stock air box out while I had access. If I were to keep the stock air box, I would need to replace the air filter anyway, so why waste the money if I really wanted a pod filter? Originally, I intended to go with K&N filters, but they are really pricey compared to some of the alternatives. An equivalent Emgo filter, for example, is only $8 compared to $39.95 for the K&N. Plus, I need three filters, so that's really $24 for Emgo vs. $119.70 for K&N. I'll gladly pay the extra if K&N filters really are better, but I don't want to just throw my money away...I already did that when I bought this bike :D (okay, not really -- it's gonna be a sweet ride when I'm done!) I'll spend some time doing some research, then decide which brand to go with. Until then, I placed Ziploc sandwich bags over the intake ports and the crankcase breather opening, and secured them with copper wire twisted together. Okay, yeah, it's a little hokey, but all of my screw clamps were too big, sigh. They were designed to fit over rubber hoses which fit over the openings; without the rubber hoses, they were too big to clamp down on the Ziploc bags.

At this point, I was pretty much done for the night. Once again, I'm at a stopping point until parts arrived, so I bade the bike sweet dreams, and called it a night.

And no, I didn't even measure the clutch cable that was the reason I started pulling the tank in the first place, lol.

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