Sunday, October 21, 2012

XS750 Restoration, part 5 -- More Miscellaneous Work

USPS' tracking web site tells me that the parts I ordered from Bike Bandit have arrived in Anchorage, AK but they still haven't arrived at my mailbox. So, having a little extra time today, and not having worked on the bike for the last two days, I took some time to take care of a few details I've let slip so far.

For starters, I decided to remove the old, brittle, busted wire protection over the wiring bundle from the left side hand grip and replace it with some spiral wrap I had laying around. I don't know if it was the previous owner, or if Yamaha labeled all of the plastic wire bundle connectors, but whoever it was, I really appreciated it as it made it super easy to put things back the way they were supposed to be after wrapping the bundle.

...and here it is snapped back with the rest of the wires, and routed under the metal stays on the frame.

After wrapping the wire bundle in spiral wrap, I decided to sand one of the side panels down to bare plastic and try painting it with some Krylon Fusion rattle can paint I had on hand. I got about this far with it when I found...

...a crack about an inch to an inch and a half long -- on the far right hand side of this photo. I used some "extreme plastic repair" cement to bond it back together; we'll see if it works. If not...I dunno...maybe I'll have to order some carbon fiber from Aircraft Spruce and Specialty and start making aftermarket side panels? :)

(Edit: Just to be clear, I didn't ever get around to painting anything. The paint on the side panel in the photos is what I was trying to remove.)

Finally, considering how grungy the front brake system looked, I figured I'd better drain and bleed the rear brakes. I picked up a pretty simple brake bleeder kit from NAPA while working on my wife's CB750A, so I connected it up to the rear brake on my XS750.

The concept is pretty simple: slip the hose over the bleeder nipple, crack the bleeder, and start pumping the brake pedal, adding more fluid to the master cylinder as you pump fluid out of the caliper. While it will work if you simply pump the brake (slowly), it does work better if you can close the bleeder valve before you release the brake. Fortunately, on the rear brake, this is no problem, since the caliper is maybe two and a half feet from the brake pedal. I filled the little bottle, held to the muffler by a magnet in the photo, about half-way full before calling it good.

Unlike the front brake, the rear brake seemed to be in pretty good condition. The fluid was definitely darker than the Prestone Synthetic I added, but didn't look too bad.

I almost hate to confess this in print, but...well...I did use an open can of brake fluid this time. I know, I know. When you open a can of brake fluid, water vapor gets in, and your brake performance suffers. However, I have no intention of riding the bike until I bleed the brake system again. I've got stainless steel brake lines marked for the bike, both front and rear, and I also plan to get master cylinder and caliper rebuild kits for both the front and rear brakes. The only reason I even bothered to bleed the brakes at all was to start flushing out any gunk already in there and to find out how neglected the rear brakes were. Since they appeared to be in pretty decent shape, I suspect the previous owner just couldn't get the cover off the front brake master cylinder, and therefore neglected them.

Anyway, that was all the work I got done on the bike this weekend. Hopefully my new parts will be here after work tomorrow, and I can start knocking some of the major items off the to-do list.

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