Wednesday, March 9, 2016

GL1000 Project, Part 5: Brakes, Shocks, Brakes, Handlebars, Brakes, Electrics, Brakes, Plastics, and...Did I Mention Brakes?

It's been a while since I updated the blog with the latest on the GL1000 project, even though I've kept fairly regular posts at Naked Goldwings (not remotely as risque as it sounds, lol). In honesty, even though I've been busy with the bike, there wasn't much going on that makes for interesting reading, so I hadn't posted much here. However, I figured it was probably about time to submit a new update.

First, at Christmas, my family offered some support with the Goldwing project by giving me gift cards to Dime City Cycles and Bike Bandit. My younger brother even ordered the Oregon Cycle Parts regulator/rectifier I needed for the 'Wing (thanks, Nick!). One of the parts I ordered with the gift cards was a set of Renthal "Superbike" handlebars, which look pretty phenomenal on the bike...although, in all honesty, i probably should have gone with the Euro bars, as the Superbike bars are probably are a little too low (there's interference between the throttle cables and the instrument cluster on the tank, and I had to re-route the brake line to get it to fit).

Lower handlebars mean control cables need to be shortened, so taking a queue from a tutorial on Naked Goldwings, I shortened the clutch cable. The throttle cables might be a little more difficult, and since they seem to work okay as-is, I've left them alone for now.

Then the brakes...

I hate working on brakes. It's messy, frustrating, and there are so many opportunities for things to go wrong.

The previous owner had told me that he had had trouble bleeding the front brakes. After cleaning the brakes, I saw why. It's a little hard to see in the photo, but that's a crack in the slave cylinder on one of the brake calipers. I went to E-Bay, found a replacement RH front brake caliper for a '78 GL1000, cleaned it, installed it, and found was actually a left-hand piston on a right-hand bracket.
Since it's kind of hard to bleed brakes unless the bleeder is at the top of the caliper, and putting a LH cylinder on the RH side puts the bleeder hole near the BOTTOM of the brake cylinder, I needed a set of banjo bleeder bolts. Off to Blair at SV Racing Parts, who had sold me just such an animal for my V-Strom a few years ago. After installing the banjo bleeders, I found that I still couldn't bleed all of the air out of brake system because my left-hand caliper was leaking around the bleeder hole. I removed the leaking LH cylinder, moved the cylinder on the RH bracket to the LH side, and ordered another RH cylinder for a '78 GL1000...except that it wasn't for a '78 GL1000.
It might be for a '79 GL1000, or it might be for a GL1100 (Naked Goldwings wasn't sure which), but the cylinder was larger in diameter than the '78 GL1000 cylinders I had, so neither my rebuild kit, nor my new stainless steel brake pistons fit in the replacement cylinder. Grrrr... Back to E-Bay for yet another RH cylinder for a '78 GL1000. After cleaning and installing this cylinder, I found that I was still having leaks around the bleeder holes, so I went to Bike Bandit again and ordered new speed bleeders. Oh yeah, somewhere in there, I found that the P.O. hadn't properly reassembled the master cylinder when rebuilding it.
I didn't feel like trying to figure out what was wrong with the master cylinder, so I installed the spare FZR750 master cylinder that I had originally bought for the XS750 project (and ultimately ended up replacing with a new master cylinder from Mike's XS). Even after all that work, I'm still trying to get all of the air out my brake lines, but I'm getting there...I think. Maybe.

My wife and I received an unexpected bonus recently, so I splurged on the Hagon 2810 TTSA shocks that I had been eyeing.
I got the LH shock installed easily enough, but ran into a snag on the RH side. The bushings were pretty cold from sitting outside in the mailbox all day, so they were a little stiff while trying to slide them over the stud in the frame. Consequently, I used two washers and the acorn nut to press the shock into place on the stud.

Unfortunately, I ended up galling the threads on the stud by doing this, and when I tried to remove the acorn nut, I sheared the threaded portion off the rest of the stud(!). I did a little research, and found a guy who had had a similar problem on a GL1200, and he managed to repair the damage by drilling out the center of the stud, tapping it, and then installing a bolt to hold the grab rail and shock in place on the stud. Since the stud is hardened steel and provides support for the suspension, the bolt is non-structural -- it simply serves to keep everything in place while the stud carries the load. To that end, I've drilled out the stud, and now simply need to find a tap of the appropriate size (10mm or 3/8 inch -- whichever I can find locally).

On a cosmetic front, I've pulled the crash bars, passenger grab rails, and the side covers and started blacking them out. For reasons I'm not going to go into here ;) I'm going for the stealth look on this bike. Yeah, I's cliched, and high-viz is more likely to keep stupid cagers from doing their inadvertent best to kill me. However, bright orange on my (tall!) V-Strom hasn't done much to make me noticed (last summer, I actually had a cager pull up next to me to tell me that he didn't see me pull out of the side road until he was almost next to me, sigh...), and I like black, so I'm blacking out the bike as much as I can.
The OEM paint is easy enough to strip from the side covers, and ABS cement seems to do a pretty good job of filling the holes where Honda mounted the "GL1000" badges.
The crash bars were moderately scuffed and lightly corroded in places, so a little quality time with a power sander went a long ways towards getting them ready for paint.
The passenger grab rails were a lot cleaner, and therefore, I was able to sand them by hand with a finer grit sandpaper before painting. Unfortunately, the crash bars and grab rails were a little awkward to work with, especially since it was starting to get dark while I was painting them, leading to a couple of runs in places, and a couple of areas of incomplete coverage. I'll have to lightly scuff them this coming weekend, and put another couple of coats of paint on them. Nevertheless, I'm pretty happy with how they are turning out.

There's still a ways to go, and spring is rapidly approaching. However, I think it's getting there. Just...brakes, sigh ;)