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Topic: D-Mac's rat bike to......cafe bike? Here we go again.  (Read 43590 times)

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D-Mac
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« on: November 20, 2011, 11:35:03 PM »

I bought this "Redneck Rocket" yesterday for a cool c-note. Rumor has it (from the guy I bought it from, who I actually trust) that it was running last year. Carbs were cleaned at that point. Original owner was in Indiana and last owner was up north somewhere.

Picking her up. That tank paint job has gotta go. I'm not exactly a fan of WWII German Eagles as tank art.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/fa469299.jpg

Gauges. Sooooo close to 20,000 miles. Will she ever get there? Maybe, but not soon! At the top it actually has a light for each gear (kinda cool, but I'll probably get rid of it).
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/c9c25352.jpg

Carbs. Don't look too bad. With those pods, I'd better check the jetting at some point. So much to do.....
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/68ff277e.jpg

No seat with the bike. I originally thought it was the "L" version of the GS550 with the high stepped seat and 80s cruiser-ish stance (think Purple Rain). Thankfully, it's the "T" version, which has much nicer lines IMO. I'm going to completely remove the fender and replace it with a cafe-style seat.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/5ad6d6fb.jpg

Hmmmm...interesting wiring "modification" No turn signals anywhere, no high beam, no running light. If you look closely you'll see that about HALF of all of the fasteners on the bike are missing.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/25b335ff.jpg

Headers don't look to bad. Lots of sludge on the engine. Tach cable looks stripped out.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/cefa6fec.jpg

Let's look underneath the tank.......easy enough since there are no bolts, rubber pieces, or anything else holding it on. Looks ok here.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/d40f3b53.jpg

Brakes kinda seem to work with some pumping. A quick check shows that the brake fluid has the consistency of maple syrup (here is the front reservoir). Yikes! Rear cylinder is dry and the caliper clearly had a leak of some sort.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/1e1d68b3.jpg

Threw in an old battery I had and everything lights up, but the bike won't turn over. Jumping the relay/solenoid yields an exciting light show and causes the starter to fire. Good. I didn't have fuel to actually start the engine, but I'm hopeful it will fire up. I'm thinking my problem is the handlebar switch or relay itself. Turns out the kill switch/starter were "modified" by a previous owner using aluminum from soda cans! Nice. Jumping it didn't seem to do anything, so now I'm looking at the relay.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/e79eef9c.jpg

I really need a new key before this one snaps. This one isn't original and the lock number wasn't on the fuel tank lock, ignition lock, or helmet lock either.
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh178/D-Mac2008/6552779d.jpg

Over the winter I will tear some things off. We'll see where it goes from there. I'd like to convert her into a cafe racer, assuming the engine is ok. More soon.
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IBA#443 ('11 IBR finisher)
wibornz
Phototagging???? Huh never heard of it. Sounds like it could be fun.
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« Reply #1 on: November 21, 2011, 03:49:17 AM »

OK, I will watch your progress.  Put your new skills to work Dean.
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TED
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« Reply #2 on: November 21, 2011, 05:52:07 AM »

 :popcorn:
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CLAY
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« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2011, 06:31:59 AM »

Fun stuff!  I enjoy the projects.   Thumbsup
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« Reply #4 on: November 21, 2011, 06:35:17 AM »

:popcorn:
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« Reply #5 on: November 21, 2011, 06:51:32 AM »

This will be interesting.  Can't wait to see the end result.
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2014 BMW R1200RT
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Based on actual events




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« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2011, 09:19:51 AM »

no need to ask what you'll be up to this winter ;-}
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D-Mac
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« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2011, 11:38:42 AM »

I'm off to a slow start. Right-side kill switch/starter is toast. Starter relay also turns out to be toast (I opened it up and everything was rusted to hell - no wonder nothing worked).

EBay to the rescue.
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« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2011, 01:04:47 PM »

www.slickssalvage.com will be your friend.
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coho
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I see what you did there.




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« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2011, 01:37:32 PM »


Fun stuff!  I enjoy the projects.   Thumbsup

Withstupid
:popcorn:
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2011, 01:43:09 PM »

Looks like a skinhead tweaker ride, but good luck with the restoration, it has potential.  Thumbsup
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2011, 08:23:45 PM »

Cool Dean,
Nice winter project.
+1 on Slicks Great Lakes Salvage.
Have fun  Thumbsup
Gerry
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« Reply #12 on: November 21, 2011, 08:28:29 PM »

Damn, if only you were my neighbor. I could drink beer and hand you tools and witness first hand the progress
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2011, 10:30:46 PM »

And I could sit there and drink beer.
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« Reply #14 on: November 27, 2011, 08:44:44 AM »

Very cool Dean! Bigok

Two items of note.

1. I saw that bike on C/List myself, and thought to myself it was a good project bike. How ironic you end up with the bike.

2. The second bike I owned was a 1979 Suzuki GS550E. I rode that bike from New York to Florida, to Michigan when I was 18. Great bike! Carbs run lean from the facotory. A re-jet is definately in order...
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D-Mac
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2011, 09:10:14 AM »

Thanks for the replies! I'll definitely have to rejet the mains, probably the pilots a little too, and perhaps re-shim the needles. The carbs have pod filters, which are notoriously hard to dial in on these bikes. I will be replacing the stock exhaust as well.

When I got home last night there were a few packages waiting for me.....pics later today. I think I have everything to try and get her started. I really want to hear her run before I start tearing more stuff off the bike.
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IBA#443 ('11 IBR finisher)
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2011, 10:39:53 AM »

Gotts ta love the "theme"on this one. The price was SOOO right I can see why you could not pass her up.
Good luck and hope to see the end result when it happens! Bigok
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D-Mac
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2011, 04:02:30 PM »

Ok. Well, now it's getting interesting.....

I started the day by testing the new handlebar switch (success!) and the replacement solenoid (success!), which confirmed that the old parts were, in fact, broken.

After putting it all together, I turned on the bike and pushed the starter........YES! The starter is working!

Before trying to fire up the bike, I decided to check the compression using my new Harbor Freight compression gauge. Let's see.....bike on, throttle cranked open, crank over the starter a few times and.....

#1=50lbs, #2=60lbs, #3=60lbs, #4=40lbs. YIKES! Compression is supposed to be over 100. The engine was cold, but that's pretty awful in any case. I added a little oil to each cylinder and re-tested them and it made basically no difference (all readings within 5lbs of before), so that would suggest it's not the rings.

I'm going to check the valve clearances next, and replace the valve cover and breather gaskets (even from the outside they look terrible). Tight valves might cause this issue, or maybe a badly wrecked gasket? (although I wouldn't think they'd ALL be consistently bad). I'm also going to locate another compression gauge because that could be it too. I might even just try to start her. If she runs at all, those compression readings almost certainly have to be wrong.

Some pics soon....
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Gary B.
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« Reply #18 on: November 28, 2011, 09:12:13 AM »

 :popcorn:

I don't know If I'd trust a Harbor Freight gauge. The rings could be stuck from sitting.
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D-Mac
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« Reply #19 on: November 28, 2011, 11:59:57 AM »


 :popcorn:

I don't know If I'd trust a Harbor Freight gauge. The rings could be stuck from sitting.


Reports on the Suzuki forum suggest that these bikes get terribly low readings from just sitting for a while.

I posted a bunch of pics on the Suzuki GS forum. I'll try and put them on here.....
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IBA#443 ('11 IBR finisher)
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