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Everything posted by kws

  1. July B firmware for my ECU turned out to be a bag of dicks, made the car run rough and idle like rubbish, yet when i revert back to June firmware with the same tune, it runs and idles mint. Guess ill live with the hard starting for now. I had some spare time this evening, so decided to finally unpack the replacement sunroof panel I purchased a couple of weeks ago. My old sunroof is stuffed, rust is bubbling through the top of it, where it has previously been touched up, and when the panel is opened you get covered in chunks of rust. Its pretty bad, thankfully its not leaking. Yet. It looked like this when I got the car, back in November And its got worse since. I put the call out a while back for a good rust free sunroof panel, and heard back from Gareth at SD1 Spares. He had sourced a decent one, and would I like it? Heck yes! It arrived a couple of weeks ago and I just haven’t had the time to do anything with it. Tonight I unwrapped it from its packaging and had a good look over it. Gareth had mentioned there were a couple of little crusty surface rust spots, and he had treated them, so it was no surprise when I spotted a couple of sections on the underside that were coated in rust converter. Nothing too serious, but left untreated it would have ended up the same as my old one. Good to catch and stop it now. I noted a couple of other small little spots of surface rust in various places, and wanted to make sure that rust converter got into all the little gaps and creases, so with wire brush and my can of CRC Rust Converter in hand, away I went. I wire brushed all the patches that I could see, including the areas that had already been treated, and then hosed on the converter. I made sure to rotate the panel, and spray into the holes in the rails to try to get the liquid into all the gaps. I’m not worried at all about the paint as its Oporto red, and the wrong color, so will need a paint anyway. This is a little spot at the back where you can see the rust converter changing some rust into a black coating And these two spots are the sections Gareth treated for me. I made sure to go over them again, and get into all the gaps nearby. The sunroof panel isn’t a great design, so many places for moisture to get into and get trapped, causing rust. There are some places you couldn’t get to without hacking the panel to bits. But its all I can get, so it will have to do. Looking at this panel also shows there was no way to save my old panel once the rust got that bad. The rust that is coming through is between the outer skin, and that rail on the RH side of the above photo. I’ll give the converter a couple of days to cure, and then I’ll hose all the gaps and seams with cavity wax. I don’t have the money to get it painted yet, and I still need to source a good condition front seal retainer, so I need to keep it in good shape in the mean time.
  2. Banter here, // Finally, i have a car worth actually posting on here! So, about 10 years ago I had an SD1, an 85 Vanden Plas EFI in Cashmere Gold. Sadly i sold it because i couldnt afford to run it as my daily back then, and have regretted selling it since. Anyway, yesterday i picked the new toy up. Its a 1985 Rover SD1 Vanden Plas EFI (again), but in Zircon Blue. It needs some love, but its got good bones. It runs and drives, and actually drives really well. The powerhouse So the plan is to give it a really good tidy up, get it in as good condition as i can, but also build a new engine wiring harness and install my Speeduino ECU. Early next year i intend to use the car as my wedding car, so the clock is ticking! Theres more info on the car on my website too.
  3. It was a great idea at the time.... how bad can it be?
  4. The Rover has been running pretty well recently, and I have been using it every opportunity. Its been great, but unfortunately the other day whilst under the bonnet I noticed something that really annoyed me. Back in December 2016 I spent considerable time and money replacing all the fuel hose in the engine bay due to perishing and cracks in the old hose. I used proper high quality EFI rated fuel hose from a hose supplier in the UK. Sadly 8 months down the line this is what greeted me Yup, cracks in my lovely new fuel hose. Thankfully no leaks, but you cannot be too careful when it’s pressurised fuel. The hose above is the feed line to the fuel filter, and it’s not only cracked in the above spot, it was also cracked in the large curve just before the filter. The outlet from the filter also had some cracks in it I don’t know why, it’s not like the hose is subjected to huge under bonnet temperatures or anything. The rest of the hose that I can see under the plenum and on the injectors all appears visually OK. I replaced the cracked hose with more of the same hose (because I had a meter or two spare), and I will keep a close eye on how it holds up. If it cracks again, then I don’t know, guess I’ll have to buy some different hose. Since I had the car in the garage, I also decided to fit this secondary earth strap I found in my spares the other day. The engine has one main strap from the alternator bracket to the inner guard near the battery, and that’s the only engine ground. I added this ground from the valve cover, to the inner guard on the other side of the car, so now there is a ground on each side of the engine. Cranking is now much faster, so obviously there was quite a bit of voltage drop going on. Hurrah! Speaking of cranking, a new feature was added to my Speeduino ECU today. Previously the cranking enrichment has been a single figure that covered all cranking, no matter the temperature. I have had huge issues with my starting since fitting Speeduino, where it just takes forever to start, with lots of cranking. The other day I did a lot of work on the cranking and starting and got the car to start quickly when cold by upping the enrichment from 20% to 70% (this % is on top of the base fuelling). Obviously when cold it was cranking lean. Unfortunately this had the knock on effect of also adding 70% on top when cranking warm. This resulted in long cranking times, pumping of the gas, and often a plume of black fuel smoke when it did start. Today, with the latest firmware update, that single cranking enrichment figure was changed to a coolant temperature dependant four point table. This allows me to have a different cranking enrichment figure warm or cold, and anywhere in between. This is my current cranking table So from that table, at -10c coolant temp there is an additional 100% fuel when cranking, to help with those super cold starts, and when the coolant is hot at 90c, it actually pulls 40% fuelling out. Normal coolant temp for me when warm is around 75-80c, so starting at those temps I’m pulling about 30% or so out. This has allowed the car to start cold quickly like before, but now also allows the car to start with about half as many turns of the engine, no throttle, and no plume of smoke when warm. I still have some tweaking to do when warm, but now I wont risk killing the battery when starting warm. Hopefully with winter slowly going away (although I swear it’s getting colder), I’ll be able to use the car more, and complete some of the work I want to do to it. A replacement rust free sunroof panel arrived the other day, so that will need some rust-proofing and then painting, so I can replace the crusty ugly old one on the car.
  5. Another six months down, so last weekend it was time for another Warrant of Fitness on the Rover. No matter what car it is, but especially old cars, Warrant time is a bit of a pain. After doing lots of pre-emptive work for the last warrant, and having only covered about 1200km since, I was hoping for another easy pass. Here she is ready for the inspection After a thorough poking and prodding, she came away with another clean sheet. One of the rear seat belts had to be untwisted, and the front wheel bearings might need tightening or replacing before next WOF, but otherwise she is a solid old beast. So that’s another six months of motoring to do, and coming into summer, I’m intending to put far more than 1200km on it by the next WOF. In saying that though, the car was off the road for a couple of months recently due to various reasons (Speeduino install, waterpump failure, my wedding….). To celebrate its new warrant, the car decided to surprise me when I got home, buy snapping the hand brake cable as I parked up. *sigh* Off to Rimmers to buy a replacement. Thankfully the parking pawl on the trans works, so the car wont roll away. Since the Rover has been uncovered the past couple of days I finally took the chance to grab the camera and grab a quick video of the exhaust. It’s a good sound. I like it, but I do wish it was a smidgen louder, and more grumbly. At some point I’ll unbolt the rear section (which has a muffler in it) and see what it sounds like without it (so then it will only be a single muffler, and a resonator in the system). If I like it, I’ll get a pipe made up to replace the muffler. The next job is to change the auto trans oil and filter. It’s a messy job, and a pain to do, but it should be done.
  6. Except for the hand brake cable which decided to snap when i parked up at home. British cars know how to celebrate getting a warrant.
  7. Rover passed its warrant, excellent. Heres to another 6 months of motoring.
  8. The Zeal has been slowly trucking along. I have been finding it hard to get motivated to do much, as it’s so cold and dark after work these days. Since the last update, the Zeal has taken over the garage, kicking the daily outside (and into the rain). It turns out, as I suspected, that the rust has more bark than bite, and looks worse than it is. The salty air of where it was sitting for the past few years has found its way up under the paint and has been creating this ugly flaky surface rust. Once you get through the flaky paint and rust, the metal beneath is solid, albeit a little pitted. Remember, this is what I was working with Obviously I cant leave it like that, it’s ugly and will only keep getting worse. The original plan was to strip the whole bike down and redo the whole frame, but once I got the rest of the plastics off, it was pretty easy to access the rusty parts, and let’s face it, stripping the whole thing was a huge job. I sold Scooty the other day, and with the money from that I went and picked up a Ryobi One+ angle grinder, a flap disk and a twisted wire brush for it. I had heard that the flap disks were really good for stripping rust and paint, but I also knew the brushes were good too, so I thought I would put them to the test. I found very quickly that although the flap disk is SUPER effective for stripping everything and leaves a nice smooth finish, it’s a little too aggressive. The wire brush on the other hand only really attacks the rust and any flaky/bubbling paint. It’s no where near as aggressive, so I stuck with that for the rest of it. To give me more room to work, I removed the complete exhaust system. Very easy to do, 8 nuts in the head, and two bolts along the pipe to hold it to the bike. The system is in average shape with lots of surface rust. The only issues I can see is that both mufflers have a hole in the underside of them. Whether this is by design, or age/rust, I’m not sure. Will need to investigate further in the future. In the meantime, they will do. I also removed the brake master and res for the rear as this takes up a lot of space. I hung this out of the way with a bungee cord. I have spent the past couple of days attacking every bit of rust I can get my hands on, both with the grinder and with a normal hand powered wire brush. The main focus was to remove all the loose bits of paint and rust, and give the rust converter something to work with. Of course where I could, I got it down to bare metal, but some areas just weren’t that accessible (like the mount above). I used CRC rust converter, and so far im impressed. It sprays on well, sticks well, and seems to do a good job of killing the rust. It turns it into a black “primer” that can be painted over. It’s a tad messy but will do the job. Unlike the other rust converter I tried last time, it doesn’t eat/melt the paint around it either, which makes everything a bit nicer. Its pretty ugly now. Very blotchy The next step will fix that. The whole frame with get a rub down to key it, and then I’ll prime the whole thing. Once the primer is dry, it will get a couple of coats of paint. I’m not 100% on which shade, but I’ll be trying to match the original paint as close as possible. Thankfully once the tank and plastics are on you can’t see much of the frame, so it doesn’t need to be show bike quality. Until next time….
  9. So this is what happens when I’m on Trademe at midnight…. I accidentally the whole motorcycle. Yup, once again trademe is to blame for this. This had been on my watchlist since it was listed, with a low start reserve. When it came to the day it was closing, and the bidding was still really low, I couldn’t help but watch and see what happened. Sure enough, being midnight, no one was around to bid. One person had set an autobid, so once I exceeded that, it was mine. The photos showed a complete bike, and one that didn’t actually look bad. The seller had this to say I had a skid on this and got spooked, so it ended up sitting in the yard until the registration lapsed. It’s was running when I parked it up, but has been sitting so long now it’s probably only good for parts. So, so sad So yes, the rego is lapsed, and it hasn’t been on the road for 4 years. Apparently it last ran 2 years ago, but not since. It’s also been sitting outside this whole time, and it’s taken its toll. This is the photo that caught my eye It’s a pretty cool looking bike. So, what is it? It’s a 1993 Yamaha FZX250 Zeal. It’s a JDM only (except for a few late-model ones released new into the Aus market) high revving four-cylinder, four-stroke bike. It has about 40hp, 6 gears, and a slightly more upright, relaxed riding position. Despite what my better half says, it’s a fairly small bike but should suit me well. I finally had the bike transported from another suburb, to my house today. I couldn’t do it myself as my only car with a towbar was the S401 and that’s now gone. The transporter was very good, and kept me updated on when it was picked up And when it was delivered (since I was at work) I came home after work and after getting it into the garage, had a good poke around it. The first issue was immediately obvious; either the front, rear, or even both, brakes are seized and binding. This makes it a real dog to push around. I got there though Cosmetically, it’s not bad. Some paint fade, some scuffs and scratches, and a badly torn rear seat are the bulk of it. Theres also some surface corrosion, and general grot (and lots of spider webs and spiders) A quick check of the basics was in order. Oil? Check. Black and thick, but it has some. Front brake fluid? Check, it has some, but it’s gross. Rear brake fluid? Check. Also has some, but a spider tried to come at me bro when I went to take the cap off. I presume it’s also gross. Coolant? I saw something sloshing around in the bottle, so I guess so. Fuel? Once I freed up the lock on the cap, and pried that open, yes, its half full of the most rancid smelling petrol ever. Will turn it into a 50:50 new:old mix for the mower. Free fuel, and better than disposing of it. The Mustang will love it. The tank opening had some rust (and grot), as did the cap. It’ll clean up OK though. I can’t see much inside the tank, but the fuel wasnt obviously full of flakes of rust, and what I could see in there appeared to be nice clean metal. Hopefully it’s not all rusty. Unfortunately the front forks will need rebuilding too. One seal is completely buggered, the other is leaking, and the forks are really soft. Once I worked out how to get the seat off (key on the side. Turn it one way and the helmet holder slides open and closed, turn it the other and the rear seat pops up. One 8mm bolt to release the front seat) I opened it up and checked the wiring and battery. Battery is flatter than a flat thing. Will try reviving it with my charger, but it’s likely toast now. The clutch lever has a lot of play, and doesn’t seem to be disengaging the clutch. The lever looks like its been rotated forward too. The plan? Drain and replace ALL fluids. Recondition/replace front and rear braking system (hoses appear OK, no swelling or cracking) Free up clutch and gearing Rebuild forks Remove, strip and rebuild carbs Drain and inspect fuel tank Replace fuel filter Replace spark plugs I want to try to fire it up sooner rather than later, so I can check that the engine isn’t complete junk, so I wont be doing it in any real order. Brakes, fluids and fuel will be the priority. It should be a nice rewarding project. Eventually I’ll get it back on the road, legally, and enjoy winding that engine up to the 15,000rpm redline. First things first though, I need to tidy up Scooty and get that sold.
  10. Another day, some more progress. In my last post I commented that whenever I put the Zeal into gear the engine would cut. Some awesome members (thanks!) of a couple of forums I post this on mentioned that it was probably the side stand switch. The switch is designed to do just that; cut the engine if you put it into gear with the stand down… only problem, since my bike is on a paddock stand, the side stand is up. Time to investigate. The switch lives here, down by the stand (sans a bolt I already removed) It was a tad dirty down there. Here it is removed I gave it a real thorough hose down with WD40 and Contact Cleaner whilst actuating it. I cant find any way to disassemble it, so that will have to do. I suspect the bike was on its stand for most of the last 5 years (going from the pooling of fuel in carb No1), so the contacts have probably corroded. I checked the connector in the under seat area, and it looked all good. I also mentioned that I had some issues with my clutch, way back in my first post and I made a post last night about it on the 250cc forum. The helpful guys over there pointed out that it was probably the cable needing adjustment at the engine side. Sure enough, when I looked at it today, it was hard up against the stop at its longest position (hard against the lock nut in the photo). I wound the adjuster out a few times and managed to arrange it so that the adjuster on the bar lever is in the middle of its adjustment, and with only minimal free play (as required) This shows how it was adjusted, in the bottom LH corner This allowed me to do this I ran it through all the gears, and it does everything it should. The clutch comes on and off, and all the gears go in and out without issue. 6th has a little rumble, but that’s probably because it’s running on a stand. No nasty rattles or anything though. As seen in the video too, I also had a play with the idle and got it to idle with zero choke when warmed up. Obviously I was playing too much, as I ran out of gas at the end of the video >_< Since I was in the garage and I had to wait for the smoke to clear again, I decided to have another look at the gauges. I had previously had a go at fixing them in a previous post, using super glue. Unfortunately the moment I tried to fit the tacho cup the screw broke the glue and the mount came free again. When I was in Repco the other day I noticed this on the shelf. Selleys Plastic Fix glue. It’s a two-part system, where you paint on the primer with the pen, and then apply glue. Smoosh the two bits of plastic together and hold it for 30 seconds till it “grabs”. I’ll be damned if it didn’t “grab” and set solid almost instantly. It worked VERY well. Whilst it was drying I had a crack at mounting the Speedo cup. Looks good. So good that I had to jam on the Tacho and cup again. Excellent. I have a new headlight on its way to replace the rusty and dented POS there, so that will be sorted at some point. Next up I think its time to strip the bike down and get the frame sorted.
  11. The clutch is a bit sticky, but i can spin the wheel with the clutch pulled in when in gear. When i put it in gear it might run for a second, or it might just die instantly.
  12. It does have a side stand switch i think, will certainly have a nosy. Thanks!
  13. I have been a tad lazy with the updates on this, but rest assured, progress is happening. Slowly but surely, most days after work I have been plugging away at the Zeal. Coming off the last post where I had started to reassemble the carbs, I got stuck in and cleaned the rest of the carbs, replaced the seals and reassembled them. I finally got my replacement brass screws, so took great care not to smash these ones to bits. Made in Japan, sent via USA to NZ. I also received my cool little set of carb brushes from Aliexpress. They were pretty good at cleaning out passages and jets. Most of them were clean, but I did manage to clear out a bit more baked on crud from the No1 main jet with them. All the carbs mounted together And with the choke rail mounted back on The de-rusted idle adjuster looked much better The only other thing left to do with the carbs was to bench sync them. Bench syncing the carbs is to make sure all the throttle plates open the same amount. The throttle cable acts directly on carb No3, with the other carbs all being triggered off that carb with a series of tabs and springs. There are adjustment screws on each carb linkage so that you can fine tune the interaction between the carbs. There are many ways on the interwebs to bench sync a carb. I chose one of the easier ones, which is to use the idle screw to open the No3 carb slightly, and adjust the idle screw so there is a slight drag on whatever you use as a feeler gauge. In my case I used one of the carb cleaning wires. Slightly open And then use the same feeler gauge to slowly fine tune how far the throttle plate is open on the other carbs, working out from carb 3. This should get the carbs all in the ballpark of being fairly similar. Once I had finished that, I moved back onto the tank. Because the damn tank was now leaking, thanks to rust, I had to line it. I purchased a KBS tank repair kit off trademe. They seem to have good ratings and it was a good price. I used the kit to degrease, and remove any rust the other rust remover missed. It seemed to do a good job. Then the tank sealer went in. I rolled the tank around a lot, to try to get a nice even coating. Unfortunately due to the design of the Zeal tank it was hard to drain the excess, so there is a little pooling and some runs in the tank, but it’s pretty well covered, which matters. Once cured for a few days, I filled the tank with water and left it overnight to make sure it wasn’t leaking. Sure enough it was still dry on the outside the next morning, so the sealer has done its job. Yus. In preparation for refitting the carbs to the bike, I wanted to attend to the nasty looking carb manifolds. They are a metal base with rubber top, and it was all cracking and flaking off. Not a good look. I removed any flaking rubber, wire brushed the metal parts, and then used Sikaflex to seal them. This is what I used. Sikaflex 227. It comes highly recommended for this job. Strong, fast curing, but stays flexible. I smothered it all over, and filled the cracks The old vacuum hoses were brittle and broke when removed, so I needed to make new ones. And the refreshed manifolds were fitted to the engine The carbs were great fun to refit… not. A lot of wiggling and jiggling got them in place, and then lots of fiddling got the damn throttle cables back into place. Looks a little nicer than when I got the bike I couldn’t help myself. I rigged up my trusty fuel tank syringe, used it to gravity feed the fuel bowls, poured some gas down the carbs, connected the battery and hit the starter. (yes, this video wasn’t the first first start, but it didn’t take much to fire up anyway) It was a tad smokey, blowing plumes of smoke and even wisping smoke out when the engine was off. Filled my garage with smoke, even with both doors open. It sounds great though, so much noise from the carbs. It wont idle without choke at the moment, and isn’t running prefect, but the carbs do need some tweaking and tuning, and maybe a tweak of the idle screw. My latest purchase arrived the other day which will help with this, a Carbtune Pro The smoke was starting to clear up when I decided enough was enough, so that’s a good sign. The coolant was also warming up and circulating, and everything seemed to be going well… except one thing. The gearbox/clutch. I’m suspecting this is an electrical issue, as there are a couple of them (like the engine run switch allowing the engine to start no matter which position it’s in, and not cutting the engine when set to STOP). When the engine is running in Neutral, it will idle and run happily, but the moment you put it into gear the engine will cut. I don’t think its related to the clutch, but feels like when it’s shifted from Neutral it cuts off. With the clutch lever out, in gear, it won’t try to crank. With the clutch lever pulled in, the engine will crank over in gear but wont try to start (yet as soon as you shift to neutral it will start straight away). I’m guessing something weird going on with the neutral switch? Will need to investigate. Now that I know the engine runs OK, hopefully I can sort the gearbox issue and make sure that works OK and then I will strip the bike down and deal with the frame. Fun Fun.
  14. It’s been a bit of a rough weekend, so what better cure than to take the Rover out for a spin and an Italian Tune-up. The sun was out, so off came the car cover, and out came the Rover. I had been meaning to check out the new Kapiti Expressway that has just been built, but hadn’t had a chance to make it up that way, and every time I wanted to drive the Rover recently the weather has turned to mud, and what fun is it cruising in the pouring down rain? Not to mention not being able to button her back up again after the drive due to the car being wet, and then getting covered in pine needles. So yeah, this was an adventurous trip. In my whole time with the Rover, I have never driven it this far from home. The furthest is usually to either Upper Hutt or the CBD, roughly 20-30km away. The Rover has been running well recently, and after the water pump failure it’s been holding its fluids and been mechanically sound. A pleasure to drive. Firing the car up for the first time in a couple of weeks, it didn’t start quite as sweetly as usual, and was running a bit lumpy and spluttering when given gas. Obviously not happy with the tweaks I did last time (in an effort to make warm starting easier), so I tapped a few keys on the laptop and reverted back to a previous tune. Started and idled much better this time. The first test was the new Haywards Interchange, which is an utter clusterfark, no matter which way you try to go through there the road markings are a mess and everything is guided by some messy cones. It will be good once it’s done, but blegh. Once the temporary 50kph zone changes to 100kph though, it was time to unleash all 190hp, and the sound of my people. Pedal to the floor, trans kicks down and off we go in a roar of V8 anger. She may not be fast, but it hardly matters with a sound like that. It was a fairly slow drive around SH58 thanks to a typical Prius driver which couldn’t hold more speed than a 30 year old Rover through the corners. Oh well, more time to enjoy the cruise and the scenery. The rest of the drive was pretty uneventful, other than seeing a sweet steam train choo chooing its way to Pram. Lots of railfans hanging around taking photos of it. Probably got some with a Rover photobombing them, lol. The Kapiti Expressway is a new 18km long grade separated four lane expressway built to bypass a rubbish bit of roading that used to go through a couple of towns and slow everything down. This is only one section in a bigger project, which will include the Transmission Gully Expressway that will take traffic off the two lane coastal route between Porirua and Paraparaumu (Kapiti), but the Kapiti Expressway is the first section to be completed and drivable. Gives an idea of what the rest of the project will be like. Four lanes good. Heading to Paraparaumu for lunch, we took the exit that said “Paraparaumu”, as expected, and strangely got shunted straight off the new expressway and back onto the old State Highway. Not the glamorous expressway I expected! Stopped at BurgerFuel for lunch, snapped a sneaky bum shot After lunch we found a proper on ramp to the expressway and decided to head North. Not knowing how far the expressway went, we just cruised along until the new road ran out, and we were on the old one again. Turning around and heading South again allowed us to sample the whole 18km expressway. Impressions? Its nice. Very smooth, very flowing and very fast. That said there are already some surface repairs in places, and something about the road surface and my high-end SuperCat tires meant that I had an annoying rattle whilst driving on the new road. A strange resonance or something. I do hope to see the speed limit increased on the expressway at some point; its very easy to speed as its so open and wide, and its a prime candidate for a trial of 110kph. It’s nice to see the work they put into the area surrounding the expressway too. Lots of green; new plantings and what will eventually be mounds of grass and bush. You can catch glimpses of the wetlands they build in various spots as well; just little ponds of water here and there. Anyway, back to what is important here. The Rover ran faultlessly the whole time, and was great to drive. It’s equally at home puttering around town, as it is at passing cars up hills and cruising the motorways. We made a quick stop for a rest, and take a couple of photos. Shes filthy, but in a well-loved kind of way. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t run on hopes and dreams, so a stop at the local Dino station was on the cards. What a surprise that was though! Yup, a drop of 2.2l/100km down to 15.9l/100km. Not bad for an old beast tuned by me. I have clocked just under 1200km since getting her, most of those done with the Speeduino setup. It’s good to see the economy finally working out, and becoming somewhat reasonable. I love driving this car, so will be using it as much as possible, as long as the weather holds out. Oh what I would do to have a carport or garage, instead of a car cover. More to come. Might FINALLY get around to doing the front speakers at some point, and it’ll need another warrant next month, so there is that to look forward to. Yay.
  15. Keen to know what you do RE painting the frame. My frame needs to be blasted, but still deciding what to do after that. Very cool looking bike, shame about the off but im glad the gear did what it was meant to. Sucks it was something as stupid as some oil on the road that did it, i hate variables like that.
  16. It’s taken a bit of working to get the motivation to write this post. Work on the bike has kinda slowed to a crawl, but I stripped the carbs and have started putting them together again. So I removed the carbs and took the float bowls off them in the last post, to discover that carb one had a lot of gunk in it, and the other three were a little crusty from sitting. The next day I started to strip down carb one, to see how bad it was. I took the floats and jet housings off first These are the jets from carb two. You can see the difference in size between the two jets. The pilot jet lives down the deep recess between the two other jets. Speaking of pilot jets, the pilot jet for carb one was completely blocked solid, and took a lot of soaking in carb cleaner and poking with a thick strand of wire to clear it. The other two jets on carb one also had debris in their holes, but the pilot was the worst. Remember, this is what the jets looked like. It’s no surprise. I then started separating the carbs, as they are all linked together The seals on the main fuel feed were in very bad shape with multiple cracks in the rubber. Thankfully I ordered replacements from Litetek. I pulled the cap off carb one, removed the spring and needle And removed the slide. Under the diaphragm was this black stuff. Its been on all the carbs of the carbs so far. It’s almost like powered plastic shavings? Theres no obvious wear on the slides. I cleaned all the black stuff out and removed the choke needle Organisation is key This first carb was a bit of an experiment on following the instructions to a tee. I’ll soon learn not to do that. Following the instructions I removed the throttle plate and shaft This was to replace the shaft seal, which wasnt worn or hard anyway Next up I removed the pilot mixture screw. This was covered in some sort of oily mixture. Just FYI too, all my carbs had this screw set at 2 full turns from fully in. I purchased a small 2.5L ultrasonic cleaner, so gave it a shot with the carb body since it was stripped. It started out like this I filled it with about 50:50 water:simple green, got the mix to 65c, and dropped the body in. I soaked it for about an hour and it came out like this, with no scrubbing. It was pretty effective, although im sure if I just used some brake clean I would have got the same results in minutes; and I did, on the other carbs (I scrubbed with a tooth-brush and brake clean whilst I waited on the cleaner to finish). At least I know the ultrasonic cleans out all the tiny little holes and channels in the carb. My makeshift parts washer You can see I didn’t remove the slide housing. I tried to pull it out earlier and it wouldn’t budge, so I left it. Now, that’s where I left the carbs that day. The next day I finally had my syphon arrive (thanks to a run-around by the useless couriers), so I could drain the Evapo-Rust from the tank. It had done a pretty decent job of stripping the surface rust. The inside is mostly clean, but unfortunately it did spring a small leak at the back of the tank where there is a seam. This was the nail in the coffin, I had to do it properly. I used the syphon to drain the tank back into the bottles. The liquid came out pretty dark, but I should be able to get a little more use from the solution. I also had some small bits just chilling in the bottom of the tub the tank was sitting on (to catch leaking liquid, which it did well), sitting in the fluid that had leaked out. All of these bits were really rusty, including the idle adjustment screw (which I thought was a write off). The idle screw came up really well Its pitted, but no longer rusty. Compared to how it was, it’s a miracle. All the screws and hose clamps that I left in the solution came out well too. It’s quite powerful stuff. Once its taken out of the solution I rinse in water and then coat in WD40 to stop it rusting again. Since the tank was now leaky, I couldn’t just stop here and put it back on the bike. Looking around, I decided to purchase a tank refurb kit which comes with a cleaner, rust remover and a tank sealer. The sealer should stop it rusting again, and will block the tiny leak. I was trying to avoid having to seal the tank as it is likely messy to do, but this should mean it lasts a lot longer. It should arrive in a couple of days. I was feeling a bit unmotivated so left the bike for a bit. A couple of days ago I decided to get back into the carbs and see if I could get one back together again. I tried a bit harder and got the slide housing out of carb one This is where I should have gone off script and just left it alone, but I didn’t. I had the seals, so decided to do them. I removed the seal at the top and the square seal The top seal was quite flat, but in decent condition really (not hard and no cracks). I fit the new seals and slotted the housing back into the carb body And then it all turned to custard. The instructions say to push the housing down and to nip up the screw, but don’t rely on using just the screw to pull it together…. clearly I didn’t push hard enough. The first screw went ping, and snapped into two pieces. Nuts. Because im a muppet though I forgot to use the washer under the screw, so I thought “hmm, maybe thats why it snapped”. So I grabbed the screw from carb two… and snapped that too. Good thing I purchased a set of Easy Outs a while back. They are little hollow brass screws, so very little structural integrity. I rage quit and went back into the house and left it there. I ordered three new screws out of the states for a few bucks each, so they should be here in a week or so. Sigh. Yesterday I couldn’t be bothered with the carbs but wanted to do something to feel useful, so I bled the brakes. Both brakes had really bad feel. The front lever was really soft and spongy, and the rear wasnt much better. I had figured I was probably up for a rebuild of the cylinders and calipers anyway, so what harm is there in bleeding it and seeing what happens? It’s funny how much easier bike brakes are to bleed than a car. I can lean on the lever whilst closing the valve to do the front, and pump the rear with my foot whilst working the valve. No need for a second person. The res was full of slime when I got it, but I flushed that all through And both calipers played nice and bled well. Minimal air, but foul fluid Now both brakes actually have solid feel and feel pretty good. I don’t know if the calipers are still sticking as the bike can’t move, but at least I might be able to put off spending too much on the brakes immediately. All the hoses look visually good with no cracking. Whoever the bloody sadist is that designed where the rear brake fluid res is located should be slapped hard. Its located in such a way that to get the cap off you have to remove a side panel, unbolt the res and have it hanging in the air, otherwise the cap doesnt clear the frame, and there is no way you could pour fluid in it. Moving along; This morning I was considering just selling the damn bike for parts as it was pissing me off and I was getting pretty demotivated with it all. So much work to do, and nothing going right, but at the end of the day that’s not how I work. So having a short day at work today, I shot home and went straight into the garage. I swapped the O-ring on the slide housing back the old one, and using the screw from carb THREE, I managed to get it nipped up nicely without snapping it. All the jets also went back in after a thorough cleaning. The float needle seat went in next, with its new O-ring And then the needle, float and bowl Finally it was the slide, needle, springs and cap, to top it off That’s carb one, done and ready to go. I then stripped, cleaned and assembled carb two Now I have a pair of carbs. Just need the screws to arrive and I can do the other two and then bench sync them. I’m hoping to have the carbs ready to go when the tank is ready, so that I can assemble and fire it up on my stand and see what the gearbox is like. After that, it’s a full tear down to do the frame. Oh yeah, I think I forgot to mention that I got a rear stand. No room to use it where the bike is at the moment, but once the car is living outside and I’m stripping the bike it will have all the room for activities.
  17. Who would've thought that bleeding a motorbikes brakes was so easy..... Its all just, right there (except the rear brake res, which is tucked up under the frame and has to be unbolted to get the cap off. The designer of that needs a shooting). Brake fluid was a gross cloudy brown, and now both brakes are firm. No more spongy pedal or lever. Not sure if brakes are still stuck on as bike is stuck in garage, but its promising that i wont need to immediately rebuild the system. Having some issues with the carb rebuild, waiting on a couple of replacement brass screws that self destructed.
  18. What a week. Everything was put on hold, because I got married! But now that I’m home again, and going back to work tomorrow, I thought I would have a quick catch up on the Zeal. Whilst I was away I left about a litre of white vinegar in the fuel tank to see if it would do anything to the rust. Unfortunately even after a week it had done very little. This is what I poured out. It had started to strip some of the lighter rust, but wasn’t working quick enough. I was going to try electrolysis, but it just seemed like a lot of faffing about to set up. I was doing some research and came across a product called Evapo-Rust. It’s safe for the environment, safe to touch, reusable and safe on paint… but it monsters rust. A few people have used it for tanks, and it seems to do a good job. So, I scoured the local Supercheap Autos, and picked up 15L of the stuff. Before I could pour it into the tank, I had to seal the fuel tap hole in the tank better than the leaking duct tape I had used with the vinegar. To do this I used some scrap aluminium, a drill and the old gasket. I smeared some sealant on both sides of the gasket, and bolted the plate to the tank. So far, touch wood, it’s sealed tight. With some strategic placement of some wood and a tub, I got the tank as flat as possible and filled with all 15L of the Evapo-rust. The tank has a 15L rated fuel capacity, but it didn’t quite fill the tank. Whilst I was away I also got some sweet packages from overseas. The first was a set of legit JIS screwdrivers from Japan. These are to Japanese standards, which is very slightly different to the Phillips cross profile. The difference is subtle, but enough that if you try to use a standard Phillips driver in a JIS screw, it’ll strip out like it’s made of cheese (as the screwdriver tries to “cam-out” by jumping out of the slots). JIS drivers will slot in and fit perfectly. The carbs on this bike (and most bikes) use JIS screws and are super common for stripping out when JIS drivers aren’t used. Revlimiter has an awesome write up on the differences between Phillips and JIS. Another package I got was the set of LiteTek carb and fuel tap gaskets. This means I can put my fuel tap back together, and start work on the carbs. I started putting the fuel tap together I used a small bit of 2000 grit wet/dry paper to smooth out the rough edges on the pitting, so it wouldn’t damage the new gasket. Happyface. And in goes the new gasket. Scaredface. Bits The completed fuel tap. So this has been stripped, ultrasonic cleaned, new seals, and the screws treated in Evapo-Rust (which worked really well for a couple of hours soaking. The screws where heavily rusted, with thick coating of crud). Now it’s ready to go on the tank again when that is done. And what it looked like before Next I took the carbs off the bike. Not hard to do, once the airbox is off it’s only 4 hose clamps and 3 cables to disconnect. So much grot by the starter that I need to clean out too. I tried draining the float bowls, and only liquid came from cylinders 1 and 2. And I say liquid, because you can’t call it fuel. It was yellow, and smelt like paint stripper. Using my awesome new JIS screwdrivers, I then removed the float bowls. Most of the screws cracked ok, but some needed a little help (and one needed the help of some vice grips). It turns out the flats on the driver are perfect for a spanner. With all of the bowls off it was easy to see why I was doing this. Cylinders 2 through 4 had gritty sandy stuff in the bowl, and cylinder 1? Well, that’s where all the fuel in the rail drained to when the bike was sitting (leans to the left on its stand). The carb jets will obviously need cleaning, and the bodies are filthy. They will need stripping and soaking in the ultrasonic for a bit. I need to work on my plan of attack. The LiteTek site has an awesome write-up on how to rebuild the carbs, so I’ll go over that and get cracking on it. I also need to work out what to do with the frame. I’m slightly leaning towards stripping the bike and getting the frame blasted and powder coated, but it’s a lot of work, time and money.
  19. Mint looking bike, look forward to seeing your progress
  20. So many good feels in the last couple of posts Looking forward to seeing what changes you make to your tune with your new knowledge. I've always found your posts very interesting (if a little over my head at times).
  21. Thanks for the offer but i have a few car batteries here that i can use in the mean time to start the engine etc, ill buy a proper new battery when the bike is ready to ride. Will look into the Por15 kit. The remaining rust isnt too bad, so im looking at easier (and cheaper) alternatives first.
  22. Since the Wellington train system can’t help but try to fall into the ocean each time there is some weather, I had some spare time today to do some more work on the bike. Since attempting to drain the fuel tank the other day I was left with a small amount in the bottom of the tank that I just couldn’t get out of the filler neck (due to its design). The only way to get it out was to remove the fuel tap, and drain through that hole. Removing the tap was easy enough. Two really tight, rusty screws and out it came. Another screw on the filter and the lot comes off. That’s a tasty looking filter. And this is what the fuel tap looked like. The tube is nice brass and cleaned up well, and the filters are intact and also cleaned up well. This is what was sitting in the bottom of the tank After draining it out, I took the tank out into the garden and hosed the utter shite out of it. Lots and lots of orange water poured out, so I kept flushing until the water ran clean. This is what came out of the tank. Chunky. The great news is the inside of the tank looks awesome now. Minimal surface rust left, and there are no flakes left. Not much work to finish it off now. It’s a damn sight better than it was. The next part that got my attention was the fuel tap. I cleaned off the outside of it, and then removed the two front screws and pulled the front off And this is what greeted me inside the tap Clearly the fuel level was at the reserve height for a while, as it was almost completely blocked with rust and scum. This is what came out of just that side of the tap All the seals and O-Rings were flat and hardened, so out they came. New ones have been ordered from Litetek along with a carb seal kit. When my ultrasonic cleaner arrives the tap will go in there for a proper clean, in the meantime I cleaned it up with WD40 and brake clean. I wanted to have a quick look at the fuel pump. When I first got the bike the pump sounded like a tin of gravel being shaken and then it stopped working at all. I disconnected the pump and left it. Today I removed it for bench testing. It seems it has an internal short. Whenever power is applied, it results in sparks and nothing else. I disassembled it to see if I could work out where the short is. Unfortunately I hit a dead-end, where I cannot access the windings for the main solenoid, so it’s a dead duck. Will try to source a good used one. Traces of water inside the electrical cap With that out of the way, I had to look at fixing the gauges. The tacho was almost falling off, and the chrome caps on both arent attached. It looks like the tacho had a bump at some point, as one mount is broken off and the bracket is twisted. I pulled the gauges off and checked out the damage. And the reason the caps aren’t attached. The mounts for the screws have been broken off both. Some creative superglue work sees all the broken off parts re-attached. Will need to be careful with them in the future, but the superglue is pretty strong stuff. Looks a bit naked without them And the last fun task today, was to see if I could get a charge in the battery. Previously my charger wouldn’t even detect that a battery was connected, the voltage was so low. Today I cheated, and “jump started” the bike battery from the old Rover battery. I connected them with correct polarity (like jump starting a car). Left it for a minute or two, and then connected the charger. Zing, the charger detects it and is charging it. I checked before and with the charger disconnected im now seeing 12v at the battery. If i can get the battery to hold a charge it’ll save me some money whilst i build the bike up. It will be replaced later on, but this will buy some time.
  23. i used a whole bunch of those spring loaded ones (second photo) on my Rover when i made the loom for Speeduino. Got them cheap in bulk off Aliexpress. Bosch EV1 style connector, or JPT (junior power timer)
  24. Before I could commit to any further work on the bike, I needed to know if the engine even ran. Before I can even see if the engine runs I need to remove the fuel tank, drain it and see if im getting fuel to the carbs. The tank is pretty easy to remove once the seat is off. You need to remove the little cubby box at the front of the tank Under that, and at the rear of the tank under where the seat would be, are four bolts. Two long at the rear and two shorter at the front (they are removed in the photos already) The guide I was using said to take the handle off the fuel tap. Not sure why, maybe just to reduce the chances of breaking it. The top fuel hose on the fuel pump is the inlet, so off that comes, and then it’s a matter of lifting off the tank. I forgot to take a photo, but under the tank is the air box (big black box in above photo). The filter in it was in good shape, so that’s one less thing to buy. I pulled the air box off, and finally had access to the carbs Before doing anything else with the carbs, I drained the fuel tank. I had issues draining through the fuel tap and filter, there just wasn’t any flow, so I resorted to just tipping it out the filler. This was a bit messy, but quick. The bad news? The tank is rusty. What I thought was half a tank of gas, turned out to be about a litre of petrol and half a tank of rusty water. Guess that explains the flow issue. The inside of the tank is rusty. Not too flaky, but will need to be worked to get rid of the rust. It doesn’t look deep, and there are no signs of it coming through that I have noticed. I can still see patches of clean metal around the place, which is a good sign. There are a few different methods for removing the rust. You can fill the tank with water, nuts, and bolts and shake like mad. The preferred method (because I like to make everything more difficult) is electrolysis, or removing the rust using a sacrificial bit of metal and lots of electricity. I’ll look further into this, but I think the tank can be saved. The other thing I had to do before I could crank the engine, was to drain the oil and fill with fresh oil and a new filter. Remember the old filter? Yeah that’s been replaced And although the oil was thick, black and really bad smelling, it had no chunks or metal flakes in it. I filled up with 2.7L of Penrite MC4ST 10W50 semi-synthetic motorbike oil. Nice golden colour. Now, because I still haven’t purchased a new battery (don’t want to invest $100 into a battery if the engine is poked), I had to use the big 500CCA one I removed from the Rover…… Lets just say I don’t have a photo as it was bit of a dodgy setup using really long home-made jumper leads and clips just hanging on the bikes battery terminals…. but it worked We have power! All the lights work, even the hazards Speaking of dodgy, this was my “fuel tank” to try to supply fuel to the carbs Yeah, that’s probably not that safe. Oh well, fire extinguisher was near by! Anyway, the carbs didn’t take much fuel at all during the testing. Whether that’s because they need to be fed with the fuel pump, or because they just aren’t in good shape, I don’t know, but I ended up feeding fuel straight down the throat of the carb. After much cranking, something amazing happened…. It made vroom vroom noises. First start in at least 2 years (if not 4, depending on when the owner last started it). Engine ran good for the couple of seconds it was running, with no bad noises. Exhaust sounds awesome, even when it’s only hitting 5000rpm or so. Cant wait to hear it at 15,000rpm! So the engine runs. The carbs are in dire need of a rebuild and the tank needs the rust removed, but otherwise its all fairly straight forward now. I don’t know if the gearbox does gearbox stuff, but I’ll deal with that later.