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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Getting some good progress this weekend as well. I got those sand blasted parts painted with PJ1 matte black, and they came out great. I do wish I had used the gloss finish instead, but they still look fantastic for what it is. If the paint holds up to the daily grime and dirt, then I will be totally happy.

I got the oil sight glass in, and I applied some 1207B to the back. I accidentally put way too much, and that stuff is impossible to get off of a sandblasted finish, so I cleaned it up as best I could. Should look fine from the outside.

I decided to drop the clutch before putting the cover back on, just to see what's going on in there. Good thing I did. The whole clutch has a bunch of wear and weird damage. If I had to guess, it looks like it was rebuilt by someone who didn't know what they were doing, and it also looks like someone tried to wheelie with it messed up. See the pics for the damage to both hubs and the clutch basket.

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Anyone ever seen damage to the hubs like that before? It looks like they were forcibly misaligned under load. And of course, the basket fingers and the hub splines are all scratched up from the plates normal wear as well, so looks like all these pieces are shot. Really sucks, because a new basket is $400, both new hubs together is about $160, and OEM plates are over $300. Yikes! Even though this is an older bike, I would feel kind of bad getting it back in shape with used clutch parts.

I also found out that Suzuki makes "Clutch plate kits" where you get all the fibers and steels and springs to rebuild a clutch for a discount price. Great! Well, sucks to suck that I find out this generation 750 they don't make or sell the kit anymore. I looked on the Suzuki parts website and anywhere else, and it doesn't exist anymore. Sucks because the kit was only 160-170 for all the plates, literally half price of buying them all individually. Uhg. I'll have to find out what I am willing to pay to get this in good shape. There are aftermarket kits like Barnett and EBC SRK clutch plate sets with steels and fibers for less than OEM, but not cheaper than the OEM special kit that I cannot get. I can't find a lot about Barnett or EBC clutches for street bikes, and how good or bad they are. Very little reviews, in depth video reviews, reputable reports, etc. I might buy the Barnett set if I can find reputable people who can verify that it is good, but it still worries me a bit to use aftermarket clutch parts. Any advice on choosing clutch parts would be helpful.

Other than that, I have reinstalled the swingarm and cleaned and greased every part and bolt associated. Rebuilt rear shock is in as well. I saw some mild wear on the bearing surfaces for the rear suspension, but I couldn't feel any of the wear with my fingernails, nor could I feel any slop in the bearings. So I put the whole rear end back together, and with it still in the air I shook the rear swingarm around to check for play in any direction, and it seemed completely solid. So unless I have suspension issues in the future on track, I probably won't change those bearings just yet. The deep cleaning and re greasing has really made the action very smooth, and still tight.

Also cleaned up the starter motor, and reinstalled the idler gear and bits with the starter clutch cover. I topped this off with the woodcraft idler gear cover, which went on just fine. Very happy with the finish on the repaired starter clutch cover and crankshaft viewing cap. New O-ring on the cap, all new bolts, and new dowels. The original hardware was getting stripped, very dirty, and damaged from drop damage.

I have decided that I don't have the tooling to do the head bearing change myself, so I will be taking the bike to a shop shortly after getting it drivable to have someone with the time and space and tools to do that and install some All Balls tapered rollers.

The wheels are also fully stripped down now, and I will be taking them in to the powder coating shop tomorrow to drop them off, and discuss color options. I am shooting for a gold finish. The shop quoted me $400 for both wheels, and about 1-2 weeks time. Great! So I will look forward to getting my wheels back, and start buying the new hardware for the wheels.

Cash is going to be tighter with the clutch situation, and coming up with an extra thousand bucks for the project will definitely add a few weeks while I earn the disposable income, lol. But stay tuned! There are many things left to do that won't cost a dime in the meantime, such as:

  • install my new-to-me exhaust manifold with new gaskets
  • reinstall all the deep-cleaned water hoses, fittings, and radiator
  • reinstall the rebuilt forks
  • finish rebuilding the other front caliper
  • start doing final routing of the harnesses and other pieces

-Mike
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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Thanks! Indeed, slow and steady is going to make this just the way I want. It has been 4 months since the day I purchased the bike, and I estimated a 6-8 month restoration period, so I think I am right on track if not slightly early.

Got a few more things wrapped up this evening. The bike is really starting to come back together, and is no longer just an engine and frame floating in the garage! Here's the day's progress.

  • Installed the used headers/manifold with new copper gaskets and mounting hardware. It was quite fiddly tightening down the bolts that crush the copper gaskets down on the cylinder head, and the spec is 16.5 ft/lbs. Feels like it should be tighter, but I couldn't turn them any more after setting the spec, so it must be pretty tight. It was tight getting each of the four pipes to butt up against the cylinder head and gaskets, so I hope it has sealed and crushed each gasket just right. Guess I will know the moment I fire it up, and I think there is a re-tighten spec in the manual after some miles.
  • Installed the entire coolant system back on the bike. New thermostat, cleaned water pump, some new gaskets and O rings, all the original hoses, radiator, and reservoir. Had a spare hose clamp on hand in case one broke, but none did. I am literally shocked at how good the stock hoses still are after 18 years. They are still completely flexible, crack-free, and supple. My car more than 10 years newer has worse hoses than this, and this bike sat outside in a yard for years... Crazy. Guess we'll see how good they work once I get the system hot.
  • Installed the kick stand bracket. My actual stand foot is in not great shape. The foot is all bent/cracked, and the hinge where the through bolt goes though has bent parts, making it very hard to screw in. I may see if I can find a used kick stand foot.

Tomorrow I go to work, and I will drop off the wheels at the powder coating shop. I gotta get on ordering the bearings as well. I also found a local guy who runs a salvage yard, and turns out he actually has a clutch pack/set on hand that I am taking a look at! If the parts are in good shape, I'll definitely pick them up. I think he said they were pretty low mile parts, so definitely worth taking a peek. If they just have a small bit of basket finger and hub spline wear from the plates, I think I'll take them, and evaluate the clutch discs. We'll go from there.

Didn't get to get the forks in today, so hopefully that can be done tomorrow after work. I might pick up some fork oil to refill the steering damper soon as well.

Fun times! Check out the photos. Thanks for reading, stay tuned.
-Mike
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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
How did you go about painting it? The fins on mine are pretty beat up, so it's hard to spend effort making it look nice... I might just put a radiator guard over it and call it a day.

But still, what was the process to paint it up? I'm interested to hear.

-Mike
 

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I took it all apart. Used a flat head screw driver to bend out the fins.

Sanded the outer flat surface, then painted it semi-gloss black with epoxy paint. I avoided painting where the hoses connect.

Replaced all the bolts with Ti, and added a carbon fiber cap to make it look as best as a 23 year old part could.

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Looks pretty nice! You didn't need any aluminum cleaner or anything else before painting it to get it cleaned up enough to paint? I've seen people use things like the AC fin cleaner on radiators with success. I've got a good amount of gunk caked inside the fins on mine. I have cleaned the radiator as best I could, but the fins are hard to get freshened back up...

Well done, I will consider adding this to the project.
-Mike
 

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I spent 6 months trying to get my bike to steer properly after installing tapered roller bearings (they were Allballs, but maybe the brand wasn't the issue), and after multiple adjustments, re-greasing, checking and re-checking everything, I finally threw in the towel and ripped them out and put original Suzuki ball bearing sets in. Perfect from day 1. Just saying.
It might well be me, not the product that was the problem, but given the effort and time you've put in so far I thought I'd share that with you.
Surprised to read that you don't want to do them yourself though.... once the front end is in the air the tools required are basic.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Evening in the garage today as well.

  • Got the forks back in. I had some weird marks inside the lower clamps, presumably from me removing the forks. So I used some scotch bright and a tiny wire wheel on my dremel to clean out the grip surfaces in the clamps, and used some scotch bright and simple green on the fork tubes to remove any smudging. Looked like new, and fit really well. Cleaned up the handlebar grip area as well the same way, and they went on perfectly as well.
  • Got the steering damper drained and cleaned out, and I decided to try some 15wt oil first. 20 seemed like the popular weight, but it's been a while since I have owned a bike with a steering damper, and I need to remember how heavy the steering can be at slow speeds. I am currently bleeding the damper, I used a new tip from an RTV tube and cut it down until it fit snug into the hole on the damper. So I filled it up, and now overnight it will sit tilted in my vice grip to allow any bubbles to escape up by the fill hole, and tomorrow I will seal it off, and install it.

Slow day in the garage, but still nice. Definitely a bit sweaty here in the PNW, garage runs 85 degrees or so all evening.
Didn't get a chance to get the wheels to the powder coat shop today, but I'll take care of that in a while.

Looks like I am stuck waiting for parts or money for parts for a bit, so I think I will take to sanding the spray paint off all the fairings and doing any repairs on them, followed by a simple paint job with clear coat. The front cowl area has a mounting bracket that bolts onto the frame by the head bearings, and that piece is quite dirty and has chipping paint. May try and hit it with paint stripper, or just have it sand blasted and then repaint it in the black PJ-1 paint I have. It has some rust, and I'd like to kill the rust before it worsens.

Local salvage shop had a clutch pack as I mentioned, and I got some more close-ups of it. Looked like the inner hub pieces were worn worse than what I have, as was the basket. Although, the saving grace looks to be that the kit has very good condition clutch plates. So he cut me a deal on the whole clutch for $60 since it had excessive wear on most pieces. And if the plates are a bust, only 60 bucks lost. I plan to reuse my current basket with these plates, and then I think I need to bite the bullet and buy the new inner hubs brand new. I may replace the flange springs and clutch springs if they are worn, I still need to investigate my clutch pack.

Slow and steady. Thanks for reading!
-Mike
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Yeah, the head bearings would be a bit of a challenge here for me. I may change my mind, but I still don't have a good stable way to lift the front end off the ground without a front stand of sorts. Nor do I have any of the appropriate bearing press tools, spanners or wrenches for the collar nuts, or a bearing puller.

Things I do indeed need to get one day though. I think once I get the bike off stands and back on tires, that'll give me the ability to move things around more, and maybe I'll be able to find a good way to get the front end up and go hunt down the tools I need.

Besides, I rode this bike home before any work and it didn't have any head shake or bad tendencies. I bet the head bearings would probably be just fine with just a cleaning and greasing.

You make a good point though. Maybe I should just step up and do it. Wouldn't take that much cash to get all the tools to be able to do it for life...

Interesting you say you had bad luck with tapered rollers. On my 300, the head bearings are literally defective from the factory by design, and the number one mod to do from day one is All Balls tapered rollers, and they have survived everything I've thrown at them, including 50,000 miles and a track crash and they still turn smooth. I haven't even greased them and they're still great, but probably due for a cleaning and grease packing.

I'll think about the head bearing work once I get er down on tires again.

-Mike
 

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easy…just put the bike on Jack stands. I’m using step stools and aluminum jacks. The stools support 300 lbs each, no issues. I just put it back on the front stand when complete.

Pitbull also makes stands, but mine are tied up on another bike.

If you are having an issue with tapered bearings, it’s an install issue. A lot of people don’t install the new races, or install the steering stem bearing wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
I have thought about doing it like that, you've got a nice setup there. Are those jack stands lifting the bike by frame sliders?

Very nice clean bike by the way as well.

-Mike
 

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I took it all apart. Used a flat head screw driver to bend out the fins.
How did that go? I've done this a few times and let's say I wasn't thrilled with the results. It was definitely a big improvement but unless there's a technique I'm unaware of, I couldn't make it look 99% perfect. Less-so than I'd want for the time spent.
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 ·
Yeah I am wondering the same thing as well. Does the radiator fin comb/fork tool do it much better than just the screwdriver or pick tool? I've never used the comb tool myself.

-Mike
 

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FWIW, I borrowed* tweezers for eyebrow-plucking, which let me grab a fin from both sides, which I found made easier to get a straight(er) edge.

*sssssssshhhhhhhhhhh
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
I actually used cosmetic tweezers instead of a screwdriver yesterday, and it worked to some degree, but still was not great. It was good enough, but I still get the feeling that I'm polishing a turd, and a polished turd is still.... a turd. Lol.

I might just hide it with a radiator guard.
-Mike
 
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