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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting a project bike for a long time now, but money was holding me back since I was a stay at home dad, and only saving money, not earning it. Funny how I never received credit from my wife on how much money I saved per year. Anyway, I finally went back to work last Fall, and have been watching CL pretty closely since then.

I found the '89 GSXR 750 on CL this Spring, negotiated with the seller over texts, and finally went to pick it up 2 weekends ago. Holy Balls, she's a mess! Missing a ton of parts and hasn't run in over 3 years. But, I did pick it up for pretty cheap, so buying the missing parts isn't going to be a big deal. The biggest issue is going to be getting it started.

Here she is loaded up in the minivan.


I never thought I'd feel so much love for the minivan :)

And here she is parked in the garage.


I'll admit I woke up the next morning feeling buyers remorse, considering what a disaster the GSXR was, but I was feeling pretty good about owning 2 bikes, so I quickly got over the remorse.

An initial tally of the parts missing that it needed to run included coils, plug wires and boots, battery, spark plugs, and the previous owner said the CDI was toast. So, with the money saved on the cost of the bike, I bought the CDI, coils complete with wires and boots off of Ebay, along with a seat, and a replacement pulse cover gasket. Just like Christmas in May!



A friend of mine said he'd loan me a battery, and I picked up some NGK plugs for it also. Since the plugs are buried in the head, the plugs need the best insulation, and the NGK plugs have it. CR9E plugs for this vintage GSXR. Ran into an issue at the car parts stores getting the right size plugs. I went to two stores, and both of them had the incorrect size for the GSXR. I needed help from a friend to get the right part number.


I'm calling it the Boiler b/c it's oil cooled, and these are commonly referred to as oil boilers. My SV is nicknamed "LaRoja", so I may also refer to it as LaCaldera :thumbsup:
I'm getting into the carbs now. After 3 years of not running, they are going to be a mess.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I got into the carbs, and yes, they are a mess. But first, a little backstory related to the carbs.

The previous owner thought the Boiler was an RR version from '89 because the guy he bought it from said it was. The RR is supposed to have a braced swing arm, shortened subframe, longer stroke in the engine, and 40mm carbs. Looking at the CL pics, it didn't have the braced swing arm or different subframe. Anyway, while it would have been pretty cool to get my hands on a RR, for the price I didn't care if it was the regular '89 750.

Needless to say, I was pretty curious, so the first thing I did when I took the carbs off was measure them. This is what I found:


An inch and a half translates to 38mm. I measured it several times to make sure that is what it was, since a regular '89 750 has 36mm carbs. No matter how many times I measured, it was still 38mm. A quick google search showed 38mm carbs started being used on '90 gsxr 750's until FI came into play. WTF! I was very confused at this point. So, I checked the frame serial number and the engine serial, and you guessed it, the frame is a '89, and the engine is a '90. So at some point in it's past, another motor was put into the Boiler. Well, a year newer engine ain't so bad :)

Onto the carbs. I just wanted to open up the caps to check the diaphragms and jet needles, and the bowls to check for gelled fuel and see how the main jets were.

I pulled off the first cap, and this is what I found.


Another WTF moment. Looks like someone siliconed around the diaphragms to make sure they had good vacuum, I guess. All of them were like that. Not sure yet if I'll have to replace the diaphragms. The needles look OK, but all of them do have some crud around them. This is the needle out of carb #3, which was the worst looking needle.


At this point, I'm thinking I'm getting off pretty easy for a 25 yr old bike that's been sitting for 3 year. Then I opened the bowls.

Bowl and Jet #1



Not too bad. How about #2?



Pretty F-ing gross! Luckily, that was the worst one.

Bowl and Jet #3



Bowl and Jet #4



And I'm sure you noticed all the crap around the edges of the bowls. Yep, someone siliconed around the rubber bowl seals also. Here's the pile of silicone I pulled off of the bowl edges.


Wow, I've got my work cut out for me! In the meantime, yesterday I brought the carbs down to my friend who runs a shop, and he's going to check them out and see what needs to be ordered.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Finally got some more work done. First off, pulled the alternator out b/c I heard the nut can loosen and fall off, making your tranny junk. So, took it down to a friend who's going to weld it on. The nut is the one right on the front.


Also went down to my friend's shop and he helped me tear down the carbs, since this was my first time tearing carbs down. First, he determined the diaphragms are still good, so dodged that bullet. But, ran into 2 other issues.

First, the emulsion tubes are slightly egg shaped. But, figured if I run the stock airbox, they won't be a problem now, since the priority right now is just to get it running. But, I want to put pods on eventually, so when I do that, I'll have to drop the extra coin to replace the emulsion tubes. Here's a crappy cell phone pic of one of the emulsion tubes. You can kind of tell it's ovaled.


Second, we did a pressure check on the fuel intakes into the bowls. We just put a tube on the brown intake where the fuel tube goes, plugged the ports in the carb bowls where the needle float valve goes, and pumped up the pressure. Sure enough, the pressure dropped. That means the O rings where the fuel intake goes into each carb is shot. I could also see a crack in the O ring going into the #3 carb.


Unfortunately, that means I'm going to have to split the carbs to replace those O rings. No idea when I'm going to get that done, since I've been working hard on the wife's honey-do list. Anyway, going to order the carb rebuilt kits and O rings tomorrow, so hopefully have them by next weekend in case I have a couple free hours.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
All right, you know how it goes. All you married people know. You buy yourself a new toy, then all the sudden the Honey Do List starts getting longer and longer. First it was tiling our entryway (180 sq/ft), then painting it, then putting in recessed lighting. Along the way she decided she wanted a bench with open lockers on top, which I built and painted with 7 or 8 coats. Then she wanted a new entry door, but not just a replacement, but a wider wood door. So now I'm working on staining and poly-ing the door while my Father in Law is planning how to put the thing in.

Anyway, enough of my whining.

I decided not to split the carbs. If it starts leaking when I run some gas through it, I'll figure it out then.

Also, I don't think I've mentioned I didn't get any keys with the bike. So, I bought a little bling bling for it - a new gas cap :thumbsup:


I haven't decided yet what to do about the ignition, whether to wire a toggle switch in to turn it off and on, or just get another ignition. That'll be a later issue to tackle.

So this was the Summer of the Carbs for me. In what little spare time I did have, I spent cleaning those things. First up was the bowls. Remember all the silicon and gelled gas?



Then all the jets, needles and tubes. Clean!


I went after the top sides after that.


I spent 4 nights in a row picking all that f-ing silicon off the diaphragms. But, Tada!


Then I got a special delivery...


...and put those suckers back together. I don't think I've spent that much time cleaning anything before in my life.


I also learned another little tidbit about this bike. Remember it's a '89 frame with a '90 motor with the 38mm carbs. The 38mm carbs that year came with the power jet circuit that has a small little jet in the bowl, leading out to a 90 degree plastic fitting and a rubber tube. The function is to suck a little extra gas up into the air flow above roughly 11,000 rpm. Anyway, one of the 90 degree fittings is broken.


I spent way to much time trying to find a new 90 degree fitting, with no luck. But, it ended up not mattering. I pulled that jet out of the bowl to get it clean, and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get the jet open. Well duh, the closer I looked at it, the more I realized the jet didn't have a hole. After a ton more research, I finally came across the fact that in 1990, the power jet circuit on the US models was fitted with a size zero jet, meaning no hole. But, for some reason, the Canadians had an activated power jet. No idea why.
Pic of the "size zero" jet.


That's it for now. Not much more is going to happen until I get that door in :(
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My Father-in-Law and I got that door in, and well, I guess I do have to say my wife has good taste. I still have to insulate around the sides and top, but it's still Summer, so I've got time, and more important things to do :)

First things first, those sparkling clean carbs needed a home, so I put them there. Remember everyone, it is a ton easier to hook up that throttle cable at the handle than the carb! So undo the handle connection before hooking it to the carb.


I debated about using the stock air box. Seems there's as much polarization b/t air box users and aftermarket filter users as there is b/t the Democrats and Republicans. But, the air box did come with the bike, so I thought I'd give it a shot. But, no filter was in it, and this is what it looked like.


Like hell if I was going to futz around with getting those 2 halves back together with an air tight seal, buy a new filter for it, and then have to deal with getting the carbs in and out of that tight space while getting it tuned right. Also, it just happened to be my birthday recently, and I gotta love my mom. She still gives me money on my birthday, bless her. That money just happened to be enough for a set of dual K&N's. I know I'll have a bit more tuning to do with the carbs, but the ease of getting the carbs out now is more than worth it.


I started looking around for the next thing to do to the Boiler, and what caught my eye? Up on my shelf, those coils I bought a few months ago. Well crap, time to put those things in. At this point I printed off the wiring diagram so I made the connections correctly.


Since I had a fresh copy of the Schematic, I decided to go through the harness and look for potential shorts. Also, you've seen the front of the harness hanging off the bike. I thought it would be a good time to start identifying the connections by wire color. Well, judging by the condition of a few of the connections, along with a broken off steering stop, it was pretty evident this bike had been in a front end collision. I checked the fork tubes and wheel, and there's no evidence of damage to them, so I'm assuming a new front end has been put on it also.

Back to the wiring. Aside from the wrecked connections, the harness was looking in pretty good shape! That is, until I got back to the CDI box. The wires in the plugs seemed pretty flimsy, so I took the wires out of the plugs for a closer look. Man, looking like it's 25 years old.


I decided to cut back the wires to good insulation and put new terminals on. Here's a closer look at the old terminals cut off. Many cracks in the insulation.


And the new terminals.


I also installed the new to me CDI box. I'll have to figure out a weather proof option for the new terminals since they don't really fit in the old plugs well. But, for now, I just wanted to make sure I didn't have any shorts that would prevent it from starting.

Now it was time for an oil change and new oil filter. I drained the oil into my drain pan, and had to do a double take. It looked like glitter in the drain pan! I always try to keep the pan clean so I can look for this type of thing at oil changes. I don't know, maybe the motorcycle fairies were having a glitter fight inside my engine??


Good thing I changed the oil. Anyway, so now I was getting excited. I'd been slowly marching towards trying to start this thing since the beginning of Summer. I couldn't believe I was so close now. First I wanted to make sure the electrical was good, so I hooked up the battery, and since I didn't have a key, made my own key :)


So, with the battery in, and my "key" hooked up, verified I had power to the system by the instrument lights, and I gave the starter a push.

NOTHING :(

Absolutely nothing happened. I was expecting the starter to roll, but nothing. I got a little frustrated at this point and walked away from it, came back a couple hours later and sat down next to it, and started checking through the wiring again. I missed something the first check, but found it this time. The side stand switch harness had a kink in it right where it goes between the sprocket cover an the engine. Didn't look good.


I didn't what to f around with the side stand switch, so, I bypassed it :thumbsup:


Gave the starter another try, and NOTHING. Damn!

At this point I was thinking the starter solenoid might be bad. But, with the power on, I could jump the solenoid terminals with a screw driver. So I checked the voltage across the small plugs on the solenoid while I had the starter pressed.


Guess what? The starter rolled! WTF! How could the Multimeter be helping the starter to work? Anyway, I talked with my mechanic friend and right away he told me the battery ground was bad. I wanted to verify that, so I got the jumper cables out of my trusty minivan and made a ground bypass.


And the starter rolled! OK, so I was narrowing it down. About this time I noticed the battery ground had a lead out of it very close to the terminal that connects to the battery, with a plug and wire that went into the harness. It looks like it had been messed with, and the wire color doesn't match from one side of the plug to the other. Anyway, on a whim I unplugged it, and with my ground bypass jumper cables off, gave the starter a push, and BAM, the starter rolled! Hot Damn! I know that wire out of the battery ground is stock, but I'm thinking whatever it connected to through the harness is toast, possibly one of those wrecked connections at the front.

In the meantime, I was pulling in the clutch every time I pushed the starter. Every once in a while, the starter wouldn't roll when I knew it should have. I'd let the clutch out, pull it back in, and then the starter would roll. Didn't want to F around with that switch either, so adios! Clutch switch bypass!


Damn, so much sh!t going bad on this thing! I finally decided to put the fuel lines on (bought new fuel line), hook up the gas tank and give it a go since the starter button was working reliably now.

Wouldn't you know, the damn thing started!!

I was feeling like a Power Ranger at that point! It had been at least a few years since running last, and here it was in my garage, roaring! I think the V&H muffler doesn't have much packing left in it. And, you should have seen the birdseed and hay flying out of the muffler every time I revved it! Here's a little sampling on my garage floor.


Now that I was able to start it, I found I wasn't able to put it in gear with out killing the engine. I had bypassed the side stand and the clutch. The only thing left was the Neutral sensor. I read on the gixxer.com forum that someone grounded the wire from the sensor to trick the bike into thinking it was in Neutral all the time, so, I gave that a try. I grounded it to one of the sprocket cover bolts.


And it worked!


Man! Feeling good to have this thing running and going into gear!

But, I still have a lot of work left. While it idles fine and throttle response is good when it's cold, after it warms up I get the infamous "hanging throttle", and it idles higher as well. I'm guessing fuel is leaking past a o-ring in the carbs, or there's an air leak in the carb boots b/t the carbs and the motor, or maybe those emulsion tubes are more oval than I thought.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hot damn, it was the mixture screws! Drilled the brass caps out Friday night, cleaned out the mixture screws, springs and o-rings (opted against new o-rings and springs until I got it open and cleaned). All the o-rings looked good. I know they are small and hard to see anything with them, but I soaked them, along with the springs and screws, for about 1/2 of Saturday. Saturday night I put the mixture screws back together, and set them at 3 turns out, considering the V&H exhaust and pod filters. I also took the bowls off for a peak, and found some brownish residue in all of the bowls. Nothing too big. Just wiped them out, but I'll have to keep an eye on that in the future. I am running non-oxy 91 in it, so not sure if the gas is the cause of the residue. Also checked the main and pilot jets, which were still open and looking good.

Started it up this morning and let it idle for 32 minutes, with no change in idle speed! Periodically I also revved it to varying rpms to see if I could get the hanging idle, but it always dropped right back down to idle! Wow, I was excited!

Well, I was excited until I decided to take it around the block. Yep, popped the seat on, zip tied that rat's nest of wires up in front, and took it out. Right away I noticed when I let the clutch out, I hardly felt it. When I let the clutch out on the SV, I get a kick in the pants. I know the SV is a V twin with all sorts of torque down low, but I was expecting at least a gentle goose, or even a tickle. But nothing. Even giving it gas it just slowly got going.

But, I was half expecting this, just hoping I wouldn't encounter it. Looks like I'll for sure have to get a Stage 3 kit for the carbs.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I've been plugging away at this thing. On that test ride around the block, besides there being no umph in the bottom end, she was pulling to the left like an SOB. Here's why.


I have no idea how the PO got the front tire like that, but anyway, it had to go. I've been pretty much converted to Michelin with the SV, so Michelin it is for the Boiler. I ordered the cheapest Pilot Road for it, a PR2. Still a good tire, but minimal invested in case I do a front end swap in the near future.

I knew I should have gotten a front stand at the beginning of Summer! Jacking up the front of the Boiler turned out to not be as easy as the SV, mainly because the center of gravity is a little further forward on the Boiler, and the exhaust is right in the way. So, instead of pulling the exhaust off, I got a little creative with some 2x4s and tie down straps.


Luckily the thing didn't fall over, although getting it off the 2x4s was a little tricky. But here she is with new rubber on the front, and safely on the ground. My garage faces East, so here's a nice sunrise pic :)


One thing that was bugging me since I brought it home, amongst the many things bugging me about this thing, was that the rear suspension was rock hard. I couldn't get the rear to sag a millimeter, even when jumping up and down on the pegs. The PO was a skinny guy, maybe 160, so unless he was carrying a few extra people, I have no idea why he had the shock cranked down so much. Heres a pic after I adjusted it to my weight (heavier than the PO), and where I'm pointing, at the smutz on the threads, is where the PO had it cranked down to.


At this point I figured I should get it legal for the road. I did get the headlights, along with the fairing stay/headlight mount with the bike, so I bolted those up. Here's where I figured out one of the bulbs was burned out.


Now, I've been running this thing a ton since I've been able to reliably start it, and haven't had any issues, other than I think the kill switch is going out. After I bolted on the headlights was a different story. Soon after I mounted them, I had it running for about a minute, and I noticed some smoke coming up from next to the battery. The thing still smokes a bit after it warms up, so I've learned not to get to excited about some smoke coming out when it's running. I should have gotten a clue with it coming from the battery area. Anyway, after about 15 seconds of this smoke, the bike shut down like that. And here's why it shut down.


That's the side stand diode. Somehow with the lights hooked up, that power is getting transferred to the ground wire from the side stand switch. With the lights hooked up and the ignition on, the negative terminal on the battery is reading a bit over 12 Volts. I've been pretty lucky so far with the 25 year old harness, so I suppose it's about time the wiring bit me in the arse. I have yet to track down that short, but I'm guessing it's going to be fun.

I had a pretty good week after that with stuff showing up in the mail. First, the title for the Boiler.


Then a little box of goodies.


And then last, but not least, a new side stand diode.


Around this time I picked up my friend's vacuum carb sync tool. I figured syncing the carbs might fix that lack of power in the bottom end. I didn't mention before that I bench synced the carbs before putting them on. Well, I figured out I suck at bench syncing when I hooked the tool up and started the engine.


I bench synced the carbs by zip tying the butter flies, or throttle, wide open and measured how far open the #3 carb was (that the throttle wire is connected to) and adjusted the other carbs to match that measurement. While each side is matched, it was to far out to adjust the sides to come together. So I pulled the carbs back off and tried syncing them by eye. I'm a little better with this method apparently.


Hard as I tried, I could not get that #3 carb to come in line with the others. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to because of 2 things. 1st - the butter fly on #3 is buggered up at the bottom edge for some reason.


And the spring connection between the 2 sides (that I'm pointing at with the pencil) just isn't so springy anymore.


But, I did get to take it out around the block a few times, and with the balancing as close as I got it, I have power back in the bottom end, and it has good solid acceleration from down low. I'm hoping to get it out on a country road soon to check the upper revs. I haven't installed the Factory Pro kit yet because I want to iron out all the bugs first. In the meantime, I just took the carbs off again yesterday and am giving another go at syncing them by eye. Hopefully I'll have better luck getting them all in line tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Success!!


It took a lot of time and thinking, and running it. At one point I sat for about 45 min in front the the carbs on the workbench, making sense of how each spring and screw adjustment worked. After I got a good understanding of that, my next attempt with the adjustments was much better. As in I finally understood how much effect a 1/4 turn on the screws can make, and how the springs on the balance screws actually have a counter effect, so each balance screw effects the carbs on either side of it. Anyway, after a couple more attempts, I achieved the above result!

So, the balancing of the carbs was just putting off the inevitable. The short in the harness. Now that I had the carbs balanced, I didn't have a good reason to put off finding the short any longer. First of all, might as well take a good look at what I have. Luckily some left over 1/8 inch board from my bench and lockers project came in handy!


All the wires actually looked really good. There were a couple spots of nicked wires at the front (probably due to the mysterious collision). I taped them up to be sure, but that didn't fix the issue of the diode over heating. I put myself to sleep more than a few nights staring at the wiring diagram, trying to figure out why the diode might be getting all that power. I finally had enough of it, and decided to just take out the side stand relay and diode, and hopefully that would fix the issue. It was surprisingly easy to bypass the relay and diode - just cut the kill switch wire going into the relay, and attach it to the switched wire coming out of the relay. The red butt connector is my connection, and the next pic showing what I could get rid of.



But damn! Wouldn't you know it, I still had the ground to take care of, and when I tried to attach it to the same ground I used for the Neutral switch bypass, that connection still got hot when I turned the bike on with the lights on. I was at a loss at that point, so I went back to the wiring diagram, and started tracing the ground circuit. I don't know why I didn't realize it before, but that circuit has every light on the motorcycle on it, so there's a lot of power on that circuit. Then I was struck by that proverbial lightning bolt. All those lights needed a beefy ground! I started tracing where that ground circuit was grounded to.

Guess what?

The beefy ground for that circuit is the Neutral Switch itself! That switch is the only place on the circuit that goes to ground, since it's attached directly to the motor, the best place to ground something on a motorcycle. The circuit just needed a big enough heat sink for that power, and the motor is it! Holy balls it felt good to get that figured out! Since the motor and the frame are connected, I ran a short length of wire over to the nearest screw hole, which happened to be on the frame, attached it, and problem solved.

And here's a shot of all the wiring I've taken off this thing so far. At least I'm getting some weight savings out of all these issues I'm running into!


Then I had a little diversion. Hey, it's good shift your focus sometimes :)

Look what I brought home in the minivan :thumbsup:


I got it from a friend of mine for 4 cases of beer. Carb is messed up, my friend is not mechanically inclined at all, so I pulled up with 4 cases of beer and left with the scooter :)

All my moto 2 wheeled vehicles.


Not sure yet what I'm going to do with the scooter. Fix it and sell for cash to put back into the boiler, or fix and use it as my new commuter. Anyway, new carb gets here in a couple days, so we'll see how I like riding it soon enough.

Back to the Boiler. With the bike running, going into gear, carbs balanced, and able to run lights without melting down part of the harness, I could finally take it out further than just around the block to open it up!

Well, I was expecting to be wheeling all over the countryside, but in reality, the thing wouldn't go over about 40mph. It gets up to 40 pretty easily, but then doesn't go any faster no matter how much gas I give it. On top of that, the revs go up and down when I give it gas, with no change in the speed.

Right away I'm thinking clutch plates. So when I got home I adjusted the cable at the handle and the arm at the motor. I was able to adjust the cable so that the clutch didn't work any more, and I was able to adjust it back so that it works, but it's at the outer end of the adjustment. So, while the plates are definitely worn and at the end of their life, I still should be able to go faster than 40mph. Also, back in the garage with it up on the stand, the motor wouldn't rev over 4000rpm, which is right about where the needle jets are supposed to kick in. That seemed a lot like a fueling issue, so I decided to put in the Factory Pro kit.

I took the carbs off last weekend to do that, and noticed little rusty bits in the bowls! WTF! The inside of the tank is not in the best of shape, but I haven't had an issue until now. Having gas in the tank for the last month or so finally loosened up the rust I guess, and it started floating. So, yet another cleaning of the carb, followed by the install of the Factory Pro parts, and now I had to do something about the tank. I have read about the Apple Cider Vinegar rust removal trick, so early last week I picked up 5 gallons of the stuff at the local grocery store and had the tank soaking all this last week.


Yesterday I emptied the vinegar and rinsed the tank out many many many times, first with hot water, then gas. The process actually did work pretty well, and I did get a ton of rust flakes out. Here's a cool pic, showing some of the crude I got out, but also showing the separation of gas and rusty water. That's clear gas on the top, and the rusty water underneath it.


But, as I was letting it dry after all the rinses, the inside of the tank got a light layer of surface rust after about 3 hours! Damn! I wasn't about to go through the vinegar process again, so I filled it up to the brim with gas (91 nonoxy). That should keep the rust from proceeding. Eventually, I think the light rust will disappear all together, but, one more thing to keep an eye on.

And, I almost forgot to mention, I finally picked up a tach for it. I was hoping for a bigger one b/c I love the swing of the tach needle, but I couldn't find one I liked, and this one was $18 shipped. As a plus, it fits in pretty nicely on either side of the ignition to the stock mounting point for the stock gauge bracket.


I just got the bike all put back together a couple hours ago. I was going to take it for a test ride to see if I could get over 40 with the Factory Pro kit, but the thing wouldn't start. I drained the battery in the attempt as well. I charged the battery over dinnertime, and went back out an hour ago and it finally did start for me. And, it revs over 4000rpm! Wow, I was reminded how f-ing loud this bike is!

So, that's were I'm at. I didn't take it out tonight, so hopefully I'll get to take it out after I get home from work tomorrow. With any luck I may have enough power to go faster than that scooter I just bought!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I just got back from taking it out and she goes! No speedo yet, but I think I got up to about 70 or so. I couldn't go much faster due to the clutch slipping. But, at least the fueling is somewhat straightened out. Now all I have to do is get some new clutch plates.

And speaking of clutch plates, look what showed up in my garage!


I was talking to my friend about it, and he just happened to have this spare clutch from an old 750 gsxr motor he had in his Katana sitting on his shelf. So, he dropped it off. If anyone deserves 4 cases of beer, it's this friend!

Well, now I have to figure out how to replace a clutch :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So this thing keeps kicking me square in the ass. But, replacing the clutch plates is a pretty easy process, and I had no issues with that at all.

First of all, here's the old plates, looking pretty worn and black.


Even got away with using some tupperware for soaking the new plates.


Put the new plates in, no issues. Here it is with the cover plate on ready for the springs.


Even took a pause to show a little how-to pic - the gear at the end of the clutch pinion meshes with, for lack of a better term, the teeth on the clutch push rod. So, to get the cover on and off, you should use a pliers to move the top of the pinion back and forth until the cover moves off, or on, depending on assembly or disassembly. Here's a pic showing how the rod sticking out of the clutch plate, what I call the push rod, fits into the cover plate, so the teeth mesh with the pinion gear.


Put the new oil in. Even had the forethought to put the battery tender on the battery so I knew I'd have plenty of power to start it. And it did start, and was idling great.

Here's where I get kicked. Started to push it out of the garage to go for a test ride, and noticed fluid dripping down the left side of the engine onto the floor. A closer look showed it was gas coming out of the filter. So I pulled the filter off and #1 and #2 carbs, and fuel was coming out of the air jet on carb #1. Dang.

Turned out some of the flash surface rust that happened right after the vinegar clean got into the carbs. I did a little more reading up of the vinegar clean, and found that the surface rust does indeed happen pretty fast afterwards. So if you happen to use the vinegar clean method, make sure you have the time to wash it out afterwards, and use baking soda mixed with water to neutralize the vinegar acid right away.

Anyway, spent Saturday afternoon doing a full tear down and clean of the carbs, and siphoned the gas out of the tank and didn't want to waste it, so I put it in the minivan. Washed out the tank again, and let it air dry for the next couple days. I didn't want to do another soaking method on the tank, so I put a couple handfuls of screws in the tank and periodically shook it for the couple days after that. The screws actually worked pretty well, and from what I could see through the filler hole, removed pretty much all of the crud down to metal. Here's a pic of the screws after I dumped them out of the tank. They were a bright shiny gold color when I put them in.


Washed the tank out again multiple times with water and then gas to make sure all the crud was out, then filled it with 5 gallons of fresh gas. I didn't put the tank back on the bike yet b/c I wanted to see if the fresh gas would loosen up any more crud, so I have it propped up on on some 2x4s. At that point, I got kicked again and the petcock started leaking.

So, a pretty frustrating week with this thing. A petcock rebuild kit is on the way, and I'm sure the minivan will be happy to get another donation of gas from the Boiler.
 

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The minivan lost out. No gas from the Boiler :)

Had a productive day yesterday. After I siphoned the gas out of the tank, decided to use all of it to rinse out the tank. So, poured a 1/2 gallon in at a time, shook the hell out of it at all angles, and dumped the gas out. It worked pretty well at getting a little crud out each time, and by the time I was out of gas on the last rinse, just about a little toe nail sized spot of gunk came out with the gas I'll keep it full of fuel over the Winter, then repeat the rinse process in the Spring to see what comes out.

While I was doing the rinsing, the Postman came by with my petcock rebuild kit, thankfully. Finished up with the tank, then started dismantling the petcock. Now, the petcock tear down procedure is pretty straight forward and easy, until you get to that fooking press in seal! Putzed with that seal for 45 min, took one of those cool down breaks, made hamburgers for the kids an I, then went back out after dinner. I finally grabbed my nail set and pounded down on one side of the seal, which raised the other side, and then I was able to pry it out with a screw driver. Here's a pic of that seal.


As I've learned so far with this bike, it's full of surprises of the unpleasant variety. I found that the little nub on the end of the petcock handle that slots into the fuel valve, to turn it from On to Reserve, was broken off, and so the fuel valve was always on Reserve since I've had it.


Considering the potential for this tank to loosen up more crud despite how clean it is now, I set the fuel valve to the On position so the fuel flow will be coming from a couple inches up instead of the bottom of the tank. Until I get that replaced, I'll just have to make sure to fill up often.

By the time I turned the lights off Saturday night, the Boiler was back together with 5 fresh gallons of 91 nonoxy fuel in the tank.

This morning was pretty busy family wise, but I finally got to take the Boiler out for that clutch test run about noon. I finally got a good surprise , and the Boiler started up pretty well at 39F, and I was able to take it off choke within 15 sec and have it idle pretty well. On the test ride, I had to do a bit of on the fly adjusting but I was able to get the clutch set pretty well, with the grab point about half way off the handle. Now that the clutch is working pretty well, I discovered I still have some fueling to take care of. It seems to pull pretty well (could be better) through the lower revs, but getting into the upper revs the pulling drops off. No possibility of getting the front wheel off the ground yet. I'm hoping to get out on it after this cold snap passes to do some more pulls when the engine is cold and warmed up, to iron out where I need to focus my efforts, but it seems pretty obvious right now that I'll have to go up on the main jet size. 2 sizes came with the FP kit, 147.5 and 150, and I have the 147.5's in right now. 150's will be next. May have to drop the needles as well, since it starts to flatten out when it gets into that rev range.

I just have to comment about this engine. Damn, it's a screamer! This is why I wanted an Inline 4 engine. You should have seen the look on the neighbor lady's face when I went past for the second time, and that was puttering past with the engine at about 3 grand. When I was out on the road, I was downshifting just to get that blip of higher revs. But while it screams, it's smooth screaming, like it could go all day long. I can see why these engines are referred to as bullet proof. It seems so comfy revving.
 

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It was such a beautiful weekend for November in MN (40's and even low 50's today) I spent the weekend working on the Boiler when I had time. It's great being able to work in the garage with the door open!

First, had a funny issue. A very very slow fuel leak from each of the 2 bolts holding the petcock on. Tightened up those bolts pretty f-ing tight, but still leaking. So pulled the tank off, tipped it over, pulled the petcock out and swapped back in the old gasket that I had replaced from the petcock rebuild kit. Wouldn't you know it, that fixed the issue. Guess the new gasket needs to get broken in or something.

Second, pulled the carbs and put the 150 main jets in. As long as I had them off and was into them, I did a no no and changed one more thing. I dropped the needle jets one notch, as in I moved the cir clip up one notch. I know I should have checked how it ran with putting the 150's in, but my window of time, with the sun setting by 5pm, and the temp dropping like a rock after that, was very short. Also, today is most likely the last day to ride in MN until Spring, so went ahead and changed the needles as well.

Took the Boiler out this afternoon. I can't say there is a huge difference compared to last time I took it out(with the 147.5's), but I definitely had a bit more umph up to half throttle. I got out on a straight country road and opened it up to full throttle a few times, but the response was not good. Just a vague acceleration. So, as long as I was out, I stopped by my friends place (still need to buy him some beer) and right away he picked out the sound of a missing cylinder. Since this is my first I4, I had no clue what a missing cylinder sounds like. Anyway, we narrowed it down to #1 with the exhaust temps. #1 was still hot, but not as hot as the others, so don't know if it's just not firing at all or misfiring every once in awhile.

So, one more electrical issue to track down. Kind of sucks because I bought supposedly functioning coils and a supposedly functioning CDI for this thing.

Well, at least I got a ride in today :)
 

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Finally had to time to pull the plugs and take a look. Here they are. Keep in mind there's only about 50 miles on them, plus maybe an hour and a half of idle.

Plug #1


Plug #2


Plug #3


Plug #4


So once I had them pulled, I wanted to verify they were all firing. Long and the short of it is that they are.

Here they are in the light.


Turned off the lights in the garage and hit the starter button.

Here's 2 and 3 firing.


And here's 1 and 4 firing.


This is all the further I got with the testing, but it looks like I've ruled out my electrical as the issue based on the spark plugs doing what they should.

One other thing - I have no experience reading plugs. To me, it looks like #1 and #3 aren't firing since they're pretty clean, #2 is looking like it is firing correctly due to the ashy type residue, and #4 looks like it might be a little rich with a little darker stuff on the end.

So everyone, let me know what you think.
 

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Alright, I spent this last month piecing together a new front end for the Boiler. I decided to go with a '07-'08 GSXR 1000 front end with stiffer springs because the Boiler's weight is pretty heavy, comparatively. I also was able to get top and bottom bearings from All Ballz to make it fit to the '89 frame, and the current tire on the Boiler will be going on this rim. Also need to install a new reservoir and get a few bolts.
 

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Slow but steady work on the Boiler for the past month. First things first, I was tired of freezing my fingers working out in the garage, so I got off my a$$ and cleaned up our storage room enough to uncover an old work bench that was meant for my boys, a chair and a cubby shelf, and set them up.


Then I got to work on the triple. First got it sanded, cleaned and taped up.


And 4 coats of flat black and 3 coats of clear later.


The triple came out looking so good, I decided to go after the front rim. But first, that rim tape had to go! The stickers came off easy enough, but the rim tape adhesive is pretty f-ing terrible. Enter Goo Gone! And the goo was indeed gone.


Smoothed out the jagged edges of all the scrapes and scratches with some light file work.



Sanded, cleaned, and taped it up.


And that's what I'm in the middle of right now. I have a few coats of satin black on, and I think one more coat of black, then a few coats of clear and it'll be ready for a tire.

It was above freezing here this weekend, I got a bug up my butt about the scooter, so I pulled it out, put the new carb in it (that's it on the left sitting on the bench in the first pic), put the body panels back on, fired it up, and took it around the block. The 50cc motor is a little under-whelming, but at least the new carb's fueling is right on, so one less carb I'll have to putz with. And it will be a fun little toy around town. Here she is mid-reassembly.
 

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Finally got the front wheel finished up. 5 coats of black, and 4 coats of clear. I learned the important lesson of light coats due to some wrinkling in the paint that I had to sand out. Here it is.


With the front wheel done, I went to work on the carbs. That broken power jet nozzle was bugging me still, so I bought that similar oil jet nozzle that goes to an old yamaha to replace it with.


Had to drill the old one out.


Then used some loctite to set the new one in, and propped it up so that the loctite wouldn't run down and plug the hole.


Another thing that was bugging me about the carbs was the emulsion tubes. They didn't look too oval, but I thought I'd replace them just to take that question out of the equation.


So took the carbs the rest of the way apart.


Remember how this thing kicks me in the a$$ every once in a while? Well this time it got me square in the balls. I was reassembling the bottom end of the carbs with the new emulsion tubes, and was on the third carb, tightening the main jet into the emulsion tube, when I heard a "SNAP!"

This is what happened.


Can't believe it. I didn't even have it very tight when it broke.

So, if anyone knows of where to get a slide, or has one, let me know.
 

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I ended up getting a replacement slide guide from a gixxer.com member. The gixxer oil cooled forum has been a great source for me ever since I got the Boiler. There's a pretty helpful group of guys and gals on that site. In any case, the replacement slide guide came from a Water Cooled gixxer with a 38mm carb, so good to know that parts from the WC carbs fit the OC carbs. Here's the WC slide guide fitting my OC slide.


So, with the carbs fully back together, I finally listened to the advice I've been getting and checked the valves.

On my bike, the spec for Intakes is .004 - .006, and the Exhaust spec is .007 - .009. My intakes were alright, but ranged from .003 to .007. I reset all of them to .006. My Exhaust was another matter. All of them were tight, with the lowest reading on #1 of .0025 and .003. This makes sense with my friend noticing #1 wasn't firing and a low exhaust temp. With such a tight gap, once it warmed up, the valve would be hanging open, and I wouldn't be getting the pressure needed for the bang. I reset all the exhaust valves to .009. I just hope the tight exhaust valves were the reason I wasn't getting any response over half throttle.

Since I had the valve/cam cover off, I decided to paint that as well. Take a look at the inside of the cover. I think the person who painted it red was drunk and used a brush.


And cleaned up.


One last look at this crappy paint job on the cover.


Spent a couple nights scraping the paint off, then prepped it for paint. I'll have to admit I thought a lot about leaving it bare metal with a clear coat over it, but in the end decided on paint.


Picked up some high temp grill paint at the local hardware store, and put a couple of coats on. As much as I like flat black, I went with the shiny version of the paint to make it stand out a little more.


Much better!


One of the things I learned over on gixxer.com is that the stock swinger flexes a bit during cornering. In '94 Suzuki introduced the braced swinger on the 750's to help with that issue. It just so happens you can retro fit the braced swinger onto OC 750's with very little trouble. So, the same gixxer member that got me the carb slide guide just happened to have a braced swinger for sale as well. I couldn't pass it up :)
You may have sensed a black motif with this bike by now. So guess what color the swinger is going to be? Yep, black. Here it is all cleaned up, sanded down, and taped up.


Before I taped it up tho, I made sure to clean out the pivot and doggone bearings as best I could and regrease them.


Currently I'm in the middle of painting the swinger. I've read that aluminum is a bit touchy to paint. So, beyond the good sanding I gave it, I've put on two coats of primer. I now have 2 coats of black on it, and will put some clear on it after that, and hope it sticks well.

So the exhaust header on the Boiler is stock, but the midpipe/muffler is V&H. I guess I just assumed that the outlet of the header and inlet of the midpipe was a good fit. Wow, I was wrong. I measured a good 1/4 inch difference. I'm surprised I never saw exhaust gas coming out of that junction. I did see exhaust gas coming out of the 4 into 1 junction tho. Definitely time for a new header. I got pretty lucky on this one, because I found an old build thread on gixxer.com where a member randomly mentioned to the builder that he had a V&H header if he wanted it. I PM'd the guy and he happened to still have it, and he sold it to me. It's the perfect fit for my mid pipe/muffler!

Which header would you rather have on your bike?


Incidentally, let me know if you want the stock header. Considering the exhaust leak and dents, I'll let it go for pretty cheap.

We've had some pretty nice weather in MN for the past week, which made me itching to ride the Boiler to see how the engine would respond to the new emulsion tubes and valve adjustments. Only thing holding me back is that gas tank. As much as I hated to putz with that tank any more, I finally decided to give it one more shot. I siphoned most of the nonoxy gas out of it, then swished it around, and emptied the last bit into my oil pan. Look at all this rust that came out. ***!


So, at the beginning of this week I went to grocery store and picked up another 5 gallons of Apple Cider Vinegar and poured all of it into the tank. I also picked up a couple of boxes of Baking Soda so I can have a mixture of that ready to pour in as soon as I dump the vinegar.

I really hope it works this time.
 

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I'll let the pics speak for themselves.





Dang! Didn't think it would get that clean. I ended up leaving the Apple Cider Vinegar in the tank for 2 weeks. When it came time to take the Vinegar out, I made up 5 gallons of Baking Soda mixture. I split 2 boxes of Arm and Hammer into the 5 gallons.


Then I siphoned out the Vinegar, periodically shaking it to make sure all the rust came off the walls. Here are the vinegar bottles, in order from left to right how it came out of the tank. Grungier and grungier as the level went down.


As soon as I siphoned all of the Vinegar out, I poured the Baking Soda mixture in, giving it a good shake after each gallon went in. Then I let it sit for about 1/2 hour, periodically sloshing it back and forth, just to make sure all the Vinegar was neutralized by the Baking Soda. I even tipped the back end up and let the Baking Soda solution run out of the breather vent on the front of the tank. I then siphoned most of the Baking Soda solution out, leaving about a gallon left in the tank. I shook the hell out of the tank, took the petcock off and poured the last gallon into my oil pan. I poured off the liquid, and this is what was left.


I then washed it out with gas several times, putting about 1/2 gallon in, shaking the hell out of it, and letting it pour out of the petcock hole after taking the petcock off. I did this 7 times before I didn't see any trace of the water from the Baking Soda solution, and only 2 tiny specks of rust came out. At one point I even sprayed WD-40 in it to help with the water removal.

About the time I put the Vinegar in the tank I had ordered a new petcock. I decided I really needed the Reserve function back. It ended up being a good thing since the old petcock was dripping from every hole and the diaphragm by the end of the 2 weeks. So, a good note if you plan to do the Apple Cider Vinegar rust removal procedure, have a new petcock ready or make a block off plate so you don't ruin your petcock. Here's the new petcock in the box, fresh out of the shipping box, specific for this vintage of GSXR.


Hoping to make some progress on fitting that new front end soon :thumbsup:
 
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