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"The Basketcase" Episode I : A Slow-motion Build

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 59Tebo, Jul 21, 2018.

  1. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Nine years ago (!) I wanted a motorcycle. Something inexpensive :doh: (yeah, how's that workin' for ya?), that I knew I was going to have to work on. But then I would know what went into it, right? So, I bought a '75 Xs650 for $200.00 and three bottles of booze.
    I thought it had potential because it had such low miles.
    I thought the engine was seized at first. It turned out to be corrosion in the generator. I used a rubber mallet to 'whack' a breaker bar on the crank bolt to get it to turn.
    But it had many, many more problems. This is the horror show I found in the master cylinder.
    The caliper was worse. I could not take that sucker apart. Even using the hot wrench (torch). Corrosion had welded it into one useless block, only suited for the scrap bin. I guess it had held up the side of a shed for just a little too long. Fine. Move on. Lots of cleaning later, I tried to start it. Wasn't gonna happen. It had a bad coil, and all the plumbing leaked. Oh well, I have other things I need to do. It sat, I dreamed. And a couple times, during heath emergencies, I was trying not to die. It wasn't the only thing I had to live for, but damn it, I have a motorcycle to build.
    A few months ago, I was able to move it (and a '79 and '81 I picked up over the years) to a friend's shop, where he keeps/works on hot rods.
    I built a motorcycle table, so I wouldn't have to work on the floor, bought an engine stand, and ordered engine stand brackets from Chop Source. They arrived early, and work perfectly! :) Then I started tearing into it for real. I was finally working on The Basketcase !!!
    002 - Copy.JPG
    With my friend's help, we got the engine out and on the stand. I stripped the frame down to the bone, forks, wheels, swing arm off.
    Next up is cleaning, cleaning, cleaning. Then the engine tear-down. It'll get soda blasted, new gaskets, and all new hardware, plus a few surprises. :rolleyes: Stay tuned for "The Basketcase" Episode II : A Phantom Motor
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
    Mailman, DaveO, Paul Sutton and 4 others like this.
  2. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge, is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    And so the journey begins.....:D

  3. Smeggy

    Smeggy XS650 Member

    Hi 59Tebo. Checking out your table - yes yes yes - I way prefer your direct approach to they vertical leverage hydraulic over-reactions that could take your fingers off. But what's gave me a wee hard on though is your engine stand. Can you tel me a little about it? I'll be honest though, I know I can't afford to buy one, but if I better understood how it holds the engine on then I could mibbie... hopefully not illegally... in a complimentary fashion... all copyrights respected...
    Jim likes this.
  4. Smeggy

    Smeggy XS650 Member

    Got another question... Between the dials - a wooden dashboard? Is that normal for that version or a bit of posh upgrading from the earlier owner, who I assume knew James Bond and went to Monte Carlo casinos??
    Jim likes this.
  5. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    std 74-75 gauges, the center starts out bronze black and fades to bronze mud LOL.
    If I had a buck for every MC dashboard I've seen ruined by crap attached to the key............
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
    Paul Sutton, lakeview and Jim like this.
  6. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    I built the MC table from mostly scrap wood I had (because I'm a cheapskate!), with the exception of the plywood deck, front tire chock, and hardware. The engine stand is a pretty simple setup. I bought the stand itself from Harbor Freight Tools (during what I call a "stupid sale". That's when the on-sale price is so low, if you don't buy it, you're stupid.)
    And the engine stand brackets are from ChopSource:
    I decided against whipping up something myself, because the R & D would've taken me too long, and I don't need to re-invent the wheel. We know they are round.... This combination works (so far) exceptionally well. The real test will be at the conclusion of "Episode II : A Phantom Motor", when I start the motor (on the stand) for the first time in over 20 years(!).
    That "wooden dashboard" was a pretty popular styling cue in the '70s. Many people on here recall a time when the family car was adorned with the "woodgrain" (plastic) dashboards and even the "woodie" side panels (Country Squire, anyone?).
    And, yeah, gggGary, many car dashboards (or steering columns) got barked up by key chains....
  7. CoconutPete

    CoconutPete 1979 XS650 Special

    Looking good so far!
    Jim likes this.
  8. Downeaster

    Downeaster Everything in XS Top Contributor

    TwoManyXS1Bs, 59Tebo and Jim like this.
  9. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Well Tebo, haven’t you been busy, quietly behind the scenes! You’ve got yourself a full on restoration going! Good for you brother! I am watching with great interest, please keep the updates coming, you’re off to a great start!
    robinc, 59Tebo and Jim like this.
  10. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    You're off to great start, Tebo !

  11. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    It took me long enough, but this is "A Slow-motion Rebuild", right? I wasted enough time trying to remove the old tires (original?), so I cut the sidewalls, removed the carcasses (carci?), hack sawed the beads, and found the insides of the rims looking as bad as the outsides.
    So I sprayed the nipples with some WD-40 (because I had some)
    And removed the spokes. I only had to cut three of them off the rear wheel with bolt cutters.
    Next up: removing the bearings and seals. Then, cleaning the corrosion. Anybody have any insight as to how I would go about it? Keep in mind, this will be a pre-cleaning, before they go into the soda blast cabinet...
  12. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    DO NOT throw away the hat spacer pressed inside the LH rear wheel bearing!!!!
    TwoManyXS1Bs, peanut, Jim and 2 others like this.
  13. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    No way, gggGary! I made my own "hooked-end" tool and drove the seals (hard as a rock) and bearings out with a three pound hammer, and managed to bend the thin (sheet?) metal washers on both of the axle spacers. Oooops. :whistle: "Top hat" recovery to follow. Very little was done by the P.O., so pretty much everything on "The Basketcase" is original equipment, e.g. 40+ years of crust & corrosion! Things have been super busy around Chateau Tebo lately, but I hope to have some time to get back to the rebuild soon... :thumbsup:
  14. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I never paid much mind to the insides of my rims where the tires mount on my bikes in the past that I was riding, but on these 650 alloy wheels, as you've found, they can get pretty crusty. I found a 3M paint and varnish removal wheel that you mount in a drill works quite well for cleaning them up .....


    I got it at Walmart in the automotive department.


    I haven't tried it on the outside of the rims, it may be a little too aggressive for that. What you will want to do on the outsides is use paint stripper to remove any remnants of the clear coat before you start your cleaning and polishing.
  15. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Jim likes this.
  16. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Gary, what tool do you mount those in, a drill? I guess you need some sort of mounting chuck too?
  17. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    yeah I turned a mandrel in the lathe from a 1/2 bolt. 3/8" VSD 'lectric drill
    This wheel was crusty when JRP1 started.
    robinc likes this.
  18. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

  19. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Hey now! I'm gonna get me some o' that fer sure! +1 on the paint stripper. Were the hubs clear coated also? I know I need to do the forks and side covers with stripper. Are there any other parts you can think of? My plan is: if it's aluminum, I'm gonna polish it. :cool:
    robinc, Jim and gggGary like this.
  20. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Pretty much any area the factory polished got clear coated. That would mean the outer sides of the hubs and the rear brake plate.
    gggGary, Jim and robinc like this.

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