'74 DT250 Bitsa. The "Aussie Mutt."

Jim

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And We're Off...
I've owned several DT's. More than I can remember actually. The last one was an early 70's 250 that I sold when I retired from the Air Force in '94. I've wanted another ever since.
A year or two back I decided to get another one..... 'till I saw what they fetch nowadays. Seems gold plated ones are all that's out there now.... and fixer uppers are few and far between. And those they want the gold plated prices for anyways. Finally decided to "bit and piece" one together. I'm not doing this to flip it, so I'm not worried about it being a worthless mutt. 'Sides, I don't have enough projects. :rolleyes:
I started keeping an eye out. One day I ran across a 74 frame on Ebay that looked in fair condition. The ad said it was straight. Here's the pic he had in his Ebay ad...


Ebay 1.jpg



There was one day left on the original post for 20 bucks. It was in Australia and the ad said he'd ship worldwide for 60 bucks. Bid the twenty and won. A day later the seller contacted me and said the only way he could stay at his shipping ask was to cut the rear hoop off. Sigh.... yeah, go ahead.

About a month later it showed up.... shipped to Gladstone Mo. USA from Gladstone Australia... what are the odds....


Ebay 2.jpg


Ebay 3.jpg



So, turns out the Ebay pic was on it's best side. In real life there's a fair bit more rust than the pic shows. Also, the left footpeg was welded on... it's supposed to be splined and adjustable. Once I cut the peg mount off, the problem was obvious, the spline had sheared off. So they (whoever...PO) gobbed it back on with a welder.


footpeg 4.jpg



Also, it's not straight... looking down it has a fairly good bow to it.
Also, the sidestand mount has been completely boogered.
Also, the 4 rock guard mount tabs were broken off.
Also..... well, that's it really. :rolleyes:
The first thing I did was fab some plugs and weld the rear hoop back on. Next I went to town sanding and wire brushing all the tubing I could easily get to. After that I invested in a little sandblaster from Harbor Freight. The little HF gun worked a treat and it was down to bare metal in short order. I wrote a review on my impressions of the HF gun here.


Frame cleanup 1.jpg


Frame cleanup 2.jpg



So... scratch rusted off the list. Next up, the bow in the frame. I ran a string across the top of the frame so I could see and roughly measure the amount of bend. It looks like right at a half an inch bow, measured at the tank mount stud....


Bent frame1.jpg


Bent frame2.jpg



I looped some chain around the left shock mount and through the head tube. Set a scissor jack in the middle and went to jacking....


Bent frame3.jpg


Bent frame4.jpg



It's now down to less than a 1/16" or so out.... close enough for me.:sneaky:
Also fabbed and welded on the 4 rock guard tabs.
 
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2XSive

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Looks great, Jim! Looking forward to your build. Was half tempted to strip and completely restore and paint the DT250 I have, but decided to keep it all original (for now). May decide otherwise once I watch how this comes together for you.
 

Jim

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Pack Rats Unite
I've been slowly acquiring parts the last yr and a half. I've got a '70-'71 engine that I horse traded for. Unfortunately, it won't fit the '74 frame.... but it is tradin' materiel. :rolleyes: I've got '74 cases, rt side cover and kick start shaft. So I'm a ways away on the engine. I've got wheels, brakes and axles for it.... a selection of sprockets and the cush drive. Got a square tube swingarm that isn't made for it, but it'll fit just fine once I make the correct spacers. Have a '74 triple tree and all the brackets I need to finish repairing the frame. Picked up a tank on Ebay for 30 bucks shipped. It's the wrong year, but will fit with a little moddin'. New seat cover, but no pan. The parts are out there, you jus' have to be patient or pay out the ass. Good thing I'm a patient sort.... :cautious:

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Mailman

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Very nice Jim! This is a fun project, I’m very much looking forward to following your progress!
:popcorn: I spent a lot of time riding a DT250 in the desert here when I was a kid, I’ve loved them ever since! Like you I always look at them but the sticker shock is just too much!
 

T Rex NZ

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firstbike I rode in the vintage classic motor cross was a DT360 that got me hooked on classic motor crossing I upgraded to a TS400 that we upspec to TM spec's that was a lot of fun.
Jim they have a lot of style that fuel tank looks very nice I will follow this as well, good on ya have fun.
 

T Rex NZ

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oh and your trick to straighten the frame I did a similar thing to my CBX1000 when I welded the new single sided mods swing arm mounts in, it opened the frame out so I had to use two heavy duty truck ratchet pullers to pull the headstock back down so I could bolt the top engine hangers in, my mistake in not doing the welding with the engine bolted in place lol.
 

Jim

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Looks great, Jim! Looking forward to your build. Was half tempted to strip and completely restore and paint the DT250 I have, but decided to keep it all original (for now). May decide otherwise once I watch how this comes together for you.
Thanks Larry! From what I recall, yours is a pretty good lookin' survivor.
Very nice Jim! This is a fun project, I’m very much looking forward to following your progress!
:popcorn: I spent a lot of time riding a DT250 in the desert here when I was a kid, I’ve loved them ever since! Like you I always look at them but the sticker shock is just too much!
Thanks buddy. Never got to enjoy one in the desert, but the high plains/foothills of Idaho was a blast on one. My budget is low/non-existant... so this will be a slow roll. This week is all about painting other peoples stuff, but I'ma try and get all the frame bits welded and paint on it in between coats on other stuff. It's already got little bit of surface rust poppin' up.

Since this isn't a resto, here's the look I'm shootin' for. A mid 60's Honda CL77 (305 Scrambler) style paint scheme.

CL77.jpg
 
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Jim

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firstbike I rode in the vintage classic motor cross was a DT360 that got me hooked on classic motor crossing I upgraded to a TS400 that we upspec to TM spec's that was a lot of fun.
Jim they have a lot of style that fuel tank looks very nice I will follow this as well, good on ya have fun.
Thanks T. Since I'm not following a "script" it'll be loads of fun.
 

Jim

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TIG-ing is a Perishable Skill
Got a bit more done.... test fit the replacement LH footpeg mount and welded it on. Tip of the hat to @RustiePyles for cutting it off an old frame of his and sending it my way.... thanks bud. :cheers:
I'ma little rusty on my weldin' skills... but still a damn sight better'n the factory ones....:sneaky:


Welding foot spline 1.jpg


Welding foot spline 2.jpg



Did the same for the sidestand mount.... another bit from Rustie.


Sidestand mount cut off.jpg


New sidestand mont test fit.jpg


Sidestand mount welded on.jpg



An odd thing happened while I was welding..... the frame kept catching fire. :doh: Or should I say almost 50yrs of oil and dirt that's worked it's way under all the brackets kept lighting off. There was so much oil in there, it pretty much wicked out all over the frame. You can see it in one of the pics above. After I was done welding I took the frame out back and took a torch to all the brackets and warmed 'em to a dull cherry red. That burned all the crap out of 'em. Then jus' to hedge my bets I sandblasted everything all over again. Squeaky clean now and pretty much ready for primer.


ready for prime.jpg




Gratuitous weldin' pics Sue took. :rolleyes:


Welding foot spline3.jpg


me.jpg
 
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Raymond

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Nice little project, as always, impressed by the level of work you guys take on. Ingenious frame straightening. Will watch with interest - late 70's I had a DT400, black, twin shocks with piggy-back gas reservoirs. One of those bikes you wish you still had.
 

RustiePyles

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Got a bit more done.... Cut the LH footpeg mount off and welded on the replacement. Tip of the hat to @RustiePyles for cutting it off an old frame of his and sending it my way.... thanks bud. :cheers:
I'ma little rusty on my weldin' skills... but still a damn sight better'n the factory ones....:sneaky:


View attachment 193612

View attachment 193613


Did the same for the sidestand mount.... another bit from Rustie.


View attachment 193614

View attachment 193615

View attachment 193616


An odd thing happened while I was welding..... the frame kept catching fire. :doh: Or should I say almost 50yrs of oil and dirt that's worked it's way under all the brackets kept lighting off. There was so much oil in there, it pretty much wicked out all over the frame. You can see it in one of the pics above. After I was done welding I took the frame out back and took a torch to all the brackets and warmed 'em to a dull cherry red. That burned all the crap out of 'em. Then jus' to hedge my bets I sandblasted everything all over again. Squeaky clean now and pretty much ready for primer.


View attachment 193617



Gratuitous weldin' pics Sue took. :rolleyes:


View attachment 193618

View attachment 193620
Looking good! Glad those mounts worked for ya!
 

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Best part about tig…. Getting to do it in flip flops!


Got a bit more done.... Cut the LH footpeg mount off and welded on the replacement. Tip of the hat to @RustiePyles for cutting it off an old frame of his and sending it my way.... thanks bud. :cheers:
I'ma little rusty on my weldin' skills... but still a damn sight better'n the factory ones....:sneaky:


View attachment 193612

View attachment 193613


Did the same for the sidestand mount.... another bit from Rustie.


View attachment 193614

View attachment 193615

View attachment 193616


An odd thing happened while I was welding..... the frame kept catching fire. :doh: Or should I say almost 50yrs of oil and dirt that's worked it's way under all the brackets kept lighting off. There was so much oil in there, it pretty much wicked out all over the frame. You can see it in one of the pics above. After I was done welding I took the frame out back and took a torch to all the brackets and warmed 'em to a dull cherry red. That burned all the crap out of 'em. Then jus' to hedge my bets I sandblasted everything all over again. Squeaky clean now and pretty much ready for primer.


View attachment 193617



Gratuitous weldin' pics Sue took. :rolleyes:


View attachment 193618

View attachment 193620
 

Rasputin

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Got a bit more done.... test fit the replacement LH footpeg mount and welded it on. Tip of the hat to @RustiePyles for cutting it off an old frame of his and sending it my way.... thanks bud. :cheers:
I'ma little rusty on my weldin' skills... but still a damn sight better'n the factory ones....:sneaky:


View attachment 193612

View attachment 193613


Did the same for the sidestand mount.... another bit from Rustie.


View attachment 193614

View attachment 193615

View attachment 193616


An odd thing happened while I was welding..... the frame kept catching fire. :doh: Or should I say almost 50yrs of oil and dirt that's worked it's way under all the brackets kept lighting off. There was so much oil in there, it pretty much wicked out all over the frame. You can see it in one of the pics above. After I was done welding I took the frame out back and took a torch to all the brackets and warmed 'em to a dull cherry red. That burned all the crap out of 'em. Then jus' to hedge my bets I sandblasted everything all over again. Squeaky clean now and pretty much ready for primer.


View attachment 193617



Gratuitous weldin' pics Sue took. :rolleyes:


View attachment 193618

View attachment 193620
Hot sparklers on the flip flops. Eeeek.
 

Mailman

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Best part about tig…. Getting to do it in flip flops!

Yeah very true, not at all like those little AC sputterboxes and stick welding that I burned so much of. The best though was being bent under the edge of a truck bed welding something with your head tipped sideways and having a red hot dingle berry shoot right in your ear. Man! There was no getting it out and you could hear it just sizzling in there! :yikes:
 
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