A story of two junk clutches, one bad and the other worse and the cheap skate mechanic who had to make a choice.

I'm not going to spend money where I don't have to, that's my mentality with this project.  It's a racing restoration and as cool as shiny new plastics are I can make an old set look pretty good with a razor blade and sandpaper.

A Tale Of Two Clutches 


So here it is fresh out of the truck, just after pressure washing some 25 year old dirt off.  What I noticed about this bike that made me think it was worth bringing back was it appeared it was a relatively low hour machine, pegs still tight, brake pedal and brake stay all in good shape with all the parts still their.  I'm familiar with these years and have had to hunt for missing parts that all appeared to be with the bike at the time.

Here you can see the cylinder and what is an overcomplicated power valve set up.  What you can't see is the cylinder is scored pretty good and the piston is junk.  So off to see my good friends at Redline Motorcycles in Tabernacle.  Ordered a new piston and sent the cylinder off to power seal to be replated.  Power seal charges extra to remove the studs from the cylinder, I think $35.  I tried to get these out, power seal earned their $35 on this one.

When you're working with old bikes you run into parts availability problems often related to someone else's mistakes.  I got a couple boxes of parts with this bike and there were two different motors in pieces in the boxes.  First problem I ran into when putting the crank back in this motor was a broken drain plug bung in the original motor right side case.  So I went to my backup case but unfortunately someone pried them apart driving a screwdriver between them and cracked the bottom of the case just below the crank and damaged several spots around the case.  So off to ebay to find a case and I did for a bargain $78 but when I got the case I found a crack in the drain plug bung of that case.  So off to the welder around the corner a local guy Shawn.  I dropped off all of my cases and let Shawn decide what would be easiest to fix.  Shawn decided my case with the screwdriver damage would be easiest to repair so he welded up the crack in the bottom and I filled in the minor screwdriver divots with JB weld.  You can see where I've gooped it up with JB weld above.  I used tape to hold shape and prevent it from running down the inside of the case and ground it smooth with a die grinder.  Below is the picture of the case ground smooth with crank and transmission installed.

I'm documenting my project so if you're interested in what I'm working on you can see the progress.  This is also for my students' who have come to me with projects.  Let the lesson be plan your project well, develop an anticipated cost list so you can get an idea on how much you need to see this cool project thru to the end.  After you have your total anticipated cost double it if you are frugal if not triple it and have fun, rarely will you recoupe your money almost never will you recoupe your time.  I'm ok with this since it's therapy and I could go lay on the couch in the airconditioning and whine to some stranger about my problems but I prefer to hang in the garage listen to music and put a crusty old dirtbike back together and think about where I'm going to take it to twist the throttle.

Remember how I said it was therapy right?  Well if you look close at this picture you can see the result of rock solid work with me and my former therapist a 1986CR500.  As a reward for the major breakthroughs we had together we took a trip to Southwick Massachusetts and played in the sandbox. ‚Äč My current therapist has agreed we would go to Budscreek Maryland and if the work is paying off maybe even Unadilla New York.

As an off-road racer and father I've never been one to waste money on cosmetics but I had the frame powder coated on the 500 to it's original tahitian red.  It didn't cost much to have Trenton Powder Coating bring it back to it's original color but this bike was clean enough with it's original factory powder coat to leave it on.  The 500 had previously been rattle canned several different shades of red over it's life so it made sense to remove the ugly.  What I've decided to do is remove as much of the rust as I possibly can with a wire wheel and to protect the bare metal and slow the rust down with a coat of automotive clear.  I've started with the sub frame as my test piece.  The pictures above will show the process from original condition as I recieved it to wire wheeled then coated as I progress..