I have been rescuing GL1000s and a CB750F, but have longed for an RD400. Had a brand new one '76-'79. Finally I found one. Had to travel 360 miles one-way to pick it up. A semi-basket case with engine in-frame rolling chassis and a huge tub of parts Looks to have been partly restored long ago and then shelved. Stored dry by all evidence, but had a critter nest in the airbox. Had to source a lot of things - mufflers (stock), calipers, clocks, rear clip. Most inbound or already here. Quick compression test on engine is 90 psi, but I need to try that again now that I have it in the garage. Have most of the setup for a leak down test. Might finish that and test this weekend. Needs a good seat. The one with it is ragged and the pad rusted. I've inquired of Texavina about their pans. Might put my foam on one of their pans with a repop cover.
I retired in 2017 from 40 years as a cyclotron and high voltage accelerator engineer. Before that, eight years nuclear Navy. Had bikes while in the Navy, sold the last (the RD400) before I got out and then life happened. Started riding again in 2004 on GoldWings and have three right now - an '04, '79, and my '78 with '75 engine show bike. Looking forward to having the RD on the road early Spring. I'll probably strip and repaint the frame, do what ever the engine requires, and repaint the tins from Chappy Red to Geneva Green. Our local vintage motorcycle club has quite a few 2 stroke people that will help a lot, I'm sure. But of course I am also seeking assistance from the various forums when knowledge is needed.
Last Edit: Sept 28, 2020 1:13:50 GMT 1 by pidjones
Welcome to the forum. The air cooled are great bikes. Having a bike when in the Navy must have posed some interesting challenges!
Well, quite a few on our ship (an FBM submarine) had bikes. I had a house in Charleston, SC and would park the bike in a back room when under way. Our "off-crews" were about 95 day long for R&R and retraining. The rotation of crews permitted us to see each season over time. It was a beautiful scenic area to ride, but not very challenging.
Today I measured the cylinders, pistons, and ring gaps. New rings on order. "Rented" a cylinder hone and gave the cylinders a nice cross-hatch pattern then re-measured. Looking within spec (.25 over pistons). Tomorrow I hope to split the case, check internals, and begin putting in the new seals that came today along with the clutch tool.
Crank is on its way to Lyn Garland for rebuild. The rest is bagged and boxed for now. New rings here, and checked for ring gap - perfect. Right at the minimum. Ring grooves cleaned with the old rings (were quite tight with build-up of both rust and carbon). Family beach time next week, so I will study manual more.
Well, the frame got stripped down today. I am afraid that the center stand isn't coming off, though - the center stand pivot seems rusted into one piece. Presently soaking in penetrant. Discovered one fork spring missing yeah! Ordered a pair of used ones on ebay. Not looking for fantastic performance so they should be fine. Next comes the degreasing and preparation for paint. Present plan is Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy Black. Many of the cafe racer builders use it with great success. I used it on my last GL1000 rescue and it worked well enough to try it again. I'll prime all bare metal with Duplicolor Etching Primer. The tank is presently holding a gallon of Evaporust that has already been used once, but then the tank had very little rust in it. The main rusty item is the rear sprocket, so it will come off this week and bathe in the rust eater solution.
I would post pictures, but I don't have a photo server site nor do I want one. I used to have great storage associated with my provider, but Comcast took that away.
Let me try linking to a Facebook album photo. This is from the FM add that I bought it from:
Last Edit: Sept 28, 2020 1:16:47 GMT 1 by pidjones
Yay! That works. I'll be able to post some that way by making an album in my Facebook for the build.
BTW, Lyn got my crank back to me on Thursday, but I'll not have time to do much this coming week. I am heading up a motorcycle/bicycle/crafts show at our church on Saturday, and really want to dedicate most of this week to preparations (which I have already done a ton of). Hoping we get ~50 motorcycles and 50 bicycles, but really can't forecast it. We had a motorcycle/crafts show last year with two dozen awesome motorcycles (winner was a 1929 Henderson in as-found condition - not a runner, but we were all sure it just needed an oil change and gas!). Will the bicycles show up? hard to tell. We have a category for children under 12 and I have 19 Frisbees for them.
Last Edit: Sept 28, 2020 1:25:44 GMT 1 by pidjones
No photos today, but the RD400 case mating surfaces are cleaned up (about six hour's work) and the transmission installed and tested that it shifts (one hour's work). Tomorrow the crank goes in! Modify message
Ok, the case is closed up. Side covers will wait until I've pressure tested it. So, pistons and jugs next. Bike show at church took a couple days of my time (and my strength) but it is moving forward again. Will probably tack the new right side gasket to the cover with Indian Head Gasket Shellac. Also plan to test the oil pump with a drill motor soon. Photos (for any interested) of the bike show are in an album on my Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.3756093734423787&type=3
Oil pump took forever to prime, but once primed it pumps great and very equal on the two sides. Waiting on wrist pins and clips to finish assembly. Took the frame to the car wash today. Doused it with oven cleaner and then engine cleaner plus scrubbed with a brush and then washed/rinsed with the car wash wand. Ready for wire brush and a bit of sandpaper, then primer.
Abrasive wheeled some spots on the frame where someone had painted over rust. My Navy years bristle at that. After getting those spots to bare metal (luckily didn't take much), wiped with isopropyl and hit with some etching primer. Also cleaned up the footpeg mount, swingarm, and pillion peg mount plates. Primed and put first coat of paint on them.
No pictures today (well, I took them, but forgot to bring the camera up from the garage). All buttoned up, rotor and stator mounted, and timing set (figured it would be easier with the engine on the bench). Plugged intake and put it in the big plastic storage box. I need to do some lathe bit grinding and cut a flange on the lathe, so best to have it protected from that. After finishing with the lathe, I might get to de-rust the remainder of the frame and prime it. Then, ,all get stored away as we are having work done on our house that will require me to consolidate two GoldWings and the RD400 parts into the front half of the garage so that sheetrock can be ripped out over the garage door.
I had started cleaning off the spots where I could see that the frame had rust painted over (a no-no for Navy guys). Got about half of it done and the wife started doing dusty things so I put it up. She worked today, so I finished putting etching primer on the spots I had found before and cleaned up the rest of it and applied etching primer to the whole frame. About an hour later I was able to get a coat of Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy Black to the part of it that I could hit with it upside-down. Tomorrow, if the weather is still good, I will flip it over and finish the black on it, then hang it from the garage ceiling until ready for assembly.
Last Edit: Oct 21, 2020 22:53:13 GMT 1 by pidjones
I try to do at least a little something on it every day, even though most is now put up in preparation (soon, we hope!) for house remodel. Yesterday I cleaned, tested, and painted the clocks and their frame. Today I assembled the dash and tested all lamps and the circuit that switched on-and-off from the speedometer to give input to the signal cancel unit. Full speed fast (in reverse) on my VSR battery powered drill is ~ 30 MPH and 6 K RPM.
Stripping the paint off the tank today. Then Bondo and primer. Then strip the oil tank. The plastic side cover is already stripped. Mounted up the swing arm and footrests today, A little here, a little there.
Finally finished Bondo and primer on the tank. The right front corner had a bad dent that was punched in so deep that the metal ripped pulling it out and it had to be JB Weld repaired. Looked pretty rough after, but Bondo'ed up nice. Tried using their Glazing and Spotting Putty to finish up (over the 2 part), but ended up digging it out and replacing with regular Bondo. The G&S putty just never finished outgasing, and never really sets hard. Messed with the lacquer-based etching primer. Also tried some "filler" primer. Never sets hard, either (the red stuff). I think that I'll leave the tunnel primer colored and just clear over it after the color (Geneva Green) is laid down. I have had very good luck using lacquer with SprayMax 2K clear over it.
Right side exhaust and rear brake installed. They started on our house today. 12x12 foot deck and 4x6 landing, stairs to both all demo'ed. They will be back after the holidays and replace with new. I'll bleed the brakes tomorrow and hook up the battery (supposed to be delivered tomorrow) to see how the electrics look. Later in the week will roll it to the shed to store for the demolition of the garage ceiling.