Rebuild update.

Well its been a while since I posted on the bikes progress. Since I finished the workshop I’ve been able to completely strip the motor down. I have checked the crankshaft journals, mains and big ends are perfect. Shells are also in good unmarked and barely worn condition. Stock big end oil clearances are 0.050mm, which is within standard specifications. Same for the main bearings, virtually no wear, so very good news there. The cylinders are still within standard spec so just require a quick de-glaze with a flex hone tool and re-ringing to be good to go. The gearbox checked out OK except for a damaged tooth on 2/3rd gear on the mainshaft, which was chipped across one of its engagement dogs, requiring replacement at £121!
Apart from the normal new bits you need for a rebuild, like piston pin circlips, gearshaft circlips, tab washers etc, the only major parts required are camchains and tensioner blades, which are purely precautionary. I also bought a new old stock countershaft from Dave Silvers, not cos mine was duff, but the huge bearing is part of the assembly and not listed separately, and at only £35 and wanting to renew all internal bearings, I thought, why not!
Next on the agenda is to strip the paint off the cases and get them vapour blasted and repainted. After that, I can start the rebuild and move on to the chassis!

I dont think i’m brave enough to tackle the motor on mine.The engine in my FF is running sweet at the moment but it has done 44k so will require attention at some point fairly soon.How do you find it to work on?.

I’m hoping to do mine when it warms up outside, I never did get around to insulating the garage, I’ll have to push myself to get it done this spring because I also want to build a small paint spraying shop onto the back of the garage, I bought four scrap VF motors for backup spares last summer and need to rebuild my engine so I can get them out of the way, Phil.

The motor’s not too hard to work on, tho it’s a heavy bugger out of the frame. My advice is remove as much as you can while its still in the bike! Clutch, primary drive, rotor alternator, carbs, even the front cylinder head. It’ll save your back when lifting it out(92kgs). Hit a snag now getting the old paint off the motor prior to vapour blasting. Nothing seems to touch it!!! Fresh Nitromors paint stripper made little impact! The blasters want the paint off before its vapour blasted, but it won’t budge. Might have to pay their extra ‘stripping’ charge and make it their problem!!lol!

Blasting with glass grit in the cabinet takes it off, nitromors (paint stripper) does struggle, vapour blasting is less agressive than dry grit blasting, but I prefer doing it dry if I am painting the cases like on the VF, it helps to give an etch prior to painting, whereabouts in the UK are you?

Thanks for tip, Scratcher: I also ordered the countershaft from DS, and got other big tranny bearings from local shop. The engine is now painted (glass bead blasted heads and covers, but I only slightly sanded crankcase halves before painting) and heated in oven to harden the finish. When the shaft arrives, all parts are here and I can start assembling all together, with new bearings and piston rings, cyliders were honed of course. Then maybe carb overhaul, removal of old engine and assembly of the overhauled in to the frame. It is nice to work without time pressures, knowing that the old engine works still OK, but I am eager to find out if there is difference between original and Rg powered BolDor.

Originally posted by philjo

Blasting with glass grit in the cabinet takes it off, nitromors (paint stripper) does struggle, vapour blasting is less agressive than dry grit blasting, but I prefer doing it dry if I am painting the cases like on the VF, it helps to give an etch prior to painting, whereabouts in the UK are you?

I’m in Essex, but have been known to travel in search of the right part/service! Drove to lincolnshire to drop off a part for repair to Jim Morley Engineering(well respected in Classic Motorcycle mechanics.

There is a vapour blasting specialist(bikes only) here in Essex who will clean the paint off both cases inside and out before vapour blasting, but they are asking £45+vat extra to remove the paint. To be honest, if I cant shift it with nitromors, it may be easier for me to pay him to remove it, then he’ll probably blast it off anyway(which I can’t do myself of course). Then that’s another job done! I have no problem with farming stuff out that I cannot do myself!!

I also got my new countershaft, stock piston rings and circlips yesterday, along with a couple of oil seals, so I’m a ways behind you Dnapekko, but with a second bike to ride around on(a Honda CB1300S) I prefer a good job done rather than a quick one!

No big hurry here either: the 750 is in running condition, and this morning the temperature was whopping -30C, driving season is not very near yet. Maybe I have time to change the last old bearings in the bike: steering stem bearings. Then the bike is updated quite well during last four winters, something every year.

Hey! someone has their letter in Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, thought I recognised the name…

My VF1000Rg (US-model) engine became one piece again last week. All crank and conrod bearings are new, as well as piston rings. Valves gently lapped, new valve stem seals and other gaskets too, as well as the O-rings and oil seals. Gearbox’s big bearings were changed, as well as the countershaft. Special attention was paid for the bushings and their oil holes when assembled. The parts which were not changed, were checked, and everything is by the book. I changed the oil pump and pan to european version’s parts to use F2:s existing oil cooler (and have more oil capacity). Next step is to remove old engine, rebuild the carbs, and put the new engine in the frame. Hopefully all is in one piece, when the summer arrives.
Pekka from Kajaani, Finland

Originally posted by philjo

Hey! someone has their letter in Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, thought I recognised the name…

Yup, t'was I, asking for alternative methods of paint removal. I recieved a sample of the removall 520 the magazine recommended and have brushed it onto the sump case as a test piece first. The tech sheet that came with the stuff said it had a dwell time(how long it needs to work) of between 2 and 36 hours!! So I'm checking it every couple of hours this evening and I'll check again tomorrow. Fingers crossed it works. I have also been put in touch with a company who have a'soda' blast technique for cleaning parts. Less aggressive than any other medium and harmless to seals and rubber too! Basically it's bicarbonate of soda! Developed in the US, to clean the Statue of Liberty without damaging the soft copper parts and masonry, now successfully used on engines, chassis, even fibreglass and wooden boat hulls without damage. Based in North Kent so not very far away if this stuff fails to do the job.

Well, just an update on my engine cases, the Removall 520, didn’t. Bought a sample (£9 for half a litre) and gave it the full recommended dwell time of 36 hours, and some, yet it made virtually no impact on the finish at all! But that isn’t the end of the story. A guy on another forum I frequent, suggested I contact a guy in Kent, with a company that uses a process called ‘soda’ blasting. That I have done and today he did a test area on my sump case and it got the paint off no trouble and was so gentle on the metal that it was still smooth and shiney beneath! It’s similar to bicarbonate of soda, and is applied using a high pressure air nozzle and in dry form, almost powder like. Then the tiny soda crystals explode on impacting the paint surface, lifting it off and leaving the base material unaffected. An added bonus is the soda can be simply washed away as it contains no grit, sand or glass like traditional blast cleaning. So he’s now got my cases and I should get them back next weekend all nice and clean and ready to be refinished back to like new!!.

Aaaah Greeeat! Soda blasting is the dogs danglies!! My cases came back looking like fresh castings! No marks or abrasion to the bearing surfaces at all and all the old pitted paintwork removed. I am mightily impressed! So now at last I can restore the surface finish with new, fresh paint and then begin rebuiding the motor. To that end I have ordered new main and big end bearing shells, a couple of replacement gears for the 'box, and a set of new camchains. I already have a brand new rear cylinder head(with guides, valves and seats), and new guides and valves for the front head, plus a full set of new cams and cam caps for both. I already have my oil mod kit waiting to be fitted and then she should be ready to go back into the frame, which is back at the painters for ‘reworking’, as the results of the first attempt were not up to scratch. So watch this space. Still plenty to do and lots to spend!!!

Not much to report in the last 4 months. I did find a guy in France selling a NOS standard FE left silencer, so I got that and now I have a complete new exhaust system, collector box included. I plan to get the collector box ceramic coated inside and out to resist corrosion, but apart from that and exhaust gaskets, it’s now complete. I have also been loaned a hydraulic bike bench to help with the rebuild and my back! That is now installed in the workshop. I found a guy on ebay who was selling a bucket load of new VF parts on ebay from Europe and I managed to get my hands on both brake and gear lever foot control assemblies, a pair of lower frame grab rails, a complete speedo drive unit, a mint swinging arm and pair of radiator cover reflectors, all the parts are as new, from a bike dismantled from new, so never used. Due to SWMBO being off work due to a serious back operation, there isn’t quite as much spare cash around so progress may slow yet further, but I WILL get there!

Latest news on the rebuild is that it’s still moving forward, slowly. Since my last post I have sourced a brand new fascia panel to replace my original, which is itself in a pretty good condition, but as the most prominent thing you see when you look down whilst riding, a new one would be the icing on the cake so to speak. I’ve also got my hands on a new rear master cylinder assembly, hose and reservior included. On the engine front, the last of the major parts have now been obtained. I even managed to find a NOS waterpump for £60! That just leaves the oil seals and gearbox bearings as the last bits needed before refinishing the cases and putting the motor back together. The frame is done and I have new wheels and swingarm ready to go in. But I need to get the fork sliders refinished first and re-hard chrome the stanchions before refiting them all back together. It’s a slow process but if a job’s worth doing…

Its going to look the dog’s Chris when its finished,better than new.Cant wait to see it coming together.

Hi, Latest news on the rebuild is that the fascia has been a right pain, or rather Silvers has! I asked them to send me the best one they had(of 3 in stock). So they sent me a damaged one. When I called them they asked me to return it for a replacement. I asked again for them to pick out the best one. They sent me another damaged one! Eventually, I got them to send me some pics of the last remaining one they had, which would you believe, was mint!! So third time lucky, that one is now on its way wrapped on acres of soft packing!! What a performance!
On the engine front. I now have recieved the last remaining o rings/ oils seals and gearbox bearing needed to put the whole shebang back together. Prior to that though is the refinishing of the crankcases, heads, sump casing and drive sprocket cover(the clutch and alternator covers are NOS). After being dissapointed in the results from a (fairly)local company with a large ad in Classic Mechanics for powder coating, I have decided to send the whole lot off to Triple S in Bradford. They have an excellent reputation, they collect and deliver and they only do bikes, so your pride and joy doesnt get put in amongst some old garden furniture! I need to send them a few pics of the bits so they can give me a more accurate pricing, but that looks like next months budget blown just on that! I’ve been off work with a few trips to hospital and the old income has suffered what with Xmas too, so Januarys’ cashflow looks pretty poor until I get back earning again. Hopefully the new cases and rebuilt engine will spur me on, after all, it’s only been 4 years so far!!

I have now sent the cases off to paint. Not powder coat as I’d planned. I’ve been advised by a professional retoration company that the air trapped in alloy castings can cause problems when the powder coat is baked on, giving rise to faults in the finish. So they’re being ‘wet’ painted, with an etch primer, and only warmed to dry rather than baked in an oven. They should be back by the end of next week, so it’s time I organised the various boxes containing the internals, all nicely labelled and ready to go back in. It finally looks like I shall be putting things together rather than taking them apart!!! The cylinder heads will be next. I have a complete set of new guides, valves, rockers, shafts etc to go into both heads, but I shall only fit the rear head before I bolt the motor back in. That’s because there’s so little room the front head missing gives me more room to jiggle it into the frame and the front head can go on afterwards. Then I’ll have the old cam timing chestnut to mull over(that has to be the longest thread on this entire site!!). Anyhow, at least we’re making progress!

What did you use to remove the clutch centre retaining nut?