Saturday, July 6, 2013

There's Progress in Them Thar Hills.

Yeah, so it's been quiet lately.
A twist of fortune gave way to some time in the garage, which meant a little more got done to the GSX. I'm currently zipping between little tasks on the bike  and not getting anything finished. And one job I did want to get out of the way was a splash of paint on the engine. 
I initially thought I'd go for bare alloy, except for barrels and head, but thirty years of corrosion was proving hard to remove. It would have been ok with constant polishing, but I relented and chose to paint it instead. 

It took a lot of cleaning from this:

To this:
I'd already painted the top of the cylinder head while the cam cover was off for better access. The finned areas of the head and barrels aren't as clean as I would have liked, but without stripping the motor, was about as good as I could get. One day, if she's a good 'un, maybe it'll get stripped and painted properly.

The paint is a little dry in some areas, so I'll touch up a few areas up when the paint has cured (7 days for this particular heat-resistant paint) and see how it looks. Overall, it's a massive improvement; the engine now looks respectable.

The crankcase covers
These have been a bit of a pain one way or another. Both front covers (ignition and stator) have taken a bashing. I've bought a new ignition cover, but was hoping to clean up the stator cover enough to use. Not sure as yet, more on that later.

The clutch cover, although corroded, has come up quite well. The oil level window was very dirty but with a little bit of JIF, a small screwdriver and a rag, came up like new. There was corrosion in the bolt holes too.

The gasket was welded securely in place and took a lot of grief to remove. I usually run rough emery cloth, held against a large, flat file, across gasket surfaces to finish them off. It gives a nice clean, squared finish. Time spent cleaning those surfaces properly saves a lot of heartache later. Remember, a gasket won't take up the slack when you leave shit behind. Clean surfaces are a necessity. 
The plate covering the oil window has small holes where you can poke a tiny screwdriver and rag. Bit of JIF and she was sorted.

Always run a drill through the bolt holes to clear corrosion and burrs. Sometimes it's worth turning a large drill, by hand, on both sides of the hole to remove all raised edges.

After a bit of cleaning and rubbing with 240 wet and dry, it was starting to look respectable. The oil window is all good too.

Too slow!
I had to break out the 180 emery cloth and a block for most of it in the end (a block makes it a lot easier and leaves a regular surface - wood is fine for this). The 240 grit wasn't removing enough metal. This then went to a 320. The finer you can get it, the better it is. I don't yet have access to a buffing machine so work is slow, and the results not as good as they could be, but I'm happy. 

Yes, fine scratches are still visible, but the alloys will get better with age and regular polishing. 

And if anyone was wondering, I've used Dupli-Color Gloss Black Caliper Paint for the engine. This paint doesn't need a primer so saves a lot of grief. PJ1 is my favourite choice, but I haven't seen it for sale out here yet. Time will tell if it stands up to the abuse.