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I'm so close.. My XJ750 "Custom" project is just about done!

Discussion in 'XJ Technical Chat' started by bluepotpie, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    So i'm WAY too excited about this thing to keep quiet until it's done. what started out as an 82 XJ750 Maxim is turning into an 82 XJ750 "Custom". here's a little background on the project...

    I obtained the bike in 2004 with 23k miles on it. was free to me but didn't run. we had pulled it out of the woods and saw that it hadn't been registered since 88. i brought it to my friends basement shop (flyingmachineworks.com) and we went to town.

    This was my frist bike and i didn't know what i was doing, but at least i was doing it. The bike fired up one beautiful summer day (could have been a hurricane and it still would have been beautiful to me) and i rode it for the first time with no seat and a 20oz sprite bottle as my gas tank. i "finished" it ans rode it for the rest of that summer and the next.

    the bike was then sold in 2006 to a friend of mine who didn't take care of it at all. he ended up owing me a substancial amount of money in 2007 so i took the bike back as partial payment. the rear tire was COMPLETELY bald and the tank... well, it seems he had a little fun with a hammer...

    about this point in the story is where my picture diary begins (clicky). I've got a bunch of pictures of this long painful process dated and in chronological order up there.

    What began as a small project to replace some gaskets and seals soon turned into an all out customization project. engine was removed and completely torn down to ship off to powder coating. frame and a bunch of brackets and hardware were also sent for powder in february.

    got the case halves back in may and assembled the low end right away. got the frame and misc. pieces back a month later and quickly began assembly on the chassis. new rubber, steering head bearings, swingarm bearings, etc.

    I started looking at my ugly square gauges and decided they just would not do. i picked up a set of round gauges from an 82 650 and thought they looked good, but could be better. so after converting them to work on my 750, i began some photoshop work to customize the look. after a few 8 hour days working on them, i'm very pleased with the look.

    [​IMG]

    i just got the rest of my parts back from powder coating on tuesday and the painful process of late nights and trying to still be productive at work the next day began immediately. I've got a week from today to have this beast on the road and it's not going to be easy. I will try to update both my picture page (FlyingMachineWorks) and this post daily to keep you all up to date.

    [​IMG]

    I welcome all comments, critisizm, suggestions, complaints, or input you all may have on my "little" project.
     
  2. CaptNemo

    CaptNemo Member

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    Re: I'm so close... My XJ750 "Custom" project

    Inspirational!
    Can't wait to see it done.
     
  3. oby_2

    oby_2 Member

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    Re: I'm so close.. My XJ750 "Custom" project is just about d

    That engine looks great mate. Can't wait to see where it all ends up. I've putting my own XJ back together at the moment and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    I can't wait!

    Best of luck
     
  4. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Active Member

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    Incredible!
    I was trying to figure-out how many hours you had when I was looking at the Diary Photos.
    I lost count.

    You deserve a feature in Classic Bikes Magazine.
    Without a doubt.

    Several photographs, particularly the Tranny and Primary Chain should be placed in Archives to let everyone know what those assembly's look like inside the Cases.

    Bravo.
    What a Job!
    Nice Instrument Faces.
    It's all in the details!
     
  5. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    Thanks guys! It's comments like that that make it all worth it in the end. I've still got a LONG way to go before I would consider it "show ready" but it's certainly on it's way.

    And now an update...

    Last night i get the head torqued down and the cam followers in place. I set my TDC marker and installed the cams and timed them. Everything was going great until i checked valve clearances... I need 6 new shims. PM was immediately sent to cacal but now i'm set back a few days and i'm doubting my ability to complete this bike on time for saturday...

    Anyway, as soon as the shims come in they will get installed and re-checked. then the covers can go on and i'll bring the engine back to the house to put it in the frame. Only then will I be able to Finish assembly on the frame.

    Somewhere along the way I've got to find time to paint the tank too.

    This will be interesting. It's a good thing my boss knows where my priorities lay... He's letting me take a few days off this week to (hopefully) finish.

    I'm gonna go post some new pics up now.

    Oh... and if anyone local happens to have some valve shims (2x 270, 3x 275, 1x 180) and wouldn't mind letting them go tonight or tomorrow, i'd be happy to replace them with my new ones when they come in.
     
  6. chadwickm

    chadwickm New Member

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    STUNNING! I'm speechless!!

    I would be VERY interested in how you did the custome gauge work. did you print them? Silk screen them? What material did you use?
     
  7. XJDriver

    XJDriver New Member

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    I checked out your photoalbum Blue, and I have to say that your motor is absolutly beautiful. I have to ask though where you got the white guage faces? And how you did the blue on the cooling fins? I know the motor is powder coated but didn't know you could do 2 colors at the same time. Simply stunning
     
  8. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    The gauge faces are printed on a heavy matte photo paper. I layed them on top of the plastic gauge faces that were already there. The only problem is you can see the original faces shine through at night. that can be fixed by taking them out, sanding the black off the original ones, and laying my new faces upside down on a light table and using a sharpie to fill in everywhere i don't want light to come through.... when i get time. It was a b**ch to get it right on photoshop though, took me a few full days working on it.


    I made the faces myself, as outlined above. The blue is in fact powder. they lay your detail color on first, blow away most of what is not wanted, and bake it. then they lay on your other color and wipe away what you don't want and bake it again. a GOOD powder coating shop should be able to do multiple colors.

    And now, for an update...

    not much new, I just sent chacal the $$ for my valve shims and with his super fast shipping i'm hoping (fingers crossed, everyone) that i get them by tuesday.

    Today was spent with some friends up at lake winnipesaukee (in NH for those of you who don't know) on their boat. They told me I was getting "too consumed" by my bike (I told them there was no such thing). So they twisted my arm and "MADE" me go up with them. It was nice to get away from everything, but I can't wait to dig into my baby again...

    As for now, no new pics on my page (except for what I loaded up this morning) and probably not until tuesday.
     
  9. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    Oh boy am I overdue for an update...


    I DID end up getting my valve shims from chacal on tuesday and after installing them everything was within spec. I bolted everything up and the motor was ready to make it's way back to my house from the Flying Machine Works shop. I set the float levels and did a bench synch on the carbs before calling it a night. Wednesday night we brought her home and rested her in her frame then it was back to the shop to clean. After 6 month of me and my motor in there, there was a lot of cleaning to do. The recycle guys must have thought we had a party there when they picked up all of the empty bottles that week.

    Anyway, I took yesterday and today off to work on the bike (thanks to a great boss that understands where my priorities are :D).

    Yesterday I got the motor bolted in place and started putting pieces back on the frame. Got the wiring harness routed and mostly connected.

    Today was a big day. Since i swapped my boxy gauges for the round ones from a 650, i had to "lose" my "computer". By lose, I really mean, relocate (because I really like the function, just not the look). Did you know that this task requires running 18 wires from the headlight to it's new location? Well now I know. I ran 24 so that I could locate the "Warning Control" and "Check" Switch (later) to under the gauges and still have an extra 2 wires for future use. The "oil Level" light on my gauges is now my "Warning" light. The "computer" is now located in my airbox (now that I have pod filters). I'll be posting pics of this tonight on my picture gallery page at http://www.flyingmachineworks.com/yamaha . It's not done yet, but at least you'll see the concept.

    After that i "finished" up the electrical (still a few gremlins to chase and gotta wire in my new fuse panel) and threw my carbs on. Hooked up the cables and coils and such (although my throttle cable seems to have a half inch too little travel, i'll look into this later). Mounted the new oil cooler (gotta re mount higher and use higher temp rated hoses) and bolted on the headers (missing a stud and nut). Poured some oil in her and it was almost time. I rigged up a fuel "tank" (plastic bottle with a fuel line coming out the side) and ran it to the carbs.

    It was time...

    The first few attempts proved quite disappointing. First i found a slow oil drip from the oil cooler adapter. Re-tightening solved that one. But it still wouldn't fire, not even a little. tried swapping the coils (after verifying I had spark and fuel) but still nothing. It was then that i discovered my throttle cable issue as mentioned above. It seems that the half inch of travel missing is at the beginning, holding the throttle half open with the grip released. I disconnected the cable and tried to fire it again...

    POP...POP...POP..RUMBLE...POP...RUMBLE......

    Not perfect but it ran fairly well considering i have no silencers and no restriction on the intake (pods were off for testing).

    And now, the bad news. After running for about a minute or two and allowing pressure to build in the case... She decided the oil I gave her wasn't good enough for her ans she spit it out. I was running out of daylight so it was hard to tell exactly where it was coming from but it looked like it was not the split in the cases (THANK GOD).

    I had to leave her like that since I've got to pack for camping tomorrow. Depending on what time I get back on monday, I might be able to look further into the oil leak. Other than that, I'll have just a couple nights next week to look at it as I'll be going to VA for labor day weekend.


    I applaud anyone who read this far as I'm sure I would have gotten bored by now reading someone else's long story. Maybe next time I'll try to work some humor into it to make it easier to read. Until then, deal with it. :)

    I'm gonna go try to post some new pics up now.
     
  10. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    Well, it wasn't until about 2:00 this morning, but the new pics are up there. I added a few that I found from earlier that never made it up also.

    Check them out...

    http://www.flyingmachineworks.com/yamaha
     
  11. a340driver

    a340driver New Member

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    great pictures .... I sometimes feel so hard done by, until I see the s$%t you guys have rebuilt! well done!
     
  12. Zookie400

    Zookie400 New Member

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    i love the blue accent on the black engine. very nice looking , and not played out (yet...) like satin black (wich i love, but its no longer unique)
     
  13. SQLGuy

    SQLGuy Well-Known Member

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    Re: I'm so close.. My XJ750 "Custom" project is just about d

    Looks pretty nice. I'm sure all the powdercoat work will look really impressive on the completed bike.

    I was wondering if you could provide a bit more detail about the work you did on the gauge faces. Did you make new backgrounds or stickers to go over the existing ones? How were they printed?

    Thanks,
    Paul
     
  14. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    Re: I'm so close.. My XJ750 "Custom" project is just about d

    Thanks! The faces are (right now) simply stickers that i designed in photoshop that go over the old ones. Eventually i plan on having some printed directly on plastic to use in there.
     
  15. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Active Member

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    I truly believe that this project deserves being featured in all the appropriate Motorcycle Magazines.
    I know when I took a look at "Picture Number-1"; I said to myself: "No way!"
    It seemed to me to have been on the wrong side of the edge of maybe!

    Now you are in the high two-digit percentage of having it done.
    Meaning that you are exceptionally close to having the seemingly impossible restoration done.

    I'm here tonight to encourage you to consider making some adjustments that will raise the bar a notch or two; but will contribute to the overall appearance in positive way.

    When I view this frame in your photographic journal; I want to scream.

    [​IMG]

    I hope the finished product will not look like this; but take-on a cleaned-up look of attention to EVERY Detail.

    Remove the Plexiglas.
    Never use old, rusted fasteners.
    Drive to the Hardware store for new ones just as your wife is putting dinner on the table. Say you'll be right-back.
    You'll need four. They'll only have three.
    So, you buy the three and head-over to a second place ... "On the way home" ... but, actually putting home further away while you navigate in the obsessive restorationist's time, distance and reality warp.
    It's OK!

    Fill the seam surrounding the Warning Panel to the Airbox Cover with Black Epoxy Resin. Sand it out. Fill the holes. Sand them out.
    Get the lid ready for a coat of Poly sealant.
    Go to the High School and give the janitor a few bucks for a Baby Food Jar full of Gym Floor PolyCoat.

    Thin the PolyCoat and spray it on with an Airbrush Kit.
    Do a minimum of four coats.
    Hard wax and buff.

    Solder and Heat Shrink all the connections to the Fuse Panel.
    Solder and Shrink all splices in the wiring.
    Tape the wires to make them a Pigtail.
    Mount the Fuse Panel to the Lid with Stainless Fasteners.
    Come-up through the inside of the lid so that you can have Stainless Nylok Hex-nuts on Stainless Flat Washers holding-down the Fuse Panel.

    That's what I'd do.
     
  16. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    HAHA, I couldn't agree more, Rick. Believe it or not, those fasteners were new when installed, but that whole think was just a mock up for conceptual purposes.

    Unfortunately, i was itching to ride so bad in these late fall months in new england, that i left it there simply because "it worked". she has a long way to go but i DO plan on taking care of these little details. In fact, everything you've mentioned above is on my list (I really have one on my computer) of things to do.

    As a side note, it's not plexiglass, it's poly-carbonate (Lexan). Plexiglass cracks and shatters too easily.

    Thanks for all the input and keep it coming, I'm always open to suggestions and comments.
     
  17. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Active Member

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    I just looked ...
    You're in Londonderry, NH

    That's practically walking-distance from my house!
    Make some fresh coffee and I'll come-up and drink a cup with you.
    I'll bring my camera along and take a picture or two.
    Maybe we can get this thing in a Bike Magazine after all.
     
  18. bluepotpie

    bluepotpie New Member

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    Haha, I'll take you up on that offer but not quite yet. She's got a bunch of issues that i've got to find time to hammer out before i can even think of magazine possibilities...


    1. oil leak, think i can fix it easy enough, just gotta get the motor off the mounts to get to some case bolts and re-torque, also want to slide the head and cylinders up and put some yamabond in there to help seal her up

    2. gauges, faces faded and warped, gotta get in there to replace with version 1.5.0 (currently have version 1.3.0 installed, lol)

    3. gauges also get water inside, gotta fix

    4. seat lock doesn't latch, wrong spring installed

    5. carbs leaking gas , think it's from the "fuel rail" (for lack of the proper term). gotta replace the seals along the shaft

    6. side rails (for sissy/grab bar) both broke, need to replace. i'd like to get a shorter one without the backrest

    7. missing the white plastic piece from the battery compartment that you hook the strap on, need to locate a replacement

    8. starter soleniod crapped out on me, need to replace

    9. she's missing her battery side cover, need to locate and install

    10. i broke off the head of the plug that goes in the side of the case (there are two, one on either side, right at the bottom front-most part of the case), need to extract and replace

    11. i've got an exhaust leak at the joints for the collector, clamp material rotted away, would like to either repair or replace

    12. want to get the seat re-upholstered (black with blue stitching) need to find someone who can do this

    13. want to replace my cast handlebars with the bar type, i found someone near by who has the risers a while back, need to see if he still has them.

    14. currently running with only one front brake caliper, bleeder broke off in the other one and extraction attempts have thus far failed. Need to repair and rebuild both calipers and install new pads.

    15. want to replace master cylinder with new one. mine functions, but looks like hell.

    16. gas tank NEEDS some work by someone who's much better than i am with light bodywork. I suck at it. Also, i plan on painting it black, with airbrushed flames... in blue tones. Bad-ass, huh?

    17. Need to replace rear brake pads.

    18. Forks need to be rebuilt and polished the hell out of to get rid of the surface rust.

    19. A crap load of hardware on the bike needs to be painted, powder coated, or replaced.

    20. carbs need work... tuning to be more specific. Against most advice here, i installed pod filters. I don't regret it, but i do need to spend some time playing with jetting and such. Difficult to do without proper mixture reading equipment.

    21. finish computer relocation project as mentioned by rick a couple posts ago.

    22. replace rear shocks.


    This list is nowhere near complete, but it does show how much more i have to go.

    The last 10% takes longer than the first 90%.
     
  19. RickCoMatic

    RickCoMatic Active Member

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    I can hook you up with a guy to do the tank.
    He's in Chelmsford, MA. Just over the State Line.

    There's are several good people who will do you a Seat in Lowell, Chelmsford or Billerica, MA.
     
  20. wizard

    wizard Active Member

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    Re: I'm so close.. My XJ750 "Custom" project is just about d

    Bike magazine? more like a disaster movie :?
     

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