My Old Friend: Part 8 – The Rebirth of an XT

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Previously on  My Old Friend

Vader: “There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you. You do not yet realize your importance. You have only begun to discover your power. Join me and I will complete your training. With our combined strength, we can end this destructive conflict and bring order to the galaxy.”

Luke: “I’ll never join you!”

Vader: “If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.”

Luke: “He told me enough! It was you who killed him.”

Vader: “No. I am your father.”

And that pretty much some it up. So now that everyone is on the same page…

Boy! What a weekend!

I was originally going to name this issue of MOF “The exploady burny” issue, but decided against that… And more on that later. Right now, lets jump right into things!

For the most part, I got everything I wanted done this weekend, done. Amazing eh? I actually got caught up on things, and most of what I wanted done, to the point that I call it caught up.  In fact, I’m pretty much to that point where I start looking at things, and can actually seem the end coming in site!

So lets first start off with Friday.

Friday started like every other Friday. Up at 4:30am, work, work, work, off at 1, and then it’s play time.

So first things first. I needed to run into town and pick up a couple things.

So off I go into town, and to the local supply store and pick up an appliance outlet so I can hook up that Oven I purchased last weekend. Since we already have a long extension cord to use for the welder, I decided just to wire it to that, and call it good.

Excellent! I plug everything in, and it all works! Woo Hoo!

I start the oven up, set it to 350, it works! Preheats, beeps and all that jazz!

My 35 dollar Oven off of Craigslist!
My 35 dollar Oven off of Craigslist!

I’m so happy! So I decide well the inside is a little dirty, so I’ll use the Auto-Clean function.

So I set it, and start to work on some things.

About 30 minutes go by, dad comes in the main shop area, and we are talking, and all of a sudden we hear a “Whoomph!”. Look at the oven, and SOB there’s a fire inside it!  Oh shit oh shit!

So I unplug the oven, open the shop doors, and we put the oven outside in the middle of the gravel lot to let it do its thing.

Eventually the fire inside it goes out, and we let it set for a couple hours.

I check it out after it cools off, and I can open the door again, and everything inside looks fine. Originally, from the way it went “Whoomph” I thought it burnt a burner up. But that wasn’t the issue.

Apparently, there must have been a buildup of grease in it, and in the cleaning cycle, when it finally got to its top temperature, it was enough to ignite the grease. I am guessing it was enough to cause it to fume a little.

Everything checked out, and I plugged it back in and tested it again, taking it up to 350. It all checked out, so I went ahead and set it on auto-clean again.

I went through all of the new stuff I got over the last week, that was delivered in more detail.

It's like Christmas in October!
It's like Christmas in October!

Also took  the tires off of the wheels, and clean the wheels up. Prepping them for the new shoes they are going to get.

shoeless wheels!
shoeless wheels!

Spent a lot more time just looking at the bike, trying to imagine if it is still going in the same direction that I started out with.

I also tried to make another nub for the kickstand.

This time I was sucessful in the proper length, thanks to everyone at for providing me with the proper length of it. However, I made it from a bolt, and I tried it out, and it worked excellent!  However, I ran into an issue that someone had mentioned before, and that is the chain will hit the head of it on the backside, so I am back to square one.

Proper Length Nub. And it worked! To bad the chain will hit it =(

I think I have no other way around it, but to make one proper and press it in somehow.

What I don’t like about this, is it means I should really clean the back of it off, and wield it in place. Weld on my precises fresh powder coated frame *sniff*. But if I must, I must.

The other option is to say screw it to the kickstand, and build a center stand for it. I’ve though of this approach as well, and to be honest, I really don’t see a complete downside to this, besides the time it would take to get used to having to get off the bike to put the center stand down.

I’ll have to put more thought into this. Center stands on bikes like this is good IMHO. Especially if you get stuck needing to patch a tube in the middle of nowhere.

After disappointing myself with the realization that their was not going to be an easy fix, I went ahead and started to assemble my handlebars.

Assembling my Handlebars
Assembling my Handlebars

By this time, it was getting later into the evening, so I headed to the parents to get dinner ready for them.

After dinner, I headed back to the shop to look things over again, and decided to test out the oven doing some powder coating. So I went ahead and coated a small spring pulling tool of mine, and baked it. It worked!

I was happy!

So that ended my Friday.

Saturday I had a lot to get done. I needed to sand blast a lot of pieces to be coated, but first I needed to run into town.

So I got dressed, headed to town, hit up the Yamaha Dealer in town to get a 5mm spoke wrench, wal-mart for talc (Baby Powder…), and the supply for some S hooks so I could hang my parts inside the oven (As well as on my stand to powder coat).

Now, something that I couldn’t figure out the night before, was how to get the damned fan working in my dad’s paint booth. Now, I planned on powder coating in there, since it is a forced air booth, so the powder would be forced into a small area, and straight down. Minimizing the area in which got dirty.

However, I could not get the fan to work. After bugging dad, he looked at it, and we found out the motor was fried. Oh yay.

So luckily for me, god blessed us with a beautiful blue sky of a day, with a slight breeze. This actually was perfect for outdoor powder coating!

So I coated and baked!  I had to do 3 batches of my parts.

So after powder coating, I learned a very important lesson.

Either buy the proper high temp masking tape, or unmask carefully after coating something prior to putting it in the oven.

On the steering stem, I had left the tape on, and well, yah, that stuff bakes on into the most gooiest mess you could ever deal with.

First I tried to peel it off

Then I tried to burn it off (with a solder torch)

Then I tried to blast it off with sand. NONE of those worked!

So I decided to let it sit in the oven a bit and hoped that some long exposure to heat would help solidify the glue.

It did, and I was able to sandblast it all over, and put on a new coat of powder.

All of this actually took a good part of my day. In fact, Saturday seemed to just fly by.

In between the baking and coating of parts, I started to unlace my rear wheel.

Backwards Laced Wheel
Backwards Laced Wheel

As you can see, it is not aligned at all properly. In fact, I’m surprised it took me this many years to notice it, but yah…

So I started to relace it

The first few spokes to hold it all together!

And it got finished!

All Better!
All Better!

Now to true it. I’m going to try my hand at truing again. If all else fails, I’m paying someone to do it.

I took a break for lunch, and decided to take my airbox and other assorted inner plastics with me to the house, so I could clean them up.

I ate lunch, cleaned the plastics, and went back to the shop to finish the powder coating, while also trying to true the rear wheel.

I also took this time to pull apart my brake caliper and clean it up.  Got it back together, cleaned the master cylinder, and got that all in check. I need to remember to buy some crush washers before I assemble it all back together.

By this time, I was pretty much finishing up the powder coating, and the god awful mistake I made on the steering stem.

Triple Clamp.

Freshly Powder Coated Triple Clamp!

Passenger Pegs and Rider Pegs.

I think I need need to coat the pins as well...
I think I need need to coat the pins as well...

So at this point, it was time to get dirty, and by dirty I mean greasy.  I had to pack bearings for the stem, punch in bearing races, and punch down a bearing on the steering stem shaft with the seal. Since this was all quick and dirty work, I did not take the time to take pictures of the steps.  So instead you get a picture of everything assembled on the front end.

Steering Stem and Triple Clamp on! Forks On! Handlebars on!
Steering Stem and Triple Clamp on! Forks On! Handlebars on!

By this time, it was late in the evening. So I cleaned up, and went home to eat dinner, knowing that Sunday would be cleanup day.

Sunday, like all the ones in the past, is made for cleanup. Since I am building this in my dad’s shop right now, I need to make sure I pack everything up, and then put it away.

While cleaning up however, I decided to take the time to attach a couple things, just to get an idea of how it would all turn out.

Headlight and Windscreen attached to front of bike
Headlight and Windscreen attached to front of bike

I’m glad I took the time to do this. It allowed me to really get an idea of how I am going to need to machine the new headlight mounts for the bike. The headlight needs to move out from the front and up.

It also got me thinking of whether I actually like the Acerbis on their now.  I guess I won’t know until I get the fender mounted and the rest of the bike done. It looks good in my head, I’m just not certain on how well my head. I also need to machine the mounts first. I think a lot of my issues right now have to do with how it all sits, not the actual look of it.

So with that, that concludes Part 8!

Next update I hope to have the rear wheel trued, and the shoes put on, so I can finally roll the bike around!  I’ll work on getting the carb and wire harness installed, the exhaust, and *gasp* a possible test fire!

Until Next Time!

Home > Projects > The Bikes > My Old Friend: The Rebirth of an XT > Part 8

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