After doing the carbs and getting excited about how well it ran, I decided to get down to some serious stuff. The shifter rod seal is going out and it leaks oil, slowly but still leaks. The fork seals also leak. I was able to find diagrams of every componant of the bike and how its assembled along with part numbers for everything.
This site kawasakipartshouse was a super find. For under $150 I was able to order all the seals and gaskets for both the transmission and front forks. Can’t beat that for an old bike! I started pulling the transmission chain cover off to get an idea of how bad things were underneath. OMG it was awful, awful, awful.
So I got all that buildup cleaned out and parts ordered and decided to proceed with some pretty stuff. The bike will stay torn down now for a few weeks until the parts arrive and I have time to replace them so I might as well find something else to do.
The tank and side panels had been sent off by Russell to a body shop to be painted a few years ago. The shop painted it in the dead of winter and apparently did something incorrectly as the paint had HUGE cracks where it had split and began peeling away from the original paint underneath. When he took it back to have the paint redone the shop had gone out of business. I began pulling the body parts off the bike and stripping them down of any accessories so I could remove the old paint that was chipped and cracking. I got a can of aircraft paint remover, sprayed it on and let it do its thing.
After getting the old layers of paint off I sanded the parts well and primed them. I had taken pics of them before priming but didnt realize the memory card wasnt in the camera until later 🙁 So you only get to see the primed result and not the whole process. The tank was pretty difficult as there was some body damage and I had to smooth out some dings and dents with Bondo. Someone had also filled the Kawasaki emblem area with Bondo. You can kind of see how the logo area is solid without the emblem on the above picture. I wanted to put the emblem back on so I had to dig for over an hour to get down to the mounts for the logo. The sanding, smoothing, priming, all took the better part of an entire day. Bottom line…..it wasnt easy!
And Presto! All painted! I used polishing compound with a polishing wheel attached to a drill, and waxed it deep the same way. It came out wonderful considering it was spray primer and paint bought at OReilys autoparts. All for under $50 and a bit of work.
While I had the gas cap off I took the chance to rebuild it as well. The key mechanism was sticking badly from carbon buildup over the years. The key wouldnt even snap back into place by itself and you couldnt shut the cap without using the key to unlatch it.
After cleaning all the parts I lightly oiled all the moving parts and when I got it put back together it works perfectly again. You can just lightly push down on it to close it and it snaps softly into place with a secure seal.
Over all this phase went very well. The parts for the leaks have been shipped and should be here by the middle of next week. The goal will be to get some of the seal work done next weekend.