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General => Restorations Diary => Topic started by: pidjones on August 13, 2020, 11:42:58 PM

Title: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 13, 2020, 11:42:58 PM
I guess my attachments were too big when I first tried to start this.

Brought the '76 RD400 basket case hoe today (well, roller with engine in frame, but a BIG bin of parts cam with it.)

I've already ordered new keys from the ebay vendor that cuts them by code#. There was a lot more there for it than I thought, but a few things that I'll have to find or make - one thing is the air cleaner cap. Also needs rear fender, rear "stay" tail light and bracket, rear signals, speedometer (the one with it was mangled), mufflers, one air cleaner joint, air filter (has a nice nest in place of one). I suspect that it needs a throttle cable, but that has yet to be proven. Needs a new chain and set cover, latch for the seat, grips (I have several new sets), tires. That should get me started.... to poverty.

I pushed the starter down by hand (no plugs) and it felt like the amount of resistance was correct. The reeds are still in place on it.

I want to clean X years of "stuff" out of the case - don't know how it was stored although it does not show typical signs of being left in the weather - more likely in the dry in a shed or barn. I want to check compression, but want to also protect it. How should I flush/oil/etc. or should I just go ahead and buy a gasket set and pull it apart? There is no gear oil in it, so I'll probably flush that side with marvel Mystery Oil and then fill with an oil good for wet clutches like Rotella T6 5W40 (which I have used in my GL1800 since new, now with 123000 miles).

BTW, check out the unmolested disks on it!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on August 14, 2020, 09:26:34 AM
I wonder why he changed the discs?

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Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: stevie747 on August 14, 2020, 10:13:14 AM
The only safe way in going about this is to strip the whole thing down to bare frame and crankcases.  Hoping for any short cuts on a rebuild, particularly if you don't know it's history, will pretty much always bite you up the arse. 

Once stripped you'll know exactly what's needed plus it'll help decide whether you wish to have a 'correct' resto (good luck chasing all the rare parts you need) or rebuild it to your taste with the tons of after market stuff out there.

Top Tip: Don't rely on repro bearings and seals, buy OEM  ;)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 14, 2020, 12:57:25 PM
My goal is a stock-looking (no chambers) rescue. Lower handlebars would be the only visual change. Pulling the engine is no problem. I would just rather avoid major engine work. How can I make it safe to just test compression?
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: robrd on August 14, 2020, 02:41:43 PM
Hi, you don't have to start the motor to check the compression, just make sure it is turning over clear of any obstructions and do your test. Just because a motor has good compression it doesn't mean that it is ok, i, like others would suggest splitting the motor to be on the safe side. It doesn't cost a fortune and gives you piece of mind. Good luck with your project.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: stevie747 on August 14, 2020, 03:31:41 PM
My goal is a stock-looking (no chambers) rescue. Lower handlebars would be the only visual change. Pulling the engine is no problem. I would just rather avoid major engine work. How can I make it safe to just test compression?

We'd all prefer not doing any major engine work but it's a total false economy restoring something nearly half a century old and hoping for the best  :o  It'll cost thousands to restore it anyway, whether you like it or not.  Usually there's a reason why bikes are historically stuffed into 'barns' - engine problems maybe...

You called it a 'basket case'...  There's a clue there somewhere  :D
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: betty foRD on August 14, 2020, 10:25:28 PM
Engines don’t get any easier than these to take apart and put together but as like a few others recently new to them then a risk free approach is to find a very cheap broken engine and pull it apart just fir the learning value. Play out all those imaginary nightmare Scenarios and reach the usual ‘eureka’ moment when you say to yourself ‘is that all there is to it’

We should have a club trainer engine...pass it around for folks to have a stab and bust their screwdrivers on !
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 15, 2020, 01:19:23 AM
Certainly not afraid of disassembling the engine. But, I agree a dry-run would be helpful. I bought a junk GL1000 for spares and pulled the engine apart on it (much more complex than the RD). Discovered that it was a good call to only pay junk price - it had severe rust on interior components including the gears. Pistons rusted so tight that it took two big crowbars and a big sledge to get the cases apart and yet, after removal the pistons looked good (cylinders were another story).  I've also rescued one that I used single-edge razor blades to shave rust off cylinder walls Had great compression and runs great now. I don't want to start it, just check compression. Just want to make sure it has lubricant to keep the bearings happy. Won't be for a week or so as there just isn't room in the garage (four GoldWings take up a LOT of room!) Anyone want to buy a '78 GL1000? Busted clocks solved by an ebay purchase that includes a seat latch! But, looking closer at the seat pad reveal pretty bad rust on the edges. Might have to replace it or at a minimum patch it. I don't want a custom seat.

Once I get rid of the '78 GL, the show GL goes in the family room and I'll finally have some room to work on the RD. If the '78 doesn't sell this fall, it will swap places with the RD in the tractor barn (locked and dry). Either way, that is when the RD comes all the way apart.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: 5port on August 15, 2020, 07:48:38 AM
Yes, good luck with that RD400 rebuild!  The Rd is built as a twisty road bike, the whole way the engine and chassis is based on the race bikes, TR3, etc.  Agree, lower bars are good. :)
The engine is relatively simple,  but needs building well to work nicely.  You don't really know how good/bad a bike that has stood is inside the cases.  I have a 350 and a 250 that have never been split but, they came with oil in and assembled so, just needed the heads and cylinders off, first rebore for the 350 and just new rings on the 250 with original bores.  However, as others have said, you can find corrosion if the box is dry.   You are in a good place for used RD400 spares and NOS parts!  Cheers

5port
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 21, 2020, 04:57:09 PM
Ebayed a set of clocks, ignition switch, seat/helmet lock and matching key. Very restorable looking. Also bought a rear "clip"- fender, stay, signals, and tail light (with broken lens).

My airbox has no filter in it. Looks like Germany may be the only source of tbe correct,ducted filter. And there isno mailing to USA due to Covid. Might check to see if one of my co-workers from my previous German employer could ship it here in a company shipment.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 24, 2020, 02:52:33 AM
Started digging through the bin of parts tonight. Pulled out the carbs and took them off ofbthe throttle cable. The cable is seriouslt freyed to the pump, so will all need replaced. Rear master totally dry and full of evaporated brake fluid, but no corrosion evident (yet). Brake light switch and feed adapter off. I'll pull it apart and check for corrosion in a few days along with the front master that held dark DOT3 syrup.  The front has a mirror stud broken off in it, so that is soaking in penetrant. The front brake lever is broken also (probably the same incident that dented the tank, distorted the headlight bucket and mounts, and smashed the speedo and indicators). All that I've done so far with the carbs was to place them in separate plastic boxes marked R and L.

Feels good to be starting on this, but would feel better if someone bought my '78 GoldWing to give me more room to work.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 24, 2020, 11:26:06 PM
Today a friend gave me a check to hold my '78 GL1000 rescue bike for him through next week So, space will soon be available to bring the RD400 into the garage and tear it down. I pulled the bin of parts in last night and began taking the master cylinders apart. Front has a broken lever and a mirror stud broken off in it. Got most of the stud out and the rest of it looks a lot better than the GL1000s I've had for projects. Rear is full of wax left over from evaporated brake fluid but looks good so far.

Rear clip came in today. Some rust, but not too bad. Soaking in PB Blaster to be disassembled and cleaned.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 25, 2020, 08:47:06 PM
Well, the friend changed his mind - and came over today with cash for the bike! So, with him happy and a newly opened space in the garage (which still makes for three bikes in it) the RD is now in the house. I parked it outside first and gave it a good blow-down with 100 psi (~6.6 bar) air. Dislodged a nice nest from the air box. Sorry - you are evicted! Discovered that the transmission drain bolt was missing. But, a spare GL1000 oil drain bolt from a junker that was dismantled fits perfectly! Ordered throttle cables (oil pump control has about four broken strands). Pulled the cover from over the oil pump and spun it a few times. Looks and feels Ok. Once I have obtained some BelRay and cleaned the tank out, I'll test it out. Still haven't dismantled the carbs more than enough to disconnect the throttle cables. Very hopeful that the masters are going to be rebuildable without even buying new kits. Cleaned up nicely inside and tomorrow I'll put them to the wire wheel to remove the failed paint on the outside before final interior cleaning and assembly using brake fluid to lubricate. Sure glad these aren't as rusted up as GoldWing masters get!

Onre other thing attended to was cleaning and gluing together the broken right side cover. The bottom part with the nipple for the grommet was broken off cleanly, so I wiped it with acetone, then plumbing clear cleaner, then glued it up with ABS plumbing cement and reinforced it on the inside with a bit of fiberglass cloth. Should be ready for sanding and painting.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on August 25, 2020, 09:57:59 PM
The list of outstanding jobs has already got shorter

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Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 26, 2020, 11:06:36 PM
Finished cleaning and assembled the master cylinders today (the front is a BEAR to get the circlip in). Stripped the rear clip so I can start attacking the rust on it. Started cleaning the oil tank. Got all of the connections off (heat gun helps a TON!) and 50% of the grime off of the outside. Drained maybe an ounce or two of oil out of it. Put in a couple ounces of isopropyl alcohol and it flowed out fairly well from the outlet, but I still plan to put a camera in and inspect the screen.

Also, called the sheriff's office to ask about verifying that the VIN was clean since I didn't get a title with it. Within fifteen minutes, a deputy came out and looked it over and signed my paperwork after calling the VIN in to be checked. Love living in the simple free state of Tennessee! Took the paperwork in, paid about 10% of the purchase price in taxes, title fee, and registration fee (but, won't have to pay taxes again on it) and was given new registration papers and I can transfer tags from the bike I sold yesterday to it. State will mail a new title in a few weeks.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 27, 2020, 10:19:52 PM
Along with checking various electrical components and  removing the electronics board and entire wiring harness, I disassembled the left carb.   What a joy!   Everything came apart easily and there are so few jets. I guess 6 jets per carb and four carbs along with being piston-type CV Keihin carbs on the GoldWings has me toughened up. Also, except for some rust dust it looked surprisingly good inside! I did not remove the ball from  the one passage as everything seems to be flowing well, but it is all in the ultrasonic cleaner right now. I keep carbs in separate plastic shoe boxes when rebuilding - another thing I picked up when keeping track of four at a time. This carbs seems to have never been opened, or if it was was rebuilt by a master technician. Absolutely no wear on the JIS screw heads and nothing over-tight. I just hope that I do as well upon reassembly.

Looking at the bike overall, it has had the frame repainted at least partially at some time. the VIN label on the headstock has overspray on it. The engine has also been painted as the side fins on the head are black instead of brushed aluminum like stock. This gives me an idea that the engine was pulled and rebuilt but the owner never really ran it afterward. There was zero fuel residue in the carb bowls - almost as if they had been pulled, drained, and stored. Just red rust dust that is rather loose. I'm headed in a few minutes to the hardware store to seek plugs for the exhaust ports. I had on hand brass plugs that fit the intakes. Just need to drill and tap one for connection to my hand pump.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 27, 2020, 10:28:54 PM
As they say, pics or it didn't happen  ;D
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 28, 2020, 01:37:12 AM
As they say, pics or it didn't happen  ;D
Cell phone pictures this close aren't very good, but....
Before cleaning mind you.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 28, 2020, 08:39:04 AM
Good enough mate, I agree the screws look untouched  :)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 29, 2020, 04:24:18 PM
Ok, finally gathered bits for a leak down test. Had almost all of it on hand, just had to get some thick gadket material to plug the exhaust and drill/tap a hole in a brass round for the air inlet barb. Som of course it leaks. Both reed cases needed cleaned off and a ligh wipe of silicone grease to let them seat. One plug (just some old Champions, but correct thread) needed a touch more torque. But, still leaks. So.... what has to come off to check the crank seals? Preparing to order a complete gasket set, but holing off until I know what is needed. Head and base are leak-tight. Does the engine require break down to replace crank seals?
 
And, why paint the entire engine (at least all of the brushed aluminum parts) unless it was a rebuild?
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 29, 2020, 07:40:36 PM
You need to take off both engine side cases and flywheel and associated parts so you can see clearly.

You should be able to see around the crank right side seal, if you take that cog off then the seal won't be sealing anything.

You should be able to change the both crankshaft seals without opening engine, same as fitting any oil seal.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 29, 2020, 08:05:20 PM
You need to take off both engine side cases and flywheel and associated parts so you can see clearly.

You should be able to see around the crank right side seal, if you take that cog off then the seal won't be sealing anything.

You should be able to change the both crankshaft seals without opening engine, same as fitting any oil seal.
Thanks! I've pulled the left cover and stator. Behind the field coils I see the seal there. No leaks anywhere so far (other than the ones I had to seal on my test rig and both reed assemblies). I'll pull the right side next. Still loosing pressure, so that must be where it is. We had a new range installed last week requiring some of our gas piping to be remade. The utility workers left their gas leak solution behind - working great for this! Removing the stator also showed me that the field slip rings need cleaned. Not corroded, but quite dirty. I'll also polish the points while the stator assembly is off. I have a stool of perfect height to set the stator on, avoiding stress on the wires. Picked up some Yamalube 2 stroke oil today. I really don't feel comfortable trying another compression test without putting a bit through the plugs and intake. Less than a thimble-full total. I need to fill the transmission, also. Lucked out that I had an old GoldWing oil drain plug that fits the transmission drain hole.

The bike has definitely been run since rebuild as evidenced by the buildup under the transmission. Looks like they ran it on very dust roads.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: GAZZATT2 on August 29, 2020, 08:10:10 PM
You need to take off both engine side cases and flywheel and associated parts so you can see clearly.

You should be able to see around the crank right side seal, if you take that cog off then the seal won't be sealing anything.

You should be able to change the both crankshaft seals without opening engine, same as fitting any oil seal.
the crank seals have a lip in the middle that sits in a groove in the crankcases  needs crankcases split to change
I would do this anyway to look at what damage has been done by lack of transmission oil
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 29, 2020, 08:16:21 PM
You need to take off both engine side cases and flywheel and associated parts so you can see clearly.

You should be able to see around the crank right side seal, if you take that cog off then the seal won't be sealing anything.

You should be able to change the both crankshaft seals without opening engine, same as fitting any oil seal.
the crank seals have a lip in the middle that sits in a groove in the crankcases  needs crankcases split to change
I would do this anyway to look at what damage has been done by lack of transmission oil

OH SH*T I forgot about the lips, SORRY

Gazzatt is right
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 29, 2020, 08:18:21 PM
Always wait for more than 1 reply, for this very reason
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 29, 2020, 08:33:16 PM
Just curious, what sort of pressure you are using, you only want about 5psi or you can risk turning the seals out with too much pressure.

Don't know what I was thinking with replacing the seals with engine together, can't believe I said that  :-[
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 29, 2020, 09:22:56 PM
Well, that's it. But! it isn't the crankshaft-to-seal that is leaking, but the seal-to-bottom case joint. Almost wish I cold pull a vacuum on the case and suck some Yamabond (actually Hondabond that I have) into the joint, but that is a shortcut I'm not prepared to make. Already have a set of gaskets ordered, so I'll add a seal kit. I doubt the transmission was run without oil but probably drained and the drain plug left out years ago. I've been using 6-7 psi Max for testing. Looks like I need to  do some tool shopping, too. I don't have a 25 mm socket for that crank bolt, or a generator removal bolt (although I've heard that  GL1000 axle bolt will work, all of mine are in bikes!)

So the engine should come out of the frame anyway to permit cleaning, stripping, and repainting the frame. I'll do a lot of the strip-down in-frame as bench space is at a premium in my garage (how did it get so covered up? Lathe, mill, drill press, grinder, two vises.)

This will also give me an opportunity to return the top side fins to brushed aluminum like they started out.

Thanks for the knowledge, folks! While waiting for parts I'll be carb cleaning and restoring other parts. Still need to mill the aftermarket caliper mounts, too.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 29, 2020, 10:14:54 PM
At least you know what it is now and can move forward  :)

pressure will drop over around 5 mins too, if you put 5psi in you can expect about 2psi lose in this time, plugs don't totally seal the unit, they are not done up that tight, to the best of my knowledge anyway.

The Yamabond, Hondabond are made by Threebond anyway, it also has a shelf life once opened too, around 8 months from memory, it starts to go all stringy after that.

Just realised why I said you can replace seals with engine complete, you can do with the 125 and 200 engines, got my wires crossed.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 29, 2020, 10:55:40 PM
Ok, do I have to buy a flywheel puller, or will a 10x1.25 bolt do? I can turn down the end that fits into where the cam bolt goes to prevent damage there. I have already removed the cam. It needed rust polished off of it (down to 3000 grit in the lathe) anyway. Also, I'll have to acquire a 25mm socket to remove/reinstall the primary drive gear. Also a clutch holding tool as it appears that the clutch has to come apart to remove the primary driven gear.

So, basically EVERYTHING has to come apart because someone neglected to make sure the main seal on the right side was sealed to the case when they assembled it. Oh, believe me I've seen worse on GoldWings (15 sheet metal and wood screws in place of the 16 float bowl screws - I'm good on Helicoils now!) I just don't see going this deep in the engine and not making sure it is right.

Of course I'll inspect the cylinder walls. Think I might reassemble some and do another compression test with a bit of oil added to get a judgement on that before pulling the jugs.

Oh, and is the special o-ring with the tab on it necessary to be changed? It will probably require a separate order.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 30, 2020, 01:14:25 AM
Did the compression check with just a dribble of oil down the plug holes and into the intakes to hopefully prevent piston/ring/bearing damage. Both were 110.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 30, 2020, 09:36:49 AM
You have to ask yourself is it worth the risk, or do I just splash out now and know its all done right, that goes for everything in the engine, and you def don't want to be opening it back up again in a couple of weeks, just because you scrimped to save a little money, just not worth it IMO, and could end up costing more in the long run, do it once and do it right.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on August 30, 2020, 09:45:41 AM
I would say that is good compression rate, also the fact they are both the same.

If you haven't already got one, go to tec section, download the manual and parts list, here is a link to them.

I know there are some differences between where you are in the world, but they will help a lot, also if something doesn't quite seam right in there, ask on here, the manuals are not the gospal, they all have some errors and misprints.

https://www.aircooledrdclub.com/manuals.html (https://www.aircooledrdclub.com/manuals.html)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 30, 2020, 12:40:34 PM
Thanks, Tony. Have the manuals on both my tablet and laptop. The parts lists often amplify the manual by having line drawing assemblies. Seals are on order. I'll stop off after church for a 24 mm socket from Lowe's. Also adding a clutch basket holder to the tools needed list. Is a good adjustable sufficient for the 32 mm drive cog nut?
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on August 31, 2020, 10:02:43 PM
Yesterday picked up a 24mm deep well impact socket to remove the crankshaft gear. Used an electric impact wrench and it came right off.

Today, balls removed from both carbs. Finally. Took four hours for the first one as the bit broke off in the ball just as it broke through (I knew better). Second one took about ten minutes. Second carb disassembled and in ultrasonic cleaner. Removed the stator and rotor. Polished the rotor slip rings with 1200 followed by 3000 grit using isopropyl as cutting fluid.Looking pretty good now. Gasket kit came in  today, but still need seals and a few other things (like the clutch tool), so I'm waiting to pull the engine the rest of the way.  Might pull heads, jugs, and pistons tomorrow. Plan to protect rods with cardboard.

Just realized that I have a 32 mm impact socket for the main drive sprocket that I had bought for use on one of the cars. Yeah!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 01, 2020, 01:37:50 AM
Curious. Pulled left head. A .25 over piston, both piston and head spotless. .5 head gasket (might double-up when I close). The cylider looks like crap, however. Hmmm. Mic and either bore, hone, we'll see.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 01, 2020, 01:38:56 AM
I see why compression is down.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 01, 2020, 08:48:04 AM
The part of the bore you get the compression looks pretty good, but yes O dear, may need a rebore through the rust lower down, fingers crossed you can get away with a hone.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 01, 2020, 06:40:57 PM
Haven't had time to get anymore measurements. Did get the lump out of the frame onto a dolly. Wow! So much easier than a GoldWing! If I can get by with honing, is the three stone method best to keep everything straight? My local auto supply store has hones with fine stones for rent (basically zero cost after return).
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 01, 2020, 07:12:59 PM
As with everything there are different trains of thought, the expanding ones are a good way to get the cylinder out of shape, some will say use the ball version, but they can get caught in the ports, personally I think this type is the best, just for reference below, your choice mate.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/cylinder-Honing-Tool-34-mm-to-60-mm-Expanding-Range-with-4-sets-of-stones/152732523507?hash=item238f915bf3:g:59wAAOSwfRdZDgdJ (https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/cylinder-Honing-Tool-34-mm-to-60-mm-Expanding-Range-with-4-sets-of-stones/152732523507?hash=item238f915bf3:g:59wAAOSwfRdZDgdJ)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 03, 2020, 10:36:37 PM
Well, the only hones available locally was the expanding type - a pretty nice one. AND, at O'Reilly auto parts they charge your card for it, but if you bring it back within 48 hours the charge is wiped off. I picked up the tool and a set of fine stones for it today, but decided to try the mediums first, and they worked very well. Cleaned off all of the rust marks and left the 45 degree cross hatch. Wash, wash, wash and then measure again. 64.28 minimum and 64.3 maximum. What is really off is the ring gap at ~1 mm on both pistons, so rings (and many other things) are on order. Small end end play is ~.024" just under max spec. Clutch basket holder just arrived, so the clutch will come apart tomorrow and hopefully the cases. My seal set has come it, along with the special o-ring with the knot on it.

Question - if things look Okay, is it necessary to completely pull the transmission apart to split the cases?

Still stripping down the frame. It still sets on wheels but that will stay until the engine is buttoned back up.

COVID marches on here in the US, but we are learning to get along with it while not putting ourselves or others in jeopardy. One thing for out family is vacation. Every two or three years we have rented a beach house on a North Carolina island. This year we postponed to September. We will take the daughter's dog (14 year-old mixed breed) as he loves the sand (but hates the water) and youngest daughter with us, and stay isolated from others. We will be very careful as I have to oversee a motorcycle/bicycle/crafts show at our church. Only about two dozen motorcycles last year (although quality!) and expecting fifty or so this year. There was one RD350 along with HD 2strokes, Allstate (sold by Sears) and Bridgestones. The highlight was a 1929 Henderson Ace as-found. I'll show my '78 GL1000 custom, but will not compete.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 04, 2020, 12:06:57 PM
Forgive me if I am trying to teach you how to suck eggs, but I feel I need to try and explain some about 2strokes to you.

Please do not take offence.

While they are very simple engines they rely on everything being in good condition, no oil, time and condensation are your enemy, judging by the bottom of the cylinders you have had condensation or water enter the bottom end, specially as no oil in the crankcases too for the gearbox.

1mm gap on the piston rings is a lot, unless you have a very good bore gauge you can't tell if the cylinder is oval or not, as you are into the engine its best you check everything now, take your cylinders to a 2stroke specialist to get them checked, rather than half checked and put it back together only to have it fail after a couple of miles, you may need a re-bore and new pistons / rings too, piston to bore clearance needs checking too or it will rattle like hell, and then fail.

I suspect the crank will also have some rust on the conrod bearings and main bearings, even if a little it will fail soon, its not like a 4stroke, although a 4stroke will still run quite well with wear on it, a 2stroke will fail fast unless well within spec, if just within spec replace or repair, its most likely that the crank will need a re-build too, because of damaged bearing due to rust, again I suggest you take that to a 2stroke specialist for checking too.

I would suspect that all the bearings will need replacing and all the oil seals in the engine, as the oil seals can go hard and not seal anymore.

You have gone this far, its wise to make sure now that everything is correct, or you "will" regret it when you hit the power band and it goes bang, you will then have to do all this again, and could cause irreparable damage, leaving you needing another crank re-build ( they can only be re-built 3 times max) and another set of cylinders.

If a ring snaps it can damage piston and bits then go down into engine and destroys the crank bearings, as well as damaging the bores, sometimes beyond repair.

Sorry to be the bringer of doom, but I feel you need to know all this before you go any further.

I write all this because of the questions, it would seam you are not that familiar with 2stroke engines.

I wish you good luck with it, and I hope there is not any rust or too much damage anywhere.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 04, 2020, 12:54:46 PM
Thanks for the knowledge, Tony. No, I have no service experience with 2 strokes beyond a simple piston swap on a Penton (Sachs) 125 back in the '70's (well, I guess 8 1/8" piston diesel doesn't count). I do have some 4 stroke experience on CB750 dohc and GL1000 Hondas which seem very resilient.

The piston-cylinder fit is (within my feeler limit) ~.0015". The .002" feeler will not go. I will check Tuesday to see if one of our club members has a good cylinder gauge as I have been doing multiple snap-gauge readings (very carefully) measured with both digital caliper and vernier micrometer. I am sure the club has references to local 2 stroke experts, also - and will consult. The pistons still measure spot-on 64.25 mm. The pins are tight in the pin bore.

All oil seals are now on-hand along with the clutch cage holding tool. BTW, one hour's time was invested in pealing the adhesive vacuum-seal clear wrap that EBC attaches their tool to the cardboard with. I'm sure all here have a clutch basket holding tool, but if one needs purchased please factor the stupid waste of time removing the packaging from EBC's product into your buying decision. I would have paid 5% more to not have that hassle.

The inside of the piston crowns do show carbonized oil, so they are definitely used. The 2nd ring on the right piston was stuck and I had to soak with penetrant then worry it to remove without breaking. I will wait until new rings arrive before cutting one to make a groove scraper.

It appears that US supplies of most new parts has dried up, and Yambits is one of the few sources that I find, so much is coming from them. Happily, shipping has so far been just as fast from the UK as North America.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 04, 2020, 02:04:37 PM
Piston clearance is OK at that, but if you used a single .0015 feeler it most likely wont be flexible enough to give a accurate reading.

Please tell me you did not buy Shambits seals, they are known to fail fast, and their bearings are no better, cheap and useless, a quick search on here will tell you that mate.

Fowlers are the place to get genuine seals and bearings, not cheap but worth the extra money, they last for years.

Or you can just get the number off the bearings and buy Genuine Koyo or other well known brand, NTN as Honda use too are very good IMO.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 04, 2020, 02:49:23 PM
I bought my seals from Mikes XS.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 05, 2020, 02:06:05 AM
Stripping down the engine. Had to run for a socket for the clutch bolt. Ready to pull the shift cam stopper bolt, but decided it would be best to clean the bottom of the engine of ~1/4" grime first. So, it is setting on its left side with the right cover back on and foaming bathroom cleaner soaking. The socket run and cleaning slowed me down, but there is no rush. Also boxed up some frame parts and took them and the rolling chassis back out to the shed leaving more room for engine work.

I've put in a Facebook Message to one of our club members local that has done a few 2 strokes to see if he knows of a 2 stroke mechanic locally. There is a small engine shop just a couple miles away that appears to be dedicated to lawn equipment, but I thought of asking to see if he has a good bore gauge.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 05, 2020, 09:46:02 AM
Don't forget, it didn't happen if there's no pics of it  :)

Also someone may spot something that you need to know about.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: GAZZATT2 on September 05, 2020, 10:37:13 AM
Stripping down the engine. Had to run for a socket for the clutch bolt. Ready to pull the shift cam stopper bolt, but decided it would be best to clean the bottom of the engine of ~1/4" grime first. So, it is setting on its left side with the right cover back on and foaming bathroom cleaner soaking. The socket run and cleaning slowed me down, but there is no rush. Also boxed up some frame parts and took them and the rolling chassis back out to the shed leaving more room for engine work.

I've put in a Facebook Message to one of our club members local that has done a few 2 strokes to see if he knows of a 2 stroke mechanic locally. There is a small engine shop just a couple miles away that appears to be dedicated to lawn equipment, but I thought of asking to see if he has a good bore gauge.

what size lawn mowers engines do you have over there ?
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 05, 2020, 01:09:25 PM

what size lawn mowers engines do you have over there ?
All sizes, really. 2 strokes are no longer sold, I believe, but there were many sold in a nearby town (Oak Ridge) and are still serviced. He also works garden tractors to ~20 HP.  I will check with him in the next few days. Not even sure he would go beyond visual inspection on the equipment as much of it is considered disposable these days. (Not my John Deeres - 1980 16 HP Kohler single and 1995 Kawasaki 18 HP V-twin, both 4 stroke.)

Meanwhile, not much to show - dirty bottom of engine with foamy cleaner bubbling on it. I plan to take it outside and hit it with the hose later, then kerosene if necessary.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 05, 2020, 06:39:21 PM
Ok, all the way apart now. Transmission all looks good. Some sludge in the bottom of the case, but I guess that is expected. Everything feels smooth and shifts smooth. Shift forks look barely worn on contact points, and show no bend.

The case was glued together with some king of grey RTV. There wasn't any in the transmission, but the crankcase had bits of it everywhere. The crank - I have no confidence in it. I have no experience with bearings that spin that fast. Electric motors with grease lubricated bearings, yes. And, these would be rejected then. Seems these should feel tighter, and be silent when I spin the crank with the rods. Instead, there is a constant whir. The outside left main sounds fine the right is noisy, I can't really tell on the centers.

So.... Who are reliable crank rebuilders in the USA? And although this is almost a moot point - about how much does it cost?

Pictures after lunch!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 05, 2020, 07:57:39 PM
Ok, some ugly photos. It is all now  in boxes with the crank and trans gears in the case halves covered with an old lab coat.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 05, 2020, 08:25:15 PM
Just what we all want to see  :)  I wouldn't trust that crank either, worth the price of a re-build for the piece of mind.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: 5port on September 05, 2020, 08:28:12 PM
Photos are good!   :)
Looking at those, the gearbox looks to have had oil in it until recently, and looks fairly free of rust.  The crank looks good from this side (like the gbox).  However, the engine has been in a damp atmosphere at times.  The crank looks to have some signs of damp.  Unfortunately, damp does get into bearings and other parts.  I would put the gearsets into strong airtight food bags with some fresh engine oil (10W-30 with MA2 rating for wet clutches).  Shifter parts can be stored the same.  Crank goes into a bag with 2T.
Overall, I would expect a full crank overhaul and new gbox bearings due to damp and possible corrosion in bearings.
The gbox debris looks a little heavy?  Try to scoop that out, washout with paraffin and use a strong magnet in it to see how hairy it gets?  Steel debris in gbox is not a good sign.
How many miles?
Cheers 

5port
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 05, 2020, 08:55:28 PM
>How many miles?<    I think around 13.8k.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: 5port on September 05, 2020, 10:36:01 PM
>How many miles?<    I think around 13.8k.

OK,
The gearbox is no different to other similar ones.  The gears need checking for teeth damage or wear, the dogs and cutouts for rounding and wear, the shafts for wear and any sign of blueing or bending (against a straight edge), the selector forks for wear or bending, the selector rails or shafts for straightness (roll them on a good hard flat surface) and the cam drum tracks and pins for wear.

5port 

 
 
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 09, 2020, 11:50:45 AM
Crank is on its way to Lyn Garland for rebuild. The rest is bagged and boxed for now. New rings here, and checked for ring gap - perfect. Right at the minimum. Ring grooves cleaned with the old rings (were quite tight with build-up of both rust and carbon). Family beach time next week, so I will study manual more.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Numbskull on September 09, 2020, 09:55:32 PM
Crank is on its way to Lyn Garland for rebuild. The rest is bagged and boxed for now. New rings here, and checked for ring gap - perfect. Right at the minimum. Ring grooves cleaned with the old rings (were quite tight with build-up of both rust and carbon). Family beach time next week, so I will study manual more.

I better start looking for that air cleaner lid then!

Rob
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 09, 2020, 10:54:40 PM
Time pressures. I told Mr. Garland that if I get the crank back by Christmas, it would be a good Christmas gift. After vacation, the frame will be pulled from the shed, pressure washed, and dismantled for painting. Also the tiny bit of surface rust in the gas tank will be removed, coated, and the tank and other things preped for paint. Autumn is the time for painting in the rain forests of East Tennessee. That, and a couple magic days in December.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 13, 2020, 12:16:35 AM
Email today that my seat hinges and cylinder gauge have arrived. But, I just arrived at the beach. Neighbor picked them up for me. Lots to keep me busy when we get back, but for now sun and sand! Well, not so much sun today, but nice!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 22, 2020, 03:47:43 AM
Lyn has the crank finished and will be sending it back this week. New development: seat that I ordered from Vietnam came in today! Quickly transfered bumpers and such over to it, then took a ~150 mile ride because the weather is too good to be working on motorcycles. Must be riding them. Took the '06 GL1800 as it hasn't seen much use this summer, and temperature was much better today.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 22, 2020, 09:00:22 PM
Well, this happened today. Also showing the trick for removing the center stand spring easily. Although, that is the one piece that won't budge - the center stand pivot. Presently soaking in penetrant. Discovered on fork spring missing  yeah! Ordered a pair of used ones on ebay. Not looking for fantastic performance so they should be fine. Next comes the degreasing and preparation for paint.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Astute Greaser on September 22, 2020, 09:57:57 PM
Pennies very good but there is easier  :P
https://www.aircooledrdclub.com/smf/index.php?topic=56231.msg458003#msg458003 (https://www.aircooledrdclub.com/smf/index.php?topic=56231.msg458003#msg458003)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on September 22, 2020, 10:13:31 PM
Pennies very good but there is easier  :P
https://www.aircooledrdclub.com/smf/index.php?topic=56231.msg458003#msg458003 (https://www.aircooledrdclub.com/smf/index.php?topic=56231.msg458003#msg458003)

On that note, I use a common household fork, 1 prong bent to act as a spring puller, works great, fits in hand great too been using this since the 80s

[attachimg=1]
[attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 25, 2020, 01:37:20 PM
I learned the penny trick (actually read about using washers, but had a bowl of pennys on the bench) for removing GL1000 and CB750F kickstand and center stand springs. Much heavier than the RD400 springs!

Crank is back, looking great. I hope to get started on reassembly early next week. Gave up on the enter stand pivot. After four days penetrant soak and heating it refuses to budge, so it will just get cleaned and painted as a unit with the frame. Still rolling the tank around with Evaporust in it. Should be pouring that out, rinsing, drying, and fogging this evening.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 26, 2020, 01:34:55 AM
After about four days soaking with a gallon of Evaporust, I drained the gas tank, rinsed, and dried it followed by spraying the inside with fogging oil. Now the Evaporust is in a plastic tub with the rear sprocket, washers, etc. soaking in it.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on September 28, 2020, 11:03:15 PM
No photos today, but the RD400 case mating surfaces are cleaned up (about six hour's work) and the transmission installed and tested that it shifts (one hour's work). Tomorrow the crank goes in!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on October 05, 2020, 09:25:24 PM
Case mated and clutch/right side transmission assembled. Almost ready to install the right side cover but I want to test the oil pump first.

Question - I have a new right side gasket for it. Do folks normally use any gasket cement on them? The old one was stuck to the cover really well with something that dried hard and didn't seem to give way to acetone. I personally like Indian Head Gasket Shellac. Old school, but it stays tacky for quite a while and dissolves in acetone for removal. I just use it to hold the gasket in place (in this case I plan to use it on the cover.) Is this Ok?
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on October 06, 2020, 12:29:52 PM
Not everyone checks the Restoration Section, if you don't get an answer to your query try asking the question in the Tech Help

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on October 09, 2020, 09:08:47 PM
Case mated. Oil pump working great. Did some cleaning on the frame and parts while waiting for wrist pins and clips. Took the frame to a car wash, sprayed it with Gunk, then oven cleaner, then hit it with the soap wand and rinse wand. It shows evidence of having paint over rust (not real bad, but that's never good) as well as paint over the headstock label and rear Brake Fluid label (probably others, but that's all I can find). Thumbnail brought them both semi-legible. Did a little abrasive wheel work and more scrubbing. Primed a few spots  on the frame, and primed and painted (first coat) the footpeg mount, pillion peg mounts, and swing arm. I'm sure the swingarm welds are good, but what did they use, a Harbor Freight AC flux core MIG? That's much more weld spatter than I've ever seen on factory welds, even Hondas.
[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on October 16, 2020, 12:13:29 AM
No pictures today (well, I took them, but forgot to bring the camera up from the garage). All buttoned up, rotor and stator mounted, and timing set (figured it would be easier with the engine on the bench). Plugged intake and put it in the big plastic storage box. I need to do some lathe bit grinding and cut a flange on the lathe, so best to have it protected from that. After finishing with the lathe, I might get to de-rust the remainder of the frame and prime it. Then, ,all get stored away as we are having work done on our house that will require me to consolidate two GoldWings and the RD400 parts into the front half of the garage so that sheetrock can be ripped out over the garage door.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on October 16, 2020, 03:31:33 PM
(https://scontent-atl3-2.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/121821442_3795412233825270_6104833233867816587_o.jpg?_nc_cat=102&_nc_sid=0debeb&_nc_ohc=ozYTDC28UPQAX_SO1w2&_nc_ht=scontent-atl3-2.xx&oh=ac00fc1d5e4934de2dd8d2f318095090&oe=5FAE30A0)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on October 21, 2020, 10:58:29 PM
I had started cleaning off the spots where I could see that the frame had rust painted over (a no-no for Navy guys). Got about half of it done and the wife started doing dusty things so I put it up. She worked today, so I finished putting etching primer on the spots I had found before and cleaned up the rest of it and applied etching primer to the whole frame. About an hour later I was able to get a coat of Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy Black to the part of it that I could hit with it upside-down. Tomorrow, if the weather is still good, I will flip it over and finish the black on it, then hang it from the garage ceiling until ready for assembly.[attachimg=1][attachimg=2]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on October 22, 2020, 11:26:43 AM
Some good progress there mate, it will be a rolling chassis before long  8)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on October 30, 2020, 04:26:51 PM
I try to do at least a little something on it every day, even though most is now put up in preparation (soon, we hope!) for house remodel. Yesterday I cleaned, tested, and painted the clocks and their frame. Today I assembled the dash and tested all lamps and the circuit that switched on-and-off from the speedometer to give input to the signal cancel unit. Full speed fast (in reverse) on my VSR battery powered drill is ~ 30 MPH and 6 K RPM.[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 07, 2020, 12:14:58 AM
Finished removing the paint from the tank. Bondo on the small dents and the one big rough spot left on the front after using the stud welder on it. The a lot of sanding, and more Bondo, more sanding, Bondo Glazing and spot putty, more sanding. Primed the bottom (tunnel) with etching primer, then the top. Noticed some rough spots on the top, so built up about four layers of filler primer (the red). I'll let that cure overnight and hit it tomorrow with sanding again. If good then, a good etching primer layer to seal everything so the lacquer will not react with any small bit I may have left. Considering leaving the tunnel with just the etching primer and then clear over the whole thing when it comes time.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on November 07, 2020, 12:30:49 AM
Fingers crossed it is good to go tomorrow

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 08, 2020, 01:23:42 AM
Well, good and not so. The "filler" primer never hardened. Had to sand it off. Then I tried Bondo Glazing and Spotting Putty - it never hardened and continues to outgas through my lacquer-based etching primer, messing it up. Dug that out and replaced it with regular Bondo 2-part. Pretty close to what I want, now.
[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 10, 2020, 03:34:47 AM
Gotta say that the weather the past couple weeks has really helped things to move along. Today I stripped and primed the oil tank. So, everything is primed and ready for color. If we get the break in humidity forecast for next week, I may be able to shoot the color then. Since it will be lacquer with 2K clearcoat over, it will have to set and cure for a couple weeks before the clearcoat. Still looks like a week or two before the house work starts, so I may go ahead and start bolting things together. Rain due in tomorrow evening, so I'll start on the fork rebuilding.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on November 10, 2020, 07:41:43 PM

Presumably the weather in Tennessee is much better than the damp and murky place over the pond  :(
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 11, 2020, 05:00:51 AM

Presumably the weather in Tennessee is much better than the damp and murky place over the pond  :(
Autumn brings low humidity, sunny, clear skies, colorful leaves, lower temperatures and then Boom! Winter comes in dark, grey, bleak and cold. A cold front (and tropical depression) are bringing moisture for the next few days, followed by cooler, dry days. I can usually sneak in a few painting days in December. Then hibernate for three months.

I well remember the weather in Scotland when I was on a Navy sub. There were brief nice periods like we get here, but they lasted for minutes, not days.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 11, 2020, 11:42:12 PM
Rainy today - and a bonus that the mountains provide - power outages. On our backup generator for the past hour and a half.  And it is dark now. I always pray for the linemen that have to work in bad weather.

Anyway, the forks are rebuilt with new seals and fresh synthetic ATF. Straightened, cleaned the rust and paint off of the old headlight bucket, and primed it by heating with the heat gun, open the garage door and paint, close the door and hit with heat gun again, repeat. Weather is forecast to clear up in a few days. Then it will get black finish. Went through parts to determine what I still need - brake lines, tires, chain, plus about $150 in bits from Yambits.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 12, 2020, 09:40:20 PM
Today, headlight bucket painted, mufflers cleaned and polished. Baffles pulled, cleaned, and new wrap installed. Downpipes polished. Kickstand installed. I guess the wiring harness needs to be brought in for refurb next.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 15, 2020, 12:56:46 AM
Started on the wiring this afternoon. Right control sorted. Had to completely disassemble and re-solder all three of the connections to the turn signal switch - they broke off! I've not experienced such bad cold solder joints in a Japanese product. Anyway, that item is ready except for the bullets presently soaking in vinegar. Bad weather forecast for tomorrow, so might get more done after church.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 16, 2020, 08:57:38 PM
The headlight bucket and ring were pretty beat up. Looked like the bike had gone down on the right side and smashed them a bit. But, the lamp, lens, and reflector were intact! So, I tapped the ring and bucket back "rounderized" again and repainted the bucket. Looks ready to mount!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 17, 2020, 12:32:47 AM
This happened this evening. USPS and FedEx delivered a bunch of parts (at around 6 pm). Have to say it is pretty amazing to order from Yambits on Friday and have the order delivered on Monday! Anyway, I also had All Balls head bearings ordered from an Amazon dealer along with headlight ear mounts from Yambits. I assembled the lower tree with the tapered bearing and the original ball bearing on top. Then mounted the forks and the headlight ears on them, and finally the top tree. Went together very smooth. Just setting on the dolly and a 4x4 for now. Tomorrow I'll figure out a way to balance it on the dolly and strap it down. Because - the builders are supposed to start coming in tomorrow! I really don't mind being delayed on the bike build if we can get these home repairs finished before bad winter weather!
[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on November 17, 2020, 06:19:01 PM

Good luck with your builders, make sure you cover the RD to protect it from dust!
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 18, 2020, 12:31:36 PM
Just a bit more today. The Vietnamese seat looks Ok, but doesn't really fit properly.  I had to add ~5mm spacers under the hinges and ~20 under the latch for it to close level. I guess they made their seat pans for no or very little bumper rubbers, and I am re-using the originals from the old seat. Sorry for the crappy cell phone photo. The wrap will come off the seat once I get her on the wheels with engine in place.(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20201118/36bb1d7669759f61163d770a5309478d.jpg)
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 19, 2020, 09:22:51 PM
The cleanup of the wiring is done (but not installed). I did get the seat, handlebar, and wheels on it so that it can be moved around easier. I guess the next would be the engine (or is it best to mount the wiring first?)[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on November 19, 2020, 10:03:07 PM
I think I would be tempted to pop the engine bin next, but I'm not sure if that will block access to the battery area.
If you would like to canvas a wider opinion it is worth asking in Tech Help as that section has more traffic than the Restoration Section

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Phil S on November 20, 2020, 07:58:42 AM
I would put the wiring loom, rear plastic mudguard, switch gear, coil packs, brake pipes, battery box, relay panel, the engine can go in quite late.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 20, 2020, 12:12:15 PM
I think I would be tempted to pop the engine bin next, but I'm not sure if that will block access to the battery area.
If you would like to canvas a wider opinion it is worth asking in Tech Help as that section has more traffic than the Restoration Section

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk
Good idea! Posted.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 20, 2020, 12:13:53 PM
I would put the wiring loom, rear plastic mudguard, switch gear, coil packs, brake pipes, battery box, relay panel, the engine can go in quite late.
The mudguard - is it tricky to get in later? Hadn't thought of it. I guess it will come out of the shed along with the air box this morning.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Gr8uncleal on November 20, 2020, 12:53:35 PM
Just some randoms:-

1) Make sure that the coating on the handlebars doesn't interfere with the handlebar switches getting their earth (apologies if this has been covered already!).
2) Battery box can be removed/replaced in isolation (I had to do it to replace the block connector for the oil level light). Just remember that the flasher relay hooks on to the underside.
3) I don't think that anything gets in the way of the plastic half of the rear mudguard.
4) If they've been separated for any reason, I would fit the rear light and route the wiring to the metal half of the rear mudguard before fitting this.
5) Re (4) above, fit the rear grab rail to the rear mudguard before fitting the light.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Phil S on November 20, 2020, 10:07:32 PM
The Airbox can be tricky worth fitting early on
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 20, 2020, 10:28:15 PM
Thanks, guys! Today, I washed and mounted the inner mudguard and airbox. Also, the headlight bowl and front indicators. With all of that on, why not poke the wiring loom in and connect all of that? Whew! sure glad I had printed oht the USA color wiring diagram. Also spent time cleaning up the front and rear chrome mudguards. This is not my favorite task. Over the years I've found the most effective way to clean old chrome and remove tge haze of tiny rust "blooms" is a wad of aluminum foil dipped in vinegar.  And I hate the smell of vinegar!  They look nice now though. Not show quality but nothing to embarrass me when pulling up to the Time Warp Tea Room next summer. Got some paint on the three brackets used for mounting the motor, and finished off by mounting the front caliper, master, and brake line. The 800mm line from an Amazon vendor seems to fit just right (eliminating the little pipe). BTW, removing the brass seal in aftermarket calipers is easily done with a drywall screw grabbed with a pair of pliers.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 23, 2020, 03:43:39 AM
Moving forward (hopefully). The lump is mounted as well as the rear mudguard and wiring back to the tail light and signals.[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 25, 2020, 01:16:48 AM
Exhaust and rear brake installed. They started on our house today. 12x12 foot deck and 4x6 landing, stairs to both all demo'ed. They will be back after the holidays and replace with new. I'll bleed the brakes tomorrow and hook up the battery (supposed to be delivered tomorrow) to see how the electrics look. Later in the week will roll it to the shed to store for the demolition of the garage ceiling.[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: Motty on November 25, 2020, 08:14:12 AM
You have certainly been making progress prior to the building work starting

Sent from my Moto E (4) Plus using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 26, 2020, 03:54:56 PM
Battery came in yesterday evening, and everything non-engine related seems to work except the signals. Think we might need a new flasher.
[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: tony2stroke on November 26, 2020, 04:41:17 PM
clean it all up and re-use it mate, you won't get one as good quality new.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 28, 2020, 12:50:38 PM
clean it all up and re-use it mate, you won't get one as good quality new.
Well, that appears to be the only option right now. Ran it for 20 minutes in isopropyl in the ultrasonic cleaner, resoldered the pulled capacitor lead. It works now, but buzzes for a couple seconds first.

Brakes are bled now. Not perfect, but a good amount of pedal and lever available. Carbs need to go on next. I will pull them apart one more time to check setup first.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 29, 2020, 12:52:14 AM
Ok, I got the 3 pole electronic flasher to work. Yamaha for some reason swapped the load pole position on the relay. All that I had to do was swap the yellow/green connector with the brown/white connector, and at least flasher-wise, it is working great! Remind me in four or five montbs to report on if the cancelling function works.
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on November 30, 2020, 11:44:00 PM
Probably the last photo for a while. Carbs are on, everything hooked up except fuel and oil supply lines. Now to wait for weather to paint, decal, and clear the tanks and side cover. Then make smoke![attachimg=1]
Title: Re: Pidjones' bicentenial build (a '76 RD400)
Post by: pidjones on December 03, 2020, 09:19:39 PM
This happened today. Sheetrock was ripped out in the garage (just one sheet) to replace the cantilevered joists covered with a blue tarp in this photo. Sheetrock will have to stay off until the building inspector has looked at it now. But, the 12' X 12' deck is framed and laid. Moving forward! Decking is Fiberon composite. Material prices have gone through the roof due to COVID and hurricanes, but I had promised the wife to do it this year.[attachimg=1] [attachimg=2]