1994 RVF400R Build Project

Discussion in 'Mechanics Garage' started by NorcalBoy, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Just finished taking a few measurements, looking like 24" x 22" x 24" for the initial outside framework. Time to go see what kind of mess I can burn together.

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  2. KarlR

    KarlR New Member

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    You take the best pictures. The engine on the blocks looks so good. Keep us posted on the progress.
     
  3. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Hey, thanks Karl, I appreciate your kind words. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

    I will keep posting. I didn't get much done today...went to work on the engine shipping crate, cut some pieces, but that's where it stopped. Ended up spending the time looking over a potential project my fab shop buddy is considering. '48 Power Wagon that he wants to buy, restomod, and retrofit a Cummins 4 cylinder 2.8 liter turbo diesel crate engine into it. He's also working on fabricating parts for a custom GoGo Mobil 400 with a Hyabusa engine in it, of course I got wrapped up in that. Didn't get shit accomplished, rofl.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2019
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  4. reg71

    reg71 Poser Staff Member

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    I bet you are about as fast as an HRC mech on assembly/disassembly by now.
     
  5. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    It's a lot easier now, rather than the first time. I don't need a manual or parts diagram for anything other than the torque specs. I have a decent understanding of the order of operations to disassemble and assemble it now. There are certain things that need to be loosened before other things are removed, just makes it easier to do. It's basically the same as stripping down a 6g, just smaller and lot easier to work on, less parts, better layout.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2019
  6. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I have been working sporadically on the shipping crate and I just about have it wrapped up. It might be a touch of overkill, but I don't want it damaged in shipping.

    The frame itself is made out of 1" box tubing, the base is thick wall, the rest is thinner wall to keep the weight down.

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    To hold the engine in, cross braces were welded in and a threaded tab was attached to the cross brace.

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    Runners were cut and fitted to attach to the engine with 10mm bolts and machined aluminum spacers to keep them off the engine.

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    These end pieces were fabricated to slip into the ends of the runners.

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    These end pieces were slipped into the end of the two runners and bolted into the cross braces, tying it all together

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    The base is made up of 2x4's and attached to the frame so the engine can't move in any direction and to keep the stress off the runners and cross braces. The entire thing will get sheeted with 1/4" plywood. The engine is completely locked in place and can be removed from the crate by taking off three panels and undoing 2 allen heads and 4 bolts. The finished crate should be light and capable of withstanding any monkey business during the shipping journey.

    I'm talking with Mike Norman at GForce today to figure out the next step in the process.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2019
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  7. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Just paid for the carillo a-beam rods, 428cc cosworth pistons, dlc coated piston pins and rings....oooof...fooking painful.
     
  8. Gator

    Gator Insider

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    How painful....?
     
  9. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    More zeros than in "f00king" I bet.
     
  10. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Sadly, yes.

    I know, deep down inside, it's the only way to go. If I didn't go all the way when I had the chance, I would never be happy. I might feel some significant pain and remorse while putting the chips on the table, but I know the end result will be decent. There are only three complete sets of the matched components left in the world, and there was serious interest from 4 other folks, mostly in Japan and Europe. It was a do or die situation, and I wasn't about to be the one without a seat when the music stopped. I had to snatch victory from defeat, no matter the cost. It was come to jeebus time.

    I'm going to gift the shipping crate to Mike Norman when this is all done, he has an interest in having it, he will be able to put it to use, so I will give it to him. I will know for sure, after he gets a chance to inspect it in person. I told him, shipping costs back to you, and it's yours.

    I talked to my folks in Tucson today, they are going to do the initial dyno run in for the engine and the tuning. Mike has indicated the whole process to complete the engine takes approximately 3 months, depending upon the service providers turn around time.
     
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  11. reg71

    reg71 Poser Staff Member

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    That engine shipping container might be worth saving for future modification to send other engines if it's big enough.
     
  12. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    It is pretty specific to VFR/RVF400 engines. They are relatively easy to put together and the materials don't cost much. Mike Norman will get more use out of it and I won't have to find a place to put it. With the amount of shit I have in the shop, it's just one less thing to deal with. I need to improve my economy of space, but it isn't a priority right now. It will be later this year, as I think there will be more than one moto in there.
     
  13. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    love it - !! Thats a great idea to give mike the box - I think my last engine VFR400r came complete in a cardboard box & bubble wrap - LOL
     
  14. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Been limping along with the project, due to an issue at work that shut down our project around Thanksgiving. Don't know if I'm repeating myself here, but I'm to lazy to go back and look. :Bored:

    Anyway, I received some pennies from heaven from my former employer and I'm pretty much back in the game now. The budget is eye watering, even for me, and I just wanted to make sure I had the funds to pay for most of it up front. Just waiting for a check to arrive and the engine will be on it's way to G-Force Engine Development. Mike Norman has been awesome to deal with, super patient and understanding.

    Finished crating up the engine this past Sunday and it's ready to go, have the quote locked down for the shipping. Yellow Freight used to ship my motos, parts, and gear around when I was racing offroad and they cut me a very good deal on the shipping. Luckily, the lady I dealt with before is still working at the terminal here. I drop it off at the terminal and they deliver it with a liftgate truck. Make it easy.

    All buttoned up

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    While the engine is gone, I decided to do a little side project restoring and upgrading the instrument cluster. The housing is in great shape, but the interior of the glass could stand to be polished up and I wanted to switch the speedo faceplate from KMH to MPH and remove the converter gearbox. I also wanted to replace the bulbs with led's and replace all of the hardware on the back with ti and aluminum stuff to clean up the look.

    I didn't want to deal with the faceplate install process and figured I would leave it to the pros, so I contacted Dick's Speed-O-Tach in Tempe Arizona and they said they could do it for me, no problem at all. Getting the needles off is a fiddly process and I'd rather have someone do it who's done it before...alot. They said send up the cluster, and they would have it done in a day and shipped back out. I'm just waiting on the new faceplates to arrive from Classic Gauge in the UK.

    I decided to go with the RVF400 faceplates, in white, here: https://www.ebay.com/itm/183833584909 It's the second pic in.

    I started messing around with the housing today and got all of the hardware spec'd out and ordered from ProBolt. I went to superbrightleds.com and ordered up the bulbs, cool white 7500k 194's for the idiot lights and red 194 and 74 120* bulbs for the backlighting on the gauges. I also ordered a new trip meter reset knob from Honda, as the original was pretty rough from sitting outside.

    I'm going to try to do something with the pins for the surround foam, but need to decide how to do it, as you can see, one of them was snapped off when I got the moto. Going to run it by my fab guy and come up with a plan for making a fix out of aluminum.

    Just wanted to post up some before pics, before I broke them down for shipping, just want to make it easy on those guys doing the faces. Interested to see the difference when they are done.

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    As soon as the face plates arrive I'll throw them in a box and get them out. Stay tuned.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2020
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  15. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Insider

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    Ron,

    I bought another dash to practice on a week ago just for this purpose.
     
  16. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    I decided to skip the trial and error and just have someone else do it, rofl. One and done.
     
  17. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Things to a great turn towards positive movement today

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    The engine went to Yellow Freight and it is FINALLY on it's way to Mike Norman at G-Fore Engine Development in the Bay Area.

    Mike has been back east, in Boston, working on building three new race engines for East Coast racers. He will finish up this weekend and he will be back in his shop on the 23rd, which is the day the engine should arrive. There are 2 race engines in front of me that have to be completed before he can start on mine. I have managed to end up right at the peak season for getting race bikes ready for the 2020 season, and they get priority. My engine will require at least 3 months to complete, start to finish. It does give me more time to accumulate the rest of the money pile I will need to pay it off at the end of the build, so that is a great thing.

    I'm slowly, but surely making progress on the instrument restoration. I have all of the led's and the ti and aluminum hardware. I received the new trip reset knob and some OEM screws I couldn't source anywhere but from Honda. Waiting on some pieces to arrive this weekend and next week. My fabricator should have the pieces machined and the gauge case modifed by the end of next week. Doubt I will get to finish them, as I've gotten my dispatch to head back to work week after next. I'm just hoping to have all of the bits and pieces to get it done when the time presents itself.
     
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  18. Toddman

    Toddman New Member

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    Geez and I thought I was spending too much green on my ‘94F. Can’t wait to see that thing when you’re finished.
     
  19. NorcalBoy

    NorcalBoy Member

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    Been making a little bit of progress. The engine was delivered to G-Force Engine Development on Friday. Mike Norman will be back in the Shop on Monday and the process of building the engine will begin, as soon as he can start the disassembly and inspection. I'm very interested to finally get a determination of what the cause of the low oil pressure issue is with the engine.

    [​IMG]

    Been slowly, but surely, accumulating all the bits and pieces that were needed to restore the instrument cluster. I have the majority of pieces in hand to finish it.

    All new ti and aluminum hardware from ProBolt and Honda to replace all of the oxidized hardware that holds the whole thing together. Went to Superbrightleds.com and sourced some 74 and 194 led bulbs for the backlighting in red, blue, and white. I plan on doing blue for the speedo, red for the tach and temp gauges, and the white bulbs are for the idiot lights.

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    I received new faceplates for the gauges from Classic Gauges in the UK. Went with white, with a vintage Honda wing on the tach, to give them a fresh new look. The quality of the new faceplates is excellent. The best part is that I can ditch the speedometer converter from the speedo, as the new speedo face is in MPH. Dick's Speedo-Tach in Tempe, AZ is going to install the faceplates for me...the install is a little fiddly, so I'll leave it to them, so it gets done right the first time, lol. Didn't want to waste $60 and have to wait another two weeks to get a new set.

    [​IMG]

    I was able to source some new foam to redo the gauge surround foam. Like most things with this moto, Honda discontinued the surrounds a long time ago. I went with chemical resistant, 2.2 pound polypropylene in white and black. My fabricator Robb drew up a .DXF file for me so that I could get the foam water jet cut by A1 Water Jet here in town. They finished them Friday, I got three of each color. I'll decide what color to use when I can see what they look like installed. I'll pick them up on Monday and see how they turned out. I have my fingers crossed that they will be an exact match, I left the original foam so they could check the new ones and make sure they match.

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    Robb is still working on machining the new aluminum pins to replace the broken and missing plastic pins and machine the exterior housing of the instrument panel to fit them up, once he finishes up, the whole cluster will go off to Dick's for the faceplate replacement. They told me it would be same day service and they would go back out, and I would have it the next day. After that, it's just a matter of reassembly and it will be done. I have new carbon fiber bezel covers coming from Tyga Performance in Thailand to finish it off. The bezels are currently going through customs in LA.

    I'll update when I pick up the foam.
     
  20. OZ VFR

    OZ VFR Member

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    Just a heads up NB on the LEDs for the idiot lights. you might want to try them out beforehand as my mate got some for his panel and turned out too white in use.
    As they’re a fine point light source, they rendered the idiot lights too white. He ended up having to order LEDs in the right colour for the application. As in red, green, and blue.
     
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