Restarting my project VF500F from 2016

Discussion in '1st & 2nd Generation 1983-1989' started by Hellapet, Apr 18, 2021.

  1. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Alright, some progress was made today. Kind of. This is a wordy one.

    The rear brake situation is good. The original caliper mounted up to the hurricane hanger easily, and everything moves nice and freely. One of the hose hold downs has nowhere to mount as the 'cane hanger does not have a bolt hole for it like the vf hanger did. I will make a 6 inch brake stay as recommended. My plan is to drill out and tap the existing hole in the swingarm (looks like M5 or M6) to bring it up to M8. Is this necessary? I just don't feel like a single M6 bolt will hold under hard braking, especially against shearing force. Not to mention, if it fails then the rear caliper gets sucked into the wheel and it could be pretty bad.

    The next issue is that the tire rubs the chain on the left side and the swingarm on the right. It's close for sure but it definitely rubs. I'm not sure what I did wrong. My first thought is, would another link or two in the chain allow the wheel to sit back further and gain the clearance it needs on the right side? The further back the wheel sits the wider the swingarm gets of course. My second thought is, did I take too much material off of the cush drive? I don't think that's it because the chain line looks straight. I also have the original cush drive to compare it to if I get desperate. Lastly there is the obvious question of whether the tire itself is too wide.

    Ok, well now that I've typed all this out I just checked my email from 2017 and I have, in fact, bought too wide a rear tire. According to DMR the widest I can fit is 150mm and my receipt from revzilla says I bought a 160/60. facepalm. Not sure what I was thinking back then but here I am anyway. Looks like I will have to unload a "brand new" 4 year old tire. Bummer. Anyone have any ideas about this? The 150/60 r17 is available for $107. Before I make any moves I will check to see that the tire I have actually IS a 160, I didn't take any pictures while I was there.

    As an aside, the sprocket I have does line up to the smaller holes as discussed in my last post. Not sure why the last owner mounted it on the bigger holes. It is an JT just as Colddevil suspected, and a 44 tooth stock size. The chain seems to be missing the retainer on its master link, pic included. I tried to pry it apart gently with a screwdriver but it didn't budge. Maybe there's something else going on?
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jim McCulloch

    Jim McCulloch New Member

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    I think I would press that Master link off with a chain tool. Get a new one.

    Make sure the chain is not stretched out beyond use also. I wonder WTF happened to the master link clip???
     
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  3. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    I reckon I will do that. I bet it was taken off by some idiot besides myself and never put back on. I'm glad it stayed in place though!

    I checked and the tire is indeed a 160/60 so I coughed up $116 for a new Battlax S20 EVO 150/60, hopefully that does the trick. My best guess is that I either totally goofed and bought the wrong thing back in 2016, or I thought I was smarter than everyone and could make a 160 work. Spoiler: I am not that smart, and I don't care that much about an extra 10mm.

    My tasks in the meantime are to get the tire off, check the chain stretch, clean the chain and sprocket and install the new master link. Can anyone tell me how to identify the chain size so I can order the new master link? I also have to drill the mounting holes in my rear shock extension and chamfer the sides a bit. I've now measured and marked them to have the eye to eye length at 356mm instead of the stock 346. That's all the length I could really get from the extension I made. I also have to machine a little off the inside of the new "yoke" since it's about 36mm wide and the stock yoke is more like 40mm. I have ordered hardware and checked that the spacers and hardware for the upper mount are the right size.

    Much to do! I have to replace the tires on my rebel as well so it's going to be a tough week for my forearms.
     
  4. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    What brand tire was the 160? It makes a huge difference. When I was doing wheel swaps on my 1000s, I knew it would be close with a 5.5" wheel. Everything I read said you couldn't do a 5.5" rim on a 1000 without offset sprockets. My math said otherwise. The first 170 I bought was Avon, and it measured nearly 180 width when mounted! Luckily I still had enough chain clearance... barely. The next tire I bought was a Pireilli. That 170 measured 168. Much better. Dunlop and Avon run really wide, like a size up.

    I take all of my wheels and hubs to work and measure factory chain center and wheel center from the left side swingarm on my granite with a height gage. Then I can compare to what I want to use and see if there is enough material in the hub to accomplish it. My 1000s came down to 1mm without having to fudge chain/wheel center.

    Anyway, good progress so far! The 150 Bridgestone should be great.

    Chain size should be right on the chain plates. Looks like a 530, the plate might say 50 (I think).
     
  5. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Thanks Cap. The 160 is a Bridgestone Battlax S21 and their website lists the actual width at 164mm, while the new 150 is listed actual width at 154mm. Looking at the chain and swingarm, an extra 10mm would make a big difference. According to Jamie D, the Dunlop D204 is the only 160 that is narrow enough for this mod and they don't sell it anymore. Again, I had it in writing and I still bought the wrong tire, not sure what the hell I was thinking...
    I'll give the chain a good scrubbing and see if I can find the chain size there. According to the website for the sprocket, it is for a 530 chain.
     
  6. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Hey guys, here's a small update since it's been a while. I've been super busy at home and spending as much time surfing on the weekends so things have stalled out a little but I am getting back into it. I finally swapped on the new rear tire but haven't tried fitting the wheel yet since I wanted to get the chain off and cleaned first. I kinda scuffed up my nice-ish paint job on the rear wheel but at this point I don't care too much, I just want to get the bike on the road.
    [​IMG]
    Looks about the same as the slightly wider tire.
    I got the chain off using this tool from Motion Pro. Works great like most of their tools.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    I cleaned the chain up (dirty chain pictured above) but it doesn't look that much better. The links are covered in surface rust but the rollers look fine and it seems to be within the length spec. I want it a little stretched anyway for the extra clearance between the tire and swingarm. Tasks left to do on the rear wheel swap are:
    Modify sprocket bolts to be ~10mm shorter or buy replacements
    Refit chain with new master link
    Assemble and check clearance of tire/swingarm/chain
    Modify chain guard if I care enough to keep it
    Drill and tap brake stay hole in swingarm
    Buy parts for brake stay, fabricate others
    Final assembly

    Getting close, but still a lot to be done. That's without mention of refitting the carbs and getting the bike running. Anyone have a good source for shorter sprocket bolts? How about the brake stay? Thanks for reading!
     
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  7. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Progress... like it.

    Post a pic of the caliper bracket (where a stay needs to attach) and approx how long it would need to be.

    On my VF1000R wheel swap I tapped the hub further thru so the original studs mounted as normal. I machined my hub very similar to yours to get chain alignment and the original studs worked no prob after tapping. Don't forget to enlarge the threaded hole at the entry about 5 mm deep so the fat center of the stud can recess down in the hub like stock. Easily done by hand with a step drill bit if needed.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2021
  8. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Thanks Cap, I'll give that a try. I'm not sure I'll even need to tap the holes further, I'd forgotten that the original holes had a seat for the unthreaded part of the stud.
     
  9. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Couple of updates:
    I drilled the seats for the sprocket lugs in the cush drive. No need to tap the holes further, they were threaded all the way. I checked from the back side on each hole. Great advice as always Captain80s. [​IMG]

    So I mounted the wheel up and got the chain back on and there is clearance everywhere, though it still feels close on the chain side. After tightening everything I turned the wheel by hand and fed a paper towel between the chain and tire and it came out clean so I think there is enough clearance.
    [​IMG]

    I must have forgotten to mention this but with much persuasion I got the carbs back on last week. I don't weigh a lot but I literally put all my weight on them and that felt like it would never be enough. Anyway they are on. Today I reinstalled the plug wires, choke cable, airbox, new battery and cut some new fuel lines, and thought I would have a go at starting the motor. I quickly figured out that fuel was not making it out of the gas tank as my new filter was clear and I saw nothing moving through it, even when cranking. I knew the bike had a fuel relay but assumed I just wasn't hearing the pump come on cause it only runs when the coils are firing or something like that. Turns out I wasn't hearing it cause the relay was dead. After jumpering the relay I got fuel through the filter, into the carbs, turned on the choke and the bike came to life. I think I could have replaced that relay several years ago, done nothing to the rest of the bike and it would have started right up...

    This is what I get for assuming there was something wrong with the carbs. Even though it was probably a total waste of time to take out and half-clean the carbs, I'm still very happy today hearing the bike run and seeing it with both wheels swapped. Here is the bike as it sits, I still need to fit a brake stay to the rear brake and swingarm, rebuild the throttle and tune out any play in the cables, then do some basic maintenance like an oil change, filter, and coolant flush. Oh, and put the plastics back on. Anyway, thanks for reading!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Today I:
    Changed the oil and filter
    Cleaned and lubed the throttle/grip
    Adjusted the chain tension, lubed the chain and torqued the rear axle
    Discovered that I put the throttle cables back on the carb in reverse. That was a nice surprise. So I'm halfway through switching them back and it doesn't seem like I'll have to take the carb off. I also noticed that one carb boot was pinched so I loosened the boot clamp and fixed it, then checked the other four.
    The bike starts on the first revolution of the starter, it's amazing. I'm really excited to get it back on the road. Can anyone tell me where to best spot to drain the coolant is?
    No pics today.
    Thanks!
     
  11. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Pretty sure the Water Pump housing cover has a drain bolt. Look for the 8mm head lower bolt with a washer (copper, but prob painted black), or a dedicated drain bolt right in the cover with a 10mm wrench head. Can't remember which off the top of my head.

    Edit: Looks like it has dedicated drain bolt, but it may be 8mm or 10mm head. Keep track of the sealing washer.
     
  12. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Mine has the drain bolt, seems like some don't. Thanks for the tip.
    It's taken me an hour to get one of these two throttle cables in the correct position... not fun.
     
  13. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Cables on the 500 really need to be done with the carbs out of the boots and tilted to one side. You are spending way more time than just popping them out and back in (with the proper technique).

    I think the Magna 500 did not have a dedicated drain. Maybe some 84 F's didn't?

    Good luck!!
     
  14. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    Agree with Cap, on all of my 400's, its about the same amount of time to remove the carbs from the boots, fit the cables, then reinstall.

    MAKE SURE YOU LUBE THE BOOTS - a smear of red rubber grease is perfect. Making the boots slippery & warm makes this task pretty easy. If your boots are over 5 years then just get new ones. They are not expensive, & OEM isn't required - $20-30
     
  15. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    The second cable took 3 minutes when I attacked it today. I appreciate the advice, but I put my iron will to it and made it happen :)
    Some tricks that made it work:
    Cross your fingers nothing comes loose and use a perfectly sized spanner on the 11mm butterfly valve nut to hold the throttle partly open with the spanner resting on the frame of the bike. This allows you to see where the cable end barrels go.
    Use a pair of long locking forceps to grab the cable about a half centimeter from the barrel end. Pull the cable past the throttle wheel and twist it back so the barrel is right next to its home and the cable itself is lined up with its slot.
    Using a very long thin screwdriver, push the barrel into the hole and hope that the cable goes into the slot. If it does...
    Pull the other end of the cable and install the housing in the holder.

    This will require all your life's mechanical kung-fu techniques to pull off, including flashlight-in-mouth, astral-projected-third-hand, and ancient-swear-word library.
     
  16. Captain 80s

    Captain 80s Member

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    Well, I'm glad you got it. Before I perfected the install technique, I may have considered it too. Now they just come out and go in so easy.

    Pro tip: Get some radiator hose hooks. They allow you to sweep the back edge of the rear rubber boots to get the carbs started in without damaging them.
    [​IMG]

    The carbs then just pop right down without folding over the boots.
     
  17. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    I think I have some of these but they are very small, not sure if that's good or bad. I'll try them next time.
    For now the next problem is that the bike is dying after getting a little bit warm (like running for only two minutes) and the choke doesn't seem to do much. I verified the actuation of the choke parts when the carbs were off and everything seemed fine. The fuel pump seems to be working. I don't think there are any air leaks. I think I'm going to have to get on it, ride it til it is warm and continue diagnosis.
     
  18. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Rode the bike around the neighborhood for a few minutes yesterday. The handling feels great, doesn't seem like I did anything wrong putting the wheels on. The choke is now working but the bike still doesn't want to sit and idle for more than a minute. If it dies I have to start it, rev it and readjust the choke. I got it up to temp and there is a lot of oil burning off the exhaust from years of a slow leak on the bottom of the engine somewhere. On the plus side, the engine feels awesome and did not give a hiccup during the brief ride. I forgot how nice it was.
    Things that I need to do:
    Clamps for the new fuel hoses
    Front turn signals and resistor installation (got the fast blinking issue)
    Lube the speedo cable
    Make a brake stay so I can use the rear brake
    Flush the coolant
    Bleed the brakes, the fronts didn't feel very good
    Polish and install plastics
    Get the seat reskinned

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Just now realizing I rode around with that sticker on the rear tire...
     
  19. Hellapet

    Hellapet New Member

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    Rode the bike to the garage where I work today. Literally ran out of fuel rolling into the driveway. Classic. Anyway, I seem to have lost my fairing hardware. Does anyone have a source for the bolts that will hold my single seat cowl on? Or even a size? I'm going to look around a little more but I'm pretty sure the set of bolts that came with it are long gone. I will be ordering a few more of the fairing bolts 90112-mc7-000 for the lower cowl, I've never had quite enough of those. I'm also going to order the rubber insulators that the upper fairing slots onto near the front turn signals. Can anyone confirm that they are part number 17611-028-000?
    I bled the front brakes today but haven't ridden it to see if they feel much better. It was a good idea though.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I scrubbed all that crap out of there and ran a bunch of fluid through, hopefully the feeling improves. The pads look a little thin, I'll probably upgrade soon if it's in the budget.
    Next I attempted to use some 5 minute epoxy to repair the lower cowl, which has a nice long crack in it. I think I probably should have reinforced it or used stronger epoxy because it seems to have moved the tiniest bit. I'm sure it's better than it was, and it held together when bolted to the bike even before the fix, but I'd like it to be more sturdy.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I ordered some parts for the brake stay since that is what is really keeping me from riding the bike now, but I'm not sure how I'll attach it to the swingarm. I was going to drill out the small 6mm hole in the swingarm for a larger 8mm bolt and use a piece of angle steel, but now I'm not sure it won't just bend or swivel around on the single bolt hole. The swingarm is also not flat so it won't get a good friction grip from the bolt.
    So here is how the bike sits now, without installing the lower cowl. It's really shaping up and will look a lot better when the fairings are on, engine is cleaned and especially when I finish the f4 shock mod. The rear sits way too low as is.
    [​IMG] [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  20. Diving Pete

    Diving Pete Member

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    almost there - well done
     
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