Guidance

Gossamer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:49 am

Guidance

Post by Gossamer »

About 1.5 years ago I started posting about a 1959 R69 my uncle bought new in Germany. Then I had some 'family issues' getting the bike, finally got it, did the title chase, finally got a bonded title that took a few attempts because lets face it, the DMV gets confused by old things with strange VIN numbers. Then a few personal issues.

Well now I'm finally ready to start into this thing and to be honest I'm feel a little daunted. I'm just not sure where I should really start. Ok i've got the latest Barrington book. I'm above average when it comes to mechanical things but i've never tackled a project like this.

I'd love a concours style refurb but not sure that's in the cards price wise at this point.

Ultimately my goal is to get her streetable and go from there. The motor is free, it does still have compression albeit weak at about 65lbs. Even after sitting since 77, the old girl still thru spark across the plug. So that gives me hope.

I've picked up some keys, a 'new seat', the tool to grab the exhaust header fins, but haven't done much else.

I've got 10k i've put aside for her. I know it'll go a lot further towards my goal if I do the work myself. But i also know that if i screw something up I don't have a full machine shop at my disposal.

I guess I'm looking for guidance from those that have tackled this kind of project. If i take it somewhere, such as Thoroughbred Cycles which is relatively close to me, it'll cost a lot more, but would get done way quicker(my free time is limited work/house/wife/kids/etc). I know just the nature of old vehicles, i'll always have to tinker with it, that doesn't scare me.

So looking for some hand holding, leading the way, opinions and thoughts guidance here.

As a reminder this is the project, she needs to be brung back to life and back out on the road.
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schrader7032
Posts: 7241
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

Re: Guidance

Post by schrader7032 »

I certainly admit handing the bike off to someone else to do all the work is way costly. On the other end of the scale, doing all the work yourself takes a long time and will certainly cost money with special tools, parts, and parts to replace parts you messed up on the learning curve. Somewhere in between is where I try to shoot. Find out what you can do for yourself and leave the critical things to the experts. That's basically what I've done to my two older bikes. I felt good enough to do all the outside things in terms of the engine, and hand that off as a "lump" to someone who can do the bottom end and top end.

I haven't gone much farther though...I haven't had to dig into a transmission, driveshaft, final drive. With my skill set, those would also likely need to go to an expert.

If you can't afford to pay it to be done, and you don't want to wait forever, then find something in between.
Kurt in S.A.
'78 R100/7 '69 R69S '52 R25/2

CWRoady
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2020 3:42 pm
Location: SoCal

Re: Guidance

Post by CWRoady »

I am currently refurbishing a '55 R50 I recently purchased and am going the "in between" route. It has been quite enjoyable. I have done the work I feel comfortable is within my skill sets like relining the brakes, rebuilt the shocks, replacing bearings (swingarm, steering head, wheel), rings, replacing the wiring loom (some projects completed, much pending) .. but the heads have been shipped to Randy Long, the bottom end as well as the final drive went to Irv Seavers. Frame and front end are being checked out @ Dr Johns to ensure alignment. On the frame, I used the method in the Barrington book and everything seemed good, but I couldn't bring myself this far without ensuring everything was straight based on a couple of clues that make me think it has been down.

Even with the "in between" route I have had bike components spread across the Country for (understood and accepted) lead times closing in on a month and a half now and a good bit of cash spent or committed to be spent. It has been a fun and rewarding process and I am thankful to have started a home based project of this magnitude just as this whole Covid isolation timeline began. There is plenty to do while I wait for components to return to my shop (shed really ;- ).

Best of luck on whatever route you take .. I have dug in fairly deep on a couple of /5's I have owned, but this is the first time I have ever taken a bike down to the complete disassembly ... for me it has been a challenge at times, but an unequivocally enjoyable project. I have added some tools to my toolbox (which is always fun too), stored up a good size collection of parts awaiting the return of other components, enjoyed the challenges, new to me experiences and looking forward to the ones still to come. My goal is to take a nice ride on my birthday at the end of September. I hope this helps you determine the best path forward for you and congrats .. it looks like a great project.
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Chris
1955 R50 / 1973 R75/5 / 2015 RT
Yard Art 1968 +/- Hodaka & SACHS

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Twocams
Posts: 759
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:42 pm

Re: Guidance

Post by Twocams »

It took me 2.5 yrs to do my 69 R69S & $2500 ( parts) to do most all myself. Sent the head out to do the valve seats & cylinders (jugs) out to have them honed one size larger. I used one of those all-in-one tools ($200) hot plate. My freezer/hand held torch. And 99% of the rest were just my hand tools. My kids are all grown ( thankyou). Only my girl friend to worry me. So rebuild the engine & get going. :shock:
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Twocams
92 R100RT/69 R69S
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter
83 Honda V65 Magna, fastest production bike in1983

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Twocams
Posts: 759
Joined: Sun Mar 16, 2014 8:42 pm

Re: Guidance

Post by Twocams »

Just some pics of first couple days. Forgot to post with others. Yours looks to be in a little worser shape than mine was.
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Twocams
92 R100RT/69 R69S
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter
83 Honda V65 Magna, fastest production bike in1983

Gossamer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:49 am

Re: Guidance

Post by Gossamer »

i appreciate the input guys.

This one was parked around 1976/77 with 28k miles on it. As I stated, just a bit daunting but after talking with a guy from northern Illinois yesterday and some encouragement I've decided to do what I can myself and send the pieces to the pros for the stuff i'm not so sure on.

Thankfully him and his group of friends (who said they've restored 9 classic BMW's) are only a few hour drive and would most likely be at my disposal if I get stuck or need help.

So hopefully over the next few weeks I'll have some teardown pictures and lots of questions. I do have the barrington book to help with the rest.

I've got 10k to drop on this project, lots of hours ahead of me, but hoping for a running and streetable classic by next spring.

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goaarongo
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:40 pm

Re: Guidance

Post by goaarongo »

Looks fun - I'll definitely be interested in your progress. I've been on the same road with an r69 for about the past 2 years (the "old dirty" one on this forum). I'd say you have plenty of budget it you go the route of doing it yourself wherever possible. You are also in the lucky position of having a complete bike. It's easier to put stuff back together when you were the one who took it apart.

As far a tackling the tough stuff - I outsourced the machine work (cylinders and heads) and my transmission rebuild. I had major help with my crank, but ultimately reinstalled on my own. One thing I will mention is don't forget to factor in the cost of all the special tools. There are 4 pages of them in the manual :shock: . I made some of them myself, and begged and borrowed some, but a few things you really just can't get around. Check out https://www.cycleworks.net/ for some alternatives that are less expensive than typing "matra" into ebay...

I have piled up a healthy list of links and contacts at this point and if you are interested I'm happy to share more.

Gossamer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:49 am

Re: Guidance

Post by Gossamer »

Project started.

Didn't get as far as I liked but made some progress.

Couldn't get the head pipes out of the exhaust ports so i have them soaking with Kroil.

Some bolts came out easily, some took some real effort, some just decided to twist into 2 pieces.

Also have to look into removing the throttle cables. Since this bike has sat unmoved since 1977, should i just save myself some headache and cut the cables? Also a few electrical cables going into the top of the motor i need to figure out how to remove. One's gotta be the timing retard cable, assuming the other is magneto kill switch.

Priority one is getting the motor out since i have some gentleman experienced in these classics that have offered up their assistance.
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Twocams
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Re: Guidance

Post by Twocams »

Take lots of pictures if you can. I would cut the throttle cables, you wont use those old crusty things. Cut the rubbers off the foot pegs. Take the front cover off, 2 10mm nuts. Dont cut any electric wires if you dont have to.
Twocams
92 R100RT/69 R69S
2004 Aprilia Atlantic 500cc single cylinder Scooter
83 Honda V65 Magna, fastest production bike in1983

Gossamer
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2018 9:49 am

Re: Guidance

Post by Gossamer »

ok got the head pipes off last weekend. Those were a bit of a pain.

Anyhow, I'm down to a few items before I can pull the motor.

I have the resto manual but sometimes it's just easier to get live feedback from people that have done this.

The timing retard cable near the ignition, I know i'm going to have to replace the cable but is there a trick to just removing that cable in the area?

In the back of the motor there's a single wire that was under what turned out to be an orange cap after I degreased it. Anyhow it looks like I just need a small precision screwdriver to loosen the stud and pull that wire?

Also to remove the shaft drive. I got the large caps off the pivot shaft for the swingarm, looks like i'm going to need help getting the nuts out since there's not much room between them and the frame.

I pulled back the boot from the shaft U-joint, is the best way to just remove the 4 bolts between the engine and shaft drive so that i can remove the last 4 bolts holding the motor to frame?

Thanks in advance for any help

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