As per my confession, the XT has now arrived, much to the amusement of Mrs Rusty!
Its a US Import (78), and looks like it has lived its life in Colorado. I can only assume the previous owner was a spotty ham-fisted 17-year-old, who prefered pliers to spanners, and there are some interesting bolt combinations to provide me with the odd challenge or two. However, in the main it is straight, and for the eagle-eyed amongst you, it does has the original exhaust and the aluminium tank, which is a bonus. That said, the tank has an impressive dent, which I am putting down to a money-saving approach by Chad (I have given the previous owner/my nemesis a name) when it comes to refuelling.
The best news is that it started 4th kick with the fuel that was in the tank (once, I had tapped the carburettor float chamber with a mallet to free the float).
So, to the plan... Over the coming months, I'll start to strip it down, and gradually rebuild her. Won't be Concours, as next summer, the intent is to head down to the Pyrenees and enter the classic twin shock trial that's held there (www.austinvince.com/the-vince). Here are a few photos to wet the appetite:
Original pics from eBay ad
She starts to get naked
First pile of parts arrives (fortunately Mrs Rusty was out when this lot arrived)
These bikes are a bit like the MX5. Simple and fun. And I love it!
Sorry, its been a while, so here is an update for you.
I have managed to start the de-rust and repaint campaign. Swing arm, clock bracket, headlight bowl, battery frame etc, now looking a little less worn. Bearings in the swing arm seem good, so I wont touch those for now, and the same with the wheel bearings. The clocks however, are a bit of a mess, with an 1980 onward speedo, and a tacho from some other bike. I have stripped and refurbed the speedo, so at least it looks like a pre 80 clock (you can judge for yourself). I used an enamel duck egg paint for the inner case. Tested it, and it all works.
As the tacho that came with the bike, didn't have the usual warning lights, I have acquired a tacho to refurb. Just needs new glass, seals and repaint, as the card and needle aren't too bad.
My intention for the engine, is really just a service and bit of a clean up for now (well, that was the plan, but more about that shortly....). Wouldnt be surprised if it needs a rebore, but will worry about that after MOT/registration. This now meant I could clean the frame, rub it down and paint everything back from the oil tank. Used Dinitrol RC900 on any remaining patches of rust before repainting, and pleased with the result.
The in-frame oil filter was a challenge to extract - breaker bar wouldn't shift it. Fortunately, I had only just treated myself to a new Ryobi impact driver, and whipped it out without too much drama. Looking at the condition, don't think it had been cleaned for quite a while.
Popped in some taper head bearings (stupidly I threw the old ones away, before realising I should use them to help seat the new bearings in place), and used the old trick of placing the cups in the freezer for a few hours. Went in a dream with a little careful tapping. Swing arm bearings seem good, so just a cleanup and regrease.
Funnily enough, it has been the electrics that I have enjoyed the most so far. Fortunately, the main loom wasn't in too bad a condition, but piecing it all together and replacing the odd connector has been almost therapeutic. This has also given me the chance to start fitting in a 12v conversion kit, to replace the rather dismal 6v system. Everything plugs together so well. True plug and play solution.
I was tempted to replace the shocks, and may well do in the future, but apart from the rust, seem OK. So, I have stripped them down and repainted them. Even purchased some replica KYB stickers. for the finishing touch.
Been using white vinegar to remove the rust from the chrome etc, and does a good job. The issue is I now have 15L of the stuff left over, as was cheaper to buy four canisters than one!
Now you recall that I wasn't going to touch the engine just yet...? Well, I dropped off the sump filter to give it a clean, which all went well, until these dropped out:
So, I am assuming what I have here is part of the kick starter stop/ratchet plate. Fortunately doesn't seem to have bounced around the engine as no swarf in the filter, and easy enough/cheap to change. But where the heck has that washer come from and more worryingly, my experience tells me that usually a bolt goes through that, so where is the bolt or nut???!! Guess I am going to have to dig a little deeper, but early thoughts are it's a thrust washer from the clutch, which have a habit of falling into the sump. Lets hope so!
Apologies for the long post, but I've been enjoying myself too much to spend time online. More to follow soon...
Considering your plans for next summer I guess you're planning an oem renovation? Or is it going to be a tasty dirt scrambler build?
Keeping her standard for now.
Brief update: Turned out the washer is s shim/spacer that sits on the timing drive, and is a common issue as drops down into the sump when the crank case is removed. That was a relief, as just a case of putting back in the correct place. As suspected the ratchet is part of the kick start, and I've replaced that. Also found the clutch was near the wear limits, so that has been replaced (its so easy, compared to a car!).
Engine is now back in the frame, after discovering where a 'small' oil leak was coming from. Loving the use of mastic to repair a broken oil filter cover....
Also replaced the electrics with a full CDI, so hoping that means she is easier to start.
Getting close to starting the engine, but I now have holidays and business travel to get through, so unlikely before September that happens, and then hopefully I can get her MOT'd and registered.
Its always a shame getting someone elses project and finding things that were blatantly bodged (read: my entire car) but it's always satisfying to find them and do it right - I see it as one-upping the previous muppet.