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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
EDIT:
This project was sold to a fellah that has some real nice Blue plastics to swap onto it. So by now this project might be complete. I wish the new owner well and I'm very tickled that this old Foreman lives on...!!!!

Thank you all for your help and support. We'll do it again sometime... :)

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Thats right!
The price of admission this time was only $20, as I explained in my New Member Introduction.





I was on the fence with what to do about this machine for about a week after I drove it over the side of my trailer, off onto the frozen snow in the front yard of my hunting camp. I am already maxed out for time and cash allocations toward any possible new projects here this year, and probably got two years or more in projects that gotta get done here. No matter what!

Attention goes where its needed the most, in the moment, sometimes though. I really love, seek and highly value all kinds of old stuff! Almost every type of machine or device I own is very old, or its gotten a LOT older! I couldn't get those nagging refurb feasibility thoughts to completely leave my mind. I kept going back outdoors to it... to look it over closer and question myself deeper and deeper into it... Is this and that and the other thing gonna be junk when I get it apart? If I decide to tear into this old tank, can I ever hope to find enough time and cash to finish the job? What will I do with it if I don't fix it up? Should I part it out or just stash it out back somewhere and forget about it until I have more free time? I hate it when that happens.... don't you?

No doubt in my mind that the PO had made the right decision for himself. Just give up on it and scrap it and forget all about it! But my confidence kept growing each time I came back indoors from my random inspections, that the right decision for myself (and for this once-fine machine) could not possibly EVER match his!

So, here I am almost 3 weeks beyond a $20 rescue, stepping over and around a gazillion scattered old Honda Foreman parts.... Welcome to my most recent decision! Expect no mercy...
:yeahbaby01:
 

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I'll take a ticket to watch this show, um notice the left front fender, looks to be part of a five gallon bucket.... Nice temp repair :) and nice looking old girl too!
 

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Awesome deal, looking forward to what you end up doing to her
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well, it looks terrible doesn't it ?!?! And yeah, of course I'm nuts, so lets get on with the backstory to it.

This machine has sat in a friends/neighbors' barn with chickens living with it for quite a while. Maybe for two or three years or more. Its more than a bit pooped on as you can see... The sun has faded the one or two remaining decent plastic parts on it. There are many, many missing parts that were taken off while it was not running and not kept track of, even the seat and the airbox lid is on the MIA list. The rear plastics are all burned up and melted out in the battery box area from a very successful electrical fire. The wiring harness, fuse box, solenoid and battery cables have been hacked on and spliced up many times, before they finally ALL burned themselves to death! At first glance this poor machine looks like an impossible heap of junk.

I downloaded the service manual (Thanks guys for the link!), hooked up power and jumpered a couple wires in the burned out harness and the fuel pump sang for a couple seconds, just like its suppose to. Next thing was to yank the plug out and check for spark. Blue and fat it was too! And the spark plug was a perfect light tan color!!! I'm thinking maybe, just maybe I'm about to get lucky...

There is no starter solenoid on it though, cause it had self-immolated along with the others... so I was using some heavy old jumper cables from my welder battery to the starter cable directly, to crank the motor over. I put the spark plug back in the head, poured some premium into the tank, slid the choke cable lever open and BAM! The puppy fired up immediately. I slid the choke lever shut and it settled into a perfect idle! I let it warm up a bit as I was going around the motor listening and looking for any troubles.

It sounded perfect. Dead quiet inside and no indication of any oil burning coming out of the exhaust. I remembered the spark plug had been a perfect light tan color with no soot on the strap when I had it out. I rode it around in the yard a minute with my mower battery strapped onto the back and then parked it next to the air compressor and went for some more tools.

The further I get into this machine the more I like it. Almost everything on it is washing clean using only dish soap and brushes. Some parts are a bit rusty but others look like new. Most of the moving parts and bearings appear to be fresh and tight, but I know for a fact they are all original and 30 years old.

Regardless of appearance, every moving part on this machine is getting cleaned out and provided with fresh lube as it comes off the machine. Others may be getting some fresh paint. I am NOT restoring this beast with 100% OEM stuff though. I'm doing what makes the most sense to me. That means that OEM will be inappropriate for a few things that I will do.

Alright, showtime!
 

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don't know about that other thread ?, but this one is fine :). keep us posted on the old girl, fine machine ya got !. my '89 trx350D foreman is still kicking !.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aye, thanks a bunch shadetree! I edited back and will try posting here again.

And yeah, I'm going a bit bat crazy over this old sweety so lets get on with the backstory to it.

This machine has sat in a good friends/great neighbors' barn with chickens living with it for quite a while. Maybe for two or three years or more. Its more than a bit pooped on as you can see... The sun has oxidized and faded the one or two remaining decent plastic parts on it. There are many, many missing parts that were taken off while it was not running and not kept track of, even the seat and the airbox lid is still on the MIA list. The rear plastics are all burned up and melted out in the battery box area from a very successful electrical fire. The wiring harness, fuse box, solenoid and battery cables have been hacked on and spliced up many times, before they finally ALL burned themselves to death! At first glance this poor machine looks like an impossible heap of junk.

I downloaded the service manual (Thanks guys for the link!), hooked up power and jumpered a couple wires in the burned out harness and the fuel pump sang for a couple seconds, just like its suppose to. Next thing was to yank the plug out and check for spark. Blue and fat it was too! And the spark plug was a perfect light tan color!!! I'm thinking maybe, just maybe I'm about to get real lucky with this creature...

There is no starter solenoid on it because it had self-immolated along with the other stuff in the back... so I was using some heavy old jumper cables from my welder battery to the starter cable directly, to crank the motor over. After seeing fat spark and hearing the fuel pump running normally, I put the spark plug back in the head, poured some more premium into the tank, slid the choke cable lever open and BAM! The ugly puppy fired up immediately. I slid the choke lever shut and it settled into a perfect idle! I let it warm up a bit as I was going around the motor listening and looking for any troubles.

It sounded perfect. Dead quiet inside and no indication of any oil burning coming out of the exhaust. I remembered the spark plug had been a perfect light tan color with no soot on the strap when I had it out. I rode it around in the yard a minute with my mower battery strapped onto the back and then parked it next to the air compressor and went for some more tools.

The further I get into this machine the more respect and love I feel for it! Almost everything on it is washing clean using only dish soap water and brushes. Some parts are a bit rusty but oddly, most of the others still look like new. Most of the moving parts and bearings appear to be fresh and tight, but I know for a fact they are all original and 30 years old. The old grease in them makes it so.

Regardless of appearance, every moving part on this machine is getting cleaned out and provided with fresh lube as it comes off the machine. Other parts may be getting some fresh paint as well. I am NOT restoring this beast with 100% OEM stuff though. I'm doing what makes the most sense to me. That means that OEM will be inappropriate for a few things that I will do.

Its showtime!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
This is going to be a very long running project. I am expecting it to take me all summer and probably into the fall to complete it, as my time and cash have to be spent on a few other critical projects already underway. Also noticing that the few good, used, OEM plastics that I saw for sale so far are priced way beyond their value, IMO, so this machine will probably get some new Maier fenders and covers put on it near the end of the project. If I find some good OEM plastics (and have enough cash in hand at the time) at a reasonable price, I'll certainly reconsider though.

I got some of the parts cleaned up and re-lubed so far, so got some more pics coming in the next few posts. First one to share is one of my favorite light polar bonding oils: TSI 321. For electrical and electro/mechanical stuff I use the CorrosionX polar bonding oil. Those two oils are both top drawer secret weapon type tools... They can both do amazing things for metals against reducing friction, increasing the life of parts and increasing vehicle speeds. Back in my racing days the 321 oil WAS a very, very top secret weapon. Nowadays I'd rather show it off.



I'll be using the synthetic 321 oil often on this project and may not ever think to mention it again, so talking about this and a couple other things I commonly do now in these next few posts, should allow me to shorten these rants later on. :)

I use it on throttle, choke and brake cables, small electric motor bearings, my fishing reels and a gazillion other things that can benefit from a light specialized lubricant. TSI 321 bonds to the metal at the molecular level so it stays where you put it and it can handle some very extreme temperature swings and some pretty heavy loading. Oh, it also works great as an oxidation preventative too. Put a tiny bit of 321 on a clean cloth then rub it into the surface of bare metal parts and they won't rust! The oil cooler fan motor in the pic below was treated with this oil at both ends of the shaft. It will be unsealed and reoiled every time the motor oil is changed. Other lubes that will be used during this project are common synthetic greases and oils. Until I get the motor opened up for a fresh bore/piston/rings, valve job and timing chain, the motor will be running with Rotella T4 15w40 in it with a K&N filter.



In this pic is the steering stem freshly painted and ready to put back on the bike. The black cap rattle can is Rust-oleum Matte black engine enamel that I painted the lower handlebar clamps with and the silver capped one is Duplicolor Brake Caliper paint that I used on the top frame of the stem. I buy Rust-oleum for almost all of the small parts that I repaint because it covers well and it holds up fairly well, even when solvents accidentally get spilled on it. Some of the bigger parts that gotta look their best, I'll shoot with either DuPont or PPG urethane base/clear coats, but this project won't need much of that stuff.

The handlebar will be getting a pair of new OEM grips soon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·


The carb is now ready to go back on. I took it apart for inspection and scrubbed it in lacquer thinner and blowed it all out. It is in nearly new condition with no noticeable wear on the slide piston, shafts or Needle jet/Jet needle etc. I did find that it needed some new o-rings in it so I ordered a $12 china carb kit off the fLeebay and threw everything away in the package except for the rubber o-rings and choke plunger seal. Its now perfect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Here are a few misc. parts all scrubbed clean with dish soap and hot water and/or rust removal, wet sanded and repainted.



The header pipes' heat shield is repainted with Rust-oleum Matte black High Heat to match the OEM appearance. The shifter lever has all of its rough edges (left by the shear press at the factory) filed off and wet sanded smooth, then painted with Rust-oleum Matte silver engine enamel. The other metal parts in this pic are refinished with Rust-oleum gloss black engine paint. The plastics are just cleaned up with dish soap and water and the ratty looking Honda sticker on the work light cord compartment is about to be stripped off.

The dash piece will get a new (or used?) OEM key switch put in it. The headlight/work light has a good (alcohol cleaned) bulb in it so its about to be put back together in the refinished wire-frame. I may spend some more time on the few decent plastic parts that I have so far, to make them look new again. Hopefully that plan matches up with a rainy afternoon somewhere...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
When I took the headlight wire-frame off the handlebar to clean it up I noticed some rust had taken hold along the top of the frame. The rust had even gotten into the welds where the braces/handle connect to the big main top crossbar, so sanding on it with 80 grit paper wasn't going to work on this piece. Its still winter here and I hate to work in the cold outdoors, so rather than start my air compressor up in the cold and sandblast this important part clean, I decided to bring out the old vinegar/salt/baking soda trick.



If you've never done this before trust me, its easy and it works great for moderate to heavy rust removal on most steels. Patience is mandatory though, its a slowpoke method.

First thing ya do is clean the parts well in solvent or soapy water to remove any grease or oil films, then wire brush the parts good to remove any loose rust.

Mix up enough distilled white vinegar with salt (1/2-3/4 cup salt per gallon of vinegar) to submerge the rusty parts completely in a plastic container. Warm the solution up to about 95 degrees (F) or so and dunk your parts. Go find something else to do while the acid reacts with the oxidation on your parts and don't fuss around with it.

In my case here with this rusty frame it took only 7 hours to come out of the acetic acid bath completely free of rust. But heavier rusted peices will take a lot longer, sometimes takes several days to get it all out. Anyway, on lightly rusted pieces like this one I knew that it would not take very long, so after 4 hours had passed in the bath I pulled it up above the acid enough to check its progress with a wire brush. It wasn't ready yet but it was getting close...

I got busy and forgot about it until 7 hours had passed in the warm bath, so I grabbed my gloves and another small bucket and dumped half a box of baking soda into it along with a quart of warm water and began the final acid scrubbing with the wire brush. The frame was done alright... I held the frame over the acid bucket as I brushed off all remains of rust while occasionally dipping it back in, keeping it totally wetted. In only a few moments it was ready for a quick transfer into the baking soda solution for neutralization of the acetic acid reaction.

This is where rust can gain a new life so ya gotta work quickly to keep the oxygen in the air off the parts. Keep them completely wet no matter what! Use the wire brush again over the baking soda container constantly dipping both the part and the brush into the soda and scrub the soda solution into the metal for several minutes. When you are absolutely sure that you have scrubbed soda into every crevice on the part several times, relax, take off your gloves and rinse the part off with clean water. Immediately wipe it totally dry and put on your wood stove if you got one going for some fast drying heat.

Sand your shiny looking part enough to smooth the surface, then paint it.

As you can see the headlight frame now looks like a new one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The half shafts on this were found to be in excellent condition after a quick cleanup in the soapy water. The only thing I felt that I could do for them to insure a much longer life in the red clay mud was to give them both a protective coat of new rubber over the CV joint boots.



The mud here is sticky and relentless on any flexing rubber parts like these boots. It gets on them and stays there, slowly grinding away at the rubber surfaces until they are worn thin and eventually break open. I don't like spending money and time fixing stuff over silly problems like that, so I keep a carefully sealed tube of 3M windshield sealer in the fridge year round.

The urethane sealer cures to a very flexible rubber-like material. Applied thinly it is very flexible but thick applications more resemble a hard rubber tire, so there are a gazillion practical uses for that stuff. I once built a water pump impeller with it for an old Martin 40 outboard motor that I had fully restored. Worked perfect for many years and was still working good when I sold it. Another time I glued the rubber soles back onto my work boots after restitching the uppers to the insole plate. If you have it around you'll find it to be very useful stuff!

Preparation is key to a good bond so the boots were scrubbed good with lacquer thinner and a small wire brush. Then 91% alcohol on a clean cloth was used for a final prep wash. Each shaft was stood up in a hole drilled into a block of wood so I could turn the shaft with one hand while applying the sealer to each boot with my alcohol washed little finger on the other hand.

I begin by getting all of the material onto the boot that I'll need for the job before pressing it in there really hard and thinly coating the boot as I'm slowly rotating the shaft. Then I go back over it again, this time using less pressure from my finger so the coating is getting a bit thicker, yet is still uniform in thickness, but is not too thick... Done!

She's a durable looking beauty, ya?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One more round of pics here today and I'll give y'all a break, fair 'nuff..?

This couple pics AGAIN demonstrate how gently this old gal has aged... I washed the old tie rods in warm dish soap water ONLY. They were somehow still almost rust free and shiny, with full boots of old decaying grease on them. Every one of them are still snug in their ball joint sockets too! Can't hardly get over my good luck so far with this vintage hunk of fun!



Anyway, they all needed to be emptied out and re-lubed with some fresh grease so the boots were taken off first then cleaned. Next thing I did was to sand the bottoms of them a bit with some 400 grit paper so some glue would stick to them later on... Then I drilled a 5/64" hole through the center of each flat bottom of each ball joint socket and deburred and slightly chamfered those holes with a 3/32" drill bit. I then used the grease injector to force grease through those new holes into the back side of each ball socket until I could see fresh grease seeping around the ball on the shaft side of each. Now the only things left to do was pack those boots with grease until completely full and get them pushed back down over the socket bodies where they are press-fit into place AND flip them over for an alcohol wash over the sanded area around each drilled hole to ready them for the 3M weatherstrip adhesive capping.



I'll simply drill and tap for grease zerks on some other parts on this project, but these small tie rod ends aren't thick enough to make those work. This glue will keep them sealed up great until I need to pump some more fresh grease into them. Its easy to reopen those injector holes and they will reseal hard after sitting overnight as long as I keep some of that 3M adhesive on hand.

Gotta run, have fun today!
 

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Looks great, The old saying is definitely true on this one. "You can judge a book by its cover"
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Shadetree, I have read both of your most recent restoration projects from end to end and really appreciate all that you have shared here! In an indirect way your threads have encouraged and empowered me with some needed confidence to move forward with this project right away, rather than turn my back on it. For all of that I'm truly grateful! Hope you get your axle shaft in your 500 right away cause I know that little bugger gotta be bugging you to death right now... Happy to be here!
 

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Shadetree, I have read both of your most recent restoration projects from end to end and really appreciate all that you have shared here! In an indirect way your threads have encouraged and empowered me with some needed confidence to move forward with this project right away, rather than turn my back on it. For all of that I'm truly grateful! Hope you get your axle shaft in your 500 right away cause I know that little bugger gotta be bugging you to death right now... Happy to be here!
thank you :). just waiting on some cash ?, then I can finish my '05 trx500fm. keep us posted on your project !. I love these ole girls, my '89 will prob out last me !..lol.
 

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Good job on your work! Jasco brand "clean and prep" solution is phosphoric acid based and does a good job of de-rusting, leaving an iron phosphate coating that won't flash rust as fast (if at all) as using the vinegar method. I am repairing / restoring a 1998 TRX300FW and have used the Jasco to de-rust my fuel tank interior and other bits and pieces. BTW, use a baking soda solution as you mention to neutralize residual acid. Distilled water also helps as a final flush, then alcohol to remove the water. Good luck!
 
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