PROJEKT BLUE JAY
The little Candy Sapphire Blue, 1970 Honda SL175 K0 with a bulletproof heart of Gold.
The little Candy Sapphire Blue, 1970 Honda SL175 K0 with a bulletproof heart of Gold.
My project began as a tired little bike that had already been neglected, and was being forcibly "operated" in what anyone in their right mind would hardly call running. All the same it had been Ran through mud up to the forward engine mount deck and been jumped or rather flung of dirt piles....with a rear shock set not original, remotely close to safe, or for that matter any good for cusion past the fact of being spring loaded.
I was employed for my engine skills to overhaul a 2005 Jeep Liberty engine in which the jeep had been bought with an identical Year and model version but in a different color, the only problem is the Non running one was not running because it was bought half torn apart already. The idea was $10 an hour for my labor just to finish tearing it down and diagnosing the issue behind it all. After 15 hrs on clock for it it became extremely apparent there was not going to be an overhaul for that engine.
There is not repair for a fist sized hole punched through a cylinder wall, clear through to the internal block below the intake deck. The signs were all there, but I never looked having assumed the person before Me knew what they were doing and had drained all fluids already. The culprit was C6 connecting Rod had sheared off just past half and had slapped and stabbed it way around under the piston....these Liberties are more famous for Valvetrain and Cam issues leading to blown heads.
Jeep 2 was brought into the garage workspace under it's own power, and had one hell of a death rattle. I set to work removing all the forward plastic to get to the Radi, so to get to the front of the block and So on and on. I tossed the towel in on that Jeep after pulling a pair of Nearly New heads off, and having put 18 more hours on the clock for IT.
So the Guy that hired Me to do this private overhaul had pretty well gotten the shaft for 4K in Dead Jeep Liberty. Both to be save would Need new, or at least rebuildable blocks at around 1K-2K each.
I took pity as much as advantage of the situation because this Guy (the cousin of a best bud) had also just took a barrage of BS in his personal affairs financially
(I cannot and never will pity someone dumb enough to screw themselves willingly and then be upset as if it is not their own fault)
...So I asked him about "that old Blue Honda back there in the corner with the pile of [paint] drop cloths on it" He got a look as if he had been tased in his manhood....."That old broken down thing?" I knew he was attempting to drive my attention away " Listen, I can rebuild anything if there's anything left of it to rebuild" after some Haggling I broke him with " You are already out 4K for 2 Jeeps that you will only get around $350 each if you take them to the salvage Yard and haul them yourself.... Now here's the deal, you can be out an additional $330 for My time......or We make a deal that involves that old bike being mine and call it square."
And so it begins........Blue Jay finally landed in the skilled hands of someone who will do everything possible to salvage what dignity the little tinker had left, and restore some pride to an era gone. Though not knowledgeable specifically about Honda Twins, has enough general knowledge to wing it, and to little Ego to not ask questions when totally stumped. And most importantly, a caring owner who might trail ride on occasion, but will Never push it pinned throttle looking for the biggest mud hole to sink it in, or the biggest dirt mound to fly from.
Blue Jay got pushed Uphill and to it's New home (a distance equal to Maybe 4 City short blocks) , I was thankful the wheel bearings were at some point more recently replaced, and that the chain was cloged to crap with grease and burnt oil.
After making room to tuck 'er in for the winter, I made many mental notes and few written......I was, and still am dumbfound by how so many of these are missing so many parts or have them but are rotted beyond salvage. I have a fuel tank that looks as though it was made 45 days ago, not 45 years ago internally speaking. Plastic side covers are usually the first obliterated or lost parts, but I have both intact after doing some crack patching. The gauge faces are not faded or discolored in anyway on top of being original to the bike. The only thing wrong with the rear tire is that it IS a 45 Year Old, 4ply Cheng Chen Duo Sport/Enduro tire. I seriously mean it is not badly worn, there is NOT so much as a single cracks worth of dry rot, and it holds air......almost a shame to remove it.
So, the To Do and done did it List.....that beastly thing it is.
The ring were shot at first glance, it is not hard to say ring are gone when a well planted thumb in a spark plug opening it enough to contain the little compression it had.
The "Fart can" muffler/silencer was completely FUBAR, and had been put back together with Bondo what looked to be in 3 places and definitely at different times and layers.
So the Namesake Blue Jay, is for the Blue paint and white decals, as well as the fact it spent its early time in My possession with Dual stinger type homemade megaphone straight pipes. I honestly have no clue what I was thinking, but it did kinda sound cool provided you could hear much after first firing up.....lets just say at a 150 db 2k idle cracking it open to a mere 3.5K was enough to make a 1340cc Harley Evolution on Drag pipes sound quiet. At 4.5K You best have had ear protection (I love sound deadening Brain Bucket.....when opened up to around 6K, the air itself vibrated So violently it only could be compared to being in the Xmas tree row of a top fuel Drag Show with "Big Daddy" Don Garlits doing his notorious 1/8 mi burnout
The lists to simplify things........
Piston Rings OE diameter,
come to find out someone I guess thought it was okay to split a set of ring for on side across both, and leave no comp ring on one side, No scraper, or oil ring on the other.
to My surprise the bike was intact by 95% OE, one of the side covers was cracked a little, but both were original and accounted for.
So the list, and not in the exact order I actually did them......was to acquire or accomplish the following>
NEW/NOS Kicker Spindle,
NEW/NOS Kicker pedal, ends up it is not the right one,right size and works so what ev I will deal with it when the time comes.
NEW/Repro Speedo Cable (OE present but core was popped in half),
New/Used Sprocket Half Cover,
(funny story about the cover is I seriously lucked out, the guy I got it from is exclusively a Harley Davidson restorer/vintage obsolete parts retailer/repair shop with 4 lift tables and several types of presses)
NEW Fork seal rebuild kit,
NEW fork Gaiters( to hide the peeled chrom above the travel distance
Salvaged New/Used Muffler From an SL175 K1 (without chrome guard) [Supposedly the K1 had a heavier cabinet body] not a lot of rust just some minimal pinholes--I welded them)
NEW/NOS Header Pipe to Muffler flange gasket/shims,
NEW/NOS Petcock complete rebuild kit,
NEW D8 HS NGK Spark plugs,
New/Used (tested) ignition coil,
proper patchwork of flywheel timing cover where it had been laid down and punched the shift lever through and improperly patched ( did't leak but wasn't done quite right and uglier than sin,
NEW/ NOS Loom for a sister bike,
(I made minor changes since Blue Jay is Kick only and the loom was for an E-Start model without an emergency kill switch, I reconfigured things So the R/Y is for B/W, added and extra black wire then rewrapped with the original wrap)
Used and very rough Bar control pods ( gotten from a member Here along with Turn Signal Lamps and some other odds-n-ends)
The pods Got torn down, Gutted, cleaned up, switching pieces still serviceable and needed were resoldered, E-start button was filled in, the pods got repainted, and reemployed
The frame was torn down cleaned up inspected degreased and had some paint touch ups,
the engine was cleaned inspected and retimed, the had to be split 3 times during the whole build, 1 for rings, 1 for kicker spindle, snd a final to readjust the mildly bent ratchet retainer.
Blue Jays to go list includes
3 Orders currently in transit are a Clutch pushrod seal, a Points cover Gasket,
and a Clutch adjuster fixing piece (mine spontaneously popped in half but the edges indicated it to have been cracked for some time
New tires, Found a pair I like, and look almost identical to the 45 year old ChenChen on the rear currently for under $100 usd shipped.
NEW/NOS airbox filters,
NEW/NOS Clutch Push Rod,
New or NEW/NOS Brake Shoes and springs (don't seem to need them Yet But it won't take long I am sure)
New Clutch Friction Plates (I don't need them Yet, but I want them before I actually need them)
Figure out how I will decide to mount rear turn signals
Possibly rework rear Turn Signals to use dual element and wire a aux brake, or additional rear running light