Alex's old rot-box! - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 07:14 AM Thread Starter
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Alex's old rot-box!

Hi Folks,

1986 VN750 A2. 24,000 miles on the clock.

First ever Kawasaki. First ever 'project'. I've had a few bikes before and done almost all of my own maintenance. I was really keen to find something in a really poor state to see what I could do with it.

Bought this thing for 300 (approx $475 - $500 US).

It appears that one of the previous owners covered the frame in primer and then for some reason just reassembled it (to an extent).

So here she is - got a rolling chassis, engine with lots of oxidation on the outside, old tank and a couple of boxes full of bits. Apparently it has all (or almost all) of the bits. (No bloody keys though - not happy about that).

The plan is to try to get it back as close to original condition as possible, without getting too OCD.

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First job will be to strip it down again and send the frame off to be blasted and powder coated in black. Here goes....

Last edited by magicman-alex; 06-20-2015 at 07:17 AM.
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 12:52 PM
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How long she been sitting? While the motor is out I would look into the tuxedo mod for the stator and do a new stator and balancer dampers.lube the splines on the driveshaft and all that good stuff.read the Vulcan verses lotsa info there.and most of all,have fun.these are fun bikes.
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 06-20-2015, 05:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Doc,

I don't know how long she's been sitting. I was going to just bite the bullet and do a full engine-rebuild to be on the safe side. Between the various manuals and the info I find on here, I'm sure I'll manage it.

You're right - I did buy it for fun. I don't intend to use it as a commuter etc. I just want to challenge myself. I'll be sure to check out the Vulcan Verses and the tips you mentioned. Thanks again. :-)
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 01-08-2016, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Had to shelve the project for a while. However, after studying the manual a little, I realised the bike was missing a front engine mount. I managed to get one from eBay.

The tank is quite scruffy. I took it to a local locksmith who made a key for it. Looked inside and it's quite rusty. Removed the fuel gauge sensor, petcock and fuel cap and will probably get it sandblasted this weekend to see if it's worth salvaging.

I originally wanted to paint the tank black and put the red decals on it, like the original. However I can't seem to find them online. Unsure whether to ditch the tank and get a used one or try to restore this back to its original condition. I suspect the latter might be too expensive.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Resumed the strip-down process today. Going fairly well Got the exhaust removed and just about ready to remove the engine. Once removed from the frame, can the engine just sit on the floor (or on a piece of cardboard etc)? Is it OK leaving the entire weight of the engine on its crank case?

The Haynes manual I am using says an engine stand can be made from lengths of 2 x 4 lumber. Is it necessary or can I just gently place the engine on the floor?

Last edited by magicman-alex; 02-28-2016 at 11:08 AM.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Just about ready for the engine to come out. Exhaust system is a little corroded and rusty so will be stripped and cleaned.

As I'm sending the frame parts off to be powder-coated. I'm wondering if it's worth power-coating the exhaust power chamber?

What is worrying is the little corrosion hole I've found in the swinging arm. Spoke to a neighbour about it (retired engineer). He says he has a good friend who can weld it and hide the weld prior to it being blasted and powder-coated. I'm not normally one to patch up broken parts. I'd sooner replace. Is it safe to use a welded piece of steel to repair this hole?
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Last edited by magicman-alex; 02-28-2016 at 11:03 AM.
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 11:40 AM
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Is it safe to use a welded piece of steel to repair this hole?
What's "safe"?

If it were me, and just my opinion, . . .

I'd bore it out all the way through into a nice circle then do the same on the opposite side. Structurally speaking, that angle's support has its weakest link at the weld to the frame, anyways, and the amount of stress the arm will be getting from both sides is nil unless you intend to lay it down and jump on it like a trampoline.

The reason i would match it on the other side is for balance, and even that is being nearly 0CD picky since we are talking about something on the order of less than one ounce of metal being removed. Boring it out will remove the rusted portions, though as well.


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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 01:15 PM
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There's sometimes cheap swingarms on ebay.

I'd say if you repair that one, keep an eye on it for more rust to pop out later. Looks like someone may have sandblasted it, then used an inferior primer.

I painted the goat belly with some high temp paint, powder coat might be overkill since it's not really seen.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-28-2016, 02:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your responses, Gents. I'll keep them in mind.

I'm travelling to the town where the powder coater is this weekend. I haven't been there for a couple of years - it's over 300 miles away. Sure I could get it done elsewhere but I particularly like this guy's work and get along well with him. I thought as he'd be doing so many of the other parts then I'd also have him chuck in the goat belly (haven't heard that phrase before!).

BTW - not sure if you saw my earlier post, is it OK just place the engine on the floor? I don't have an engine stand (yet).

Last edited by magicman-alex; 03-01-2016 at 01:49 PM.
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 02-29-2016, 12:02 AM
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Shouldn't hurt it.just don't drop it
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Support your local FREEBIRDS MC
1986/5 Vn700/750 Frankenfook cross eyed bitch "Mellisa Fayhe"
I am a BIKER and i'm proud.FREEBIRDS MC CENTRAL NY

lowered with progessive 412 10" shocks
rejetted for K/N Pods part#rc 2340
sportster seat

'I didn't lose my mind.i gave it away

BRING BACK WOLFIE."Peace and Carrots"RIP
"And I'm free...as a bird"John Lennon Free as a Bird
"I only carry when I have my pants on"Joe Robinson RIP aka Old Dog

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