Tandem Trips

2009 Modifications: Progress Report

Posted in Modifications, My Bike by Me on March 9, 2009

I got a chance to take a crack at that long list of modifications and repairs I told you about. Some of it went smoothly, some not, and some I am unsure about. Unfortunately the camera was out of juice so no pics this time.

First off I drained the entire brake system of fluids. The gaskets all looked great but the fluid had turned dark, and the last time I rode the brakes felt soft. After the drain I installed those Vesrah pads. This job is much easier with good lighting and a floor mat, especially on the rear caliper as the pads slide in from underneath (make sure to keep your eye on the shims as they are only supposed to go in one way).

After the pads were in, I refilled the reservoirs and let the fluid run out the bottom until the bubbles stopped. Then I bled the brakes. Everything was great until the next morning when I went out and tried them. NO BRAKES!

After a little panic attack and a phone call to my maintenance guru, I cracked the brake line lose at the spot where it connects to the master cylinder. Some slow pumps of the brake lever pushed out a huge air bubble. After that I was in good shape. I tightened it all back up and the brakes work great… for slow, human powered rolling. I won’t be riding again for a month due to travel plans, so I will let it sit and check the system again before the first ride of the year.

Next, I ran some Sea Foam through the fuel system. This is supposed to clean out the varnish and other muck that forms when gasoline sits for too long. I neglected to put a fuel stabilizer in the tank before the winter, so this is a must.

The bike was missing and hessitating quite a bit when I was warming it up, but it improved markedly after a minute or two. I don’t know if it was because the engine had warmed up or that the Sea Foam was making a difference, but I plan to run the whole can through the system as soon as possible to be sure. That’s about three tanks worth, so it will take a while, but I plan to put some heavy miles on her first thing this year to get back in good shape and get my skills up.

The last thing I got to do was install the Osram Nigh Breakers. These are nice and white compared to the old bulbs, which were probably stock, but I am not sure if the Osrams are actually brighter because I put them in when it was still very bright outside. We’ll find out soon enough.

The R&G frame sliders were supposed to go in this weekend, but the nut that holds the main engine mount and serves as the main attachment point for the slider mount was just too tight (thankfully it was torqued correctly), so we will have to wait for my new Craftsman 18″ breaker bar to come in the mail. Always use the right tool, I say.

More about this later.

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