Monday, November 2, 2009

Tank Arrives

The tank showed up the following day. I was surprised the post office even delivered it because there was still gas in the tank and the petcock was dripping and had eaten a hole in the box! When I got home there was the distinct smell of gas in the hallway and my wife said "I think someone shipped you a bomb." then she rolled her eyes and walked away.

The tank is perfect and has almost no rust inside. Given the condition of the rest of the parts I was shocked. The donor bike was originally a silver '75 just like ours (that's why I suspicious of the head-light bucket.) The tank had been rattle canned flat black. Which seems to be the most popular color for home resto mods. Given the condition of the tank I decided to have it powder-coated red along with the rims. So I decided to get down to business.

First order of business was to disassemble the wheels. I laid the front wheel on the work bench and took some pictures. This will help to get the spoke pattern correct when its time to re-lace the wheels. Next I removed the speedo drive plate its held on with four phillips-head screws. I put all the parts in a plastic bag and moved on to the spokes. I removed the rubber band the covers the spoke nipples and using a large flat blade screw driver I loosened the spokes after I was half way around everything was loose and I unscrewed the rest of the spokes. This allowed me to pull the hub and spokes out of the rim and then I removed the spokes from the hub. I followed the same procedure on the rear wheel.

The rear wheel has a two-piece hub. One side is the brake assembly that just sits in the hub that acts as a drum. The two shoes are held in place by two springs and they are expanded by rotating the brake lever. These shoes are readily available so I'll get a couple for the re-assembly process.

Now I have 72 rusty spokes, 2 rusty 18" rims, and a dingy front hub and a rear hub and brake assembly. I'm going to send the rims out to strip and powdercoat, I'm going to have the hubs polished and I'm going to buy 80 new 6-1/2" spokes.

Next up was the tank. First I removed the petcock. The bowl on the bottom unscrews and there is a large phillips-head screw holding it in. Next was the rubber pad from the top of the tank. After some head scratching my buddy Jim figured out you pull the rubber down at the base of the tank and it unhooks from a bracket. Then it can slide forward to unhook from the front bracket. There are four tiny phillips head screws holding the chrome trim and four more holding the Honda emblems. This tank has the key latch which is also held in place by a screw. The emblems, latch and screws all want into a zip lock bag and got marked "tank". I learned along time ago to bag and mark everything because who knows when you'll get back to a project. The emblems make the content of this bag obvious but its just good mojo. Last but not least we used a punch to remove the hinge pin holding the gas cap. This pin is peened over so we were careful and tried to not knock off the head. We used a real small punch and were able to roll the mushroom back up. It looks like we might be able to reuse the pin!

With that the "Friday night take stuff apart" session was over. The parts were loaded into Jims truck and I need to come up with some money for the powder coater and the polisher. To do's include getting a new set of brake shoes, a rubber seal for the gas cap and a good cleaning and soaking of the petcock.

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