is a pile of bits


Herein lies a breakdown of the work I’ve been scoping out for the VT500FT that I bought on craigslist, which I am affectionately calling “Uggo”. This list could vary wildly as new problems are diagnosed, or be re-arranged as issues or parts appear. It’s just what I’ve been able to think of so far.

The Big Ol' TODO List

  • Install Center-stand
  • Remove Seat
    • clean seat
    • possibly re-cover
  • Remove Gas Tank
    • drain gas
    • check petcock
    • clean tank
    • see if dent can be pulled out a bit
    • possibly re-treat interior of tank
  • Compression Test
    • just to see how things currently are
  • Remove Spark Plugs
    • new plugs
  • Compression Test
    • if problem, could be rings or valves.
    • start by checking valves – removal of cylinder head, etc.
    • knap valves
    • visually inspect piston rings
  • Remove Carbs
    • check and clean carbs
    • verify jetting makes sense
  • Remove front brake
    • replace pads and brake line
  • Remove front wheel
    • check wheel bearing
    • replace disk
  • Remove Front Forks
    • Depressurize air
    • Drain oil
    • Check springs
    • Replace Seals
    • Refill with clean 10W oil
  • Reinstall forks
  • Reinstall front wheel
  • Reinstall front brake
  • PENDING new master cylinder install brake line/fluid
  • Remove Controls
    • PENDING new master cylinder and new bars
    • Clean and lubricate new and old cables
    • Assemble new bars with all controls
    • bar end mirrors
    • Install new bar
  • Remove Air Box
    • fill cracks and gaps
    • clean interior
    • repaint to aide in longevity
  • Remove exhaust
    • Remove old exhaust gaskets
    • Remove echo box
    • Clean exhaust, echo box, connectors
    • Check if those are the correct bolts (and replace if not)
    • Paint connectors after cleaning? They are a little rusty.
    • Paint echo box
  • Drain engine oil
    • remove old filter
  • Replace clutch
    • new plates
    • new springs
    • check bearings (inject molylube into all)
    • replace gasket
  • New filter and oil
    • with a minor amount of marvel to clean up any existing residue
  • Check the radiator
    • Ensure the fan comes on
    • Straighten some of the coolign fins as needed
    • Clean out radiator
    • Flush radiator fluid?
    • Replacement for overflow
  • Check and clean final drive
    • Flush final drive oil
  • Remove tool box
    • Discard
  • Reinstall exhaust
    • new gaskets
  • Reinstall carbs
    • balance carbs
    • Check temperature, responsiveness
  • Reinstall tank
  • Reinstall seat
  • Test ride
  • Fabricate side panel replacements
    • sheet metal and grille plus JB Weld?
  • Clean and lubricate odometer and speedometer cables
  • Clean and lubricate clutch and throttle cables

Far-off Future

Once the bike is running clean and controls are operating safely, I’ll consider getting the fenders, and the plastic trim cleaned, smoothed, and repainted a nice glossy black. The tank I’ll get done in a nice glossy red.

There are some options for aftermarket shocks and exhausts, it might be worth looking into.

It could also be neat to ditch the air box and go with pod-style filters. This would mean re-jetting the carbs, and then taking it to a shop to have them put it on a dyno and try to get the jetting correct. Worth it? Maybe.

Perhaps minimize the battery and relocate the rectifier to go for a minimalistic feel for the bike’s center?

Custom fiberglass replacement for seat plastics. Keep the fender as-is.

Better brake and shift levers that aren’t at such awkward heights.

Replacement key set (ignition, tank, helmet lock, toolbox)