It’s been 6 months since I posted an update. Major changes are brewing, as you will soon see in the next update…

I started, but did not finish, the gauge restoration (more on that later). The stock gauges are fairly easy to pull apart – just carefully bend up the lip on the chrome crimp ring that holds the gauge halves together. The gauge guts appear to be in great shape, thanks mostly to the seals incorporated into the gage design. I won’t go into too much detail on the repair process, as there are plenty of guides on the internet/YouTube. The big things to address are the needles, gauge faces, needle damping pot, polish the glass, and clean/grease the clockworks.

The needles can be removed by pulling them straight off - be careful not to bend them! The gauge face is then held on with 2 small screws. I found that my gauge faces were slightly warped. So I first applied some heat with my heat gun, and then put some weight on them with a flat piece of steel to straighten them out as best I could. Next I wet-sanded the faces to remove all the old faded and cracking paint. I sanded all the way down to the plastic with a sanding block to further ensure the faces were flat.  Vinyl gauge face overlays (stickers/decals) can be purchased through eBay. Most are already pre-cut. I noticed, however, that the odometer/trip odometer slots in my faceplate were not real square. So I opted to contact the seller of the overlays and purchase the overlays without the slots pre-cut. This would allow me to cut them with a fresh razor after application, and ensure they matched the slots in the plastic face. Applying the overlays was fairly simple. I cleaned the plastic with alcohol first, and then sprayed with water, and squeegeed the face on (I used a credit card). Keep the protective cover on the outermost face (or put a paper towel over the exposed face) to ensure you don’t scratch the vinyl. After application, I sandwiched the faced under some heavy books for a few days. I then used a fresh razor blade to trim the slots/holes. The faces came out really good. In fact, my only complaint is that the overlays say “ND” (Nippon Denso) at the bottom, rather than “Nippon Seiki Japan.” Call me picky.

The white portion of the needles were actually in really good shape, and most people could probably get away with just re-painting the tips. You probably already guessed that I, instead, opted to re-paint the entire needle. I initially tried bead blasting a scrap needle to strip it, but the heat from bead-blasting warped the needle tip (and now you know why it is a scrap needle). The needles themselves appear to be made of copper. I ended up just scuffing my needles with sandpaper (carefully!), and using a toothpick to hold them into a block for painting. I’ve tried specialty needle paints in the past without much luck, so for this project I just used gloss white Rustoleum spray paint. The tips were done in Ace brand Fluorescent Glo Spray in “rocket red.” Regular masking tape doesn’t work well for small parts like this, so I just used scotch tape for masking.

The housing containing the glass is made up of 5 pieces, mostly seals (see picture), and can be disassembled by hand. With the glass out, it can be polished (if needed) with your favorite glass polish.

The gauge guts can be cleaned and lubricated (sparingly) with white lithium grease. At this point you should also consider re-filling the needle damping pots. These little containers, which couple the needle to the shaft, contain a thick oil to prevent the needle from bouncing. Over time the damping oil leaks/evaporates. This is also a reason why gauges should be stored facing up (damping pot cap up). Use 30,000 cSt (centistoke) viscosity silicone oil. This can be readily found, as it is commonly used in RC car differentials/shocks. The caps can usually be carefully pried off, and then the damping pot can be filled (use a syringe if necessary). Glue the cap back on when re-filled.

With all that done, the gauge can be re-assembled. Re-crimp the chrome crimp ring, and whala! If you couldn’t tell by now, I did not complete the gauge restoration, because I opted to change direction on which gauges I wanted to use on my motorcycle – more on this in the next update.

Other random stuff:
If you’ve kept up with my earlier posts, you will remember my trick fuel filter mod (mesh screen). I was concerned that it may get clogged and/or not flow enough fuel. Indeed, it worked great for a while, but finally got clogged enough to limit fuel flow. There just isn’t enough surface area to get the job done. Lesson learned. Long story short, I replaced the custom screen filter with an OEM filter, and now I’m back in business. The filter kit, complete with screen, seals, etc. are still available new. Part #16952-341-671. I got mine from partzilla.

You will also remember from a previous post that my K&L stick-on wheel weights started to fall off. I replaced them with some Motion Pro #08-0455 weights, and so far so good. These weights also blend in better, because even the adhesive backed tape is black in color.

I’ve been running cheap non-metric polyurethane fuel tubing for a while. It has held up well, but because it is not as thick as metric fuel line, spring hose clamps don’t work so well with it (and I hate worm gear hose clamps). So I found some metric (5.5 X 10.5mm) cloth braided fuel lines on eBay, and it did the trick.

I also finally pieced together a toolkit. I got a partially complete one from eBay a while back, and have been hunting for the missing pieces for a while. I found most on eBay, and bought a few new pieces from partzilla. I plan to incorporate a spot on the bike to store this toolkit, along with a few extra odds-and-ends.

I have also been keeping my eye out for finned engine covers. I got my hands on a racecrafters finned points cover. Still looking for a finned stator and clutch cover.

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