My 1979 GS550L - Motorcycle Forum
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post #1 of 23 (permalink) Old 11-03-2010, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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My 1979 GS550L

Here are pictures of my 1979 Suzuki GS 550 L. She's in need of some of TLC. But, she's mine! ALL MINE!
BTW - she was given to me free! I love those 4 letters.
Off the top of my head, I know she needs a new battery & the carbs will need cleaning. The left front turn signal is broken. Looks like bolt or somthing is broken. There doesn't seem to be any leaks in the gas tank. I'll post more info as I work on her. Hopefully, this weekend.





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post #2 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-04-2011, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Bought the battery for the bike yesterday. Their supposed to have it charge and ready to go for me today. One step closer to having here running.

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #3 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-05-2011, 12:53 PM
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Cool bike, love the vintage bikes
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post #4 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-08-2011, 03:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hi All!

Here is what I have accomplished so far:
New battery installed.
Changed the oil and filter. (*1)
Replaced all the turn signals with some aftermarket ones. (One was broken. Not sure how. So I replaced all of them.)
ALL THE LIGHTS WORK! Blink as they should. Turn on. Switch from low to hi and vice versa. YAY!!!

Onto getting the bike started....

I know the starter button and motor works because I can hear it crank and the engine spin with the oil cap removed. I'll take this as a good sign. Now its time to check the 3 things you need for an engine to run:
  • Fuel
  • Spark
  • Air
FUEL .... I removed the old gas that was in the tank. The inside of the tank is clean. I was very pleasantly surprised. So I've added some new gas back in. When I get home I'll get to see if the petcock/fuel tap will give up the precious cargo behind its filtered wall. My way of testing this is to turn the petcock to PRIME and some fuel should come out. If not, petcock is bad I would assume. QUESTION 1 - Would you recommend a rebuild kit for the petcock or just replace?
Once I know fuel is flowing to the carbs or able to flow, I will clean the bejesus out of the carbs; maybe even rebuild them; per the instructions provided from a Designated GS site I belong to.



SPARK .... I have no spark coming out of #1. I know this because I could not see a spark when I pulled the plug, laid it on the engine and hit the started button. (Did not test the rest, yet. but will tonight.) NOW I do have power going to both coils but nothing nothing coming out of the cable, (per using a test light). I have not checked the points gap. It's been forever since I've messed with points, but will do this when I get home.(*2) HOPEFULLY, the wife won't have a million little honey-do's for me.


AIR .... I have no idea how dirty the air intake is. Once I know there is spark and the carbs are receiving fuel, I'll look at the air intake because I'll have to remove it in order to clean the bejesus out of the carbs.


So you know this thread will be updated by me as I have time and $$ you throw at the bike. So be patient. Also, thank you in advance for you input, words of encouragement and/or insults.

CHEERS!
Scrumdown


*1 - After changing the oil, I was putting the the nuts back on to hold the filter cover on. I still had the old oil catcher underneath, when one of the nuts slipped out of my hands landed in the old catcher and rolled into the tank compartment. UGH! I went got my telescopic magnetic pick up tool and rotated around until I felt it hit the nut. Now I don't have to use a filter funnel to drain the catcher basin. YAY ME!

BTW - 2 of the 3 had 10mm fine threaded nuts and the 3rd was a 11mm course thread which I didn't realize at the time of removal and luckily enough I had a spare 10mm nut in my jar or spare screws, nuts and bolts. YAY ME!

*2 Purchasing new feeler gauges today. Cannot find my other set which was old as dirt and I could barely read the measurements. So its a good thing.

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #5 of 23 (permalink) Old 08-09-2011, 03:30 PM Thread Starter
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All I was able to do yesterday was purchase the feeler gauges and a multimeter. Been needing one of those for a while.

Hopefully, tonight I can get some work accomplished.

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #6 of 23 (permalink) Old 09-06-2011, 12:05 AM
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Wow a great low milage bike. Congrats.
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post #7 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 02:31 AM
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Nice i just picked up a 77 GS750 for $250 bucks.You got any good sites for aftermarket parts.
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post #8 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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I use www.BikeBandit.com; www.oldbikebarn.com and of course, fleecebay (www.ebay.com)

I also belong to a (mostly) pure Suzuki GS forum. It has provided a lot of info for me about the bike. www.thegsresources.com/_forum/

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #9 of 23 (permalink) Old 01-27-2012, 01:58 PM Thread Starter
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Just ordered the carb gaskets(8) & 4 O-ring intakes for 61.14 from BikeBandit. Have my list of socket-head fasteners & lock-washers (56 total), I'll get from the local hardware store.

And when cycleorings.com page will come back up I'll order the rubber o-ring kit for my carbs.


BTW -- With this order, I have about $120 sunk into the FREE bike so far.

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #10 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-09-2012, 10:07 AM
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That's a great find. I just bought a none running gs550l 1984. Took out the super clogged filter. Soaked the carbs in carb cleaner. With that base screw removed. Until the cleaner came out clean. New plugs new batt, and of course I used bb's and diesal fuel to clean the tank and BOOM. Bike fired right up. I love these bikes
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post #11 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-10-2012, 10:39 AM
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sounds like an incredible find....wish i could acquire a bike for free...lol or the 120 you put into it is there alot of rust anywhere on the bike?
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post #12 of 23 (permalink) Old 02-15-2012, 09:14 AM Thread Starter
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Not much rust.

I have not been able work on the bike because I've been laid out with Pneumonia.

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #13 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-22-2012, 06:42 PM
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Pretty sweet bike, I have an 85 GS550, in the process of trying to find a colour code for it and possibly a service manual. Still on the hunt haha
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post #14 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-28-2012, 03:37 PM
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I bought 77 gs550 $100

i have a service manual for 1977 to 198? something i cant sell it to ya but i can look what ever ya needed up.
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post #15 of 23 (permalink) Old 04-16-2012, 12:19 PM
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That is a hell of a back rest
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post #16 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-08-2012, 10:05 PM
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hows the bike coming along?
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post #17 of 23 (permalink) Old 06-10-2012, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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It's been at a stand still for a while now. I'm working 60+ hrs a week. I've hand a bunch of family stuff to deal with. So my therapy on 2 wheels, has been neglected. That said ... Carbs have been rebuilt, I just need to put them back in. I am hoping to have her at least running by the end of June.

I would rather die living, than live dying.
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post #18 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-01-2012, 11:12 PM
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Nice low miler... good luck!
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post #19 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-05-2012, 10:31 PM
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Hello everybody,
I am new to the site and this is my first post. I have a 1979 GS1000L with the king and queen touring seat (it looks exactly like this one). I would like to have something more low profile. I have been looking at having the seat foam cut and new leather made, however since my original seat is still in great shape was wondering if there are any other seat pans that might fit on the bike. Specifically, the GS1000E or S models or the GS550 or 850
any recommendations would be appreciated
Thanks
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post #20 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-14-2012, 03:30 PM
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very nice!
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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-10-2016, 05:43 PM
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great bike, I just got one free myself looks almost identical to yours however its missing the headlight and bracket, looking for that because they had a broken fairing that I removed. I also need to get the front turn signals. ALso, I am trying to get it going myself.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 12-14-2016, 01:30 PM
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Here is an image of me on my 79 GS550L back in the day. I was a mechanic for a small Suzuki Dealership in Center, TX. I loved that bike. It would totally run with the CB750's.

Last edited by mixalive; 12-14-2016 at 01:32 PM.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 03-13-2017, 11:21 PM
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Are you going to restore it and keep it vintage or do some custom work? Cafe / Bobber?
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