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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
So, I got this nifty little Ascot in my garage. (Full disclosure: my first bike). After piddling around with it when it was still warm enough to ride some -- like 5 miles total, I discovered that at least the left fork leaks. Then I looked closer and the chrome on the fork tube has a couple of spots that look like rock chips in travel area that gets swept by the seal, so I get to polish those out too if I want new seals to last. (They're tiny, so I think I'll be good with high grit sanding and polishing the spot to near mirror finish).

I have enough information to take care of that (in fact, the forks are in my basement off the bike where it's warm so I can fix 'em).

As I was taking the front end apart, I obviously had to support the front end from the "crash" bars so it wouldn't fall on me. That took the weight off the steering and I noticed a relatively positive "detent" when the handlebars were pointed forward. Kinda like a center detent on the speaker balance adjuster knob on your car stereo. Other than that the steering moves very smoothly and easily through the entire range of motion. Is that center detent normal?
1983 Honda FT500 Ascot if it matters. 68xx miles (yeah, <7000).
 

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Sounds like new head bearings are in your future, to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well, I kinda thought that, but since it feels more like a self-center, and the fact that it is dead center I was just wondering if any other bikes did that on purpose.

Oh well, it is a '83, that hasn't been registered and on the road since '92
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Definitely going to check for sure, I already have the forks off, it's not like its a whole lot more work to pull the steering stem from where I am now.

I will just have to watch for loose balls :p

I'll report back when I know something. Couple more posts and I can put some pics!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update:

Finally had a few minutes to pull the steering stem. thought I was ready for dropping balls, but I still managed to lose one (not bad for a total of 37! -- at least I think that's how many its supposed to have...).

Anyway, on inspection I can't see anything particularly bad (not near as crusty as your example sky), but like everything else, I have to assume that it hasn't been fooled with since 1992 at the most recent (old tags expired in 92).

The grease in there had turned mostly solid, an almost wax-like consistency. There also appeared to be some VERY mild surface rust on some of the balls. Since tapered bearing replacements are like ~$40, I'll just spring for a set on my next paycheck.

Any hints on removing the old races? I'm almost positive that the tapered replacements will have their own. I know at least a couple ways to do it, but was just curious if someone here had any particularly spiffy tricks.
 

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The top one can usually be knocked out from the bottom with a long round chisel/punch.
The bottom one, might need a pilot bushing puller or expanding jaw tip on a slide hammer.

Sky...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Kinda what I was thinking, thanks.

In the past with stubborn old car bushing sleeves I have had some luck cutting into the inner race with a Dremel tool (or similar) to create a weak spot that will (if I did it right) split when I use a cold chisel and Big Friendly Hammer. Once it splits, it will practically fall out.

You just have to be careful with that trick so you don't dig into the non-disposable piece :)
 

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The absolute easiest way to remove the bottom race is to weld a bead around the center of the face of the old race and it will shrink and FALL OUT. :wink:
Sadly, everyone does not have access to a welder. :frown:

Sky...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
The absolute easiest way to remove the bottom race is to weld a bead around the center of the face of the old race and it will shrink and FALL OUT. :wink:
Sadly, everyone does not have access to a welder. :frown:

Sky...
You speak truth about the welder -- I grew up on a farm with an old style arc welder. I learned how to use it and put things together, built some neat stuff while I was there.

Then I learned to program, grew up, got a job and moved out.

If I have too much trouble here at home I can probably get my frame down to my uncle's house and use his welder...

Unrelated: I may have a line for a good deal on a couple of old CBR 600s to play with... (going to try to talk the guy into trading me for some electronics I'm not using anymore. Not junk, just idle).

Also, depending on their condition, they're the right year for me to swipe the forks for my Ascot...
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Not sure what's amazing but...
Anyway, the store called and said that my head bearings are in, so going to go get those today and hopefully get them installed this weekend.

Fork seals next paycheck :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yay, installed new bearings. Old races came out pretty easy really. The top one I was able to get the pry bar in and just rock it out back and forth, the bottom one I was able to get out with a long punch and hammer.

Packed the new bearings and installed. NOW it's smooth :)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Activity

New Activity!
I ordered some more bits and pieces for my Ascot.
Fork seals and dust covers, couple oil filters (Going to keep a spare on hand) and a turn signal housing.

One of the front turn signals had been replaced with an aftermarket unit, and the light bulb is a different wattage, so the right-hand signals won't blink. That, and it doesn't match, so it looks kinda stupid.

If the new one with an OEM bulb won't make it blink I'll replace the relay with a full electronic one instead of a load-based one.

Guess I should get some pics up soon...Well, when it's not in pieces I'll oblige :p

Next will be a battery, spark plug, tires and an oil change. Then I should be good to go for the season! Yay!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
picture!

Got it back together now, oem style housing and fiddle with the wiring got the turn signal fixed. New seals in the forks with fresh fluid has the suspension sorted and a quick bleed has the fron brake happy.

Picture!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks!

I never did get those CBRs but that's alright. Got a battery and charger today :)

Now for tires and tags!

Next off-season will be a complete de-rust of the entire chassis and paint, but for this year I just want to ride it (nothing is rusted through, just surface)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Yay! Tires are on!

Boo! Outdoor temperature took a dive!

Meh! Still have to get tags for the thing anyway :p
(It's titled, just haven't plated it yet since it's not been road-safe until now anyway)

Next Saturday will be a trip to the BMV to rectify that. Then I doubt you'll get me off the thing for at least a week.
:71baldboy:
 
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