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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys.
I recently bought a second hand possibly lemon 1989 Honda dream c100. I bought it out of necessity: I needed a ride to my new job, and I only had 3-400 bucks to spend on wheels. Got it for approximately $383 in local currency.
Looking at how quickly it eats gas and engine oil, along with the white smoke I get when the engine heats up, my mechanic says I need new piston rings, and maybe more. Something about valves and such. He told me the repairs could cost me somewhere from $40 to $100 bucks. If it seems cheap, remember no one charges for labour in Thailand. Also, he's not licensed and has very little book-knowledge compared to his massive real-life experience knowledge.

Now, I was fine paying him to change my brakes, oil, fix my light switch, change the tires and wheels and inner tubes all for $83. But when it comes to the piston, I'm starting to wonder if I couldn't do it myself armed with manuals, a supportive forum thread, google searches and youtube.

My only previous experience was a summer in college where I bought a beautiful but dead '69 Honda CT90, stored it in my professor's garage and fixed it up to running again by the end of the year. I ran all new electrics, bought a ton of parts off ebay, and eventually got the sucker running, even if I never did fix a crack in the oveflow pipe in the carb.

Things are a little different now. I'm dealing with my primary vehicle, have no tools yet, and can't buy things off e-bay here in Thailand.

That being considered, I'm still optimistic about taking this weekend to pull the engine apart, buy the parts I need from local motorcycle shops (of which there are plenty) and fix the dang thing myself.

The problem with the mechanic is not a money issue, so I'm not too worried about paying more doing it myself. I just want it to be done right and thoroughly.

What do you guys think? Am I biting off more than I can swallow? Should I just leave it at the cycle doctor's shop for the weekend and spend my time photographing waterfalls instead?

Here's a pic of my bike. I call her "Speedy Tortilla"
 

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Retired twice: Navy and as a govt contractor
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Maybe he will let you help so you can learn.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's a really great idea, and what I did with my ct90 back in the states. Unfortunately, there are a couple cultural boundaries stopping me from doing that. It would actually look really pushy and rude of me to do that, also his "shop" is actually his house as well. In this culture it could also be misunderstood as a lack of trust (especially since I'm part foreign) as I don't have a previous personal relationship with him. Plus, because he's older than me, if I saw him doing something I'd rather he not do or do differently, I wouldn't be able to say anything without totally crossing cultural boundary lines :(

I love learning from other people and working on projects together with people, but I'm afraid this time I either entrust him with the entire thing or do it myself.
 

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Rings ain't amature stuff. I grew up in a shop. I didn't get to rings until after I learned tolerances and balances... nice bike. take it to a pro shop.
 
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