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Discussion Starter #1
My grandfather used to ride a long time ago, and he parked his 1970s Yamaha TX500 and it's been sitting for the better part of 20 years.

Since I'm looking to take the course in June (scheduled time off) I figured it wouldn't hurt to have a bike to practice in a parking lot and possibly ride for the initial period until I can buy a bike I want.

So I'll include what pictures I took today and let yall decide if it's worth rebuilding this bike and if so where in the world will I find the parts I'll need like gaskets etc for rebuilding the motor or parts for the bike in general? ImageUploadedByTapatalk1427174612.537649.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just a quick update, I found a pdf copy of a service manual and have downloaded it, so I have that to work with for now.
 

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American Legion Rider
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Looks like he was ahead of his time or really rode.
 

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Gone.
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Is it worth it financially? No. You can buy a running practice bike for less then you'll put into that one in time and money.

But because you'd be re-building your Grandfather's bike and riding it yourself? Heck yeah! Even if you're till working on it long after you have your license and are riding another bike, it'll be very rewarding to have that as your second bike, no?
 

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Is the frame good, and does the engine turn? I take on some pretty ratty projects, but that one is sunk into the ground.. that can't be good. Even as optimistic as I am about these things, that may take a lot of parts.

As Eye said though, it is your Grandfather's bike. I would probably do it!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's true. It would be cool to have a piece of history especially belonging to him. Frame looked good. Tried the kick start and it turned, so not sure what that means as far as motor. It's not really sunk is so much that the leaves have just piled up over the years.
 

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That's true. It would be cool to have a piece of history especially belonging to him. Frame looked good. Tried the kick start and it turned, so not sure what that means as far as motor. It's not really sunk is so much that the leaves have just piled up over the years.
Wow, that's fantastic! Good luck with the project!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks. I'll be hopefully loading it up on the truck today and taking it to my dads to start any tear down. I'll get better pics of the motor to give you an idea of what I'm up against.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well no bike home today. Maybe Friday. Might see if my dad wants to have a few drinks and work on taking it down.
 

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The motor turning over is a good sign. Hopefully one of many.

Do you know why your grandfather parked it?

Bearings and seals may be something that can be sourced from a business that specializes in bearings. You'll just need to have the old ones out for measurement. That is if it needs them. They may be okay though, depends upon what has found its way into the engine's internals.

Rubber bits like intake boots (both sides of the carbs) manifolds and fuel lines will need to be replaced as will any other rubber parts. The intake boots may be a problem to locate, but the ones between the airbox and the carbs might not be essential if you ditch the airbox for some pod filters.

Tires go without saying. Same for control cables and hydraulic brake components needing attention if there are rebuild kits available.

You may find that non-stock parts will suffice provided the master cylinder size is compatible with the caliper's size. Mismatching them can give some interesting results that you don't want to experience in a panic stop.

If you're lucky there may be some interchangeable parts like intake boots for other bikes. I wonder about the 650 twins of the same era. Yamaha's XS650 bikes are still pretty popular today and enjoy fairly good aftermarket support.
Maybe the intake boots from one would work. The downside to this is the 650 used Mikuni carburetors and your 500 uses Keihins.

Good luck on it. At the worst you'll have a bike to tear apart as a learning experience. At best you'll be able to source the goods you will need to put it back together and carry on your grandfather's joy with the bike.

You may find a bit of ugliness inside the carbs depending upon weather conditions where it was left. Humid environments take their toll. Jets can often be replaced but some other bits may be FUBARed so you'll be left to find stuff off eBay and at swap meets. All a part of the adventure. Well worth the effort when you fire that bike up for the first time in eons.

If you can find a forum devoted specifically to this line of bikes you may be able to get good sources on parts as well as help from other owners that are further down the road than you are right now.
 

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Charlie Tango Xray
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Looks like a fun project, good luck. I had a similar first project with an old CB360 Honda my uncle gave me. But I must confess that I cheated. The parts bike I bought was in much better shape and ran well. So I transferred many of the identifiable parts from my uncle's bike onto the parts bike and never told him it wasn't actually his. It was just a little white lie. ;) And the smile on his face when he rode it up and down his street for the first time after 30+ years (while wearing his old gold metalflake Bell helmet) was priceless.:) My uncle passed shortly afterwards, but I kept that old Honda around for many years in his memory. It was my first road bike, and now I'm sorry I sold it. :(
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I figured the rubber components and tires were a given for replacement. I did find a forum specifically for tx500 and xs500 bikes, so I'm hoping to get some help from there. They seemed to have sources for some parts. My grandfather parked the bike because he felt it has become too dangerous to ride (one example was he had some idiot kids throw a full can of beer at him and hit him while riding). He probably didn't drain the tank (that will be a fun project) or any other fluids. Not sure if the 650s have computable parts but I'll be looking to find out. The other problem I know o read about is oil filters are hard to find and expensive but I read of an adapter that I'm sure my dad can make (machinist) to put a more standard filter on.
I figured a complete rebuild on brakes and cables were going to be needed as well as cleaning carbs but may need to find new ones.

As for aesthetics, the chrome is all gonna need to be cleared of rust, and the paint I'm going to redo in flat black.

I love working with my hands so this should be fun regardless of its repairable or not.
 

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Fit it

It is all doable. Many here have done it. What may seem impossible, if you do not know how to do it, is easy when you do. You may have to remove the front brake caliper to roll the bike. If there is fluid in the system, pump out the brake piston. If not you will hear about plan B. I have an 83 XS400 Yamaha. Your bike is similar.

Unkle Crusty*
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'll be doing a thread once I get it home and start working on it. Wish I had a table to work on it, but that's an expense my significant other would go to jail over. Lol
 

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Ban Hammer, Try Me.
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Wow sitting there looking like that and the motor turning over is very promising, but if you plan on riding in june unless you dedicate all your time to this it will not happen, or at least in my experience with shipping and obtaining used/NOS/Retro parts. I would definaly get it up and out of the dirt get another bike and start this project slowly and do it with love and care an not rush into it.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Crusty. I hope that the fact that everything was intact will save me some headache. I know it could have been much worse had it not been left standing upright.
 

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Yea I think I got ahead of myself thinking it could be done that quick. I don't want to go too fast and I'm wanting to use this to learn how everything functions together on a bike. At the very least it'll be sitting on some wood blocks and covered at my dads... A garage sure would be helpful in this instance. But I never liked doing anything the easy way anyways.
 

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I'd attack that motor and tranny first. Get a look before you start buying all the small stuff. The good news is that it went to bed still running instead of being shoved out to the back 40 due to what seemed like a hopeless mechanical failure. The fact that it turns over is good news. Depending upon how bad the chrome is there are a few options open to making that look halfway decent. Worst case to avoid the expense of getting it stripped and replated is to just strip it and paint it. If it is just a matter of a bunch of tiny rust spots they can be dealt with in a variety of ways. with some metal polishes to remove some of the rust staining around the pits so you're just left with some tiny freckles that may be sealed with wax. There is a product Jay Leno has promoted that I've not tried yet, but want get to try out. Link to vid below as well.

A 12 volt battery charger and a sacrificial piece of metal can be used for rust removal for parts prior to painting as it hits pits better than an abrasive. And you leave the parts attached to the battery charger while you rinse and dry them to avoid the quick accumulation of rust that will hit them almost instantaneously. This also works as a final step to remove rust from inside gas tanks - you just need to keep the sacrificial metal from touching the inside of the tank. The sacrificial piece has to be exposed to the rust by line of sight though. It can be reused by grinding all the rust that accumulates on it during the process.

Rustol is a product I've used with success in prepping metal also. You dilute it with water and can reuse the solution a few times.

Some tips on chrome removal are in the link below. READ AND HEED the precautions.

http://www.wikihow.com/Remove-Chrome-Plating

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7TnNEBy3tI

http://www.sudco.com/rustol.html
 

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Garages are nice. But you can at least remove assemblies, clean them, box them up with labels - baggies are great for small parts. Use your cell phone to take pics of stuff BEFORE removal so you can see how it was together. Wiring harness routing, cable routing, etc. can be documented this way so you don't end up with a pinched wire driving you bat &#!T crazy down the road. All of that can then be stored in the house where it won't be getting funky again. Just be sure you've cleaned all stinky stuff out first. That goes double for things like the fork lowers that you'll be wanting to pop the seals out of. That job goes much more smoothly if you chuck them in the oven and let the metal get hot enough to expand it a little. New seals get chucked in a zip lock baggie and go in the freezer to put back in the heated fork lower. Much less swearing and throwing things at the wall doing it the easy way. But you don't want to stink up the house by cooking fork oil. That used to drive my mom crazy when I was a teen.
 
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