Author Topic: Fixer-upper in Garner, NC  (Read 3164 times)

obriencj

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Fixer-upper in Garner, NC
« on: December 15, 2014, 08:12:59 pm »
Hello! I picked up what I think is Kettle One's VT500FT around two weeks ago from the fellow he'd sold it to in Cary. Currently figuring out some of the oddities of this particular bike, but so far liking it as a platform! I think there's a lot of potential once she's running cleanly again (and has brakes that stop her, and the center stand, and new cables, and I get the carbs back on and sync'd, and I flush the cooling and verify it's flowing, and repaired plastics, and paint, and non-bent-bars, and and and...)

So far it's been interesting reading along on here what others have been working on. Thank you for making this forum available as a resource!

J6G1Z

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Re: Fixer-upper in Garner, NC
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2014, 07:29:53 am »
Welcome to the forum. Once you take that VT Ascot for a ride, you'll be happy with the bike. They are a great platform for a Street Tracker type of build as they are most of the way there already. When you go to replace the handlebars, take a look at the bars designed for the Honda CR Moto-X bikes. They come in 3 different rises. I usually like the low rise or the medium rise bars.

The VT Ascots are prone to having carb problems from being allowed to set too long with fuel in the carbs. Know that the fuel petcock is vacuum operated if you find that you can't get any fuel flow. The petcock can be modified to full manual control by taking apart the diaphragm housing & swapping the spring inside to the opposite side of the diaphragm. Now the spring will hold the diaphragm open vs. closed. YOU MUST MANUALLY CLOSE YOUR PETCOCK AFTER SHUTTING OFF THE ENGINE. If you are forgetful about closing the petcock, then I don't recommend this modification.

When you clean your carbs, be careful to keep the carbs parts separated from each other. I know that the main jets are not the same size per carb. The front carb has a #112 main jet & the rear has a #120, if I recall correctly. A forum member that has one of the modernized VT500's recommends a #125 main jet in each carb. That is supposed to liven the bike up some & reduce combustion chamber temperatures.

Please feel free to ask any questions that you may have. Do you have a real Honda Service Manual yet? If not, you need to pick one up. Here is a link to where you can order a Manual at a decent price: http://ascot500.com/index.php?topic=450.0

Good luck & please post up some pictures of your bike.
J.

obriencj

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Re: Fixer-upper in Garner, NC
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2014, 12:43:52 pm »
When you go to replace the handlebars, take a look at the bars designed for the Honda CR Moto-X bikes. They come in 3 different rises. I usually like the low rise or the medium rise bars.

Got some simple emgo en route. There are drag bars on it currently which are too low for my comfort. The original bars came with it in a box, but are damaged (this is what I meant when I mentioned non-bent-bars) due to the bike apparently having been dropped before.

The VT Ascots are prone to having carb problems from being allowed to set too long with fuel in the carbs. Know that the fuel petcock is vacuum operated if you find that you can't get any fuel flow.

Looks like it may have been left at some point, there's a wad of varnish on the right/forward carb's needle. Seafoam on a cloth took care of it with a bit of persistence.

Seems like the float bowls had leaked in the past. One was "augmented" with threebond and was a rubbery blubbery mess inside, the other had some... green... goo? No idea what that was. Got new gaskets on the way.

The right/forward carb's spring was also badly crimped, which I found pretty strange. Matching replacements coming.

And yup, vacuum petcock. Weird that it's on/off/reserve, I thought most vacuum petcocks were on/reserve/prime? Guess not!

A forum member that has one of the modernized VT500's recommends a #125 main jet in each carb. That is supposed to liven the bike up some & reduce combustion chamber temperatures.

That's interesting, I will keep that in mind! I noted the front cyl at the exhaust header was a solid 300F hotter than the rear cyl at its header. I am hoping that's due to the fouled needle making it run lean, and not a cooling issue. Will have to see.

Compression test had a happy 170psi on both cyls. The plugs were a fouled mess though (and only in finger-tight, if even that).

Evidence of the rear cyl exhaust gasket having failed in the past -- the tool box has a big 'ol hole burned through it, heh. Got those coming in the mail, too.

I tell you what, between replacement bits and bobs and Christmas presents for my daughter, I've got one heck of a pile of empty boxes and packing piling up. Sheesh!

I think the bike is overall fine, it just needs some of the obvious bits replaced and then a tune-up.

I haven't checked valve clearances yet, that's on the list. So much to do, so much to do! Take it apart, clean it up, replace the busted bits, put it all back together! Also known as, fun!