First Generation Ascots > The Thumper Years: Modified To Full Customs

Ratty and bratty FT500 -83

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Got bigger jets for the carb, a #82,5 and a #132,5. Still didn't start. I was afraid I would destroy the starter motor if I kept trying this hard.

Today I got a new spark plug and some starter spray. Tried with old plug and spray, didn't even try. Swapped the old plug for a new one, fired right up without spraying starter fluid into the carb. It's probably the fastest I've ever fried a plug since I replaced it about 6 months ago. I think if I've used starter fluid from the beginning it would still be functional, guess the gas flowing into the cylinder but not firing up fouled the plug.

Reminder: even if a plug has spark when out, it might not have one under pressure.

Next I need to sort the sketchy wiring, get some fuel hose and put the bike back together. The weather took a turn for the worse so still not in a hurry ;D

Hello form Aus.
When you take the sidecover off the engine to change your clutch plates (I used Barnett kit from US) there is a bolt under the crank gear that you loosen and the spring will move a plate that tightens the balance chain. Don't force it as this will put too much pressure on the chain and cause it to wear more.

I got EBC friction plates and springs from a local shop, no new steel plates but I guess old ones will suffice.

Rear brake lost all pressure, I rebuilt the rear brake master cylinder and replaced the pads. Also replaced the front pads, gotta get my car fixed and inspected so couldn't afford new discs but still had to replace the pads since the old ones were basically a compressed pile of dust. Sanded the discs lightly since they are at minimum thickness so can't really get them machined either.

And after that I snapped the pull throttle cable. To be fair it was super worn already, it felt quite sticky at times but definitely didn't expect it to snap. Luckily I was just leaving my house when it happened ;D

Yesterday I lubed and installed the new throttle cable and when done with adjusting the movement of the throttle I couldn't get the bike to start, spark plug was black and wet with gas so I just fried another plug 8) new one in and it fired right up, apparently the accelerator pump had sprayed some gas into the cylinder while working on the throttle cable and it fouled the plug. It's amazing how little it takes to destroy a spark plug with these bigger bikes, during my moped years I only had one faulty spark plug, and that was because I ran the bike too rich. And before you ask, the plugs are proper NGK.

Also located the oil leak. Apparently one of the valve cover bolts leaks oil like hell when the bike is running. Took it out and was greeted by this:

Looks like a thread insert. The handwritten service history that came with the bike mentioned a repair of some stripped threads on the cylinder head, guess I found one. I just wish people would do these properly if they're ready to go through the hassle of repairing them. Since fixing this would require me to drop the whole engine I did exactly what a lazy person would do; got some Loctite and liquid gasket and bodged it :D

Not my proudest moment and I kinda hope it leaks so I'll have to fix it properly soon. If not then I'll fix it when the weather's better (yeah right, that's when it's time to ride the damn thing ;D ).

Also got rid of the original plate holder/rear mud guard. The deeper I delve into the bike the more I realize it isn't as original as I thought, there's some horribly bodged repairs and installs all over the bike. And no, the Alfa Romeo isn't mine ;D

Really sorry for the shit pics, but I'm way too lazy to get my DSLR when working on the bike. I promise I'll get some better pics of the bike and the new plate/rear light setup.

Well, #*&%. When I bought the bike it only had one key and it's quite worn too so I got new blank ones. They're for a Honda Z50, since FT500 and Z50 have roughly the same size keys. Too bad the groove is on the wrong side and I can't use these.

It isn't really the seller's fault, since I basically ordered them for the wrong bike and they had the "wrong" side groove on the pictures too but I didn't check my key if it's identical. So it's my mistake but bummed nevertheless, these were the only reasonably priced ones on Ebay. Back to searching I guess...

Also had a pic of the rear brake master cylinder rebuilding process, nothing fancy.

Got tired of trying to find reasonably priced original Honda key blanks, so I just got a universal one cut.

Fitted the round headlight, required some modification. Had to cut another hole for the wires on the back and the case also interfered with the black "grille" under the lamp, so I cut a piece out of it and painted the whole thing matte black since it was all sunburned and faded.

The headlight's disproportionately high, as evidenced by the lower pic. The plan is to get rid of the grille and find a new place for the horn so I can mount the light lower. Also the exhaust pipe's butt-ugly, I'll probably paint it for now but I really would like a new, better flowing exhaust system :P

Rear end's also temporary, I'll deal with it when modifying the frame for the tracker seat.

New handlebars and mirrors are next. Valve cover doesn't leak oil anymore so the only oil leak left is the gear shifter axle's oil seal. I really need to pull the engine out and replace all oil seals and fix the stripped threads :(

Did 100km's yesterday, filled her up when I left and then again after the trip, about 50/50 highway and small unpaved roads. Speed on highway was 80-100km/h (100km/h = 60mph), on smaller roads around 50km/h (30mph). Consumption was 5,7l/100km or 41 mpg, so it's really not much more economical than my old Nissan but the amount of Smiles Per Gallon is through the roof with the Honda ;D

Also got to try the new headlight in the dark, I replaced the cheap bulb that came with it with a premium one that was left over from my car and was actually surprised how good the new light is. Despite being really cheap it has better illumination than the original, designer's rectangular brain fart ;D


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