My Supercub Renovation Saga
Sat Oct 22, 2005
Painting Plastic Parts
I painted the replacement front fender I bought a year ago. It was originally red, and I plan to paint it dark blue, along witht the bike frame, but temporarily painted it an off-white color, the same as the side covers. I didn't want to have a red fender on my light blue bike. I used Rustoleum "Paint for Plastic", and it turned out pretty good. I will put on a coat or two of clear coat in a couple days after it dries a bit.
Mon Oct 17, 2005
Starter?Well, I finally got the sprocket cover off the bike, so I could access the neutral switch. It just took a lot of elbow grease, a stronge vise-grip, and some rust penetrator to get that stripped screw off of there. Unfortunately, it didn' help my starter issues. I will need to work on it some more later. The problem is that lots of my parts and tools are stuck in boxes somewhere in storage... My circuit tester/ohm meter, my drill, and various spare parts. So... I can only get so far with my C70 until we move into our house and I can unpack the boxes. In the meantime, I can do some maintenance, like lubing the chain, adjusting the valve clearance, and cleaning up the wiring.
I think I decided to paint the C70 red. I never was a fan of the original "angel blue", and finding a front fender of that color is a pain. I do have a red one, plus a red chainguard, so i think that will be it's new color. It will be easier to find a matching red, anyways... I still have some time to decide, though.
I went riding last night using my new full-face helmet. What a difference. It is soooo much better than my half-helmet. Just getting the wind out of my face made riding much more relaxing, and the face shield was totally distortion-free, so it wasn't even like I had a helmet on. I was worried that it would be so confining, but that is not the case at all! I am still looking for a buyer for my old half-helmet.
Sun Oct 9, 2005
UpdateI replaced the old front brake switch with a new one I ordered from the local Honda dealer. it was about $11. Now the C70 is almost fully functional. The only things left to fix mechanically are to replace the left handlebar switch controls because the hi-beam switch is broken. The thumb-lever snapped off, but if you have long fingernails, you can still switch between hi and lo. I got a new control assembly, but it is in a box somewhere in storage... That is the last thing I need to pass inspection. Apart from that, I want to fix the electric starter. There has been a thread going around the C70 group at Yahoo! that describes an easy fix to most of the problems people are having with their electric starter, and that involves cleaning one contact that commonly gets dirty. The problem on my bike is that the contact is underneath a protective cover, and one of the screws holding the cover is frozen, and stripped. I gotta get one of those reverse drill-bits to get that screw out, but of course, my drill is packed away. I guess I will borrow it from someone.
I am also going to get a full-face helmet soon. I have a half-helmet with face-shield right now, but I think the extra protection will be good.
Yes, it's been a while since I updated this page... Anyways, the mileage on my C70 is at 5,737.9, so I have put a whopping 47.4 miles on it! I can't believe I put on that kind of mileage just putting around the neighborhood. Top speed is about 45mph, and that is going on flat ground, with plenty of straightaway to get going.
Tue August 30, 2005
Tire Work and New Bulbs
I put the new tire on the front, filled it with air, and it seems alright. That was kind of a pain to put on the rim, however. One thing I recommend (which I learned from the C70 group at Yahoo!) is that you should put a little soap around the wheel rim so that the tire can slide on more easily. Without that soap, it was just too difficult.
I also replaced a couple burnt out bulbs in the speedometer housing. Now the whole thing lights up at night and I can see how fast (or slow) I am going. Plus the neutral light now works, as well as the hi-beam light. It looks so cool now.
Mon May 9, 2005
Odds 'n EndsI rode around the block today. Top speed is about 30mph before the engine hesitates. I need to put in some new fuel jets in the carb. Tonight I replaced the taillight bulb. The brake filament was working fine, but the normal taillight filament was burnt out. The pack of two bulbs cost $2.45 at the auto parts store. I also removed the Texas A&M parking stickers with a razor blade and some Goo-gone. Stuff I need to do besides inspecting the carb include fixing the brake switch for the front brake lever. The lever is not tripping the brake light. But the rear brake (pedal) does.
Sun May 8, 2005
LightI fully charged up the battery, so I decided to put in the headlight I had bought a year ago. This replacement headlight has replaceable bulbs, while the original headlight didn't. Spare bulbs cost a couple bucks. The original headlight would cost around $20.
Sun May 1, 2005
Puttin' AroundSo I have been taking the bike up and down the street a few times, and it's totally fun. There are still some tweaks I need to make to make it run better. I want to replace a couple aprts int he carb that I suspect arent working correctly. I also have to adjust the clutch, and check the valves for proper clearance. When I open the throttle up fully, the engine kind of loses power. And there is a strange noise coming from it when I gas it. Still waiting for tires, and I needed a new battery as well.
Thu April 28, 2005
It's Alive!I went home at lunch to work a bit on my C70, and guess what? It finally started up! When it came to life, my heart skipped a beat, it kind of scared me. Hehe. But it would only run for about 10 seconds or so before dieing. And there was a funny hissing sound coming from the exhaust, sort of like a pressure cooker. I suspected that the old muffler was clogged, so I straightened out a wire hanger and used it to clear the junk that was stuck in there. I think some wasps had made a nest in there... Anyways, after that, it started up so easily, and idled nicely. There's a small screw on the side of the carb you use to adjust the idle, and I got it dialed in pretty good. Since I inflated the tires the day before, I decided to give it a go down the street. It shifted great into first and second, but I didn't put it into third gear yet. I'll wait until I get new tires and a helmet. But I am stoked that it's running!!!!
Wed April 27, 2005
Back to WorkToday I filled up my battery with distilled water again, and started charging it up. After a year of sitting in the garage, it is finally getting some attention. I ordered a couple Michelin Gazelle tires at my local store, they should arrive in a few days. Next I will take the carb apart again to put the o-rings in. I found a legshield for the bike, but it will be $85. I will wait until I get the bike running nicely first.
Thu April 15, 2004
ElectricalWith the help of my dad, who is an electrical engineer, we got the points to work, and now the spark plug is making a spark! Unfortunately, the carb was leaking badly, which I thought I had fixed earlier. Oh well, time to take it apart again.
Sat June 21, 2003
Carb LeakTonight I hooked up the fuel lines to my tank and put in a bit of gas. Unforturnately the carb started leaking...looks like the fuel is coming out of the float bowl. I am going to order new o-rings for the carb. I thought they looked ok, but I guess not. Oh well.
Fri June 20, 2003
Kreeming the Tank
Last night I started the process of using "Kreem" to get my tank ready for use. Kreem consists of three steps. The first is to put Solution A into the tank and let it work on the rust. I first rinsed the tank with water and dishwashing soap, then I closed up the two holes that the fuel lines attach to with a small piece of fuel tubing (one end attached to the reserve opening, and the other attached to the fuel opening. I filled up the tank about half way with warm water, then poured half of Solution A into the tank. I then filled it with more water until the tank was full. The Solution started working immediately on the rust, and kind of bubbled over. That was ok since I wasn't worried about the paint on the outside of the tank. I wanted to make sure that all the rust got removed. I let it sit like that for about 10 hours.
Today I emptied out Solution A into a plastic container and rinsed the tank out really well. There were a lot of particles that came out. It looked really clean inside, with a dark grey finish. All the rust was gone! Next, I put Solution B in the tank, and shook it around. If you are wondering how I stopped up the main opening, I just used the palm of my hand (wearing disposable rubber gloves). I then poured the solution back into the bottle.
The last step was to put the Kreem in. I poured the whole bottle in, then tilted the tank all over so that the Kreem would coat the entire inside of the tank. I then let it rest on one side for 10 minute, then tilted the tank all over again and let it rest on the other side. I did that two more times, then poured the Kreem back into the bottle. I removed the fuel tubing I was using to plug the two holes, then let the excess Kreed drain out the main hole (the tank was sitting upside down on a box). A few hours later I checked it and it was nicely coated on the inside. I will let it dry for another day and a half before putting some gas in it.
Wed June 4, 2003
Electrical StuffI hooked up the battery tonight to see what kind of electrical problems I have. The front blinkers turn on, but don't blink. Looks like I need to get a new relay from Beatrice Cycle. (link at left) The headlight doesn't come on, and the rear blinkers are broken. The brake light works. I had to mess with the brake light adjustment near the brake pedal to get it to go on and off correctly. The horn also works nice and loud.
Sun June 1, 2003
A pair of mirrors arrived the past week from Beatrice Cycle. (link at left) They were only $12 a pair. Stock mirrors from Honda cost $20 each. The stem just barely reaches through the handlebar, so I couldn't use the lock-washer. No big deal.
Sat May 31, 2003
Removing Rust and Old Paint
I bought some attachments for my drill so I could put on some sanding wheels. There are these pads that are like the back of a sponge (the rough part) which work great to remove the rust and old paint. I use a softer one to remove any scratches. After I get it all rust-free, I am going to spray it with an anti-rust primer to get it ready for the new paint.
Sun May 25, 2003
New Fuel Lines
I dropped off my new (dry) battery at the local Honda dealer to get charged up (free!) and while I was there I picked up some fuel hoses. They had these clear ones and I also got a couple of clamps to hold them tight. I also re-attached the breather tube (not shown) to the carb.
Sat May 24, 2003
I was checking eBay today and came across this cylinder head for sale. It looks like it has the same "damage" that mine has. So, it appears to be a normal thing with this model. Good to know that I don't need to get a new one.
Thu May 22, 2003
Today the used muffler I got off of eBay came in. I put it on and it looks good. I then took it off and used Autosol to remove most of the rust and polish the chrome. I also got the battery in the mail a couple days ago. I need to get some electrolyte to activate it. The problem is that PepBoys doesn't sell it anymore (some EPA thing) and the O'Reilly auto parts place only had a 5-gallon container. I just need less than a half gallon.
Sun May 18, 2003
Stuff BoughtI have been buying some things here and there to fix up the C70: carb cleaner, simple green degreaser, various nuts and bolts, spark plug, chrome polisher, lithium grease, all-purpose oil, and shop rags. On order are a new battery and charger, special size bolts and washers, spare bulbs, battery bracket, spark plug cap, air filter cover, and rust remover. And tonight I won a muffler/exhaust system on Ebay. Hopefully after I receive the muffler and battery it will start up...
One thing that will be kind of tricky is the rear tail light and turn signals. The arms that hold the turn signals were broken, and the lights were held on by electrical tape. A new bracket (which holds the brake light, turn signals and license plate) costs $65 new! So, I am going to try to mount the turn signals on the fender. Actually, other models of supercub mount them on the fender, so maybe it won't be too hard to do.
Tue May 13, 2003
Tonight I took apart the carburetor, following the instructions from the Honda Service Manual. It was pretty easy, except for removing the air hose (pictured). That thing is a pain. There is a clamp that you use to tighten the hose, so when you loosen the clamp, the hose should come of fairly easily. But not this one. It was really stuck on there. I hurt my shoulder trying to get it off. After removing the carb from the engine and air hose, I took it apart to inspect the float. Everything looked in pretty good condition. There was some white residue all over that I cleaned up. I put it all back together in a few minutes.
Sun May 11, 2003
I had seen earlier that the connection on the cylinder head that the muffler attached to was damaged. I posted this picture to the C70 group (see links on the left) and I got a couple responses so far. The first one was the one I was expecting: "Barron if you know a good cheap welder/fabricator you could save it but it may be more cost effective to replace it because it needs to first be welded then the mounting surface machined ."
But I just got another reply, which I like much better: "Believe it or not, this is the way it is. I also thought there's damage on my bike and I need a new cylinder head, but after looking around a bit noticed that all of them are like this. No damage. "
That's what I wanted to hear. Let's see if there are more replies to confirm this.
Sat May 10, 2003
Stripping It Down
I started to take it apart. First I took out the fuel tank. On this model, it is suspended from the bottom of the seat plate. When I took the seat plate off, the tank was sitting in the cavity. I pulled it up and noticed that it was not attached to anything. There were also leaves and cobwebs in there. I went to Home Depot and got some 6mm bolts to attach the tank to the seat plate. The inside of the tank is rusty, so I will have to clean that out and recondition it.
Fri May 9, 2003
Looking It Over
This bike is going to need a lot of work. First off, there is no muffler, and the cylinder head looks damaged where the muffler connects to it. I will have to look more closely. The body has a fair amount of rust. It looks like the bike has been kept outside for a while, as there are leaves, spiderwebs, etc. on it. The plastic fairing is cracked, as is the plastic front fender. There are no mirrors. The gas cap is missing. The real turn signals are broken.
Judging from the registration stickers, the bike was running from '88-'92 at Texas A&M University.
Thu May 8, 2003
At Long LastI finally got a Supercub. This bike is a 1980 "angel blue" C70. It is in poor condition, but the price was right, and it was here in Austin! The people I bought it from even delivered it to my house. The bike does not run, the body is a little rusty, and some parts need replacing. It's going to be quite a project. I don't like the color at all, but I am planning to paint it a dark metallic blue. The seat is the standard "long seat". I want to find a single seat, and put a second one behind that. I will keep the rear rack on it, but remove the front rack. I could probably get $20 for it on eBay, but I'll hold onto it for a while in case I change my mind and decide I like it.