Today I continued on with painting the various parts of the bike that need some rejuvenation. The upper and lower triple clamps, the front disk brake, the rear brake bracket, the kick stand, and the final coat on the swing arm were all done today. The bright sunshine made for a great situation where the parts got a chance to bake in the sun for a few hours. I am hoping that has made the paint super hard, and won't show too much wear and tear. In an ideal world I would have had all these parts powder-coated, but I didn't want to wait another two weeks for the parts to come back. Time is ticking on...
I also tested the two variations of high temperature paint that I bought, in order to change yesterday's dull grey engine color to something closer to a flat black. The Rust-Oluem High Heat Ultra proved to be the better of the two paints, and even though it is a semi-gloss, I am much happier with the way the engine looks. Ideally it would have been a flat black to match the frame color, and perhaps in the future we can experiment more with the Rust-Oleum products that are for brush painting, and thin them down enough for spray painting, rather than use the rattlecans. There is a flat black high-temp paint that might be a closer match to what I want.
I previously had the polishing machine mounted on a stand inside Misha, but after turning it on and seeing the millions of particles of fluff being thrown off by the buffing wheels, I decided to move it outside. I welded up a quick steel frame and mounted it to the back of the Tacoma. I did think about making some sort of free-standing movable frame, but in the end it came down to speed and economics: a couple of pieces of 1 1/2" angle iron from Lowes, thirty mins with the welder, and we were in business.
To prep the wheels for use, I have a tool that basically shreds the outer layer of the wheels with some steel teeth. It created a huge about of dust and particles, and I was so glad I was doing this outside. After applying some polishing compound I set to work with the generator cover, something I had already put a ton of work into getting rid of the corrosion and scratch marks. After polishing for a while it became obvious that I hadn't done a good enough job, so I went back to 400 grade emery paper and started to take out the scratches I had missed. Some of the more tricky corners required the help of my Dremel, and I just recently bought some new polishing tools that proved to be extremely helpful.
Polishing is exhausting, and I may be holding my body too rigid while working the piece across the buffing wheel. I hope tomorrow I can relax a bit and find a good posture with less tension in my back, otherwise I'm going to have to schedule a massage every night for the next few nights. But the end result was incredible; such a transformation!
Current hours on build: 77.0