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  • Build: Natasha
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J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC J. Sinclair/CONCEPIA LLC I couldn't do all this without my awesome IronClad gloves.

Like most things, it's the details that take the longest amount of time. I am so close to rebuilding Natasha; everything has been repainted and ready for action, but before that can happen I have to clean/polish all the bolts that are going to be used in the rebuild. It's a little tedious but does let me practice being patient. It would be too easy to go crashing into the rebuild and not take the time to think carefully about each step. As I clean each bolt I can lay everything out, and double check that it's all going to work together again. Note: I am so glad I took so many photos of when Natasha was in her original pre-teardown state!

So initially I used my Dremel to clean the bolt-heads of surface rust and corrosion, then switched to a felt head with some emery compound, the same that I use on the polishing wheel. Once the bolt head was pretty clean, I used another felt head and some of the brown tripoli. This brought the bolts back to new, and perhaps even shinier than when they left the Suzuki factory some 34 years ago.

But doing it this way was time consuming. So I clamped a bolt into a miniature set of vice grips and used the polishing machine instead, after doing an initial cleaning with the Dremel as before. This method is a lot faster if perhaps a whole heap more dangerous; way too easy to catch the bolt in the polishing wheel and have to wrenched out of your hands. (The last couple of shots in the gallery show a before-and-after using the polishing machine method.)

Since I was cleaning the bolts for the front brake disk, it made sense to just put everything together while I had all the pieces there. I used a Scotch-Brite pad to polish the wheels again, removing some of the overspray from when I repainted them. Then used Mother's Mag & Aluminum polish to put a final shine on them before I bolted the brake disk in place. Recommended torque was quoted in the manual as between 15-20 ft/lbs. I put on 17ft/lbs.

The front axle and speedometer gear unit were scrubbed clean with 409, then the Dremel came into action again, taking off all the remaining dirt and corrosion. I thought about polishing the speedometer gear unit up to a bright polish, but there is enough shiny stuff on the bike just now without going too crazy. (I'm going to find the right sized cap and close off the speedometer gear unit, as the Acewell 2853 Digital Speedometer/Tachometer I bought uses a magnet mounted on the wheel and a reed switch on the front forks to detect it's rotational speed. Gone is the need for the speedometer cable. And also the tachometer cable is redundant too, as it picks up the counts from the ignition coils. Woohoo! I love taking stuff away from this bike but still keeping functionality.)

Current hours on build: 84.5 

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