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General Category => FJ Project Writeups => Topic started by: RobbieKNobbie on September 03, 2017, 05:44:35 PM



Title: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: RobbieKNobbie on September 03, 2017, 05:44:35 PM
This thread will outline some of the little stuff I do to the 89 FJ I just purchased off Craigslist. Bike was in decent shape overall, but was in need of some love and attention.

I doubt I'll be doing any major surgery, as I think the factory generally does the best job of putting a bike together within the constraints of a reasonable sale price. I plan to remake a few parts out of aluminum to replace steel components where strength isn't a concern, put in some steel braided brake and clutch lines, maybe swap out my back disk for something lighter and smaller. What I won't be doing is stuff like changing out the swing arm or forks or anything like that. I'm sure those are worthwhile mods, and my hat's off to the guys who do them, but that's not my cup of tea.

I'll try to go heavy on the pictures, maybe make a video or two, to try to help anyone who wants replicate anything I've done.

Hopefully there'll be something useful on here sooner or later. Enjoy!


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: Pat Conlon on September 03, 2017, 06:39:16 PM
Robbie, are you going to keep the bike, or are you looking to flip it?

The reason I asked, little jeejaws are well and good (other than the brake line replacement which is IMHO mandatory) but if you like the bike, and want to put some miles on her, save your money and invest in a good aftermarket shock and some RPM fork valves/springs. The oem shock and the damper rod forks suck.
This will be your biggest bang for the buck. All the other tweeks and improvements pale to these.


Title: Muffler Support Bracket
Post by: RobbieKNobbie on September 05, 2017, 08:45:42 AM
This is the first little mod I did, to re-make the muffler support bracket. The original was about 11 gage steel, and a little rusty. It also didn't offset the muffler quite enough, and allowed the bolt heads to contact the swingarm.

Fabrication was simple, trace the original part onto a sheet of aluminum, 14 ga in this case, and rough cut it on the band saw, and tidied up the edges on the belt sander. As this is not a very high precision part, I eyeballed the two bend angles that create the offset, scribed the guide lines and bent it on the brake (this could have just as easily been done by putting the material in a vise and bending with a hammer and 2x4). Next I marked the holes with a transfer punch, and drilled them out. Last I chamfered the holes and cleaned up the material a little bit on the Norton wheel and I was done.

Next time I mount a buffing wheel (which will be soon as the muffler itself is looking a little meh) I will probably polish the bracket and put some clear coat on there to help prevent corrosion.

So there you have it. Not a big deal by any means, but it took 1/2 a pound off the bike that didn't need to be there... and kept me gainfully occupied while the oil was draining from the FJ. Win-win!

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4436/36170594904_d25a8ea238_z.jpg)


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: RobbieKNobbie on September 05, 2017, 08:59:04 AM
Robbie, are you going to keep the bike, or are you looking to flip it?

The reason I asked, little jeejaws are well and good (other than the brake line replacement which is IMHO mandatory) but if you like the bike, and want to put some miles on her, save your money and invest in a good aftermarket shock and some RPM fork valves/springs...

I do plan to keep this bike for a while, my flipping days are long since gone. Kids, work, the house, well, you know what I'm saying.

Very good point about the damper rods and rear shock, and when I build up some more money in my Toys Fund I will probably do just that, but in the mean time a lot of what I will do is stuff that will cost me some free time, and a little scrap material from around the shop, but very little money. And if I bring in one of the kids to "help" make stuff, it's actually a multidimensional big plus (goodies for my bike, time with the little ones, less stress for the wife for a couple hours) = win, win, win!

I appreciate the advise, and welcome everyone's input.

Next up, I think my top triple clamp, passenger grab rails, and a few other parts are looking a little shabby, so I may get some gloss black and powder coat them, I'm looking forward to that!


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: RobbieKNobbie on September 13, 2017, 09:39:19 AM
So I didn't get to work on the bike this weekend as I'd hoped, but I did squeak out a little time yesterday, so I got a little bit done (baby steps here folks, baby steps!) at lunchtime, and a few minutes after work...
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4376/36392523643_ca47b6a557_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XrTcoc)20170912_111021 (https://flic.kr/p/XrTcoc) by Rob C (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
cleaned and sandblasted

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4417/37064464571_971119f00e_z.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/Ytg51B)20170912_111229 (https://flic.kr/p/Ytg51B) by Rob C (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
dry powder, going in the oven

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4391/36392525373_eb0ae5cffd_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XrTcU2)20170912_115305 (https://flic.kr/p/XrTcU2) by Rob C (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
all done. Not a great picture, it looks really good in person and I'm really excited about how the parts turned out.

I used Sherwin Williams Mirror Black and I'm really happy with the results. I only had done a few parts, can you tell which ones...
(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4413/36392527443_80de24823a_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/XrTdvH)20170912_130150 (https://flic.kr/p/XrTdvH) by Rob C (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr
I can't wait to do the handlebar risers and the top triple clamp, but that will have to wait. Probably get them done when I replace the bearings this winter.

After work I stuck around a little while and cleaned up the rusty shifter linkages, lubed the chain, cleaned the muck out of the front sprocket case and powder coated the drive sprocket cover (hyd fluid from the clutch cylinder ate away a bunch of the original paint) and the kickstand, which was also getting a rusty. While I was down the I also removed the bracket under the motor that used to support the collector box. While cleaning up the shift linkages, I discovered a lot of corrosion on the working surfaces, so I cleaned and lubed them as well. That made a HUGE difference in the feel of the transmission, I outlined this a little better in the Maintenance section of the forum.

Long way to go, but we're moving in the right direction. Lots more to come...

Next up I'll probably rebuild the clutch cylinder, though since bleeding it the night I bought the bike, it hasn't seemed to loose any fluid or clutch feel... it's probably due for new seals anyway.


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: RobbieKNobbie on September 18, 2017, 08:49:42 AM
This weekend did not afford the quality time with the FJ that I had hoped, but my youngest and I did get a little time to swap out the front brake lines for steel braided.

These were a set of hoses that I had on the shelf for a while, so they weren't custom fit for this bike, but they fit well enough and made the expected spectacular difference in brake feel. The top hose was a little long, maybe 2, 3 inches, and had a 90 deg elbow at one end, so I put that end at the top and looped it around the horizontal frame rail that shoots forward between the fork tubes. Checking the steering from lock to lock there was no interference so that routing works pretty well.

The one issue we ran into was that the aftermarket lines had 10mm thick banjos while the stockers were 8. We solved that by making new banjo bolt 5mm longer with appropriate hole spacing to accommodate. It's worth noting that the bolts are M10 x 1.25 which is a fine pitch (not the common M10 which is x1.5mm), so be aware of that if you're going to change any fasteners on your brake system. I had a box of the M10x1.25s from when I had to make new banjo bolts for a friends bike a few years back and I never throw out anything, especially the remaining 23 bolts in a box!

The replacement bolt is a standard hex head, not the reduced hex flanged head that was stock, but I don't think anyone will hold that against me.

(https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4382/37162322111_4430348048_k.jpg) (https://flic.kr/p/YBUBDz)20170915_184901 (https://flic.kr/p/YBUBDz) by Rob C (https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/), on Flickr

To grip the bolt in a 3 jaw chuck, I used an old old trick - I made up an aluminum bushing with a 10mm bore and an OD just big enough to clear the points of the hex. Then I slit the bushing on one side so it would clamp on the shoulder/threads of the bolt and hold it securely. Worked like a champ.

Aside from that the changeover was reasonably seamless and the improvement is as good as you'd expect going from 28 year old rubber lines to brand new stainless. Brake feel is firm and precise, and highlights exactly how bad the originals had gotten.

Plus my little one is now an expert at bleeding brakes, so I got that goin for me.


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: ZOA NOM on September 18, 2017, 09:23:00 AM
Oh, you dirty dog! I'm green with envy at the lathe and the powder coating oven... Nice work, and I second Pat's advice. The RPM shock and fork work are life-changing.


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: RobbieKNobbie on September 18, 2017, 11:38:21 AM
... The RPM shock and fork work are life-changing.

I plan on tearing the bike down over the winter for a repaint, new suspension bearings and so forth, I'll probably look at replacing the fork internals/shock then. For now I'm just doing little detail stuff to clean her up and bring her up to date on all the maintenance that I'm sure has been missed over the years. That's why everything I'm posting is so superficial so far. The real work will start when winter sets in and the bike comes into the shop!!!

Lathe/Powder coating/Mills/Fabrication equipment/etc etc are part of my business, so nothing to be envious of, trust me. If you want to spoil the fun of a hobby, turn it into your full time gig and watch the smiles float away!


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: ZOA NOM on September 18, 2017, 12:01:14 PM
Well, I just had to let go of a mill and a lathe, so I know how useful they are. Anyway, good luck with the mods, and don't flinch at the RPM shock price, it's worth every penny, and designed specifically for these bikes.


Title: Re: 89 FJ1200 tweaks, improvements and touch ups
Post by: Country Joe on September 18, 2017, 12:10:21 PM
Well, I just had to let go of a mill and a lathe, so I know how useful they are. Anyway, good luck with the mods, and don't flinch at the RPM shock price, it's worth every penny, and designed specifically for these bikes.
I completely concur!