Kawasaki Vulcan Forum banner

Bringin it back to life

3965 Views 24 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  john2139
Sorry if this is long winded... I got my hands on my dad's 99 classic, only problem is it's been sitting in a garage for last 10 years. only 6,000 miles, perfectly maintained when he was riding it. engine is not locked up, but tank was shot, and carb a little gummed up. So far I've ordered all parts to rebuild carb, new fuel lines, filters, and a new tank, old tank was rusted out and dropped twice while working around it. I'm also rebuilding front master cylinder, gonna replace brake lines as well as coolant lines, change all fluids and flush system, as well as new tires and plugs. I know this is very cost prohibitive, but I rode and loved the bike when it was new, and to me this is more about rebuilding a relationship with my dad. ( we haven't talked in ten years) anyways.....My main question is there anything I should be concerned about other than what I am addressing now? I also know about the POG... just don't know it I'm gonna takle that right now or not. Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions. Great Forum!
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Always good to bring a bike back to life. One thing that's common on the vintage Goldwing site is to run a 50/50 mix of oil and ATF in the sump for 20 minutes at idle. That does a nice job freeing up rings and generally degunking your engine. My 79 smoked a lot when I started it up the first time. She hadn't run for probably 20 years. I did the 50/50 mix and it really helped with that a lot. Just remember, don't ride it with that mix, only let it idle and then dump it. Looks like you've got the basics covered. Just include ALL the fluids when you change them out. Don't wait too long on the POG either. Hate to see your hard work go for nothing if she seizes up on you.
Thanks for the info Rick. I'll look into that. Would there be anything wrong with just draining oil, new filter, run it for about 15 or 20 mins then changing oil and filter again? I can turn a wrench lol, but don't understand the significance of the 50/50 mix. Are there any chances of internal damage by doing that?
There would be nothing wrong with just doing a few frequent oil changes. I think the AFT mix is supposed to just expedite the process. You could also try a quart of MMO in the oil. I'm just thinking that the engine is likely to have some sludge build up after sitting for 10 years. Maybe a few quick oil changes will clear it out. When you start it up, if your lifters aren't making all kinds of racket, that's a good sign there not stuck. Maybe take it in steps. Put fresh oil in and see what happens. If she sounds good, ride it around for a bit and do another oil change before too long. If she's making some unwanted noises, try an oil additive to see if it helps.
sounds good. Do you know where or how to get judge's oil gear? just for future ref. Is he still doing them, and where can I get them, IE. reputable site?
Your best bet is to call Bob himself, but do be patient as he seems like a very busy man.

(copied from my email inquiry)
706.769.8603 H
706.202.2233 Cell
So.... Just ordered a used replacement tank, only after ordering a new oem, then finding out a week later that it is discontinued. Why would a dealer site even list new tanks if they don't even make them anymore???? Anyways hopefully the used tank is as good as it looked then I'll finally be back on track. Don't have a heated shop, so just stock piling parts till warmer weather. Game plan is have all the parts in that I know I'll need then spend a few days putting back together the o'l girl.
You should consider a kerosene heater. I bought an 83,000 btu one for $100 and it makes my garage nice and warm. One of my best investments. Good luck with your tank.
It appears your well on your way to getting it back in running shape...I always put some PB Blaster or Marvels mystery oil in each cylinder...let sit for a few days and than crank the engine by hand a number of time before I but 12 volts to the system...but that's me...the top end can get dry after years of sitting...putting 12 volts to a dry top end can harm things...Oh yea...we love pictures here...hint hint...good luck and WELCOME TO THE FORUM...
pics will be coming....when I start. I want to record the whole thing from beginning to end, since I'm basically gonna go through every part and piece. In the meantime, just to keep it kinda loose, I have been using the seafoam penetrating lube in the cylinders a couple times over the winter, then putting it in gear and rolling it just to work it a bit. My tank should be in in a couple of days......Cant' wait to start on this thing!!!! Also, for future reference, What's everyone's thoughts on the Michellin commander II? And exhaust? Opinions and reasons please. V&H or Cobra....I'm wanting slash cuts, not longs. Thanks!
So, got the tank in a couple of days ago....only thing holding the box together was a little tape, I guess shippers just don't care anymore. Glad it was packed well. Used tank but looks good. petcock and sending unit should be in any day then I start......
Sorry its been a while since I posted. On my days off I spent almost 30 hours cleaning rebuilding and assembling bike. Tightened last bolt at 4:30 in the morning this past Sat. The old man looks at me and says " Well, wanna put some gas in it and hit the button?" Keep in mind 30 hour...and I had to be at work in another 6. Needless to say we didn't, cause if it didn't run, or ran like crap I knew we'd be tearing into it on the spot! Gonna do that this coming Thurs. Anticipation is killing me. Hope my work pays off.
That was probably a good call. You've got a couple days to think about what you might have forgotten. Hope she fires up. Keep us posted.
Nice progress man! It's always a bit nerve racking hitting the button for the first time after something major. I know for my rebuild, I'll squirt a bit of oil in the cylinders and let it crank for a little bit to get the piston and rings all lubed up as well as letting oil get to everywhere it needs to be before firing it up.

Keep us posted with many pictures! :D
So, this past Thur. hit the button, couple seconds later....FIRED RIGHT UP!!!! Smoked like a chimney, burning out all the lube I been spraying in the cylinders. Then I noticed a fuel leak on the carb, as well as a coolant leak on the line behind the carb. Took it all back off, turns out I forgot an O ring on the accelerator pump, and the coolant line from the carb to the filter had a crack. Replaced both, put everything back together hit the button......Runs like a champ!!! Ran for about 20 mins at different RPMs then shut it down and changed oil. No leaks and runs great! Gonna order the exhaust this coming Thurs.
Oh yeah, pics are still coming.... I'm just forgetful
Very nice! That's what we like to hear! :D
Great job.
Awesome! Can't wait to see pics!
Been busy at work...and on bike. New cobra speedsters came in, as well as jet kit. put on pipes last night...sounds amazing! jet kit prob next thurs. I promise pics real soon, actually just picked up new phone today so I'll be trying it out. As far as pics of the rebuild, apologies, got so wrapped up in it that I forgot to take the camera with me most times so I won't have much of the actual rebuild, but I'll definitely have some of it soon. Almost had forgotten how nice that blue and silver was!
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.