Category Archives: Projects

Current projects

Kawasaki KX100

My older kids at 13 and 16 didn’t have experience of riding motorbikes with gears and the RM125 was way too intimidating for them to learn on so I wanted to find something a bit more manageable.  The 80cc bikes seemed a bit small so when I saw this KX100 listed for a reasonable price, I jumped on it.  It has been trail ridden by the previous owners and has a flywheel weight that helps keep it from stalling at low revs – perfect for newer riders.

KX100

Notes

KX100 parts and exploded diagrams

To Do List

Remove flywheel weight once the kids have got used to the bike

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Yamaha PW80

The little guy was way too big for the PW50 so started looking for an upgrade.  I found a couple of 4 stroke TTR90s but didn’t get any replies and once the little guy got wind of a potential bike change, he put the pressure on!  I found this PW80 fairly close by and it was listed as having ownership and manuals but was in pretty rough shape compared to some others that were a similar price.  We went to see it the day before we went on vacation and as it turned out the guy didn’t have ownership, only some registration paper from the previous owner and no manual???  I should have left it but the guy was firm on his price and my lad was very keen on it (what a surprise) so we paid the money and brought it home.

Here’s what it looked like after a bit of cleaning up.

PW80

Notes

PW80 parts and exploded diagrams

To Do List

New tank decals

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Yamaha YZ250F – For Sale/Trade

After only a couple of outings to RJs Motorsports track in Midhurst near Barrie on the old RM125, I was hooked again.  On the second outing I had tuned the suspension and was doing much better but it felt very sensitive to throttle input, like the power band was very narrow.  After riding my kid’s KX100 that had a much smoother power delivery, I started playing with the power-valve setting, however, since the kids now had a bike to ride and I was keen on riding more often, I decided it would be a good idea to get something a bit newer.  Started looking on Kijiji for a newer 125 but people seemed to want a lot of money for them.  I really didn’t want a 4 stroke but most of the bikes at the track were YZ250Fs and I found 3 for sale under $2500 on Kijiji.  My research only turned up glowing reviews of the YZ250F and some people were suggesting they were better than 2 stroke 125s in virtually every way.

Decided to go for it and picked up this 2001, a couple of minor issues but pulls nice and strong and seems to be in good condition.

After tinkering

After tinkering

Notes

YZ250Fn parts list and exploded diagrams

To Do List


Can be hard to hot start – lowered the idle and then had a tough hot start, opened up pilot fuel screw about 1/16 turn.  I read that these bikes are supposed to idle at around 1800 rpm because with a low idle the cam chain not consistently loaded making them run very rough – new plan, raise the idle back up.  Had a bit of a wandering idle and backfire on shutdown, closed pilot screw 1/8 turn so now is 1/16 turn in from original setting
Left side radiator guard is missing
Repair bolt in upper fork yoke, winter?
Replace main bearings

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3800 Fiero – Sold

This is how I got started doing a 3800 V6 supercharged engine swap into a Pontiac Fiero …

May 2008
I am now the proud?? owner of a 1985 Pontiac Fiero 2M4, the engine has a broken timing belt so is pretty much done.  I went to the garage and paid the $500 plus $20 for the UVIP even though the seller is supposed to provide it.  You can’t see from the pictures but it is full of crap,  I guess in this case, the poor guy wasn’t intending to sell it before the engine blew so hadn’t tidied it up.

FieroB4-1  FieroB4-3

Called up the CAA and got the Fiero towed back to my place.  It cost $60 so I was pleased with that.

Ran up some debt on the credit card on vacation and decided that fixing the Fiero up was a crazy idea so I cleaned it out, took some pictures and listed it on Craigslist and Kijiji for ‘best offer’.
Got some offers ranging from $100 to $1000 for the Fiero but deleted the listings and replaced them with Talon listings, I’ll sell that instead.

Hooked up some jump leads to the Fiero and found that the radio, electric windows and dials all seem to work.  The headlights aren’t working and when the jump leads were removed the dials jumped so that it looks as though it’s going 30km/h with 1600rpm??

Interior2  Interior3

Started on removing the old 4 cylinder engine using the excellent guide here.  It’s for a V6 engine but it’s close enough.  Got to step 16, but I skipped step 2 and haven’t yet made a dolly for the engine.  The battery splash guard appears to be missing and the “fuel inlet and return line connectors” weren’t immediately obvious so I thought that would be a good place to stop.  I had a few extra wires running through the firewall as well, not sure what they’re for??

Got up to step 35 in the engine removal guide today. What a pleasure to work on, no seized nuts or broken bolts, hopefully the tap and die set I bought won’t get much use!!! Haven’t taken a picture of the progress since there’s not much to show yet, just a load of loose wires on top of the engine. I’m waiting to do the obligatory ‘jacked up Fiero with engine next to it’ shot.

Wow, the old Iron Duke is out!! Rick came over this morning and helped me push the Fiero into the garage, the wife even managed to steer it in without crashing! Then I set to finishing off the last few steps of the guide. The operation went smoothly so I took the engine and exhaust off the cradle as well. The exhaust was a real PITA because it seemed to be all one-piece and was wrapped all around the engine.

Now I’m committed to replacing the engine, so on with finding a new one …

After much searching on Craigslist and Kijiji, I found a 3800 engine out of a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP listed for $700 obo. It’s the Buick V6 3800 Series II L67 supercharged engine that I want and has the transmission and computer with it. It also comes with the transmission shift mechanism with the ‘Sport” mode selector but a pulley and belt are missing off the supercharger. I ended up picking it up for $600 but then paid $100 for a hoist so I could get it off the trailer when I got home! Hehehe

The 3800 L67 engine was listed by GM as having an output of 240 hp and 280 lb·ft of torque and the Pontiac Fiero has a curb weight of around 2750 lbs.  If the L67 doesn’t weigh much more than the old Iron Duke, those specs would put this combination very close to a Porsche Boxster as far as power to weight ratio goes.

Suzuki RM125 – Sold

I got chatting with some guys at work that have dirt bikes and started getting the bug again.  Back in the UK my favourite bike was a 90 odd Suzuki RM125, I didn’t want to spend much money so when I saw this 1992 version going cheap I had to go check it out.  There are some issues with it but I ended up doing a good deal and bringing it home.

RM125AdPic1  RM125AdPic2

RM125AdPic3  RM125AdPic4

RM125AdPic5Looks like it could be fun once it’s running, I’ll work on it over winter ready for next season.

Here’s how it looked after I had fixed up and was ready to sell it.

RM125 forsale1  RM125 forsale2

To Do List

Completed

Fix spring on rear brake lever
Clean throttle assembly for quick return action
Replace wiring
Bike stand – picked up a project stool from Home Depot, thanks to Ion and Eduardo.
Oil sump plug seal – got a fibre one
Replace gear oil – old stuff looked in great shape
New coolant
Fix ding in front rim
Straighten rear rim
New split link for chain – found it!
Drill and tap new holes in lower fork clamp for mudguard
Clean carb/throttle slide – emptied the float bowl, checked jets
Front caliper slider seals – $4 each, thanks TSR
New front brake lever – $20
New kill switch – $15, TSR
New gas – mixed at about 35:1
No spark, new CDI – 1st one from eBay, 1987 DOA; 2nd one from eBay, unknown year, also DOA!  3rd one from eBay, brand new aftermarket, finally it runs!!!
Repair seat bolt nut(s) – welded new nuts on
Replace rear shock upper mount bearing – lower replaced as well
Front number plate – got one off an 89 RM250 $40
Handlebars – straightened a bit but still not quite right

Golf GTI

My kid wanted to learn how to drive a manual gearbox and the winter beater was rusting away so when I saw this going cheap, I jumped on it.

GTIAsRecF GTIAsRecR

This is my 2002 VW Golf GTI 1.8T and so far I love it! For safety it only needed front rotors and it passed emissions but the CEL came on a few days later.  Pulled the scanner out and found code P0420 – catalytic converter efficiency below threshold, will have to look out for a high flow cat.  Had a look underneath and the resonator is on it’s way out and the hangar between the cat and the resonator was broken – welded it back on and put some JB weld over a leak at a joint.

Took the lad out for a drive and the airbag light came on.  After a bit of Googling I found that a common culprit is the seat belt clip wiring, in particular loose wires in the connector under the seat.  When I checked my clip, I noticed it was wrapped in insulation tape – obviously a previous repair here.  Sure enough as I removed the tape, I found a wire had come out of the clip so I soldered it back in place and taped up the clip.  Then disconnected the battery for 10 mins to clear the light and … it came straight back on!?!  I found a local guy selling VAG scanners for under $50 that can read and clear codes for engine, airbag, ABS and transmission (I know you can get them cheaper but I didn’t want to wait for shipping).  Hooked it up and pulled the code (it was the seat belt clip) and cleared it – now it stays off.  One thing about this scanner, it seems that you can only clear any and all codes in one go, you cannot clear just an airbag code and leave the CEL for example.

Noticed the other day that about 1/2″ at the OD of a front rotor was not being touched by the pad.  Thought perhaps the pads were hung up so I took the caliper off and made sure the pads and sliders were not binding.  When I looked at the opposite side, the inside pad looked like some gravel had worn a groove in it so it was leaving bands of wear on the rotor and the pads were worn uneven in like wedge shapes.  At this point I decided to put new pads on the new rotors – not sure why this wasn’t at least suggested in the safety inspection??

To Do List

Vacuum leak – replace S pipe, temporary tube in place until more motivation kicks in
Replace fuel filter – might not be required?
Clean throttle body – did a quick first pass
Replace driver’s seatbelt clip
Fix rust behind front wheels – new fenders?
New turbo back exhaust or new cat and delete resonator
Fix arm rest lid latch

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RX-8 – Sold

August 2015
I finally convinced myself to sell the Fiero and focus on the 924 Turbo but I foolishly didn’t put the money in the bank and put the envelope on my dresser instead.  I was struggling to find seat sliders for the 924 and missed having a fun car to drive so I started looking at what was available on Kijiji and Autotrader for the money I had.  Some guys at work had told me that Mazda RX-8s were going cheap and after a bit of googling, the rotary engine sounded like it would be a cool thing to explore.  I found this cool looking 2005 model on Autotrader and worked out a good deal with the young lad selling it.

RX8-AsRec3  RX8-AsRec2

RX8-AsRec4  RX8-AsRec1

RX8-AsRec5  RX8-AsRec7

This is how it looked after I installed the new wheels and had done some tinkering …

Roadworthy1  Roadworthy2

To Do List

Tasks that didn’t get done

Remove and overhaul engine!
Mazda recall on fuel pump
Check trunk light wiring under parcel shelf, battery dies if trunk light bulb is in place
Re-spray trunk, properly this time!
Fix rust spots on rockers and rear wheel arches

Completed Tasks

PS tail light misting up – drilled drainage holes in bottom
Install small hose clamps on fuel pump – not required
Parasitic power leak with ignition off – removed trunk light bulb
Replace ignition coils – ordered set of Napol coils from Amazon
Fix button on central console lid – see post here
Replace spark plugs and leads – NGK plugs, STI leads
Freaking weird intermittent power loss issue!?!?!? – fixed at last
Replace broken fuel pump housing and pump – picked up used housing, ordered new ring and 340L/h pump
New battery – thanks again John
New battery holder
Change oil and filter
Front headlight level sensor bracket broken – welded up
Re-attach muffler hangers
Replace hardware in rear bumper
Repair all four broken bolts in spoiler
Tire inflation kit
Heater not working – resoldered joints on heater dial (DIY instructions here)
Install windscreen washer fluid tank
DS headlight unit cracked and misting – sealed crack with silicone
High beams not working – replaced relays in DRL module and both bulbs (DIY instructions here)
Repair and reinstall plastic underbody and wheel liners
Repair front bumper
New tuner lug nuts with small OD adapters
New tires (and wheels) – found some 18″ Mazdaspeed wheels with BFGoodrich g-Force T/A KDW-2 tires for $500, awesome deal, thanks Nick!
Replace 2 x wheel lugs

924 Turbo

November 2014
I wasn’t really looking for another project but I had been toying with the idea of one day picking up a front engine rear wheel drive vehicle like the old Ford Escort Mk II I used to have in the UK.  I have some RSS feeds set up and one of them brought a posting for a 1980 Porsche 924 Turbo to my attention.  The good parts are that it is front engine rear wheel drive with a manual gearbox, it’s in decent shape and should have the awesome Porsche handling.  On the down side, it has been off the road for 17 years, it doesn’t run (no power to the fuel pumps), there are lots of electrical accessories not working, and it’s purple!

I apologise for these bad pictures, it is winter so I’ll have to wait for spring to update with some better ones.

As Received 1  As Received 2

And at long last, here are some slightly better pics,

OnRoad1  OnRoad2

To Do List

Replace cracked elbow on turbo
Replace waste-gate
Replace engine mounts
Replace damaged injector
Paint A arms and heat shields
Hardly any air coming from defrost vents, blower motor is not working
DS electric mirror not functioning and glass stained – stain covered with blind spot mirror
Driver’s seat cover repair

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