Saabnut's restoration blog - Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R
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post #1 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-12-2019, 2:36 AM Thread Starter
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Saabnut's restoration blog

Alright folks, it's finally time to start the restoration of the wrecked 2002 EX500 I acquired this last summer.
My original plan was to make a comprehensive step by step full teardown and reassembly out of this, but I've found that I just simply don't have the time to do that. So, this will be a more typical documentation of my efforts, with maybe a little more in depth description and photos than normal.
*Edit* - Looks like I'm getting super in depth with the explanation. Should provide a solid guide to give you confidence in tearing down your own EX500.

*IMPORTANT NOTE* This is a play by play for gen2 bikes (1994-2009). If you have a gen1 (1987-1993), there will be a number of differences. They primarily are the upper fairing, fairing stay and everything which bolts to it, side and tail fairings, tail lamp, wheels and rear brake. There are also differences in the wiring harness, but removal is basically the same. I'll go over all those differences at a later date with my daily rider and my brother's bike for the wheels as mine are gen2 swapped.

I started off on Saturday, February 9th with a (mostly) complete bike. I think everything was there minus the windscreen and turn signals.



First step is unplug the battery. I had to come back and edit this in as I forgot on this particular build as the battery has been dead for half a year.
First step was to get the fairing off. No sweat, I've only done it 200 times fitting the fiberglass aftermarket fairing to make adjustments to get it to fit correctly. Mirrors came off, two screws which attach it to the tank, no screws on the underside of the headlight as the fairing doesn't fit those yet.
Don't forget to unplug the headlight. Unlike the gen1's which are mounted to the fairing stay, the gen2's are mounted to the fairing itself.



Instrument cluster bezel and the cluster itself were next on the list. Bezel is 3 phillips head screws and the cluster is two 10mm bolts, one of the left and one on the right.



Next is the upper fairing stay. Two 10mm bolts, one at each anchor point above the coils and a 12mm nut at the front of the steering head, and I always forget the shorty 10mm at the front side of the coolant expansion tank.
When I put the replacement stay on, I didn't bother correctly routing the cables as it was just for show during the teardown process, so that revealed where the original clutch cable had been rubbing and rusting for 50,000 miles. I'd say it needs replacement.



Oh yeah, don't forget about the speedo cable and connectors when removing the cluster. Connectors are obvious and the cable head comes off with a pair of pliers. When I removed the lower end from the speedo drive hub, I discovered the housing had split. Cable is good, but with the housing open to the elements, water will quickly get in and cause mayhem. I'll swap that out with a good one from my stock.



Next on deck are the handlebar controls.



Clutch cable comes off first, easiest if both adjusters are bottomed out to give as much slack as possible. Clutch perch and brake levers both use an allen key (4 or 5mm, can't remember off the top of my head) and don't forget to unplug the two prong switches on the bottom.
The left and right control boxes are held in with 2 phillips head screws each. Pay attention to how the throttle cables are routed, it'll be very confusing on reassembly if you don't pay attention.



When pulling apart the left controls, be careful not to lose the plastic end for the choke cable (the part you push with your thumb). It's not permanently attached to anything and will grow legs.



That's it for tonight. Stay tuned for more content! Up next is removing the rest of the bodywork, fuel tank, unplugging the controls, removing the coils and digging in to the back end of the bike while coolant drains.
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1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver

Last edited by Saabnut; 2-26-2019 at 3:54 PM.
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post #2 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-13-2019, 1:33 AM Thread Starter
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Time for episode two.

I left off with the removal of the handlebar controls. First thing first, forgot to mention removing the front brake caliper and line with the master cylinder. If you don't feel like making a mess, then just remove the two 12mm bolts holding the front caliper to the fork and pull the caliper off. The bracket which holds the line in place on the lower triple tree needs to be removed as well. It's located next to the horn, which is quite crusty on my bike and will need to be replaced.



Anyways, the tank, seat, rear grab handle and side plastics all need to come off to gain access to the connectors for both the handle bar controls. Seat is easy enough, you should know how to find that key hole by now. Next is the two 12mm bolts retaining the grab handle, revealing 3 phillips head screws. The outer two attach the side panels to the small center plastic, while the center screw attaches the center plastic to the tail light bracket.



Immediately above the license plate is the license plate light shroud. It attaches to either end of both side plastics. If you don't remove it first, you will be very upset when you rip one of those tabs when you go to remove the first side fairing.

The last bolt to be removed is at the very bottom of both side fairings. No idea what size head the stock hardware is, I always use a 10mm to replace the always missing bolt. Once that's out, Pull out at the point where the fairing plugs into the fuel tank. With that end of the fairing free, slide the fairing toward the rear of the bike at a slight upward angle, about the same angle of the tail of the frame where the seat rests.

With both sides off, the tank is now easiest to remove. While the tank can be removed by just popping the corners of the fairing off the tank, you run a higher risk of damaging the plastic.

Remove the 12mm bolt holding the tank down at the rear. Don't forget to switch you fuel petcock to off just to be safe. Pull up a few inches on the rear of the tank to give your hand room to pull the vacuum and fuel line off the petcock. A flathead screwdriver may bed needed to convince old lines to free themselves. Once off, angle the tank up more and pull back on the tank to free it of the mounting donuts. There are two forward facing "C"s on the underside of the tank which slide into a pair of mounting grommets (commonly referred to as donuts).
*Note* Those with California emissions models will have two extra lines coming off the underside of the upper right corner of the tank. Pull those vacuum lines off.

With the tank off, access is quite easy to the top of the engine bay. *IMPORTANT NOTE* I had already done a full removal of the federal (PAIR system) and California emissions equipment on this particular bike a few years ago. Both of those systems will need to be removed and I don't feel like explaining that right now. I believe there are writeups for both here on the forum somewhere.

Back to business, the left handlebar controls are a pair of black connects, next to it is a single wide white-ish connector paired with a bullet connector, that's the ignition.
You can easily see the ignition connector immediately under the cables, while the two left control connectors are partially hiding under the frame opposite the thermostat housing.
This is a good time to remove the upper fuel tank mount. It's the plate with the two mounting donuts on it immediately above the ignition connector and is held in place by two 10mm bolts.



On the right side will be a green and black connector, that's your right controls.



With the connectors undone, your controls are free to be removed.

I opted to pull the coils next as I was in that area. Each coil bracket will be held in by one 10mm at this point (the upper fairing stay provides the second anchor). Don't forget to photograph the wires so you know which color goes where when reassembling.

The left side:



The right side:



You can see some of the rust I'm dealing with in that last photo as well as this one here:



While it looks super gnarly, it's actually not that bad on the frame. All surface rust which will come off without much grief. Nothing like what you see from cars in the rust belt.

That's it for tonight. Stay tuned for all things wiring!
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1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #3 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-13-2019, 5:32 AM
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Nice write up. Poor bike! What, was it stored in the Pacific or something?

I finally figured out why I like Ducatis: With their exhaust note and dry clutch, they sound almost like a Guzzi!
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post #4 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-13-2019, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Nice write up. Poor bike! What, was it stored in the Pacific or something?
Damn near. Lived its whole life in San Francisco or one of the neighboring cities. Lots of fog.

1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #5 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-13-2019, 12:54 PM
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Make that salt laden fog which transported the Pacific Ocean right to the bike. Nasty stuff. Have you ever tried the bucket of washing soda and battery charger method for de-rusting parts? Not feasible for big chunks like the frame, of course, but works like a hot-damn for the small parts. Lots of info on the 'net if you want to give it a try.
post #6 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-15-2019, 6:23 AM
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I have come to love KBS Rust Blast for neutralizing the oxidation. Living in the Puget Sound region, we have our share of humidity and salt air.

I finally figured out why I like Ducatis: With their exhaust note and dry clutch, they sound almost like a Guzzi!
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post #7 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-15-2019, 1:58 PM Thread Starter
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I've got lots of content to add but no time to write it up at the moment as I'm going straight out of town after work today and won't be back until late Monday, so expect an update Tuesday or Wednesday evening. Bike is actually already completely torn down with the engine on the bench, took me about 4 and a half hours. Slower than normal, but taking 80 process pictures sucks up time and there were a couple of bolts which didn't want to come out.

@po18guy, I'll have to look in to that. Being in the lower elevations of California, rust is normally just not an issue for me, so I have limited rust remediation experience.

1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #8 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-23-2019, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Alright folks, I'm finally back. Got sick soon as I returned from my mini vacation, so I haven't had the time or energy until now to post an update.


Next up for me was removing the lower fairing. Oil would have to get drained at some point before the engine got pulled (much easier to in the frame than sitting flat on the workbench) and I needed to drain the coolant. While the lower fairing doesn't technically need to be removed to drain the coolant, I always do as coolant invariably gets in behind the fairing and makes a mess, plus the thing has to come off anyways as this is a full tear down.
The two upper front bolts for the lower fairing face forward and are near the bottom corners of the radiator. I've always encountered m6 with a 10mm head for these, though you may have an 8mm head or even possibly phillips. The lower bolts are 10mm and located on the underside of the fairing near the back, not far from where the center stand mounts. Remove those first, then the upper bolts.

Here's a shot of my socket wrench on the lower bolts as I'm trying to work as quickly as possible as I know a black widow has set up camp in that area (by the way, I never found that widow, she must have moved on while I wasn't looking due to all the commotion).



Now it's time to drain the coolant. Drain is an 8mm (usually, I've encountered a 10mm before) downward pointing bolt. If you are running a 454LTD water pump cover, it will be horizontal. Toss a large catch can of some sort under it. If you don't remove the radiator cap, a little coolant will drain out, then stop. Pulling the cap will allow air in to replace the drained coolant.



While I let that fully drain, I moved on to the tail end of the bike.
The tail lamp can come out with the bracket which holds it. Unbolt it from the license lamp mount with two vertical 10mm bolts. Once that's off, the license lamp with bracket can come off. There are two horizontal 10mm bolts holding it to the frame, just above the center reflector above the license plate. Don't forget the follow the wires for both back the few inches to the connector to disconnect them from the main harness.

Before tail lamp and license lamp removal:



And my crummy after shot of tail lamp and license lamp removal:



Next to come off is the rear mudguard (the thing the license plate and turn signals attach to). With the license plate light out of the way, the two vertical 10mm bolts attaching the back half of the mudguard to the frame are easily accessed. There's also two more 10mm bolts holding the read mudguard and center mudguard together, one on either side of the bike. Don't forget to unplug the turn signals from the main harness. It's 4 small diameter bullet connectors. Don't worry about marking them, you'll notice the lengths are all staggered, so it's really obvious what goes where on reassembly.

With the rear mudguard out of the way, the center mudguard comes out super easy. At this point, there is no hardware holding it in place. The left and right sides slide into grooves in the frame. Squeeze in both sides near the middle until it's free of the frame and push it down onto the rear tire. Once it's clear, slide it out through the now very spacious tail end of the bike.

Next on deck for me was the voltage regulator/rectifier (R/R for short) and starter solenoid bracket, which is attached by two 10mm bolts. However, there's a whole bunch of things which need to be detached first. Pull the red connector off the top of the starter solenoid. Next, unbolt the two large gauge positive wires off the solenoid itself via the two 10mm nuts. Since the battery is already unplugged and out (That was your first step right?), the wire from the battery to the solenoid doesn't actually need to come off.
Last, unplug the big connector for the R/R from the main harness. I've found these tend to get brittle over time so be careful. Not a big deal if the connector clip breaks, these have a very snug fit and I've never had one fall off while riding.

Here it is, but with the solenoid to starter wire still attached.



Over to the opposite side, it's time to remove the IC Igniter and turn signal flasher relay. First, the little flasher relay (3 wire on models up to I think '98, 2 wire starting in '99) is held on by a slip fit rubber strap. Wiggle it off the Igniter bracket and let it dangle on the main harness, no need to disconnect it. Then pull the two black connectors off the Igniter itself. This is relatively easy on gen2's. If you have a gen1 with the single large rubber shrouded connector, prepare for a fight and make damn sure you don't pull a wire out of the main harness side of the connector.



Then, it's two more 10mm bolts and you're home free. Oh yeah, unplug the rear brake pedal light switch while you're in there.

In case you haven't noticed, your 10mm socket is your best friend on this particular machine.

That's it for tonight!
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1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #9 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-25-2019, 1:30 AM Thread Starter
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Finding myself done with stuff around the house early tonight, figured I'd post up some more content.

Back over to the left side of the bike, unplug the two connectors attaching the stator to the main harness. Something unusual to note here. Now, virtually every single connector for anything on these bikes are color coded its mate. However, for whatever reason, one of the stator connectors is white and one is black, yet both harness connectors are black. This will throw you for a loop during reassembly, so make note of it now.



Chasing down more of the harness moves us forward a bit to the trio of connectors around the front sprocket. The sprocket cover comes off with four 8mm bolts, one at each corner. Yes, it will come off just fine with the shift linkage in place, lean the top side back a bit while lifting up and out.

Just hope you don't find this greasy, rusty, dirty disaster behind that cover. People never clean behind there and I hate it for this very reason (the front sprocket area on my daily EX is damn near spotless).



The camera flash actually makes it look worse than it is. Here's a shot with more natural lighting.



On the above picture, two of the connectors which need to come undone are visible. First is the single wire connector for the neutral light, located immediately fore of the curved metal shied to the left of the front sprocket. Pull straight back on it and it pops out.
The other is the black two wire connector running down to the kickstand safety switch, located right next to the neutral light switch. NOTE* earlier models don't have that fancy connector, instead they have both wires running all the way to the kickstand with two 90 degree female spade connectors plugging directly on to the kickstand switch. I don't know what year it changed, but this is a 2002, so some time before that point. My gen1 daily EX has the early style and it's annoying. They get full of crud and don't like to come off. I like this later style.

You'll notice one more single wire running down to the side of the oil pan. That is the oil pressure switch, which illuminates the red oil light on the dash. Welcome to your only 7mm fastener on the entire bike. Space is limited, so you better have a 7mm box wrench as a socket wrench won't fit. These are never on super tight in my experience, so an adjustable crescent will do fine. It's not a full eyelet loop, it's open on the end opposite the wire, so the bolt only has to be loosened enough to wiggle the connector and it'll slide off.

That bundle of wires can be lifted up from the top of the bike so they don't get hung up when removing the whole harness. They drop down between the carbs and the airbox.



Just a few more connection points to chase down and the harness can come out. There's a two wire black connector for the radiator, which looks looks identical to the two wire connector for the fan switch on the upper left of the radiator. The fan motor connector is a stretch to get it to the fan switch, so it'll be obvious which is what during reassembly. NOTE* 1987 and 1988 models use a single wire connector for the fan switch and is located on the lower right of the radiator. There is an additional ground wire going to the top center of the radiator.

The last two connectors are on the thermostat housing, which is bolted to the upper left of the frame. One is a female spade connector for the temp gauge sensor on the side of the thermostat housing. The other is a ground wire eyelet through one of the two thermostat housing mounting bolts. I've seen this ground wire on both mounting bolts before, don't worry if yours is not through the same bolt as this bike.



Lastly, back to the center of the bike. The fuse box is normally attached to the battery hold down bracket. However, half the EX's I've got my hands on were missing them, so your fuse box may just be dangling around the top of the battery. If you do have it, it's one 10mm bolt, other end slips into the frame so slide it out. If you can't figure that last bit out on your own, you may just be in over your head.

Cut any zipties holding the harness to the frame and pull it out. Label absolutely nothing and toss it into a corner until you forget how it goes back together.



Note that the fusebox can remain attached to the main harness. No need to disconnect it. The same can actually be said for the IC Ingniter and R/R, but I'll be re-wrapping this harness and adding some wires, so those had to come off anyways.

One last photo for you. Took a peek down at the top of the engine with a flashlight and found a long dead yellow friend in one of the spark plug wells.



More content to come! Next is airbox, carbs, cooling system and more rust!

1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #10 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-25-2019, 7:21 PM
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Can't wait to see what it'll look like once you're all done! Man, that thing was neglected.
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post #11 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-25-2019, 9:52 PM Thread Starter
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Can't wait to see what it'll look like once you're all done! Man, that thing was neglected.
It's certainly lived a hard life. There have been a few pleasant surprises so far though.

The cooling system is spotless inside, no nasty deposits typical of a neglected cooling system.

The steering head bearings, aside from minor indexing which is normal, are in stellar condition.

I'm not reusing the fuel tank, though it is spotless inside, absolutely no rust.

I rebuilt the carbs a couple years ago and they were in excellent condition when I took them apart.

Wiring harness isn't hacked at all. There's one wire to the headlight which was cut them re-crimped for some unknown reason, but that's easily tidied up.

All the key locks match, are original to the bike and work well. It was on the verge of not being the case though. The key my friend gave me with the bike was so thin it almost snapped on me. Quick run to the locksmith with helmet lock for key code solved that problem.
Too often do I see these bikes with aftermarket and mismatched ignition locks.
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1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #12 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-26-2019, 1:32 AM Thread Starter
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The saga continues.

With the main harness out, I moved on to the cooling system as I let the cooling system drain earlier.
Normally, the radiator is easy to remove. Loosen the hope clamps for the upper and lower radiator hoses. You'll definitely need a flathead screwdriver to convince those hoses to come off. Cooling fan is already disconnected as it the fan switch, so no need to worry about those. Then it's four 10mm bolts, one at each corner. Don't worry about the large phillips head screws next to those bolts, they just keep the radiator screen in place. Not only does it not need to come off to remove the radiator but those phillips head screws are always a bitchin' pain to break loose. Sounds like a tomorrow problem.

Anyways, this particular radiator had some crash damage at one corner. Hmm, what to do?



While the main damage is to the mounting bracket, forcing the mounting bolt down at a funky angle, the radiator has a bunch of other issues, making it junk. So, I hammered the seam blocking my access to that bolt. Problem solved.



With the paint chipping off where I hammered it, you can see the white rust that is aluminum corrosion. It was all over the outside of the radiator thanks to the salty San Francisco fog. The real killer was along the top left seam.



Camera was a bit out of focus, but you can see where the radiator screen tab has come loose from the radiator as so much metal has corroded away that it won't stay on anymore. It's so bad that the seam is being forced apart by the expansion of the corrosion. So, that radiator is definitely going in the bad radiator pile (it's quite a stack by now).

Next to come off is the thermostat housing. You don't have to remove the two housing to cylinder head hoses before removing the housing itself, but I always do. They're always a pain in the butt to remove the first time and it's much easier to push against a part which is firmly bolted down than to hold it with one hand and wait to stab yourself with a flathead screwdriver trying to force those stupid crusted on coolant hoses.
Once those are off, pop the upper radiator hose off the filler neck. That part is plastic and so no corrosion, hose always come off nice and easy. Same deal with the small tube which runs out to the expansion tank. You'll want to have a small catch can on hand for the remaining coolant which will spill out of that small hose from the expansion tank.
The bolt which had the main harness ground wire is already off, so remove the other 10mm bolt and off comes the thermostat housing.



This one, unsurprisingly, also corroded on the outside. The aluminum on these housings is much thicker than the radiator so it's easily savable. I may buff it up, though I do have plenty more in my spares collection, so I may save myself the time and swap it out for one in better condition.

Next on my somewhat arbitrary agenda was the airbox. Start by removing the side covers first. Each side is four phillips head screws. The top three are easy to find, the bottom one does require you to bend way over or kneel down to see. At least is does for my tall ass. In the picture it's a bit hard to see, but in good light it'll be obvious, there's a rubber snorkel on the right side which comes in off the inside of the airbox once that cover is off. Yank that think out of there. It'll fight you, but it's sturdy rubber so you can gorilla it out of there all you want.



Those with a keen eye will notice my IC Igniter, which I said I removed earlier, is still there. Shhhh, I did this teardown 2 and a half weeks ago. I can't remember everything.

With the sides off, the airbox can come out. Push it back just a tad to free it of the carbs. Then, tilt the whole front of the airbox up like so:



As you pull the front of the airbox up, the back section has to come toward the front of the front of the bike until it hits the spot where the frame begins to widen, then the whole thing can come straight up and out. Don't lose the rubber elbow at the bottom of the airbox which connects the airbox to the crankcase vent. There's also a small hose which comes off the bottom of the airbox, that's the drain, it should slide up and out with the box easy enough.

Next up is the carbs. These are super easy at this point as everything which normally connects to them has been removed, which is the fuel petcock, throttle and choke lever. Loosen the two hose clamps on the carb side of the intake boots and pop the carbs back and away from the head. It's a very snug fit, to it'll take a bit of wiggling with force. A large, long flathead screwdriver (mine says to never use as a prybar) will help as a prybar. Once off, go outside, grab a bucket (or not), flip the carbs upsidedown to quickly get most of the gas out. If you don't, you'll inevitably knock them over inside the garage and has a stink, flammable mess in a closed area rather than outside. Then put them out of the way. Cables can be dealt with later, leave them on the carb for now.

This is the view you get once the airbox and carbs are out of the way.



That's it for tonight. Up next are the last few odds and ends before the rear suspension comes out.
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1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver

Last edited by Saabnut; 2-26-2019 at 4:21 PM.
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post #13 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-26-2019, 1:01 PM
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This is a great blow by blow write up, Saabnut. I'm enjoying every exciting episode and your pics make everything crystal clear. Good work.

The amount of corrosion and rust you are finding in some spots is amazing and that makes me wonder if there are any places on the frame where that salt could find its way inside the tubes and rust from the inside out. My guess is we're gonna find out.
post #14 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-26-2019, 1:35 PM Thread Starter
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This is a great blow by blow write up, Saabnut. I'm enjoying every exciting episode and your pics make everything crystal clear. Good work.

The amount of corrosion and rust you are finding in some spots is amazing and that makes me wonder if there are any places on the frame where that salt could find its way inside the tubes and rust from the inside out. My guess is we're gonna find out.
Hoping to get this stickied so people don't have to hunt for it.

Far as rust, I've had a look down the ends of the frame rails from the very back end of the bike (ends are not capped) and it looks good inside. No corrosion in the steering head tube. There's a few drain holes in the low spots, none were clogged so water would not have had anywhere to collect. The lower section of the frame was quite greasy and oily, so that helped protect the frame. I actually pressured washed and buzzed down some of the rust this weekend and found nothing deep or alarming, but I'll go over that later.

1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #15 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-26-2019, 1:57 PM
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Check the frame welds, all my race bikes cracked there. the ones in the battery area. the cracks were right at the welds. had to re weld all 3 of my bikes

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post #16 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-26-2019, 3:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Check the frame welds, all my race bikes cracked there. the ones in the battery area. the cracks were right at the welds. had to re weld all 3 of my bikes

FOG
I had a close look at the welds on Sunday when I pressure washed the frame and took a wire wheel to as much of the rust as I could. I did look for cracks but didn't see any. I might plug all the open ends of the frame, put some soapy water on crack prone areas and put some compressed air into one remaining hole. Theory should work the same as checking for leaks on a tire.

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1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #17 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-26-2019, 5:34 PM
fog
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Well the race bike were all subjected to as much frame abuse as they would stand for, that is cornered to within a inch of there lives and mine too

FOG
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post #18 of 56 (permalink) Old 2-27-2019, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Here we go again.

Moving on from the carbs, it's back to the other end of the bike to remove the seat latch assembly. First, unbolt the lock, which will be two small 8mm nuts. The bolts they attach to are actually a pair of studs welded to the same plate. Make sure that doesn't fall out the back side and disappear under your work bench. *NOTE* Gen1's mount a bit differently, though I can't recall the difference as it's been a while since I swapped my 1990 to a gen2 lockset.
Let the lock dangle freely. You can pop it out of the plastic bushings on the actuator rod, but there's really no point and you just run the risk of breaking the plastic bits.
Next is the 10mm bolts on either side of the lock bar on the frame. One bolt is a regular looking m6 with a 10mm head, the other is a bit shorter and has a large integral washer. Document where these go. Also take a picture of how the whole assembly looks before. It can a bit confusing during reassembly if you haven't done it before.

Here's how the tail looks with that seat lock stuff out of the way. Getting pretty naked.


The safety minded will notice my use of proper shop footwear.

And back to the front of the bike, because I like to make up my own order of operations.
Handlebars and risers came off next and both are held on by way of 6mm allen. The handlebar bolts are always a huge pain the ass, I believe they get loctite on the assembly line. Riser bolts are much easier and come right off. If someone has been in there before, one or more of your riser bolts may be longer or even long enough to go through the bottom and have a nut. This is because the upper triple tree is aluminum and people with gorilla torque these bolts on and pull the threads right out. I see it all the time.

Here's both bars removed and one riser off.



If you guessed I was heading back to the tail end again, you'd be half right. Back to the middle for the shift linkage.
This is because I always forget the damned thing and I remembered it right as I finished with the handlebars.
First off is the 10mm bolt facing directly toward the ground clamping the end of the shift linkage with the shifter shaft.



Geez it's dirty down there.

Staying in the same spot, you'll notice that block you just removed the bolt from still won't slide off. There is a circlip keeping it on the shifter shaft. Slide that circlip off. Best method I've found it a small flathead in one of the gaps on the not-open end to pry it out. Access is tight and it always takes me a minute or two to get it out. It can have a tendency to pop once it gets far enough off with good force and fly off at any direction, so keep your eyes on it. Then again, it might just slide off perfectly and fall harmlessly in your hand. I've experienced both.

This is how it looks once that circlip is off and the shift linkage can be removed.



Then remove the allen bolt (should be a 6mm) holding the shifter in place. *NOTE* this bolt is a specialty bolt. It doubles as the pivot for the shifter. It'll be obvious once removed. Don't lose it, you can't just buy one at the hardware store.
I've also often found these bolts to be very stiff to remove and they get worse the more you thread the bolt on and off. I've had the head break off while trying to remove one which was well greased and not cross threaded. So, I recommend chasing the threads in the frame with a good tap, you want an m8 with 1.25 thread pitch.

Now we can go back to the tail end of the bike, this time for the rear brake system. I didn't feel like dealing with a brake fluid mess, so I removed the whole system without opening it. I will be rebuilding the caliper and master cylinder as well as replacing the line with stainless steel braided, but I can deal with that mess later.
Caliper comes off with two m6 allens.



Normally, these are easy. This time, one just didn't want to come off. Hmmm...



After about 15 minutes of head scratching, I managed to zip that lower bolt off with the impact. Almost rounded it out, so I'll be replacing it.

Master cylinder is bolted to the right rearset, as it the pedal, so it's by far easiest to just remove the whole rearset. Two 12mm bolts and off it comes. Reservoir is a stubby 10mm. Lay the whole system out of the way, keeping the reservoir as upright as possible to avoid a slowly leaking mess.

Brake system gone!



Over to the left side of the bike for the left side rearset. Nothing fancy here, just two 12mm bolts to free it.

This is how the bike looks at this point. Getting quite bare.



Very little left to do. It's just exhaust, center stand, chain, rear suspension and front suspension then it's time to... remove the frame from the engine? That's right, everyone else awkwardly drops the engine out of the frame, but not here. I'll show you how to pull the frame off a stationary engine.

Stay tuned!
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1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver

Last edited by Saabnut; 2-27-2019 at 12:21 AM.
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post #19 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-2-2019, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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And I'm back again.

Next up was the exhaust. Pretty straight forward but the mufflers will fight you if they've never been off before.
First, loosen the clamp holding the muffler to the header pipes, it'll be a singe 12mm bolt. Then, remove the 14mm bolt attaching each muffler to the frame. There is a 14mm nut on the backside, so a wrench will be needed to keep that from spinning. Now the mufflers can be pulled, twisted, hammered and pried off the header pipes. It'll take a while. I've found that rotating while pulling is the most effective.

Once off, the header pipes can be removed. Each pipe is bolted to the cylinder head via two studs with a 12mm for each stud. A little bit of PB blaster well help keep the nuts from binding on the way out. There's a good chance a stud or two will come out with the nut. Not a big deal, it can be reinstalled as is. Each header pipe will then have two retaining brackets come off. They're all identical, one is just flipped over, don't worry about labeling where they went. Sorry, no pictures of this process, I was busy getting work done.

You can loosed the 12mm bolt on the center crossover pipe, though I've found it easiest to remove the two pipes together, then separate the two sides once off. They don't actually need to be separated, they really only need to be split if you plan on changing the gasket on the crossover pipe or are grinding off rust and painting. Otherwise, leave it alone.

Here's my very rusty pipes. Probably going to use a better looking set out of my stash.



Chain is a bit more easily accessed now. It can normally be quite easily dealt with while the left side muffler is still on, but they needed to come off anyways, might as well remove them to make other stuff easier (like removing them before removing the rear brake system).
I will be installing a new set of sprockets and chain, so no point in saving the old one. Angle grinder with a cutoff wheel is my favorite chain removal tool. Makes short work of a chain.



Now the rear wheel can come off.
*NOTE* If you do not plan on replacing the chain, instead of cutting the chain, back the wheel adjusters out a bunch, slip the chain off the rear sprocket and remove the wheel, hanging the chain out of the way. It will come off with the swingarm.*
First thing I do when removing the wheel is to back the adjusters off. Inner is a 12mm, outer is a 14mm. However, these are often not tightened down properly, fall off when riding, and are replaced by generic hardware store stuff, so it can be anywhere from 10mm-14mm. Backing them off now will make installation easier, just trust me. Then, remove the cotter pin on the 24mm axle nut and thread the nut all the way off. The axle can now be slid out. This can be accomplished a few way. With a hammer and long punch, lifting up on the wheel and wiggling it while pulling the axle out, or my favorite, using a scissor jack under the front edge of the oil to just level the rear wheel on the ground, getting the weight off the axle and sliding it out. Yes, your oil pan will be fine.
With the rear mudguard out, the wheel can be rolled straight back instead of needing the lean the wheel over to clear the mudguard. Try not to let the rear brake caliper hanger or accompanying bearing/axle spacer fall on the right side. Same with the spacer on the left side. The sprocket carrier usually stays put. Unless you plan on replacing the bearings or painting the wheels, leave the sprocket carrier in the wheel. If you do feel the need to remove it, make sure you don't lose the spacer in between the sprocket carrier and wheel bearing.
*NOTE* Gen1's have a much different setup with a mechanical drum brake. Removal is a bit more involved, I'll go over that at a later time. Same core concept once the drum brake assembly is free.

Rear wheel out!



Next up is swing arm removal. First in that process is removing all the unitrak stuff. Here's what you'll be faced with:



And the top bolt for the shock. *NOTE* this bike had a late model Ninja 250 shock swapped in. Stock looks different but both removal and install identically.



It's a total of 4 bolts with 4 nuts. It's an assortment of 17mm and 19mm, I never bother remember which is what, I just keep a 17 and 19 box end wrench and 17 and 19 socket on hand. There's no particular order here for removal. It's helpful at points to get the weight off the rear of the swingarm to aid in removing some of the bolts, a floor jack or blocks of wood are useful here, though by no means necessary. Don't bother marking which bolt went where. During assembly, if it's too short, it obviously goes in a different hole. Move the bolts around until they all have about the same amount of threads showing and you're set.

With the unitrak stuff out of the way, the swingarm can come out. On each side of the frame right above where the rearsets bolted in, there should be a large black plastic cap hiding a 19mm bolt and nut. This holds your swingarm in.



The swingarm fits snugly in the frame and doesn't usually need to have much weight lifted off to be able to slide the mounting bolt out. With the bolt out, the swingarm can be pulled out.
There are two sets of needle bearing in each end of the swingarm pivot (what the bolt slides through) and an inner collar which acts as the inner race for those bearings. You can slide that collar out and inspect the bearings, but honestly, I've never come across an EX with bad swingarm bearings. So unless the collar feels notchy or feels as though the bearings are lubed by sand, leave it alone.

Now, before you forget, remove the lower brackets for the lower fairing. If they are left in place. You'll bend them in a hurry when setting the engine and frame on a stand.
They are held in place by a single nut, I think a 17mm (could be a 19mm or 14mm), on the inside of the center stand mount via the center stand mounting bolts.



Back that nut out and pop the fairing brackets out.

This is what's left.



It's the final stretch, but if you're keeping up to date on this thread, you'll have to wait a day or two before I post up the final bits.
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1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #20 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-2-2019, 11:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fog View Post
Well the race bike were all subjected to as much frame abuse as they would stand for, that is cornered to within a inch of there lives and mine too

FOG

Yup, nothing like racing to find the weak spots. I've got a hunch your solid motor mounts may have had something to do with the cracking but you gotta do whatever you gotta do to get some rigidity. That thing must have buzzed like a tuning fork.
post #21 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-3-2019, 9:36 AM
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Before you paint that frame, you should get an engraver and find a special spot to engrave "Saabnut".

2006 Ninja500R Purchased new July 2006; 0 miles. Miles as of January 2019; 102,137. It's a GO bike, not a SHOW bike.
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post #22 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-5-2019, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Before you paint that frame, you should get an engraver and find a special spot to engrave "Saabnut".
Nah, enough of this build will be unique that it'll be an obvious one-off.

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1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #23 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-6-2019, 1:04 AM Thread Starter
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Time to wrap up the teardown process.

Bike is a disassembled as it can without supporting it with something. I found out a while ago that a dirt bike stand works perfect. I had one from back when I had my XR600, so that's what I used. First, had to dig it out from under all the parts I conveniently laid on top of the stand I knew I would need. Once that was excavated, I could prop the bike up onto the stand. It's heavy, but not impossibly so. With some grunting I was able to lift the back half of the bike up, pivoting on the front wheel, and set the whole thing down on the bottom of the engine.

Like so:


Important to note. With the front suspension still installed, I had somehow forgotten that it's a tad front heavy and just barely wants to lean forward and fall off the stand, so I was actually holding the front end up in the picture. Not a big deal, my tools were within arms reach to pull the front wheel off, which is all that's needed to keep the bike on the stand.

Getting the front wheel off is pretty easy. The main axle bolt and nut are both a big ol' 12mm allen. The bolt and nut each have a forward facing 6mm allen pinch bolt to prevent them from backing out. Loosen one of them to start. That way, the other pinch bolt which is still tight will hold that end in place so you can back out the other side. Otherwise, you'll have to buy a second 12mm allen and one is already a rarely used tool as it is. It doesn't matter if you loosed the axle or the nut, both have to come out anyways.
Once the axle and nut are fully unthreaded, loosen the remaining pinch bolt, pull the nut out and remove the axle. You'll have to lift up on the wheel to get the weight off the axle while you wiggle it out. If it REALLY doesn't want to move, grab a hammer and long punch. This one fought me and I don't know why, might be bent. I've got plenty of straight spares so I'll swap it out.

With the wheel off it balances quite well.



Next is the wheel fairing/fender. It's hold on by four 10mm bolts, two on each side. While the gen1 front fenders are mounted by 4 inward facing bolts and can be slid forwards and out as the sides are flat, the gen2 wheel fairings flare out around the forks and can only be removed with the wheel off and sliding it all the way down to the bottom of the forks.
Now the forks can come out. Each side has a rear facing 12mm pinch bolt on the upper triple and an outward-and-somewhat-rear facing 8mm allen pinch bolt on the lower triple. I like to loosen the lower allen bolt first as it's just a bit harder to access. Get your 12mm wrench handy, hold onto the fork you want to drop and back off the upper bolt until the fork can move. If you don't hold it in place, you run the risk of the fork sliding out and getting damaged when it hits your concrete floor. Or, it'll hit your foot and damage that instead.
Slide the forks out and put them off to the side. This is what you are left with.



*NOTE* at some point I removed the ignition lock. You don't need to do this unless you are replacing yours or painting the upper tripe (I am doing the latter). It's a real paint to remove the ignition and the stock bolts are security bolts with either funky shaped heads or a head that popped off at the factory at a certain torque. The best way to get those off is find a socket which is slightly smaller than whatever is there, hammer it on and pray it doesn't round off. Usually best to do with the triple off the bike and on the work bench. This had been replaced and standard 8mm head bolts were used. Thankfully, the rest of the bolts are a standard metric size and thread pitch, either an m5 or m6, so a run to the hardware store will have you set to reinstall.

Anyways, next up is getting the upper and lower triples off. First is the big bolt under the cap in the center of the upper triple. Pop the plastic cap off with a flathead screwdriver and the bolt is 22mm. It'll be on there tight, but don't be afraid to use your biggest breaker bar to make quick work of it. Then the upper triple slides right off, followed by a generally useless metal dust shied and this is what remains.



The nut with 4 slots will only be on basically finger tight. It's used to set bearing preload, and they don't require much. If you can't quite get it off by hand, a pair of channel locks or a hammer and punch on one of the slots with get it loose, then it should unthread easily.
*NOTE*. Hold the lower triple in place. The stock bearings on these are a loose ball type. The old grease is never enough to hold on the bearings in place and they'll instantly scatter soon as there's a gap big enough to fall through.
Hold the lower triple in place until the nut is all the way off. The inner race has to come out now. That can be tricky without scattering bearings everywhere. Get something to keep the bearings from bouncing around if they fall. A bunch of shop rags, old carpet, whatever. Place it on the ground underneath and around where you're working. Let the lower triple down a little and push back up. The inner race will stick to the shaft and you should be able to grab it and side it out. Now slowly remove the lower triple. Try to keep the inner shaft from bumping the remaining bearings (some will have fallen out at this point). Once out, set it down. Grab a flathead, cup your hand underneath the steering head and pick the bearings out into your hand. The upper bearings can just drop down through the steering head tube into your hand. Wrap all the bearings up in a shop rag and stick them in a bag. If you don't, I guarantee you'll lose exactly two.

Almost there!



Last item on the list before frame removal is the center stand and unitrak link. Center stand is two either 17mm or 19mm bolts (can't remember right now). First, make sure it's up to relieve spring pressure. Once the bolts are out, pull the center stand up a bit more until the spring is loose enough to pull off the mounting nub, then the spring and stand can come out.

With the center stand out, the unitrak is can finally be removed.



This is why the main pivot of the unitrak never gets service. The center stand has to be up AND the weight has to be off the rear suspension.
Unitrak is easy, like the rest of the unitrak related parts, the bolt is either a 17mm or 19mm. Slide it out, set it off to the side to be cleaned later.

Ready for frame removal!



The engine is bolted in with three long 14mm bolts, each with a 14mm nut: One fore and above the stator cover/water pump (depending on which side you're standing on), one aft and below the front sprocket/clutch cover and one aft and inline with the top of the front sprocket/clutch cover.
Remove the front bolt first. As the weight shifts, a long punch and hammer may be needed as well as rocking the frame around to get the bolt to slide out. Then, don't be like me and do this in reverse order and forget the right side frame support until last. It's the L shaped part of the frame on the right side that the front engine mount bolts to and is attached to the upper part of the frame above and fore of the engine with two 14mm bolts:


(Sorry for the blurry photo, camera focused on the background)

And two 14mm bolts down near where the rearset bolted in:



Once out of the way, the final two rear bolts can be removed. As with the front, as the weight changes, the bolts will take some wiggling and whacking to remove. Luckily, there's lots of frame to grab and wiggle around.
With the two bolts off, the frame can now finally be lifted off the engine.

Taadaaa!

1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #24 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-6-2019, 1:10 AM Thread Starter
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This project still has a long way to go, but at least the frame can now be fixed and painted, and the engine can be completely rebuilt.

Here's some photos of all the corners the parts wound up in. If this is your first time taking one of these apart, I high recommend a better organization system than mine. It doesn't help that I have fairly busy one car garage.


None of the engines on the bottom shelf are for this particular EX.




Tank is not off the bike but will be going on it in place of the original.



And hefted the engine up on to the bench for a final shot for that evening.


That's it for tonight. Up next will be crash repair on the frame.
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1990 EX500 - 145,000 miles as of November 25th, 2019
1993 Ducati 900SS - The real canyon carver
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post #25 of 56 (permalink) Old 3-6-2019, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
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....I high recommend a better organization system than mine....
[
The quote "Familiarity breeds contempt" springs to mind. I'm the same way. Knowing my bikes fairly well means that I stack parts in random corners and piles that only I understand. Each time I look in the garage I think to myself that I really should be more organized.

Great progress on the teardown BTW!
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