Ex-500.com - The home of the Kawasaki EX500 / Ninja 500R banner

New life for an old GSXR part trois

817 Views 13 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Apriliarider
If anyone is not familiar with parts 1-2 links are below:

I decided on a new direction for this project some time back. It has been on the counter as there has just been too much on my plate for it to even rate the back burner.

A few months back, I moved the old oil boiler from the corner of the garage; where it’s sat for several years to my bike work bench.

I’ve been scouring eBay for parts required to convert the old oil boiler from a 1992 body to a 1988/89 body.

Also, I intend to change the appearance from its current Suzuki Pearl Novelty Black to the classic Blue/light blue/white during this project.

To that end, I found a blue white tank on eBay for not a great deal of money. It has a couple of dents that will need to be fixed….incurring a repaint as well.
Postal scale Font Helmet Automotive design Automotive lighting

The really critical parts for the conversion that were the hardest to find for reasonable $$ are the head light bucket and front subframe.

I was finally able to find those two parts this month, again on eBay. I’ll update again once I start making progress beyond collecting parts.

It won’t be weekly, nor even monthly just as I find time to get things done now that it has been promoted to the back burner once again.
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 2
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Update #1:

Several new developments have taken place since the last post so I figured it was time to update this thread.

The head light bucket arrived and is exactly as described. I thought to use the head light from the 1992 head light bucket to replace the missing one on the 1989 head light bucket.

That was a definite no-go as the bulb housing is different from ‘89 to the ‘92. Looks like I have to find another bulb housing to replace the missing one now.

The upper fairing stay/head light bucket mount also arrived and is completely not the correct one. It was listed as for an 88-89 but is actually for ‘86-‘87 MYs. Not sure where I want to go from there.

I could keep searching for an ‘89 or I can get some tubing and just make my own. Apparently the ‘89 is a blend of the ‘87 & ‘92. As I have both now, should be able to just copy the parts of each to make one and weld up a reproduction.

Some months back I got a PDR kit from Amazon for around $18. Mainly I got it for the puller bridge which is alloy and I figured would work no matter what I used to attach to the dent. Here’s the tool with some of the “sticks” for dent pulling:
Wood Musical instrument Tool Ball-peen hammer Hand tool

The tank had 3 dents, each differing in type & complexity. Starting on the right side of the tank, there was a fairly deep, but also complex dent where the metal was stretched. For that I got some similar length bolts of the same thread from the hardware store and welded them on the dent.
Tire Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive exterior

This worked quite well and I was able to pull the dent almost completely out. It’s out enough for a thin layer of filler to take care of what’s left.
Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Azure Motor vehicle

Here you can see all the remaining low spots….the dent was that big and that deep. There was a small dent on top of the tank that came out just with the tools in the kit. If I were not painting the tank, it could just be buffed out and waxed it came out that good. Then there was the dent on the left side of tank.
Motor vehicle Hood Automotive tire Automotive lighting Automotive design

Hood Automotive design Automotive exterior Automotive lighting Automotive decal

You can see the depth from the space behind the tape measure. As bad as it looks, this was a pretty easy dent to pull. I only used the included tools, and glue sticks. The only tool outta my tool box was a hammer to help tease the dent out.

Grille Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Motor vehicle

Below after a quick block sand to find the low spots:

Automotive lighting Hood Motor vehicle Automotive design Helmet

Ready for filler and primer. More later when I get back to this
See less See more
  • Like
  • Wow
Reactions: 2
Yes, yea it is. Not too difficult though, just gotta be patient and feel what the metal is doing. Once the filler and primer is done, then things get difficult.
Update 1.5:
I was going to wait until I made more progress on this project before a full update, but consider this one about halfway to a full one. There was one other bit of damage I did not include in my previous posts.

Due to being poorly packed for shipping the Barb fitting on the top of the vent “hump” was pushed in. This created a dent that popped the paint off in the affected areas. I was at a loss for how exactly to tackle this dent due to its location and the height of the vent bump above the rest of the tank.
Hood Automotive lighting Automotive design Motor vehicle Automotive exterior

I was struck with a bit of inspiration and the solution was stupidly simple. I used a claw hammer and a bit of 2X6 as a fulcrum and popped the dented in hump right out. Above is the result.

Once that was done, I got out some carbon/Kevlar cloth out to get a nice thin base layer for the filler to bind to. First though, I had to ensure there were no pinholes incurred by welding on the damaged part of the tank.

I poured in a bit of paint thinner (mineral spirits) and found there was indeed a pin hole. After draining off the thinner and waiting quite a while for it to flash off, I welded a bead around the area where the leak was. Didn’t work, made it worse. Repeat the process and finally after a much more extensive bead than one would think necessary, no more leak.

Wiped down with alcohol and set to patching the repaired area with a layer of carbon/Kevlar. I use a West Systems marine grade epoxy for this sort of thing. I call it a “bullet proof” repair. Just because of the Kevlar….bullet proof vests and all that.
White Liquid Hood Light Automotive tire

Once this cured for a week or so, I sanded it back a bit with some 220 grit. After another wipe down with some alcohol, I mixed up a small batch of filler. Probably less than a teaspoon worth. Once applied and cured, I used a wood rasp to take down the high spots. Once it was shaped more or less as it should be, I hand sanded with a block and some 220.
Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Sleeve Vehicle

Sky Slope Snow Freezing Geological phenomenon

Little more to go on this spot. A skim coat for sure and maybe a bit of glazing putty to fill any tiny imperfections. Anyway, that’s it for the mini update. More later
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Further updates:

Found a new to me upper fairing stay from the UK a while back. It arrived a few weeks ago but the weather has been rainy and chilly so I left it in the box and shoved it into the garage.

Before that gem arrived I’d found a suitable headlight bucket for around $40. It was clean and undamaged but missing a light.

my original thought was to use a light from the original headlight bucket but that proved impossible. The later headlights are larger in diameter than the earlier ones.

Found a second headlight bucket that was damaged but complete with both lights for another $40. So, after $80 I have a complete headlight bucket ready to install in its period correct upper fairing stay.

A new upper fairing is in the cards soon. Once I have that, and it’s all ready to mount I’ll post some pics.
Automotive exterior Gas Tints and shades Wood Metal
See less See more
Still not ordered the upper fairing but did get the head light bucket cleaned up and installed in the upper fairing stay. Dropped right in with no surprises.

Gives me hope that the result will be the same when I go to install the assembly on the upper fairing. Once I made sure the bucket would mount in the upper stay properly I cleaned it up and mounted it with some Ti flange bolts I’ve had for a bit:
Sky Cloud Motor vehicle Automotive tire Asphalt

Automotive lighting Vehicle Hood Automotive tire Motor vehicle

The tank is coming along nicely too. Got the remaining filler shaped and sanded down. Got a few more pits to fill and then shoot more primer. Getting close though.
See less See more
  • Like
  • Love
Reactions: 2
Last coat of Pearl white went on the tank last weekend. Last bit of wet sand to go this weekend. Hoping for some good weather so I can get some paint done.

Tonight I went by my local paint supply and had the Suzuki pearl dark blue mixed by the paint code. Came out really nice. Painter I talked to there says the paint lays down really nice. Good to know as I’ve not worked with this brand paint before.

Anyway, gotta finish wet sand and mask off the tank for the blue and the pin stripe. Updates to follow as I make tiny bits of progress
Couple o’pics…..shot some blue today. Suzuki dark blue pearl to be exact. Still gotta wet sand and shoot some clear but coming along, little by little.

Prolly nothing tomorrow though….wind is already over 20 mph….supposed to pick up tomorrow
See less See more
  • Like
Reactions: 1
I don't know why it's not loading any of the pictures for me, but i also have an old oil boiler and stash of some parts let me know if you'd potentially need anything, i love these bikes alot.
I don't know why it's not loading any of the pictures for me,
It's happening across a lot of VS sites. The guys are aware and working on it.
i also have an old oil boiler and stash of some parts let me know if you'd potentially need anything, i love these bikes alot.
Potentially at least, I only “need” some new ‘glass to convert from the 1992 body that I currently have and is mostly intact to a 1989 body. Not looking for original parts really. Reproduction ‘glass is fine for my purposes.

I have all the other parts to finish the project but always on the lookout for NOS stuff or better condition used stuff. The bike was totaled out by the insurance company before I ever bought it.

The body was basically destroyed along with front fairing stay, steering stabilizer, headlight and mirrors. The forks looked like bananas. Left side engine cover (starter/generator) was ground through and leaking. Shift lever was snapped off and left handle bar broken off.

All the destroyed, broken or bent parts were replaced and I put another 25K miles on it. Then I got hit by a college kid in a Volvo. Side swiped on the freeway. All the mechanical damage from that was fixed except the steering stabilizer which Inhave an OEM one to replace the Daytona that was destroyed in that accident.

I guess what I’m sayin is “whaddya got?” Or rather what are you willing to part with? My “needs” are mostly small parts. I have one new to me switch pod, the left side I think. I dunno, I still haven’t opened the box. Wouldn’t mind finding a clean one for the opposite side. Really need to inventory what I have and don’t have
See less See more
Mostly motor spares, I bought 3 motors from a guy when I sheared my crank :,)
  • Helpful
Reactions: 1
Got it. The one thing that’s all good on mine, so far at least has been the engine.

like I already stated….I need to take inventory of what I actually versus what is needed to complete the project. At least for phase 1…..which is get the body work done and make it run. Then I can focus on the remaining mods I want to make happen.
1 - 14 of 14 Posts