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Author Topic: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler  (Read 21131 times)

Offline canyoncarver

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #30 on: Jun 14, 2016, 12:23:22 »
Nice little twin you have there.  Great progress. 
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YZF750/1000R The Fly
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ZRX 1100
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A bunch of KZ's...some Suzukis', and a disassembled CB550
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Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #31 on: Jun 20, 2016, 01:00:28 »
Nice little twin you have there.  Great progress.
Hey canyoncarver - thanks for the compliment and stopping by to check things out!  :D

I've got a few more update photos from the build progression to share.  These updates deal with the fenders and making them a bit cleaner and less bulky, while still retaining a good deal of functionality.  You'll see that I have masked them off and then sketched out what I felt to be a slightly sleeker profile on the tape.  Then got out the angle grinder w/ a fiber disc and flapper wheel to "sculpt" them a bit.  I did this to both the front and rear fenders.  Because the rear fender was welded straight to the frame when I got it I had to spend some time cutting off the angle iron it was attached with ans smooth things out.  It also needed a new mounting scheme, so I cut up some bar stock and welded it in place across the frame for top and bottom mounts.  It can now be removed with just a few bolts, which is really nice.  I plan to re-use part of the plastic fender insert as an extension to the rear fender near the swingarm area to keep things tidy.  I'll try to get a picture when I get that far.  I also filled in the hole in the front fender where the brake line stay was mounted in the front fender by welding in some filler metal and grinding things smooth.  I also had to pound out a few small dents to clean them up.  They will eventually be painted.  It's a little to see the trimmed down rear fender in place in the last picture, but it's there.  I'll try to get a different angle on it in the future.  Still having fun with this!

Offline advCo

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #32 on: Jun 20, 2016, 01:39:05 »
Nice tuck on the fenders. Looks good but still mostly functional  ;D

I like the chrome
"He broke the mirrors off his Cadillac, 'cause he doesn't like it looking like he looks back."

74 CB360 - Luna - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=63294.0
82 GS550L - Tracker-ish - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=67229.0 - Sold
74 XL350 - The Turd - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=70252.0
Suzuki FA50 "No-Ped" - http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=71189.0
73 Suzuki RV125 -http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=73875.0

Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #33 on: Jun 24, 2016, 21:45:00 »
Another update to share with you all on this conversion from earlier this week. 

The last major piece to be welded has been the muffler onto the header.  Welding it in place didn't go too bad.  I got a pretty clean bead with the wire feed and then took the angle grinder to the excess weld and was able to get it smooth to the header to look like it's all one piece.  The muffler actually has a bracket on the back of it that I've bolted into the original muffler mounting point.  It's worked out better than I thought.  The weld will be getting a few coats of high temp. flat black paint to cover up the weld.

The title I gave this when I started out indicated that I'd be making a scrambler.  But, seeing as I'm not going the route of a high-mount exhaust, is it still a scrambler?  Or will this be better defined as a tracker?

Anyways, I think that most of the heavy cutting and welding is done at this point.  The build is now going to take a destructive, or rather, de-constructive turn for awhile now as I start pulling things apart.

Offline djmaynard

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #34 on: Jun 24, 2016, 22:34:43 »

Hey canyoncarver - thanks for the compliment and stopping by to check things out!  :D

I've got a few more update photos from the build progression to share.  These updates deal with the fenders and making them a bit cleaner and less bulky, while still retaining a good deal of functionality.  You'll see that I have masked them off and then sketched out what I felt to be a slightly sleeker profile on the tape.  Then got out the angle grinder w/ a fiber disc and flapper wheel to "sculpt" them a bit.  I did this to both the front and rear fenders.  Because the rear fender was welded straight to the frame when I got it I had to spend some time cutting off the angle iron it was attached with ans smooth things out.  It also needed a new mounting scheme, so I cut up some bar stock and welded it in place across the frame for top and bottom mounts.  It can now be removed with just a few bolts, which is really nice.  I plan to re-use part of the plastic fender insert as an extension to the rear fender near the swingarm area to keep things tidy.  I'll try to get a picture when I get that far.  I also filled in the hole in the front fender where the brake line stay was mounted in the front fender by welding in some filler metal and grinding things smooth.  I also had to pound out a few small dents to clean them up.  They will eventually be painted.  It's a little to see the trimmed down rear fender in place in the last picture, but it's there.  I'll try to get a different angle on it in the future.  Still having fun with this!

I was going to trim down my fenders as well the exact way you did it. Tried to do without and the day that I took off my front fender it rained the next day. So I put it back on.

Offline Psycrow

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #35 on: Jun 25, 2016, 18:52:31 »
Looking good!

Psy

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Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #36 on: Jun 26, 2016, 00:26:01 »
Looking good!
Thanks Psy!

Well, the de-construction has commenced.  All the rust and grease is beginning to get to me so it's time to start stripping things down and begin the long process of cleaning. 

I've separated the engine from the frame so that I can start working on getting the frame in more decent shape.  The plan is remove anything that is easily removed and try my hand with media blasting.  There is a lot of surface rust, and I'm seeing evidence that the back end of the bike has been repainted by one of the previous owners, so I'm hoping there aren't any surprises waiting for me under the newer paint.

Now that the engine is out I can see that the wiring harness really is a mess.  Lots of wire splices and questionable crimps.  I had planned from the beginning to just make a whole new harness with proper wire and connectors, so this inspection just confirms that I'll be going through that whole process.  I'll have some learning to do before I get to work on that step, though.

The engine is mostly just dirty with a lot of scratches and chips in the clear-coated parts.  I'll be sanding them down to bare metal and re-painting them at some point.  Some of the Phillips head screws holding the various covers on are pretty well stripped so I'll be picking up some new hardware when I get that far.  I'd like to get the frame shaped up first before I dive too deep into the engine.

I'm starting to feel a bit like I'm going backwards as I look at all the pieces and parts strewn about.  It's hard not to think about the fact that I started with a drive-able motorcycle and now have a growing pile of parts and wires that is far from drive-able.  I suppose one has to deconstruct things before they can be reassembled into something better.  I hope it ends up better than when I started!  We'll see...

Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #37 on: Jul 11, 2016, 20:20:49 »
Deconstruction has more or less been completed.  The frame has been stripped of basically everything so that it could be cleaned up and blasted.

I was able to use a simple media blaster hooked up to the air compressor and made a "blast chamber" out of painter's tarps.  That definitely cut down on the mess and allowed me to recollect and reuse the media several times over.  I used furnace slag as the media and seemed to do well without being overly aggressive.  I didn't take off all the paint as most of it was in good shape and pretty tough, but did focus on the rusty bits and areas where previous owners had repainted the frame.

After blasting the frame was coated several times over with self-etching primer.  It cleaned up quite well and will then be painted semi-gloss black :)

Offline NoRiders

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #38 on: Jul 11, 2016, 20:41:48 »
Nekkid....but looks much better already.

Offline Northish

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Re: 1981 Suzuki GS450L - Cruiser to Scrambler
« Reply #39 on: Jul 15, 2016, 19:07:32 »
Alright, it's Friday so let's get some more progress pictures going, shall we?

The frame and related bolt-on bits have now been media blasted, primed, and finally painted.  Paint was applied courtesy of the rattle-can. Actually, several rattle-cans.

I've taken the tank down to bare metal and started putting body filler on to smooth out the dents and emblem attachment points.  Hoping it holds tight near the emblem mounts.  I did as much roughing up as I could of the base and wiped everything down well with acetone.

The wheels have also been cleaned, polished a little (but not going for mirror finishes on this bike) and then painted.  The "spokes" were masked off with tape and then the tape was trimmed with a razor along the edges of each spoke.  Took some time.  Then everything was painted black.  Once 3 layers of black paint were sprayed and dried all the masking was removed and 4 layers of clear coat were applied.  I think they look sharper than when they were new!

That's all I've had time for now.  Hope you find the progress still moving the right way.