the Hunley or, pidjones needed a retirement project


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Actually, it started back in 2013 when I saw a 1978 GoldWing on Craigslist for a decent price. Basket case? I wish! It would have saved me a lot of disassembly time, and I would have seen a lot more of the ugliness before. So, as new projects go I piled on for a few months. First to be attacked was the carb rack, which seems to be the bane of GL1000 motors. Found the usual junked-up mess, mud dauber nests, incorrect jets, non-Honda float valves, missing float valve strainers. Having access to a couple ultrasonic cleaners and specialty solvents helped that along. Found a lot of discouraging problems. #1 was that the engine was NOT a '78 (I was planning on restoration), but a '75! Now, for performance the '75 'wing was the hottest. #2 joy was that the engine had apparently sat under water for a good period of time. This required the right side head to be removed and the #1 and #3 cylinders scraped with single edge razor blades held by hemostats. Cleaned up nice, though. #3 fun item was that the right side head and block were not true. I spent a week on the floor with a single-cut mill file and silicon carbide paper glued to glass to get them true. While weather cooperated I stripped the frame to bare steel, etching primer rattle-can, sanding primer over that, smoothed a few things I'd ground off, and painted it with 4 parts black one part gold, then clear coated. Now, this is my first time painting with a sprayer. I cheated and used lacquer. It went on real nice, and since it was to have a loooong time to cure out, should be fine. I hung the frame from the ceiling of the garage. Then life got in the way. Work got busy, family demands, and just plain apathy towards a project that had no pressing need anyway. Then a little over a year ago my boss let me know that I would be given a Reduction In Force at the end of September 2017. The RIF doesn't upset me as I was planning to retire then, anyway - plus they gave me good severance pay and six months of insurance! So in October 2017 I started cleaning (a bit) and re-arranging the garage to return to the project. Next item on the agenda was to check compression now that cylinders were good. #4 chuckle was that the compression test was awful. Pulled both heads and had the valve seats ground and put new valves (and seals) in. Good compression, now. The engine cases were grease and dirt crusted, so I spent about a week cleaning them, then painted them with POR15 engine paint. In between discouragements, I pulled various aluminum covers off to polish. The rear swing arm/drive needed cleaned up and painted I judged. #5 surprise was that BOTH external snap-rings were replaced by internal rings. AND the U-joint was shot, AND the slip-joint although in good shape had the grease seal removed and they had pumped the whole swing arm full of grease. So, eBay to the rescue on the U-joint and grease seal, LOTS of paper towels full of grease to get the swing arm cleaned out, then cleaned and wire brushed the outside for painting with wheel paint. That now sets wrapped up waiting for re-installation (with external snap rings). Oh! Almost forgot another gem! The gas tanked had been "Kreem"ed. What crap that stuff is! They had coated the intake filter screens and only a couple holes were open, so I decided to find a solvent for Kreem. Seems like a big task, right? I did have access to a wide range of solvents. Turns out, Kreem (even well-cured) is fully dissolved in Acetone! I ended up just filling the tank 1/2 full of acetone and turning/swirling it a couple times a day, and it all came out.

So, Why not keep a build thread here? I frequent several GoldWing forums, and have kept up a couple threads on them. BUT, I thought the Hunley might have interest here, too. Can't call it a "cafe racer" - the GL1000 would do well over 120 mph stock. Not a tracker. certainly not a restoration. A "special"? Sure! BTW, she is named in honor and memory of the brave crews of H.L. Hunley - the first successful military submarine, lost along with her third crew after her only (quite successful) mission during the War of Northern Aggression. She was discovered again in the '90s and raised in about 2002 to be placed in a research facility at the old Navy base in Charleston, SC. Plus, I've spent about 2.5 years under water on submarines myself.

So, I'll try t get some pictures up. Maybe figure out how to use the gallery.


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Figured out the gallery and posted up some in-progress pictures from over the past 5 years there.
I love it. I'm still sitting on a '75 that gets pulled out of the barn now and then.
Well, I'll put most of them in the gallery, but this milestone deserves a post. The frame is now back on the engine (thanks to the wife for helping), and the cooling system hooked up, leak checked, leaks fixed (mainly a small spot on the radiator that I was able to solder), and tank mounted (ask anyone that has had one out and back in - not so easy!)

Starting to come together some.
No high-dollar shop pressing, but a routed oak form, a big aluminum bar, and a BFH does a pretty good job making the fender dimples for the mounting bolts. About 7" was cut off the front of the fender. The chrome will come off and it will be painted dark emerald metallic green along with the front fender, side covers, and shelter sides.


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Took the radiator back off to touch up the paint on the sides. Installed the battery box. Sanded the chrome off of the rear fender and primed with etching primer.
Carbs are mounted, and part of the electrical hooked up. Which made me realize that hooking up accelerator and choke cables should be completed before the shelter is mounted for the remainder of the electrical to mount. But, to do the cables I need handlebars to mount them on, and triple tree to mount the handlebars. So, the triple trees are cleaned up for paint which forced me to look closer at the head bearings so they are on order. I removed the old races today. A lot easier than I feared. Rebuilt one of the fork tubes - the other will get done tomorrow. This gets involved, but it keeps me off the streets.
Bearings didn't come, so I hooked up throttle cables, choke, clutch, and tach. Need to mount the shelter to go further on the wiring. Keeping most of the stock harness with renewed connectors. Still need dry weather for more painting.
Nice, following along, I've been there a couple times on my old girl but not to this level of finish, mines always been, get her fixed to ride, one of these days I'll go this far on her.
Maritime said:
Nice, following along, I've been there a couple times on my old girl but not to this level of finish, mines always been, get her fixed to ride, one of these days I'll go this far on her.
If I had only this to ride, it would have been buttoned up five years ago. The 1800 behind it is my DD though, so this work is for "pleasure". And, I'm really enjoying it without time pressure, 'cause I'm slow as mud.
Yep, When I can get another DD that can handle what the 79 does I will then do the slow and steady refurb like you are. May be when I retire for all I know LOL. I just know I'll never sell the ole girl.
I finally was able to paint some! Humidity in the 40's, so I put down etching primer, black (Duplicolor wheel paint), and clear (also Duplicolor wheel) on the upper and lower triple tree and the air filter housing. Also put filler primer on the side panels and sanded them to remove a couple divots. Look like one or two more coats of primer and they will be ready for color. Hooked up the crankcase vent to the air cleaner housing after it was mounted, and then hooked up the drain bottle. A little tricky on a '75 motor (with the kick start quadrant back there) in a '78 frame, but I prefer the '78 system. Hope to be able to shoot color on the tins next week. Kind of wondering if the paint I've chosen will look right over different color primers (olive drab etching primer and light grey filler primer). Might just paint it all with a couple coats of black before I shoot the dark emerald green metallic.
So, hovering Hunley went out into the sunlight today. Also gained triple trees, forks, handlebars, headlight. All wired up to the point that I was able to get headlights and speedo/tach lights. No indications on the gauge panel, and the starter acts like it is shorted now (it worked a couple months ago for me to do compression tests).


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Starter works fine with a fully charged battery! Have signals, headlights, tail and stop lights (no brakes yet, though!) A few more items and I get to see if it will run.
Painted the tins yesterday. Taking the side covers out to paint I noticed that the primer will still soft. It had been on for a couple weeks at least. I left them aside and painted the shelter sides, radiator scoops, front and rear fenders, and the little piece that bolts to the back of the shelter under the door. Pretty happy with the way the color turned out. It is just lacquer, so I need to let it cure for a bit and then buff the clear coat. A little orange peel in a few places on the shelter sides, otherwise it looks great. Today I scrapped (sanding primer was so soft a lot of it scraped off with a putty knife) the paint off of the side covers and discovered after trial and error that there is a clear coat on the side covers that the primer (which is lacquer-based) doesn't agree with. I have almost all of that off now, too. Tried some etching primer over them lightly and there are just a few spots left to address. I'll get some more etching primer, seal everything off with that, and then lightly apply the sanding primer. Meanwhile, I pulled the rear brake system apart and got one of the pistons out. The side with the connections wasn't so easy (used air to get the first one out). I have blanked the cross port and applied air, but so far no piston movement. I'll get at it again tomorrow. Oh, and recharged the S10 AC system as it will be my work commute transportation on bad-weather days this summer.
Hmm. Well, I got the other rear brake piston out. Read somewhere the suggestion to hook up the front master cylinder to it and yep, pumped it right out. I've put them both on my lathe and polished - still a few very small pits but these for a '78 rear are made from unobtainium, I think. I have a rebuild kit on hand for both front and rear master cylinders now, plus a rear caliper kit. The front calipers seemed real good when I brought the bike home five years ago. The fluid in them looked pretty good. I'll flush them thoroughly and rebuild the front master.

Rolled her outside today and tried starting. Got a little rumble, but before I could go much further the starter quit again. Guess a charged battery won't do it this time - so I've mounted the wheels and will have the wife help steady the bike while I lift under the center cross member with a floor jack and pull the furniture dolly out from under it. I've already re-mounted the kick stand. Since I haven't mounted mufflers yet it will be easy to drop that header and pull the starter. Yep, um hm. Easy. Well, at least I have all of the wiring finished now - even the horns!
Projects wouldn't be a challenge without the issues. Pity the battery didn't sort it out. I wonder if the charged battery was just a bit to far gone to give the amps needed to turn the motor around.
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