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"Old school" low bucks/no bucks tips?

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*I ran this in the 'general' forum a few days ago, no response..... I figured I was asking the wrong crowd. Maybe some of you vintage guys can remember more of what we used to/still do?, to keep our bikes going, when you're either on a budget, or parts simply aren't available*

Just thinking earlier about helping friends rebuild their mini bikes as a kid, and the things we would do to keep them going. We never had loads of cash, so we would make our own base gaskets, heat up (anneal) our copper head gaskets over someones Mum's stove. Sometimes bicycle tubes (20") found their way into someones YZ80 or XR75. Anything to keep the bikes going on our non existent budget. What i'm after here are other people's low bucks/no bucks tricks you have used in the past, or maybe to this day? I imagine a lot of the vintage racers still do the ol' head gasket trick.

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Yes, we did make a few gaskets and air filters. And in the days before modern oils, you could use most any 30 or 40 wt. in your 4-stroke; or use most any 50 or 90 wt. in your Euro-bike crankcase from any gas station or even a 'dime' store.

There were no fancy Teflon-lined cables (and bikes had a minimum of 3 and sometimes 4 different cables - throttle/front brake/clutch/ and some had a cabled rear brake) so we would take them off and hand them up by one end and pour oil down them and let them drain every month on so.

Bicycle tubes - yes! We sacrificed many a Schwinn Sting-Ray. Also used bicycle grips to get us by. (We tried a bicycle chain once - that's a whole other story!)

No vehicle was safe from the gas siphon tube, either. We robbed from whatever car was around, lawnmower, tractor, snowblower, etc. If we were way short then someone's rubbing alcohol from their medicine cabinet was pilfered and mixed in. Hey, it worked in the dragsters we saw on TV. 😢

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I still make my own gaskets with my handy dandy gasket making tools that my dad gave me. Hey how about refubishing the old chain by dipping it in a heated pot of thick oil? Still do that also,the stock chain is going on a year!! Still make my own cables too.

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Thanks for the replies guys, anyone else have any old tricks? How about cutting a length of 'Hot Wheels' track in half, and taping it to your fork legs, for a budget lower fork protector. Yes, i'm ashamed to say, I did that 😢😢

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I saw a post in XR400-250 where a guy showed his lower fork protectors, made from scrap PVC pipe. Looked good too!!

Other tricks Ive pulled; turning a sprocket around to wear the other side of the teeth.

Replacing the number plate with an ammo case, painted white, to make a 1st class glove box/duct tape storage. Carrying a pack of matches, the strike area makes a great points file.

Robert

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We have a 165cc V-Twin sold by Harley sometime in the sixties that looks like a mini electra glide. Anyway, the bike needed head gaskets and we ended up making a pair out of empty beer cans.

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my buddy was always stealing the motor oil out of the lawn mower to use............as PREMIX in his gas for his 2 strokes, LOL he would just shake it up real well, he he

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we would heat up old oil in a bucket on the barbecue grille, add a block of paraffin (Extremely Flammable) ... and soak our chains in it ...

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All you need in your trail tool kit are duct tape, bailing wire, adn chewing gum. Could fix all kinds of things with that combo!!! We were at aH&S race last fall adn a kid next to use holed his outer case cover and lost all his tranny oil. Cleaned it off good with carb cleaner and duct taped the 2in dia. hole closed. Filed it up with oil. He fnished the 2hr race .....in 2nd place, no less.....and never lost any oil!!

Creative tools were often a cheap homemade item.

Piston pin puller: use a long, all-thread rod, a piece of an old worn out pin, a larger diameter piece of any kind of pipe and two nuts and washers. RUn the bolt/rod thru the pin, slip the ol pin over it and put a washer and nut on it. Then put the bigger rod over the other end(big enough ID that the pin will fit inside it) and put the nut/washer on that end. just start tightening it down!!

Valve spring compressor; 6" C-clamp, 2in long 3/4 pipe coupler. Grind or cut an area about 1/2" x 1/2" into the sides of one end of the pipe nipple. Put that over the valve, put the c-clamp over that and the other end over the valve. Screw the c-clamp down adn when the spring is compressed enough, reach i9n with tweezers or needle nosepliers and pull out the retainers!!

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Hello, looking for the best tips to remove broken exhaust studs on the dt 1 head, not much to grab onto now, tried soaking it real good overnite . but i just broke it a little shorter the next day. smarter guys than me got some good ideas?

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Hello, looking for the best tips to remove broken exhaust studs on the dt 1 head, not much to grab onto now, tried soaking it real good overnite . but i just broke it a little shorter the next day. smarter guys than me got some good ideas?

You can try PB Blaster, it is one of the best penetrating oils made however, it sounds like it may be time to breakdown and give the barrel to a machine shop for removal.

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Hello, looking for the best tips to remove broken exhaust studs on the dt 1 head, not much to grab onto now, tried soaking it real good overnite . but i just broke it a little shorter the next day. smarter guys than me got some good ideas?

try welding a nut to them

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I almost got stranded by my Buell once . The ground cable broke off at the battery. I was riding with a bunch of guys with jap bikes and I didn't want to ruin thier ride so I went into my wallet and pulled out two Bandaids I happened to have . I taped the cable over the post in a criss cross pattern and it held the rest of the ride. I was amazed ,but some times the simplest things work.

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I once had a throttle cable rip the end piece off at the twist tube and didn't want it to ruin my ride. So I took a small section of baling type wire and bent it back and fourth a few times in a zig zag, then wove the cable end through it and crimped it tight. It fit the twist tube almost perfectly and lasted for several rides.

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Hello, looking for the best tips to remove broken exhaust studs on the dt 1 head, not much to grab onto now, tried soaking it real good overnite . but i just broke it a little shorter the next day. smarter guys than me got some good ideas?

you can try to soak it in Kroil and then drill and use an ez out. However, since it is rare, I would take to a machine shop and have it professioonally done, it would be well worth it.

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My XT550 project was missing many, many things when I got it.

I had it almost together and ridable, but I didn't have an important component, a clutch cable.

I got a bicycle cable repair kit (came with four or so cables) found one that was the right length with one correct end. But the casing was too small. So I slid one cable out of it's case, used the bushing or what ever on the end to make it bigger. This of course requires cutting one crimped on end of the cable I wanted to use off. I took a small bolt and nut, wrapped the cable around twice, put in a vice and cranked the crap out of it to make the other end.

In a pinch, you can use a second master link to repair a broken chain, sometimes.

I've drilled and re-tapped many a stud or bolt-hole. Leave the cover on to center the bit, use the biggest bit that will fit. Drill slow and careful so you don't wreck the cover. Now that you have a nearly centered mark, use a smaller (the size you should have started with) bit for a pilot hole and drill it larger till you get to the correct size to tap it. Save yourself a lot of headache later, use metric bolts.

I bought a 150+ generic metric grade 8 fastener assortment from PepBoys last week for $20. That will save me many, many trips to the hardware store for $0.75 bolts and nuts.

I've rethreaded standard bolts metric because the hardware store didn't have one in metric long enough.

I steal fasteners from project/parts bikes all the time. Even the lawn mower if needed. I figure the lawn mower doesn't move at 50+ mph, so a missing fastener isn't as important as my bike moving at 80 mph or shaking all over the trails.

I've taken vacuum hose from my car to use as fuel line. Sure, it's not pretty and it's not permanent, but it works for a few hours.

I stole the water level switch hose from the washing machine (we were throwing it out anyway) to use as vacuum hose on my street bike.

My poor drill press gets used as a lathe/milling machine a little more than it can handle.

Drill bit too small? Just run it around at an angle to widen the hole.

my buddy was always stealing the motor oil out of the lawn mower to use............as PREMIX in his gas for his 2 strokes, LOL he would just shake it up real well, he he

You could probably do this, just let it settle for a few weeks, then pour off the light stuff, run it through a coffee filter and throw out the sediment.

Hello, looking for the best tips to remove broken exhaust studs on the dt 1 head, not much to grab onto now, tried soaking it real good overnite . but i just broke it a little shorter the next day. smarter guys than me got some good ideas?
try welding a nut to them

If it's long enough, put two nuts on, sinch them together and turn it off using the bottom nut.

Or use my cover-on drill out trick mentioned above.

Zip-ties make great license plate fasteners. Well, that's what I'm planning to do until I get a replacement for my plate bracket or the cops pull me over.

Mud covers out of date inspection stickers.

I made a registration sticker using a laser printer and packaging tape (to make it appear reflective). It also helped that the registration sticker was black that year. I really did register the car. My license was suspended so I couldn't get pulled over. (I'll admit, I've done this way too much) So I needed that sticker to come in before the end of the month, it didn't.

Gaskets, at least the paper ones, can be made from phone book covers using an X-acto knife and patience.

You can drill paper using two pieces of scrap wood clamped together to keep it in place. This is an easy way to make a perfect centered circle with a hole saw.

Have a big hole and need it bigger? But the hole is too big to keep a pilot of a hole saw in place? Use a piece of scrap wood clamped on the opposite side until the hole saw has chewed through what ever you need to cut a hole in.

Paper clips make great temporary wiring, just make sure to cover it with electrical tape so it doesn't short.

Plastic screw-tab broke? ABS plastic pipe cement works great, just make sure you have both pieces.

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should this be the Macgyver thread?

haha

ive used beer can on the inside of a busted up throttle casing to keep the grip from stickin to the bar

ATF makes great fork and shock oil for older bikes..

WD 40 shines up old plastic real nice..and hides scratches..(hack shop owner showed me that one)

Blue jeans make great seat covers

exhaust clamps some bolts and a couple strips of steel will fix a busted up tripple clamp

stuff a pice of rod into your handle bar to fix the snapped off end

break a small branch off a pine tree and "thread" it into your seat bolt holes...

Stripped out plug hole and dont want to pay for a heli coil? Brass roofing sheet works great, wrap it round the plug...

and i have seen people JB weld spark plugs, HEAD covers, engine covers, radiators, patch gastanks, and other debauchery utilizing jb weld...

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using the side out of a beer case for gaskets. has to be cans though.

a bike will start after being dropped in a river if you pull start it long enough with the old dt.

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