Cleaning the frame

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The bike (Suzuki GS850L) is apart and organized into boxes for inspection and repair/replacement. The motor is out of the frame in the process of being repaired. After the motor is repaired, it will go back into a re-painted frame.


So when first looking at the frame, it appears to be in good shape. There are no cracks on the down tubes, no breaks in the welds and no bends at the steering stops. All the brackets were straight and the rear shock absorber mounts are good to go.

Of course all the rubber fittings on the frame were dried out or deteriorated with time, though not worn from use.


The frame however isn’t entirely unmolested. There is an issue with rust and there was plenty of it. Not so much on the nice smooth sections of the frame, although it was found there too, but every nook and cranny of the frame was corrupted. The smallest ripple or dimple in the frame provided a haven for moisture. And wherever moisture found a home, so did rust. Every welded joint, every bracket mount, every imperfection or bend in the frame—no matter how slight—had iron oxidation.

There’s no easy way to get rid of rust that I know of. Every method involves lots of elbow grease and sweat. The least exhausting way to get rid of rust that I have access to involves sand blasting. Luckily, my large air compressor in the basement is near a window, so I can run an air hose to the outdoors without too much of a problem. And so I did.


Today, March 24, was a beautiful spring day here in the Lehigh Valley. It was a perfect day to media-blast and primer a motorcycle frame in the great outdoors. And so I did.


Tomorrow I start on another project that usually involves a lot of elbow grease and sweat for the at home D-I-Yer. That project is removing old gasket material from the two surfaces of the base gasket, the two surfaces of the head gasket and the two surfaces between the valve cover. That’s a lot of area to cover, especially when dealing with a four-banger.

I may have a couple tricks up my sleeve, maybe.

Next: Painting the frame

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