Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pee Wee Rebuild Part 1

Middle of the day texts from Josh are often very random. One day I got a text with a Craigslist link asking “Can I buy these for Ethan”. It’s a link to 2 dirt bikes. Ethan just turned 2, no idea why he needs even 1 dirt bike, let alone 2. But, they were a great price and I figured they’ll take some time to even be running so why not let them have some fun working in the garage. Josh thought it would be fun to track their progress, so here's part 1.

Week 1

So, Josh and Ethan went out that night and picked up two Yamaha PW50 dirtbikes.  These are the smallest dirt bikes made, and are known as “PeeWees”.  The bikes don’t run, but are mostly complete at least, and were advertised as needing minor things such as a carb rebuild.  Ethan hopped on one immediately while Josh was talking to the seller and wouldn’t get off them as they were being loaded on the truck.  He “vrooomed” the entire time for onlookers as Josh tied them down. It’s like he knew they were for him. This kid is obsessed with anything on wheels.
Doesn't he look like a little natural up there?
So excited!

Over the next few days, the bikes were cleaned and examined.  A power washer was borrowed (and later broke-oh the joys of working in the garage), fuel tanks drained and cleaned, carbs cleaned, etc.  One bike is going to be the “parts bike” and the other bike is going to be rebuilt.  The question was which one?  Before any more time was dumped into trying to get them to run, Josh did a compression test on both of them.  This determines if the inside of the motor has enough pressure to run.  (Or something??)

Red bike pre-cleaning 

Yellow bike pre-cleaning

Ethan trying to put the fender back on. 

Ethan pointing out all the spots that were missed cleaning. 

Red bike cleaned and stripped of bodywork.

Online the lowest seen for a running engine was 80 psi, the minimum is supposed to be 100 psi.  This is what ours got:

Yellow Bike: 65 PSI
Red Bike: 30 PSI

The engines need a new top end or a complete rebuild.  Normally, this would be extremely expensive, but for little bikes it’s fairly cheap.  A new top end was ordered instead of rebuilding the original.  It was half the cost, had decent reviews, and a warranty to boot. 

The bikes VINs were ran: The yellow bike is a 1982 and the red bike is a 1987.  That’s roughly thirty years for each, with 2-8 year olds thrashing the crap out of them.

Week 2:

The red bike was selected for rebuild.  Even though the compression was lower, every other aspect was better.  The forks weren’t seized, wiring harness and switches were intact, and since the top half of the engine was being replaced, compression tests didn’t matter. 

Disassembly began. 

Ethan wasn't happy about disassembling it.

 He kept wanting to put it back together. 

Bike frame

Engine pulled from frame

Pictures of the inside of worn out motor

The engine, rear wheel, and other components were removed from the frame.  This was supposed to take an evening, but a lot of fasteners were seized up.  After two evenings it’s about halfway done.  This will continue throughout the week.  I swear any time Josh gives a time frame for something, I should expect at least double ;)

That’s the progress so far. Next on the agenda:

Finish disassembling everything.  Figure out the paint scheme for the bike.  Then take frame, exhaust, bars, wheels, and other small parts to powder-coater.  As it sits, it looks more like a tetanus delivery machine than a dirt bike.  Any parts that can’t be powder-coated (nothing with bushings/seals since the parts go into an oven), will have to be sanded down and spray painted at home.  

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